Many moons ago, when my husband and I first got married, we took a delayed honeymoon getaway to Atlantis Paradise Island Waterpark in the Bahamas. After that trip, he swore he would return to take our kids back to Atlantis, a promise he finally fulfilled 15 years later. Instead of taking our girls to the Bahamas, we stayed at the Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, and I’m here to give your our hotel stay review and a few helpful tips to make your stay enjoyable.
Atlantis, The Palm Dubai Overview
Situated on the forefront of the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island, Atlantis, the Palm is one of the most well-known, world-renowned resorts in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the first hotels to inhabit Palm Island. Similar to Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas with its towering arches, not only does the resort offer comfort and luxury, but it offers views of the Arabian Sea, Palm Island, and the skyline of Dubai. It is also Dubai’s second-largest luxury hotel, holding more than 1,500 rooms and 23 dining options.
For a luxury hotel, it is very family-friendly, especially since it boasts of having the World’s largest Waterpark! Besides the world-known waterpark, the resort has many amenities perfect for not just families, but for everyone. Some of the services, activities, and entertainment the resort offers include:
- The Lost Chambers Aquarium, with its 65,000 marine animals.
- A family fun arcade, gameroom full of activities at the WaveHouse, including a bowling alley.
- 23 dining options to choose from, from famous celebrity and Michelin star restaurants, on-site, worthy of a dining experience.
- Kids and teens won’t be excluded; the resort has its own kids’ (Atlantis Kids Club) and a teen club (Club Rush) while the parents enjoy some relaxing time. Find more information here.
- A fine selection of stores and retail boutique stores to shop at.
- A relaxing wellness spa at AWAKEN.
- Finally, many activities are offered, such as yoga in the Lost Chambers Aquarium, deep diving with the 65,000 marine sea creatures, as well as a bustling nightlife scene that I’ve heard, is wonderful, and many more.
You can find more information about many more activities and entertainment at the resort here.
How We Booked Our Room
We booked our hotel room online via the Atlantis, the Palm Dubai website. For us, this seemed like the cheapest option, rather than booking directly on Booking.com. We booked three weeks prior to our visit, so, in essence, it may be less expensive to book far out in advance. We also missed out on booking the cheaper room option (the Guest Room) and we chose the next option, the Imperial Club room. However, booking an Imperial Club room had its perks, and I’ll explain why later.
Before we booked our room, we signed up to be Atlantis Unlocked Members on their website. It’s free to join, and you receive a 10% off discount code after signing up. This actually gave us a small discount for booking on their site, which every bit helps. For the purpose of this Spring Break trip being focused on visiting many other locations in the UAE, for budgeting reasons, and because we had one purpose for booking Atlantis… the AquaVenture Waterpark, we only booked one night at the resort. In addition, I felt like booking our stay during Ramadan may have made a small difference in price, which every little bit helps, right?
We arrived early on check-in day, around 0900. Valet parking is complimentary, with tipping encouraged. Our luggage was stowed away as we checked in.
Walking into the lobby, the massive ceiling gave way with its huge, ornate glass sculpture and decorative carved pillars, perfect for photos. We were then directed to check in at a separate area, not far from the lobby. Since we were staying in an Imperial Club room, the Imperial Club had its own lounge for check-in and access for hotel guests.
Check-in at the Imperial Lounge was simple; we provided our information and passports and was given the option to choose our room location. We wanted to be near the waterpark, so we chose the East Tower. The West Tower is closest to the resort’s beach.
Meal options for our half-board was discussed at check-in for reservation purpose. We opted to have breakfast at the Kaleidescope restaurant for their extensive breakfast buffet rather than the Imperial Club lounge, also worth the pick if you want a quieter breakfast location. Additionally, a list of several dinner locations were also provided for us as advanced reservations were encourgaed.
