Royal Atlantis Dubai: Luxury with Flaws

In my many travels, few places have left a mark on my memory quite like the Royal Atlantis in Dubai. Opened on 20 January 2023, after years of construction, this ultra-luxury haven on the iconic Palm Jumeirah is nothing short of breathtaking. Imagine a hotel boasting 795 opulent rooms and suites, 17 world-class restaurants and bars, an array of high-end boutiques, an aquapark and more.
The wellness space, sprawling over 3000 square meters, promises rejuvenation, while the Cloud 22 swimming pool, majestically perched atop the sky bridge, offers a swim with a view that’s simply unparalleled. However, even in the Royal Atlantis Dubai, I encountered a few imperfections that slightly flawed an otherwise unforgettable experience.

Royal Atlantis: Between Sand and Surf

As I approached the Royal Atlantis Dubai, nestled on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, its elegance was instantly noticeable. Adjacent to its renowned sibling, Atlantis The Palm, and the Aquaventure water park, the hotel complex stands as a testament to architectural brilliance and luxury. Spanning a vast expanse, it houses 693 meticulously designed rooms and 102 beautiful suites.

Now, while its sheer size is undeniably impressive, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re in pursuit of a quiet escape, the bustling ambiance of Royal Atlantis might be a tad overwhelming. But for those who appreciate the finer things and wish to be at the heart of it all, this location is nothing short of perfection.

A Room with More than Just a View: The Royal Club King Room

During my stay at the Royal Atlantis Dubai, I had the pleasure of residing in a Royal Club King room, a spacious 55 square meter sanctuary complemented by a 10 square meter balcony.

Royal Club King room with king size bed
Balcony with a breathtaking view

The price tag? A cool $1200 per night, inclusive of breakfast. But let me assure you that every dollar spent was worth the experience.

A delightful welcome awaited me in the form of Arabic sweets and fresh fruit.

Welcome present

The room’s interior design was a harmonious blend of modern aesthetics and high-quality craftsmanship. The amenities were nothing short of exquisite. Golden toothbrushes, premium care products, and even spring water from the fjords of Norway adorned the space.

Bathroom
Amenities

From my balcony, I was treated to a mesmerizing view of the Arabian Gulf. Although the fog spoiled the view during my visit, I’ve made a mental note: on my next visit, I’ll opt for a room with a view of Palm Island, which offers an even more spectacular vista.

The technological equipment in the room was equally impressive. For instance, with a mere touch on the room’s monitors, I could darken the bathroom’s glass panes – a feature I found particularly intriguing.

But the Royal Club King room is just the tip of the iceberg. The Royal Atlantis, soaring 43 floors high, boasts a wide array of rooms, suites, and signature penthouses that promise to steal your breath away. The hand-sculpted textures and illuminating materials in each room exude a contemporary design that’s effortlessly stylish.

And the amenities? Creations exclusively crafted for Atlantis The Royal by renowned brands like Graff, Frette, and Hypnos. From luxurious walk-in wardrobes to stand-alone bathtubs, every detail is meticulously curated.

For those who truly wish to live the royal high life, the Penthouses are a dream come true. Whether it’s the Royal Mansion with its private foyer adorned with century-old olive trees or the Panoramic Penthouse that offers vistas that are, quite literally, out of this world, the experience is unparalleled. And then there’s the Horizon Penthouse, exuding Hollywood glamour and offering the option to privatize an entire floor!

Penthouse

The suites do not fall far behind. The Sky Pool Villa, for instance, allows you to swim amidst the clouds, gazing over the tranquil sea from your private infinity pool. The Sky Terrace Suite, on the other hand, offers breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline.

A Culinary Odyssey: Where to Eat at Royal Atlantis

If you’re a connoisseur of fine dining, the Royal Atlantis Dubai is a paradise. My culinary journey began with a breakfast grand that showcased dishes from across the globe. The many stations, each presenting freshly prepared delicacies, were a testament to the hotel’s commitment to quality.

