So, We went to this resort at a "bucket list" type deal. I've always wanted to go, and when the opportunity came around, we signed up. But, this is NOT an all inclusive resort. The food is super expensive. The things to do are also very pricey. But is it worth it? YES!! Here are some tips to help you save money.
First - do your research!!!!
The resort offers transportation to and from the airport. Line it up!! It was $52 round trip for my husband and I. I hear cab rides were twice that. It was way easy to prebook, just call the resort number on the website.
MOST Importantly: bring a suitcase full of snacks. The cheapest meal plan the resort offered was $89 per person per day, and that was JUST for breakfast and dinner, no lunch, and no drinks, and only at certain restaurants. We spent about $80 and brought pop tarts, granola bars for breakfast, nuts and jerky for snacks, and peanut butter and honey, as well as some canned chicken and tuna and a few boxes of crackers for sandwiches. The rooms have fridges, but they are FULL, and if you remove some of the items, it will automatically go on your bill. We also brought some mini packets of mayo and relish for the tuna and chicken. So, we ate breakfast and lunch in our rooms every day. We also ordered from foodstore2go.com which is a grocery store that delivers RIGHT TO YOUR HOTEL ROOM. The prices are standard Bohemian prices, but it was more convenient for us to order a case of water and a loaf of bread from them than to either pack it or waste our time and to go to the grocery store once we got there. They also offer hotel deals with like a bag of apples, some chips and salsa, and a few other things. That was very easy, and we probably spent another $70 with them. But the breakfast place downstairs was about $80 for the two of us, so I dont feel bad that we had a few apples and chips left over. :)
We ate out for dinner every night, and since a lot of the casual places in the resort closed down at 5 or 6, we just went into town. (Taxis run about $11 out, and $12-16 to get back in) Lucianos and Greycliff are formal dining. We went to Lucianos and it was VERY good. The Poop Deck was good sea food, and a nice harbor view, about $90. Twin Brothers (at the Fish Fry) was very good, and everyone in town recommended it. About $80 there for us. Our favorite was Sharkies (downtown) we went there twice and it seemed to be cheaper than other places, about $60 to $70. And if you just NEED an all american breakfast, there is a place called Anthonys that has ACTUAL REGULAR PRICING. We ran out of pop tarts our last two days and went there, (Walk all the way through the Marina Village, cross the street and turn left) I got two pancakes, two pieces of Ham, two sausage, two bacon, toast, two eggs, and a big serving of potatoes for $15. Way Cheap! Oh, and MOST of the time (all the time for us) the tips were already added to our checks. So watch for that.
Also, on your first night out for dinner in town, stop and buy some beer. One beer at the resort is about $9. A mixed drink is about $13. We treated ourselves to one drink a day, but we bought beer in town and stored it in a cooler in our room. There are plenty of ice machines.
We did stay at the Royal Towers, because our groups was staying there. It was very nice and convenient, but I was told the rate we got was very good, so make sure you look into all the details like the $4 per day maid gratuity, and all the other fees they tack on.
Internet is $19 per day if you pre-pay, $22 per day once you are already on site. We just went without. But rumor has it that there is a library where each guest gets 15 minutes of computer use per day. We never went there. We were too busy having fun. Seriously, Why do you need internet? you are on VACATION!!
The water park is a total blast! There are two rivers, a true Lazy river, then there is a Rapids River. The Rapids River was very splashy and fun, and it took about 20 minutes to get around the whole thing. But you could also detour and take a turn in one spot to ride the conveyor belt up to the Power Tower to ride the Water Slides.
If you are into snorkeling, you can snorkel in the sheltered beach area for free if you have your own gear (resort guests can check out a life vest for free) or you can rent everything. There are lots of pretty fish, some conch, Stingray and even huge lobsters in the rocks on the far side. They sell fish food for $6 for two bags, worth it but WATCH YOUR FINGERS :) and read the directions. I didnt know the bag was biodegradable and I swam around with it for 20 minutes...
IF YOU DO THE DOLPHIN CAY - This is going to sound like the opposite of "saving money" but I've heard from a lot of people that most of dolphin experiences are more like "Dolphin Photo-op" , they rush you in, then rush you out. Then you have to go BUY the picture. So....My word of advice is do the Ultimate Trainer for a Day. Yes, it is super expensive. But we did EVERYTHING. We got to tour the Animal hospital, the vet lab, we chopped up squid and shrimp to feed animals, we fed sharks, we played with sea stars, urchins, sea cucumbers, conch, horseshoe crab, we saw Jellyfish, all this behind the scenes, then we went out and fed and played with sting rays, we snorkeled with them in shallow and deep water (some were HUGE!!) We got to go to the dolphins and do Shallow water interaction, kiss and hug a dolphin, deep water interaction with a water scooter and snorkels, then a double dorsal tow and a foot push from the dolphins. We got to see baby dolphins and watch how the observers take notes on them, and then we did some sea lion training where we got kissed and hugged by a sea lion, got to pet her and do some training with her. And a photographer followed us around all day and took our photos, at the end we got a 1 GB flash drive with all our photos. Plus, Lunch was included, so theres $80 right there ;) It took all day, 10:00 to 4:30. It was amazing. And you get a T shirt and Snorkel gear to keep. Very awesome trainers Nadia and Jessica, and our great photographer Trevor made us very happy.:)
Finally, we did a LOT of walking during our stay. So be prepared for that, the resort is HUGE. You can rent lockers near the pools, but we just never went down there with valuables... Towels are easy to get. you just walk up to staff at a towel hut and ask for them, they dont track them or anything. We went barefoot a lot of the time just so we could jump in the water and not have to worry about leaving anything unattended.
Cruise ships - man we saw 5-6 come in every day!! the lines for the slides get long when the cruise ships come in. But it wasnt too bad for us (May 2014.)
Overall, I would guess $100 to $120 per night for dinner. If you pack food, then you toss any extra (if you have any) and tada! Room for souvenirs!
I hope this helps anyone who is planning a trip. Just save up your money and plan on spending a lot!! Bite the bullet, otherwise you will not enjoy your trip. If you dont enjoy it, what is the point in going?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal is the icon of Atlantis featuring the awe-inspiring mythology of the Lost City of Atlantis risen from the sea. From the artwork to the experiences, a stay at The Royal is larger than life, with intimate proximity to the world’s largest open air marine habitat situated at its center and the famed Atlantis casino by its side. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atlantis - Royal Towers Hotel Paradise Island
- Atlantis Royal Hotel
- Atlantis Royal Paradise Island
- Atlantis Paradise Island Royal Towers
- Royal Towers Atlantis
- Royal Towers Of Atlantis
- Atlantis, Royal Towers, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island