Atlantis, The Palm
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Food heaven .... where else in the world can u get this choice ?
"We have just arrived back from our week long visit with our two young children. After reading the reviews on this website we were naturally concerned ..... however ..... our stay turned out to be fantastic and I would readily return to this hotel.
The Good ...
* World class restaurants - Nobo was better than London. The decor was amazing and service very good. Other Michenlin star we tried was Ronda Locatelli .... also very impressive but not quiet as good as London. The Steak place, Seafire, had melt in your mouths steaks as good as I have had in NY. Leventine, Moroccan was fabulous too and good value. The buffet restaurants, Saffron and Kaliedescope, were to a la carte stanadards.
* Breakfast - best I have ever had, period. Variety incredible.
* Aquarium - mesmorising and truly stunning. Could spend hours just looking at it.
* Water Park - better than Wild Wadi. Has a area for small kids, Splashers, and some big and fast rides for adults. A little busy on weekends though.
* Hotel Pools - some of the biggest in Dubai, and three in total!
* Kids Club - the best we have seen, offering incredible varirety of activitivies. Downside .... not cheap, abnout 15 quid per hour. Should really be part of hotel package.
* Cots - large cots provided with changing mats, Mothercare blankets and Johnson bath products. A very nice touch.
* Rooms - very large, and equipped with everything you need. Irons, hair dryers, shoe horns, great mini bar, safes, etc. Decor much like any other Dubia hotel though .... nothing amazing but clean and thoughtful.
The Bad .....
* Inconsistent Service - we didnt experience anything really bad or annoying, but can fully understand the experiences other visitors have noted on this site. Yes, staff are a little clueless and you dont get 5* service which you should expect .... but it depends on how fussy you are.
* Lifts - they should really sort this out. Can sometimes take 5 mins to get on a lift. Why they dont have express elevators for floors 1-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-22 ??? and why do bellman not have a personal staff lift to move lugguage ?
* Taxis - yes expensive and need to wait. Once the monorail has been built this should solve the problem.
* Breakfast queing - make sure you go before 9.15 otherwise you may have to queue for 5-15 mins. Saffron also the best restaurant for breakfast.
Great hotel, great facilities, great food .... let down slightly by inconsistent service. I think most people will enjoy this hotel very much."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of October 2008
Big is not necessarily best!
"I have just returned from a 1 night stay at the hotel, I have never seen something so large, it is not particularly attractive because of its size and it would look better in the US. It spoils the area around it by its height alone. The beach appears to be man-made which seems very odd and not comfortable at all in the water. The sea is absolutely still there are no tides and already there was very odd green-type seaweed appearing. They have made it very luxurious, but as for service, check-in & check-out are far too long procedures. The noise when you arrive & around all the areas is intense. The rooms are very good, even a standard room is spacious with beautiful bathrooms. The restaurants require booking & the steak one was very good but rather expensive, particularly the wine. If ordering a glass of wine you will be presented with a very small amount in your glass. There are a proportion of service staff who are excellent, there are 3000 staff there from 44 different countries. When going to collect your car from valet parking, it is like a railway station - very chaotic. The waterpark is predictable if you have been to water parks before, nothing particularly out of order and it was packed (Friday/Saturday). Well life-guarded but hundreds of water rings not occupied rushing through the rapids which got in the way. If you like this type of resort and a disney-style then it will suit, but if you prefer a more traditional 5 star property then avoid like the plague. I think they could have built something more to an arab style not an american one, still with the waterpark etc. which would have blended in so well with the environment. As for the Palm, not what I expected from seeing various photos & plans, alot of concrete low-rise houses & tall buildings in the distance. Overall Dubai is being ruined by all the buildings/roads being constructed, once a very unique place of high quality it has become far too commercial. Big is not always beautiful."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2008
A Total Discrace - Fails Dubai BADLY
"I have been enjoying Dubai and it's general Standards way above many places in the world for many years - but I truly fear this hotel has crept in below the radar and is trying to leach off the good name of many hotels in the emirate.
All the previous reviews could have been written by myself after our stay - dissgusting standards of service and attention to detail - they are obviously trying to bludgen their way into the market and abusing many people who are well used to Dubai into thinking this place will be as good if not better - for an international hotel to have so many staff with a really poor understanding of English and basic hotel etiquette is worthy of a bad report but coupled with all the other BASIC errors - it's not too strong a statement to say this hotel should be shut down! re-staffed and trained then allowed to open and charge rediculous prices from people who look forward to their breaks and know what to expect from Dubai.
