I think by now you have seen some of my social media posts about our stay in Atlantis last week (was it just last week? It feels like months ago!). Let me share my own review of the hotel. It might prepare you of what to expect and I’ll throw in some tips as well.
So as I said on my previous post , I booked this stay through Atlantis website and got an offer for 1-night stay, breakfast and halfboard for AED 1595++.
Doing the math, I thought it’s a good deal for a family of four
Entrance to Aquaventure – AED 730 (AED 195 is the discounted ticket price for UAE adult residents and AED 170 for kids)
Lost Chambers – AED 250 (AED 75 for UAE adult residents and AED 50 for kids)
Half Board meal – AED 555 (AED 185 for adults, not sure for kids but I’ll assume it’s 50% off)
Just the total of these three is AED 1535. It’s like getting the room for free, right?
As I always do, I research on what to expect based on reviews of previous guests. Tripadvisor is my usual go-to site.
Majority of the reviews talks about the chaotic check-in process so I was kinda expecting that. Some were also complaining of how hot the floor is at Aquaventure, how expensive are the food inside the waterpark and long queues in the breakfast restaurants.
I have considered all these comments and made a plan.
On our first day, we went to the hotel early.
We were there at 10am although official check-in time is 3pm. I was told that guests can anyways go to the waterpark in case the room is not yet ready. That’s a good way to wait for sure.
Going inside the hotel premise, security is quite strict as they even asked for our hotel confirmation before letting our car in. I don’t mind.
The lobby looks really grand and in all fairness, either because we are early or due to summer season, it was not chaotic as what some reviewers observed. Sure there are more people than most hotels we’ve been to but considering Atlantis’ size, it’s definitely not bad.
Luckily, our room was ready. We were told we have one of the best views in the hotel. Excited!!!
We were in West tower where Saffron and Imperial Club Lounge is located. The room is in the top most floor of the tower. When the elevator door opened, I almost cringed seeing the carpet and low-ceiling. Looks old and outdated but Gibson thought it’s beautiful. Well, we have different taste.
But the grand size of the room makes up for lack in modernity and bling.
After checking out our room, we decided to visit Lost Chambers first. As a guest of Atlantis, you get unlimited access to their aquarium. Lost Chambers is in the East tower of the hotel
It’s dark inside the Lost Chambers
Can I be honest? We were not impressed. My family luckily had the chance to visit some beautiful zoos in Europe and had seen better aquariums than this. Not complaining though as our entrance was free.
After our swift visit at the aquarium, we decided to have lunch at Kaleidoscope. For halfboard, you have a choice of eating lunch or dinner in any of their restaurants and we decided to dine in Kaleidoscope for lunch buffet. I would want to have brunch in Saffron but it’s not part of the offer. You can have dinner there if you want though.
We’ve dine in Kaleidoscope before and it’s what you would expect in a 5-star buffet restaurant.
There’s Indian, Arabic, Chinese, seafood, Italian, roasted beef, Japanese and a lot more dishes to choose from. You won’t get hungry.
Being a lover of congee and noodles, I had two bowls of this noodle soup and could have 2 more if only I’m not thinking that I would like a pregnant whale with my swimsuit on.
Now, let’s discuss about Aquaventure waterpark. This is one of the main reasons why we were looking forward to an Atlantis stay. We visited Aquaventure when Cole was just 3 years old and we never really tried any of the attractions. Now that my kids are older, I can’t wait to have this experience with them again.
Because the weather reaches 50C in a bad day, I know that we should bathe in higher SPF sunblock and sunscreen. I also made sure to bring Crocs for kids and flip flops for Gibson and myself.
And for this trip, we also bought a waterproof mobile phone case. We were just using my iPhone 6s on most of our water shots and I’m happy to report that it’s still working. I bought the case from iStyle for AED 299. One of the best buys of my life! Who needs GoPro?
I made sure to test the case first, though. Better safe than sorry! After purchasing, I submerged the case without my phone in water for 30 minutes. Instruction says that if there’s no moisture inside then you’re good to go!
I also brought a waterproof bag to put our sunscreen and a small cooler bag enough to fit 3 cold water bottles.
I won’t bombard you with pictures of our Aquaventure adventure and you can simply watch them on my Facebook page
After some water fun, we can finally call it a day. The reason why we didn’t avail dinner for halfboard is because I know my kids will be too tired after almost an entire day of swimming. We always prefer to just order in-room dining than dressing up again for dinner.
The following day, we woke up early to avoid the long queue in Saffron. We were there around 8am and there’s still a lot of available tables. I read that it usually gets crowded starting 9am.
I was so happy eating breakfast in Saffron. No where have I experienced seeing noodle soup, bibimbap, siopao, pandesal, several dimsums and a whole lot Asian food for breakfast. For non-Asian food fan, there is omelette station, cold cuts, salad and continental breakfast staple. The variety is huge!
As much as we wanted to stay longer and fill our already full tummy, our stomach finally reached its limit. We’re done with our breakfast around 10am. We just rest for a little while and off we go to Aquaventure again.
Guests can visit the park as early as 9:30 if you use buggy service provided by the hotel. Buggy is available near the Royal pool side. And since we are early, there is no queue to any of the rides. If only I have the guts to try them all.
After doing the Leap of Faith, I will never do the Poseidon. It’s suicidal!!!
Instead of dining back to the hotel, we had lunch inside Aquaventure. I think we spent AED 140 for all the food and drinks we ordered which includes 4-piece chicken, burger and some cheese fries and drinks. I thought it won’t be enough for us but with kids excited to go back to the pool (and adults too) we ended up with 2-piece chicken leftover. Tsk!
Our request for early check-out at 4pm were granted so we almost had one full day of swimming and basking under the sun.
Cole said that this is the best hotel ever. The service is impeccable from the time we arrived until we left and having unlimited access at Aquaventure is really a big deal.
I uploaded a video of our stay in my own Youtube channel last night. Woohoo! More adventures, more fun!
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Have a good weekend peeps!