As a final touch to our check-in, we were given the option to utilize the lounge for free breakfast at the time of our arrival since breakfast was still being served, which I thought was really nice. Having already eaten breakfast at our previous accommodation, we decided to check into our room and head to the waterpark. I’m not sure if booking an Imperial Room gave us the opportunity to check into our room early (we checked in around 0900), or because we are also Atlantis Unlocked Members, but we really appreciated being able to do so.
Map of Atlantis, The Palm Dubai
For informational purposes, here is a map of the resort. Click on photo to view a better image.
Our Imperial Club Queen Room
Upon entering our room on the East Tower on the 13th floor, we were greeted with a clean, fresh room. Our room consisted of two queen size beds, a bathroom with a soaking tub and sliding door in front of the tub that overlooks the room, a stocked mini fridge, and a view of the Palm Island and the skyline of Dubai. The hotel atmosphere was very nice and smelled of being newly designed and renovated as the resort had recently undergone a massive 3-year refurbishment. We were quite impressed with our room and views. After receiving our luggage and getting quickly settled, we made our way to the waterpark.
Our sole purpose for this trip was to enjoy the AquaVenture Waterpark. My husband has been raving about Atlantis in the Bahamas for years to our girls, so this was the real reason for booking Dubai and to escape Germany’s dreary, cold Spring weather for the UAE’s sun and warmth. I mean, who can resist a beach resort full of amenities and the largest waterpark in the world? As hotel guests, it made it really simple for us to enjoy the waterpark even more.
The walk to the waterpark was not far from our hotel room on the East Tower. The walk is actually pleasant as you bypass the huge aquarium, several boutique and fine retail stores, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, and restaurants. If your goal is to enjoy the waterpark, I do recommend staying on the East Tower for ease of entry.
Hotel Guests have their own entry at the waterpark, with the General Population entrance right around the corner, which already had several full lines of people waiting to buy tickets right before opening. The park opens at 10:00 am for the public; for guest members, they have early access to the park.
We showed our hotel key to the attendant at the entrance, who was able to verify each of our identities from our passport photos at check-in. We each received a watch for the park, which we return each time we leave the park. Afterwards, we picked up our free towels and waterpark slippers (which I highly recommend having).
We set our belongings down along some lounge chairs by the pool and made our way to the waterpark.
One good thing about AquaVenture in Atlantis, you don’t necessarily have to stay at the hotel to utilize the waterpark. However, for the cost of a one-day pass for my family at the waterpark, it made sense to stay one night at the resort to utilize all the benefits of being guests at the hotel. For a one-day pass to enjoy AquaVenture, it would have cost my family of four (my 11-year-old is considered an adult) almost $400 for the day at the time of our booking. Here is the link to the AquaVenture Waterpark for more information. You can also find the benefits of staying at the resort below under Imperial Club Offers and Amenities. I won’t go into details about the waterpark here. I’ll have a separate post on that and will update this blog post once it’s complete.
When we booked our hotel, we booked with food in mind. Since booking a half board was not much more expensive than booking without meal options, we wanted to make the best of our stay and did not want to worry about food in general, so we opted for the half board. The half board included breakfast and dinner. As Imperial Club members, we had the option to take breakfast at the Imperial Lounge or the Kaleidoscope restaurant. We chose the Kaleidoscope for its breakfast buffet option with several food choices to choose from fresh fruits, pastries, local and international flares, eggs benedict station, and more. The breakfast was worth the extra add.
For dinner, I think we could have skipped this option if we had been given this choice at the time of booking on Atlantis’ website. As Imperial Club members, we didn’t realize the several perks it included regarding food. Imperial Club guests have the opportunity to have Tea from 3-4 pm, Appetizers and Happy hour from 5-7 pm, as well as Snacks in the Lounge throughout the day.
We took advantage of Appetizers and Happy Hour from 5-7 pm, and we were still so full from the appetizers we could have skipped dinner. We had dinner reservations for 7:30 pm at Gordon Ramsays’ Bread Street Kitchen restaurant, one of the many food options we could choose from on the half-board list.
