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3 weeks agoupdated Apr 02, 2024

Atlantis The Royal: Still Dubai’s Hottest New Opening

Visually stunning from the outside, the hotel meets the high expectations it so purposefully sets for itself.

By Alex Martin

Balenciaga for breakfast, Louis Vuitton for lunch and Dior for dinner. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the sight of Atlantis The Royal, is the level of wealth on parade inside it. A year after its Beyonce-imbued grand opening, the ultra-luxury hotel remains the place to be seen in Dubai.

Its six interconnected towers, created with curved concrete blocks stacked 43 stories high, stand out even in a city where every type of building already exists. Only half of those six towers are dedicated to the hotel with the other three handed over to private residences. Such is the scale, however, it still offers 795 rooms (including over 100 suites), 17 restaurants, 90 swimming pools and the longest stretch of private beach in Dubai.

[See also: The Lana in Dubai Unveils Its Restaurants Ahead of Opening]

Atlantis the royal lobby
The lobby at Atlantis The Royal / ©Atlantis

Visually stunning from the outside, the hotel’s interiors meet the high expectations it so purposefully sets for itself. Behind the glitz, glamour and Instagram posts, Atlantis The Royal succeeds in being far more than a place to show off your wardrobe. From A-list celebrities to young families, the hotel is all things to all people. Hedonism and restoration are served in equal measure. For every vibing nightspot to put yourself on display, there is a quiet corner in which to disappear.

Stay

Panoramic Penthouse

Panoramic Penthouse living room
The Panoramic Penthouse / ©Atlantis
Infinity pool at Atlantis The Royal
The Panoramic Penthouse has its own infinity pool / ©Atlantis

While the Royal Mansion rightly takes the headline as this property’s top suite, at a reputed $100,000 per night and with room for 13 people, it is more an exclusive event space than a hotel room. It also doesn’t have the top-floor views of the Panoramic Penthouse, which on the 43rd floor, is over twice as high as the Royal Mansion on the 18th.

The Panoramic Penthouse’s wraparound terrace and large pool has views of both The Palm and the Arabian Sea, and stretches as far as the World Islands. The large infinity pool and abundant al fresco dining space make it perfect for larger groups, and with in-suite dining available at no extra charge, you’ll make good use of it, too.

Inside, you’ll find two king bedrooms and tastefully appointed open-plan living space. The deconstructed disco ball on the living room’s ceiling will split opinion, but your gaze will mostly be on The Palm’s enchanting fronds, offered at an angle usually reserved for skydivers.

[See also: Inside Raffles The Palm Dubai: Restrained Opulence]

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Sky Terrace Family Suites

If you’re not prepared to spend a king’s ransom on one of the hotel’s Signature Penthouses, opt for one of the Sky Terrace Family Suites. Starting at $2,600 per night, these suites have as much interior space (1,216 sq ft) as the doubly expensive Sky Pool Villas and many of the same amenities such as gold-plated toothbrushes, Graff toiletries and unlimited access to the world’s largest waterpark next door.

The large living rooms come with a roll-out sofa bed for older children. Baby cribs are available on request and the bedrooms are big enough to give even the lightest sleeping baby (and parents alike) ample space.

suite living room Atlantis The Royal
The Sky Terrace Family Suite / ©Atlantis

There are two dressing rooms, a standalone bathtub, a service kitchen, a double-length balcony and a guest toilet. You also get a Whatsapp concierge, a service we used multiple times over the four days and found impressively responsive to requests ranging from last-minute dinner reservation changes to an urgent need for a children’s potty.

Interiors match the views with light blue and gold details, and lashings of marble. The cityscape is spectacular at night, with the numerous buildings and The Palm fully illuminated.

One downside: the nightly cleaning of the neighboring waterpark’s slides is loud. For white noise veterans like we are, it’s a non-issue, but it could be problematic for those who need complete silence. However, few places in Dubai can offer that.

