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FACT Review: Swim in the sky at Atlantis The Royal’s Cloud 22

The FACT Award winning rooftop infinity pool is now open to outside guests.

The last time I visited Cloud 22, I lay on a floating lounger flanked by Liam Payne, Marvin, and Rochelle Humes on one side and Emily In Paris’ Ashley Park on the other. It was the day of Beyoncé’s comeback show, her first performance in four years and the hotel opening of the decade. 

Once exclusively accessible for in-house guests of Atlantis The Royal, Cloud 22 now invites external guests – tourists and residents alike – to discover everything that makes it so decadent. Winner of the Best Swimming Pool in Dubai at the FACT Spa & Wellness Awards UAE 2023, this stylish sky pool is famed for its sweeping views over Palm Jumeirah, the city skyline, and the Arabian Gulf. It soars 96 metres in the air, after all. 

Cloud 22

Almost one year on from the fireworks and furore of Atlantis The Royal’s grand opening, it remains firmly in the spotlight. FACT Awards (for best British Restaurant for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) and a placement on the inaugural World’s 50 Best Hotels list have cemented the property’s reputation as a place to see (and be seen at) in Dubai. The sky-high Cloud 22 is the epitome of this excitement. 

Cloud 22

Bridging the top of the Tetris-like structure, stepping out onto the sky deck on the hotel’s 22nd floor is an awe-inspiring experience. As the fronds of Palm Jumeirah fan out below, guests are privy to a 360-degree view rarely seen in Dubai. Here, amidst the flourishing architecture topped with 110 flowers comprising of 330 individually handblown pieces of glass, lies an Insta-worthy and instantly memorable escape.

The venue boasts 60 sun loungers, 15 floating beds, 11 exclusive cabanas and a luxurious two-story VVIP cabana. The pinnacle of extravagance lies in the Duplex Cabana, which has air conditioning and features two lounge rooms, a private bathroom and a suspended plunge pool. Elsewhere, the Lotus Bar, inspired by a lotus leaf and accessed via glass bridges that traverse the tranquil waters, offers a swim-up bar for sundowners.

Cloud 22

Happy with a set of sun loungers close to the bar, we spend the day luxuriating in the waters of the infinity pool and dining beneath the gaze of the mirrored face of the enlivening DJ booth, where the music pounds long after the sun has gone down. Visitors can savour light Mediterranean dishes, ideal for sharing and designed with poolside refreshment in mind. Leading the kitchen is Chef Serhat Meci, showcasing his culinary expertise through signature dishes like French toast brioche with whipped cod roe Oscietra Caviar (AED 135), Gillardeau oysters, and locally sourced smoked salmon and cream cheese caviar flatbread (AED 595).

Cloud 22

The menu is divided into three sections, showcasing dishes from the farm, land, and sea, where ingredients are sourced from local farmers and partners to ensure they contain organic and certified sustainable produce. We begin with a duo of Wagyu Sliders (AED 125), where the moreish meat is sandwiched between soft buttery brioche and layered with Gruyère cheese, Piperade and Pistou Aioli. The Burrata À La Truffe (AED 155) is peak Dubai, presenting a beautifully bulbous burrata ball amidst Panzanella Salad and tomato pesto, adorned with truffle and a generous drizzle of 15-year-old Balsamic. 

Cloud 22

However, it’s the Côtelettes d’Agneau (AED 225), tender grilled lamb chops served with salsa verde and cucumber and mint yoghurt that is the venue’s ‘must-order’ dish. That and the Insta-worthy Strawberry Cheesecake that is shaped like a cloud and boasts a light and fluffy texture while verging on the right side of sweetness.

Luxuriate in a lavish cabana complete with a private plunge pool, or take a dip in the 90-meter infinity sky pool with unrivalled skyline views. 

You’ll be on cloud nine.

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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