We have just left Atlantis the Palm hotel in Dubai and it was an amazing experience. If ever you get the chance to go there I would definitely recommend it. The experience is like no-where I have ever been before.
Some of you will have seen some of the photos on Instagram @ourtravellingclan and I will include some here as well as it was so much fun. This post is about 5 things that I think are useful to know when staying there.
It is a long way away.
Obviously, Dubai itself, a 14hr flight from Sydney, is not a quick trip. The reason we stopped in Dubai was to help make the transition to the UK a bit easier. When travelling with kids we preferred to have a 14hr flight, rather than a 24hr flight if we flew directly from Sydney to London. Luckily we were able to get enough leave to have a few days in Dubai on the way.
But the other thing about the Atlantis Palm is that it is a long way from the Airport (about 45minutes by private transfer, I would expect it would be longer by Tram and monorail) And it is perhaps 20 minutes from the city centre of Dubai.
If you are not planning to do much in the city centre then this won’t be a problem but if you are looking for a central location then the Atlantis is probably not for you.
It is expensive
I don’t know if all of Dubai is expensive. I suspect there are ways to see Dubai on a budget. The Atlantis Palm is a very long way from a budget hotel. We splurged on this as we wanted to really relax and start to get into the holiday mode. We have made sacrifices at other hotels on this trip, more budget options like Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express to have a few very special places to stay.
Normally we don’t worry too much about the room as mainly we are just sleeping there. With the Atlantis, it is not just the room you are paying for. Included in your stay you can have free entry to the Aquaventure Water Park which is enough to keep people entertained all day. Many people go there from other hotels. This saves you 1050 AED ~ nearly 400 Australian dollars and is attached to the hotel.
Also included in the price is Entry to the Lost Chambers Aquarium. I love Aquariums and to have unlimited entry throughout your stay is great.
Then the experience of having such a grand hotel is so much fun. Being able to walk past the Aquarium tank each time you are walking to the giant pool.
The meals are not cheap. The buffet dinner at one restaurant was 215 AED for each adult and half that for the children which would be about 250 AUD for our family of 4 to eat. But we did find the further from the main hotel you ate the cheaper it was. On the last night, we had dinner at the Asian restaurant, Asia Republic and we managed to eat for 270 AED in total, only about 100 AUD. Still expensive for our usual standards but certainly a much better option.
We did find we didn’t need dinner on most nights as we weren’t so hungry with the heat and with snacks and Jetlag we only had dinner on the last night anyway.
Do the Yoga in the Aquarium
This was something I did the morning before we left. It was an extra charge (approx. 50 AUD) it is currently at 8am on Tuesday and Friday mornings and needs to be pre-booked. When I got there I was ushered into the Aquarium to a room with tanks on either side where approx. 6 yoga mats were set up with a towel and water bottle.
The Yoga is Hatha style and went for 1hr. Not too strenuous but I felt very stretched by it at the end, not being a regular Yoga practitioner. Very relaxing in the calm, relaxing environment of the Lost Chambers Aquarium. The bonus that made it worth the price to me, was afterwards you get 30min to wander around the Aquarium or just sit on the pillows and enjoy the view before it was opened to the general public.
As there are so many people at the Atlantis, having that time with only 5-6 other people instead of hundreds was so wonderful
Get the Imperial club package.
We looked at the Imperial Club rooms before we left and were tossing up whether the extra expense was worth it. According to their website, the Imperial club room is a bigger room, includes return airport transfers, includes breakfast and access to the Imperial Club Lounge.
The reason we decided against it was that we had an early flight to London on our last day that meant we would have to leave without breakfast, so we thought that it would not be worthwhile.
We instead booked a Palm room and our own transfer and decided we would just get breakfast for 2 mornings and it would be cheaper.
The day before we left a friend who had been before told me that the snacks were very expensive and so if we had the option to upgrade we should, to get access to the club room.
On check in we were given the option that worked out only slightly more than the cost of breakfast alone each day. The check-in staff told us that we could order from the In-room dining menu for our breakfast on the last day as part of the plan. So that decided it for us.
It was a great decision. Although I don’t think we technically got a different room. The Imperial Club Lounge gave us access to snacks all day but each day at Afternoon tea (2.30-4.30pm) they had more substantial snacks such as sandwiches and cakes as well as the usual chips, biscuits, tea, coffees, juice, soft- drink.
Because of this, we saved money on main meals as we relied on the snacks that were available. We also found out it included complimentary access to the kids club 1 session per day per child which unfortunately we ran out of time to use and 2 for 1 spa treatments.
Next time I think we would book the Imperial club room initially as I think we would easily get our money’s worth from it.
Eat breakfast at the Kaleidoscope Buffet restaurant
When you have a breakfast package there is a range of places you can eat. Kaleidoscope, Seafire Steakhouse and Bar and if you have the Imperial package you can have it at the Imperial Club Lounge (one in each tower)
We didn’t try the buffet at the Imperial Club Lounge but after the Yoga, we were running late for breakfast and while we were waiting in the line for Kaleidoscope it was suggested we try Seafire as we were told it was the same option and had less time to wait.
As we had eaten at the Kaleidoscope the first day we were disappointed by the Seafire option. Not because it was inadequate by breakfast standards. If you are satisfied with the standard options, there are plenty of those. Eggs, pancakes, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, fruit, cereal, pastries, cheeses, dried fruit, sliced meats toast, tea, coffee, hot chocolate.
The difference was Kaleidoscope was so far above. It had Chinese style breakfast- Congee with toppings, dumplings, stir fry and rice, spring rolls, Indian style breakfasts with flatbreads and curry,
Broth with toppings, all your normal cooked options, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, turkey bacon, beef bacon and then separately the Pork options for those who wanted it. But the piece de resistance was the waffles with a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN and lolly bar.
To say we were impressed is an understatement. Because of my dietary restrictions with my PKU having so many options meant I was able to have a full breakfast without having to pick out what I can’t eat.
Also if you have any special reason or event coming up let them know. On check in we were asked if there was anything coming up and we mentioned our 10 year wedding anniversary and one night whilst we were there we came home to a beautiful box with choc dipped strawberries, macarons and chocolates with a rose, a card, tote bag and His and Hers thongs ( flip-flops).
Overall, we had a wonderfully relaxing three days at Atlantis at the Palm Dubai. If you want to spoil yourself and can find the room in your travel budget I would certainly recommend it.