Following on from the first part of my trip, I give you part 2- Atlantis The Palm.
If you want to be transported to another world and stay in a decadent, sea inspired fantasy land then Atlantis The Palm is for you. More of a resort than a hotel, Atlantis The Palm is ENORMOUS and I’d struggle to name a better hotel suited for families anywhere in the world. Featuring more than 1500 rooms and suites, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Aquaventure Waterpark, world class restaurants, beach access plus all the retail, hospitality, complimentary kids club (which will have your kids begging you to drop them off at) activity and event trimmings, you can safely stay put here on your holiday and never have to, nor want to leave.
I loved watching my children’s faces and their jaws drop as we walked into the hotel. Inspired by the mythical underwater kingdom of Atlantis, this property abounds with sea inspired interior design on a gargantuan scale and comes complete with its very own aquarium whereby the glass acts as a window into the world of sharks, rays and thousands of fish from viewpoints all over the hotel. Just to the left of the lobby is the first glimpse guests see of the aquarium and cue squealing kids (and adults!) excitedly running towards the hypnotising, aqua marine museum. Such is the draw card of this Aquarium that many of the hotel’s star attractions have been built around it including underwater hotel suites where you can watch the marine life swim on by from the comfort of your bed. Talk about mesmerising!
Restaurants: Featuring 23 places to dine of all cuisines, you are spoilt for choice and I can honestly say that the food in Dubai is hard to beat (more on the restaurants we visited later). We ate breakfast daily at Kaleidoscope restaurant and the buffet had to be seen to be believed. Pancakes tick. Waffles tick. Cereals tick. Eggs anyway, tick. Fruit tick. Donuts tick. Pastries tick. Porridge tick. Sausages tick. Dumplings tick. Pizza (OMG!) tick. The list goes on…
Beach: Spend the day enjoying the hospitality on deck chairs and lounges by the calming waters of Atlantis’s private beach. Complete with soccer field, Volleyball court, ride on water bikes, boats and paddle boards, you can play all day and even have expert staff who will coach you and get the game going. Oscar and Billie would play soccer on the beach as the sun set with new friends while the twins would play at the kid’s playground which overlooked it.
Aquaventure Waterpark: One of the largest waterparks in the world (at your hotel- yes, isn’t it crazy?!), no matter what your level of thrill seeking or age, you’ll be sure to have a ball here. My big kids and their dad enjoyed shooting down the fast slides while the twins enjoyed the Splasher’s Kids Play area. Billie went on a 1 kilometre ride on the tube around the entire park and although we didn’t try it, there is a speed slide which shoots you down a tube which runs through a pool filled with live SHARKS. Epic!
Dolphin Bay and Sealion Point: Continuing the marine life theme you can get up close and personal with sea lions and dolphins and watch them in a show. My twins were so excited to see the dolphins swimming around in their pool.
Our suite: We stayed in a newly renovated suite which continued the underwater theme in a very classy and luxe style. With a huge balcony which overlooked The Palm and the benefit of access to the Imperial Club, we were truly spoilt on our trip and couldn’t have wanted for anything more.
Aside from all of the above, there is plenty more to do at Atlantis The Palm with an ever changing event calendar and seasonal offerings. I highly recommend a stay there with your family. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Aquaventure Waterpark: After checking into Atlantis The Palm we immediately set off via buggy (the twins were peaking!) to Aquaventure Waterpark as mentioned above. We were treated to our own private cabana where we could relax in comfort, have access to our own butler service and enjoy lunch. It was also a great option in terms of storing your bags, towels etc. We stayed here for most of the day, darting off to enjoy pools, slides and rides and resorting back to the Cabana when we needed a rest or some sustenance. It is definitely worth booking a full day into your schedule to enjoy this amazing place.
Don’t worry if you’re not staying at Atlantis The Palm, Aquaventure Waterpark is open to everyone.
The Dubai Mall: Off we went to the world’s largest shopping mall- The Dubai Mall. This place has it all; every shop you’ve ever imagined, incredible dining, an olympic sized ice skating rink, an aquarium and theme parks for the kids. It is also situated beside the world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa so some of the views are spectacular.
The Dubai Aquarium: is entered via an underwater tunnel where you are surrounded by incredible marine life (very instagrammable). It offers a real wow factor before you head upstairs into the underwater zoo where you can see a huge array of fish, jellyfish, crocodiles, penguins and sharks. You can touch and feel some of the animals and even partake in a shark encounter.
Kidzania: Now this place is off the hook. Set in a 7000sqm scaled replica of a real city featuring some of our globes biggest brands, kids are encouraged to role play activities where they’ll work in an actual job in an actual workplace (like a real McDonald’s) and get paid actual currency for which they can use to ‘purchase’ goods from the toy shop at the end of the day. The more you learn (insert ‘work’), the more you earn. From hospitals to banks, the Kinder chocolate factory, DHL delivery office, paramedics, radio and tv stations, spy offices, an aeroplane and many more, your child an partake in 60 role play activities which teach real world life skills and also gives them the opportunity to act out the dreams they have for their adult lives. Oscar was a firefighter and drove in a firetruck to the city’s hotel which was on ‘fire’. He then made pizza at the Pizza Express store and was pretty proud of his capricciosa. Billie was a firefighter too and then headed to the hospital to be a Doctor/Paediatrician where she tended to sick (pretend) babies. She loved it and now wants to be an Obstetrician when she grows up. Bless her.
Ossiano: Back at the hotel Chris and I indulged in a dinner at the underwater restaurant- Ossiano. We enjoyed an 8 course degustation of the most delicious dishes served up by world class chefs as we were mesmerised by the ocean life which swam by. I’m not sure what it is but the 24/7 marine show at Atlantis The Palm has the ability to stop people in their tracks and gaze, almost hypnotically, every single time they pass by.
Dubai Frame: An architectural landmark, the Dubai Frame which is the world’s biggest picture frame towers 150m above the ground and offers vistas from above of both ‘Old Dubai’ in one direction and ‘New Dubai’ in the other direction. Come here to learn about the history of the city and its intentions for the future.
Hakkasan: On our last night in Dubai Chris and I dined at the world famous Hakkasan which is located at Atlantis The Palm and it did not disappoint. We started with lychee martinis (not too sweet- just the way I like them) and then inhaled (we were hungry) a delicious banquet of Cantonese inspired food from a supreme dim sum platter in an array of rainbow colours, to salt and pepper squid, Szechuan Chilean sea bass and Stir-fry black pepper rib eye beef. The decor was moody and sexy and the service sublime. I highly recommend.