by Michael Blanding
The Cove Atlantis is a dramatic departure from the trio of Disney-esque hotels that anchor the Atlantis Resort. Instead of looking to Orlando for its cues, The Cove looks due west 200 miles to Miami’s South Beach. The vibe here is one of “tropical sophistication.” The open-air lobby is constructed of dark teakwood with a Balinese feel, with sinuous metal sculptures filling alcoves, and a row of marble water treatments with changing neon lights setting the mood as day drifts into night. On weekend nights, the lobby is full of men in dark suits and young girls in cocktail dresses on their way to dinner or a night at the casino. During the day, meanwhile, the jet-set can be found poolside at Cain at Cove, an adults-only pool and mini-casino on the backside of the hotel complete with cabanas and daybeds for lounging.
Despite the trendy vibe of The Cove, it excels at making families feel welcome. Guests think nothing of seeing towel-wrapped kids fresh from the waterslides sharing elevators with young partiers dressed to the nines. Part of that comes from the welcoming style of the staff, which seems to go out of its way to make everyone feel included with a “good morning” or “good evening” no matter who they are. The other key to that balance is the Cove’s location, on the side of the Aquaventure Water Park closest to the Power Tower, ensuring that kids can easily find the action, even as the hotel itself is a stylish refuge surrounded by tropical gardens and koi ponds. Adding to the air of exclusivity, guests at the Cove can access any of the pools, waterslides, or aquariums of the rest of Atlantis, but guests of other hotels are not allowed at The Cove.
Our Editor Loves
- Private pool and beach
- Close to Atlantis pools and waterslides
- Balance between upscale refinement and family friendliness
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The rooms at The Cove are a big step up from those available at the other hotels at Atlantis. Accommodations consist of some 600 suites that wrap guests in every luxury. Even the smallest suites feel spacious, with walk-in closets, and a tiered living area with plush king bed with Frette linens, sleeper sofa, and spacious bathroom with tub, shower and double vanities. The technology in these suites is also a step up, with two flat-screen HD TVs with Bose sound systems, and iPod docks on the night table. All suites also include spacious balconies overlooking the ocean or the pools.
For those seeking even more luxury, another four levels of suite accommodations include more living space, more balconies, more stunning views, and a more luxurious level of furnishings and amenities include soaker tubs and rainfall showers. Of course, the rooms at the Cove are also the most expensive in the resort.
Ocean Suites range between 672 and 784 square feet and provide an ocean or partial view of the ocean. Located on the first through third floors, the suites can accommodate four plus a child under 4 with a king bed and a sleeper sofa.
Deluxe Ocean Suites
Deluxe Ocean Suites range between 672 and 784 square feet, as well, and feature all ocean views. Located on floors 4 through 22, floors 20 through 22 have club access. Four people and a child under 4 can sleep with a king bed and sleeper sofa.
Azure Suites are available as one- or two-bedroom with 1,198 or 1,958 square feet of space for four or eight people and one child under 4. All views are of the ocean. One-bedroom suites have a king bed and sleeper sofa in the living room with dining table for four, while a two-bedroom includes an additional bedroom with two queen beds.
Sapphire Suites are available as one- or two-bedroom with 1,700 or 2,460 square feet of space for up to eight and one child under 4. All views are of the ocean. One-bedroom suites have a king bed with a sleeper sofa in the living room with dining table for six, while a two-bedroom includes an additional bedroom with two queen beds.
Presidential Suites are two suites on the top floor of The Voce with master bedrooms featuring king beds, a living room and 10-seat dining room, full kitchen, and one-and-a-half bathrooms.
Penthouse Suites are either two-bedroom, 4,070-square-foot suites or three-bedroom, 4,830-square-foot suites that can accommodate six to 10, respectively, and one child under 4. Two master bedrooms feature oversized beds and the suite also includes a living area with sleeper sofa, 10-seat dining area, full kitchen and its own dedicated butler.
