The country’s most talked about hotel property opens on 10 February 2023.
Eight years in the making, Atlantis The Royal finally threw open its doors to a select list of celebrities, influencers and journalists (FACT included) this past weekend. The region’s most anticipated hotel opening promised a weekend of luxury and a performance from global megastar Beyoncé in what was billed by the property as “The Grand Reveal.”
For myself, it was a lavish weekend of celebrity spotting that involved a brief lift encounter with Jay-Z (Solange was nowhere to be seen), breakfast with Ashley Park from the hit Netflix show Emily In Paris, and an insurmountable amount of caviar and Champagne (a reported 4,000 bottles of Moët were consumed).
Dominating the Dubai skyline, Atlantis The Royal rises 43 storeys and 178 metres skywards, resembling a game of Tetris that has tumbled onto the crescent of Palm Jumeirah. The striking design from Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates may be divisive. Still, it’s cleverly executed, showcasing a central void cut from the rest of the structure to reveal the buckle-shaped logo of the sprawling resort-style property.
Home to six towers, 795 rooms, suites and residences, and 90 swimming pools, Atlantis The Royal redefines luxury in a city where first impressions are critical. The entranceway is expectedly dramatic, fully embracing the aquatic theme of a resort named after the fictionalised lost city of Atlantis. Here, two walls of water known as the Firefalls funnel visitors from the valet and into the hotel lobby whilst flames shoot up the walls at programmed intervals.
Inside, guests are met with towering fish tanks teaming with marine life in an environment where the precious commodity of water is celebrated. Droplets, a dramatic 11.5 metre tall mirrored sculpture represents the first drop of rain in a dry desert, whilst hundreds of raindrop-shaped light pendants delicately stud the lobby ceiling. The lobby is anchored around The Royal Tearoom, where during our stay, Dubai’s glitterati could be found rubbing shoulders with the likes of Chloe x Halle and Letitia Wright for coffee, cake and (you guessed it) more Champagne.
The ground floor and promenade levels are dedicated to restaurants and retail, with Level Shoes, Valentino, all-day dining venue Gastronomy and Ariana’s Persian Kitchen all taking pride of place on either side of a marble corridor that runs the 500m length of the property. Divided into three towers – Sunrise, Sunset and Sunlight – the rooms are accessible via separate elevator banks topped by Cloud burst light fixtures.
The rooms are more understated than expected but certainly live up to The Royal moniker. Each accommodation option features stunning skyline views, walk-in wardrobes, Italian marble bathrooms and gold-plated amenities. Our Guest Room offered minimalistic beauty through an understated colour palate of muted creams and royal blue, the sparing use of dark wood and the odd touch of gold. With private balconies, a walk-in-shower, stand-alone bath and smart ‘privacy glass’, each element of the room has been thoroughly thought out and executed with care. Guests staying at the Royal can expect plush slippers, Frette bathrobes and in-room Graff amenities exclusive to the hotel.
For those looking to splurge, the four-bedroom Royal Mansion (where Beyoncé and family stayed) covers 1,128 square metres across two levels and boasts a glistening infinity pool, 100-year-old olive trees, an entertainment room and a private entrance.
With 17 world-class restaurants and bars, which include eight from celebrity chefs, guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out. Whether you’re searching for lobster rolls and towering milkshakes at Malibu or wish to indulge in the wall of frozen slushy’s at Food Marquet, the options feel endless.
Atlantis The Royal is home to Heston Blumenthal’s first restaurant outside of the UK. At Dinner by Heston, guests are treated to a cutting-edge take on historic British cuisine dating back to the 1300s with dishes such as the divisive meat fruit. Alternatively, guests can enjoy the molecular marvels of Resonance By Heston Blumenthal, the chef’s first-ever cocktail bar.
Hakkasan offshoot Ling Ling can be found in the hotel’s crown. Inspired by izakaya dining, the restaurant fuses Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean influences while offering a skyline terrace and nightclub. La Mar from acclaimed chef Gastón Acurio showcases the diverse flavours of Peruvian Gastronomy, whilst Ariana’s Persian Kitchen is a female-led concept from TV chef Ariana Bundy that celebrates 6000 years of Persian culinary culture. Estiatorio Milos introduces gourmands to high-end Hellenic food, whilst the rich regional diversity of Spanish cuisine awaits at Jaleo Dubai by José Andrés.
With a huge swathe of private beachfront and the world’s largest waterpark on your doorstep, there’s plenty of fun in the sun to be had at Atlantis The Royal.
For something a little more elevated, Cloud 22 is a must. As the name suggests, this intimate infinity pool can be found on the hotel’s 22nd floor and boasts uninterrupted views over Palm Jumeirah, floating loungers and private cabanas with plunge pools. The exclusive space, which will be for hotel guests only, was frequented by Liam Payne and Marvin and Rochelle Humes during our sunset visit.
Nobu by the Beach, the world’s first Nobu-branded beach club, draws on Japanese traditions and offers air-conditioned cabanas, a lagoon pool, an outdoor bar and a menu of Japanese Peruvian cuisine amidst chic surroundings. The venue was inaugurated by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, with a little help from Rebel Wilson. Elsewhere, The Royal Pool is more suited to families, offering three levels of sun loungers, shade and palm trees. Don’t miss the in-water sun loungers or captivating cocktail menu.
The Awaken Spa was not quite ready at the time of our stay, but it is grand in scale, featuring a hammam, sensorium, salt room, snow sauna and chromotherapy lounge. The space spans 3,000 square feet, 17 treatment rooms and is home to an indoor and outdoor gym.
Living up to its regal name, Atlantis The Royal provides a lavish stay anchored around luxurious living, destination dining and fantastic facilities. Our weekend may have culminated in a show-stopping performance from Beyoncé that cost a purported $328,767 per minute. Yet the reality of Dubai’s newest resort is far more restrained. At Atlantis The Royal, effortless luxury and stellar service converge into a memorable stay where guests will leave feeling like royalty.
Atlantis The Royal opens to guests on 10 February 2023.
GO: Visit www.atlantistheroyal.com for reservations and more information.