Kempinski is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group and its properties are typically associated with opulence and exclusivity. As I was traveling from Singapore to New York a couple of months ago, I decided to stopover in Dubai (since I was flying Emirates) for one night before continuing on to New York for work. Since the flight from Singapore to Dubai was in the morning, I was unable to utilise The Qantas Lounge in Changi Airport but it did give me a reason to check out the refurbished Emirates Lounge instead.
This was the first time that I was traveling on Emirates in Business Class (even though I have done coach plenty of times when I was still living in Australia) and even though it was on the less-impressive 777-300ER (which features a 2-3-2 cabin layout in Business Class), I still enjoyed the experience very much. Sitting next to a stranger is not my kind of thing (unless I am in a bar) but the food served on the flight was delicious and the drinks were solid.
One of the perks of traveling in Business Class (and First Class!) on Emirates is the complimentary chauffeur-drive service that will take you to and from the airport. In fact, Business Class customers in Dubai actually have access to an impressive BMW 520i Touring fleet that is waiting for you the moment you step out of the airport. The only thing you will have to take note is that you will have to make your way to the Chauffeur-drive Service counter after collecting your luggage to have a limousine voucher printed - your booking reference code will come in handy here! There are no mileage restrictions within the United Arab Emirates so you do not have to worry even if your hotel (or wherever you wish to go) is located far away. The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates which I was staying at was located approximately 26km away from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and it took around 25-30 minutes on car to reach.
As soon as my car pulled up to the hotel, my luggage was quickly taken care of and I was ushered to the check-in area of the hotel. Once they saw that I am booked into a Corner Suite (or perhaps it was due to the DISCOVERY Loyalty Black status that I have), I was quickly escorted to my room by a Lady in Red. Now, if you have never stayed in a Kempinski hotel before (and this was my first time in one), the Lady in Red is the Kempinski brand ambassador and they are present at every Kempinski destination (she is not someone from a horror movie!).
Even though I was only going to be sleeping over for one night, I have actually made a two-night reservation here at the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates since my flight from Dubai to New York was scheduled to depart at 2:50AM - this meant that I was only going to check-out of the property at approximately 11:00PM. Now with the DISCOVERY Loyalty Black status, you do get up to 6:00PM late check-out and honestly, asking for an 11:00PM late check-out seemed ridiculous to me. In any case, room rates here in Dubai are comparatively lower when you visit during the warmer months.
My initial reservation was made for a Grand Deluxe Room but I was accorded a double upgrade (one of the perks of being a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member) into a massive Corner Suite for this stay. I mentioned that it would be my first time in Dubai in the pre-arrival form so perhaps that played a part too! The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates first opened back in 2006 and the interiors are designed by Wilson Associates. With that being said, the Corner Suites here are newly-refurbished and the design incorporates a blend of modernism as well as the distinctive Arabian design throughout.
Standing at 90sqm in size, the Corner Suites here at the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates offer endless views of the Dubai's stunning skyline - I could see both the Burj Al Arab as well as the Burj Khalifa from my bedroom! Even though guests staying in Corner Suites will have access to the Executive Lounge, I was not sure whether I did since I was upgraded. More importantly, I did not really have time to enjoy the services in the Executive Lounge since I have had a lot planned in this short 36-hour stay.
The living room of the Corner Suite is massive and that sofa sits at least six adults very comfortably. You also get a 270-degree view of the area and the Corner Suite that I was allocated to had a view of the beautiful swimming pool on one side as well as the famous Burj Al Arab on the other. In case you are wondering, this suite is good for two adults and up to two children (the sofa converts into a bed when needed) but the space that you get is just incredible.
The Corner Suite also comes with a dining room which also functions as a meeting room - this is where you will find the coffee machine, teabags, minibar and even a sink. The dining table sits up to four adults and it looks out to the two outdoor terrace swimming pools downstairs.
The Nespresso machine here comes with complimentary coffee capsules as you would expect and these are replenished during evening turndown as well as in the morning.
There is an in-room iPad here which acts as a digital compendium so you will be able to access information about the hotel as well as the surrounding areas via this convenient little gadget. Unfortunately, I do not think it was possible to request for housekeeping or additional items via the iPad but I could be wrong since I was in a rush to get everything done before heading out. There is a door connecting the living area to the bathroom (there is only one bathroom in this suite) so your guests will not have to walk through your bedroom to get to the toilet if they are required to.
As part of my welcome amenity, I received a whole plethora of goodies that range from sweet snacks like eclairs to savoury ones like roasted cashew nuts. In fact, there was even a good amount of blackberries as well as blueberries here. Since I was staying alone for only one night, these snacks were left untouched unfortunately but those cashews were delicious! Oh and in the event that you are wondering whether those 'bags' and 'shoes' are edible behind, they are fashioned out of chocolate (even though I did not eat them).
