In late June 2011 I took my family to Atlantis. We stayed in Reef Hotel. If you are looking for luxury and relaxation, this is the hotel to stay in. You have access to all the water park rides but when you want to get away from all the craziness (and believe me it was so crowded that we couldn't even find a chair to put our towels on) you get to come back to a pool and beach that you only share with Cove Hotel guests. Not only were there more than enough chairs at the pool and on the beach, they were nice chairs that had covers you could adjust so you could actually spend the day lounging & reading without getting blinded by the sun. I didn't see this type of chair anywhere else on the property. Also, there is a small staff that mills around the pool and beach area and they are wonderfully accomodating, helping you set up your chairs or providing recos for anything you might need or want.
Room: Now let me talk about the room. We had a 1 bedroom suite. SOOOO worth the money. When you walk in, there is a full kitchen (w/high end appliances), dining area, a sitting area that include a pull out couch and a small but full bathroom. The sitting area has a surround sound system with DVD player hooked up to the TV. There was a washer/dryer in the closet (but ours didn't seem to work?). Then there was a door to a separate master suite with a king bed & its own flat screen tv. The master bathroom was enormous with a separate shower & tub and double sinks. It also had a private bathroom stall and a nice vanity set up for women to do their make up. Its was all beautifully and naturally decoarated, NOT tacky island chic.
Dining: We opted do to do the Atlantis dining plan before we arrived. While the food is decent its not the best food you will ever eat. Had I known our room would have a kitchen, I may not have opted to do the dining plan. Its a lot of food and had I not been pregnant I don't think I would have gotten my money's worth. The line for the buffet at Mosaic was absolutely annoying. Every morning we had to wait over a 1/2 hour in line to be seated. Yet, when you walked into the dining room it was half full at best. They just didn't have enough people working to keep the tables filled. Had we paid to eat at the buffet each day it would have cost our family of 2 adults and 2 children $110 with tip. So fair warning, its expensive if you are not on the dining plan. For dinner we ate at Mesa Grill (would not reccomend at all), Chopstix (suprisingly good), The Bahamian Club (good, not great), Carmines (good, esp w/ kids) and Cafe Martinique (good, not great - reco no kids). The biggest complaint I would have about dining in any of the restaurants in Atlantis is the service. The service was really bad given the cost of the food & drinks. In the US, if you are going to spend $250 on a dinner, you have a certain level of service that you expect to accompany the meal. Don't expect to find it in Atlantis. We were disappointed every night! I think the fact that they automatically at 15% gratuity to your bill makes the waitstaff less "hungry" to please. In the US, we almost always leave 20% unless the service is not good. There was a space to fill in additional gratuity and I couldn't bring myself to write it in more than once......believe me, that is saying something!
Kids Club - I have 7 & 8 year old boys that attended the kids club 2 nights. One night was a detective theme and the other night was a carnival theme. I have to say, they were cared for but didn't have the BEST time like I had so many friends tell me. Even my son that is really easy to please found it just ok. Therefore, I woulndn't book to many nights ahead of time b/c you can not cancel once you have paid for the reservation. My suggestion is to book one night, try it, and decide on a day to day basis what you want to do. Every child is different so my review of the kids club may not mean anything when it comes to your child.
Beach: The water is extremely calm & clear, perfect for the novice snorkeler!! Bring your snorkel from home, even a cheapy one from the CVS or Target, b/c they are $50 and up when you get down here!! My boys loved being able to see all of the beautiful fish in the water just off the beach. I also reccomend that your kids bring their favorite bucket & shovels from home as their carry on b/c the items you can buy in the sundries shop are wickedly overpriced. And if you are feeling generous when you leave, you can always give them to another child on the beach who will be grateful to have them!!
Problems: We did have one small annoying problem while we were there. Everyday the power would go out at some point and it would stay out for varying amounts of time. The worst was when we lost it for a half hour one night while I was trying to get ready to go out to dinner. I barely got to dry my hair before we had to run to our dinner reservation. And the staff was very "whatever" about the whole situation. So fair warning!!
Final Comments: Everything you read about Atlantis being crazy expensive is true! Even with the meal plan, we had to pay for the gratuities and beverages on the back end. And lunch is not inlcuded in the meal plan so any mid day snack went on there too. The child care is $60 per child per night....no sibling discount....so that is $120 per night before you even step out. However, I know that the cost of everything goes into maintaing the property which is clean, lush and just downright beautiful. It was a wonderful experience overall and I would reccomend this as a once in a lifetime vacation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on Paradise Beach, guests of The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection enjoy miles of white sand and ocean in their backyard with all the wonder and excitement of Atlantis on their front doorstep. Our Bahamas resort hotel features studios, one and two bedroom suites that offer all the conveniences of home with a full kitchen or kitchen area complete with linens, cookware, table settings, refrigerator and private balconies with water views. Guests of The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection enjoy a semi-private pool, shared only with The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection and a Starbucks lounge. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Reef Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
- Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
- The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island