What sets this glamorous new rooftop pool club apart?

There are few places in Dubai – or in the world for that matter – quite as iconic as Atlantis The Royal. Home to 90 swimming pools, a record-breaking fire and water fountain, and 17 world-class restaurants, the hotel is, at its most extravagant, a playground for the rich and famous. In fact, within months of opening, the hotel has already played host to the likes of Beyoncé, Kanye West, Novak Djokovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodríguez, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Up on the 22nd floor, sits one of the city’s most sought-after retreats: Cloud 22. The sparkling 90-metre infinity pool opened to the public in December after initially opening exclusively to hotel guests. And, just like everything else at this ultra-luxury venue, it comes with a hefty price tag. Day passes can cost anywhere from Dhs450 per person to Dhs14,000 for a duplex pool villa.

So, we packed our blingiest bikinis for a day of tan-topping, cocktail-sipping, and star-spotting. After all, this is Dubai, who doesn’t love a bit of glitz and glam?

To set the, rather spectacular, scene, there’s a floating infinity pool, swim-up bar, luxury cabanas, floating sun loungers, and central lounge area. It should be impossible to miss the magnificent lotus-shaped bar, the flower-inspired crystal chandeliers, and the metallic head-shaped DJ booth, yet here all eyes point in one direction: the breathtaking panoramic views over the Palm Jumeirah and Arabian Gulf – a view which few others can claim to rival.

It’s a place to see and be seen yet nothing feels more private and peaceful than a day spent in one of the 11 luxury cabanas with private plunge pools. Complete with jetsetter-like luxuries, the huge cabanas feature a private bathroom with a motion sensor heated toilet seat; a chic lounge room; air-conditioning; your own music system; and a bottle of Champagne. You get the idea. It is the epitome of Dubai bling and unlike any ‘cabana’ we’ve seen before.

After taking a dip in the dreamy rooftop pool, we order some cocktails and bites. The Mediterranean menu, conjured up by chef Serhat Meci, proves poolside dining can be just as tasty and high-end as restaurant quality. And the service is equally as impressive. Efficient yet unobtrusive, the staff seem to know what you want before you know yourself (you’ll never see an empty glass).

Kick off with the Gillardeau oysters (Dhs330 for 6), fresh, fleshy, and full of flavour, and the bright and zesty Hokkaido scallop carpaccio (Dhs145), beautifully paired with sea urchin, fresh orange, and radish.

For those who prefer meat, order the steak tartare (Dhs165) topped with confit egg yolk, 24-month aged parmesan, and grated truffle and devoured on toasted crusty bread. But whatever you do, don’t skip the ‘Cloud 22 French Toast’ (Dhs135), bite-sized toasted brioche is topped with taramasalata, Oscietra caviar, and finished with gold. Yes… I’m aware how obnoxiously ‘Dubai’ this sounds but it was just so good.

The vibe of Cloud 22 is (pleasantly) more subdued that expected but, despite getting a little louder in the afternoon, the house playlist does start to become a little repetitive. That’s not to say there’s no vibe, Cloud 22 has a personality of its own and the perfect option for those seeking a pool day that combines relaxation with the buzz of a beach club.

Verdict: If you look up ‘luxury’ in the dictionary, there’s a good chance you’ll see an image of Cloud 22. Extraordinary in every way and worth splashing out the extra cash.  

Cloud 22, Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Daily 10am to 8pm. Tel: (0)4 426 2700. @cloud22dubai

Images: Provided