Dubai still does offer over the top luxury. The rest of the world is worried about the effect of the economic crises on luxury hotel occupancy rates or even whether they can afford the next luxury condo on the beach. Not Dubai though – the real estate bubble may have burst for the real-world Dubai – but welcome to Atlantis – fantasy land!
Atlantis Hotel, Dubai is a mega-hotel. This is not a small, boutique property. This is not under-stated or quietly elegant. This is unbelievably, fantastically over the top. The bare facts are a little crazy in themselves. The arch-shaped behemoth rises from 46 hectares of reclaimed land and cost US$1.5 billion to construct. There are 1,500 rooms and 17 hectares of water park. The aquarium is a “marine habitat” which houses 65,000 ocean dwellers.
Sure there are serious scientists and specialists employed to manage the resort’s eco-system, but in Atlantis it is more about the fantasy than the reality. The high point (literally) of the hotel’s water park is the Ziggurat which features a 27.5 meter drop down the Ziggurat before surfing through a shark-filled lagoon – fortunately the sharks are kept on the outside of the clear tunnel the riders pass through.
If it all sounds like an upmarket theme park merged with a 6-star hotel you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Though there is enough to entertain the adults including the obligatory spa and at least four world-class restaurants and numerous other beachside cafes and bars. Remembering that this is Dubai and alcohol can only be served in a hotel’s bar don’t go wandering off down town looking for the local night life! In fact the Atlantis has its very own in-house nightclub including a raised catwalk around the dance floor.
Atlantis doesn’t come cheap at any price. The entry level suites start from US$500, and reports are these are fairly ordinary. Instead save Atlantis for that last large splurge before the world’s economic melt down catches up with you. If you can handle the height then the pick of the place must be the Bridge Suite which costs unbelievable $25,000 per night and spans the two towers of Atlantis. The views are obviously stunning from both directions and as the suite consists of 3 bedrooms, 3 en-suites and a dining table which seats 15 so you can bring all your friends.
If heights are not your thing go for the other extreme – Lost Chamber’s suites offer floor to ceiling views of the marine environment from both the bedroom and ensuite.
The Atlantis is not only a hotel; it is another world. Those who wish to escape from reality will find this the ultimate place to go.
Fabulous Opening in November 2008
The opening ceremony was grand. In fact, it was so grand that the fireworks show could have been seen from space. Having been planned for months, the ceremony was undoubtedly the highlight of all glamorous events of 2008. Hundreds of honorary guests participated in the event. Celebrities like Michael Jordan, Charlize Theron, Dame Shirley Bassey, The Duchess of York, Boris Becker or the Dubai Royal Family were present. The music production introduced a magnificent performance by Kylie Minogue as well as Nawal and the Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra.