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Mary | 30 Jan 24

Enness Lifestyle FirstEdition Forty Eight

Enness Lifestyle First

Splendidly Excessive

Over-the-top could be a description of Atlantis the Royal Dubai. Unique’s another one. The design, certainly, says wow. Think of a Brobdingnag pile of books deliberately placed slightly askew, one atop the other. This is the 795-room Kerzner-managed hotel, which comes with 231 residences, all privately owned.

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Fortuitous Fate

Tom Roelens, Belgian Managing Director of this empire, arrived here by luck. At 14, he told his engineer father he wanted knives (well, he was going to be a chef). Two years ago, as a Four Seasons General Manager, he was holidaying in Dubai and coincidentally bumped into the relevant Kerzner boss.

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Beautifully Bulbous

This is today’s luxury lifestyle. Art – Roelens here sits in front of a 25-ft high bulbous silver sculpture, Jeff Koons style, by another American, Mike McLeod. Entertainment – Beyoncé famously declared the complex open on 21st January 2023. Experiences – an outside water ballet, 17 restaurants, celeb chefs and a 960-seat Gastronomy with 18 different food types. Glass-walled boutiques - Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Valentino. Fifth Avenue in the Gulf. To make it all work, there’s a team of 2,200. 126 nationalities.

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Golden Touch

Success is in the detail, says Roelens. Room maids wear crisply-starched white aprons. Bathroom toiletries, in gold-edged leather boxes, hold brushes and combs, toothbrushes and razors. All gold.

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Symphony of Taste 

Razzmatazz, but the hotel plays like the Berlin Philharmonic doing Beethoven’s Ninth. At breakfast, servers remember coffee idiosyncrasies. One hotel guest will never forget blueberry-topped muffins eaten outside in January as a blood-orange sun comes up over The Palm. 

Written by Mary Gostelow

Mary Gostelow