Set at the very top of the manmade palm-shaped island, The Palm Jumeirah, this enormous complex looms onto the horizon as you begin to approach from the mainland. There’s a short monorail running from Atlantis to the mainland, it's quite expensive so most choose to take a taxi, which can run you to the Mall of the Emirates in about 10 minutes, or to the airport in about 25. Its location isn’t best if you’re planning daily excursions into the city, but with the amount of facilities Atlantis offers, it’s unlikely that’s what you’ll be after.
As per the rest of the hotel, the rooms retain a distinctly aquatic theme, which you might regard as either tacky or not. Most offer outstanding views, either out across the Gulf or looking inland towards the Dubai skyline. If you’re prepared to splurge, then the underwater Lost Chamber Suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the fishy realm of the Ambassador Lagoon.
The aquatic theme runs throughout the main public areas, which include busy passages lined with restaurants and shops. I personally find the colour scheme and water imagery incredibly tacky, rather like an underwater Disneyland, but when you're making a family resort themed on the lost city of Atlantis, it's probably difficult to remain subtle.
Eating and drinking
Atlantis has a quite ridiculous 17 restaurants (it is MASSIVE), including several award-winning outposts of various famed global establishments, making it a popular destination for Dubai visitors not staying in the hotel. Ronda Locatelli, Nobu and Rostang head up the international line-up, offering highly-regarded Italian, Japanese and French cuisine respectively. As you might imagine, these can be quite expensive. For something a bit more ‘Dubai’, Nasimi Beach has regular outdoor parties (although not during the summer) where you can dance in your flip-flops to international DJs until the early hours. It is quite noisy, however, and has occasionally faced complaints from guests wanting to get some shut-eye.
This hotel is all about leisure, with the hugely impressive Aquaventure waterpark, Dolphin Bay dolphinarium and Lost Chambers aquarium keeping the families flocking. There's also a spa and fitness centre providing an assortment of treatments and therapies.
Extremely friendly and efficient. Staff members and attendants are everywhere.
Who stays there
Mainly European families (it’s very popular with Russians), who often come for a slightly different resort holiday. The restaurants and bars are also popular with Dubai residents.
In low season (July – early September), you can pick up a deluxe double room for a great price (including service tax and municipality fees).
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Live entertainment
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Excellent variety of dining options
- Extremely family-friendly with lots of facilities
- Noisy beach club
- Quite tacky