Atlantis The Palm
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Time Out Says
Why we like it:• Activities here are unrivalled in scale and depth
• It has a sensational waterpark
• You can see, and even swim with, sharks
Location: Very simply, Atlantis dominates the Palm, its iconic pink edifice standing proud at the end of its trunk and wowing from all angles. A Dubai landmark, it’s also worth seeing from the sky. Take a Seawings tour from Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and appreciate its sheer scale.
Character: The hotel is, of course, themed around the fabled lost city of Atlantis. And it’s a theme that runs appropriately deep. Most notable is the huge aquarium that runs up through the centre, housing both ‘the ancient ruins’ and a vast array of fish, sharks and stingrays. The design around this aquarium is seriously smart. Not only can you admire it from one of the hotel’s many walkways, you can eat right next to it – at Ossiano, a fish restaurant, naturally – or even sleep next to it, in one of the hotel’s fantastic Underwater Suites. In the latter, the whole wall at the foot of your bed is glass, providing an unparalleled view deep into the aquarium. It’s like sleeping in the biggest and best fishbowl in the world. Aside from the aquarium, the Atlantis theme permeates other areas, in particular The Lost Chambers, a great walk-through experience that takes you into the belly of the mythical city. Recently added? Two rare albino alligators. Because, well, why not?
Service: Hospitality is everything you’d desire from such a family-orientated experience. Staff have all the sense of fun and warmness of a Disneyland, but thankfully minus the cheese. We would recommend a trip to feed the aquarium’s fish, in which a friendly, passionate and informed guide will take you up to the surface to sprinkle down some grub and start a feeding frenzy. Restaurant staff are also fantastic. On our visit, an early dinner at Ronda Locatelli saw the kids being taken into the kitchen, given their own chefs hats and being allowed to make their own ice cream puddings alongside the professionals.
Rooms: Accommodation here can fluctuate wildly in price. If you happen to be Rihanna (and if you are, by the way, can we say how much we loved that one you did with Paul McCartney and the other fella?) you will feel right at home in the Royal Bridge Suite, a 924 sq m palace with a secret entrance and elevator, your own staff and panoramic views. If you fancy being a James Bond villain for the day, you can check into one of the Underwater Suites. Or, if you are neither pop star nor On Her Majesty's Secret Service, you can head for one of the more standard rooms. We enjoyed a Deluxe Guest Room with stunning sea views, a sizeable balcony and a bathroom with doors that could open out into the bedroom.
Restaurants & bars: The choice is enormous, with everything from high-end Italian at Ronda Locatelli, knockout steak at Seafire (we had the ribs that come served in a book – brilliant), legendary Japanese cuisine courtesy of Nobu, fine seafood at Ossiano and Time Out’s sensational Best Chinese Restaurant 2015, Yuan. We popped in for a quick lunch and left three hours later having wolfed down most of the menu. Oh, and in case all that wasn’t enough, Gordon Ramsay has just returned to Dubai, to open Bread Street Kitchen in the hotel. Atlantis also features the packed and pumping N’Dulge nightclub as well as Nasimi Beach bar and club, and Barazura grape bar and Levantine Bar and Terrace.
Facilities: So much to choose from. A paradise for kids, the hotel has a great club for children aged three to 12 (which stays open till 10.30pm, meaning we were able to enjoy some long-overdue romantic dinners), games arcade The Zone, great swimming pools and beaches, a decadent spa, tonnes of shopping and more.
Activities: Way too many to detail here. Helicopter rides, tennis, scuba diving (with the sharks in the aquarium), boat trips, dolphin encounters and more. However, highlights for us were the Sea Lion Discovery session, in which we got to meet some and get photos taken with them, as well as the Aquaventure waterpark. A sprawling space, packed with rides that range from the terrifying (the sheer drop of Poseidon’s Revenge) to the tranquil (there’s a fantastic splash area for younger kids), it is a maze of watery fun. Best bit? The Leap of Faith, in which you rocket down a slide and then through a tube. Surrounded by sharks and rays.
GET A DISCOUNT WITH HOTEL TONIGHT
Value: 150 AED
Min Spend: 400 AED
Redemption period: 14.12.2015 - 21.12.2015
Booking/Checkin period: 06.12.2015 - 23.03.2016
Markets: all markets
By Time Out Staff Writer | 06 Dec 2015
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