by Michael Blanding
Along with Coral Towers, Beach Tower was one of the two original hotels in the resort, once owned by Merv Griffin before it was bought out and turned into part of Atlantis in 1994. Of all of the hotel properties at Atlantis, it has two distinctions: it is the cheapest accommodations, and it is the farthest away from the action. Compared to bustling Royal Towers, Beach Tower has a sleepy, even old-school feel of a resort from yesteryear, with bland architecture and a cookie-cutter lobby. At the same time, rooms here go for some $150 to $200 less than Royal Towers, making this an attraction option for families on a budget. And honestly, it is really only a short walk or shuttle bus ride from all of the action. If you time it well, you can leave your room each morning, sample the waterslides, aquariums, and beaches of the resort and not return until you are good and tired at night.
Beach Tower also has a few other things going for it — especially access to its own lagoon/aquarium area complete with its own relaxing river raft ride. It is also only a short walk to Marina Village, a faux-village area with shopping and budget eateries that fronts the marina and the Harborside Resort area. Together with a few attractively priced eateries in the tower itself, staying her makes it easy to experience all of the fun of Atlantis without breaking the bank (too much).
Our Editor Loves
- Least expensive accommodations
- River ride and aquarium exhibits
- Special club catering to pre-teens and teens
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The 423 rooms at Beach Tower are the smallest in the resort (275 square feet), but apart from size, they are nearly identical to those found in posh Royal Towers, including the same plush king beds, attractive furnishings with a subdued tropical color palette, flat screen TVs, and marble baths -- making them a good value starting at $355. Many of them also have full-sized balconies, complete with seating. With two double beds instead of a king, guest rooms can fit up to four adults and one child; no suites are available. Rooms are available with either Terrace or Water views.
The room cleaning service in the beach tower was superb. We stayed on the 4th floor and our room cleaner, Barbara, was very nice, timely and welcoming. I definitely recommend this tower as it is very affordable and nice.
by Claire P
I’m a single mom traveling with two kids. I wanted a place where everything was right there- and was willing to pay Bahamas prices. When we arrived, our door keycard did not work- this happens- left the kids and the luggage and went back to the front desk. I really didn’t want to stand in the line again and a woman happened to pay attention to me after a few minutes and gave me a new key card. This one didn’t work either. This time I got the bellhop- who directed me to a phone next to the woman who gave me the keycards, who shrugged her shoulders at them not working. I called security to hopefully open my door for the first time. Security was unable to open the door. They called engineering. I went back to the front desk and asked for a new room. She stated I had to ‘follow the process.’ I was stuck- so finally after over 2 hours, we got into our room. The next morning I had a $900 credit card charge they said was a hold. 4 days later, the keycard deactivated, and we followed this ‘process’ again. On checkout, I was given a $900 bill + $85 in taxes. I charged everything to my credit card not the room card- so it looks like they took several of our meals every day, along with someone else’s, to get up to the $900 hold fee. I let her know we were not paying this because it was a double charge and she was checking on it. When my credit card was billed a few days later, at least now my credit card can fight it for me. I kept every receipt, so how unlucky for them I was organized on this trip! No one has ever gotten back to me about the door or the charges, which is the reason for my post today. My 9 year old put it best, things don’t seem to work right in the Bahamas! Other than being taken advantage of monetarily and spending two of our six nights locked out waiting, the place is beautiful. Plenty to do and we had fun regardless- it would have been a shame to let them ruin it. My best advise is to possibly not stay at the beach, pick one of their other hotels- they seem to be better run. Keep track of what you spend and how you spend it. You cannot go wrong with the food places- Carmine’s was the most reasonably priced with lots of food. Swimming with the dolphins was amazing- you also get a snorkel and mask, so do this close to the first day and the kids can entertain themselves in the ocean for days. I would rate Atlantis a 5 if the customer service around our problems was better or existed. Things happen- it is how you handle them- and they did not.
Note: All activities and attractions are available when staying at any of the six Atlantis hotels.
One of the hidden gems of Atlantis is the Hibiscus Lagoon, home to a loveable pod of green and hawksbill sea turtles that swim in an open-air aquarium next door to Beach Tower. Visitors can get up close and lean over the lagoon as the inquisitive turtles emerge from the water to investigate. Also outside Beach Tower is the Seagrapes Lagoon, home to a colorful assortment of reef fish, including angelfish, butterfly fish and squirrelfish visible through picture windows.
Beach Tower also offers easy access to the Lazy River and Poseidon's Pool, two attractive features for young guests (see Coral Towers review), and is only a short walk from Atlantis Beach.
Inside Beach Tower are several attractions that delight kids of all ages. The Gamer's Reef arcade features an assortment of favorite video games, especially focusing on racing games in which the whole family can participate at once.
For younger kids, Atlantis Pals is a kind of build-a-bear facility where kids can create their own stuffed animals, including bears but also flamingos, turtles, and sharks. Kids can choose the selection of fabrics and accessories and then stuff them to just the right amount of "huggability."
The most exclusive address for pre-teens come sundown is Club Rush, a lounge environment decked out in velvet and leopard print fabrics and featuring Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii consoles along with a DJ spinning the hottest hip-hop and dance music.
A culinary playground featuring everything from hamburgers to grilled fish, Seagrapes is the Beach Tower's buffet-style family dining room. It's a little bit quieter than the buffet restaurants in Royal Towers and The Cove, while still featuring the same made-to-order cooking stations. One popular addition is a BBQ smoke station including smoked meats slathered in sweet Caribbean barbecue sauce.
Beach Tower is also a short walk to Marina Village, a pleasant pedestrian area with several affordable restaurants (see Harborside Resort dining section).
Planning & Tips
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 they'll be cared for and entertained.
Wifi Internet access is available in public areas and rooms for $14.95/day, with discounts for multiple days. For those rooms without washer/dryer, the resort also offers laundry service every day except Sunday.
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.
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.