Cooking station and buffet
Breakfast buffet

However, a slight disappointment was the service. It seemed the hotel was grappling with a staff shortage, leading to occasional delays. But, seeking a more intimate experience, I ventured to the Royal Club Lounge the next day.

Royal Club Lounge

The offerings were fewer, but the ambiance was calm, the service impeccable, and the small buffet delightful.

Savoury breakfast at the Royal Club Lounge
Variety of sweet breakfast options

But breakfast is just the beginning. With over 17 restaurants, including eight led by renowned chefs and a Michelin-starred establishment, the Royal Atlantis promises a culinary journey like no other. Regrettably, my stay was too brief to savor them all, but allow me to share a glimpse of the gastronomic wonders I encountered.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Dubai transported me back in time, offering a modern twist on British cuisine dating back to the 1300s. The Meat Fruit, a delightful mandarin and chicken liver parfait, was a revelation, as was the Tipsy Cake, a dessert that pays homage to 1810.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Dubai
Tipsy Cake

Estiatorio Milos Dubai was a Mediterranean dream. Chef Costas Spiliadis’ creations, from freshly caught fish to Greek wild oysters, were a symphony of simplicity and flavor, each dish accentuating the natural essence of its ingredients.

La Mar Dubai by Gastón Acurio introduced me to the vibrant world of Peruvian gastronomy. The Classic Cebiches and Traditional Peruvian Potato causas captured a spectrum of flavors.

Jaleo Dubai by José Andrés was a celebration of Spanish cuisine. The tapas, paellas, and sangrias, each dish was a journey through the diverse regions of Spain.

Jaleo Dubai by José Andrés

Ariana’s Persian Kitchen was a fragrant journey into Persian delights. The interplay of textures, spices, and tastes, inspired by age-old family recipes, was a testament to the culinary heritage of Iran.

Little Venice Cake Company Dubai was a sweet haven. Founded by Mich Turner, the cakes here are literally fit for royalty, having graced celebrations from Downton Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

Ling Ling Dubai was a sensory experience. Located on the 23rd floor, it offered panoramic views of the Palm, the Arabian Sea, and Dubai’s skyline, making dining an immersive experience.

Ling Ling Dubai terrace with a stunning view

Nobu by the Beach was a relaxed retreat. The Japanese-Peruvian bites, signature dishes, and the classy live music made it an unforgettable experience.

Malibu 90265 was a slice of the West Coast. The traditional Californian cuisine, from succulent burgers to cool shakes, was comfort food at its best.

Apart from the restaurants mentioned, the Royal Atlantis Dubai offers a sky bar, a tea house, and many more exquisite gastronomic adventures to be discovered.

Refresh at Royal Atlantis: Pools and Spa

Are you seeking relaxation and rejuvenation? Well, then the Royal Atlantis Dubai is the place for you to be. First of all, there is the Sky Pool: an architectural marvel perched 95 meters above the ground. As I swam, the breathtaking views of Palm Island and the Dubai skyline unfolded before me.

Sky Pool

The pool service was impeccable; from folding my clothes to cleaning my glasses while I was taking a swim, every detail was attended to with precision. However, the additional charges for certain loungers, such as the floating beds and cabanas, did raise an eyebrow. While the Sky Pool is undoubtedly one of the world’s most spectacular, the opaque pricing for hotel guests was a slight bummer.

For families, there’s a separate pool, ensuring that guests of all ages have their own slice of paradise. And if you’re a beach lover, the hotel’s beach area, complete with sunbeds and parasols, calls.

Family pool
Hotel beach

But the true gem of the Royal Atlantis is the ‘Awaken Wellness’ spa. This sanctuary promises a holistic experience designed to cleanse the body and clear the mind. The spa treatments are a mixture of holistic techniques and high-tech therapies.

