The luxurious Atlantis hotel draws coachloads of day-trippers who come to gawp at its striking design and use its facilities, even if most cannot afford to stay there.
It is special for 3 reasons:
1. Location. It is situated on the outer rim of Dubai’s famous Palm Island (Palm Jumeirah), the artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. Tourists who are not on a coach tour can reach the Atlantis via the Palm Island monorail which provides an elevated view of the expensive villas and apartments which are crammed onto the individual fronds making up the island. There are some nice looking villas but they are rather close together. and while they all have their own beachfront access, there must always be the concern that the island might one day slip back under the sea.
2. Rooms. The Atlantis’ normal rooms have all the standard 5 star amenities but the hotel does offer some extra special suites. There are two Underwater Suites with floor to ceiling glass windows into the lagoon aquarium allowing passing fish to get a good look of you in your bath. Even more decadent, for the sheikh who has everything, is the Royal Bridge Suite which occupies the entire bridge spanning the two wings above the arch in the top photo. This 3 bedroom suite is a massive 924 sq. metres and the master bedroom comes with his and hers ensuite bathrooms. The hotel’s website does not quote the room rate for this suite but, as they say, ‘if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it’. (That’s a silly expression really. Rich people not only ask the price, they also ask for a discount – that’s how they got rich in the first place!)
3. Marine & Waterpark. The main attractions at Atlantis are its water theme park facilities and you don’t have to stay at the hotel to use them.
- The Lost Chambers Aquarium is the top aquarium attraction in Dubai and is said to be home to 65,000 marine animals.
- Dolphin Bay and Sea Lion Point provide guests the chance to swim with dolphins and get kissed by the hairy muzzle of a fishy-smelling sea lion.
- Aquaventure Waterpark includes a giant waterslide where adrenaline addicts can plummet 9 storeys into a clear acrylic tube inside a shark infested lagoon.
Yes, at Atlantis there is no shortage of ways to separate tourists from their money. Typically my daughter wants us to stay at this hotel on our next holiday but I don’t think they cater for thrifty travellers like me.
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