Review of Atlantis: The Cove
Just returned from a 4-night stay (Feb 27-Mar 3) and wanted to give my 2 cents. My husband and I are in our 30s, no kids, and were looking for a splurge get-away. Overall, the vacation fulfilled every expectation. The weather was gorgeous (sunny and 75 degrees 3 out of 4 days; on the “cold” day it was 65…) The service was impeccable; despite the winter’s layoffs, there were still quite a number of service employees given the number of guests. The resort was very quiet and because of the economy, we didn’t have to wait in any lines. And we had no problems making reservations at a number of places the day before or day of.
The Cove: At first I balked at paying $750/night for a room but after reading lots of great reviews, I caved in. Was it worth it? Definitely. The Cove was spectacular. Gorgeous building design and interior. The lobby is breathtaking. The rooms are top notch; comparable to anything you’d find at a NY or SF Ritz or Four Seasons. All the rooms have a sitting area and two flat screens. The bathroom was spacious (two rooms, shower and bath) and again top notch. Service is to match. Fresh towels every day and turn-down service every evening in addition to housekeeping in the morning.
The Cain Pool: This is the adults-only pool at The Cove. It was packed on Saturday & Sunday but relatively quiet Monday & Tuesday. The pools are lovely w/dark blue bottoms and there are lots of trees; very picturesque. However, personally I found the scene on the pretentious side – tons of greasy-looking older men with young plastic women. And we got chastised by an older man who had claimed some chairs. (Beware! If there’s a yellow towel down, someone’s sitting there!) We ended up spending most days at the next door open pool shared by The Cove and The Reef. The beach fronted the pools which was nice.
Food: Lots of reviewers have mentioned how expensive food is. Yes it’s expensive but they’re actually quite comparable to NYC prices--$3.75 for a bottle of water, $18 for a burger, etc. It’s the same if you go to Disneyworld. Definitely get a dining plan if you can. We didn’t realize the dining plan option requires booking 3 days in advance so we missed out. Which was awful because they were actually discounting the gourmet meal plan from $99 to $79 pp! We coped by having breakfast buffet ($25 at Marketplace, $27.50 at Mosaic), light snacks for lunch, and full dinners ($150-200 for the two of us), so about $200-300 a day. For buffet, I advise Mosaic (much nicer than Marketplace in the Royal Towers) and only a few dollars more. If you want to get a great deal on lunch or dinner, go down to the Marina. Marina Pizzeria has great pizza slices for $8! And there’s a Marketplace Deli there too (we didn’t try it but it looked reasonable). If you’re a big drinker, there are tons of liquor shops right on the other side of the bridge in Nassau; stop there before you come over. For dinner, we ate at Nobu and Bahamian Club. Both were fine. At the Bahamian Club, we got the chateaubriand—definitely worth it! Get the coconut crème brulee for dessert! Nobu was really expensive and not much food, no surprise there. The best part I thought was the dessert. Lots of reviewers have raved about Mesa Grill. We decided to skip it because we recently went to the one in NYC. We also had a reservation at Dune but ended up canceling because we couldn’t motivate to get out there. (We did end up seeing The One and Only Club by day. It was nice but extremely quiet (very Newport, RI) and definitely not worth the $300-700 premium they charge over The Cove.)
Dolphin Interaction: The dolphin interaction was really cool. We had a young 2-year old dolphin named Missy who was absolutely adorable. We paid $75/pp (on sale) and it was definitely worth it. We booked it well in advance which we heard was recommended and the whole experience was smooth and easy, 1 hr and 15 min from beginning to end.
Mandara Spa: First rate facilities – steam room, sauna, heated pool, aromatherapy room. The service was great and the atmosphere lovely. I got a Swedish Massage--$125 for 50 minutes. Good massage—not spectacular but not bad either. If you want to visit the spa without getting a service, you can pay a $20 flat fee.
Nassau: Last but not least, we spent one afternoon in Nassau. Lots of shops on Bay Street and with a very lively air. Hit the Straw Market and bought some cheap T-shirts. Senor Frog’s was right outside the Straw Market and it was hopping. A little too spring break-y for us but it was worth seeing. Tons of places selling Cuban cigars. My husband bought one ($13) and smoked it that night on the balcony; and wished he’d bought two… Walked up to Fort Finlay and the Queen’s Staircase. It was nice to do something a little “historic” even if it was a bit anticlimactic. Ate at Café Matisse which had amazing handmade gnocchi.
Taxis: It cost $34 to go from the airport to The Cove, $15 from The Cove to downtown (which I think was a ripoff since other reviewers have mentioned paying as little as $5), and $32 to go from The Cove to the airport. Seems like the cab drivers practice some “variable” pricing. US dollars are accepted everywhere.
Money: We didn’t really need cash while on the Atlantis property since you could charge everything to your room. One thing that drove me crazy was people trying to charge things using their pool wrist bracelets. Get in the habit of just taking your room card everywhere and be prepared to show it; it’s Atlantis’ way of making sure that day visitors can’t access the resort amenities. 15% gratuity is automatically added to everything (20% at the spa). We added a few dollars to some charges (dinner for instance) to make it 20%. After reading other people’s reviews, I was sure to review our charges every night (they make it really easy for you---your account is accessible via the TV menu), and there were no problems at all.
Overall Impression: Great trip! Expensive but worth the money
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dynamic and stylish. Sophisticated and sensual. A place where scene meets scenery and urban chic meets white-sand nature. Inspired by the beauty of its surroundings, The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection thrives on the rhythm of the day. While our Atlantis hotel's exclusive ultra-pool and beach club create a seamless day to night scene, our Bahamas paradise's spectacular ocean views and balmy open-air architecture embrace nature’s most compelling elements creating a seductive and indulgent experience. Stay with us and enjoy a perfect location steps from pristine beaches and gorgeous Paradise Island lagoons. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cove Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
- Cove Atlantis Paradise Island
- Atlantis Cove
- The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island