I just returned from The Cove. The hotel is beautiful. The entrance is one of the nicest I have seen, & I travel quite a bit. I was in a suite that faced 2 directions, & had a giant bathroom. We loved the room! and the housekeeping was very good. The grounds are beautiful. I found all the staff to be very professional, friendly, and nice. I would have appreciated if they could have accommodated me to upgrade to the club level, but they did not. We loved that there was an adults only pool at the Cove. However, the sun is blocked much of the day unless you keep moving to another area of the pool. Also, there is no hot tub at the pool. :-( There is a very nice gym with everything you could want. The spa looked beautiful, but very expensive treatments.............
The aquarium is fantastic to enjoy. Note there is a back corridor behind the fish that is so cool, but they don't tell you that. We just happened to stumble upon it.....
The down side to the Atlantis is the absolutely outrageous pricing on every single thing other than the rooms. They automatically add 15% gratuity and a 12% VAT tax to already expensive food & drinks. (do the math...thats an extra 27% to everything!) $17 for a drink at the pool? $18 for a sandwich (take out!)? $35 to sit at the Dolphin Cay beach to watch the dolphins? Otherwise you need to sit at a pavilion and watch them from far. Really? $5 for a bottle of water at the bar? The buffet meals were very expensive. All the restaurants were expensive. I cant imagine how much it must cost for you to bring your entire family to eat all day long. (Note the fine print that they are already charging you 15% gratuity, but then they have a line on the check asking for a tip......)
If I went back (the hotel was beautiful), I would know to budget a lot of money for everything. I wish they would lower all those prices, because I would go back much more often.
All in all, Atlantis is an upscale beautiful property. (And there seems to be a lot of cool kids activities).
Beautiful island, weather was great especially compared to Michigan. We entered with a warm welcome from staff with smiles. My suite had a beautiful view of the pools and grounds. It was clean and spacious. The entry way of The Cove was just amazing. I would recommend you see it for yourself.
Note: Most activities and attractions are available when staying at any of the six Atlantis hotels.
In addition to the easy access to Aquaventure Water Park (see Royal Towers), the Cove has its own exclusive family pool area open only to guests of the hotel. The Cascades Pool is a beautiful spot with several interlocking pools and waterfalls overlooking the ocean. It gets good sun, though can be windy due to its location.
The Cove also has its own exclusive beach, The Cove Beach, held within the sheltering arms of a natural cove that offers tranquil waves suitable for youngest sun worshippers.
On the other side of the hotel on the way to the water park is the Baths Pool, a zero-entry pool that has an ample deep end, making it a great location for the whole family to relax and splash around together, while basing themselves to explore the waterslides.
Next to the Bath's Pool is Climber's Rush, a towering structure with climbing handholds on several of its walls. Kids as young as 6 can sign up for climbing classes or scramble around while connected to harnesses (Children under 13 must be supervised by a parent or guardian.)
If there is a drawback to staying at The Cove as opposed to other hotels at Atlantis, it's the lack of options when it comes to dining. The hotel has only two restaurants to choose from, and neither could be described as a bargain, though both provide exceptional dining experiences.
A buffet-style family restaurant features jaw-dropping design befitting the Cove's more upscale style. Walls of water and neon mosaic wall patterns set a sophisticated mood, as diners circulate around dozens of food stations with everything from sushi to churrasco steak, from Caribbean hot pot beef to pizza, hot dogs, and pasta. The quality is a step up from ordinary buffet fare -- and that's before you get to the ample dessert buffet.
Family-style dining is featured at this casual restaurant where BBQ styles from throughout the South can be found in the food. Lunch, dinner and a kids' menu, which includes things like chicken fingers and grilled cheese, are offered. There are no age restrictions at this restaurant but reservations are required.
In addition to those two full-service restaurants, the Cove also has a small snack bar by the Cascades Pool, which serves up hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, and the like.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting can be arranged through the resort -- for a price. Sitters are $25/hour for one child, $10 each additional child up until 10 p.m. and $30/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 p.m.
Wi-Fi access is including in the resort fee, along with the water park, fitness center, casino and movie theater.
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 does have a pleasant climate year-round, with more than 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 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.
For Mom and Dad
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.