After waiting for 5 months for my holiday to get what we did, left me angry and feeling ripped off!, my whole holiday was ruined by constantly chasing various areas in the hotel - NO room service in 5 days, finding trolleys myself and collecting fresh towels - queing for breakfasts like sheep - restaurants saying they were fully booked then half full at best - no taxi service to town - a cocktail bar who's bar people can't make cocktails - we tried a pina-colada which was made with single cream and pineapple juice - no alcohol or dressing - where do you stop from ranting on and on about this rediculous excuse for a hotel ? Great building - FULL STOP !! I promise you any one contemplating visisting here prepare to be total deflated - re-book or cancel you will be wasting your time and well earned money for many months if not years to come - the problems they have will not be fixed quickly - there are many many more places to enjoy in Dubai, these people are exploiting their location and name."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2008
Beautiful new hotel
"I also arrived the day after the hotel opened. You could see the Atlantis hotel coming into view from the Palm and it looked amazing. Check in could have been a lot smoother, but at the time they were working from a temporary reception (as the main lobby was still sectioned off after the fire) This opened fully 3 days later. Our room was beautiful with a lovely view, tea and coffee making facilities and a huge walk in shower with 2 double beds. Our cases took an hour to arrive, so I would probably advise you to take them yourself! Unless the situation has improved by now. Unfortunately our interconnecting door didn't shut properly and our light would not turn off, I rang reception the next morning and we were moved straight away, to a lovely room facing the water park. Our room was cleaned every day by a lovely Sri Lankan guy, and we had a turn down service every night. He also stocked the tea and coffee daily and always gave us fresh bottles of water. Perhaps we were lucky? Breakfast was beautiful in both restaurants, although if you went down after 9.30 it was really busy and we ended up queuing. We did wait a long time each night to get taxis, and hopefully this problem will be rectified now that the taxi drivers can go to the main entrance, and the hotel is more established. I rang to book a table at Kaleidoscope to be told it was full. She must have heard the disappointment in my voice, because she checked with the Manager, who gave me his name and guaranteed that because I was a guest, he would get me in at any time. We went at 7.30 and got a table - no problem. I think the staff seem to be doing everything "by the book" at the moment, and asking if you have booked without checking if they have spaces! Hopefully this will improve when the staff get more settled. The aqua park was great fun but quite busy - I got the impression a lot of locals were coming in to try it out. To get the whole thing into perspective, I felt that we had an absolute bargain as it was the first week, and the room rates were a third of the price that they should have been. So for all the moaners, perhaps they should have gone to the hotels on Jumeirah beach and paid the Â£200 extra per room per night instead of taking the "cheaper" rates on offer and then being compelled to write about their "horrendous" experiences. We were guinea pigs for that first week, and I for one had a fantastic time, and probably won't be able to go again when the prices go up to the full rack rates. So, thanks for the opportunity to sample this fantastic hotel. I am sure that the teething problems will soon be ironed out."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2008
"We have just returned from a 7 night stay here. We have stayed at the Atlantis in the Bahamas twice previously, and loved it there so we had high hopes of this new one. We;ve also been to Dubai before, having stayed at the Burj Al Arab.
We were a bit apprenhensive after reading some of the reviews but we needn't have worried!
This hotel is absolutely fabulous! The staff cannot do enough for you, they are so helpful. The rooms are lovely (we stayed in an Atlantis room overlooking the ocean).
There was no evidence of any "teething" problems. The lifts worked perfectly, the shower worked and was hot. Our room was serviced twice daily with no prompting from us and the minibar was kept fully stocked.
It took us 10 minutes to check in and 5 minutes after arriving in our room, our suitcases arrived! A couple of minutes after that, we got a 'phone call checking that we'd received our bags.
The pools are lovely - I've never seen so many sunloungers at a hotel - plenty around the pools and many, many more on the beach!
The aquarium was fantastic, although, obviously smaller than the one in the Bahamas (but you wouldn't have expected it to be as big given that the Bahamian hotel is actually three hotels in one and this one isn't). The Lost Chambers is very well done and we visited three times during our stay (all free of charge).
Aquaventure (again free for hotel guests) is amazing, very well thought out and beautifully landscaped.
The beach drinks and ice cream service was great - little golf carts driven up and down at regular intervals!
As for restaurants, we didn't make any prior reservations but got into all the ones we wanted to. Admittedly, they only had to accommodate two people and we ate early on (ie, pretty much when they opened) but the food was lovely. Kaliedoscope (the buffet restaurant) always accommodate those that can't get into other restaurants but, as I say, this was not a problem for us anyway. My husband recommends the steak at Seafire!
