Sometimes, when traveling with kids, you get to plan things that you know they will enjoy and that you will secretly love, too. For our family, it was Atlantis, The Palm. During our visit to Dubai, we spent two days at this family-friendly resort. The Atlantis comes with water parks for grown-ups and kids, boutiques, a variety of themed restaurants, a big aquarium, and a lovely beach. During our visit, we had a chance to enjoy:
From the Atlantis, you can take a short ride in a golf cart to the waterpark. Since our twins were four years old at the time of our visit, we discovered that the Splashers Children’s Play Area is excellent for small children. You’ll appreciate how well-maintained and clean the waterpark is, with a friendly staff and attentive lifeguards.
My kids had a great time playing in the water. We also found out that First Aid arrives in minutes if needed. We were grateful for this since we used its services a few times during our stay at the hotel.
The Lazy River:
We also enjoyed lounging on the Lazy River. Propelled by rapids and stretching 2km (1.24 miles), the Lazy River meanders through the waterpark’s 141-acre waterscape — so large you could get lost on it!
Aquaventure, Fun for the Whole Family:
The waterpark is enormous, and it would take days for you to enjoy all the rides, slides, and water adventures they have to offer. Even with just two days to explore, we had a blast. Since we were traveling with a large family group, there was always someone to watch the kids, which meant we got to try some of the “grown-up” water slides. If you’re feeling brave, you can try the Leap of Faith, a waterslide with a 100-meter, near-vertical drop through a clear tunnel surrounded by a shark-filled lagoon, which ends in a plunge pool surrounded by sunshine. I did it once, but never again!
The Lost Chambers Aquarium:
Located right in the hotel, this aquarium has an extensive collection of sea life, including sharks and rays. We walked past the impressive tank each time we went through the lobby. Entry to the aquarium is included with your hotel stay. (I highly recommend the restaurant Ossiano which has excellent food and a stunning view of the aquarium.) If you’re not satisfied just walking through the aquarium, you can book diving and snorkeling adventures there.
TIP: You can buy day tickets for Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium even if you do not stay at the hotel.
The beach at the Atlantis was clean, and the water was warm. The kids had a great time playing at the beach and running around in the water. The water was shallow with no waves, so we felt safe letting them run. For us, it was the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax while the twins played.
One of the highlights of our stay was definitely the “Dolphin Adventure” package, which we booked in advance at the Atlantis. After a short informational video, we changed into wetsuits, since the water is kept cool for the dolphins. We were given towels, soft drinks, and lockers to store our belongings.
On your Dolphin Adventure, you’ll get to touch, pet and kiss the dolphins. It ’s a fantastic and unique experience to interact with these sea creatures. My kids were so excited! I was proud of them, considering they were only four years old and not scared at all! Hopefully, the kids will remember it. Though we had a great time with the dolphins, I have to say it was expensive — and you have to pay extra for photos. One optional add-on is the Sea Lion Adventure, which looked like a lot of fun.
Tip: Similar dolphin adventures are cheaper outside of the hotel (and in other countries), but I am not sure how the animals are treated elsewhere. This was a very well-organized activity in a healthy environment, and it was well worth the cost to know the dolphins weren’t being mistreated.
There are over 20 restaurants at the Atlantis — everything from fine dining to themed restaurants. We enjoyed a lavish breakfast at Kaleidoscope every morning, which was included with our hotel package. We also enjoyed the authentic Lebanese restaurant Ayamnawas, which was perfect for the whole family. This family-style restaurant with authentic cuisine had live music and entertainment that my kids really enjoyed. We also enjoyed dinner at Nasimi Beach one night with its outdoor dining and views of the water and Dubai skyline.
Other activities we did not get chance to try: ziplining, snorkeling, diving, the spa, the kids club, helicopter tours, boat cruises, tennis, nightclubs and more. With so many things to do, restaurants to try, and thrills to experience, the Atlantis is much more than just a hotel. It’s a complete, all-in-one experience that will have you coming back for more. Atlantis, The Palm with kids is a must visit with kids.
Tip: Dubai gets incredibly hot during the summer months, so plan accordingly if you’d like to enjoy the outdoor activities. The weather is more moderate during the winter months, which can make Dubai a little more crowded, but the crowds didn’t bother us. (Prices, however, are higher during the winter.)
- Atlantic, The Palm resort is 30 min by taxi from Dubai International Airport
- Public transportation in Dubai