Atlantis The Royal

Atlantis The Royal –  Hotel blocks stacked to perfection on top of each other 
Atlantis The Royal Crescent Road – Palm Jumeirah

Atlantis The Royal

Hotel blocks stacked to perfection on top of each other 

As you know, I have already tested many luxury hotels worldwide and many five-star hotels in Dubai for you, dear readers. In the following portrait, I will reveal whether the promising phrases such as “luxury redefined”, “dream vacation at the highest level”, “superlative luxury”, “most luxurious resort in the world”, “brand-new ultra-luxury hotel”, “new landmark in Dubai” with which Atlantis The Royal adorns itself are really true. Look forward to the final answer and take a look at all the photos in the slideshow! Please hold on until the end! It’s worth it!

“Welcome to the most luxurious resort in the world” is the motto of the new addition on the crescent of the Palm Island, right next to Atlantis The Palm. The path to the lobby and the imposing entrance hall are indeed out of this world. The harmonious interplay of the focal themes of water and fire burst the boundaries of the imagination even before you enter the grandiose, light marble entrance area. I immediately stand in front of one of the two highly reflective glass walls with programmable fire flags over which water flows.

I am also overwhelmed by the huge sculpture “Water Droplets”, which immediately captivates me. It symbolizes a raindrop in a dry desert landscape. Made of stainless steel, it weighs an incredible 5.5 tons and is 11.5 meters high. My gaze wanders to the left and the cylindrical Deluge water elevators made of glass immediately invite me to enter them. But the huge flower arrangements, the gleaming floors and the meter-high (in some cases over ten meters) walls of fine Carrara marble also take my breath away. Believe me, dear readers, this is just the beginning! Dubai is known for its superlatives!

Some facts / figures

The owner is Kerzner International Holdings, an international premium real estate developer and operator of luxury hotels and residences. Sol Kerzner, a South African hotel magnate, owns a majority stake in the holding company, which, according to its own statements, believes in “making its guests happy and leaving nothing to be desired”. Let’s see if Atlantis The Royal lives up to this high credo.

Atlantis The Royal has been under construction since 2016. Once fully completed, the visionary building will occupy 173.210 square meters on a total area of 406.000 square meters. The highest floor is on the 43rd floor with a height of 178 meters. Vertically, the complex is 500 meters long. 90.000 square meters of glass as well as 150.000 square meters of marble adorn the hotel. 220.000 cubic meters of concrete, 45.000 tons of moving steel and 5.500 tons of steel have been used.

The reception area with fascinating water world

My eyes immediately are drawn to the aquariums in the lobby: here, the world’s largest jellyfish aquarium competes with three others. However, whether the 4.000 moon- jellyfish and over 7.000 other sea creatures of various species will feel at home in the very stylish water enclosures with state-of-the-art LED technology is questionable. My husband, a passionate diver, immediately takes pity on the sea creatures. But the General Manager Tom Roelens had replied to my email: ” We wanted to assure you that we are committed to delivering the highest standards of care to the marine animals at Atlantis The Royal, in addition to investing more broadly in the protection of animals and their habitats through our Atlantis Atlas Project. We are proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariuzms (WAZA), which bring together world-class zoos and aquariums, associations, as well as leading wildlife experts, academies, and universities, to encourage only the highest standards for global animal welfare and species conservation management”.

Unfortunately, my sense of well-being diminishes continuously after one of the reception staff hands me the room cards. Service is not a priority here! With a forced smile, I’m handed the hotel map and the cards, and then GOODBYE! I can’t believe it! Although the employee has nothing to do, he doesn’t accompany us to our room. It’s probably because we haven’t booked a suite or a penthouse apartment! Colleagues who have also reported on Atlantis The Royal swear by the warm hands of the staff, who even addressed them by name everywhere they went. We must be doing something wrong. We can´t share this experience. We can’t offer any praise. Surely VIP care is only available at Atlantis The Royal from the Suite category upwards?

We look for the elevator that will take us to the 15th floor, explore the room number 15674 ourselves and wait over an hour for our luggage. I ask several times about the suitcases and am repeatedly put off. Is this the promised high-end service? Back, at reception, I am also given incorrect information about how to reach the much-vaunted Sky Pool. The Atlantis supposedly recruits the best employees worldwide and sets “new standards in terms of service”. Either I’m just unlucky and bump into an incompetent employee every time or they’re all having a bad day. It can happen, but it shouldn’t be the order of the day in a hotel whose name is supposed to be its program. In the two famous dialogues by the Greek philosopher Plato (in “Critias” and “Timaeus”), Atlantis is a paradise on earth. As far as service is concerned, it has so far turned out to be hell on earth.

The Sky-Pool: Cloud 22

The pool deck on the 22nd floor, some 90 meters above sea level, is truly a marketing strategy, especially when the “unprecedented Sky Garden concept” is reported. (Haven’t you heard of the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands? However, I would never stay there, a unique hotel factory).

Where is a “green oasis” to be found here? I search and I search. Imaginarily, I find the highly praised garden and green, blue, white and red lights are indeed there from sunset, but real palm trees or plants remain a utopia.

The view over Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai skyline is undoubtedly spectacular. Unfortunately, the large, waterless bar area is noticeable – but in a negative sense. Allegedly, there have been enormous problems since the opening in February 2023, so that at the end of September, despite intensive night work every day, there is still no water flowing and guests are greeted by cold concrete. Take a close look at the photo and you will see steps leading down into the concrete instead of into the water. The bar has been relocated out of necessity. Not having a functioning bar in the pool and not being able to sip a cocktail in the water is not so bad. But it is scandalous that I take refuge in a warm pool because the water in the sky pool is too cold for me, and there is no sign warning guests that they are not allowed to stay in this water due to its poor quality! (You can see the filled round pool in the two photos).

Although one of the lifeguards at the sky pool is looking directly at me, he doesn’t say anything! So much for the world’s best staff. When the manager of the sky pool happens to pass by, he points out to me that it is forbidden to be in this water. Fortunately, I didn’t catch any bacteria, but a queasy feeling accompanied me for a few days. I’m no longer interested in the free beach loungers that are usually lined up, as they offer no view. They are crammed in between the cabanas.

So, I enquire about the alternatives: a “pool bed” or a lounger set into the pool is too cold for me, because I don’t like the water temperature in the sky pool. I prefer a comfortable cabana. There are different types, but none are really luxurious (compared to the Royal Cabanas at Burj Al Arab). Cabana 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are located in the 1st section and cost AED 4.000 per day including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Cabana 9, 10 and 11 belong to the 3rd section (have a more beautiful view) and are charged 1,000 AED more (5.000 AED per day / around 1.250 euros). The cabanas themselves are rather small, without a fridge, without a shower but with their own toilet. If you like to feel like you’re in a fish spa and want to be stared at by visitors on the free loungers, I recommend this experience, as this is included at the front of cabanas 9, 10 and 11. At the back, you can lie almost undisturbed in the blazing sun on the pool bed. I lay there for 15 minutes just to take a good photo for you. Take a look at all the photos in the slide show. Cabanas 6, 7 and 8 are also available at a price of AED 2.500, including a view of the street and the Arabian Gulf (the so-called Gulf view cabanas). 

Those of you who are prepared to dig deep into their pockets, as we were, because we had no choice and wanted to experience the vaunted ultra-luxury, should book the Duplex Pool Villa. But even here, privacy is only partially guaranteed. Inside the air-conditioned two-story Cabana, attractively furnished and generously proportioned, with kitchen, bathroom, beautiful dining area and pleasant lounge, everyone will find peace and quiet. On the second floor, there is a plunge pool and two loungers with a view of the skyline as well as a small terrace with a sunset ambience, including a view of the street below. On the ground floor, there is a private pool with a number of comfortable loungers, but anyone who wants can walk past the pool. Thanks to the attentive manager, the following words can always be heard: “No photos, this is private”. Well, see for yourself. We tried very hard to take good photos so that you only see the sunny side. Cloud 22 has enough downsides. And the price is hot!

