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
Rooms & Rates
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.
My daughter and I stayed at this hotel using Hilton points. It was a bit rundown compared to the other hotels on the grounds, but we spent very little time inside our room. If you have children and can find a way to stay at the water park, you should do so. We were three for three full days, which was about the right length of time to ride every slide several times, float around the lazy rivers for hours, and grow comfortable body surfing on the beach. By the fourth day, we were getting tired of the food and were ready to go home. I would say 2nd-6th grade to be the best age range for this hotel and experience.
Our trip to Atlantis was amazing! The grounds and beach are beautiful! Walking through the aquarium, especially at night, was enchanting. The photos don't give it justice! The Beach hotel wasn't fabulous, but it was the most affordable option. It was your average 90's style beach room. We traveled there last fall and are going back this October! Oh, and the waterpark made me feel like a kid again!
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.