After our fog experience, we decided to take out the sea plane experience and trip to the desert out of the schedule. We will be sticking to activities we can control and we can do during the day time. Deserts will always be there and sea planes too.
On day 3, we ventured out without the little Nomad and explored the emirates palace and the Etihad towers. Both magnificent structures and we enjoyed navigating our way through them, unguided.
6 star or 7 star, whatever you decide to rate it, this palace defines luxury! The Emirates Palace is a spectacular hotel under the Kempinski Chain located right in the heart of the city. You can arrive at the hotel by seaplane, helicopter or sea. You can also arrive by good ol’ driving, which is what we did. It took about 35-40 minutes from Yas Island. I’ve read tons of negative reviews about the hotel especially with snobbish and rude staff but we encountered none of that. Our car was a regular Camry, nothing fancy, and the guard let us in with smiles.
We were not allowed to enter by security even though we would be dining at their restaurant. We were riding an SUV and with my guest from the US but were not allowed by the rude security. Although I could see him ignoring the Caucasian pedestrians in shorts entering. Very disappointing. – Trip Advisor member review.
We did not have prior reservation either. The guard stopped us and asked what we came to do. We told the guard we came to explore and we were hoping to book a guided tour as well. He directed us to the car park and to the reception where we could make inquiries on our guided tour.
Stayed at a hotel across the road and walked over to see this place after all the glowing reviews. Honestly I cannot see what the fuss is all about. Yes, it was an opulent hotel foyer but I think I wasted my time walking over there. If you like looking at marble polished floors with walls speckled with gold coloured paint, go ahead and see this place. I would my rather spend my time at the Etihad tower across the road, the bar on the first floor is stunning. – Trip Advisor member review.
They are very strict with their dress code and they have signs everywhere in the hotel. No shorts or flip flops or any form of “indecent dressing” allowed. Our outfits were even checked before we drove in.
In respect of the local culture, please abide by our dress code inside the Palace, which is a smart casual clothing style or the traditional Arab national dress. Please kindly refrain from wearing shorts, Bermudas, Flip Flops, open shoes or any other skin-exposing garment. – Culled from kempinski.com
We made inquiries at the reception but unfortunately, there will be no guided tours till March 2018. “We are fully occupied till March 2018” the receptionist responded. Of course you are! We thanked him and moved on to exploring on our own. It was spectacular but I would have loved someone to tell me everything about the hotel and how it all came together. Room rates go as low as $500+ to $8,000+ per room per night. We even hear there’s a 7 day package at the palace which costs a whooping $1 million. With that you get a private jet, a chauffeur driven car and a private butler.
From Gold coffee and gold ice cream to gold spa treatment and a gold ATM, by the time you are done with this hotel, you’ll surely be singing YOU ARE GOLD!
We took a walk to the etihad towers, right opposite the Emirates Palace. The Etihad towers is a landmark building in Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large. The five towers, designed by Australian architects, gives guests who live, work, shop, dine and stay the most memorable and enriching of experiences. The building is such a stunner and we headed to the observation deck for brunch and a panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately, the fog would not let this happen but we made the most of it. We also got a 500 dirhams lunch/dinner voucher for shopping at one of the stores in the towers! We just might dine there for Christmas.
I decided to merge day 3 and 4 together because we only “explored” Ferrari world on day 4. The last time I had was at a standard theme park was probably 10 years ago. The ones in Nigeria don’t count. The Ferrari world is worth all the hype and it’s not to be missed when visiting Abu Dhabi. The intention was to spend about 3-4 hours and head to Yas beach. We ended up spending over 7 hours and could not do anything else. We were extremely exhausted. Even the little nomad got knocked out! She was not high enough for any of the rides so we left her in the play area with her nanny. She explored the heck out of it.
Its a great place for the older kids and adults too. We got on the fastest ride in the world, formula Rossa. It gets as fast as 240 km/h in 5 seconds and its definitely one for the books. I was worried I might throw up like I did when paragliding but I did not. It was an enjoyable and exhilarating 90 seconds! My brain almost left my skull, lol. The Ferrari World experience will be fully detailed in a separate post.
We hope you are having an exciting Christmas both home and abroad! Can’t believe our holiday is coming to an end very soon.
May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!