Discovering Atlantis the Palm, Dubai

Atlantis the palmThe second stop we made on our UAE trip was Atlantis the Palm in Dubai! This is the ultimate luxury experience!

From our hotel in Abu Dhabi we took a taxi to Atlantis the Palm in Dubai. It took us about one hour drive to get there. The hotels we’ve passed were already amazing, but once arrived I was amazed with the grandeur and luxury the Atlantis emits!

Plenty of cars, taxis and limousines stop all the time at Atlantis. Many bellboys are ready and help you and your luggages out of the car.
Once we’ve entered I was overwhelmed! This must be a dream I’m in.. Could this be real?? A big sculpture of colorful hand blown glass pieces (more than 3000!) is the first thing you see. Then, i had no idea where to check in. Many counters are to be seen, but a concierge saw my hesitation and came right up to us and guided us to the check in counter we needed.
There are many nationalities working in Atlantis the palm so the language you speak is probably one they speak as well.

glass sculpture atlantis

glass sculpture atlantis

Hisilicon K3

Atlantis the palm entry

The deluxe guest room is a classic standerd hotel room with all you need on a holiday. There is a balcony, a desk, flatscreen, fresh fruits, a safe,… But how the bathroom was my favorite place in this room! A spatious walk-in shower and a bath from where you can open a door to have an open view in the room.
The products of ESPA are amazing to use!
The fruit in the room is daily fresh and even the water bottles have the Atlantis brand on them. Like how cool is that!

We had only two days in Dubai, so we wanted to make the best out of it. Atlantis provided a free shuttle bus taking you to any shopping mall you want. We wanted to start with the outlet shopping mall and then go to the Dubai Mall. The trip to the outlet shopping mall was very long and so not worth it. We didn’t find our luck and decided to take a taxi to the Dubai Mall. My gosh! What a difference! This mall is so big! You can go skiing, ice skating, shop, eat, drink, there is even a rainforest cafe (one of my favorite stops in London) and much more.
Outside the shopping mall you can visit the Burj Khalifa. As for us, time was not on our side and we had to make a choice : shopping or visiting the Burj..
Yes, I know, we should be ashamed but we preferred the shopping. However we took some pictures of the building, at least we saw it from the ground up.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

I bought some traditional caftans, to wear at wedding parties. Every time I wear them it’s a great success, especially when I tell them I bought these in Dubai. The caftans of Dubai have a great quality and are known to be very glittery.

Back in the hotel we had our dinner at Kaleidoscope, same restaurant where we took breakfast. There is a wide variety of foods. Every cuisine has its place and as it is a buffet you can try many things!

The next morning after breakfast we went for a special date! My childhood dream coming true! A swim with the dolphins! Oh my god, I can’t believe this is really happening!
A small shuttle took us to Dolphin Bay, within Atlantis the palm. We were checked in, and had to wait until it was our turn. Once inside we had to put on some surf gear and had to remove everything that could come loose. After this we had instructions on what was about to happen and what we need to be careful about.
And then, le moment suprême!! My dolphin encounter! He was so soft and sweet and cute! There was one dolphin per 6 people to meet. We had a few moments to touch the dolphin and to dance with it! Also he took us swimming. After a hug and a kiss the time had already come to say goodbye.. This was amazing! Like really! One of the best moments in my life!

dolphin bay

dolphin bay

In the afternoon we went for some fun in Aquaventure. The water park also located within Atlantis the palm. As we already went for a waterpark in Abu Dhabi (Yas waterworld, Discovering abu dhabi) we decided to spend only one afternoon instead of a full day. The park was great! Plenty to see and do! Of course we had to do the leap of faith. The most vertical waterslide in the park. We felt like kids again, having so much fun in one day!  aquaventure

This hotel has so many to offer you could spend 2 (or more) days in Dubai without even leaving the hotel.
It offers 20 restaurants, plenty of bars, a lot of activities. The hotel is also very child friendly!

After a swim in the royal pool, which has an amazing view over the seaside (beach, burj al arab,..) we prepared to visit the lost chambers. These are the aquariums with all kinds of fish! Kids adore this place, it has something magical about it. All this colors and different kinds of fish!

lost chambers

lost chambers

I must say I regret not having had more time to enjoy this hotel any longer. We saw the highlights but ran short out of time to see more of Dubai itself. But surely we feel blessed to have been here. We enjoyed every moment we had here.

Discovering Abu Dhabi

Let me tell you about my highlights of Abu Dhabi.

In Abu Dhabi we stayed on Yas Island. Our hotel provided a complimentary shuttle bus which makes many stops on the island, so you can visit all the hotspots!

Our favorite fun spot on Yas Island : Yas Waterworld without a doubt! 20140529_142016
42°C, ideal temperature for some water fun! There are water slides, a rollercoaster, a pool with waves and so much more! We had the best day!
We’ve been on all the slides, there was no waiting time! Amazing!
If you don’t want to carry around a bag with  money, you can charge some money on a bracelet which makes payments easier!


