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“Great but Expensive!”
Review of Atlantis, The Palm

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Atlantis, The Palm
Ranked #99 of 545 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great but Expensive!”
Reviewed February 26, 2010

We travelled as two single mums and three teenage boys. It was a 'treat' holiday for UK half term week break. We booked independently, flying out with BA (£600 pp round trip, booked just after Xmas) and staying via Virgin (because the cheaper Deluxe rooms were no longer available by indy booking)(the cost for accommodation via Virgin ended up being the same as it would have been had we booked independently the next grade of room up - with Virgin we got breakfast 'thrown in' as well! - at £30 a head!!!! ). Accommodation costs per room for two occupants was £3000 for seven nights (eek!).

We arrived at midnight, and were slightly worried about transfers, but the Atlantis hotel desk at the airport recommended a normal city taxi. They are easy to find, and seem well organised re pick up just outside the hotel. The taxis are very good, and it was a relief. They are City Corporation taxis, with a meter, and v. clean and reliable. For five people we needed two taxis because of our luggage (we ended up taking far too much!). The fare to the hotel came to around 80 AED and we tipped 20 AED so the total was about £20 (we were getting just over five AED to the pound in exchange). Journey took about half an hour.

The Atlantis reception was open - I believe it's open 24 hours - and we checked in pretty painlessly. They did us communicating rooms which was great. The good thing about the Deluxe (cheapest) rooms is that they are on the lower floors - the next grade up is exactly teh same room quality, but higher up. We preferred lower floors becuase of fire risk etc etc. On the second floor, we ended up with huge balconies overlooking the Gulf and the entrance to the hotel (which is round the back of the Palm)(the beach is inward facing across the Palm lagoon).

Rooms were very comfortable. Hilariously (to the teenagers!) the bathroom has extra doors, that look like a wardrobe, that can be opened from the bedroom to reveal the person having a bath. My, what a laugh that would be....ha ha not..(we stuck to showers....) (seems a pretty daft feature, I have to say - maybe it lets you watch the telly from the bath?) The bathroom has a nice walk in shower and a separate lockable loo with bidet, which is good for privacy (given the feature above!).

Beds were fine - queen size. Lots of pillows. Duvet a bit draggy.

We found the air con a bit low - as in, not very strong, even on max. Probably because for Dubai it's winter and already cold outside!

Daytime air temp was idyllic at around 30 with a light breeze.

The hotel is famed for its bling, and I was initially critical, but it does seem to work out there. It's huge and vast and glittering and shiny, and people take photos of the atrium etc etc. The vastness is good because lots of space and facilities, but you get exercise just walking from one end to the otehr!

The gardens to the front, by the beach, are beautiful. Two large pools, and loads of loungers, each with an adjustable shade which works very well. Beach is very accessible. Coral sand is rough (softer sand out in the desert - import it?!). Water chilly. Probably not that clean, but seemed Ok for a quick dip. We stuck to the pools mostly.

The water park is fantastic. Guests get free access ,and our teen boys ran back and forth merrily all day, while we lounged by the pool. Strangely, we did not want to do the Leap of Faith, though our boys did it countless times!!! The lazy river was more our style. The loungers in the water park were also good, but a little more crowded. Go to the far end, by the dolphin house, and there is more space and more peace and quite. As usual, the surrounding piped musak added only irritation. Why hotels think people want to listen to their rubbish music I don't know. If I want music I'll take my own! But that was the only real irritation. The landscaping in the waterpark is beautiful, almost as good as at the hotel. Lots of easy beach access too, and loads of loungers there. Good VFM for a day trip from another hotel.