Awaken Wellness spa

From the Halotherapy Salt Cave to the Alchemy Shower, every facility is designed to transport you to a realm of tranquility. The Meditation Garden was my personal haven, a space where time seemed to stand still.

The ‘Massages of the World’ section was a revelation. Each day, a different modality is highlighted, from the deep tissue Philippine Hilot to the robust Russian massage. The expertise of the therapists is evident in every touch, making it an unforgettable experience.

For those seeking a touch of glamour, ‘Alkemy Personal Styling’ is the place to be. Whether it’s a fresh haircut, a rejuvenating hair treatment, or a manicure that adds a touch of elegance, Alkemy ensures you look and feel your best.

The ‘Aeon Clinic’ is where science meets wellness. As pioneers of regenerative medicine in Dubai, Aeon offers treatments that promise to transform your health. The Stem Cell Therapy, which harnesses the body’s own repair mechanisms, was particularly intriguing. The IV Vitamin Drips, designed to re-energize the mind and body, and the Ozone Therapy, which strengthens the immune system, are just a few of the treatments that promise to rejuvenate you from within.

Aeon Clinic reception

‘Face Art by Dr. Khan’ is a masterclass in aesthetic perfection. Custom-designed treatments that restore youthful features, combined with the expertise of renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Jaffer Khan, ensure that you leave happily.

Awaken Fitness: Where Body Meets Soul

My pursuit of holistic wellness at the Royal Atlantis Dubai led me to ‘AWAKEN Fitness’. Here, the mantra is clear: Be Athletic, Be Active, Be Agile.

The gym is a marvel of modern fitness technology. Equipped with state-of-the-art machines, every workout session felt seamless and satisfying. For those who prefer a guided experience, the fitness studio offers both live training and virtual classes, thanks to their partnership with LVL Wellbeing. Each session is tailored to cater to all fitness levels, ensuring that everyone, from novices to fitness enthusiasts, finds their rhythm.

Yoga with a view

But what truly sets ‘AWAKEN Fitness’ apart is its commitment to mental well-being. The mindfulness pavilion and meditation garden offer a serene escape, allowing one to center oneself amidst the hustle and bustle of the hotel. And for those who love the water, the 25-meter lap pool is perfect for both workouts and swims.

Starting Hurdles: The Royal Atlantis’ Early Challenges

While the Royal Atlantis Dubai is definitely an outstanding hotel, it’s essential to share my positive and my negative experiences. The hotel, being relatively new, has its teething issues. My room’s air conditioning faltered multiple times, a significant inconvenience given the sweltering 40-degree outside temperatures. One night, I found myself accompanied by a technician for over an hour, trying to rectify the issue.

The room’s technology, though advanced, had its quirks. A loud whistle from the nightstand’s light switch disrupted my sleep, necessitating earplugs. Thankfully, it was replaced the next day. However, what struck me was the lack of an apology or acknowledgment from the hotel staff regarding these technical problems. Their complaint management, in my opinion, requires refinement.

For those seeking tranquility, the Royal Atlantis might be a bit too bustling. The Sky Pool, while magnificent, comes with an additional charge, even for hotel guests. Certain loungers, like the floating beds and cabanas, carry hefty price tags, with a double-day bed setting you back almost 200 dollars.

Lastly, the breakfast service seemed stretched thin. Delays in clearing plates hinted at a potential staff shortage. While the hotel promises luxury, these initial hitches need addressing for a truly seamless experience.

Beyond the Room: The Royal Atlantis Experience

The Royal Atlantis Dubai offers a variety of experiences that elevate your stay to an unparalleled level. Imagine standing before the Skyblaze Fountain, a mesmerizing dance of fire and water that lights up the night every 45 minutes. The fusion of flames, mist, and color-changing lights is nothing short of epic, a spectacle that truly electrifies the mind.

