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Our Stay at Atlantis Dubai — A Perfect Place to Recharge

We kicked off a three-week trip to the Middle East and India with a 4-night stay at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. It was the perfect place to relax and recharge as we recovered from an 11 hour flight and 8 hour time change with a 2-year-old. In this post, we’ll share our experience and feelings about this luxury resort. Spoiler alert: we loved it.

Before I get too far, I want to confirm that this stay was not sponsored or comped in any way. We paid for our stay in full and are not making any affiliate or referral income from this review. So you can trust that everything we say about Atlantis is authentic.

Keep reading to hear what it’s like to stay at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Booking Our Stay at Atlantis Dubai

We booked our stay at Atlantis, The Palm through the Citi travel portal using our Citi Prestige credit card. The Citi Prestige is no longer available to new customers, but as existing card holders, we can still use the perks. One of the best perks of the now-defunct Citi Prestige is 4th night free, which we used for this booking.

We booked the Palm King Room, which has views facing the coast including Palm Jumeirah (Palm Island) and the Dubai Skyline. It includes a King bed and a pull-out sofa chair that converts to a twin bed — perfect for a child. Tickets to the waterpark and aquarium are also included. One session at the kids club is also included, but our child was too young.

The rack-rate during our visit was $494 USD per night — about as cheap as Atlantis gets. After taxes/fees and our 4th-night-free perk, the total cost of our 4-night stay was $1,919.77 USD.

While I’d like to get more value out of Fourth Night Free, it isn’t always easy. Even on this trip—23 nights away from home—we only had two stays of four nights. Combine that with the fact that the rates available through Citi are rarely the best around, and you can spend a lot of time trying to find a “perfect” stay that isn’t there. (Maybe this will change for the better if the new Citi travel portal ever debuts.)

Booking via the Citi travel portal earned 5X Thank you points, about 9,600 points.

NOTE: If you’re booking through a credit card portal or planning to use credit card perks, be sure to bring that specific credit card with you for check-in. Often times these benefits are contingent on having the card present.

Getting to Atlantis Dubai

Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island that looks like a palm tree inside a circle. Atlantis is located on the outer circle at the very top of the palm tree. It’s a prime and private location, but not the easiest to get to.

The quickest way to get to Atlantis from Dubai International Airport is by car. It’s 23 miles away and takes about 30 minutes. You can hire a taxi or Uber when you get to the airport, or you can hire a car service. We choose the later, mostly because we had a long flight with a kid and weren’t sure what shape we’d be in when we got there. (Granted, we were flying Emirates Business Class, so life wasn’t that hard.)

We booked the car through Atlantis directly by sending a quick email to their reservations team ( They needed our flight info and guest count and then confirmed our car in 24 hours. It cost AED 450 each way (~$125 USD).

The pick-up instructions vary based on the terminal at DBX. We flew into Terminal 3, so all we had to do was go to the Atlantis desk just past passport control. A few minutes later, our driver was carrying our bags to the car. It was incredibly simple and honestly worth the up-charge.

You can also get to Atlantis from the airport on public transportation, but it’s not the most convenient when you account for luggage and desert heat. If you’re up for it though, take the Metro Red from the airport to Al Khail station, then walk about about 1 mile to Palm Gate. From there, the monorail goes right to Atlantis.

Arrival and Check-In

It was 9:30 AM when we pulled up to Atlantis. We were greeted by a bellhop who took our name and our bags. I appreciate the speedy service, but I wish I had taken more time to get my things in order first.

The check-in desk was just inside the lobby. There were no physical queues (for aesthetic reasons, I’d guess), and everyone was crowding the three agents. This was annoying for several reasons, but mostly it was just incredibly inefficient.

Eventually I was helped by an agent. Check-in wasn’t officially until 3 PM, so I wasn’t surprised that our room was not yet ready. She had me enter my contact info into a tablet and said I’d get a text when it was ready.

Now, I had cell service in Dubai, but I had not received any texts in the country yet. I wasn’t even sure I had entered the right country code and neither was the agent. I had zero confidence that I was going to get that text.

While we waited for our room, we were free to explore the resort. We had a temporary key card that allowed us to access guest-only areas of the resort and entry to the aquarium. Our toddler napped for a while, we played on the playground, and then we decided to order lunch by the pool.

The waiter took our temporary key card to charge the order to our room, and he was the one who noticed that our room was ready. I never received the text. I went back to the front desk to exchange my temporary key for a real one, and we were in our room by 12:30 PM.

