Points not accepted: Inside the Presidential Suite at Atlantis Dubai

Nov 19, 2020

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It’s entirely possible to live it up in Dubai on points and miles. You can fly round-trip in one of the world’s best first-class suites, score some incredible hotel redemptions and even use credit perks to reimburse fantastic meals all around the UAE.

But, as with everywhere else in the world, some experiences are simply out of reach of travelers looking to redeem points from large hotel loyalty programs — instead, you’ll need to pay cash if you’re hoping to book a stay.

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On my most recent trip, I decided to check out The Palm as a guest of Atlantis, with the goal of visiting the hotel’s sought-after Underwater Suites.

Underwater Suites offer private aquarium views. (Photo courtesy of Atlantis, The Palm)

Sadly, both ended up getting booked at the last minute during my stay, but I was able to score a few minutes in another sky-high booking option: a 2,300-square-foot Presidential Suite.

You can’t book it with hotel points, but if you could, you’d likely be looking at a hefty sum — a night in a Presidential Suite starts above 20,000 dirhams, or roughly $5,500, after-tax.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

The main living room area is enormous, with a huge sitting area to one side and a billiards table in the middle, plus three separate terraces. There’s also a 10-person dining room, complete with a full-size kitchen around the corner.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Maybe I just haven’t lived, but I’ve definitely never stayed in a hotel room with its own billiards table.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

The bathroom and changing areas alone are more spacious than many hotel rooms.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

And don’t worry — with two toilets and two showers, you definitely won’t have to share.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Naturally, all of the amenities include 24 karat gold flakes throughout. Just because.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Around the corner from the master bathroom is a huge bedroom — there might even be too much space.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

My wide-angle lens definitely adds a few square feet, but it really is an enormous space. It was also pristine, having undergone a major refresh earlier in 2020.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

The bedroom has two more terraces, both overlooking the pool, beach and Dubai skyline.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

The views are just out-of-this-world — especially at sunset.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Of course, just because you can’t redeem points for a stay doesn’t mean you won’t earn them!

Personally, I’d search for the lowest available rate and earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel by paying with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or you can book through Amex Travel to earn 5x Membership Rewards points with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, equivalent to a 10% return, based on TPG’s valuations.

Screenshot courtesy of Amex Travel.

The $5,500 price tag includes more than just the suite — you’ll also get a second interconnected room, bundled airport transfers, private butler service, access to the Imperial Club Lounge, private cabanas, spa access, waterpark passes and a handful of other freebies, ranging from massages and personal training sessions to aquarium tickets and a chance to swim with the resort’s resident dolphins.

So, while the Palm’s Presidential Suite does not come cheap, it could be worth the splurge — for someone happy to spend over $10,000 on a two-night stay.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Note: The author was staying at the hotel for free, an arrangement provided by the public relations team.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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