by Michael Blanding
A nice change of pace from the towering hotels that make up the bulk of Atlantis Resort, Haborside Resort is a collection of four-story villas made to look like a faux Bahamanian village. The outside of the villas are attractively painted in pastel colors — pink, blue, yellow, and cream — while the insides are simple and cozy without many frills. The units, which range from one to three bedrooms, are also available for purchase as timeshares for those looking to make Atlantis a regular part of their lives.
A short walk down the harbor from the villas, Marina Village continues the intimate village-feel with an assortment of shops and restaurants that are perfect for spending an afternoon or evening of strolling after you’ve had your fill of the waterslides.
Finally, just a short walk from the Marina, Comfort Suites Atlantis offers an opportunity to take advantage of all of the attractions and activities of Atlantis while staying at a budget-priced motel. The arrangement dates back to when the Atlantis property was owned by Merv Griffin, and the hotel worked out a deal to allow guests to use the casino there. The arrangement has stood in place over time, and though Atlantis doesn’t exactly advertise the fact, it’s worth considering for families who are really on a budget.
Our Editor Loves
- Villas with all the comforts of home
- Charming Marina Village
- Close proximity to Atlantis
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Harborside guestrooms and suites are very comfortable with accommodations that are clean and well kept. Rooms here are renovated frequently to keep them up-to-date, and have a bright and airy feel to them, with IKEA-type furniture and ceiling fans. One nice touch is a jetted whirlpool tub in the master bathroom.
One-bedroom villas consist of a king bed in a master bedroom; a living area with sleeper sofa; a kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, and a separate area for eating; a washer and dryer; and private patio for lounging. That arrangement comes in several different sizes, from 500 to 800 square feet. For even more space, the resort offers two- and three-bedroom villas, which add additional bedrooms with queen or two twin beds. Three-bedroom villas can sleep up to 10 guests.
We had the best time yet! Went with 3 grandchildren and daughter and husband. Still the friendliest people on any island we have visited. Not a speck of garbage anywhere! Always something to do.. This was our 10th trip there since they opened and we bought our timeshare in 2001.
If you're looking to visit Atlantis, but don't like the idea of being cooped up in a hotel room for an extended period of time, Harborside might be worth considering.
The suites at Harborside are not terribly large, but they do give you a small kitchen, eating area, family room and separate bedroom(s). Harborside has it's own pool and bar which we used quite often. Depending on your tastes, you may find the Atlantis waterpark and pools to be crowded. It was nice to be able to return to Harborside at the end of a day and find a more relaxing option while still enjoying the pool.
Please pay close attention to the layout of Harborside in relation to the rest of Atlantis. To get to many of the main attractions in Atlantis, you are looking at a shuttle ride (which are readily available) or about a 10 minute walk. We averaged about 5-7 miles / day of walking during our visit. Atlantis is HUGE.
Being a more residential community, Harborside is a bit quieter than other properties at Atlantis -- though of course, all of the pools and waterslides are only a short shuttle bus ride away. The resort has its own separate pool area, which is larger and quieter than many of the pools across the marina in Atlantis, and has a separate kiddie pool with shallow depths and some fountains for splashing. The pool is open daily from 9 a.m. until sunset.
Families will find a shuffleboard court, outdoor Ping-Pong table and an outdoor pool table at Harborside.
A more lively experience awaits down the road a little bit at Marina Village, a quaint collection of shops and restaurants. While you'd never mistake it for an actual Bahamanian village, it does have a more intimate scale than the mall-like atmosphere of the shops at Coral Towers. The shops are mostly upscale boutiques from Britain, including Dooney & Bourke, John Bull, and Versace JC, selling a range of high-class (and high-price) goods such as jewelry, watches, and clothing. Sprinkled into the mix are craft vendors and a sports shop with outdoor and water gear. You may not walk out with any purchases given the high prices, but the shops make for a fun hour or two of windowshopping. For actual souvenirs, consider walking a few minutes down to the Bahamacraft center, a bazaar of more authentic and reasonably priced crafts made by local artists and artisans.
Note: Most activities and attractions are available when staying at any of the six Atlantis hotels.
The Point Restaurant
Located at Harborside Resort, The Point Restaurant is a poolside eatery that offers simple sandwiches and salads along with more elaborate entrees of steak and seafood prepared with island spices.
Much more variety can be found at Marina Village, which has an assortment of restaurants that range from fine dining to budget family establishments.
Located nearby at Atlantis and for a more authentic taste of the islands, Bimini Road is a colorful and lively spot with bold Bahamanian design and even bolder tastes in selections like tamarind-and-lime shrimp and spicy mojo chicken. Beware with younger kids who may not have a taste for spices.
Guests will also find more than 20 restaurants throughout the Atlantis' six properties.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting can be arranged through the resort -- for a price and there is a three-hour minimum.
Wi Fi access is available in public areas and rooms for a daily fee, with discounts for multiple days.
For those rooms without washer/dryer, the resort also offers laundry service every day except Sunday.
Harborside has its own fitness center for adults.
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 exceptions are the 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 it's 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
The premier restaurant at Atlantis, and one of the most acclaimed in the Bahamas, is Cafe Martinique, a white tablecloth and candles experience (wear a jacket and leave the kids with a sitter) featuring the Continental cuisine of Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The setting is divine, with a wrought-iron elevator lifting diners up to a romantic view over the harbor. The food is subtly tweaked versions of old-school French classics -- Chateaubriand, Dover sole almandine, roasted lobster, with fresh ingredients flown in daily. Only slightly less fancy (and expensive) is Seafire Steakhouse, which served prime cuts of beef, grilled to order in a contemporary steakhouse setting.