'Atlantis The Palm' Hotel, Dubai

Andrea Lovatt on 24 September 2008
I have been lucky enough to have stayed at the ‘Atlantis The Palm Hotel’ in Dubai for a week from the opening day … and WOW! What a place!

I flew from Gatwick to Dubai with Emirates Airlines who were fantastic. The best airline I have ever flown with. A comfortable seat pitch and the excellent service made the 6.5 to 7 hour flight quite bearable!!

Upon arrival in Dubai I was met by private transfer and driven to the 5* deluxe ‘Atlantis' Hotel situated on the crescent of the ‘Palm Jumeirah’ in Dubai. My transfer took about 20 minutes to get to the Palm from the airport and then about another 10 minutes to get up the Palm to the hotel! When I visited, the Palm was very much a building site with hotels and apartments being built up the trunk and on all of the fronds (the branches) but is actually quite interesting to see! The monorail which runs from the hotel at the end of the Palm, right up the palm and up through most of Dubai is due to be completed in April 2009.

My stay at the ‘Atlantis Hotel’ was fantastic! A massive pink ‘Las Vegas’ style hotel with an atlantis theme with the ‘Aquaventure’ waterpark and ‘Dolphin Bay’ attached. My room was lovely with all the little luxuries you would expect from a 5* deluxe hotel and views either out to see or over the Palm. I would definitely request a Palm view as the sea view doesn’t give you very much to look at!

The hotel has lots to see. There is the impressive lobby, avenues full of shops (very expensive designer clothes shops and jewellers!), the ‘Lost Chambers’ with floor to ceiling glass windows into the fish and shark filled lagoon, the gorgeous pools overlooking the Palm with lovely sunbathing areas and towels laid out for you and many fantastic restaurants to choose from. The ‘Kaleidoscope’ restaurant serves the most fantastic buffet breakfast I have ever seen and then also offers buffet lunch and dinner. The pool bars offer snacks and then there is the choice of restaurants for your evening meal. I would have loved to have eaten in the ‘Ossiano’ Michelin star seafood restaurant as it has the glass windows into the lagoon again but I don’t eat fish!! We had drinks in the 3 bars, my favourite being the ‘Levantine’ Lebanese bar out on a terrace overlooking the Palm. There is also the ‘Sanctuary’ nightclub but it had not opened yet. I did find the restaurants and bars quite expensive and the only downside I felt was it was very much fine dining all over the hotel and it lacked somewhere to just get something ‘normal’ to eat!

The ‘Aquaventure’ waterpark which is joined to the hotel was fantastic and makes this hotel excellent for families. Guests at the hotel receive unlimited access throughout their stay. I went on all the slides (including the ‘Ziggurat’ which plunged you through a shark infested lagoon!) and floated around the 2km long lazy river. If you are thinking of taking children to this resort it is ideal as in addition to the pools and waterpark, there is also the ‘Club Rush’ kids club which has lots of activities for children throughout the day and night.

I did also pre-book a dolphin interaction at ‘Dolphin Bay’ which, again, is part of the ‘Atlantis’ resort. It was obviously a fantastic experience but was not an ‘entertainment type’ of thing like in Florida. It was nice as it was much more of a gentle interaction and the dolphins were not made to do anything they didn’t want to do. You basically gave them a kiss, a cuddle and a stroke and not much else really so the £85.00 I paid was quite a lot of money for what I got. The photo that was taken cost me another £24.00!! I think they will be adding deeper water swims to their programme in the future so this might be better.

I think you should only stay at this hotel if you want the ‘gimmick and the luxurious touches’ really but not if you want to feel like you are in Dubai! Being out on the end of the Palm felt like you could have been anywhere in the world and not in Dubai. I did book a city tour and was so pleased I did as this did show me the ‘real Dubai’ with a visit to the museum, the oldest mosque in Dubai, the colourful spice souks and the gold souk and also stops to show us all of the well known hotels such as the ‘Burj Al Arab’ and also to see the mass of hotels under construction. Our tour also included a little trip across the creek in a watertaxi which was good fun. One other thing I did whilst in Dubai was a visit to the ‘Mall of the Emirates’ shopping centre for lots of shopping and I enjoyed watching people trying out the indoor ski runs!

I would love to go back to Dubai but maybe not for about another 3-5 years as I feel there will be many changes and it will be great to see the Palm finished. This hotel would be great for a city break but I would recommend a little longer as there is so much to see and do at this massive resort!

I am not sure if I would go in September again though as it was so so hot! It was in the 40’s every day!! Maybe the cooler months would be better!

If you would like to know more about the ‘Atlantis The Palm’ Hotel in Dubai, please just let me know.