Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas Planning & Tips

Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas Planning and Tips Photo Courtesy of Atlantis Resort
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All about the Extras
Babysitting can be arranged through the resort -- for a price. Sitters are $20/hour for one child, $8 each additional child up until 10 p.m. and $25/hour, $10 each additional child after 10. There is a three-hour minimum. Unless your child has special needs or you are planning on staying out after 10:30, it probably makes more sense to put the kids in the Kids Club instead, where not only will they be well cared for and entertained.

Wifi Internet access is available in public areas and rooms for $19.95/day, with discounts for multiple days. For those rooms without washer/dryer, the resort also offers laundry service every day except Sunday.

Atlantis is not an all-inclusive resort and parents should be prepared to shell out more than they bargained for, as everything costs extra. Want to snorkel for an hour? That will be $10 per person. Need a bottle of water? That will be $5. Crush will cost teens $20 for the night, and families who want to attend the family session will pay $15 for the first person, $25 for the second, and $35 for the third. Snorkeling in the lagoon may sound fun, and it will cost you $125 per person. AKA kids' club charges $45 for a morning or afternoon session, $90 for a full day, and $17.50 for lunch.

The Art of Smart Timing
Atlantis is located in a sub-tropical climate, similar to that of Florida. So it doesn't see the year-round hot temperatures that more Caribbean locations enjoy; however, it has does have a pleasant climate year-round, with over 300 days of sun annually. You are most apt to see rain during the wet season, between June and November, which is also when you'll see the highest temperatures, averaging between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The only time you are risking a real rainout is during "hurricane season," between late August and early November, when sporadic hurricanes do occur.

Temperatures during the dry season, between December and May average between 60 and 80 degrees, with less chance of rain. Atlantis drops its rates slightly during spring when demand is lower, and you can sometimes find bargains on room rates. Truth be told, however, this is a popular destination year-round, so don't go expect to find real cut-rate deals.

Thankfully, the sheer size of the resort ensures that it never feels crowded, even when hotels are at capacity. The only exception to this is lines at the most popular waterslides, which are likely to be long at any time of year. Visit early in the morning or at the end of the day -- especially at the Mayan Temple -- for your best chances of a quick ride. Even though its slides are arguably better, the Power Tower tends to be less crowded than the Mayan Temple.

Getting There
The closest airport to Atlantis is Nassau International Airport (NAS), which is approximately a 45-minute drive from the resort. (Note: when booking, be sure to select Nassau, and not Grand Bahamas, which is 150 miles away!) Transportation to the airport can be arranged through the resort for a charge of approximately $100 each way; it's more economical to hire a taxi, which costs about $40 each way. Once at the resort, complimentary shuttle services is offered between the various properties, with waits of never more than half an hour, and frequently less.

For Mom and Dad
Despite Atlantis's reputation as a family resort, there are many perks that adults will enjoy without their children. Chief among them is the Atlantis Casino, which is open only to guests over 18 years old, and offers 90 table games and almost 900 slot machines in a high-energy setting. The casino is anchored by two amazing sculptures of twisted glass, called the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon respectively, each of which cost $1 million. Interestingly, the casino is the only one in the world that allows natural light onto the gaming floor; it's a strange experience to be playing slots or blackjack while light is streaming in the window, but Atlantis officials insist that it does nothing to dampen business.

Less exciting, though certainly more relaxing, Mandara Spa is a Balinese-style spa with heated plunge pool and sauna, and a range of treatments including Swedish, sports, and reflexology massages, facials and seaweed wraps, and salon services. Treatments combine Eastern and Western techniques, sometimes incorporating local Bahamanian products. In addition to more upscale restaurants for date-night (Cafe Martinique, Nobu, Mesa Grill top the list), Atlantis also offers an adult-only nightclub, Club Aura, located above the casino; and Joker's Wild Comedy Club, an intimate club featuring top comedians located between the Beach and Coral Towers.

Guests of The Cove also enjoy access to Cain at the Cove, an adults-only Miami-style pool lounge, complete with cabanas and poolside casino tables, which are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during high season. The Cove also has a separate (and somewhat smoky) indoor lounge called Seaglass that sometimes also has casino tables in operation in the evenings.

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