The GM Tom Roelens had replied to this, too: “During your recent stay, there was indeed disruption caused by pool repair at Cloud 22. The emergency repair was completed long since, and we would like to express our gratitude for your understanding during this time. It is our hope that you´ll allow us the opportunity to provide you with an improved and exceptional experience at Cloud 22, one that reflects the high standards we strive for, during a next visit to Dubai or Atlantis The Royal.”

Atlantis The Royal boasts “princely bathing” and refers to a dip in the multifaceted pools on the beach, in the suites and in the penthouse apartments. 44 pools clad in acrylic glass have been installed in the latter two categories. I give the resort another chance and try out celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s adults-only beach club. (Cloud 22 is a hotel guests and adults-only area).

Nobu by the beach

The pool area is beautifully nestled in a landscape of palm trees and has several spacious pools. You are immediately handed water and allocated a lounger. The concept with the deafening music that blasts at you from morning to night is unfortunately not to my taste. Too bad, because the ambience is very nice, but the indefinably loud music immediately makes me flee. After a few attempts, an employee explains to me (I can’t understand a word because of the loud sound) that we’re lucky because we’re at Nobu by the Beach on a Monday and the music isn’t that loud. 

I find refuge a few meters further on in the Royal Pool, which is also open to children. Although there are lots of children there, it is relaxing because the music is soft background music. I´m so annoyed by the unbearable music at Nobu by the beach that my words are heard by the manager there and he comes to see us personally.

As compensation, we obtain a really luxurious cabana with a fully equipped bathroom, beautifully furnished living room and private pool with direct access to the beach. It is quiet inside the cabana. Outside by the private pool, we can hear the music, but at a pleasant volume. So rather than the threat of hearing loss, we enjoy the music. In the front outdoor area, noise cancelling headphones are the remedy. We really like it, thanks to the manager Gabriel, who really tries to offer us a solution. He is probably one of the few exceptions who really appreciates the guest. We will be back. Finally, I have to highlight the high-end luxury service at the pool: the flip-flops are turned so that you can slip straight in after getting out of the pool. However, the manager (still) has to instruct his staff to turn the bathers’ thong sandals into the correct position. But Gabriel never gives up and always explains what needs to be done with a genuine smile on his face.

There are only 2 cabanas with private pool and direct access to the beach and these are truly luxurious and the high standards of Atlantis The Royal are proven here! Incidentally, there is no more beautiful, private stretch of beach in Dubai but this two-kilometer stretch of the finest sand, most of which was imported from Australia. Ultimately, the high-end luxury term also applies to the trip from the hotel to Nobu by the beach. If it’s too hot or you simply don’t feel like walking, a fully air-conditioned electric car with chauffeur is available.

The restaurant scene and its entertainment concept

The multifaceted gastronomy scene is often referred to as “a showcase for celebrity chefs”. Indeed, a number of star chefs showcase their art in the various gourmet restaurants. 

Nobu by the beach, run by charismatic Japanese star chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is world-famous for its Peruvian-Japanese dishes. 

Heston Blumenthal, a British three-star chef, is said to be one of the gastronomic highlights at Atlantis The Royal. I can’t say for sure, as we didn’t dine in his restaurant or visit his cocktail bar Resonance, which is said to have a great party atmosphere. Nor did we enjoy the oriental, Iranian flavors of celebrity chef Ariana Bundy in her colorful restaurant Ariana’s Persian Kitchen or the Peruvian flavors at La Mar by Gaston Acurio. We would have loved to sample the Mediterranean delights of renowned chef Costa Spiliadis at Estiatorio Milos Dubai, but the restaurant was been renovated.