20140529_142206


20140529_152130

Another visit on Yas Island was Yas beach. This is a private beach, with seats and cabanas. The beach is very peaceful and gives you a great view over some of the hotspots in Abu Dhabi. The waiters serving you is a big plus! For me Abu Dhabi was all about luxury and this is a very welcome service on the beach. 20140528_161428
When you go a bit further, leaving Yas Island, a must see for everyone visiting Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We went around 4pm because at this time you visit the mosque in daylight, but when you leave it starts shimmering and they turn on all the lights which creates a magical atmosphere! A very impressing mosque!
Watch out : no pictures where you touch your partner (not even a hand)! Security comes right up and watches you delete your pictures! I’m still amazed by the beauty of this big, rich mosque!

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

Hisilicon K3

20140528_184529

As my husband is a big fan of jet-skiing we asked our hotel concierge if this was possible anywhere nearby. He made a few phone calls and one hour later we sat in a taxi which took us to the Shangri La hotel where they would pick us up to go jet skiing. Yeah!! We had fun! Our playground was a calm river from which we could see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Then, of course, shopping in Abu Dhabi. Our favorite mall was the Marina mall in Abu Dhabi center. You can shop the big brands, there are plenty of coffee shops (Hello Starbucks!) and even an ice skating rink!
Al Wahda Mall was also big. Although for me, once you’ve been to one mall in Abu Dhabi they all look alike.
Since this trip was a year ago already, there is now a shopping mall on Yas Island, named Yas Mall.

As for eating we had 3 excellent dinners!
First : Amici in our hotel Yas Viceroy. A great italian restaurant.
Second : we enjoyed the buffet in Corniche hotel. Plenty of choice, freshly made food and a superb dessert buffet! (Yes, I’m a sweet tooth).
But this one really needs to be seen because words cannot describe the experience : Rosewater. This restaurant is located in the very luxury Etihad Towers. Before this holiday I wasn’t used to this kind of luxury! Waw! The entry is full of big, poshy cars (Lamborghini, Porsche, Rolls Royce, limousines,…). Every door comes with a concierge.
The restaurant itself has a beautiful location in the Towers. You can sit inside (plenty of space) or outside (hello poolview). We sat outside to enjoy the view and the more quiet setting. What can I say, the buffet had a big range of foods. Everything tasted perfect! And again the dessert buffet!! OMG! The chocolate fountain, the cakes, the sweets, the fruit,… Just Oh My God!

Hisilicon K3

Well, this was my Abu Dhabi. I feel blessed to have visited all this amazing places.
If I could ever go back, I would like to visit Ferrari World, Yas Mall, The emirates palace (they serve golden coffee!!) and the beaches in Abu Dhabi center.

Keep on travelling!

Our stay at Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi

Let me take you back to last year.

In May 2014 we’ve been to the UAE. Visiting Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Oh how I’ve loved Abu Dhabi. We stayed in the wonderful Yas Viceroy hotel located on Yas island.

Hisilicon K3

This amazing hotel has an Formula 1 track running underneath! The staff is very helpful, the rooms are amazing. And whether you travel with kids or in couple this hotel offers all the luxury and privacy you could ask for!

We arrived early in the morning, nevertheless we felt very welcome. They checked us in, showed us the room and we could enjoy the breakfast buffet immediately.
The breakfast was amazing. Fresh fruits, lots of choice on bread, pancakes, waffles and even some asian hot soups were possible. Our favorite was the bananamilk every morning.

If we wanted to buy tickets for Yas Waterworld or even asked for a place to go jet-skiing the concierge helped us every time with an excellent service! Nothing we asked was too much, everything was possible.

Hisilicon K3

This was our first time we enjoyed the turn-down service in a hotel. As you come back from a late dinner or visit, you will find that they closed the curtains for you, the water has been refilled, the room has been cleaned again, the bed is made up. It felt to me very luxurious! The tv was also like a message board from the hotel. You could check your bill and sometimes the cleaning staff would leave a message asking if you would need anything more. This really made me feel like they care for every single person staying in the hotel.

In the hotel our favorite spot was the private pool. In weekdays it’s perfect to chill out and enjoy the sun. In weekends you better come early as many people, also locals, come to enjoy this hotspot. During our saturday swim / tanning time the pool waiters came by with melon pieces and cold refreshing popsicles. This is definitely a plus!

Fruit cocktail by the pool

Private pool

We enjoyed dinner once in the Italian restaurant Amici. The service was, again, great, the food fresh and really tasty. Would recommend it to anyone who loves italian food.

There’s some very special odor welcoming you every time you enter the viceroy. I think it’s Ylang Ylang, but anyway it was a signature odor for the hotel which will always and everywhere remind me of my wonderful stay in Yas Viceroy hotel.

I could recommend this hotel to anyone interested in visiting Abu Dhabi. It’s not located nearby the centre, you really need a taxi to get to the centre. But the island has much to offer to keep you amazed as well as the hotel itself.

More about Abu Dhabi in my next post.