Atlantis is really quite something, thought the gal as she looked down from her little room, also known as The Royal Suite (number 15300, on the 15th floor of the 22-floor, C-shaped hotel, which has a total of 1,539 bedrooms). Unlike the aquarium-set Lost Chambers Suites, duplexes that have the bedroom under water so that you look out at, or rather into, thousands of fish, 15300 is light and bright, with stunning views down from its many terraces. It is actually tempting to spend maximum time here in this lovely suite.
But I am dining in Seafire Steakhouse and Bar, which requires a short walk past the outside of the aforementioned aquarium. Kids love this view, but then kids love this whole place – as do teenagers, who have a Club Rush where no adults are allowed. At Seafire, I am impressed by the wine programme. Label of the month is Bimbadgen, from the Hunter Valley. Take its 2011 Shiraz, which apparently has ripe aromas of dark plums and cherries, with subtle spice and hints of vanilla oak: you are offered it by the glass, or by the bottle, or paired with the recommended Charcoal 1824 short ribs. Choices, made easy for you.
Actually everything is made easy here at Atlantis. Take shopping. The Vilebrequin store is the second-best grossing of that company’s outlets, anywhere (for men who like those ridiculously long swim shorts – what a misnomer – this is just the place for them). Longines and Omega are here, as are Lacoste and Porsche Design. Let us turn to keeping fit: there is a really first-class gym, with masses of the latest Technogym Artis.
Shuiqi spa works with Aromatherapy Associates, plus ESPA, Margy’s and the divine Bastien Gonzalez foot treatments (at least I thought of Bastien as a foot man, two separate words, note, but now I discover his cuticle stuff, for finger nails, is out of this world, too).
Back to my ‘little room’. Suite 15300 gives access to either of two club lounges, giving an opportunity for a somewhat quieter breakfast than I remembered on earlier visits, going through buffets with hordes of young kids.
Really, the thing about this luxury hotel is that it does have something for everyone, and the staff are superb – my butler Lana is half-Tatar, from Kazan. Oh what a lovely smile, and nothing was too much trouble. Cannot wait to return, particularly when the new tower is open. See, to the left, what Kohn Pedersen Fox is designing for Phase 2.