As a half board option, we chose from the menu provided for us, and the staff explained what was included and the extras. The husband was craving a good steak and ordered the steak, which we paid extra. The food was good, but, honestly, we expected better. The highlight of the evening was the bread pudding for dessert. Furthermore, there are other restaurants recommended on the list that I’m are also worth trying. In essence, when we booked the half-board with our room, it did cost less on Atlantis’ website versus Booking.com, so it made sense for us to book the half board; and we weren’t given the option to book a room with just breakfast only.
Checkout was easy-peasy. After breakfast at the Kaleidoscope, we requested to check out an hour later than the allotted time at 12pm, free of charge. We had our luggage picked up from our room to be stored for us while we enjoyed the resort the rest of the day. Additionally, we were able to utilize the Lost Chambers Aquarium on our last day, complimentary with our stay as Imperial Guests. You won’t need a lot of time at the aquarium; it took us about 45 minutes to walk through it.
As Imperial Club guests, the biggest driving factor for booking a stay at Atlantis was the extra day we were able to take advantage of at the Waterpark the next day on our check-out day. Rather than kicking us off the property, we were able to stay most of the day on our check-out day to enjoy the waterpark before leaving the property. Moreover, as Imperial Club members, the staff was kind enough to let us store our luggage and change of clothes at the lounge while also giving us access to the Imperial lounge showers and changing rooms once we were done at the Waterpark. I really appreciated that gesture. After a fun day at the waterpark, I did not want to drive to our next destination, wet from the waterpark.
Imperial Club Offers and Amenities
Booking an Imperial Club Hotel offers many amenities for those staying on the property. Here are some benefits of staying at an Imperial Hotel Room.
- Hotel guests have access to the Imperial Club Lounge.
- You can enjoy breakfast from 0700-1100am at the Lounge, along with mimosas and other selected beverages.
- Afternoon Tea from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm with snacks and tea provided at the Lounge
- Sunset Happy Hour at the Lounge with appetizers and drinks from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
- Snack Breaks at the Lounge throughout the Day at the Lounge from 12:00 pm-3:00 pm; 7:00 pm-10:00 pm
- Free Concierge Service at Check-in and anytime during your stay
- Private Beach Access
- Private Check-In at the Imperial Club
- Each kid gets a complimentary 50 AED credit gaming card for the WaveHouse.
- Families will enjoy one complimentary daily session to the Atlantis Explorer Kids Club and the Zone’s Teen Club.
- Complimentary access to the Fitness Center
- Daily Complimentary Access to the AquaVenture Waterpark
- Daily Complimentary Access to the Lost Chambers Aquarium
- We also were able to check in early and check out late for free. At check-in, we were offered the Imperial Lounge breakfast at no cost.
- All guests are welcome to access Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium after 12:00pm. A pass is given at the Front Office at the time of check out. There are also changing and shower facilities at the Aquaventure Waterpark from 10.00am until sunset.
- Guests with Imperial Club access may use the shower and changing facilities in the Imperial Club Hospitality Lounge after their check out on the same day.
You can find more information on what the Imperial Club offers here.
Atlantis Member Perks
Remember I told you we signed up to be Atlantis members for free prior to booking our room? Well, even if you are not staying in an Imperial Room, here are some perks for signing up to be an Atlantis Member.
- Early Check-in or Late Check out
- Additional 10% off rooms or suites
- Exclusive members-only sales and promotions
- 20% off spa treatments
You can find many more perks here
Staying At Atlantis During Ramadan
Ramadan is absolutely the best time to visit Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. We visited at the end of March and I did not think we missed out on any entertainment during our stay, but we felt like we were staying at the resort on any other day it would be open. Additionally, the crowd factor was perfect. We still felt we could enjoy the resort and the resort did not feel packed, especially at the waterpark.
Though it is encouraged to dress conservatively throughout the UAE during Ramadan, we felt most people wore resort style clothing at Atlantis during our stay. For the most part, I believe alcoholic beverages were the only thing that was not served during the due to Ramadan. This didn’t deter our stay, and alcohol was served again after sunset.