There are two sliding doors that lead to the bedroom and the Corner Suites here in Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates feature either a king or twin bed configuration. The bedroom (which is my favourite area in the whole suite) is beautiful and it was a balanced combination of European opulence and Arabic design. It enjoys plenty of daylight with its floor-to-ceiling windows (which look out of the Burj Al Arab), and there is even a 46-inch TV here in the bedroom for you to catch up on your favourite programs.
The bed itself was really comfortable and I was genuinely sad that I was only going to spend one night sleeping in it even though I have booked it for two. British-style 3-pin electrical plugs are used here in Dubai and these are the ones that you will find in the room so if you are coming from Singapore, you do not have to worry about bringing a universal travel adapter. Most of the lights in the bedroom has a dimmer which you can control from the bedside.
The beautiful bathroom here in the Corner Suite comes with a massive bathtub (this is definitely larger than average) as well as a separate shower area. Double sinks are also provided here in the bathroom so there is no need to wait around for your partner or friend in the morning and in the evening. There is also a bidet as well as toilet at the end of the bathroom which also connects to the living room if you'd like (you can also lock it so people are unable to access it from the outside).
Consistent to most if not all Kempinski properties around the world, in-house Bergamot-scented bath amenities are provided. These specially-formulated bath amenities consist of organic aloe vera but I am personally not a fan of these since I have found the bergamot scent to be too faint (but perhaps that is what they are going for?).
The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates is directly-connected to the Mall of the Emirates (as the name would imply) which is one of Dubai's largest malls. This multi-level shopping mall consists of over 630 retail outlets and it has a total retail floor of 220,000 sqm (for the sake of comparison, the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has around 74,000 sqm of retail floor).
You will find plenty of restaurants here in the mall but for some reason I was really craving for a burger so I ended up at Shake Shack for a quick lunch. Mobile data for travellers here in Dubai seems to be relatively expensive so I actually relied on free WiFi (which is typically offered in most malls) for the most part of my trip but do take note that you will need to receive an SMS for verification.
The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates has a beautiful outdoor swimming pool but some renovation works were going on during my visit so you can actually see some of the construction hoardings behind the other swimming pool in white. It was approximately 36 degree Celsius on the weekend that I visited in Dubai so a dip in the pool was a much-welcomed treat. In fact, it is not uncommon for temperatures to soar above 40 degree Celsius in the summer so make sure you pick a hotel with a nice swimming pool because trust me, you are going to need it.
Some of you may already know this but the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates has these amazing aspen ski chalets that look out into the slopes of Ski Dubai (an indoor ski resort with 22,500 sqm of indoor ski area) and some of these chalets have direct access to the outdoor terrace here. I really wanted to stay in one of these chalets but they are so expensive (even during the off-season) even though they look truly amazing! There is also a swim-up bar here in the pool but the drink prices are quite high since this is a Kempinski property in Dubai.
I spent most of the evening checking out Dubai Mall and the famous Burj Khalifa before coming back to one of the most comfortable beds that I have ever slept in. Since my room rate came inclusive with breakfast (once again, I was not sure whether I had access to the Executive Lounge but I have had plenty planned for the day ahead), I went down to Olea for a full buffet breakfast experience. The restaurant interiors are beautiful and in the afternoon and evening, Olea is a contemporary modern Levantine restaurant.
There is a generous selection of fresh fruits, cereals and pastries but I opted for something lighter since I have booked myself into a helicopter tour of the city later that morning. There is also an a la carte menu that all guests can select from - this menu contains egg items that are done the way you like. I ordered the Shakshuka which is essentially an oriental scrambled egg with tomato sauce and olive oil - it was delicious no doubt but I was actually expecting it to be served in a pan like all the other shakshukas that I have ever eaten.
Even though the hot food selection in Olea is fairly limited, the whole breakfast experience was quite special. I think it had to do with how beautiful the space is and also how private it feels even though it is a all-day dining restaurant (which I typically associate crowd with).
Even though this was my first visit to Dubai, I thought that the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates is located in a fairly good spot to take in all the sights of Dubai (at least if you are after the touristy attractions). Getting the right room in this property means having a view of the famous Burj Al Arab as well as the Burj Khalifa from your bedroom and if you wish to check out the latter attraction, it is only a few stops away on the Dubai Metro. In fact, the Mall of the Emirates is directly connected to the metro (even though finding the link might not be the easiest thing to do) so getting around is fairly easy (otherwise there is always Uber).