Atlantis in Dubai is a fabulous 5 star luxury hotel located on The Palm, a man-made island. The palm is very cool and apparently it was created to increase Dubai’s tourism by providing a one-of-a-kind destination replete with world-class hotels, services, amenities and vast stretches of beaches – totally unique to anything anyone has ever seen before.
This hotel has been on my list for a while and it most certainly did not disappoint. Read on to find out about our experience at the hotel.
We travelled to Dubai in Easter 2019, the whole family (2 adults 2 kids). We booked flights through British Airways and the hotel direct. While not in any way cheap, I think we got a good deal and in conclusion, for the amazing experience we had it was worth every penny 🙂
Check-in / First impressions
We flew Edinburgh to Heathrow and Heathrow to Dubai with BA, we were due to arrive very early in the day so I contacted the hotel in advance to request an early check in, they replied promptly to say that although not guaranteed they would try their best to accommodate the request. When we arrived we were told to go grab breakfast, and then someone came to tell us our room was ready, we were delighted!
The lobby is extremely extravagant (like a lot of things in Dubai) with a number of high-end clothes and jewellery shops.
We had booked a half board package but upgraded to the Imperial Lounge on arrival.
Our room was newly renovated so was fresh, spacious and beautiful. We had two queen beds which were a great size. Sadly we didn’t have a walk out balcony, but I would definitely ask for one next time (although being so hot it was probably a blessing in disguise!). Lovely fluffy robes and towels and great selection of toiletries topped up daily.
There is a kids club (we didn’t try it as our kids are a bit older, but with the imperial lounge upgrade you are entitled to some free sessions).
There are 2 large pool at the hotel (Royal pool or Zero Entry Pool), both were great, with plenty of sun loungers. They came round in the afternoons with ice popsicles which I thought was a nice touch and extremely refreshing in the hot sun. No towel cards, just grab whatever towels you need whenever you need them.
Aquaventure Water Park
The water park is INSANE. I really don’t like water parks (as a general rule) and I had so much fun at this one. The lazy river, isn’t that lazy and its huge. Then there are all the slides, which provide a range of options including the famous leap of faith which I went on (not sure what I was thinking), I was terrified but it was actually fun and I was super proud of myself (when I stopped shaking!). If you are staying at the hotel you can go to the waterpark as many times as you want for free, we went in the mornings when it was a little quieter, by midday it was heaving and people were really struggling to get sun loungers. There are lots of food / snack options here and you can charge things to your room.
The Aquarium is HUGE and a really big feature of the hotel. You could stand and watch all the sharks and rays for hours. You can actually even go into the aquarium (for an extra cost) and they have daily feeding shows which is a big draw for kids and adults alike. When you are staying at the hotel you get to visit The Lost Chambers Aquarium free as many times as you like, which is a series of enclosures showcasing over 65,000 marine animals.
The beach is man-made (obviously) but it was really nice and again lots of sunbeds, more chilled area to hang out, and good for a break from the pools. Lifeguard on duty. There was a variety of water activities on offer and we rented water bikes for half an hour which was fun, the water was filled with jellyfish!
In the half board package we had breakfast and dinner included. Dinner could be taken (free of charge / included in package) at either of the two buffet restaurants (Kaleidoscope or Saffron) or at the Beachside restaurants The Shore (Tex-Mex cuisine) or The Edge (pizzas and burgers) or you could visit one of the paid for restaurants for a supplement. We were given an info pack when we checked in with all the different restaurants and how much supplement each incurred should we wish to visit. The buffet restaurants were of a very good standard and we also paid the supplement for Gordon Ramsay’s Bread street kitchen (for a treat) it was very nice and well worth the extra charge. Had we been at the hotel longer than a week we would have tried a few of the others. One night the hotel had a BBQ and live music in the pool area which was great.
As we booked the Imperial upgrade we could take breakfast in the buffet restaurants or in the Imperial Lounge, we also got afternoon tea included, which we treated as a lunch substitute. On offer at the afternoon tea were scones with cream and jam, little sandwiches, cakes and other snack foods. It was similar items each day and I did feel they could have mixed it up a little and offered a bit more variety.
Drinks were wonderful as you would expect. A massive benefit of booking the Imperial upgrade was that in the evening you can visit the lounge and there is two hours of complimentary drinks (cocktails / beer / wine / spirits) and food. The food was a bit repetitive but the drinks were great and plentiful. If you bought drinks they were expensive (around £15 for a G&T).
I was also very impressed to spot ‘proper’ champagne in the Imperial Lounge in the morning for breakfast mimosas.
As already mentioned the Imperial Lounge was a great option for us. We would have spent so much more had we not added this option. We went to the afternoon tea most days and the drinks in the evening so definitely got our money’s worth! The seating area outside the Imperial Lounge was really nice and just a lovely place to hang out in the afternoon / evenings (although it did get busy at times). Sometimes you had to queue to enter but not an issue as it was never for very long.
The Wavehouse is such a cool spot. It’s like a gastropub come family entertainment centre, with a bowling alley, soft play and arcade. We met a great family and spent a night here with them, the adults had a few drinks and the kids played bowling, a fun night! This is also the area that has the Wave Rider, hence the name I guess 🙂
Dolphins / Sea Lions
You can swim with Dolphins or cuddle sea lions. They offer hotel residents an opportunity to meet the sea lions and get a photo at no extra charge, which was fun for the kids.
Spa & Gym
Exclusive ShuiQi spa and fitness area. The spa is truly stunning, set over two floors.
We had such a great time here. The kids loved the aquarium, waterpark and the hotel pools as the variety gave them so much to do. The Imperial Lounge upgrade was a highlight for the adults. Definitely not for you if you want a cheap break but wonderful as a treat for the entire family. We will be back for sure!
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