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Hotel Atlantis-The Palm Dubai Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This is the second Atlantis hotel in the world. Is Atlantis The Palm, the flagship resort on Dubai's first Palm Island, a gem of a hotel or a monster of excess? Actually, it's both of them! It is perhaps the hotel that best represents Dubai, built as it is from scratch between the sea and the desert. A symbol of grandiose delusions, it is nothing less than a 'kingdom of superlatives'. Next to this immense and (in places) kitsch resort with its multitude of ultramodern facilities and restaurants staffed by award-winning chefs, hotel residents and day-trippers alike can enjoy a huge aquatic park. It is like a city within a city, making it ideal for families, but if you are looking for charm and intimacy, you're probably better off elsewhere!

This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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    • Hotel Atlantis-The Palm Dubai

      Atlantis-The Palm Dubai   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Atlantis-The Palm Dubai

      Atlantis-The Palm Dubai   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 10.0 /10

    Atlantis The Palm is at the end of Dubai's first Palm Island, the creation of which began in 2002. It is about 19 mi from the city centre and 22 mi from the airport. Allow around 40 minutes to reach the city or airport.

    Accommodation 9.45 /10

    We were unable to visit the rooms of Atlantis The Palm, but we can provide the following description. There are 1,539 rooms to choose from, including 166 suites. Of these, the Poseidon and Neptune suites, covering 1,800 sq ft, look straight through amazing portholes into the 'Ambassador' lagoon aquarium. For the convenience of guests, the divers who clean the pool on a daily basis only carry out their work when the chambermaids confirm that the suites' occupants have left their rooms. The most impressive and expensive room is called the 'Bridge suite'. It is located in the bridge on the 22nd floor, as though suspended between the two wings of the resort. The facilities available are those of the greatest luxury, including the television, which has 55 free channels and a number of other paying ones. As in the rest of the hotel, the rooms all have Wifi. 90% of the rooms are connecting and, of course, room service is provided 24 hours a day and a butler is available.

    Overview 9.20 /10

    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.

    Food and drink 9.45 /10

    There are no less than 17 restaurants and bars spread over the whole complex. The plethora of choice includes 4 restaurants headed by Michelin chefs. One of just 25 'Nobu' restaurants worldwide is flying the flag here for Japanese cuisine. The moment you enter, you are whisked from a world of kitsch into one of the most surprising and sophisticated restaurants that there is. You are greeted by softened lighting and enormous nets covering the tables and chairs. Your taste buds are in for a real treat. At the 'Rostang', the decor and dishes are designed to recreate a traditional Parisian brasserie. With its rounded spaces and wooden grid partitions with sofas, the superb 'Ronda Locatelli' restaurant serves Italian cuisine. Its very traditional dishes are cooked in the middle of the space in a large oven reaching up to the starry sky, or in one of three others in the room. Under the supervision of Spanish chef Santi Santamaria, the 'Ossiano', which looks over a giant aquarium, specialises in seafood. Each restaurant is designed by a different architect and each, therefore, presents a unique world to discover. In one huge restaurant dedicated to buffet meals, long serving points with a themed design provide an extremely diverse and intricately presented selection of dishes. The chefs here are constantly working. The 'Saffron' international restaurant can seat up to 500 guests, as can the 'Kaleidoscope', which is also international and has 20 different serving points including sections for breads, desserts, a large selection of salads, pizzas, Asian dishes, etc. The 'Steakhouse' serves meat from countries as far afield as Australia and the United States. The choice and quality are both top-notch. There is always a buffet restaurant open somewhere between 6:00am. and midnight, outside these times, you can snack on dishes selected "à la carte".

    Beach 9.20 /10

    A very large, mile long, fine sand beach (the whole of Palm Island has 47 mi of beaches) stretches out from the foot of the large resort. Half of this space is set aside for the exclusive use of hotel residents, who can also make the most of the stretch of beach inside the amusement park. There is plenty of room for everyone. Lots of deckchairs and tents are set out for holidaymakers, and service is provided at the drop of a hat. The clear waters are supervised by lifeguards, but waves are not a problem as wind rarely raises more than a ripple here. Three places serve salads and light dishes in case you're feeling peckish. There are many games for children on the beach, and a watersports club is planned as well.

    To know

    Aquaventure, the huge aquatic park at the Atlantis, stretches over 42 acres and is covered by 4 billion gallons of water. The river looping through the park for more than a mile has been designed purely for amusement, with attractions including waterfalls and waves up to 6 ft in height. The impressive water toboggan, which shoots you down almost 90 feet in 6 seconds, is one of the highlights of the large Mesopotamian-style pyramid built in the middle of the amusement park. Ask to go on the 'Ziggurat' for a thrilling experience which ends in a shark-infested lagoon. The three pools which make up 'Dolphin Bay', with their 28 dolphins, cover an area of 11 acres. Although it is not yet possible to actually swim with them, you can swim up to them in the water (book 2 weeks in advance because places are expensive!). In addition to the many attractions, visitors can also look around the fascinating hospital for marine animals.

    When booking accommodation, remember that all room prices exclude breakfast.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, water skiing, gym, football, beach volley, mountain bike, step, fitness, sports

    • Ski zone
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Private beach
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Impressive choice
    • The giant aquarium
    • On Dubai's first Palm Island
    • Bedrooms with an aquarium for a wall
    • The only hotel of its kind in the Middle East (it has a double in the Bahamas)
    • The aquatic park and its dolphin bay

    disadvantages

    • Very kitsch
    • Very 'new', and it shows!
    • Immense
    • Safety and security is omnipresent

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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