Review: ATLANTIS, The Palm – Romantic Staycations, Honeymoons & Weddings
When there’s no holiday on the agenda during the scorching hot summer months in the UAE, a mini staycation or two is always a welcome alternative! So when The Atlantis Dubai, The Palm invited my family and I to experience their hospitality for a few nights, I jumped at the chance to experience one of the most famous, iconic resorts in the UAE based on the concept of the mythical lost underwater city, (known for its Lost Chambers aquarium and water park, Aquaventure). My review focuses on the experience from the perspective of a loved-up engaged couple considering the Atlantis for their honeymoon or wedding but will also cover some family-friendly points of view too, since I visited with my husband, 18-month-old son and our amazing nanny, Niluka.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai is located at the tip of the world-renowned Palm island. It is hard to miss with its imposing, showstopping structure and pinky blue-green hue. The resort is minutes away from Aquaventure and very close to the Mall of the Emirates. From our home in Arabian Ranches, it took around twenty minutes to get there, outside of rush hour. If you are traveling from abroad, the resort is approximately twenty-five minutes from Dubai International Airport.
Check-In & lobby
Make no mistake, even during the summer season Atlantis is one busy resort and that was evident as we pulled up to valet! If you are the type of couple looking for peace and tranquillity, this resort is not for you. If fun and adventure is your thing, read on.
Once we arrived, we were greeted at the entrance by the hotel’s friendly doormen. The lobby interior is opulent, to say the least, and a bustling atmosphere lends to the excitement of visiting one of the world’s most famous resorts.
We were lucky enough to be Imperial Club guests, meaning we headed straight to a private check-in and were presented with cool towels and welcome drinks before we were seen to very quickly. Imperial Club guests are also privy to additional benefits such as private check out, access to the Imperial Club lounge for breakfast, afternoon tea and canapés, access to Aquaventure Waterpark and much more. Our bags were sent up ahead of us, and we were led to our suite for the next few nights.
Accommodation and our private terrace
We were booked into the Atlantis’s ‘Regal Suite’ for two nights, which included a large double bed for me, the hubby and our lil man to share (we don’t do cots in our house, or our son doesn’t at least, hehe), and a comfy spare bed was set up for our nanny in the main living space.
Our luggage took a while to come up, which really is an inconvenience when you have a hungry toddler, but it was nothing a few calls couldn’t fix. Note to mamas; take your diaper bag up with you and ensure you have plenty of snacks in there. There was no ‘typical’ fruit bowl or chocolates to greet us, otherwise, I would have given Kai some fruit. I was told after that this was an oversight on their part and that usually all suites are stocked with welcome fruit baskets and nibbles.
Our lavish open plan suite was spacious, clean, and offered spectacular views of the Arabian Sea and some of Dubai’s skyline, which was a breathtaking sight to behold. The suite offers a large TV, dining room table, study, fully stocked bar, its own kitchenette and a guest restroom. Our luxurious double vanity bathroom featured a large oval jacuzzi bath that I enjoyed with my toddler and filled to the brim with bubbles – he didn’t want to get out! Mama’s, I would recommend you bring a slip mat. For those preferring showers, you won’t be disappointed with the suite’s walk-in power shower.
A walk-in closet is always a bonus too and offered plenty of space for our family luggage and outfits for the weekend.
Dinner at Ossiano
After settling the little one to sleep and leaving him in the good care of our nanny for a couple of hours, the old man and I headed out for a rare dinner alone. The restaurant of choice was Ossiano.
This award-winning restaurant is super classy, and the staff are immaculately dressed, poised and articulate. As you enter and make your way down a winding staircase, the first thing you will notice is the stunning Ambassador Lagoon views, with stingrays and sharks gracefully gliding along as ambient music plays in the background, setting the scene and atmosphere for a great evening ahead.
Voted the ‘Most Romantic’ seafood restaurant, Ossiano oozes elegance and I honestly felt like I was in for a treat before I was even seated.
I have a bit of an aversion to oysters, but the hubby enjoyed his fresh Kelly Oyster, from Ireland, flavoured with hibiscus and ginger granite. I, on the other hand, particularly enjoyed the caramelised black cod.
Ossiano is a restaurant where fine dining and artistic brilliance meet, creating an intimate and romantic setting which will leave you breathless. It’s a perfect dining choice to pop the big question, celebrate your honeymoon or anniversary, and gets a big thumbs up from me.
