Atlantis Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, is one of those iconic hotels that luxury travellers recognise the world over. The 1,539-room pink giant consists of two 22-floor towers joined by a central bridge. And, guess what, that connector is a lodging space, naturally called The Bridge Suite. It is 9,400 sq ft in total, with the most amazing views from its big balconies – see the video below for a spectacular panorama of its palm-trunk connection with the distant mainland of Dubai. Inside, says the gal, this Wilson Associates design is honestly so gorgeous that you forget about having so much space that you could easily lose your family or other travelling companions, and you might just even lose yourself.
Reach the suite via a private elevator (no key needed as there is a guard standing 24/7 in the vestibule down at ground level). The suite has deliciously soft, champagne-coloured marble floors with spectacular rugs, some as big as many people’s entire Manhattan apartment back home. Columns rise to high ceilings. What makes it all so attractive is the homeliness. You have books, a full-size billiard table, green baize of course, and a corner bar, with welcome bubbles, Dom Pérignon of course. The butler is carefully chosen, someone who is just right for you – in my case the highly empathetic Lana Gorohova, from Kazan.
Yes, it could be thought a bit ostentatious. The La Rie toiletries include black soap, studded with 24-carat gold – but it really lathers, and psychologically makes you feel extra clean. With three full bedrooms, where would I sleep? Like a cat I patrolled around, finally choosing the bedroom that I thought was the lightest of the three. I unpacked in a tiny corner to make sure I did not leave anything behind. Again, for simplicity, instead of working in the big office, I chose, as my creative space, the sofa-for-ten in the main salon, and of course Lana provided two extension cords that together were just long enough to reach from the (UK type, as used throughout UAE) socket across the room, behind a standing television that was so enormous it would have dominated anywhere but here.
Next door was the dining room, where 16 people seated in turquoise leather chairs could look up at a glorious ceiling, with turquoise in it, of course. I breakfasted in solitary state, at one end of the table, thinking back to a Fiat ad where an Italian aristocratic couple dined, one each end of a table like this, and a car went from one to the other carrying food. Lana brought me exactly what I wanted, even bringing a hand-written description of my requested ‘healthy brown toast’ which resulted in five different breads, my favourite the classic rye with nuts. The china, by the way, is Dankotuwa Arabella Gold, with real 24-carat gold in its leaf pattern. Ah ha, you say, but what about the REST of this luxury hotel? Read on…