With the ever-growing list of hotel chains available in every tourist destination you go, you’d be forgiven for knowing very little of Kempinski. Here in London, we have the exceptional The Stafford London by Kempinski as the only property in the UK run by the German group. Don’t let the mere number of hotels within the UK fool you though. Kempinski are actually Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, with it’s origins dating back to 1897.
We were fortunate enough to spend five days at the Kempinski Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and sample first-hand the reasons why Kempinski today is synonymous with luxury travel.
The Kempinski Palm Jumeirah is a stunning development on the west crescent of Palm Island Dubai (also known as Palm Jumeirah) consisting of suites, penthouses and villas. All accommodations have either a terrace or balcony, seperate living rooms, a FULL kitchen, iPod compatible audio, and en-suite bathrooms.
What They Say:
“The moment you check in at the lavish lobby of the grand Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah you’ll experience impeccable Dubai 5-star service. From little home-comforts like Wi-Fi, hand-delivered international newspapers or freshly pressed laundry to our seamless business services. Our attentive concierge service will plan your Dubai limousine tours via the fronds of The Palm to the mainland. This child-friendly Dubai hotel keeps little ones entertained in the Kempinski Kids Club while parents lunch in Mediterranean splendour at Brunello Restaurant.”
What We Say:
Unfortunately for Kempinski, we think their introduction online to the Kempinski Palm Jumeirah is a little underwhelming. It sounds like a business hotel. Dubai is full of business hotels and as well-travelled fellows, let us tell you; Kempinski Palm Jumeirah is a full-on holiday resort.
Arriving at the hotel, one of the things you immediately experience is the superb Kempinski level of service. The doors to our taxi are opened, and before we could pull ourselves out of the vehicle our luggage is already on a trolley with an eager concierge and porter ready to show us in. As we’re walked in to the reception of the hotel we’re offered a glass of fresh, ice cold date juice. Smooth and refreshing, our first experience of date juice and Kempinski hotels have been excellent.
The excellent service extends far beyond just the welcome. The staff are always willing to help. The next morning the Assistant Manager of Reception was kind enough to show us around the entire hotel and its facilities. We’d only asked which way the Beach was. They really do go the extra mile which is massively refreshing. Everywhere in the world, hotel jobs are some of the lowest paid jobs around and the quality of staff reflects this. Not at Kempinski. You’ll struggle to find a more attentive service
So great, we love the service. What about the rooms?
We stayed in a two-bedroom suite with a pool. ranging from 150 to 185 m², these suites are massive. Both of the bedrooms are big enough to actually fit three queen size beds and still have space left over for the bureau, sofa, and the semi-walk-in humidor. There’s also a utility room, bathroom, guest toilet (you read that right), a living room and a fully equipped kitchen. The kitchen is to die for. Marble worktops with…Porsche Design small kitchen appliances. Shame on you for expecting anything less. Does it get any better? Yes, it does. The entire suite is floored in marble with exquisite rugs giving it a homely look. The furniture keeps with the ultra-luxury theme. Purely designer bespoke furniture all across the suite designed in stunning blues and golds.
Outdoors, the pool area is complete with sunloungers and garden furniture which is great for dining in the evenings. The furniture outdoors is just as classy as indoors. Beautiful, sturdy iron chairs with comfortable navy blue and white striped cushioning and an iron glass-top garden table which has more than enough space for four people.
The hotel also has it’s own communal pool which is huge. It’s definitely large enough for all the guests at the hotel and there’s no need to wake up early just to get your towels on the sun loungers. There’s also a lot of room between sun loungers. You don’t feel like your invading somebody else’s personal space which is a major problem we tend to have in some of the mass-market resorts. There’s also a kids’ pool where the little one’s can enjoy themselves and even private cabanas should you wish for a little more privacy than usual. The Cabanas have drapes that can go around the entire unit to completely close yourself off from the outside world should you wish. But with stunning views looking over the beach and the Dubai skyline why on earth would anybody want to?
The beach just beyond the pool area was one of our favourite parts of the hotel. The sand is always flawless no matter where you decide to place your base camp. It’s like being in a brochure. The crystal clear azure waters of the lagoon are magnificent and the view over the lagoon and of the Dubai skyline is truly awe-inspiring. It’s very easy to forget that it’s all man-made. Let’s be honest, when you holiday in Dubai you know that 95% of what you see is man-made. Only the desert is truly natural. But hey, nobody’s trying to pass this off as a natural wonder of the world and being here you realise the true power of man. The ability to take what was once a desert with nothing to offer in to a thriving metropolis that’s a bastion of capitalism, and a tourism destination with something to offer for just about anyone.
We loved the hotel, from service, to comfort, to facilities. Yes, it’s not cheap. But when a flight alone sets you back around £600 return from London, you’re not after a budget-friendly getaway with the kids. You’re here to treat yourself and your loved ones because we work too damn hard to spend our two week holiday settling for 3* mediocrity.
The Local Area:
One of the things we love about Dubai is that no matter what you’re in to, there’s something here for everybody. If you’re after some history, the old Bastakiya Quarters are a true glimpse of pre-modern era Dubai with Dubai’s oldest building, the Al Fahidi Fort. Fancy seeing some more beaches? Dubai has some magnificent public beaches including Jumeirah Beach Park where the entry fee is a mere 5 Dirhams (less than £1). There’s also Russian Beach which is completely free but as it costs zilch don’t expect as many facilities. Dubai is also a shopping haven. Mall of the Emirates is a great place to start off with some European and local brands but for the really brave we’d recommend Dubai Mall. Not only is it the World’s largest shopping mall, it’s also right by the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) and we also found the area to be amongst the liveliest in Dubai in the evenings with a plethora of restaurants, coffee shops, and a great place to sample the local Shisha products. Having mentioned the Burj Khalifa, which is also worth visiting, you can take a trip up to the observation deck on the 124th floor. It’s a must-experience attraction. Dubai’s towering skyscrapers look like mere bungalows from the observation deck (which is fully enclosed so even those with fear of heights can feel safe) and the super-fast elevator ride up is another great experience travelling up at 40 miles per hour!
These are just some of the things to do in Dubai. There’s so much to do with the Aquarium, Marina, Indoor skiing, Desert dune buggies, camel rides, and many more. Certainly far more than we could list. Our best advice is to head on to Tripadvisor and see what takes your fancy.
Want to learn more about Kempinski Hotel & Residence Palm Jumeirah? Visit the website on Kempinski.com and don’t forget to shop around for the best deals.