What it’s like to stay at Atlantis the Royal, the most over-the-top hotel in Dubai

The lobby of Atlantis the Royal

Golden toiletries, caviar on the TV, and supersized everything: Dubai’s flashiest new hotel aims to impress

Welcome to Checking In, a review series in which our editors and contributors rate the best new (and revamped) luxury hotels based on a rigorous—and occasionally tongue-in-cheek—10-point system: Each question answered “yes” gets one point. Will room service bring you caviar? Does your suite have its own butler? Does the bathroom have a bidet? Find out below.

Atlantis the Royal

the facade of Atlantis the Royal
Atlantis the Royal is unmissable on the city skyline. Photo by Atlantis the Royal

Describe the hotel in three words: Over. The. Top.

What’s the deal?

Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm opened with a splash in 2008. With its underwater suites and expansive water park, it made headlines for its staggering pyrotechnics displays, Kylie Minogue performance, and a guest list that included Michael Jordan, Janet Jackson, Robert Deniro, Denzel Washington, and the Olsen twins. So when the neighbouring Atlantis the Royal was finally unveiled in early 2023, after years of delays (and a US$1.6 billion in construction costs), the opening festivities were obliged to be even more extravagant—and they delivered.

Beyoncé gyrated alongside the dancing fire-and-water fountains, Kendall Jenner launched her tequila brand 818, and Jay-Z, Liam Payne, Chloe and Halle Bailey, and other celebs strutted down the blue carpet. But the scale of Dubai’s glitziest new resort demanded nothing less: There are 795 rooms spread across 43 stories in a Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates-designed silhouette that resembles a precarious round of Jenga. There are 17 restaurants, including new outposts by celeb chefs like José Andres, Heston Blumenthal, Gastón Acurio, and Nobu Matsuhisa (who opened his first beach club, Nobu by the Beach). The scale and flash are unrivalled, and the result is that guests are never quite sure which direction to look, lest a plume of fire emerge from a fountain or a celebrity emerge from a cabana at Cloud 22.

The best room

the royal mansion largest suite
The largest and most blinged out suite is the Royal Mansion, which comes with a private pool and golden toiletries. Photo by Atlantis the Royal

There’s certainly a case to be made for booking the 1115sqm (where Beyoncé unwound after her launch-party performance), but if the US$100,000-a-night price tag is a bit on the high side for you, book a 112sqm Sky Terrace Suite with Palm views instead. You’ll have a bird’s-eye vantage point over the resort—the aforementioned dancing fountains look even more spectacular from up above than they do at ground level—and the skyline beyond, and suites come with access to the Royal Club, a tranquil oasis amid the high-energy resort with complimentary snacks and drinks served throughout the day.

The Rundown

Sculpture in Atlantis the Royal
Larger than life, unmissable sculptures anchor the common spaces. Photo by Atlantis the Royal

Did they greet you by name at check-in?

No, things were fairly hectic when I arrived. Atlantis the Royal has become quite a draw for curious tourists eager to see the audacious new addition to the Palm skyline, and between that and the fact that I was arriving during the height of Dubai’s peak winter season, the lobby was overwhelming, to say the least. Once I checked in and was escorted to my suite, however, serenity set in.

Was a welcome drink ready and waiting when you arrived? (Bonus point if it wasn’t just fruit juice.)
No, but at check-in, a bottle of water materialised right when I needed it. But the suite had a nice spread waiting, with a bottle of Moet, fruits, and pastries, including a date-shaped, date-flavoured cake.

Is there a private butler for every room?

The suites come with butler service, and they’re available 24 hours a day via WhatsApp.

Is the sheet thread count higher than 300?

The linens swathing the beyond-comfortable beds range from 500 to 800 thread count, and to complete the sleeping experience there’s also a pillow menu with myriad options—memory foam, spelt and lavender, foot pillow, down—to choose from. Rooms also come with plush Frette robes and slippers.

Is there a heated floor in the bathroom? What about a bidet?

No heated floor—this is Dubai, why would you need one?—but the state-of-the-art Toto toilets that rise automatically upon your arrival come with every possible bidet setting one could possibly desire. So we’ll award full points here.

Are the toiletries full-sized?

Atlantis the Royal commissioned jewellery brand Graff to craft an exclusive range of bath products for guests, and while the bottles aren’t quite full-sized, they’re notably larger than the tiny vials that many properties carry. There’s a vanity chest next to the sink with a host of other necessities, including golden razors, toothbrushes, combs, and hair brushes (a shower cap would have been nice though).

Is there a private pool for the room’s exclusive use?

No, but if any number of the hotel pools—including ones at Nobu by the Beach and the sky-high Cloud 22—aren’t enough, consider booking one of the 44 suites and penthouses that come with a terrace pool.

Do you want to spend Friday night in the lobby bar?

While the Royal Tearoom has a nice vibe for tea and pastries, our pick would be the Elements bar just outside the lobby. Banquettes are surrounded by water where plumes of fire sometimes magically appear, and when the Skyblaze fountain show starts every half hour, these are the best seats in the house.

Is there caviar on the room service menu? If so, what kind?

But of course. The extensive in-room dining menu—you can order anything you want directly from your TV—has a separate caviar section, through which you can summon a full service of Beluga or Ossetra caviar to your suite with egg whites, capers, sour cream, and more.

Would you buy the hotel if you could?

No, but mostly because that’s simply not the point. Atlantis the Royal is an escape in the true sense of the word, an opulent fever dream that’s meant to be a fantasy, not familiar.

The Verdict

The Sky Terrace Suite in Atlantis the Royal
A Sky Terrace Suite may not be Beyonce endorsed but is a very nice compromise. Photo by Atlantis the Royal

Atlantis the Royal may not be for everyone—there’s nothing quiet about the luxury here—but once you get past the lobby, there’s a surprising number of intimate, even serene settings amid all the flash. There’s really nothing like it out there.

Rates: from US$858 per night, two night minimum.

Score: 7.5/10

What our score means:

1-3: Fire your travel agent if they suggest you stay here.
4-6: Solid if you’re in a pinch—but only if you’re in a pinch.
7-8: Very good. We’d stay here again and recommend it without qualms.
9-10: Forget booking a week. When can we move in permanently?

This story was first published on Robb Report USA