Atlantis The Royal – Dubai
Atlantis The Royal bills itself as the most ultra-luxury experiential resort in the world. And we’re not going to argue. Dubai’s latest landmark hotel, opened with the help of Beyoncé no less, has to be seen to be believed. We are talking bells, whistles, eye popping design and décor, and fantastical elements from the world’s largest jellyfish tank to a fire and water show.
Towering 43 floors high, its futuristic design stands out amongst the already original architecture, whilst the interiors are a dazzling, extravagant mix of Middle Eastern heritage and slick, bold aesthetics. By day, move between the private beach, the nearly infinite number of pools, the utterly sublime Spa and the water parks, then at dusk watch the surroundings embrace an equally vibrant atmosphere with music and entertainment. The resort has taken luxury and experiential stays to a completely new level, and we think it’s fairly safe to say, that once you’re here, you may not venture outside into Dubai itself.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:Aside from the incredible design, it’s the 17 restaurants that do it for us. And then there’s the 2km stretch of private beach!
Style:Other worldly opulence.
Location:The Palm Island.
Rooms:795 opulent rooms and suites, 6 signature penthouses with views of the Dubai skyline, Palm Island and the Arabian Sea.
Swimming:A 90m sky pool, the world's largest waterpark Atlantis Aquaventure and a private beach.
Children:Most definitely! Adventures from dusk til dawn and a kid’s club and an Atlantis Explorers Club.
Accessibility:There are eight accessible rooms.
Open From:Open all year round.
Price:From £975 per room, per night.
Every possible comfort has been thought of – just take a look at the very luxurious pillow menu and the little extras you’ll find in the wonderfully oversized marble and glass bathrooms. Across the three resort towers – Sunrise, Sunlight and Sunset – the rooms, suites and penthouses are vast, opulent and sumptuous. The rooms can sleep up to three, and many interconnect for families. They all look out over Dubai, Palm Island and the sea, with large balconies and come with a 24 hour butler service (Suites only). The larger suites have infinity pools, and it goes without saying, that the penthouses are the pinnacle of luxury.
The resort has brought together some of the most celebrated chefs around and created a truly incredible gastronomic experience. With names such as Heston Blumenthal, Gastón Acurio, Costas Spiliadis and Ariana Bundy, it’s worth coming here for the dining alone. Each of the 17 restaurants is fabulously styled, from Nobu by the Beach with its private pool and cabanas, to the aerial views at Cloud 22, the Michelin starred Dinner, or the cool art deco Malibu 90265. Eating here will take you on a journey through South America, Iran, Greece, Spain, China and beyond.
You might want to write yourself a check list before you go, just to make sure you miss nothing out. The choice of pools is something else, whilst the private stretch of beach is never crowded. Guests have complimentary access to Atlantis Aquaventure, with the tallest water slide of its kind in the world, a rafting water coaster, and plenty of thrill seeking rides along with more gentle lagoons. The Lost Chambers Aquarium takes you through on a colourful and mesmerizing underwater journey, with interactive shows.
Then, get close up and personal with dolphins and sea lions at Atlas Village. Put some time aside for some Spa pampering, especially the Hammam Sensorium, which has all the elements of a traditional bath house. And save some energy for the evening, for the fire and water display and some late night music.
When you tell your children that the resort is home to the world’s largest water park, with 105 slides, you can guess the reaction. There’s instant entertainment on tap with a vast aquarium; swimming with dolphins and a submerged city surrounded by 65,000 marine creatures. Younger ones can snorkel amongst the colourful fish, whilst older children can go deeper and come face to face with some of the resident sharks and rays.
The Atlantis Explorers Club takes children between four and 12, with a daily supervised programme of activities, just in case you feel the need to have some adult time. And if you’re passing the House of Dessert, pop in for an ice cream.
The Palm Island, Dubai
On the outer rim of The Jumeirah Palm crescent – 45 minutes from the airport.