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“Trouble-free visit”
Review of Atlantis, The Palm

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Atlantis, The Palm
Ranked #99 of 542 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Trouble-free visit”
Reviewed November 14, 2008

As others have said, we were really worried by earlier reviews, but needn't have been. Yes, it's OTT, it's huge, the decor is incredible and it's full of people - there are after all 1500 rooms - but at no time did we ever feel overwhelmed by crowds. We took taxis everywhere - didn't wait for more than 2 minutes. The Royal Pool was closed (we had been forewarned by our travel agent because the Grand Opening is coming up next week). The zero entry pool is delightful and so safe and we had our pick of dozens of sunbeds. Breakfast in Saffron - what a choice of items - all kinds of cuisines catered for. We did not have dinner in any of the hotel restaurants - hubby is vegetarian, and naturally Seafire, Nobu etc all lean towards meat and fish. We ate out in Dubai. Having been warned about problems with bills, we paid everything - coffees, drinks, ice cream at ColdStone Creamery (fabulous) in cash. The only thing which really surprised us was, at check-in the receptionist took a credit card charge for 3000 dirhams (approx £500) and told us that would offset any charges during our visit and that any balance would be re-credited to our credit card. Have never had this in any other hotel. Having paid all extras in cash (our hotel bill for bed and breakfast was prepaid) we made absolutely sure that we got the 3000 dirham charge refunded. To sum up, we found the staff to be unfailingly polite and helpful, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Atlantis Palm.

  • Liked — Everything is new and fresh
  • Disliked — Because of its size, it takes a while to get where you are going!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank patnlcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Liverpool
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2008

We had 8 nights at the Atlantis and found the following:-
Bad points
* Beach is terrible and left blisters on my 3 year old toes
* Queues for taxis at peak hour, (30mins one night)
* Building works and drilling on the lobby roof all day
* No personal touches like, chocolate on pillow at turndown, no iced water at the pool, no fruit kebabs and such things which are all normal in the Jumeirah beach, Mina a'salam, and Al Qusar.
* Massive hotel, too big too busy.
* Ugly views, the palm is unattractive and they are still building and working all day long, even when building works are finished, i cant see it being any better, you will then be looking out at houses and high rise apartment blocks, and its only a stones throw from the Atlantis' beach!
* Whale shark was far too big for his tank!
* No more than pre packed sandwhiches by the zero entry pool. No hot drinks and plastic glasses.

Good points
* No wait for checking in and we were shown to our rooms by a very friendly and helpful bellboy.
* Beautiful room, lovely decor, only had a juliet balcony which you could just about put your foot on, no chairs on balconies.
* floris toiletries, well stocked mini bars and complimentary teas, coffee, and hot chocolates.
* Good maid service and turn down service, which only come in if the light is turned on for them to do so, forgot a few times to switch it over and the room wasnt done, no instructions to do this, we managed to work this out after a few days!!
* Pool areas are lovely and never seem busy, too many beds, which were unused. Very clean and lots of heplful staff around to tuck big fluffy towels onto the beds.
* Waterpark was fantastic, we spent alot of time in here, being taken in directly by a little golf buggy. Although we had to walk miles back along the beach as the buggys dont pick up???? Waterpark was better and cleaner than the wild wadi.
* Fish tanks are amazing and it was a treat every morning looking in on the whale shark (who i did feel sorry for), the many smaller sharks and many many different fish, and the divers who cleaned the tank and entertained the kids more than the fish. Stunning. Went to the lost Chambers as it was free but wasnt that impressed, the Blue Planet in Chester is much better!
* Room service was fantastic, beautiful food, well presented and very quick, and the wine was cheaper than anywhere else.

Restaurants:-

Kaleidoscope - Modern decor, had breakfast on the first morning queued for 30mins and then it felt like a busy Disney hotel, everyone rushing to eat as much as they could in the quickest time, didnt go back.

Saffron - No queues at Saffron, only it was miles away from our rooms in the East tower, our rooms being in the West tower, but worth the walk, as it was just by the big fish tank and the decor was more traditional and more laid back and didnt seem as busy. We took breakfast here every morning and the food was very good and varied and the nice egg chef made me eggs benedict every morning on request.
We had an evening meal in Saffron and it has to be the best buffet style restaurant we have ever eaten in and quite reasonably priced.

Seafire - Beautiful steaks, well presented and served. Expensive, but only the same as any other good restaurant in Dubai.

We went back to where we know most nights, Shimmers and the Al Muhna both at the Mina a'Salam.

We enjoyed our holiday and the kids loved it (they didnt like the kids club and it costs a fortune, dont bother with it), the weather was fantastic, and we loved our time spent around Dubai, but we wouldnt go back to Atlantis, it is not in the same league as the above mentioned hotels. We have tried it, it wasnt as bad as we were expecting after the reviews and hopefully they may get it together. But it hasnt got the X-factor!

