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.
by Andrew C
We spent a long weekend at the cove in October and it was fantastic. Beautiful property, great view from the room, and the resort was empty! Tons of lounge chairs everywhere! Good service throughout the resort. Some of the restaurants were closed, unfortunate but understandable. The only slight complaint we had was all the smoking at the adults on Cove pool. Wish it was non smoking or just in a designated area. Lots of folks are concerned about the food and drink prices and thats valid, bring what you can from home or go off property and buy some beer and snacks. Overall a wonderful hotel and property.
This review is a culmination of information from three stays of four nights each and a day excursion while on a cruise. The majority of the review centers around our latest stay in September when we traveled with three other couples. We stayed in the Cove Tower on our last and first trips and the Reef tower once.
We arrived at the airport and breezed through customs within 10-15 minutes. It has taken more time on other occasions. It’s about 30 minute drive, pending traffic, from the airport and will cost roughly $40-50 including tip per regular size taxi – four people. You can either contact a service ahead of time to set up transportation or grab one of the taxis at the airport. We made prior arrangements for this visit. For an extra $10 the taxi would stop at a grocery and/or liquor store. If you like to eat and drink I suggest you stop and pick up a few items. If you stay at the Reef Tower you have access to a kitchenette. This tip can save you money because dining and drinking at Atlantis can be expensive.
The sprawling property consists of a variety of hotel room locations, many restaurants, a casino, a marina, pools galore, beautiful beaches, a spa, a swim with the dolphins experience, a water park, and more. The aquarium and lagoons are filled with magnificent sea life. The grounds are impeccably kept with landscaping, pools, and walkways. There is much to do whether you come with your family or want to spend time as couple.
Beaches – The beautiful beaches and crystal aqua blue water seem to flow forever. We walked the deserted beaches and were able to take photos and swim in the water. Our friends brought their own snorkel gear and snorkeled alone the beach front. Atlantis will charge you to rent snorkel gear so if you can bring your own it can help with your budget. It also cost to rent kayaks but we are unaware of the price.
Casino – Six of us entered the weekly slot machine tournament and we had two winners in our group. The casino is typical with tables games and a variety of machines similar to what you would find in Vegas in some cases with better odds. There are private rooms and you may be fortunate to spot a celebrity as my sister did on a visit. The Chihuly chandelier in the middle of the casino is magnificent. You can get free drinks as long as you are playing. Sometimes drink service is nonexistent and other times it’s just slow. Overall the casino is not smoky and we enjoyed our time away from the pool and beaches.
Checkin/Checkout and Staff – Our checkin process at The Cove was smooth with no problems. Staff was informative and polite. We took advantage of the VIP checkout which was just as smooth. We are meticulous about watching our bills (we take photos of all checks). We had one small discrepancy at checkout but it was taken care of quickly.
Cruise Ship Stop – On one cruise stop we took a taxi over to Atlantis. We were limited to the areas we could visit and really had a negative experience while we had the opposite experience when staying on the resort property.
The Cove Adult Pool – This is truly an adult pool (18 or older) and you MUST be a guest at The Cove Tower. We have visited when the pool was calm, quiet and relaxing and we have visited when it’s been the party of the island. We have seen topless women and you may witness other party induced behavior.
Dining – Take note that dining on the property can be expensive. Our friends had lunch at Sip Sip that included two grouper sandwiches and two alcoholic drinks that cost $136. An alternative that we love is the Cascade Grill which is located between the adult pool at The Cove and the Reef’s pool. We split a hamburger and french fries for lunch and sat at their tables along the beach with the best view. When we visited in July most of the restaurants were open. When we visited in September, considered the off or shoulder season, some of the restaurants were closed which was a disappointment. These are the restaurants we dinner at and you can look up my reviews of each.
Casa D’Angelo at Atlantis
Drifters at Fish Fry area
Olives at Atlantis
Pirate Republic at Atlantis
Platos Lounge at Atlantis
Sip Sip at the adult Cove pool
Room and Housekeeping Service – We all stayed at the Cove and our rooms were clean with the entry, bathroom, and bed on one level and a step down area with a couch table and chairs. The balcony was small but we had two chairs and a small table. The view was good with a side view of the beach but on another trip we had front and center magnificent views. House keeping was courteous and had our room cleaned before we returned from our morning 2 mile walks. We did have an issue with our toilet on flushing but it was quickly fixed on two occasions. Two or more bottled waters were delivered when the beds were turned down. Our coffee (K-Cups) and tea were replenished daily. The bottled water on sale in the room cost $11 so we just kept refilling our emptied water bottles. The mini-bar refrigerator was full and when we cruise we ask to have everything removed but at Atlantis this was not an option. We were fortunate enough to have one clear shelf where a bottle of wine fit perfectly.
Swimming with the dolphins – Two members of our group swam with the dolphins in the pouring down rain and loved it so much they went back the next day. We swam with the dolphins on another trip and it’s quite an experience be up close with these incredible mammals. One needs to decide if it’s worth the money and experience.
Water Park – Six of us in our party spent a fun filled day in the lazy river and riding on the slides. You can either choose a single or double person tube to ride. There are many areas to enter or exit the rides with bathrooms, restaurants, lounge chairs, towels, or lockers, nearby. Full disclosure on the rides/slides – they are not for small children. In our party of six we had one broken hand, a other person hit his head when the tube tipped over, and three tailbone bruises. Rider be ware. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun.
Easy access to taxis
Exercise center and lap pool at no charge
Great for large groups or family trips
Overall quality customer service
Restaurants at various prices
Shuttle service within the resort
Varied room rates to fit your budget
Variety of activities for all ages
Wifi including in resort fee
12% VAT tax on purchases
Accessible mostly by air or cruise ship
Areas and restaurants are closed during the “off season”
Can be expensive
Drinking water is sulfur water
Limited in dining venues
Slides can be dangerous
In conclusion we liked vacationing at Atlantis and will probably return for more visits.
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.