Atlantis, The Palm- Hotel Review
As we soared through the southern tip of the palm, weaving our way through the traffic on a piping hot midsummer’s evening, our eyes were drawn to the golden glow of the hotel’s infamous arches directly in front of us. Seconds later we were whisked into the grand, populated lobby- which was swarming with other thriving, happy tourists and there and then we knew we were on to a bloody good thing.
It’s taken me a good week to get my head around the time we spent at the Atlantis. All I can say is that if you are looking for a resort with choices aplenty, a whole lotta fun and it’s fair share of fabulous sunshine stashed within it’s decadent DNA, then you’ve come to the right place…
Since opening its doors to the public back in 2008, Atlantis The Palm has become nothing short of a travel icon. With over 1500 guest rooms, more restaurants and bars than you could shake a stick at (over 20, if you’re asking) and its own water park fastened under its sea themed belt, the Atlantis has become the headlining act of modern, 21st century Dubai. Within the British travel scene the Atlantis has been given its fair share of the limelight over the last few years, and considering the hotel was practically running at capacity during our visit in low season (June-August), I think we can safely say that it’s as popular as ever.
After finally settling on Dubai as our destination of choice back in March, by a stroke of luck we found an incredible offer through Travelzoo, which included an Ocean Deluxe Room and half board, with flights for under £650 which was incredible value for money. I’d also been in touch with Atlantis’ PR manager in the UK who managed to wangle a few extras for me, so during check in we were fortunate enough to be given an upgrade (Palm Beach Deluxe room). First impressions; fantastic!
So, the Room…
We were allocated a room on the top floor of the hotel, so we couldn’t have been more chuffed. The views were stunning, sprawling out across the palm and then further again- the mainland’s skyline. Lit up by the lights of modern urbanisation Dubai looked incredible, but during the day when you could inspect every minor detail- it was even better.
Look straight down, and this was our view!
We had a ‘twin’ bedded room (aka, two massive doubles), with a ginormous bathroom- with shower and bath, and a french balcony for good measure. As soon as we checked in we recorded a little video for you all so you could see what our humble abode looked like; you can check that out in the YouTube clip above.
We were also fortunate enough to get a sneaky peek into the beautiful Poseidon suite, which is one of two underwater palaces in the resort. If you’re looking for a perfect holiday splurge then this is certainly it- with three floors, a butler, its own aquarium, sheesha room and a stunning honeymoon suite to its name, this is certainly the place to stay at the Atlantis. Admittedly this room in particular isn’t on the cheap side- but for an occasion or a weekend treat, we couldn’t think of anywhere more special to rock up for the night.
A bath with a view? Count me in!
The living quaters of the Poseidon suite.
Atlantis is a hotel which thrives off its guest’s animation. The hotel is buzzing 24/7- we went out for a walk along ‘The Avenues’ just before midnight and there were still people around. Although there are parts of the hotel where solace can be found- mainly the expansive spa ShuiQi and the hotel’s beautiful beach, Atlantis is not the place where you’ll find your inner calm. However, our room was always very quiet (note: there are no screaming kids dominating the hallways here!).
The stunning spa- perfect for honeymooners, hen parties & so much more!
Check out the beautiful view of Atlantis’ beach over on YouTube!
If you’re an indecisive sod like myself then dining at Atlantis can be a bit of a mission- there’s so much choice! With our half board vouchers in tow there were eight restaurants up for sampling each evening, which was great. In the morning’s there are two main buffets to choose from- Kaleidoscope and Saffron, and due to the proximity of Kaleido… to our room (route: down 22 stories, across the aquarium-fied lobby then straight in!) we only sampled the one but it was exactly what you’d want first thing- no fuss, honest food.
As far as the selection goes the options were fantastic; we’ve always found it a little funny to see ‘deep fried chilli chicken’ with rice as a breakfast dish (even when we were in the heart of Asia!) but if you love your Asian nosh then you’ll be just as well catered for as those who were tucking in to their early morning fry up. The fruit selection was great, and the pastries/cakes/bread all tasted fresh. In fact, there were so many options that on our first sitting I found myself hovering around each counter trying to figure out what I was actually going to slap on my plate!
Things to bare in mind: If you arrive at Kaleidoscope before 8:30am, you’ll have little or no queue and will be seated immediately. Leave it until a little after 9am, and you could be waiting ten minutes or so! On the day we did have to wait we were served minted orange juice to wet our appetites- so that was a nice touch. Kaleidoscope is also a restaurant aimed at families, so if you’re not a fan of having a lot of young kids buzzing around whilst you’re divulging yourself with your pre-swim sausages, then I’d recommend you sit down around 8am.
Dinner: Look out for another post over the next couple of weeks on our experiences at Ronda Locatelli, Nasami Beach, Kaleidoscope and Saffron…
Enjoying dinner at Ronda Locatelli- look out for another post soon!
Activities: If your heart desired, you could stay at Atlantis for a week and not feel the need to leave. Aquaventure, which will be covered in another post- is the perfect remedy for those just wanting to kick back and float their troubles away (… down the 1.6km lazy river). The Lost Chambers, the hotel’s aquarium was ace and the perfect place to dive into before a dinner reservation. Coming from a girl who’s not particularly bothered by life under the sea, that really is a massive compliment!
One of the beautiful walls of ‘The Lose Chambers’ at Atlantis
However if you’re just after a few days to soak up the sizzlin’ Middle Eastern sun, then the hotel’s beach is the ideal place to top up on your vitamin E. On our second morning we ended up going down to the beachfront at 8:30am, which was absolutely perfect. Not only was it in the early 30s by then (mid June is a stunning shocker for us Brits who are used to one nice day a year!) but it meant we could sit on the front row of sun loungers- taking in the awesome view of the skyline as others wafted in to the sea for a swim. By 11am it was hitting 38c, so by then we’d either head indoors or swoop across to Aquaventure. Can’t deny that the Starbuck’s we took over to our sun lounger (white chocolate mocha frappucinos, FYI) went down incredibly well either…
The infinity pool overlooking Dubai’s skyline
Verdict: Unless you’ve been blocking out my ridiculous amount of superlatives packed within this passage, then you’ll already have guessed that we ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Atlantis. Not only as a resort guest did we receive good service, but we also felt at home within an hour of arriving- and honestly didn’t want to leave. Depending on how long you enjoy being a part of somewhere like the Palm for, I’d say an ideal time to spend at the resort would be anything from the three nights we had to five, but my best friend David said he easily could have stayed put for a week or more.
So, if you’re after a bit of brash beauty, sensational sunshine and downright excellent facilities, then the Atlantis is for you. At the moment there are a lot of awesome offers lurking about the sea bed too, so get searching fellow holidaymakers! This is a holiday you certainly won’t be forgetting anytime soon…
We paid for our stay at the Atlantis through Travelzoo, but kindly received some complimentary food/drink and activities from the resort. I’d like to thank the lovely Malin for taking us on a tour on our first morning; it was a great chance to see the place in action!