This whole morning was clunky, and was probably the only bad part about our stay.

The Room – Atlantis Palm King

The Palm King room at Atlantis Dubai was spacious and comfortable for a family of three. Our room had a terrace with a great view, the bedding was notably comfortable, and the blackout curtains were key for adjusting to jet lag.

Just inside the door was a Nespresso coffee station, which was refreshed daily. There was a well stocked minibar with sweet and savory snacks and hard and soft drinks for purchase. Glass bottles of water were placed throughout the room and complimentary.

Next was the very large bathroom. It had private stalls for the toilet and standing shower, as well as a standalone tub. There was a large sink area with plenty of counter space and great lighting. Bath products were Acqua Di Parma and dental kits, shave kits and grooming kits (cotton balls, swaps, etc) were provided. There was a sliding door behind that tub that opened the bathroom up to the main room area.

Along the hallway was a closet filled with plenty of regular hangers (not the theft-prevention kind). Also in the closet was an iron and ironing board, safe, laundry bags, slippers, and a spare pillow. Notably, there was not bedding for the pull-out bed. However, once housekeeping noticed we were using the pull-out bed, they made it up in full during turn-down service.

The short hallway opened up to the main bedroom space. There was a large dresser with a shelf and plenty of storage, a table with two chairs, a large sofa chair that folded out to a twin bed, a king bed, and two large night stands with added storage space. Each nightstand had two outlets (Type G plugs) and two USB ports.

We also requested a crib for our room. (Our toddler was just a little too small to sleep on the pull-out bed.) It was a very large crib, but fit perfectly fine in our room. They made up the crib every day just as nicely as they made up the bed.

The large sliding glass door filled the room with natural light, but it was darkened efficiently with the black-out curtains. The door lead out to a lovely balcony with two chairs and table. (The rail was short, so always be careful with children!)

Our specific room had beautiful views overlooking the aquarium, the Dubai skyline, and Atlantis The Royal (the newer and even more luxe arm of Atlantis). You could even see the stingrays and sharks swimming in the aquarium below from our balcony.

Resort Property at Atlantis, The Palm

The Atlantis property is so large that they have golf carts available to shuttle guests between destinations. Depending on where your room is located, you might have to walk upwards of 15 to reach a restaurant or pool on the opposite end of the resort.

There is enough to see, do, and eat on property that you could stay on the grounds for days and still not experience it all. You can find a full map of the property and all the amenities here.

When you first enter the resort, it almost feels like a really nice shopping mall, but in the very best way. There’s high-end shopping, swim shops, toy stores, convenience shops and more. You’ll come across countless restaurants, cafes and bars ranging from Starbucks to Nobu. The resort has a full-service spa and fitness center and multiple pools, playgrounds, and beaches. Not to mention an entire conference center, waterpark and aquarium on property.

This list is nowhere near exhaustive and this post doesn’t even begin to cover all of the offerings at Atlantis. My point to this section is just that the resort is huge and comprehensive. I’ll go over the specific spots and experiences we hade, but just know that there is more.

Food & Drinks at Atlantis

The thing we loved most about Atlantis was the restaurant selection on property. It was amazing to have so many delicious and easy dining options just a short walk away. You can find the full list of restaurants at Atlantis on their website here.

Adult travelers and/or foodies will revel in some of the celebrity and fine dining destinations at the resort which include Nobu and Michelin-starred Hakkasan. However, we were most impressed by the casual and family-friendly dining options.

Our favorites were the pool-side casual restaurants, one of which was tex-mex and the other was Italian. We never had to wait for a table, the service was quick, and the food was delicious. The whole experience was kid-friendly, including high chairs and kids meals.

Many of the restaurants also had happy hours, which is great in the UAE where alcohol is painfully expensive. Each of the pool-side restaurants had happy hours, which we enjoyed nightly with our dinner.

We also tried Street Pizza, which I called the Brazilian steakhouse of pizza. It was all-you-can-eat pizza, but it’s served table side with different toppings and flavors offered at each pass. It was the best — expensive though for vegetarians.

We also ordered food to our chairs by the pool a few times, including our arrival day. Even that was incredible. They had a melon and burrata salad that was one of the most delicious things I ate the entire trip (and maybe ever).

We barely scratched the surface on the dining at Atlantis. I think my biggest takeaway was just how many options there were in terms of variety, price point and experience. It was also just really nice to know that we could find a vegetarian-friendly, kid-friendly meal at any time. (Something we’d go on to struggle with nightly in India.)

