To check out our sight seeing of Dubai, click here.
For me, the NUMBER ONE ~ top of the list~ must do reason for me to go to Dubai was for this place!
|pic courtesy of Google|
The Palm, Dubai
To fully embrace the amazingness of this place you have to look at the above picture.This man- made island, representing a palm tree, can be seen from space. The center line is a road leading from the main land. The "palm fronds" are roads with beach front houses. The outer islands have hotels and resorts being built on them. At the very top, on it's own island is the Atlantis. From the tip frond, to the island, you take an underwater tunnel or monorail.
Seeing this place was a dream come true for me! I had hopes of going to the Bahamas Atlantis in three years for our 20th anniversary.
When we decided to visit Dubai, I immediately went online to check out day passes. I knew we would be using Marriott points for our hotel, so staying at the Atlantis didn't even cross my mind. We originally were going to just spend one day, as a day passer, at the resort until we learned that the water park and aquarium are free for guests. A one night room was about $300 USD and included two days of fun for all four of us! We booked our room online and my excitement level for Dubai catapulted!
|The amazing lobby with an enormous glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.|
The lobby is impressive! When we arrived we were greeted with cool towels and rose water. We also were greeted with a scare...the guy said our reservation was in their system for September 1! Although we had our email confirmation that showed the correct date he still assured us it was wrong in their system...hmmmm suspicious! Anyhow, it all worked out with only minor worry.
Our room was gorgeous, but our view was unbelievable!
|Left view from our balcony, the pool and resort.|
|Right view from our balcony. Beach, monorail and skyline of Dubai.|
I had never experienced full Arabian desert heat before. The pools, beach and water park are essential to this type of climate!
The pools did not disappoint!
|The zero entry pool- families and kids welcome!|
|The Royal Pool- right on the beach and looking over the skyline.|
Steps away from the pool is Royal Beach. The sand and water was HOT. The water was clear and very salty.
We were all dying to get to AquaAdventure park to hit the huge, vertical slide that sends you through a shark tank. I was apprehensive, but willing! It was super fun and not scary at all!
Below is a video of three out of four of us plunging down the slide!
A view of the sharks lurking above the slide tube.
That slide was called "Leap of Faith" and wasn't the scariest slides there. Most of the other slides send you through pitch black tubes, going extremely fast. The dark tubes were much scarier than the plunge through sharks. As a matter of fact, you are going so fast on the "Leap of Faith" that you don't even know you are seeing sharks. There is another slide called "Shark Attack" where you slowly cruise through the shark tank on an inner tube. You are completely safe as your tube is fully enclosed. Kind of a gimmick.
Throughout the resort you come across HUGE aquarium tanks with colorful sea life. The best views are in the hotel where you don't even need to go into "The Lost Chambers Aquarium". We did go in since we didn't have to pay. I don't think this aquarium is worth an entrance fee.
We were warned how expensive the food in Dubai would be. Coming from China, it was of course much more expensive. But we didn't think it was outrageous, compared to America.
Our highlight meal at the Atlantis was at Kaleidoscope, an international buffet. Since living in China we have all acquired a taste for Indian, Thai and other Asian cuisine. Kaleidoscope had all of those, plus Italian and DESSERT from heaven!
|My dessert plate from the buffet...homemade churros! YUM!|
Our flight did not leave Dubai until 1:50 AM. After we checked out of our room we were able to store our luggage and use a hospitality suite with showers. So we played in the water all day long, had dinner and showered at about 9:00 PM before heading the airport.
The Atlantis was, by far, the nicest resort I have ever stayed at! Our kids had a blast! This will be a cherished family memory for a very long time!
Next stop... London!