There was very little in the way of building noise while we were there. They were making a few finishing touches in time for the grand opening next month I imagine but it wasn't hugely noisy. Things may change once the monorail is fully operational (in about six months I think) but we found everything about this hotel to be wonderful - I work out and the gym is one of the best hotel gyms I have ever been in!
Please don't be put off by some of the negative reviews here - please go and see for yourself!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2008
We enjoyed it
"As we live in Dubai it's interesting to compare this much hyped hotel to it's competition - overall it rates better in terms of facilities although it's an extremely large and busy hotel. The interior is awesome with huge aquarium's visible from inside the hotel itself. You could see something different everytime you walked past.
It is slightly worse for service than other hotels in Dubai, however you need to take into account that service at almost all 5 star hotels in Dubai is much better than you would fine most places and it's newly opened. To be fair we did get some excellent service in many areas (e.g. medical staff were brilliant, check in smooth) Not impressed with te bell desk who were terse (unlike every other member of staff who were extremely friendly). We were not impressed to wait over 20 minutes for check out and then another hour to have our luggage taken downstairs - when we enquired when our luggage would be collected we were told by the bell desk - we have over 500 people to check out (so why not enough staff when you are paying top rates??) This was the only irritating area of service - for the most part it was fine.
Tip - book your restaurants of arrival - they get very booked up. We has a wonderful meal in the steak restaurant - great service, amazing food, kid friendly menu - expensive but worth it. Nobu was also good but very noisy and busy and the food came out in dribs and drabs (they did warn us about this but I couldn't tell if it was planned or not). Food quality was excellent though.
As there were queues for breakfast we didn't bother and ordered room service - delicious, food was excellent quality and slightly better than many other 5 star hotels.
The pool area is lovely, and not crowded despite being large hotel The Lost Chambers Aquaruim is TOTALLY AMAZING - better than the London Aquarium in my view. We went 3 times and the great things is it's free to residents. The water park (also free for residents) was incredbly busy on the FRiday - Saturday was much better - we floated around the lazy river and has great fun - this was the highlight for our childrfen.
In summary - a good hotel, lots of facilities (and the aquarium and water park included are fab!) but not as relaxing as other 5 star hotels in DUbai. We would probably return but not for a long break,"
- Travel date: Mon 13th of October 2008
"I am 60 years old & sadly this is the first time i have ever expereienced such organised chaos at any hotel arrived at 8am directted to wait in the hospitality room which was more like a hospital casualty ward 0n a friday night . aAfter 7hr flight &10 hours from cases given to reception to stressfull to go into detail of the buck passing but actually given first of two rooms at 6 pm & promised 2nd room ready in 20 min eventually at 9pm 13 hrs from arrival we could wash change look for somewhere to eat impossible to book evening meals for entire stay tried to order food from room service order taken never arrived so raided expensive fridge & had beer crisps cocolate etc awoke very hungry &set out to find breakfast joined que in 5 star hotel for 25 min & had to sign in !!! food was very good. Grounds & aquaventure exceptionally busy due to local visitors .Return to room 6pm no one from house keeping been in room reception & housekeeping desperately need guidence & expereinced leadership. to leave atlantis expect 1 2 or 3 hr wait depending on what time you want to start queing in your evening dress in 40 degree temp. we spent 180 pound on taxi fares .Next day awoke to find no water in rooms eventually back on 12 hrs later once again no towel or sheet change i could go on but you have read the other reviews they are all true this hotel will get there but i feel cheated & annoyed that myself &many other guests could be treated so shabily we had no contact with any management after the initial 13 hr wait it would have been courteous just to say is everything ok now sir A.J.Mc"
- Travel date: Mon 13th of October 2008
Fawlty Towers On A Grand Scale
"Checked in on 1st October for 4 nights and lasted only 1!
As has been said many times before service ranged from terrible to non existent. Check in took 1hr 30 minutes then had to queue for 15 minutes to hand luggage ticket to the bellman. Subsequently had literally wait in line for a lift and when we got to our room we found someone in it! Then had to wait another 30 minutes to have room changed. When we finally got to our room we had to wait over an hour for luggage despite 5 phone calls to the bellman (who never apologised or said sorry once).
After speaking to other guests we found out that we had one of the lucky ones who experienced good service with stories of 2 1/2 hour check ins and 3 hour waits for luggage!
We were told by reception to dial '0' for all our needs and to book early for the restaurants - had to wait on hold around 5 minutes each time we called guest services only to find all the restaurants we wanted to book were full.
