I think the Atlantis Resort on The Palm in Dubai is probably one of the most famous hotels in the entire world. Ever since it opened a few years ago I have been absolutely desperate to go there, so I was incredibly excited to head there for the day on our recent holiday to Dubai with Emirates Holidays. You may have seen my blog post last week all about the Anantara Hotel on The Palm that we were staying in, which was beautiful. From there it was literally a less than five minute taxi ride to Atlantis, so it was a perfect spot for getting the best of both worlds. We were really excited to head to the resort and spend the day there, with lots of fun planned for the day.
The first thing that you will notice when you head into Atlantis is that it is absolutely HUGE. Think the biggest hotel you have stayed in and then times it by about a million and you will still not really gauge the size of Atlantis. Just to give you a vague idea, the resort has 23 restaurants including Nobu for Japanese cuisine and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, 1,539 rooms and suites, and 65,000 marine animals in the underwater passageways of The Lost Chambers Aquarium, plus the famous Aquaventure Waterpark. We walked in and were shocked by the sheer size of it all, it was busy and bustling and felt more like a shopping mall than a hotel, with lots of areas for non residents to walk about and explore.
The first part of our day was spent at the Aquaventure Water Park, somewhere which the girls were so excited to visit. Non residents can buy tickets for the park, so it is definitely worth paying a visit. We arrived and immediately got settled in the family part of the park, where there was more of a splash zone and smaller slides for little ones. The girls were in their absolute element running around and it was really safe for them as the water is shallow. They soon became real dare devils, going on all the different slides. One big tip is that the ground is absolutely scorching, so much so that you couldn’t really walk on it as temperatures reached 40 degrees while we were out there, so we bought them some little Atlantis branded pool socks from one of the various little shops in the park. They were a godsend and we used them all holiday, but I have since looked online at home and they are miles cheaper here. So it is definitely worth buying them before you travel.
Really bizarrely one of Jon’s best friends from Manchester happened to be there at the same time as us which was great so we spent the day with them. The park was busy but not ridiculously so, probably due to Ramadan, but inside there were no restrictions on eating or soft drinks. We all loved the lazy river which ran all around the park and had some really fun quite crazy rapids. We also loved that there were little seats for babies on some of the floats. We must have gone around the rapids about 40 times!
In the background you can see the iconic slide that features in all the adverts, the one with the sheer drop. We didn’t try that one due to having the children with us of course, although I must admit I am not sure if I would have gone it even if I was there without them- I am normally quite a daredevil when it comes to rides and slides, but that one was a bit too daunting even for me!
The Aquaventure Park really is so much fun. As our friends were there, Jon and I also got to have a go on one of the more thrill seeking rides, where you went on a tube through a perspex tube and where sharks swam all around you, it was so much fun. There was loads at the water park to keep all ages entertained and I wish we had had a chance to go on a few more of the rides.
After almost an entire day spent at the water park, it was time to head back inside to visit The Lost Chambers Aquarium. We had booked to go on the Behind the Scenes tour which we were really excited about, where we would see what it takes to care for the over 65,000 marine animals in Atlantis.
For the first part of the tour we had the most incredible experience. We went on to the roof of Atlantis and fed the fish that people were walking past in the corridors below. The girls absolutely loved doing it and it felt so special (they especially loved the gross food we were feeding them!) and it was one of those memories I will have with me for a very long time. Our tour guide was absolutely lovely (with the most amazing hair!) and we also got to visit the state of the art Fish Hospital where we saw some of the sick fish and find out how Atlantis care for them. We also met Buster the albino alligator who was really rather cute and the girls were fascinated with it all. We also visited the fish kitchen where they prepare over 400 kilos of food per day, it really was disgustingly smelly but also so interesting too. I really liked the fact that we did something so educational in the midst of a day of fun. I would definitely recommend the behind the scenes tour if you are visiting the Lost Chambers as it just made it that little more special.
The aquarium itself was fantastic but to be honest if you didn’t want to pay to go in it (I believe that residents may get to go in for free or for a discounted rate) but to be honest you get to see so much just walking around the corridors of Atlantis where they have floor to ceiling tanks throughout.
This photo was taken in one of the corridors and I absolutely love it.
After a great time at the Lost Chambers it was time to head to Bread St Kitchen for dinner. Bread St Kitchen is Gordon Ramsey’s offering in Dubai and I was really excited to try it. It is worth mentioning that during Ramadan a few of Atlantis’ restaurants were shut during the day and the rest were behind screens out of respect to their Muslim guests, but once inside everything was completely normal.
The food was absolutely delicious, I had the stone baked pizzetta with shaved avocado, rocket, courgette and salted ricotta, followed by the beef wellington, while Jon had a burger which was also really tasty.
The kids meals were also great but the definite highlight of the whole meal for the girls was the ice cream bar, where you could go and choose your own ice cream and sweets. Their smiles were so big and the lady gave them a lolly for another day as well. The staff at Bread St Kitchen were also completely amazing with them, just like pretty much every single place we visited in Dubai. It really was one of the most family friendly places we have ever been, Dubai is so incredibly fantastic for families.
Overall we had such a fun day at Atlantis and it definitely lived up to the expectations I had before I visited, even though it was so much larger than I could even have imagined. It was such a different contrast to our first hotel we stayed at, the Anantara (also on The Palm). They were both fantastic in different ways but so completely different. I would love to stay at Atlantis to experience what it is like to stay there (we did go and spend the evening in our friends room so we got to have a look- it was lovely but I imagine there is so many different room types), but at the same time Anantara was peaceful quiet and luxurious too, in more of an understated way. I couldn’t possibly pick which I would say was my favourite, I think it would be great to do a few days in one and a few days in the other so you get the best of both worlds.
NB: Thanks to Emirates Holidays for working with us on this amazing trip to Dubai, we had the best time. All words, photos, videos and opinions are entirely my own. Emirates Holidays is the tour operator of the internationally renowned Emirates airline. Specialising in Dubai, Indian Ocean, South East Asia and South Africa, they provide premium, tailor-made holidays to a wide range of amazing long haul destinations all wrapped up with flights on award-winning Emirates. Stay tuned for lots more Dubai posts coming up.