Perhaps the best way to express the grandeur of the newly built, Kempinski-operated Emirates Palace—reportedly the most expensive hotel ever built—is to break it down by numbers. This sand-colored palace has 1,002 Swarovski chandeliers, 140 elevators, 114 domes covered in mosaic glass tiles, and a staff of 2,000. The 394 rooms are like mini palaces in themselves, with acres of gold leaf, marble, and silk, plus fresh-cut flowers and 24-hour butler service. Scattered throughout the 10.8 million–square-foot building are 30 interactive touch screens, with maps and directions, and an “overwhelming” number of signs. Overwhelming, indeed.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.