So, our choice fell on the star chef José Andrés at Jaleo. Unfortunately, the name says it all. Jaleo means, among other things, noise in Spanish. We enter the almost fully booked restaurant at around 9.00 pm. The welcome is very warm and the ambience appealing. The Spanish music is loud, but you can still have a conversation. Everything is good! We order excellent tapas in different variations, followed by other innovative starters and the specialty of the house: paella. The food – a culinary delight, the deafening techno music from 9:45 pm – an imposition. The bass booms, my heart skips a beat and I pass on dessert. I point out the unhealthy volume several times, but the staff only says they can offer us another table. That’s no good if the music is so loud throughout the restaurant.

The restaurant or hotel management don’t seem to know that the ears can suffer permanent damage and the lungs can collapse from the disco beat if you are constantly exposed to this volume. I asked my followers on Instagram for their opinion on such excessively loud music in a restaurant. Everyone is in favor of quiet background music and categorically rejects shrill disco music. I really hope that something will change regarding the music concept, because even for the “new generation”, the real target audience at Atlantis The Royal, this volume is harmful to health. Unfortunately, Atlantis The Royal is filled with music 24 hours a day. However, you shouldn’t always have to listen to rousing – or better said – thumping soundtracks from morning to night.

I fully understand that at Ling Ling, a dance club with pan-Asian cuisine, it’s not just the taste buds that dance, but also the heart – in the truest sense of the word – that beats faster and the ears are perked up. Every guest is also aware that DJs provide a loud atmosphere in the evening in the various beach clubs. The Atlantis The Royal writes on its homepage “entertainment at its best”. I would rather say that this is “volcanic entertainment”, which should only be found in a club, bar or disco.

We doesn’t visit any other restaurants as we are afraid of the musical concept. We don’t know whether the American restaurant Malibu only offers a visually appealing journey back in time to the world of the 1950s or also a shrill acoustic one.

For those with a sweet tooth like me, 3 locations spoil my luxurious and sweet palate. The Royal Tearoom in the lobby as well as the House of Desserts, where irresistible creations are on offer. And finally, the Little Venice Cake Company by Mich Turner scores with its award-winning cakes.

Breakfast is served in the excellent Gastronomy, which truly reveals high-end luxury. In terms of quality, presentation and variety, it surpasses everything we have experienced and seen so far. Compliments and respect to the manager. This buffet restaurant – inspired by a food market – with several live cooking stations and multi-faceted seating really does manage to satisfy every palate. It’s a real treasure trove of high-end culinary experiences. Take a look at the photos in the slideshow. Unfortunately, it’s not without its drawbacks: the somewhat annoying music, no soft background music, is also played here, however at a volume which still allows you to have a conversation, at least at breakfast.

As for the entertainment concept the General Manager had replied: “At Atlantis Dubai, we take pride in being a leading entertainment destination where music plays a central role in creating memorable experiences. We regret to hear that the music did not meet your expectations in specific venues during your visit”. We can come to turns with the choice of music, but not with the harmful volume in the restaurants or at Nobu by the beach.

The living concept partly with a view of the Skyblaze

795 rooms including 44 suites with private pools and 6 signature penthouses with private pools are located in the Sunrise, Sunlight and Sunset Towers, among others, while the private residences and apartments are located exclusively in the north-east facing wing, some of which have not yet been completed.

We choose a standard room with a view of the skyline, a so-called Palmscape room. Watch out: Seascape rooms, the cheapest category, do have a view of the Arabian Gulf, but also of the street. If you book the Royal Club Sea Lounge in addition, you can have breakfast in this club free of charge, among other things. However, I recommend breakfast in the Gastronomy. In contrast to a Palmscape room, a Seascape room also has a view of the Skyblaze. This 28-metre-high water-fire fountain with performative music offers a spectacular show. I can’t take my eyes off the various water fountains or the fireballs that leap into the air in the evening. On the 15th floor, the slight sound transmission through the gap in the balcony door doesn’t disturb my sleep either. (Some guests complain about the music of the fountain, which would rob them of their sleep every 15 minutes, because – how could it be otherwise – this fountain also sounds in a constant rhythm).

