Abu Dhabi is often thought of as a transit hub for people traveling to South East Asia, or Australia, or as location for business, and although it is the capital of the UAE it is less likely to be chosen as a holiday destination due to the competition it faces from its little sister Dubai, however it does have some hidden gems for the luxury holidaymaker who is looking for something a bit more relaxed with Emirates Palace being one of them. Located in the Corniche area Emirates Place is an iconic Abu Dhabi landmark, the hotel was developed by the Abu Dhabi government, and is managed by the illustrious Kempinski hotel group, officially rated 5 star, and unofficially branded as 7 star, the hotel can only be described as palatial due to the sheer size of the building, which is decoratively covered in gold and marble.
Emirates Palace has everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel in the UAE, 2 lavish pools, tennis courts, 2 gyms, a spa, a marina, water activities and 1.3k of private beach, beautiful landscaped gardens and even boasts a helipad. The hotel exceeds 5 star on its service, with each room having a dedicated butler, who despite the size of the hotel are prompt with their service. All of which you would expect from the second most expensive hotel ever built, costs were estimated to be within the region of $3.9 billion. Theres something quite surreal about the Emirates Palace, its colossal size, the opulence, and the fact that it is located within the business district, the hotel is still able to remain an oasis within the city enabling you to relax without any disruption from your surroundings.
The only negatives would be that due to the location the beach is man-made, therefore its more like being in a lagoon than the ocean, and the sheer size of the hotel which is split in to an East and West wing means you can spend 10 to 15 minutes just to get from one destination to another. However there is more than plenty to do and see within Emirates Palace which makes up for this, as throughout the hotel you will be titillated by art from the Barakat gallery, the beautiful lounges and bars, and the choice of in-house restaurants. Abu Dhabi may not be your typical holiday destination, but if you are passing through Emirate Palace is well worth visiting on your journey.