Hidden Aquatic Features at Dubai’s Atlantis Palm Hotel

The first thing you’ll notice on a visit to the Atlantis Palm, in Dubai, is the aquatic theme; the hotel is settled on a man-made island which affords stunning views over the Arabian Gulf – and it makes the most of these.

Many rooms have balconies which allow visitors to take in the panoramic vista, with the turquoise sea stretching into the horizon.

The aquatic theme is not limited to the views however; the hotel’s designers themed the structure around the concept of the lost continent of Atlantis – the mythical island which is said to have been swallowed by the ocean. The interior of the hotel boasts a host of features referring to the lost city, many of which are only noticed by the observant! From the rooms, which are decorated with the shapes of shells and mirrors which would not look out of place underwater, to the restaurants which have a distinct emphasis on seafood, this hotel aims to make all visitors believe they really have discovered the lost city.

While some aspects of the theme are unavoidable – like ‘Lost Chambers’ – the ground floor aquarium which is home to 65,000 marine creatures, other underwater-world features are more subtle. Many visitors see the marlins, dolphins and conch shells which form a continuous motif through the public areas – but will fail to notice the story of Atlantis depicted in murals around the lobby. The huge images, which are painted 19 metres above the floor, were designed and painted by Albino Gonzalez – a Spanish interpreter of ancient mythology. They tell the story of Atlantis, while also highlighting planets, seasons and the elements of earth, air, wind and fire.

Similarly, a closer inspection of the Dale Chihuly centrepiece in the lobby reveals a number of marine creatures – including hand blown jellyfish which are painstakingly woven together. The underwater theme can be found everywhere – from the retail avenue, where marine fossils are set into the walls, to the waterpark – where one waterslide even takes riders through a shark aquarium in a transparent tunnel.

The designers of the Atlantis Palm truly aimed to create an environment where anything is possible, and from the moment you enter the hotel, you believe that the structure has been resurrected from beneath the waves. Two of the hotel’s suites – named Neptune and Poseidon, fittingly, include rooms which have underwater views into the aquarium – meaning guests may find themselves being eyed by a hungry shark whilst getting ready for dinner. It’s the combination of huge mythical references and the subtle marine motifs which make the Atlantis Palm a hotel which never ceases to amaze.

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