Atlantis Pools & Beaches

Before we even get to the entire waterpark on property, let’s talk about the pools. There are two main pools at Atlantis in Dubai.

Palm Pool is the biggest pool, located directly behind the main lobby. Then there’s a Family Pool behind the west tower. Both pools are open to guests of all ages, but the Family Pool is more targeted for kids with basketball hoops, zero-entry and I think might also be shallower.

(The closest to an adults-only pool or beach is WHITE Beach, which is a paid beach club experience that does allow some children to certain areas at certain times.)

We spent most of our time at the Family Pool. There were kids at both pools, but we wanted to let our 2-year-old splash and scream freely the entire time — which they did. There were life vests available in a variety of sizes, plus kiosks around the pools that sold swim diapers, sunscreen and pool toys. (This is great for a family who brought nothing other than a swimsuit.)

We were usually at the Family Pool from 5-6, and for the most part, we had the pool to ourselves. When they closed the pool, we popped up to a room to change and then came down to the pool restaurants for a sunset dinner.

There’s also a beach beyond the Palm Pool where you can swim in the Persian Gulf. It’s Palm Island side, so there’s no real waves. The view is nice though! From what we saw, this was mostly for sunbathers and not many people were swimming over here.

Atlantis Dubai Waterpark — Aquaventure

Aquaventure is a massive waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai that holds the record for most waterslides at a water park. In addition to the 50 waterslides, the waterpark has a 1.5-mile-long lazy river, multiple kids play areas, a beach front, and marine animal experiences with dolphins, sea lions and sharks.

The waterpark is adjacent to the resort, so you can easily walk there if you’re staying on property. Entry to the waterpark is complimentary for Atlantis resort guests, but the general public can purchase tickets for entry as well.

Since we were visiting with a toddler, we spent most of our time at Splashers Island, Splashers Cove and Splashers Lagoon. These areas are perfect for the toddler age group and have kid-friendly slides, shallow pools and lots of sprinklers. Splashers Mountain is another big kids section, but our toddler got caught under the bucket dump one time and never went back.

All of the water slides have different height requirements. Some slides had height maximums and some had height minimums. Some slides I could go down with my child, but others they had to do alone.

In all cases, the life guards in the kids areas were amazing. They were so nice to the kids and were always cheering them on, handing out high-faves and helping them on and off slides. This was so incredibly helpful as a parent, especially if you’re solo.

The only downside to Aquaventure — the kid pools specifically — is that they did close for “cleaning” kind of a lot. We took that to mean a kid pooped in the pool. When this happened, they would shut down the area (30 minutes to 1 hour) while they cleaned.

We spent a full day plus two afternoons at Aquaventure and our 2-year-old never got sick of it. In fact, they’re still talking about it to this day.

Atlantis Dubai for Kids

Atlantis Dubai as a whole is incredibly kid-friendly. This is not surprising at all given how kid-friendly the entire UAE is. (The first time we came to Dubai as a married couple, everyone constantly asked us why we didn’t have kids.)

The entire resort is filled with fun things for kids that is included with the price of your stay. I already mentioned the pools and the waterpark, but there’s also playgrounds, toy stores, a massive aquarium (which you can view casually from multiple points throughout the hotel) and outdoor games (like table tennis and oversize chess).

Atlantis Explorers Club is a special club just for kids that has art, games, activities, and learning programs for children ages 4 through 12. One session is complimentary per stay, but additional sessions are available for purchase (starting at AED 150). Our kid was 2, so we didn’t have the chance to try out the kids club.

The dining at Atlantis is also incredibly kid friendly. Every place we dined had a high-chair available, and most had kids menus or pricing. It was so easy and convenient to find restaurants where we could all eat together.

Overall, 10/10 would recommend Atlantis Dubai for kids.

Atlantis Dubai Location on The Palm

I went over a bit about the location in the Getting There section, but I want to talk more about it relative to the rest of Dubai and how it may impact a Dubai vacation.

Atlantis is located on the tip of Palm Island. There’s a nice waterfront path accessible from the gulf-side of the hotel, which is worth a short stroll. (That walk is nice, but boy does it get hot.) But other than that or going to other nice restaurants at other nice hotels, there’s not a lot to do on Palm Island.

That leads us to the only downside to Atlantis: it’s not easy to get from Atlantis to anywhere else in Dubai. Public transportation is particularly tough. The best option is to take the monorail, and then it’s a 23-minute walk to the Metro. Taking a car is usually the better option, it just takes a bit longer to get off the island and to other places.

