Atlantis was a fictional city described by Plato in one of his works, which sunk to the bottom of the earth, and I think it’s befitting for the resort which is a little out of this world. Actually it’s built completely on reclaimed land (something we Singaporeans are not unfamiliar with), so in a terribly punny kind of way, it did kind of rise from the sea, didn’t it? 😀
We arrived at the ostentatious (what in Dubai isn’t?) integrated resort and were lucky that our room was ready at noon. We figured since we’d be stuck in the resort, we chose a club room and were able to eat our Al Reef Lebanese Bakery lunch at the club lounge.
We chose an Imperial Club Room, which came with 2 queen size beds and was just right for our family of four, since the littlest was left at home. The rooms decor is a little cheesy, but at least the finishings are well maintained and I love the sea theme throughout the hotel. It was a comfortable stay overall.
Once we refueled and unloaded our luggage, we headed straight for the Aquaventure Waterpark, which is free unlimited entry for all hotel guests.
The best part about the Waterpark was that my normally very reserved 5 year old was very game to go on all the rides! He is just 1.2m, and any shorter he would have been confined to the kids play area, which is ok but certainly couldn’t keep us entertained for 1.5 days like the slides did. So if you are planning to go, please do make sure that the child is 1.2m or taller. At one area of rides, the height stand was higher than the rest, so he didn’t pass the height test and wasn’t allowed to go on those rides, which was a bummer. Thankfully, we still had plenty of rides to go on. Again and again!
The weather was 22-28degrees, but with the low humidity, when the sun shone, it blazed. Unfortunately the second and third days we were there it was very cloudy and there was even some drizzle. Apparently it only rains 5 days out of the entire year in the desert, and of course it would only rain on the days that we wanted to be at the waterpark. Geez, thanks Murphy!!!
We still managed to go to the waterpark on all 3 days even though I wished I had a full on 3mm wet suit. On the last day we only lasted 2-3 hours before getting chilled out. And my boys wear 3mm neoprene suits on top of their 2-3 rash guards! I don’t know how the shirtless swimmers do it. At some stations on the floats the lifeguards had to help pull our floats because the wind was just far too strong and blowing us in the wrong direction!
I can’t imagine what it might be like in the summer when temperatures can go up to 50degrres! The off peak season also meant that hardly had to queue for the rides. Another thing that impressed me was that they had many many lifeguards all around the resort.
All hotel guests are also entitled to free entry at The Lost Chambers Aquarium. The aquarium does not have a large collection of marine animals nor is it extremely educational, but what impresses is the Atlantis theme throughout the entire aquarium. It almost feels as if you’re immersed in some kind of sci-fi chamber. This isn’t the place for you if you are looking for the traditional aquarium, but since it was free and is open until 10pm, we visited it every night after dinner.
I also liked that you were invited to sit and take in the full view of the large tank. And we were quite amused that this tank was really crammed with fish. I almost felt claustrophobic for them!
The large kids club also had a view of the tank, which was a lovely idea. The kids club is completely off limits to parents, except for specific times when you can tour the place, but we never got around to doing so. They have many activities throughout the day, and there is even a rock climbing wall. The boys enjoyed it so much they kept asking to go there, so that we can do our “things” (their words!). Although I must say that since we left the youngest at home and only had 2 older kids, it was already quite a breeze looking after them!
We spent 2 nights here and really enjoyed our time at Atlantis, perhaps it would have been better if the weather was just a wee bit warmer, but I wouldn’t travel all the way to Dubai just to stay here. It reminds me of RWS sans casino, with the aquairum, water park, celebrity restaurants.