Atlantis The Palm

This month we head to Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai. And, trust me it isn't just a picturesque resort on world's largest man-made island, but instead is remniscent of the castles from your yesteryears fairy tale.

Words by: Chahat Dalal

Atlantis- the lost island, filled with myths and magic, it’s a story that captures one’s imagination, inspired by Plato who told the story of Atlantis around 360 B.C. He proclaimed the founders of Atlantis, were half-god and half-human. Well, Atlantis the Palm Dubai makes sure to treat you like  God. Lost cities, mystic ships and hidden treasures, are all part of the alluring marine world. Of all these, the lost city of Atlantis tops the list but trust Dubai to build its own sunken city and surround it with the magnificent royal structure that can put any palace to shame. Legend says that the Atlantis was built by Poseidon - the God of Sea, of storms and earthquakes when he fell in love with a mortal woman Cleito. He made this city on top of a hill, on an isolated island in the sea, to protect her and named it Atlantis.

The legendary Atlantis Dubai was the first resort to be built on the world's largest man-made island and is themed on the myth of Atlantis. This resort is a crown on the apex of Palm Jumeirah, it’s a city in its own right only this place is not lost. Atlantis’ towers of red bricks remind me of a castle set in a fairy tale, its iconic central arch opens a gateway to a magical kingdom. Either side of this arch looks like wings extended to embrace its grandeur with elaborate playgrounds, gardens filled with butterflies and birds, and water bodies to soothe the soul every few steps. The lobby is dominated by a ceiling-high, multicoloured glass sculpture that looks like Medusa’s head filled with colourful snakes rising from a fountain. What could be perceived as too much to an adult , must seem glorious to children and is few whimsical adults like me.

We decided that a stay at a resort of such exuberance deserves all our time. You know a resort is big when it has its own map. We embarked on our two-day journey of luxury and opulence. We were welcomed with goodie bags in the room with certain essentials required for our visit - like a cap, waterproof phone cover etc. the devil is in the details. The resort’s underwater theme is strictly adhered to with a palette of ocean blue and white and sea-inspired sculptures and furnishings all over. At times the hotel feels more like a mall, there are shops selling everything from luxury jewellery to toys, art, perfume, clothes, souvenirs and even property and homes! With so many guests losing their way continuously in the avenues (like us who seemed to feel like we were stuck in a maze), the enduringly polite staff must be feeling like caretakers of a day care, but they never show it. Patience and kindness is their virtue particularly during Covid times as they keep handing out masks while helping us with directions.
Day one went in getting our bearings and deciding what we wanted to do and where we wanted to eat, gosh we were overwhelmed with the choices within the hotel itself. You could stay at Atlantis for three weeks and dine at a different spot every day, but with the help of the hotel we narrowed down on our itinerary. As an imperial guest we had access to the exclusive Imperial Club Lounge and decided to begin with tea, whose spread was fit for kings and queens. The lounge overlooks a sunset terrace with a view of the tranquil Arabian Sea. The lounge serves light snacks and refreshments throughout the day. With happy tummies, we strutted to The Lost Chambers aquarium.

The legend of Atlantis truly comes alive amidst the intriguing tunnels and passageways. There is adventure and education in equal measure here. Not only can you spend hours watching the magical sea creatures, but in the chambers, you’ll learn about the history of Atlantis, which has been lost for thousands of years. Each exhibit is equipped with a bar code which allows you to upload a picture of any sea creature and in return, you receive all pertinent information regarding it. Here the fascinating myth becomes a spectacular reality where you can appreciate the remarkable underwater world. We ended our day with the most fun activity bowling followed by dinner at Wavehouse - one of their most recent addition. The decor here is rustic where wood meets metal with exposed red-brick walls, tons of light bulbs dangling down from the ceiling, and bright pops of colours here and there. Wavehouse transported us into an all-American experience from a comic book where we were bowling and enjoying the food and beverages. After miserably losing against my husband in 9 pins, I must have gulped down 9 pints as the vibe just kept us hooked to the venue. My husband ordered me of their ever-so-famous Sunday desert which surely cheered me up and made me feel triumphant again. Winner winner chocolate dinner maybe! We ended the day with smiles glued to our faces.

