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
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
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.
Stayed at the Cove, certainly expensive, more expensive than the quality deserves, but besides One and Only, one of the nicest. If your a Marriott Gold or Platinum, don't expect anything special, they make that very clear, a few benefits, but little compared to other properties, or what you would be used to at that level of frequent stayer. Asked the concierge to make reservations at a well known off site restaurant, she hadnt heard of it and seemed to be confused as to how to confirm it for us, if we didnt come back the next day, ie leave us a phone message (and endure what seemed to be an ongoing long line up)---in this case not really a concierge, more a booking person for the resort. Restaurants are ok, but go off property to Matisse, Dunes or Gray Cliff. Many big name restaurants like Nobu, but I am constantly amazed how Nobu, Jean George and other big names license their brand and provide what doesn't measure up to their name (didnt Jamie Oliver fail for the same reason). Staff were generally excellent, final night though no turn down service, but that said other days with housekeeping, referred to us by name and incredibly good---variable service would be the theme of this property, for the price variable service isint good enough!
My girlfriend and I visited for 4 days recently. Overall, the room was nice, the resort is clean and beautiful! There's two ways to handle Atlantis - you can either stay at your hotel, in your lane and not wander, or you can wander around and check out all the hotels; we wandered. If you're going to see everything bring some comfy shoes and get ready to walk, because it's quite big. Here's the bottom line, as you face the ocean, rich people to the left, not rich people to the right, we stayed in the middle. Be honest, I didn't care for the people to the left, and I had a blast with the people in the middle and to the right. Also, the layout of the resort is confusing, so get ready to ask directions for a day or two. For me, Atlantis is a great place to take a family, but probably not best for just "couple" time, it's too busy. But with that said, I've checked it off my bucket list and I'm on to the next destination.
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.