No wonder Kerzner CEO Philippe Zuber – above, on right, with Atlantis Dubai GM and SVP Operations Tom Roelens – is smiling. Tomorrow, Saturday 21st January, is the hightlight of a three-day ‘reveal’ event, pre-opening for Atlantis Royal, which opens properly on 1st February.
The new hotel, on the Palm, looks like a 43-floor sculpture, 178 metres high, perhaps likened to an oversized 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 swimming pools – and at one level there are plunge pools for 30 cabanas.
Atlantis Royal has 795 keys, 58sq m, designer GA (there are also 231 serviced residences, designer Sybille de Margerie and now all sold). As you might, rightly, expect, there’s statement fitness, and top-of-the-range retail. The opulent boutiques include Graff, the marque which has deployed botanicals from Laurence Graff’s Franschhoek estate to devise and produce toiletries in diamond-shaped bottles that suitably accompany bedrooms’ gold toothbrushes and razors.
When Girlahead had a private tour, it was the space that impressed. There are acres and acres of Carrera and soaring windows, which one assumes are self-cleaning. Enter through a front door flanked by 20-metre water curtains and significant firepits. Ahead is the shiny steel ten-metre tall sculpture shown in the photo. It’s in Jeff Koons style, but in fact it is like one of hundreds around the hotel by American Mike McLeod.
In the lobby, look up, to two glass-walled restaurants. One is Dinner, by Heston Blumenthal (as at Mandarin Oriental London Hyde Park), and the othrt is La Mar by Gaston Acurio. In total, inside the hotel and on the beach, there are 17 eating places, all operated by the hotel. Girlahead was particularly impressed by the anonymous Gastronomy, an ultimate food hall that will cause foodies to wake up in the night salivating. Gastronomy has 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.
Tom Roelens, like many of the 8,000+ team members, works both Atlantis Royal and its older sibling, Atlantis the Palm, only 600 metres away. Everyone is ready action. There are 1,900 guests for this three-night Reveal. Tonight The Palm’s former three-bedroom 924 sq m Bridge Suite, spanning the building’s two towers, metamorphoses into Atlantis Dubai’s third Nobu restaurant (is it true Kendall Jenner will be there promoting her Tequila brand?). And tomorrow, if rumours are to be believed, an outdoor gala on The Royal’s beach will star Beyoncé, who arrived seven days early, to make sure she was on time.