You can arrange a car service through Atlantis, but rideshare is way cheaper and probably easier. We were traveling with a kid who needed a car seat, so we used the Dubai rideshare app Careem, which has a car seat option.

Careem worked great three of our four transits, but getting a ride with a carseat from the Dubai Mall provided to be very difficult. We ended up taking a regular taxi without a car seat. (Not illegal in Dubai, but also not something we love doing.)

We spent two of our mornings visiting Dubai city attractions. One morning we went to the top of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall and another morning we explored the souks and rode the boats in Old Dubai. (Be sure to check out our 2-day Dubai itinerary if you’ve never been to Dubai before.)

Service & Security

The service industry in Dubai in general is just next level, and Atlantis is no exception. In our experience, every single staff member we engaged with was incredibly polite, competent, and notably kind to our toddler.

One thing that stands out immediately is the housekeeping. As soon as we got to our floor when our room was ready, the housekeeper saw us and welcomed us. He walked us to our room, asked if we needed anything, and made sure we were comfortable. We continued to see him everyday, and he always knew our names and made sure we were taken care of.

Our room was serviced daily, though I did note that it usually wasn’t until later in the day. Our toddler slept from 1-3ish, and the room usually wasn’t cleaned until after that. We also received turndown service nightly.

One nice touch that we noticed was that housekeeping brought us a diaper pail. Diapers can get gross in hotel rooms, and we always bring plastic bags to seal them up as well as we can. However, the added convenience of the diaper pail was a really nice touch and something I’ve never seen at a hotel before.

Similarly, the security staff were always incredibly kind. Parts of the resort are open to the public, while other areas are for guests only. Security staff they manned different check points to manage the crowds.

I only had my guest-hood questioned one time, and understandably so. (It was on my arrival day when I was looking like a hot mess and taking a million photos for this blog post.) Otherwise, I had very pleasant interactions. In many cases, they actively remembered me and would not even ask to see my card.

Day Trip to Atlantis Dubai

Some parts of Atlantis Dubai are open to the public, so you can visit the resort even if you’re not staying. What would a day trip to Atlantis look like and is it worth it?

If you’re just coming to walk the resort grounds, I think you’ll be disappointed. The main lobby, pool areas, and most of the resort grounds are reserved for guests only. However, if you’re coming to spend a day at the waterpark or for a specific dining experience, it’s definitely worth it.

In most cases, I would suggest taking the monorail to Atlantis. That’s the best arrival point for non-guests. From there, you can easily walk to the waterpark, the public restaurants and the aquarium. Entry to both the waterpark and aquarium require a paid ticket, which you can buy online in advance.

If you’re staying in Dubai for more than 3 days or if you’ve been to Dubai before, I would say it’s worth it to spend a day at Atlantis. If not, I wouldn’t waste a day there. Dubai has a lot more to offer than Atlantis, and it’s worth experiencing that if you haven’t before.

Is staying at Atlantis Dubai worth it?

If you want to spend your time in Dubai going to the top of the Burj Khalifa, riding the boats across Dubai Creek, and indulging in the night life at Dubai Marina, then no, staying at at Atlantis is not worth it. You should absolutely have those experiences, but it makes more sense to stay somewhere off the Metro Red.

Atlantis Dubai is the place to stay if you don’t want to leave. The value of Atlantis comes in the form of a resort experience in a luxury environment. That is what you’re paying for.

Because it has everything together in one place — restaurants, shopping, entertainment — you get a lot of enjoyment with very little effort. There are things you can do, but nothing you have to do, which makes for a delicate balance of excitement and relaxation. The fact that it’s all very high end with incredible service is just the icing on the cake.

The nightly rate is steep, and the math doesn’t entirely check out. The nightly room rate is between $500-$1,000+ USD a night, depending on the season. That includes entry to the waterpark, aquarium, and one kids club session, which is worth about $325-$390 per stay. If you were staying for only one night during the off season and you were going to pay for those things anyway, it’s maybe a good “deal.” Otherwise, you’re paying a luxury price for a luxury experience.

And for us, that luxury was worth it. We got value living in an Atlantis bubble for three days. When we arrived, we were jet lagged and exhausted. We spent the next four days swimming, dining by the beach, and watching stingrays from our balcony. By the time we left, we were ready to tackle our next destination which was 3 days in Delhi, India.

So yes, I would say that Atlantis is worth it. If your trip to the Middle East comes with a lengthy flight and hefty time change, do yourself a favor a book a few nights at Atlantis Dubai.