  • Liked — The rooms and the big fish tanks.
  • Disliked — We hated the Palm and the beach was manmade and terrible.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank andrearayliv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2008

After reading the previous reviews on this hotel we were a bit scared as to what to expect! However, we can't understand what people have been complaining about! The hotel is fantastic! As you approach from the underwater road, it is just SO big and SO over the top that it is fantastic! The staff are extremely helpful and attentive and the rooms are excellent. All of the public areas of the hotel are spotless and give a real 'wow' factor - especially the giant 'fish tank'! We ate at Saffron for breakfast every morning and most evenings and the choice of food is unbelievable! Everything you could think of! We also ate one evening in Ossiano which was excellent (but RIDICULOUSLY expensive!)
During the day we spent our time at Aquaventure which was great fun - though do arrive early otherwise you will queue a while to get on the slides! Drinks at the bar are quite expensive but we had been told to expect this of Dubai, not just of this hotel... Overall, we had a fantastic time at this hotel and would definately go back in the future... Only 1 negative comment though - take a cardigan/jumper to wear on an evening in the hotel - the air conditioning was FREEZING for me!!

  • Liked — The restaurants
  • Disliked — The cold air-con in public areas!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BeebaLeeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2008

Usually stay at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Burj al Arab but decided to try out the new Atlantis Hotel on Palm Island.

Booked an Imperial Club room direct with the hotel at, admittedly a reduced rate as the hotel had only recently opened. Arrived in Dubai on 23rd October following overnight flight from UK so booked a limo transfer to the hotel - it didnt show so ended up getting taxi - no great problem and certainly cheaper but a bit annoying and I wondered if it was a sign to come.

Taxi driver didnt know where hotel was (!) but found it eventually. On arrival we were directed to the VIP checkin used by the Imperial Club. Lovely room with sofas, etc, and very pleasant staff waiting with cold drink. Room was ready immediately but not with the bed configuration we wanted but took it anyway as we were a little tired - 10 year old daughter did not sleep on the flight over! Taken personally to the room which was situated on 14th floor with lovely views over the gulf. Unfortunately it took a couple of hours to get our luggage but it did eventually arrive.

Wanting to arrange a table for dinner that night I called Guest Services only to be told that there were no reservations available until the Sunday evening - I called on a thursday - not impressed by this in the slightest. We ended up eating in Saffron where no reservation was needed, it is a buffet-style restaurant offering a huge choice of food. It was a little canteen-like but the food was excellent, however a pint of beer was £12!!!

Next morning we had breakfast in the Imperial Club lounge which was situated on the 12th floor - basically open up to 11pm offering breakfast, snacks and drinks - including a very good quality champagne from 6-8pm. You do of course pay extra for this service via the room rate. I am pleased we did pay up as speaking to a number of other guests during the week the queues for breakfast could be a nightmare.

The pool area was generally clean but with row upon row of sunbeds it did rather smack of 'Butlins in the Gulf'. Pool service was good but extremely busy during the lunchtime period.

Its a shame that the beach overlooks the building site that is The Palm instead of looking out to the gulf. Beach not as good as at the JBH or Burj mainly due to the view.

Staff are helpful but alot of them do not speak English very well and sometimes it was rather painful ordering food and drinks.

Restaurants, at least the ones we did get to use, Seafire and Loccatellis, were very good but again rather expensive for what they were, steak and Italian respectively.

Had a couple of problems with the air conditioning in the room, way too fierce and we were unable to alter it, hotel failed to do anything about it despite being asked.

Waterpark was good but I would agree that it is not as good as Wild Wadi.

Please dont get me wrong, we had a lovely week, the weather was fantastic but for us the hotel was too big (1500 rooms), the service is not to scratch, yet; and the hotel is just too expensive for what it offers. Even at a reduced rate our nightly rate was the best part of £600 with the normal rate being approx £800 - the US dollar rate does us no favours of course as the AED is pegged to it. Perhaps the hotel might be completely different in 12 months time once they have had a chance to really shake down the staff/service and iron out the problems that currently exist.

My two tips if you are going would be; a. book your restaurants well in advance and b. take plenty of money!


Would we go back, absolutely not - not our sort of thing but I am sure other people would disagree and have a fantastic time. This is purely my opinion and a summary of what happened to us.

  • Disliked — hotel too big, service bad, too expensive, difficulty in getting restaurant reservations
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JWardley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset, England
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2008

As a very frequent traveller and the director of a large travel company I wanted somewhere to take my children which would blow them away and booked the Atlantis because of its water facilities.

... the kids love it and for that it was worth it ... but I was left with feeling of being slightly ripped off at the cost eating - at almost £60 for a hamburger and chips meal for four.

The facilities where great - on a grand scale, clean and well thought out, the water park fantastic but very over crowded by the afternoons.