Our room (15674) is characterized by contemporary design, fine materials, a small walk-in closet and state-of-the-art technology. The bathroom has a free-standing bathtub, 2 washbasins, a walk-in shower and a Toto toilet. Unfortunately, without heated seats. That would be high-end luxury! Just like the question about the men’s and women’s sizes of the flip-flops provided. (My husband is a size 45 and I am a size 41. Unfortunately, the flip-flops provided doesn’t fit either of us). At the Burj Al Arab, guests are first asked for their shoe size and then brought matching flip-flops! As I really like gold, at least the golden toothbrush and the golden comb, some of the high-quality accessories in the bathroom, make me a little happy.

The Awaken Wellness – a dream oasis

The high-end luxury spa pampers its guests on over 5.000 square meters with everything a wellness fan could wish for: hammam sensory room, salt caves, snow sauna, integrated whirlpool in the indoor pool, acoustic and optical experience showers, hydrotherapeutic treatments, chakra massages. I recommend every treatment and massage. It’s a real wellness oasis that awaits you here. More pictures can be found in the slideshow.

Professionalism and well-being are really important here. Here you can finally switch off and unwind. There is also a fantastic fitness room and an outdoor swimming pool. The AEON beauty clinic and the supposedly “most exclusive styling hotspot” (Alkemy Salon) round off the diverse range of services on offer.

My conclusion:

In all my hotel portraits, I have never found it so difficult to pass judgment. Never before have I followed up a portrait with a personal conclusion, because I only write about worldwide and world-famous luxury hotels. For me, the Atlantis The Royal is certainly not yet in a league of its own. At best, it is an epitome of luxury with many weak points and downsides. Whether it will ever become “the most luxurious resort in the world” is something I doubt at the moment. 

It is and remains the number one address in Dubai for stylish enthusiasts who are only looking for the architecturally or artistically special, as there is a surprising architectural highlight around every corner.

That’s why it fascinates me, too!

It is the number one address for music junkies. I very much hope that the music concept, among other things, will be revised. Quiet background music in the restaurants and at the beach would be appropriate.

Professional staff who do their job in a natural way in every area would be desirable. The only people who continuously value the guest at Atlantis The Royal are the security staff and the people responsible for cleanliness. High-end luxury in all rooms would be a point for the managment to consider.

For me personally, the Burj Al Arab still remains the crowning glory of the luxury hotel industry in Dubai, even though there have been cuts in the wrong places after Corona. I will be in Dubai again in summer 2024, but at the moment I don’t know if I am going to stay at Atlantis The Royal. I will report back to you. Maybe I will give Atlantis The Royal a second chance and my “high-end-luxury-dream” will come true?

Personal description

Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal –  Hotel blocks stacked to perfection on top of each other 


Atlantis The Royal Crescent Road – Palm Jumeirah


I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to stay at Atlantis The Royal. I will visit it again, but only for a night or two nights. Every hotel deserves a second chance. But at the moment it is still far away from its slogan: “THIS IS IT”.

Best time to travel

From October/November to April/May for those who find 35-45 degrees too hot. As we love the heat, we also travel to Dubai in early September and enjoy temperatures of around 40 degrees.

Getting there

From Dubai Airport (DXB), it takes about 35 minutes with the Emirates chauffeur service to Atlantis. If you want to travel to Dubai in style, book Emirates First Class. Take a look at the photos in the slideshow.


    • fire-breathing fountains


    • visionary high-end design


    • fine materials


    • multi-faceted cuisine with many star chefs


    • Sky pool and other pool landscapes


    • finest, private sandy beach


    • high-end luxury Awaken Wellness


    • styling salon called Alkemy for both ladies and gentlemen


    • barber


    • high-end luxury shopping mile


    • high-end luxury breakfast buffet


    • meticulous cleanliness


    • very good security concept

Anne Hastert alias Amal Blu