Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai - Through The Eyes of Connie Hawley (age 15)
As soon as I walked into Atlantis I was excited - the bright colours and the huge aquarium - it felt as though the whole hotel was swimming with marine life! We were met by a Hotel Manager at the Ambassador lagoon, which is full of marine life including fish, sharks and Sting Rays. The hotel has 21 exhibits which are home to over 65,000 marine animals, all of which are carefully looked after by an expert team based at the hotel. Atlantis offers a wide range of activities from shopping to Waterparks. I was amazed that you could shop, swim with dolphins or seals, view The Lost Chambers Aquarium, eat in a variety of restaurants, plus run around the amazing Waterpark!
Whilst at Atlantis, I was lucky enough to experience a dolphin encounter. The dolphins love the attention and all the trainers know each one as if it was their own child. We were taught a lot about the dolphins, as the trainers were happy to share all they knew about the mammals and told us how they landed their amazing jobs. You could tell that every single employee loved their job at Atlantis and all the animals (in the whole of Atlantis), appear very happy and safe in their environments. The sting rays were my favourite species - they appeared to be mystical, as they glided past the aquarium windows.
After a fun filled morning, the excitement didn’t stop. Next were unleashed into the waterpark! Our family had our own cabana which was superb, we were made to feel like Royalty. Once we had our lunch, which we could choose from a wide range of restaurants, we went on the lazy river which we soon discovered, wasn’t so lazy! Next, we went on the Tower of Neptune - once you fell down the tower you raced thorugh the aquarium and came out at the end to be greeted by the bright sunshine! There is also a slower ride that goes through the aquarium, allowing you to appreciate the fish close-up - they swim right next to you! There is a mixture of rides at the park, but I think the best were the family rides where you are swirled around in a giant donut, with 5 other people! I loved these rides, especially, as my mum managed to scream the whole way down! I hope I am lucky enough to visit Dubia and Atlantis again.
My Unforgettable 18th Birthday at Atlantis, The Palm – By Harry Hawley
Sheltered in the comfort of my family home, back in drizzly England, I am only left with the memories and a handful of photos from the best day of my life! My sister and I couldn't wait to get away when we learnt that my family had organised to spoil us all with the trip of a lifetime to Dubai. Eager to escape the A-level exam period my 18th birthday was fast approaching - and where better to spend it than the City of Gold.
On the second day of our stay, on a delightful mid-July's morning, we jumped into the transfer vehicle and headed for Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. I couldn't imagine more idyllic weather, with picturesque skies and soaring temperatures. The transfer felt like a ride in a spaceship: Dubai's futuristic skyline could be used as a scene for the new Star Wars movie.As if the transfer hadn't already blown us away, we almost fainted as the car pulled into the entrance for Atlantis. It felt as if Poseidon himself had asked the gods to build his own private mansion. The hotel is a masterpiece which stands like a grand doorway for the Kraken to leave the sea and walk onto the Palm. The entrance is adorned with super cars, and the welcoming staff make you feel like a Hollywood A-lister! The atrium holds a spectacular Chihuly sculpture: an 18 meter high Venetian glass sculpture, which hypnotises every guest! The building was decorated with a spectacular nautical theme which makes you want to hold your breath throughout, just in case you drown. And if the decor wasn't enough The Lost Chambers Aquarium tank had us reaching for an oxygen mask! The aquarium stands like a mini ocean and houses over 65,000 marine animals - it was impossible not to stand in awe of its beauty. Adults and kids alike, were amazed by the sheer enormity of the place.
Making the most of the buggy rides to escape the heat, we headed to Dolphin Bay. Here, my sister and I were fortunate enough to experience swimming with these playful mammals - in one of the most sophisticated Dolphin habitats in the world. My sister eventually befriended the beautiful ‘Hilda’ and gave her a huge kiss! Afterwards we went onto the Aquaventure Waterpark. If Atlantis was Poseidon's Mansion then this was his playground! The rides were rightfully named after the God of the seas and the Waterpark had something for everybody. My sister and I spent the day like adrenaline junkies testing every ride in the park – all whilst the elders basked in the lazy river which encircles the entire grounds. After much convincing and a handful of white lies we managed to strap our parents into the world’s first vertical banking family ride. Typical of Dubai, the Waterpark boasts a host of 'World First's' and 'World Best's' which I cannot describe to you justly, without you experiencing it for yourself. What I can say, is that Aquaventure caters for all audiences and holds opportunities to stun all ages - if you are willing to join the fun. It is impossible to not be blown away!
The Lost Chambers Aquarium takes you from away from the dazzling sun and gigantic waterslides and plunges you into the depths of the ocean. Home to stingrays, sharks and now two Albino Alligators it is impossible not to get lost in the chambers to curiosity and bewilderment. The aquarium is set up like a walkway tunnel, which gives amazing views of all the marine animals. Knowledgeable experts, are around to answer burning questions of the fascinating wildlife. The Chambers are not your usual aquarium, you will find species that demand your intrigue and you may stay for hours simply mesmerised by this world which we are not familiar with. It is safe to say that I was sad to leave Atlantis at sun-set. The palace at the apex of The Palm grew smaller from the taxi window as we left. After the experience I would not be able to imagine what the new complex will be like. Although we didn't want to leave I couldn't have wished for a more perfect day than to have spent my 18th birthday at Atlantis.
Special thanks to Kyp Charalambous for his kind hospitality in showing us around. It was an absolute pleasure to visit Atlantis and my family definitely have some extraordinary memories.