Atlantis the Palm

2008 saw the biggest fireworks display the world has ever seen in order to launch one of the world’s most glamorous (or garish to some) hotels in the world.  Atlantis, The Palm Hotel in Dubai’s flagship resort is located at the top of the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah.   Based on a replica of its sister outlet in the Bahamas, the Atlantis, Dubai is a tad different as it sits on reclaimed land.  There may not be enough superlatives in the English language to describe the magnificence of this hotel, which boasts 17 restaurants and bars, 65,000 different species of fish and a huge waterpark…not to mention a large private beach with beautiful white sand and crystal clear blue waters. Artificial and un-eco friendly as it may appear, you have to nod your head in approval as this is one mega impressive structure to talk about.  Ten years ago the area that is now Palm Jumeirah was nothing but the Arabian Gulf and in a matter of years, the area was transformed into artificial land with an unimaginable amount of rock and sand to form the shape of a palm tree.  And, at its furthest tip, lays Atlantis, Dubai’s largest hotel.

There should be a new word to describe Atlantis. Firstly, it’s huge; secondly, it’s extravagant; and, finally it’s placed at one of the most unique points in the world. With all that it is, we recommend visiting to have a nosey around – and if you’re not staying on the Palm, this is your excuse to get on it. It brings bragging rights. The Atlantis Dubai cost approximately $1.6 billion to build and has been the main resort destination for a number of the rich and famous, but a mainstay for families, friends, and honeymooners who are all looking to experience the complete pleasure of staying at Atlantis, The Palm Hotel in Dubai. It’s probably safe to say that The Atlantis Dubai is one of the most popular hotels in Dubai, and one can not imagine Dubai without it.

The Atlantis is quite a distance from Dubai city centre, so if you are choosing this hotel for your holiday to Dubai, be prepared to stay in the hotel grounds for most of your trip – the Atlantis is a resort in its own right. This isn’t unfortunate unless you are on a budget and not on an all inclusive package as the restaurants aren’t cheap.  There are about 15 restaurants – a mixture of casual dining and award winning; Nobu to Michelin star eateries by Santi Santamaria, Giorgio Locatelli and Michel Rostang just to name a few.   For entertainment there is the waterpark of the moment – Aquaventure which will thrill young and old.  Beware of the Leap of Faith – it is not for the faint hearted with its 90 ft drop down a 84 degree incline  – it certainly is heart popping!  For the timid bunch there are many bearable slides as well as rides through the rapids not to mention a 700 metre private beach.  For a real treat, you can arrange a play date with the dolphins by getting up close and personal or just enjoying an observer pass from the beach.  Aquaventure has so much and you can quite easily spend a relaxing day here with the family. The park is open to hotel guests normally free of charge (check before booking with your travel agent) and the visitor rates are reasonable.

atlantis

When you first reach the hotel, the first thing you will notice is that the only way to get there is via a long, semi-winding bridge to the crescent of the palm. Coming upon the Atlantis Dubai, the hotel looks as though it is rising from the gulf. All around the hotel, you are surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Arabian Gulf. Just driving up to the hotel, you will feel a sense of fun and enjoyment heading your way. You cannot miss the mammoth hotel that rises up in front of you. It is a place of relaxation, adventure or a little bit of both!

If you don’t have enough time to experience the water park, it’s worth going to see Atlantis just to have a gander. It’s more accessible than the Burj Al Arab, and so it feels a little like Disney World, with all the tourists looking around. As you walk through Atlantis Dubai, you cannot help but notice the magnificent array of artwork and detail throughout the hotel. As you look at the walls or even the ceilings of the Atlantis Dubai, you will see stunning displays of art everywhere. While some may say the murals and sculptures are a bit remedial, it is hard to miss the overall aquatic theme of the entire hotel, including columns, carpets, dado rails and even the doorknobs. The aquarium is not as big as the one in Dubai Mall but impressive in its own right. There are also a heap of high end stores in the hotel lobby, from Tiffany & Co to Cavallai.