We paid for the dolphin experience which was great for the kids and an amazing experience but both my wife and I felt extremely ripped off by the cost of photographs that you are forces to buy as you are not permitted to take your own. I started to taking my own and literally put my toe in the water when someone came and ask me to retreat to the dry sand. As the dolphins were taken from the wild I found the moralistic preaching about saviong the world and marine conservation over the top and patronising with no evidence of the projects the so called foundation has embarked on.

The service was on the whole OK – there is obviously a lot of system training that needs take place before it will be up to the usual Dubai standards and will undoubtedly come with time

Would I book again ... no

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark7211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2008

The Atlantis does not represent good value for money. Having stayed at many of the 5* hotels in Dubai including The Madinat, Burj Al Arab, Grosvenor House, Emirates Towers, Desert Palm, The Westin, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Bab Al Shams, etc we turned up at The Atlantis with high expectations. We live on the Palm so drove the short distance to the hotel ourselves only to be greeted by a surly security guard who simply grunted at us for about five minutes before allowing us to drive through with a curt nod of his head. Not a great start. We then entered the hotel which was teeming with people (tourists and guests) to line up behind 5 people in a queue for reception. At no point had we even been welcomed to the hotel, and this continued when we finally reached the reception desk 25 minutes later. The receptionist asked for a voucher, took our credit card, gave us a room key with some vague directions and pointing over to the other side of the reception. We were not even sure where our room was. We went to two further desks in the reception, each time pointed vaugely in the other direction. Having had enough of this we ventured off to try and guess where our room may be (no easy task in a 1500 room hotel!). About 20 minutes later we found it. Still with no welcome from any of the hotel employee's. The room itself was nice enough (though no where near as nice as those in the Jumeirah properties). Our baggage turned up another half an hour later.

We decided to spend a bit of time in the sun outside. We joined the teeming masses on the luxury sun beds outside where we finally actually spoke to an employee (the towel guy). We had a nice afternoon in the sun and pools.

That night we'd booked a table at Nobu so headed down to check out the bars before dinner. Mayhem is probably the best word for what we encountered. There was hordes of people filtering through the place and the noise was amazing. We had a drink in the Blue Bar (whatever it is called) which was terrible, however the service there was very good. We then went out to the Lebanese restaurant/bar (Leviathon?) for a cocktail. Foolishly I accepted the daily "special" from the waiter which was a glass of champagne with some kind of fruit cordial inside. The drink was ok, however the bill at 250 Dirhams for one drink each left me with the feeling that we'd been ripped off. My fault for not checking the price first of course, but we shall not be back and I will not be recommending the place to anyone.

Nobu was excellent and surprisingly not too bad on the wallet.

Breakfast the next day in Saffron was like cows at the feeding trough with complete chaos ensuing with a scrum for tables and the buffet. The food is ok, however not as good as when the hotel opened four weeks previously, which would make me think they are victims of their own success.

All in all, this hotel is disappointing. The best description of the place is a glorified theme park. This is not 5* hotel service at all. This would actually be acceptable, if the place weren't 500 pounds sterling per night before extras! Anyone looking for Disney in Dubai will no doubt enjoy the place, but those looking to recieve the right kind of service for their money spent and a bit of luxury at these kind of prices would be better off booking at the Madinat, Westin, Grosvenor, etc. Far better hotels, better priced and better value for money.

  • Liked — Nobu.
  • Disliked — Service, hordes of non-guests, noise, breakfast, lunch, being ripped off by waiters.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank DubaiPotso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2008

My family an I stayed at Atlantis for 5 nights during half term. I very nearly cancelled it after reading so many bad reviews. I am so glad that I did not!. The hotel was lovely. We did not experience any problems at all. The water park was fantastic and my children loved it. All hotel staff were very helpful and polite. We found no more that 5 minutes wait for taxis in evening at peak times.
This hotel is very good for families, the aquarium was fantastic, so many fish.
We had a great time. This hotel is huge and might not suit every one due to its size.
If you have children they will love Atlantis.

  • Liked — water park
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank 373info
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Atlantis, The Palm

Property: Atlantis, The Palm
Address: Crescent Road | The Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in Dubai
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Dubai
#42 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#43 Family Hotel in Dubai
#62 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#92 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Atlantis, The Palm 5*
Number of rooms: 1539
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Atlantis is the majestic resort in Dubai situated on The Palm, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity.From the moment you arrive, you will be immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and 5 star luxury. The resort offers relaxation and thrills for couples and families alike, including a landmark hotel, unique marine habitats, an exhilarating water park, pristine white beaches, world-class cuisine, indulgent spa and cosmopolitan boutiques. To stay or visit is to live out your dreams amidst warm Arabian seas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atlantis The Palm Dubai
Atlantis The Palm Hotel Dubai

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