You can find more information on what they offer for Ramadan, here.
To better enjoy your stay at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, here are some helpful tips we’ve come up with.
- First and foremost, register to become an Atlantis Member for a discount on booking on the Atlantis Website. Not only will you get a discount, but you’ll receive many other offers. This gave us a 10% off discount on our hotel booking. Additionally, it is free to join.
- Book your hotel room well in advance for better deals; the closer you book to your date, the more expensive your option will be.
- The Imperial Club was well worth booking the Imperial Hotel room because of the many amenities and additives they had.
- If you want to be near the Waterpark, we recommend booking on the East Tower; for quieter stays and those who don’t care for the waterpark, the West Tower would be a better option to be near the beach.
- Make restaurant reservations in advance.
- The half board is worth it; the cost wasn’t much different than booking without the food option. We felt that the Imperial Club lounge was enough to satisfy our need for snaking and food. However, booking on the Atlantis website only gave us the option to either book the room by itself or book the room and half board. With Booking.com, the cost to book was a bit more, but you had the option to choose whether you wanted to book breakfast or breakfast and dinner (half board).
- As Imperial Club Members, utilize all the benefits, especially on checkout day. Use their lockers to store your change of clothes after a day at the waterpark and request to use their showers and changing room before checking out.
- Tip workers. There are a lot of Expat service workers working hard to make your stay a memorable one. Most Expats work to provide for their families back in their home country, so we tried to tip as much as possible during our stay.
- Ramadan is still a perfect time to visit. The crowd factor was not terrible and there were plenty of entertainment and activities still open. In addition, hotel rates may be cheaper. It felt like staying at any other resort outside of Ramadan season.
- It is encouraged to dress conservatively during Ramadan, but I certainly felt many people dressed for resort wear during our stay at the hotel.
- If you have further questions, this is a good guide for staying at Atlantis.
Atlantis, The Palm Dubai
Address: Crescent Rd – The Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Directions from Dubai International Airport (DXB)
- By Car: From Dubai International Airport, take Exit D 70 toward Al Garhoud. Keep right at the fork to merge onto Casablanca Street, then keep right and follow the signs to Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) towards Jebel Ali. At Dubai Internet City, take exit 34 towards the Palm. Continue straight along the trunk of the Palm towards Crescent Road. Once you reach Crescent Road (after the tunnel), turn right. Head straight at the first roundabout, and you will see the entrance to Atlantis Dubai on your right.
- By Public Transport: From Dubai International Airport, take a taxi directly to Atlantis (approximately AED 100). Alternatively, take the Dubai Metro from the Metro station at your terminal towards the UAE Exchange station. Stop at the Mall of the Emirates Station, and then take a taxi directly to Atlantis Dubai.
Complimentary Valet Parking is offered for guests staying at the resort.
Check-In from 3:00 pm; Check-out from 12:00 pm
More information about your stay here.
Would we recommend staying at the Atlantis, The Palm Dubai? Yes, we would. Although this was a splurge, we couldn’t help but do the math of spending a day-pass at the AquaVenture Waterpark versus spending one night at the hotel and utilizing all the benefits for guest members. Staying at the resort gave us not one day but two days to enjoy the waterpark, which was plenty of time for our family to enjoy now that our kids are older.
Although it has been several years since we have been to Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, I will say this AquaVenture Waterpark in Dubai was much better than the Atlantis Bahamas, simply because it had much to offer. And traveling during Ramadan, in my opinion, made no difference. We felt the crowd factor was not terrible, and all amenities seemed to still be available during Ramadan. Additionally, I’d like to say this was by far our girls’ favorite part of our Dubai trip, so I could say my husband has fulfilled his promise and goal, a very good win! So, book the hotel, enjoy the World’s Largest Waterpark Resort in Dubai, and happy vacation! Until Next Time Friends! حتى المرة القادمة ، الأصدقاء (in Arabic).
***Disclosure: All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of others and in no means an affiliate to any of the companies discussed.***
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Circa March 25-26, 2023