As expected, food at the Atlantis is not cheap. We avoided the most expensive restaurants, and did our best to fill up at breakfast. Breakfast is fantastic – two restaurant choices, Kaleidoscope and Saffron. The former in the waterpark end, the latter at the further end (long walk between!). Both are very noisy, especially Saffron, and outside is nicer, as it is poolside. Breakfast is a vast buffet of just about anything you could think of – pork products, sausages and bacon – are available slightly separated from everything else. Saffron specialises in Asian food – dim sum etc – but also has a lot of western food as well. It also has – wait for it! – a chocolate fountain! Don’t know why Kaleidoscope doesn’t, as once the children discover a chocolate fountain they won’t eat anywhere else!

There are two restaurants poolside, at either end of the main pool. They are outdoors, both sheltered by an open roof, and out in the sun/moonshine. One is Mexican, the other Italian in theme. Pizzas (about £12) are OK but nothing wonderful. Food is pricey. To be honest, I recommend the kiddy-menu! It was half the price of the adult one, and very good VFM. Do NOT have the Caesar Salad – I paid £12 for a plate of lettuce, half a boiled egg, one anchovy and some invisible bits of turkey bacon and parmesan. Utter rip off. Dreadful. Good puds for £8.

The Mexican one does a happy hour till 8, when cocktails (alas, not mocktails) are half price so about a fiver each, great for that location.

We also ate at the internal Italian restaurant in the inner mall, which was a lot more expensive.

Very belatedly, we found a fabulous ice-cream parlour, Coldstone, at the far end of a mall, where they have a lot of icecream choices for not a great deal more than it would be in London (about four pounds I think it was.) Recommended.

Coffee by the pool was about a fiver, I think – they bring it to you. V. nice!

The rooms also have a kettle, tea and coffee (not much milk, but the cappochino coffee sachet includes the froth!), and free water and fruit. Don’t touch the minibar! If you take something out, it charges automatically! We took a bottle of wine from duty free to the hotel, and kept it in the fridge for a nightcap.

Bathrobe in the bathroom was cotton, and very small! I’m not that fat, and my son is not that tall, but it was tiny for both of us! They don’t encourage you to reuse towels, which they should, and kept replacing towels used only once. Water is fine to drink.

Overall, it was a memorable holiday. The waterpark makes the hotel, and if your children are old enough to be let loose unsupervised, that makes for a wonderfully relaxing adult holiday! The hotel pool stayed open till eight – well dark! – which is also good. Waterpark closes round about 6 – dusk. Hotel guests don’t get any special priveleges there, other than not having to hire towels, which is good.

Because of the vast size of the hotel, there are buggies driven along the front path from one end to the other, and along the side of the waterpark to the dolphins, which is good for tired feet! Watch out – they are full up from the dolphin onwards at the end of the day, so you are better off walking back to the hotel!

The paths would be ideal for Segways, but the hotel won’t have them there apparently, so they are only at the Jumeirah beach hotel.

Football on the beach at 5 each afternoon was very popular. There are some pedalos and kayaks for hire, but far more could be made of the water frontage on the Palm lagoon. The wind picked up quite nicely during the day, and by late afternoon you could have got a not bad dinghy sail or windsurf (non-planing probably unless you had a large sail!). The hotel could do more in that respect. There isn’t any info about day trips, things to do outside the hotel, other than desert trips – again, hotel could do more. There are tennis courts and a basket ball hoop, and pingpong tables for hotel guests.

We checked out the gym which is free and beautiful, and fine for teens to use

Teens enjoyed the teen club in the evening (one free entrance then it’s something like £11 pp per night – the big draw seems to be the Xboxes etc (withdrawal symptoms!). No adults allowed in. No alcohol is served.

Photos from the water park cost £17! Nice quality though.

When you check in, they put 3,000 AED on your cc, the balance of which is then refunded after you’ve paid for what you’ve put down on the room.

I didn’t do the aquarium, though it was included in the hotel price like the aquapark, but apparently it’s huge, but with insufficient information about the fish. You can see one wall from the outside without going in – very impressive, though I don’t like to see animals in captivity, even fish.

Overall, if you want to be in Dubai, but away from the City, the Atlantis is beautiful. Compared with the hotels on the shore - eg, Jumaeriah Beach - it is much more spacious and much more 'away' from the City. Being on the Palm makes journeying into the city longer, but it was about 20 minutes to the Jumeirah Beach hotel, 20 minutes to the malls. The hotel has free shuttles, but we kept missing them. I would say the Atlantis is better 'wow factor' than Jumeirah beach hotel (where we went for the Segways) and the latter seemed very small and cramped in comparison.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
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5 Thank Marion055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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coxhoe
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2010

We have just returned from the atlantis palm where we stayed for two days following a seven day royal caribbean cruise (which was also fab...) the hotel is wonderful very grand and very large, the rooms are lovely very clean and well equiped . We were lucky as we had booked a half board package but at £30 per person for breakfast and more for dinner depending on were you eat it worked out a great deal. The food was very good and on that package you can still use 6 of the restaurants so you arn't limited too much, there was plenty of choice for us. If you like a tipple at £25 for the cheapest bottle of wine and £9 for a g and t its not cheap, but you'd expect that anyway. The water park is really great fun and free to guests, beware of the Leap of Faith not for the faint hearted. We did the shallow water dolphin interaction which is discounted for guests and well worth the money. The hotel is a little bit away from the action however there are shuttle buses to the local malls and the taxis are readily available and not too expensive to travel around they should be metered dont use it if it isn't. If you like a tipple or two it can be expensive around £9 for a gin and tonic but still worth a visit. All in all a great holiday, heres to the next time.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank coxhoemax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2010

Hubby and I took off to the Atlantis for a four night break from the little ones. Emirates filghts excellent, flew economy and were impressed by food, leg room, service and entertainment. Hotel was spectacular. Stayed in a standard room on 6th floor. Have stayed in five star hotels all over world in suites etc from Sydney to Barbados and cannot understand the negative reviews on the rooms at all. Takes all sorts I guess. Hotel staff very helpful, Nasimi beach bar great fun, the Lebanese restaurant and bar are a MUST. And the aquarium, well, that really is a wonder. And it's beamed into the rooms via a webcam. Beach is not bounty bar, but what can we expect from reclaimed land? I would recommend the hotel and will probs go back. But not in the height of summer. I prefer the temp just as it was in Feb - mid 20s is good for me.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank BeffaB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2010

I have just returned from a week at The Atlantis with my husband and 3 children (ages 8, 5 and 3) and we can not wait to return. This hotel is a must if you have children although there is plently to do as couples. I had read a lot of reviews on here and must admit was put off but my daughter had been desparate to stay here.
The moment I walked into the impressive lobby I was worried - the lobby areas are so busy not what I expecyted from a 5 star hotel but you have to remember the hotel itself is a tourist attraction. We were taken to the Imperial Club lounge quickly and were very impressed. We arrived at 10 am and knew our rooms would not be ready but that didn't matter. we had a peaceful breakfast -admired the views and got ready for the water park!

During our stay we ate at Nobu, Rostang, Seafire, Locatelli, The Shore, The Edge and Nasimi Beach. Couldn't fault any of them. They are all expensive especially the wine but this is Dubai. Before we went we did the half board option and this is so worth it -especially with my children!

Staying at the hotel you get free access to the water park and this in itself is worth it. In the park you can charge everything to your room so you don't have to worry about having cash with you.
We had a baby sitter who was brilliant and would recommend.Imperial Club rooms are well worth it too.
All in all brilliant plus the fact the weather was fantastic.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank 0114sarah1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2010

- Very slow internet connection (probably the cheapest package you can get from Etisalet or du)

- Hidden fees, such as the of charge of AED 50 per night for parking. You want to check out late, sure no problem after 2:00 PM it will cost you AED 150 for every 2 hours or something like that

- Extremely uncomfortable bed and pillows

- My wife decided to try one of the Spa package but was not impressed whatsoever. Here are her comments:

“Not impressed whatsoever. I had much better Spas experience for same money and even for less. Even though staff was very courteous, the service provided is very average. Spas are not about the quantity of creams applied but about the massages (virtually inexistent as it was more about applying creams and rubbing) skin treatment through scrubbing, washing, relaxing, etc… I recommend hiring real professionals with real professional diplomas and years of experience instead of doing in house training. Concerning the very average creams and cosmetics used, I would expect from a hotel of your standing to consider much better brands.

The atmosphere and ambiance was amazing tough!”


- I made my reservation the night before our check-in but because of a last minute issue I called to see if there was any possibility of changing my reservation date to the next weekend and guess what? I was speaking to a Robot who was not listening to me and kept telling me how sorry she was and if we cancel it will cost us something like AED 2300 (About $ 630.00 US) …that’s the hotel policy she kept saying. Okay, I said, I realize that you cannot take any decision but may I speak to your Supervisor? Sure she replied, please hold bla, bla, bla…came with I sorry but my Supervisor is on his lunch break! (It was 4:00PM Dubai time) Okay but is there any other Supervisor or Manager available, on duty, who I could speak to? No, I am sorry she replied but I will have him call you back when he comes from his break. Okay I said (not that I had any other choices) here is my phone number and please have him call me back ASAP. What is his name I asked? Elston she answered. Okay thanks bye bla, bla, bla…
But guess what? I have yet to hear from Mr. Elston!

- Because of the above and since we did not want to pay a penalty of AED 2300 (I don’t care if the all the other hotels are doing the same or not…if you want to shine, be unique and succeed, you must listen to your customers and adapt…it is not the other way around) anyway we ended up checking in at 10:30 PM, loosing half a day but of course paying the full amount.

- When I made the reservation I chose a very expensive package of AED 2,260 / night that was supposed to include so many things but again guess what?

• Daily replenishment of fruit (was done only once during our stay)

• Taj Mahal Stand (I have yet to get an explanation for what it is?)

• Bath and Pillow Menu (I have yet to get an to get an answer for what it is?)

• 2 sets of Daily Newspapers (did not receive any Newspapers during all our stay)

• Suite guests (depending upon nationality) receive an Atlantean booklet at time of turndown. (did not receive any booklet during all our stay)

• Set of 2 magazines (did not receive any Magazines during all our stay)

• Guests receive designated VIP Poolside and Beach services, plus spa booking priority, Club Rush, Aquaventure and Shopping. (I have yet to get an explanation for what it is?)

• Evening Snacks (Some fruits, potato chips and cookies: that’s what we found after we checked in late the first night even though the lounge was supposed to be serving until 2300Hrs – we were there at 10:45 PM). The choice was much better the following evening when we went early around 8:00PM.

The only thing impressive about this resort is the Appearance of the resort, the Aquaventure which we did not use because of the weather and the giant aquarium which can be seen by everyone for free. The Lost chambers are not worth the money. You can watch the Dolphins for free but it was a waste of time if you ask me as we couldn’t see much. They train and feed them very far away from the observation area and if I compare it with the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage in Vegas…Atlantis Palm has a long way to go!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kaiselk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kuwait
1 review
Reviewed February 23, 2010

this hotel is a hug property , i like it as its really nice for family speciall if u have kids, the rooms wasnt that good and the beach as well , and a hug hotel like that needs many people to serve in . but in general i like my stay in atlantis

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bashoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk
Level Contributor
64 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2010

We first went last October and were really impressed. Second time around not so much. The staff efficiency was not so good. The Imperial Club is very good. In October the staff made it. This time the staff have changed and their communication and efficiency was very poor. Orders missed, wrong drinks brought and just not the premium service I saw before.
Same was true of housekeeping. Basics kept having to be requested. The towel art was great but get the basics right first.
I've slated Rostang elsewhere but the food overall is good. It's just you can't get away from noise, anywhere. Our room overlooked the Ambassador Lagoon and you could hear the beach party on the other side of the hotel.
Won't go back again due to the above.
If you are a family with children go for it, they will love it.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brooke1403
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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