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Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Flashy, fun, flamboyant, Dubai has it all, it is famed for its sun, sand and duty-free shopping.

Not to mention its staggering, ever increasing wealth, displayed for all the world to see in its glamorous science fiction skyscrapers.

Anything’s possible in this ambitious, glitzy city; massive manmade islands shaped to depict the world; ski slopes in one of the most arid corners of the planet and championship golf courses in the desert, as well as hotels that are included in some of the worlds most exciting and luxurious.

The Greek philosopher Plato created the legend of Atlantis, a great empire founded by the sea-god Poseidon. Although scholars agree that Plato’s tale was just that, the lost city of Atlantis has long captured our imaginations.

Its remains have been “found” over the years by psychics, adventurers and amateur archaeologists in locations ranging from Sweden to Palestine, Central Asia to Antarctica and Ireland to the Mediterranean.

According to Plato, Atlantis’ population were punished for their greed and decadence by being submerged under the sea. In Dubai, where decadence is certainly not a punishable offence, Plato’s lost city has been recreated in hotel form at Atlantis, The Palm Hotel.

It has been described as the maddest hotel in Dubai, so just what is it that makes Atlantis so crazy? Well, for starters, it’s situated in the centre of a manmade sand island shaped like a palm tree. The two 120-metre high towers that span the site are linked by a bridge containing what’s quite possibly the world’s most expensive suite — at £22,000, this is the place to check in to if you’ve won the lottery!

There’s arguably no point staying in a hotel called Atlantis, though, if you’re not actually underwater. Fortunately, the hotel’s Lost Chambers suites provide views from both the bedroom and the bathroom windows into a lagoon filled with 65,000 marine animals. So you can relax on your bed and watch giant manta rays float by, or sit on the toilet and admire the sharks!

The hotel has twenty restaurants, so whether you’re looking for an award-winning meal á deux, secluded romance under the stars, quick bites on the go or a good old-fashioned family dinner, from celebration to intimate setting, Atlantis has the perfect dining venue for you, or if you choose not to leave your room.your personal 24-hour butler can organise room service.

By day, guests can frolic in the 42-acre Aquaventure waterpark, built to look like an Atlantean monument, where waterslides like whitewater rapids shoot you through a ‘shark-infested lagoon’ (presumably the sharks are on the outside) before ‘water escalators’ take you back up to the top for another go. There’s also the chance to swim with those ever-obliging dolphins at a dubiously-named ‘conservation centre’.

The hotel’s pride and joy, however, is the Lost Chambers — supposedly ‘modelled on the architecture of Atlantis’. The Lost Chambers brings the myth of Atlantis to life through a maze of underground tunnels offering underwater views into the boulevards of the ruins of Atlantis, an exotic array of sea creatures, mystical antiquities and ancient ruins. Twenty fresh and salt-water pools and lagoon exhibits forming the Ambassador Lagoon house over 65,000 fish and marine species from tropical to regional including sharks and manta rays

So, if you’re determined to find the fabled lost city, book a flight to Dubai — it may be expensive, but it’s still cheaper than a submarine!!

 

Rooms from £1585 per person for 7 nights Bed and Breakfast in May 2013

 

www.atlantisthepalm.com

 

 

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