TIP: If you are an Emirates NBD cardholder, you can enjoy a 25% discount off the total bill.
Breakfast is served at both Saffron and Kaleidoscope at the Atlantis, meaning that there is something for everyone with a lavish international spread. We chose to dine at Saffron. Literally everything your heart desires is available for breakkie. Kai’s nanny chose something spicy, I opted for a healthy egg white omelette, fruits, and coffee, while the husband went all in with a full English breakfast. Kai enjoyed bits of everything, hehe.
Couples Massage – ShuiQui Spa
No honeymoon or couple’s staycation is complete without a trip to a spa. At the heart of Atlantis The Palm lies an oasis of peace and tranquillity.
The impressive spa is set over two magnificent floors in the West Tower and has 27 treatment rooms, with separate male and female relaxation areas and changing rooms.
My husband and I were booked in for a delicious ShuiQi Couple’s Treatment, comprising of a warm and soothing foot wash, invigorating body scrub and a deep tissue massage – something I’d been personally craving for months. I wasn’t disappointed! The private couple’s suite and the spa itself has an air of the Orient and the sensuous aromas that fill the space will leave you heady and relaxed.
After being scrubbed to within an inch of our lives, we were left to enjoy a warm shower together to rid our body of the scrub. I must admit, it felt a little naughty, but hey, we are married right
After our shower, I honestly felt like my body had been drained of all of its nasty toxins – I felt so super clean and fresh! We were then settled into our massage beds and prepared for our massage. My therapist applied the perfect amount of pressure during the full experience and focused on the areas that needed the most attention, i.e., my knot-filled, tense and stressed shoulders. It was honestly one of the best massages I have received to date.
After our treatments, we enjoyed some healthy nibbles and warm tea, de-briefed on our experience and floated back hand in hand to our suite, feeling well and truly pampered and in a perfect zen state, for all of 15 minutes, until our little one started chasing us around the room with a teddy bear!
Pool & Beach
Admission to the swimming pools is complimentary for all in-house guests and lifeguards are always on duty. The pools are huge and very inviting! My only negative comment was that I wish lifeguards where on duty a little earlier at the family/baby pools. Most parents know how useful it is when places open at the crack of dawn, as it is no secret that toddlers love to be wide awake by 7am at the latest. We had to hover around for 20 minutes with a rowdy toddler until a lifeguard started his duty, which is the safe thing to do of course, but an earlier start would have been ideal.
As well as the pools, guests have access to a pristine white private beach. Unfortunately, the weather proved a little too hot for us to enjoy this time around, but we will certainly be back in the future. Children will want to head to the slides of the Zero Entry pool while the Royal Pool offers more zen time for adults.
Wedding Venue Tour
As with all our hotel reviews, our stay ended with a personalised one to one tour of the resort for weddings. The Atlantis hosts a number of indoor and outdoor venues for you to choose from, each totally unique and offering you a blank canvas to work from.
The indoor venue, the majestic Atlantis Ballroom, can accommodate up to 2,000 guests who have full access to the Royal Terrace with its spectacular views. The outdoor venues include the expansive pool area that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests near the Zero Entry Pool. For smaller weddings, there’s the palm-fringed, intimate Private Beach area (perfect for bare-foot brides), or you can opt for the elevated Royal Terrace with its unforgettable views of the Dubai Marina.
In addition to these venues, Atlantis The Palm is home to several extraordinary special settings that cater specifically for those once-in-a-lifetime celebrations like your wedding day. These Special Venues include The Lost Chambers Aquarium, the Royal Beach, the N’Dulge Terrace, Asateer and the Royal Bridge Suite.
The resort is a snap-happy person’s Instagram dream, with picturesque corners in every part of the hotel. The staff are all very friendly, polite and courteous, and there is something for everyone; families, couples, singletons, everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel. The venue is no stranger to hosting small, medium and large-scale events and the team will gladly customise a dream wedding for you. They have recently launched their new wedding lounge, where you can relax in comfort and discuss your wedding needs with the resort’s dedicated team. I will be going back in the cooler season to enjoy the water park and beach! All in all, a lovely experience to be enjoyed by all.
To inquire about booking your wedding event at Atlantis, The Palm, visit the resort’s weddings & events page here for more information. Interested in celebrating your anniversary or honeymoon at the resort or simply organising a luxury staycation? Click here to make a booking.
Looking for more of our reviews? Click here.