If staying at the Atlantis is an option, this is a resort holiday in its own right. If planning a stay at the Atlantis, rooms are relatively expensive, but because the hotel is so large, there are many deals in association with Emirates airline. If you’re in the money, you could book the famous Lost Chambers suite which is spread over 3 floors. The bottom floor is underwater offering stunning views of marine life from the bedroom, dining and bathroom areas! The Atlantis Dubai features 1,373 beautiful guest rooms and 166 luxurious suites. It is the largest hotels in Dubai. Every room is decorated with Arabic and oceanic influences. The rooms are considered quite low key and mainly decorated in natural colours of cream and beige. However, with so much to do outside of your hotel room, why would you need a room so decorated! All the rooms include balconies that let you look over into the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Gulf or the amazing Palm Jumeirah. The bathrooms are extremely large and even have sliding screens so you can watch the plasma television while taking a luxurious bath in the spacious bathtubs.

Guest rooms and suites can provide accommodations for two adults and two children or three adults. These rooms have a number of amenities, including plasma television with a variety of channels, maid service, and bathroom amenities. However, if you want to make your stay at the Atlantis Dubai simply exquisite, rather than a room or a suite, join the Imperial Club. The rooms in the Imperial Club boast the best views and amazing dining options. Although it is more expensive than the other options at the Atlantis Dubai, you are provided with additional amenities, including access to the Imperial Club Lounge during open hours, continental breakfasts (the guest rooms and suites do not get free breakfast), afternoon tea, complimentary cocktails and canapés in the evening, complete access to the Kids Club, complimentary use of jet pool, sauna and steam facilities at the ShuiQi Spa, and special rates for the exclusive pool cabanas.

Another excuse to go to The Atlantis is for the restaurants. If you are not staying there, it is the prefect place to spend an evening. Some call the Atlantis Dubai the “Culinary Destination of Dubai.” It is the perfect place to taste the unique cuisines of the world without ever having to leave the hotel. The hotel boasts 17 different restaurants, bars and lounges – everything from award winning Michelin Star restaurants to great casual dining options. No matter what your palate is, there is something to satisfy it.  Award winning restaurants include Ossiano, Nobu (the first in the Middle East), Rostang, and Ronda Locatelli. Because these restaurants are extremely popular, it is very hard to get a seat without a reservation. Make sure to book your meal in one of these fabulous restaurants right upon your arrival to the hotel or even beforehand if you know your schedule.  When it comes to casual dining, you can have it all, from delicious patisseries and savouries, to Mediterranean cuisine featuring the tastes of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Greece (hence the name of the restaurant – Kaleidoscope). If you have a love of Asian-inspired cuisine, try Saffron, which offers 20 stations and is a fun gastronomic journey for anyone. The hotel also offers outdoor bars and grills (some of which even offer poolside service), Arabian restaurants, and a number of kiosks offering classic healthy snacks. Make sure you eat at Atlantis, if that’s the best excuse to get there.

If you can afford it, it is a fantastic holiday! The rooms are OK, but you’re not here for the rooms – you’re here for the whole experience. You are paying for the out of this world.  Don’t stay here if you are on a budget – the restaurants are expensive unless you can get a great half board deal. And staying at the Atlantis is staying at the ultimate resort – the best resort in Dubai. If you are looking to see all that Dubai offers within a week – and are more travellers or shoppers – the Atlantis is not for you, although you may want to stay here to be pampered for a few days.

It’s not for everyone – things do get expensive – and being at the end of the palm means a little bit of a journey if you are exploring the city on a daily basis – but if you know Dubai, only need to venture in a couple of times – and want an experience unlike any other, the Atlantis is for you. it should be one your list of things to do this lifetime. Enjoy, whenever you do go. Because you will go – if not now, then one day.

Points of note:

Atlantis is a holiday in its own right. If you want to go out and see Dubai everyday, it’s probably not worth staying here

If you are not staying here, it should really be experienced, either for Aquaventure or just for a nosey around.

The Palm Monorail is not connected to the main Dubai Metro yet

You don’t need to book to visit, but you do need to to if you want to eat at the restaurants

Make sure you book days in advance for places like Nobu.

When – All day

How long – Anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending if you wanted to visit Aquaventure

Location – The Atlantis, The Palm is not in the centre of Dubai.  It is about a 25 minute taxi ride into Dubai city centre although if travelling during morning or evening rush hour allow more time.  Alternatively, take the monorail to the Atlantis from Gateway Towers

Cost –  It’s free to nosey around

Booking – online or by calling 04  426 2626 (restaurants) 04  426 0000 (Aquaventure), 04  426 1030 (Dolphin Bay).

More Info – atlantisthepalm.com

Dubai Travel Guide
Things to Do in Dubai

Things to Do in Dubai – Atlantis the Palm

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