Luxury Hotels


If thousands of details add up to quality, Atlantis Royal Dubai can stand on the winning podium. As the world knows, the opening was postponed several times. We wanted to make sure everything was perfect, says VP and GM of Atlantis Dubai, Tom Roelens, who was enticed to Kerzner after many years at Four Seasons, lastly as opening GM of Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur. The hotel opens to overnight paying guests on Friday 10th February – be warned, minimum stay is two nights.

It will be worth it, for the product and its photo opportunities, its food and entertainment, for its Forbes Travel Guide-trained service, and for the sheer joy of being there.

Don’t overlook the details. Take the bathrooms. Every one of the GA-designed 795 bedrooms and suites, smallest size 58sq m,  has gold-look toothbrushes, two, and razors, one. Toiletries are Graff-labelled, specially omposed in Florence using botanicals from the Franschhoek estate of Laurence Graff OBE, scion of the jewellery dynasty: the 100ml plastic containers are shaped to look like the 31ct Wittelsbach Graff diamond in his own collection (tip: take the containers as souvenirs as one suspects they’ll soon be replaced by pumpots).

The whole thing is stunning.  KPF’s 43-floor (178m) design is like a mass of building blocks deliberately askew so that in many instances there are large gaps, feng shui style. On outside terraces at various levels there are a total of 90 significant pools – and 30 cabanas have plunge pools.  The beach is over 2km. Of course there is statement Wellness, AWAKEN, and significant shopping.

Enter the massive lobby through a front door flanked by 20-metre water curtains and giant firepits. Ahead is a a ten-metre tall silver sculpture, one of hundreds around the hotel by American Mike McLeod, in Jeff Koons’ style.. Look up, from the lobby, to two glass-walled mezzanine-level restaurants, one by Heston Blumenthal, and one by Gaston Acurio. All Atlantis Royal’s 17 eating places, by the way, are operated by the hotel. Although the culinary-celeb list also includes Hakkasan, Milo’s and Nobu on the Beach, possibly the anonymous Gastronomy will be the lasting favourite.

Gastronomy is the ultimate food hall, 960 seats, over 250 switched-on team members, 18 integral food concepts, a walk-in meat ageing room and a wall of do-it-yourself vinaigrette compilations.

Reserve any room, sea or city facing, for your two night stay, but proximity to an elevator will save time. As well as exploring the Royal you will want to head over to sibling Atlantis The Palm, which now seems just a tad old-fashioned and down-market. The Palm’s former 924 sq m Bridge Suite, spanning the building’s two towers, is now yet another Nobu, and you can sign there. Overall there is so much to do at the entire Atlantis Dubai complex you don’t need any of the rest of Dubai.