Dine

Atlantis The Royal has assembled an extraordinary range of culinary talent under one roof, making it Dubai’s premiere dining destination. Heston Blumenthal, Jose Andres and Gaston Acurio have exported their globally renowned cuisine to Dubai for the first time. Blumenthal has recreated the concept of his two-Michelin-starred London restaurant, Dinner, and has earned one star here. Andres and Acurio have done the same with their own brands, Jaleo and La Mar. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites.

Estiatorio Milos

The fresh seafood market at Estiatorio Milos / ©Atlantis

You’ll be hard-pressed to visit all 17 bars and restaurants, but if you go to one place, make it Estiatorio Milos. The Greek restaurant from celebrity chef Costas Spiliadis is an eternally popular spot in New York and is proving equally so in Dubai. Sitting adjacent to the main building, the restaurant’s terrace is the best seat in the house for the nightly Skyblaze fountain shows. But you should also come here for elevated Hellenic cuisine, including fresh fish delivered directly from Greece and the restaurant’s signature Milos Special (a fried eggplant and zucchini tower on a bed of tzatziki).

La Mar

La Mar Dubai
The terrace at La Mar / ©Atlantis

Gaston Acurio is one of Peru’s greatest culinary exports, combining South American flare with traditional Peruvian cuisine to create a menu that pays due diligence to his home country while appealing to the Insta-conscious youths of today. The restaurant sits centrally among the six towers, directly below the Royal Mansion. Sit on the terrace to enjoy views over Dubai and order the restaurant’s twist on a Pisco sour.

Dishes are served with dry ice, but behind the pizzaz, this is a Peruvian restaurant worthy of Acurio’s status. The chef’s selection of cebiche (cured fish) menu is perfect for one of Dubai’s humid nights. The meal ends with a selection of delicate petite fours chosen from a wide selection.

Gastronomy

Gastronomy can seat 1,000 people / ©Atlantis

Now buffets aren’t our usual scene, but as with everything, Atlantis The Royal does things differently. This 1,000-cover restaurant sums up the melting pot of Dubai. Roast beef to the left of you, oysters and lobster to the right, Gastronomy makes a mockery of the traditional multi-cuisine buffet. This is where most guests will take breakfast and the entry-level for those who want a taste of the resort. It is, above all else, a great place to people watch.

Royal Club Lounge

If crowds aren’t your thing, then the Royal Club Lounge is for you. Only available to those on Royal Club stays, this private dining area is probably the quietest place in the hotel. It serves breakfast, daily afternoon tea, evening canapes and premium drinks all-day – all inclusive. Best of all for young parents, it’s conveniently located right next to the kids club.

Relax

The Awaken Spa at Atlantis The Royal / ©Atlantis

While so much of Atlantis The Royal is about hedonism and indulgence, it has not skimped on its wellness offerings. The Awaken Spa spreads itself over 54,000 sq ft and has 17 therapy suites, including one with private access.

While it offers a range of massages and treatments from around the world, in true Dubai fashion, its signature treatments include a Golden Hour massage, which uses volcanic stones dipped in 24-karat gold. The Royal Gold Facial also mixes wellness with a touch of true Dubai decadence, utilizing the natural healing properties of gold, diamond and platinum.

Family Friendly

The Kerzner Group didn’t envision Atlantis The Royal as a family hotel, but so popular has it been with parents that it is actively converting more of its suites to better suit young children. But it should come as no surprise: Atlantis The Palm is one of Dubai’s most family-friendly hotels, and its new neighbor has lifted many of its best aspects.

Suite-staying guests benefit from unlimited access to the Atlantis waterpark and aquarium, both in easy reach thanks to a regular kart service. Most restaurants accommodate young children before a certain time, and all have a dedicated kids menu. Other little things like premium potties, milk bottle cleaner, child-friendly amenities and mocktail menus make the stay seamless whether you have a baby in arms or a 13 going on 30.

Contact

Panoramic Penthouse from approx $33,000 per night; Sky Terrace Family Suites from $2,550, Contact theroyal.reservations@atlantisdubai.com, +971 4 426 30 00, atlantis.com

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