by Michael Blanding
Coral Towers is one the original two hotels located on the Atlantis resort property when hotelier Saul Kerzner conceived of Atlantis back in 1994. For years it was owned and operated by entertainer and developer Merv Griffin as its own resort hotel and casino. Because of that, it retains the feel of a more traditional Caribbean resort, even though it has been impressively renovated and kept up over the years. Unlike the theme park style of Royal Towers next door, Coral Towers’ lobby has the feel of an Italianate villa, complete with marble and mosaics, overlain by a tropical color scheme of bright pinks, oranges, and aquas.
The hotel is a little quieter in feel than the Royal Towers, but it still abuts on all of the action of Atlantis Casino, and is an easy walk to Aquaventure water park and the waterslides. It also has its own separate park with an open-air aquarium and river ride, making it a good choice for parents with very young children, who can experience the fun of a water park without being overwhelmed by the scale of Aquaventure. Finally, of all of the properties at Atlantis, Coral Towers offers the best beach access, with both Atlantis and Atlantis Beach West accessible directly from the guest rooms.
Our Editor Loves
- Easy beach access
- Special club catering to teens
- River ride and aquarium exhibit
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Despite being slightly less expensive than the rooms in the Royal Towers next door (they start at $395 a night), the 693 rooms is Coral Towers are of the same quality, including an attractive color beachy color-palette and sturdy cherry-wood furniture, along with bathrooms with marbles and chrome finishes. The rooms are slightly smaller than those in Royal Towers, however, they have the additional advantage of balconies even in the smallest guest rooms with chairs and tables allowing you to take in the view while enjoying the open air.
In addition to the guest rooms, which feature king or double queen beds, the hotel also has several suites with an extra balcony, larger bath, and sleep sofa.
Next to the hotel, Coral Towers also offers several villas with the same furnishings as guest rooms, but ease of access to the pool and beach areas through individual entrances.
Note: All activities and attractions are available when staying at any of the six Atlantis hotels.
While Royal Towers may have Aquaventure, Coral Towers has its own unique water features. On one side is Paradise Lagoon, a huge manmade lagoon with paddleboats to rent. Directly below the lagoon is the Predator Lagoon, an open-air habitat with sharks, barracuda, stingrays, and sawfish. You can come face-to-face with these creatures and more with a walk through a unique 100-foot-long clear tunnel that runs the length of the lagoon.
On the other side of Coral Towers is a separate water park featuring the quarter-mile Lazy River ride, a junior version of The Current that offers a more relaxed rafting experience more suited to relaxation than thrill-seeking. The river wends its way past a lagoon with young stingrays and starfish too small to make it into the larger aquariums.
Each day the resort holds a raffle to select five toddlers to participate in the Aquatots program, in which they can wade into the lagoon and feed handfuls of shrimp to the rays and pick up starfish and giant snails. The lucky kids end up with a gift and art project to round out the experience. Nearby, between Coral Towers and the Beach Tower, is a separate kids' pool called Poseidon's pool, which features a water fountain and giant animal sculptures for climbing and splashing.
Atlantis's best beach -- appropriately named Atlantis Beach -- is located at the end of Coral Towers. Exclusively reserved for resort guests, it offers several miles of white sand beach, and is relatively sheltered from waves to enable young kids to cavort in the waves (look for flags warning of unsafe conditions.) Guests of the resort can take advantage of lounge chairs, umbrellas, and towels, and several beach shacks offer food right on the beachfront.
For teenagers, the brand new Club Crush adds to the range of activities at night with a 14,000-square-foot space making use of the latest in technological gadgetry. Video games take center stage in the arcade room, with a giant gaming tower equipped with more than 24 gaming consoles and 10 "gaming cabanas" for a more private sensory overload. Lounge tables serve non-alcoholic drinks and Starbucks coffee amidst touch screen computer monitors and iPads for social networking and texting, and the adjoining dance club even has a VIP area and imitation paparazzi to give your budding starlet a taste of the lux life. For the most up-to-date information about the club, of course, check out its Facebook page, which at last count had more than 100,000 fans.
Family dining is present throughout the resort with more than 20 separate eating establishments, it's not difficult to find something for every taste and appetite. Anyone staying at any of the resort's six properties may choose to dine in these restaurants. Coral Towers offers the best location to sample the full range of dining available at Atlantis, both indoor and outdoor.
Just off the lobby and fronting the masts in the marina, the Marina Pizzeria dishes up affordable pizza pies you can eat on the dock or bring back to your guestroom.
A New York style deli with a bright 1950s vibe. Breakfasts are particularly memorable here (try the Challah French toast), while lunch and dinner menus offer a full range of reubens, rachels, and other traditional deli sandwiches.
Lagoon Bar & Grill
On the other side of Coral Towers, the Lagoon Bar & Grill serves up sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and other lunch favorites in a stunning outdoor location with a view of the sharks and barracudas in Predator Lagoon.
Right between Coral Towers and the convention center, on the way to Beach Tower, is another trio of restaurants with a more upscale, but still kid friendly, dinner menu. All of these restaurants require "resort elegant attire"-- that means no jeans and T-shirts, and jackets for men couldn't hurt.
Chop Stix has been a favorite for decades, featuring Chinese cuisine with a distinct Caribbean twist, ranging from Szechuan pot stickers to mango-curry chicken.
Casa D'Angelo is a Tuscan trattoria that ventures out from pasta dishes to offer refined Italian entrees such as seared sea bass and veal Gorgonzola.
The Bahamian Club is a traditional steak house with a tropical flair, serving prime cuts of beef as well as seafood dishes in a bright, airy atmosphere that is a welcome change from overly clubby steakhouses.
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 will 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.