Work started on Atlantis The Palm in December 2005 and it opened amid great pomp and ceremony in November 2008 with a Pharaonic ceremony that made headlines all around the world. Its 114 acre site is designed to represent the lost city of Atlantis, with the marine theme finding expression in countless ways. The hotel is divided into two towers (East and West) connected by a long bridge on the 22nd floor. The 32 foot high sculpture at the centre of the huge circular reception hall is a masterpiece created by Dale Chilhuly, made using more than 3,000 pieces of glass. Eight monumental Albino Gonzalez wall frescos depict scenes from mythology in the 60 ft hall. The large gallery, decorated throughout with shells and stone archways, is home to more than 25 big brand shops, their names famous worldwide. Within the 'Ambassador Lagoon', which holds two and a half billion gallons of water, visitors come face to face with fishes that have come from the four corners of the earth. In the hotel itself, there are 20,000 fish, and 65,000 in the complex as a whole (250 species). The 'Lost Chambers' are built like a labyrinth based on the myth of Atlantis, with marine life living in the ruins of the Atlantic city under the sea. The decor is very futuristic and quite kitsch. Various windows show a variety of different species, some more recognisable than others, all living in round spaces. Someone is always on hand to provide information about this aquatic environment, but it is a pity that there are no information signs. The four portholes of the 'Ossiano' restaurant can be seen through the massive aquarium, and above these are the portholes of suites also lucky enough to look right into this underwater world. The resort has two swimming pools that are only open to hotel guests. One of these is quiet and peaceful; the other more playful. The entire Atlantis complex has seven pools. The spa has no less than 28 massage rooms, where treatments from all over the world are on offer.
There is a club for children,
but every age-group has its own little world! It is for this reason that the children's club is set well apart from the club for teenagers. Both clubs, though, are impressively modern and full of activities.
There are several rooms dedicated to 3-12 year olds. One is strewn with cushions and has a huge screen (just like at the cinema!), as well as two huge 30-inch thick portholes through which you can admire a host of different fish in the aquarium, or closer still, in the hospital. Another round room is equipped with numerous computers and the latest games consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, etc.) to play tennis, golf or snowboarding games, for example. A reconstructed sunken pirate ship is in the third room. Inside, children can have fun and take part in a variety of workshops. There is also a climbing wall. As for teenagers, they can meet in a common area to watch films or play video games together, etc. There are popcorn and hot dog machines and a bar sells fruit juices and soft drinks.