One of the world’s premier hotels – and we would be staying in it. It almost didn’t seem real on the drive up Palm Island to be greeted by the huge structure of this unique, famous hotel. Some say it is the jewel in Dubai’s crown and we wouldn’t challenge that. Having stayed at world class hotels before there really is nothing quite like this place. As soon as we set foot outside the taxi the luggage is taken and you are welcomed like royalty before being walked personally to the check-in.
It was hard to keep focused on what the staff were saying to us as your neck cranes up at the beautiful ceiling and marble pillars with a huge fountain in the centre. Like on Aladdin when he falls into the cave of wonders. We were informed that our stay came with free admission to the waterpark and lost chambers aquarium and that our room was situated in the east tower, home to the bars and restaurants.
It’s just incredible walking through the hotel, you could be in a shopping mall. All the passageways are lined with hotel bars, restaurants and designer outlets. At the end of the corridor leading to the east tower we caught a glimpse of the huge fishtank with its floor to ceiling glass showcasing a vast range of sea creatures. Like something out of a James Bond villain’s lair.
Our room was stunning. We had booked one of the more basic rooms but this smelt of an upgrade. A huge bedroom with views above the aquarium in which you could see sharks, stingrays and all sorts. The Burj-al-arab and in the distance the downtown skyline across the bay. Beautiful.
The service throughout our stay was first-rate. They even remembered Ali’s birthday by sending a complimentary cake to our room as a surprise one morning. Even with the hotels fame it doesn’t feel touristy and you can easily relax and unwind in many ways. The waterpark was the perfect way to spend a day. So much fun and suited to all ages.
If you want to relax a little more the Atlantis has its own beach and just behind that a huge pool area complete with pool bars which many people were using. Also areas for badminton and table tennis are free to use and we had a lot of fun trying them out.
So, in a palace such as the Atlantis, just what are the negatives? Well, as a resort it is perfect and there is everything here one could wish for on a sun-filled escape. For the more adventurous tourist it can be a pain getting around on the cheap. Taxi’s are plentiful out front but do take care to get the regular taxis. The staff have a habit of recommending the most expensive so do ask for the cheapest.
The other popular method of transport is the monorail which runs the length of Palm Island with its terminus beside the aquaventure exit of the hotel. Tickets are 15 AED (£3.14) for a single trip and 25 AED (£5.24) for return. The service operates between 9am-10pm so if you are planning a late night downtown rule out the monorail and get a taxi. To get downtown the best way is to take the monorail down to the final stop, heading away from Atlantis, follow the signs to Jumeirah tram stop and that connects to the metro system.
We found Atlantis The Palm one of the best and most unique hotel experiences anywhere in the world. For all the extras such as the waterpark and the lost chambers included in the price it’s a fair deal in comparison to the competition in Dubai. We loved it and we will return no doubt.