Do not stay here. This hotel is misleading, dishonest, and fraudulent.
One credit card was used to reserve and pay for 5 rooms for 9 guests. Each room supplied an additional credit card for a $1000 "incidentals" hold. We were led to believe no ... more additional expenses would be assessed unless charges were made to the room. They confirmed multiple times that the "complimentary" WiFi and bottled water were indeed complimentary.
The following morning I was told there was an issue applying the $1000 incidental hold to my card, and that someone was coming to immediately remediate the issue. I suggested that they wait to come, or that I come to the front desk later as it was an incredibly inconvenient time. They repeatedly insisted upon immediate remediation without negotiation. I was forced to abruptly end the circular dispute.
The hotel was riddled with misleading practices. For example, the "Dolphin Encounter" was free to one person per room per stay. If you wanted to watch your child without participating, you were still assessed a "beach fee" for standing outside the water within viewing distance.
Shuttles for concierge-suggested events routinely ran such that we barely arrived in time for activities. Eventually we entirely missed an activity we had reserved while losing hours of vacation time. The concierge offered a half-hearted apology without offer for compensation.
I discovered multiple holds on my credit card: $750, $822.0, $850, and $1000, totaling $3427. I was assured by the manager that these holds would disappear. After repeated claims of ignorance, they admitted they had difficulty charging cards provided for other rooms in our party, so they applied all of the holds to my card without my knowledge or consent.
I requested my card removed from their system and all charges finalized immediately. They claimed this was only possible by overwriting my card with someone else's or checking me out. Someone else in our party provided their card. I was told my card was no longer in their system and that additional charges would be impossible, and provided a receipt for a $60.84 room service charge with zero remaining balance..
Two days later I, as well as another in our party discovered charges for $822.00. Repeated attempts to elucidate these expenses by phone yielded only runarounds and disconnections. We are currently disputing the charges through our credit card companies.
Upon review of the contract, we found we were to be assessed a $50/day "resort fee" for WiFi and bottled water, as well as a "mandatory gratuity" of $12/person per room for maid service. Using those values, we should have been charged $370, not $822.0. However, at the time I was quoted $60.84 and signed for that charge, with receipt, which has never appeared on my statement.
While they may present as cordial, it appears it is only a tactic to disarm you until you're back overseas where they can easily cease contact while applying fraudulent charges to your accounts. If you absolutely must stay at this hotel, estimate what your expenses will be based on their inflated resort prices, then double that as a theoretical fraud value.
Date of Stay: 07/09/2015
Children in Party: 1
Pool & Water Fun
We booked the Sunscape package with the Gourmet Meal plan. We got 2 free Dolphin interactions. We had a studio room with 2 double beds. The room was tastefully decorated, but lacked storage space enough for 4 people. There is only a large closet with 2 small drawers ... more and one bedside table with 2 larger drawers. The kitchenette was ample. We used Fergie's Taxi, and our nice driver, Sam took us to a supermarket and liquor store. We stocked our fridge with beer soda and water. (Be careful at the liquor stores. They tried to overcharge my husband and then tried to give him the wrong change.
The pools at the Reef were wonderful. They were nicely heated and refreshing. The rest of Atlantis pools were gorgeous as well. It was hit or miss with regards to temperature. Some were heated, some were not. As we had some winds the heated pools were more to our liking. The slides and rapids were so much fun. We went on again and again. On the slides you really need to keep your butt up so as not to get hurt. My son flipped over a few times in the wave part of the rapids, but my daughter and I were in a double tube and never flipped.
Dolphin Cay is a nice experience. We had a 22 month old Dolphin named Missy. She is a beautiful creature and it is a nice day. I had to pay for myself. My husband paid for a beach pass ($15). I had 2 free swims for the kids. If I had to pay full price ($140) for all of us, I would not have thought it was worth it. Blue lagoon Island has a much cheaper excursion.The pictures were way too expensive, as they start at $60 to $400 for packages. You cannot just buy one picture.
The meal plan was worth it for us. Breakfasts ran about $100 each morning for buffet. Dinner buffets were about $190. When we went to Bahamian Club it was $340 and Mesa Grill was $290. The service in both restaurants were spectacular. The food was better in the Bahamian Club. The only disappointing part was the wait staff padded both bills. In the Bahamian Club we gave a few extra dollars to the automatic gratuity of 15% to make it an even $50. When we got back to the room the gratuity was $67. Mesa Grill did the same thing. We complained to the front desk and they fixed the problem. So just be careful and check your folio each day. You will find many things overpriced, as we expected, but you feel like you are nickel and dimed to death. We also ate at Bimini Road...OK food...long wait and very loud. Could not get into Carmines, as they don't accept reservations for parties under 6 people. The wait list was closed by 6pm. Buffets for breakfast and dinner had nice selections.
The staff at all over Atlantis were friendly and courteous. I did not encounter one rude person. Doors were opened for us and smiles were plentiful. Most staff members were singing and dancing while doing their jobs.
We saw a movie at the theatre, my son built a race car at the Speedway. ($75 for the car with 10 min. of race time) My daughter did the build a bear for $40 with an outfit. The arcade starts at $20 on a card, some games are $2 or $3 each.
We had a wonderful family trip and might return to Atlantis some time in the future. I would definitely stay at the Reef again, or the Cove. The other towers, including the Royal, but especially the Beach and Coral Towers are starting to show their age. The buildings and some of the grounds are in need of updating and repair. But the property is very clean. Some areas around the Beach Tower are closed.
Date of Stay: 02/13/2009
Children in Party: 2
Kids Play Area
Pool & Water Fun
See what Family Vacation Critic has to say about the The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection