Atlantis The Royal Near+Far rating: 8/10
Why stay at Atlantis The Royal
‘This is it,’ reads Atlantis The Royal’s slogan, the eight-years-in-the-making property that promises the pinnacle of luxury hotel experience. Thousands attended its internet-breaking grand opening – when the who’s who of global celebrities were flown to witness the cantilevered design with fire and water fountains and watch a private concert with Beyoncé on its leafy, terraced grounds. The hotel is now up and running and offering the most extensive OTT hotel experience in Dubai. There are 795 rooms and suites, 17 boutiques, a 32,300 square foot wellness space and 17 restaurants and bars – of which celebrity chefs helm 8. Other highlights include multiple swimming pools, including Cloud 22, high on a sky bridge overlooking the ocean and skyline. While the original Atlantis feels colourful, more laid-back and geared towards families, Atlantis The Royal feels sleeker and more grown up – though too ideal for family stays. Guests have full access to the original and complimentary use of the world’s largest waterpark Aquaventure – linking chapter one with chapter two. In September, the property was placed at number 44 on The World’s 50 Best Hotels – wearing the crown of ‘Best Hotel in the Middle East’.
On the outer crescent of Palm Jumeirah – the most iconic address in Dubai (largely down to its imposing sister property). The hotel share a 1.2-mile long beach with the original Atlantis The Palm, and the property operates a shuttle service between the two, acting as a gateway to dozens of restaurants, bars and shops. Atlantis The Royal has prepared to be a little removed from the city itself by being its own city in itself. This is a hotel for relaxing beach holidays where you want to stay put while still being able to enjoy maximum adventure, gastronomy and relaxation.
Rooms and suites: 8/10
Each of Atlantis The Royal’s 795 rooms and suites blend seamlessly with the beachy and ocean backdrop – spacious, light and clad in soothing natural and oceanic hues with hints of gold. Like the hotel, they’re generously sized, the smallest being 600 square feet, and there are no bad views, either onto the unobstructed ocean or beach and Palm Jumeirah. All rooms have walk-in wardrobes, dressing rooms, and gleaming white marble bathrooms with stand-alone baths and smart privacy glass – so you can make the room feel more spacious but give yourself privacy when needed. Views are truly mesmerising, and it’s easy to while away hours on your terrace with a glass of something cold. The hotel’s opulence is best expressed in its suites and penthouses, of which 44 have their own glass-walled private pools. Other hallmarks of the suites include soaring dining and lounge spaces and private landscaped terraces – all with butler service and complimentary airport transfers.
Food and drink: 9/10
17 restaurants call Atlantis The Royal home, second only to Atlantis The Palm in terms of the offering, and guests can expect everything from Michelin-starred dining to authentic Persian cuisine, laidback poolside classics and Arabian afternoon tea. Eight of the restaurants are helmed by celebrity chefs – including the first Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the Middle East, recently awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide 2023. Those familiar with the London venue are in for a treat, as while the menu remains relatively the same – the classic meat fruit and tipsy cake feature – the dining room itself has been elevated – accessed by a series of hidden doors and all-black, sleek with open fire and glass.
For Spanish cuisine, there’s Jaleo by José Andrés; for Greek, there’s Estiatorio Milos – offering the freshest seafood and front-row views of the fire and water fountains. Ariana’s Persian Kitchen serves Persian cuisine in a playful pink-tinged dining room, while Nobu by the Beach is the debut beach club from the iconic chef and restaurant – the setting for luxe pool days.
But it’s not all fine dining. Californian diner-style eatery Malibu 90265 has the juiciest burgers, lobster mac and cheese and comfort food classics, and then there’s the epic Gastronomy. Gastronomy is a foodie’s dream – a collection of ‘market stalls’ around a grand dining room and the setting for, probably, the best breakfast of any Dubai hotel. Coming here early and spending hours sampling croiffles (croissants meet waffles), omelettes, Benedicts, fresh fruit, meats, and cold cuts is a highlight of the stay. Guests staying in the suites can access the Royal Lounge, where complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails are served, with indoor and terrace seating.
Spa and facilities: 9/10
The hotel’s Awaken Wellness programme is as vast and all-encompassing as expected. There’s a meditation pavilion, hammam, ultra-modern fitness centre, salt cave, hydrotherapy pool, aromatherapy, chromotherapy and charcoal sauna. Treatment rooms offer everything from traditional massages to energy therapies and even ‘family bonding’. In a nod to the locale, some treatments use ingredients like oud, desert sand, sea salt and dates. An aesthetics clinic offers non-surgical treatments and there’s a beauty lab with a men’s salon, salon and nail bar.
The vibe: 8/10
In the lobby, there’s a feeling of being on a very glossy mega ship or in a luxury shopping mall, with the towering sculptures, aquariums and fire and ice fountains, but outside is more peaceful thanks to acres of tiered gardens. Find a cool crowd at Ling Ling, Nobu and Cloud 22, refined and more mature in Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and families by the beach and multiple swimming pools. The hotel feels warm, bright and inclusive, welcoming all guests with open arms.
Is this spectacular? Absolutely, Is this ‘it’? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s a hotel where everything a bigger, grander, and shinier, then yes. If the answer is a more boutique, intimate offering, then probably no. Regardless, Atlantis The Royal is truly spectacular, an architectural feat and a master of gastronomy and experiential stays.
New for summer 2023, UAE residents are able to book a one-night stay at the jaw-dropping hotel, a first break in the property’s two-night mimumum stay policy operating since its opening.
Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; doubles from AED2,465; book now