Skyblaze Fountain

For music fans, the hotel ensures your evenings are filled with rhythm – provided by live DJs gracing the bars daily and bands serenading diners in select restaurants.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, the Aquaventure Park beckons. As part of the Atlantis, it boasts the world record for the most waterslides in a waterpark. From the heart-pounding Raging Rapids to the serene private beach, it’s an aquatic paradise. And the best part? Complimentary access is included with your stay.

Aquaventure Park with several waterslides

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the Droplets sculpture, an 11.5-meter tall masterpiece inspired by the first raindrop in the desert. It’s a photographer’s dream and evidence for the hotel’s commitment to aesthetic beauty.

Droplets sculpture

For those who seek adventure, the diving experiences at Royal Atlantis Dubai are unparalleled. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned diver, the underwater world of Atlantis awaits. Swim alongside 65,000 marine animals, including majestic sharks and rays, in the lost city’s depths. And if you’re not certified, worry not. The hotel offers a range of courses, including the globally recognized PADI Open Water programme.

Shopping at the Royal Atlantis is nothing short of opulent. Housing the world’s most sought-after designer brands and luxury boutiques, from Valentino to Graff, it’s a shopping paradise that promises to appease even the most discerning shopper.

Lastly, for an exclusive experience, the Royal Club is your sanctuary. Guests are treated to certain privileges, from all-day access to the private lounge, exquisite breakfasts, afternoon teas, and a rich collection of canapés every evening. The cherry on top? An extensive menu of complimentary premium beverages, including champagne. And with dedicated butler services, every need is catered to.

Setting the Stage: My First Steps Inside Atlantis

The first moments of any journey set the tone for the entire experience. As I approached the Royal Atlantis Dubai, I was immediately struck by a blend of opulence and efficiency.

Lobby and reception
Water fountains

For those arriving by car, rest assured, the hotel offers complimentary valet parking, not just for overnight guests but also for day visitors. A gesture that, in my opinion, speaks volumes about their commitment to guest convenience.

Luxury cars in front of the hotel

Flying into Dubai? The hotel ensures a smooth transition from the airport to its confines. If you’ve booked a Suite or Signature Penthouse, you’re in for a treat with complimentary pick-up and drop-off services from Dubai International Airport’s main terminals and even the ports. Those in Guest Rooms can avail of this service for an additional fee. And if you’re curious about taxi fares, expect to pay around AED 120-140 from Dubai Airport, and approximately AED 280-340 from Abu Dhabi Airport.

While shuttle bus transfers to the airport are available upon request, they also come with an additional charge. But for the ultimate arrival experience? Make a grand entrance via helicopter, landing at the resort’s helipad next to the White Beach Parking.

Timing Your Royal Retreat: The Best Time to Visit Royal Atlantis

Timing is everything, isn’t it? When it comes to experiencing the Royal Atlantis Dubai in all its splendor, I’d recommend planning your visit between November and February. Dubai truly comes alive during these months. The weather is pleasant, a stark contrast to the scorching summer months, making it perfect for enjoying the hotel’s outdoor amenities and the city’s vibrant events.

This period is particularly festive, with the Dubai Shopping and Food Festivals offering an array of experiences. And those who would like to witness horse racing, the Dubai World Cup is an event not to be missed.

However, a small word of caution: if impeccable service is paramount to your experience, you might consider waiting a tad longer. As with any new establishment, there are occasional starting problems. Given time, I’m confident the Royal Atlantis will refine its service. After all, perfection takes time.

Final Impressions

As my time at the Royal Atlantis drew to a close, I found myself reflecting on the experiences it offered. This establishment undeniably sets unparalleled standards in entertainment and opulence. From the sprawling hotel grounds to the sky pool and the culinary delights of its restaurants, there’s a world waiting to be explored within its walls.

Hotel from the outside at night

However, perfection is a journey, not a destination. While the hotel’s technical details need some refining and the service could be elevated, its grandeur is undeniable. The vastness of the Royal Atlantis might be overwhelming for some, but for me, it added to its allure. I am excited about my next visit here, and I’m certain that with time, it will only get closer to perfection. Safe travels!

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