All Ages

Your Guide to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas

Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island in the Bahamas; Courtesy of Yevgen Belich/Shutterstock.com

You’ve seen the enticing commercials for Atlantis, Paradise Island, with its towering pink buildings, amazing water park, and one-of-a-kind dolphin program.

With a closer look, the resort’s numerous hotels, restaurants, and programs confuse many families, however. For example, the biggest surprise for many is that the resort is not all-inclusive. Many people are surprised to learn the resort actually comprises six hotels, as well. Before you go, here’s what you need to know about Atlantis.

Guide to Atlantis: Location

Atlantis Resort is located on Paradise Island, a small island that is part of Nassau. It’s connected by a bridge where a toll is required to enter the island, should you choose to visit when arriving by cruise ship or staying at another hotel in Nassau. The toll price is included with your transportation from the airport or cruise port.

Guide to Atlantis: Understanding Reviews

Atlantis, as a whole, is actually six separate resorts. This makes it difficult to understand hotel reviews of the property. Also, the hotel ratings are often so low, you’ll wonder why people even want to stay there. The problem with looking at Atlantis reviews is that they’re not typically family-focused and not dedicated to each property on the resort. Former guests of Atlantis quickly learn they are on different resorts connected as one, and when they provide reviews, they do so under the proper resort name. The Reef, for example, is one of the more popular resorts for families, and has higher reviews that reflect that. Be sure to check the individual resort reviews to truly understand what you’ll get and what others are saying about their stay.

Guide to Atlantis: Which Hotel Should You Stay At?

The six resorts located at Atlantis, Paradise Island are:

  • The Beach
  • The Coral
  • The Cove
  • Harborside Resort
  • The Reef
  • The Royal

The Beach - Atlantis, Paradise Island; Courtesy of Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Beach
The Beach is one of the least popular resorts at Atlantis. It’s the furthest away from all of the attractions, restaurants and excitement, and is the oldest of the properties. Granted, if you really want to stay on Atlantis and save money, it may be worth considering; you can just use it as a place to sleep and enjoy the spoils of the resort during the day.

The Coral - Atlantis, Paradise Island; Courtesy of Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Coral
This property is a step up from The Beach, and first opened with the The Beach (formerly called the Beach Tower, in 1994). It recently received renovations and is a better budget-friendly option for families looking to save and enjoy nicer accommodations.

The Royal
The Royal is the building most associated with Atlantisit is the group of iconic towers with a penthouse suite connecting them. It’s also the busiest of the properties, with crowds of people, a bustling casino, shopping, and the location for most of the resort’s attractions, including the aquarium and water parks.

The Reef - Atlantis, Paradise Island; Courtesy of Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Reef
The Reef is one of the favorites of families. Removed from the bustling side of the resort, it’s quieter and features its own beach and pool, as well as the resort’s only rooms with kitchenettes and dining spaces.

The Cove - Atlantis, Paradise Island; Courtesy of Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Cove
This property is located next to The Reef, and the two opened together. It’s one of the nicest buildings on the resort, but it is also not recommended for families. Its private pool is available only to its guests and does not welcome children.

Harborside Resort
Harborside is removed from the beach and is a colorful “village” made up of four-story villas right on the marina. The center of town features dining and shopping, and the area becomes popular in the evenings. These accommodations are great for families, as they have villas with up to three bedrooms.

“Secret” Atlantis Hotels
There are two additional properties on Paradise Island that provide complimentary access to Atlantis resort’s attractions and restaurants. One is the budget-friendly Comfort Suites Paradise Island and the other is the high-end One & Only Ocean Club.

Comfort Suites Paradise Island
This is a beautifully renovated hotel with its own walking path to Atlantis. Guests receive all the same benefits of staying on the resort, at much lower rates, with free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and rooms with kitchenettes. It’s a true hidden gem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

One & Only Ocean Club
This property is geared more for couples and adults (we’re looking at you, grandparents); it is very upscale with dedicated butlers assigned to each of the cottages and oceanfront villas available for guests.

Guide to Atlantis: What’s Included?

This is not an all-inclusive resort, but access to Aquaventure water park is included in rates. The popular attraction is open to cruise ship passengers and visitors who purchase day passes, and the resort does not differentiate from the two when lines become long.

Also free is the Ruins aquarium, with guided and self-guided tours through an ancient underwater city environment filled with colorful fish, rays and sharks. Some of the evening entertainment is also free; some shows will cost extra. Special guests, musical concerts, and shows will require advance ticket purchase, just as if you were at home booking through Ticketmaster.

If you stay at one of the tower resorts, internet is included in your daily resort fee.

Guide to Atlantis: What’s NOT Included?

All meals at Atlantis are at your own discretion, even with the numerous restaurant options. The dolphin programs you’ve heard about take place at Dolphin Cay and are not included with accommodations. The basic “swimming” with dolphins program is actually a shallow water interaction where you and your kids will stand in the water and a dolphin will be presented to you to touch and pose for pictures, taken by the resort’s professional photographers (another fee). There is a swim program, which will cost more, as will training programs, stingray experiences and sea lion interactions. Be prepared and budget for extra spending if these activities are important to you.

The Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA) is a supervised children’s program for ages 3 to 12, but it will cost you for a half- or full-day, as well as the addition of lunch. An evening program is also available so moms and dads can have date nights while the kids play, also at an additional fee.

Nightclubs, including the teen club CRUSH, have cover charges to get in.

Wi-Fi is not included if you stay at the Harborside Resort.

Guide to Atlantis: Dining Plans

There are a number of restaurants located on the property, and none of them are included in the price of your stay without the purchase of a dining plan. The resort offers a full breakfast plan, or a plan that includes breakfast and dinner. Children 12 and younger are discounted in these plans, but must select from the children’s menus. Dining plans must be booked at least three days before arrival.

Age Restrictions for Dining
Children under age 6 are not welcome in the French Cafe Martinique, and Nobu, Mesa Grill and Casa D’Angelo only allow children under 6 to dine 5:30 to 6 p.m. Restaurants with children’s menus include the Bahamian Club, Bimini Road, Casa Chop Stix, Dune, Marina Pizzeria, Mesa Grill, Murray’s Delicatessen, Olives, Seafire Steakhouse, the Point restaurant & Bar and Virgil’s. Also on property at the marina are a Johnny Rockets and Quizno’s, which are friendlier on the wallet. A Starbucks is located in The Reef, but be warned its breakfast lines can wrap through the hotel lobby.

Guide to Atlantis: Getting Around

The resort does not provide transportation to and from airport, but works with a special provider shuttle that will charge a fee. The shuttles may stop at numerous resorts between the airport and Atlantis. Once on the resort, a complimentary shuttle is offered between the different resorts, becoming crowded during the dining hours.

To leave Paradise Island, you will need to hire a taxi or water taxi. The resort is located near the cruise port and downtown’s shopping, straw market, dining and island attractions, such as the Pirate Museum. The water taxis are the easiest method for getting around, departing every 30 minutes from Harbor Town.

Guide to Atlantis: Day Passes

Guests who are not staying overnight on Paradise Island are welcome to purchase day passes for the resort grounds, Aquaventure water park, and/or beach. Visit Atlantis, Paradise Island’s Day Booking website for more information.

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