The room itself was pleasant but on the small side for Dubai. Housekeeping was non-existent in 30 hours with no turn down plus the bath was dirty.
I read a newspaper article saying billionaire owner Sol Kerzner "doesn't do soft openings". I think he should start!
So OK, we can all forgive opening day/week/month teething problems and I am sure that many issues will be ironed out certain things cannot be fixed easily:
1. 16 check in desks for 1500 rooms
2. You can hear the people in the room next door
3. Lack of lifts for the size of hotel
4. Despite the 'Zero Entry' pool being relatively quiet and enough staff about there was no service - get your own towels and buy drinks from the refreshment 'huts'. I think this echoes a general lack of service
5. Queuing up to sign for your breakfast before gaining entry to the restaurant (it felt and looked like immigration at Dubai Airport - maybe that was where they got the idea)
Good points would be the restaurants which were excellent (we managed to get tables in 2 restaurants by walking in and charming the reception staff), the water park which was fantastic although very busy, the fabulous aquariumsand the best breakfast buffet I have ever experienced.
I've stayed in Dubai over 20 times on holiday and in no way does the experience of Atlantis live up to any other hotel I have stayed at. I think that it will get better but you cannot get away from the fact that there is 1500 rooms plus a very busy water park all in a relatively small area. Don't expect a realxing holiday any time soon. My advice is stay somewhere else and visit (it's a short taxi journey from the Jumeirah area) you get all the good points with none of the drawbacks."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of October 2008
Just don't go!!
"Went with my family and found the entire stay a total disaster. From the check in (40 minutes!!) to the misplaced luggage (arrived 7 hours later) to the problems with our room air con (freezing) and water (no hot water and zero water for hours)...the list went on.
Big problems with the restaurants as you cannot get space, despite the hotel only being 50% full??? Plus when we did get in found VERY inconsistent service.......the hotel president was getting MUCH better service that we were, when I asked the waiter about this he said quietly that they were scared of him !!!
Found the pools very nice but you are very cramped and just too many pool chairs.
My kids lovd the fish tank, although I was horifie to hear that the Whale Shark had been plucked from the sea...not rescued as their PR says !!!
The spa treatment my wife had was excellent and I personally enjoyed the facilities,especially the gym.
Wanted to take the family into Dubai city for shopping but had to wait 3 hours for a taxi !!! ... I was furious and escalated my complaint to a senior manager who was totally hopeless and rude.
Check out took nearly 2 hours as they forgot to pick up my bags, this resulted in us being late for our flight.
I just cannot understand why this hotel has opened when it is clearly not ready. Some staff I spoke to had been working there for 3 days and had been thown straight into the deep end. Had some staff shaking when serving us and had no idea what they were doing.
Woul not recomend this place to anyone, muc better 3 star hotels in dubai !!!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of October 2008
"Have just returned from 5 days in Dubai staying at the Atlantis. Have to say that don't think it was ready, although the problems we encountered were very petty but not what we expected in this 5 star hotel. Usually stay in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and that takes a hell of a lot of beating.
The Atlantis is huge and decor beautiful, cannot fault that at all, not sure though how they will cope when it is at full occupency!
I am returning in November and hope things are all running as they should be by then! Will let you know."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of October 2008
atlantis and emirates airlines
"I made a reservation with the travel agent for Atlantis. i tried to obtain a visa through the hotel. they replied and said i did not have a reservation.the hotel cancelled it. after several telephone calls and emails they found reservation. tried to obtain a visa again. could not process because child was on a travel document in the hotels eyes. sent hotel the paperwork that the document was a legal passport and had allowed the little fella into Finland, Thailand, and Australia without any problems and visa issued from Australian embassy without problems.
hotel would not refund money.
hmm lost reservation, give new reservation but not give sponsor for visa. all when hotel fully booked.
i guess this is like emirates airlines trip from Kiev to Dubai, to Singapore to Australia to Dubai to Kiev. all through emirates. except for between kiev and dubia as emirates had no flights available. because you return home on air Ukraine emirates will not assist with visa also.i live in Australia and wife lives in Ukraine
well emirates, i will no longer fly your national airline or fly through your country and waste my time with you
- Travel date: Sat 4th of January 2014
Great place for family holiday !!!
"Atlantis The Palm is one of the beautiful resort located on Dubai. It was the first resort to be built on the island. Its such luxury resort to visitor because of their location, facility and unique services with comfortable . As well as use all modern amenities, interior design in resort and staffs are so friendly and co-operative. "
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of August 2013