The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) will make its debut as a floating hotel via a soft opening April 18. The cruise liner, which launched in 1976 and whose conversion into a hotel has been a protracted process spanning the last decade, is docked permanently at Mina Rashid in Dubai. The floating hotel will feature restored rooms and suites, five of 13 planned restaurants and bars, and the QE2 Heritage Exhibition interactive museum. The grand launch of QE2 is set for October.
The 13-deck hotel’s design showcases period furniture, paintings and memorabilia. Original porthole windows add a maritime feel to the guest rooms, and a number of the ship’s original restaurants have retained their names and décor. Information about hotel’s designers was not immediately available.
The QE2 will offer 13 room and suite categories. The two Royal Suites, which were named after the Queen’s mother and grandmother, include a private veranda, conservatory and dining room.
During the soft launch, passengers can experience some of the ship’s original restaurants including The Chart Room, a historical lounge and bar; The Golden Lion, a traditional English pub; The Pavilion, a family restaurant with a terrace overlooking the marina; Lido, the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant; The Grand Lounge, a cabaret-style lounge with weekly entertainment programming; and the Yacht Club, a take on a traditional afternoon tea venue. The hotel’s signature restaurant is The Queens Grill, which offers a selection of British fine-dining dishes as well as a selection of dishes from 1969.
“We have dedicated more than 2.7 million man-hours into transforming this legendary ocean liner into the multifaceted tourist destination, and I’m very proud to reintroduce her to the world as she embarks on the next stage of her celebrated journey,” says Hamza Mustafa, ceo of PCFC Hotels. “It’s been an honor to work on this wonderful project and to help ensure that our ‘lovely lady’ lives up to her new slogan: still making history.”