Dubai is one of the few cities in the world where hotels are not simply the place to sleep: they are the city’s main attractions. Among Dubai’s super-luxury hotels, there is one that invariably comes up on the list of things to see in the city: it is the Atlantis Hotel, an immense five-star resort that occupies an area of no less than 46 hectares and has more than 1,500 bedrooms.
It is located on Palm Jumeirah, an artificial palm-shaped island considered by some a masterpiece of engineering and by others the symbol of excess and shamelessness.
The main building of the resort is a princely palace with a huge Arabian arch in the centre that gives the impression of an immense hole in the middle of the structure. It is a stunning sight, and it is no coincidence that the Atlantis Hotel (also known as The Palm) is one of the most photographed and Instagrammed buildings in Dubai.
This beautiful container hides within it a whole world where everyone, from children to busy businessmen, can find amenities to suit their needs: theme parks, meeting rooms, spas, restaurants, bars, private beach, gardens, boutiques and more.
In this artificial microcosm inspired by the lost world of Atlantis, you can enjoy the most incredible experiences. Whether your dream is to stroll along the bottom of a giant aquarium surrounded by more than 65,000 sea creatures or an exquisite dinner prepared by an award-winning international chef, at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai you can make it come true.
The prices? Not cheap, as luxury dictates, but not unattainable either. Treat yourself.
Atlantis is not just a hotel: it’s a world. To limit yourself to seeing it from the outside is a pity: cross the threshold and you will have unrepeatable experiences.
The complex that forms the Atlantis resort includes not only the hotel but also the Aquaventure water park and The Lost Chambers Aquarium, two of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions.
Of the 46 hectares that make up the complex, a good 17 hectares are occupied by these two attractions dedicated to the aquatic world in which it is possible to enjoy unrepeatable experiences such as stroking a seal, watching a shark feed, swimming with dolphins, and diving in an aquarium with over 65,000 species of fish.
The Atlantis Aquaventure Aquapark is one of the largest water parks in the UAE and has more than 30 slides and attractions and a private beach. There are dedicated children’s areas with family-friendly attractions, relaxation areas for all ages and areas reserved for adults looking for an adrenaline rush.
Daredevils can experience the thrill of jumping off the Leap of Faith, a vertiginous slide that descends steeply from a tower and in the last part splits a shark tank in two.
The water park also includes the Dolphin Bay dolphinarium where, for a fee, it is possible to swim in a dolphin tank and stroke dolphins or sea lions.
The Lost Chambers Aquarium is more than just an aquarium: it is a journey through tunnels created inside huge tanks populated by marvellous sea creatures. As you stroll through the aquarium’s corridors or travel along man-made canals floating on comfortable mega-swimmers, you can see fish, sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and other creatures swimming around you.
The adventures do not end there. Certified and non-certified divers can dive into the Ambassador Lagoon and admire fish, sharks and stingrays up close.
Don’t feel like swimming? Do an Aquatrek, or walk along the bottom of the Ambassador Lagoon wearing an underwater helmet that allows you to breathe normally. You can choose between the standard Aquatrek, the Aquatrek Xtreme that takes you to greater depths and the Aquatrek by Night to admire the seabed at night using a special helmet and an underwater torch.
And after so much excitement, you need some well-deserved relaxation: the private beach for the exclusive use of park visitors is just the thing. Those who are not yet tired can take advantage of it to do some surfing.
The gastronomic offer at the Hotel Atlantis is worthy of such an ambitious hotel. There are no fewer than five restaurants where you can enjoy the creative recipes of award-winning international chefs:
These are joined by a further six restaurants offering fine dining in fabulous settings; these also include a couple of buffet restaurants with a more informal atmosphere where you can lunch and dine in smart casual clothes.
For an aperitif or an after-dinner drink, the options are equally wide: exclusive lounges, terrace bars, poolside cocktail bars… you can go on until late at night!
It would be a crime to deny oneself the spa during a visit to the Atlantis Hotel. ShuiQi is a luxurious beauty centre with a spa, equipped fitness area, jacuzzi, sauna and round bath.
The treatments that are performed are from a thousand and one nights and have evocative names such as the Arabian Rose Ritual or the Sublime Illumination package. The spa is also open to those not staying at the hotel.
The hotel is equipped with two helicopter landing pads. Atlantis guests can book a 15-minute helicopter tour departing from the hotel and choose between a scenic city tour or an airport transfer.
Despite the grandeur and glitz, sleeping at Hotel Atlantis is an affordable dream. Room prices are not cheap but neither are they impossible: if you book in advance and avoid the high season, you can find a room for 150-200 euro per night.
Of course, to pay this price you will have to make do with guest rooms, the ‘standard’ rooms. Standard is a figure of speech: we are talking about fabulous rooms of about 45 square metres with a private terrace from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the Persian Gulf or the water park, equipped with all the comforts and luxuries of a top-class establishment.
If you are prepared to spend more, you can choose from different types of rooms at the Imperial Club and suites.
The ultimate in eccentricity are the Neptune Underwater Suite and the Poseidon Underwater Suite, three-level mega suites built entirely underwater. From the floor-to-ceiling windows you can admire fish and other sea creatures as you relax in one of the suite’s elegant spaces, perhaps immersed in a sumptuous Jacuzzi.
The price of underwater suites? Well, that’s the stuff of sheiks, but these suites are not the most expensive. The ultimate in luxury is the Royal Bridge Suite, with an area of 924 square metres and a price per night of 10,000 euros. Yes, 10,000, we didn’t misspell it: the zeroes are four!
Pay attention to the rates when you book: the cheapest ones are usually non-refundable and do not include breakfast, which can cost as much as EUR 40 per person. Imperial Club rooms and suites include round-trip airport transfer.
The prices of all rooms include admission to the water park and aquarium.
If you want to admire the Atlantis Hotel from the outside or spend the day in its theme parks, you can easily reach it by taking the Dubai Monorail that runs along Palm-Jumeirah Island and getting off at the terminus.
If you arrive directly from the airport and have your luggage with you, it is best to take a taxi or private transfer.
The Hotel Atlantis in Dubai is located in Palm-Jumeirah, an artificial island about 4 km from the Dubai Marina.
Be careful not to confuse theHotel Atlantis the Palm with the more recently builtHotel Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences. The two facilities are located about 2 km apart.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.