Staycation review: Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal wants to be the world’s most luxurious hotel. Here’s what it’s like…
Few hotels garner the global anticipation of Atlantis The Royal. But then, few hotels open to such fanfare. During the opening weekend of this remarkable address on the Palm Jumeirah in January, international A-Listers strutted the navy carpet, celebrity chefs showered guests with their top culinary creations, and a dazzling fireworks display was preluded by the only thing that could have been as wow-worthy: a performance from global icon, Beyoncé.
This month, it opens to the public, with stays available from February 10. Here’s what it’s like to check-in.
A suitably iconic location for a suitably iconic hotel, you’ll find Atlantis The Royal at the top of the Palm Jumeirah. It’s separated from sister hotel Atlantis The Palm by the world’s largest waterpark.
Look and feel
Where neighbouring Atlantis The Palm is a palatial pink beacon of Arabian grandeur, Atlantis The Royal is the antithesis in terms of aesthetic. The design can best be described as posh blocks of lego stacked one on top of each other to create a futuristic, two-tower emporium connected in the middle by a stretching sky pool. Inside, the hotel adopts an equally contemporary feel, adorned in varying shades of oceanic blue and soft sea spray, laced with shimmering gold accents. Those typical Dubai touches exist on steroids throughout Atlantis The Royal, from the fire breathing water features in the lobby, to the mesmerizing water fountain in the grounds.
Continuing the seaside theme, guest rooms feature soothing natural shades, golden furnishings and calm blues. There’s two options for the entry level guest rooms – either ocean or palm facing – and we’d recommend palm facing every time. Whichever room you pick, expect to soak up the views from your private balcony, make a splash in the generous circular tub, and get polished and preened with all-gold amenities, including gold toothbrushes.
Further up the scale, there are lavish sky suites that promise panoramic views, around-the-clock butler service and plush living quarters. Or go all-out and book one that comes with all that plus a private pool.
It’s hard to imagine not being able to find something to do at Atlantis The Royal. For those that like to drop-and-flop, a private stretch of sand and temperature-controlled royal pool await, lined with loungers and cabanas aplenty. A more VIP twist on the classic hotel pool day can be enjoyed at Nobu by the Beach, the brand’s first beach club, where tan-toppers can listen to chilled DJ sets and graze on Nobu signatures. Twenty two floors above, there’s the awe-inspiring Cloud 22, where guests can take a dip against the backdrop of dazzling city vistas, retreat to the shade of a plush cabana, and sip masterfully mixed cocktails at the swim-up bar.
Elsewhere, pampering of the most futuristic variety awaits at Awaken Spa, and best-in-class work out equipment is found in Awaken Gym. For a little – and luxurious – retail therapy, hotel boutiques include Level Shoes and Valentino.
Then there’s all the benefits of neighbouring Atlantis The Palm, including access to Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium.
Food and drink
A burgeoning culinary array of no less than 17 restaurants caters to guests. A star-studded celebrity chef line-up includes Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner by Heston, Jaleo by José Andrés and La Mar, an iteration of chef Gastón Acurio’s famed Peruvian restaurant. For high-energy dining, Ling Ling, from the same team behind Hakkasan, ticks all the boxes with upscale Asian dishes, stunning views from the 23rd floor and a lounge where the party goes until the early hours. Then there’s more casual eateries including Seascapes, a breezy sundowner bar by the ocean; all-day dining restaurant, Gastronomy; and an American diner called Malibu. But even these have been given a royal touch through chic decor and menus that extend far beyond the basics. Take breakfast at Gastronomy, where global cuisines from around the world fill buffet counters and live cooking stations offer made-to-order eggs a dozen ways, that can be upgraded with the likes of truffle or caviar. It’s impossible to dine your way around them all in a weekend.
Room rates start from Dhs3,929 per night inclusive of breakfast and access to Lost Chambers Aquarium and Aquaventure Waterpark.
It’s a bold claim for Atlantis The Royal to position itself as the world’s most luxurious hotel. But the wondrous culinary, leisure and wellness array, coupled with an attention to detail that’s both meticulous and subtle, makes this show-stopper a strong contender.
Atlantis The Royal, Crescent Rd, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Tel: (0)4 426 3000, atlantis.com/atlantis-the-royal