I woke up the next day even before the alarm rang out of sheer excitement for the adventurous day ahead, but first sustenance. You can find two breakfast buffet restaurants at the Atlantis, one in each tower. They offer a wide selection of international cuisine, this buffet has the right choices for EVERYONE along with some Bloody Marys and mimosas to put you in high spirits. We took the day to enjoy the world’s only hotel which has something fun and thrilling for both adults and kids. Our agenda for the day was to have fun at the AQUAVENTURE WATERPARK! The water park consists of impressive water rides and adventures fit for all ages. We enjoyed so many attractions and there is something for all! You can slide down corkscrew chutes, ride through shark tunnels, watch the children enjoy Splasher’s Island area, or just unwind on the lazy river. Our favourite was the Poseidon revenge which begins as you climb into one of the two launching capsules with your feet on a trapdoor. The ride pulls away the floor beneath your feet, plummeting you 31 metres down through the loops of the 116-metre water slide, as you freefall at a speed of 60 km/h. We built up quite an appetite all day with such adventures. Lunch was at the White. We loved the boho design of the WHITE and of course the amazing view from the infinity pool right at the beach. The drinks and appetisers here are incredibly fresh & delicious! My favourite was the avocado & truffle pizza while sipping on margaritas. Dinner was at our very own Hell’s Kitchen, sorry I meant Bread Street Kitchen and Bar by Gordon Ramsay. The restaurant feels like an outpost of London in Dubai with the iconic red telephone booth adding sass to the vibe. The portions are generous, and each dish is heart-warming and made with the finest ingredients. Our favourite was the tamarind chicken wings but make sure you save space for the sticky toffee banana pudding or bread and butter pudding ice cream - their signature desserts. With stuffed stomachs, we stumbled to our rooms and passed out just like little children after a fun-filled day.

As we rolled out of our beds the next day we felt bitter-sweet emotions in our hearts. Happy about our two-day escapade with some more plans still at hand and sad that it was our day to check out. We spent the first half of our day taking in the hotel's gloriousness. The hotel on finer scrutiny seems like a movie set that even has soundtracks as the music keeps playing through speakers hidden in hedges. You can see mindfulness in each structure and every detail seems exaggerated. Today was all about checking out the regular amenities each resort has to offer but surely there was nothing regular about the ones at Atlantis. They have a large designer gym which is just one way to get in some exercise here. There’s a jogging track; volleyball and table tennis; tennis courts, three pools and chargeable water sports at the beach.

The Lost Chambers Aquarium occasionally hosts yoga sessions amid the marine life. They also have a Spa, which allows you to relax, alongside hair and nail salons for some self-pampering. The resort even has its own helipad. Atlantis is surrounded by a sandy beach which is only accessible to hotel guests. The water is very shallow and usually tepid which makes it a great place to practice some stand-up paddling or water sports. We decided to relax by wading in the pool. Altogether the Atlantis has three pools- the biggest one is the Royal Pool. If you want to relax I would suggest the Zero Entry Pool which is designed like a lagoon with shallow water. The third pool is an infinity pool with a view right of The Palm. Our last meal of this trip was at bread street kitchen again but this time for their pizza buffet. Bottomless pizzas and beverages we truly put our trust in Gord!

Atlantis The Palm is certainly more than just a resort in Dubai, this place feels like stepping into another world full of relaxation, enjoyment & pleasure for all kinds of travellers. Regardless of whether you are a solo traveller, family with kids. a couple or a bunch of friends who like to party this resort has got you covered! We only stayed here for two nights which clearly wasn’t enough to explore the whole hotel to the fullest but now we know that the Atlantis The Palm Dubai is the most famous and sought-after hotel in Dubai for good reason!

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