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The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed 21 October 2013

The Reef was a beautiful property, and I would definitely stay here again. The lobby is very stylish, and everything is very clean. My husband and I had no wait to check in, and the man who helped us was very friendly. We had chosen a studio with an ocean view, and he asked us if we'd like a high floor. We ended up on the 15th floor, and the view was stunning. It was so beautiful that, although we'd envisioned sleeping in a lot, we got up early most days just to watch the sun rise from the balcony. Paying for the ocean view was more than worth the extra cost. The room was also very quiet.

The room itself was very clean and comfortable. Some of the furniture, like the couch, seemed a little dated, but it was still a very nice room. The bed was a little firm for my taste, but I still slept very well (and I usually have a hard time sleeping in hotels, so I was pleasantly surprised). The kitchenette was very handy, and although we didn't really cook we ordered from foodstore2go.com and used the fridge. The safe was large enough to fit all of our valuables including ipads, phones, passports, jewelry, etc. We didn't have an ironing board or bathrobes, but when we asked they were brought up almost immediately.

The bathroom was very nice- double sinks with plenty of counter space and lots of room to store toiletries in the cabinets. The soaking tub was very nice and the separate shower was large, though there wasn't really a lot of space to put shampoo and other shower items. I didn't particularly care for the sliding glass window between the bathroom and the other room- it didn't close all the way and it was just a little weird. I was excited to see that there was a small TV in the bathroom, figuring it would be nice to take a bath and watch or watch while getting ready. However- and this is really the only reason I gave this hotel 4 stars instead of 5- it wasn't working. We wouldn't have minded if they'd taken care of it, but it took the entire week for us to manage to get it fixed. We called and went to the front desk about it at least 6-7 times. At one point someone did come up but said he couldn't fix it and would have someone sent up the next day. That never happened, and after asking again and again, the TV was finally fixed the night before we left. It shouldn't have taken that long and we shouldn't have had to expend so much effort on our parts, nor were we offered any kind of compensation for the issue. In the end it wasn't a big deal, but we got sick of asking and it annoyed us just enough to make our experience less than ideal.

The room was cleaned well every day- I'm pretty particular about cleaning and the maid was very thorough. The room also had a button you could press that would illuminate outside the door to indicate either "do not disturb" or "clean room". This was very convenient and we always came back to a clean room. There were generally plenty of towels and washcloths, and although I didn't expect them to take care of it, our dishes were cleaned as well.

As for the rest of our stay:

Food: It was very convenient to have a Starbucks in the lobby. Don't order room service. We got there late the first night and didn't feel like going out to find something, but the room service cost us over $60 for two burgers and fries, and this didn't even include drinks. The burger was okay, but the fries were soggy. Other food around the resort was hit or miss: we loved the Bahamian Club, Mosaic, and Marina Pizzeria. We didn't enjoy Bimini Road or the Marketplace.

Service: I read so many reviews before we left about poor service at Atlantis, but found the opposite. Nearly everyone we encountered was friendly and polite, and always asking how they could help or whether we needed anything. This was true both on and off the resort. I don't think I've ever encountered such exceptional customer service, not even at Disney. One of the few exceptions to this was when we were trying to find out where to go to catch the Blue Lagoon ferry. The concierge (this was actually not at the Reef, but at Coral Towers) started to tell us, but when she realized we were doing Blue Lagoon and not the Atlantis dolphin experience, she clammed up and rudely pointed us to the tourism desk. Otherwise, though, most everyone was very pleasant and went above and beyond, from the shuttle drivers who would converse with us and ask us how our trip was going, to the bell men who were always opening doors, to random employees who smiled and said hello just passing by.

Activities: Wrote some separate reviews, but loved Blue Lagoon. Spa was pretty bad. We stayed mostly on the property, which is beautiful. Everything looks exactly as you expect it to look from the pictures online. The Cove area is especially stunning. The aquariums were fun to look around in, and we loved being able to look down and see fish, stingrays, and sharks just swimming around without having to look through glass. I wasn't impressed with the shops, there wasn't that much that I was interested in. Marina Village was a nice little area, it was very picturesque with all the yachts around. We had fun at the waterpark, and there were a lot of pools to choose from. All very clean. I especially enjoyed the pool that is exclusive to guests at the Reef or Cove, as well as Paradise Beach. Neither was ever crowded and it was nice to be able to get away from the waterpark and main beach- much more relaxing. The water at the beach was so pretty, with gentle waves and the sand was soft. We were glad we paid a little more to stay on that side of the resort. It was always very quiet and peaceful.

Transportation- To and from the airport, we used the Dan Knowles shuttle we bought with our package. They were easy to find when we arrived, and we had a van to ourselves on the way there. The driver was very personable and showed us points of interest along the way, as well as made recommendations for activities for us. On the way back, we had a bus which stopped at a couple of the other towers and it filled up fast. There was a family with tons of bags- so many that they wouldn't fit on the bus- and the driver had to call for a truck to come and get them. We ended up sitting there on the bus for about 20-30 minutes because they refused to leave their bags and insisted on making everyone else wait so they could see them loaded onto the truck. Despite the driver's best efforts to reassure them that they did this all the time, and promises that their bags would arrive at the airport shortly, they still insisted. This was annoying and we were pretty worried we'd miss our flight. If the airport had been more crowded, we probably would have. This wasn't really Dan Knowles' fault, although perhaps it would be better for them to find out how many bags you have when you confirm your reservation to ensure they had enough room. Just be advised that if there is a group who thinks they should be able to take up the entire bus themselves, you could end up waiting. For this reason only, I'd probably take a taxi next time, even though I found the drivers to be professional and efficient. As for the shuttles between the different areas of the resort- they are convenient, but be prepared to wait. They didn't seem to run on any particular schedule, and we eventually learned that every time the bell man told us it would arrive in 5 minutes, that really meant "it will be here when it gets here". That could be 5 minutes or 20 (more often 15-20). Oftentimes we could have walked where we were going much faster if we weren't so tired.

Value: If you're looking for a value, I don't think Atlantis is the right place to go, and certainly not the Reef or Cove. Yes, everything is outrageously expensive- especially the food. But I don't know why anyone is particularly surprised when they get there- if you read any of the reviews, you know what to expect. It all adds up extremely quickly- we ended up spending about $1000 on food and the spa for less than a week. We could have utilized the kitchen more and saved a couple hundred, but I hate cooking on vacation. But since we knew what to expect, we just tried not to think about it and enjoy our time there. If we couldn't afford it, we wouldn't have gone, so no use complaining.

Overall, my husband and I had a wonderful trip, and if we ever end up going to the Bahamas again, we'd definitely stay at the Reef. Normally, by the end of a vacation I'm ready to go home, but not this time. Neither one of us wanted to leave!

Room Tip: Definitely spring for the ocean view, and ask for a high floor. It really is worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Lizzie1712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

The resort and this specific hotel are simply amazing. The beach is breathtaking and there is a huge pool right in front of it surrounded by manicured gardens. Room is well oversized compared with a standard hotel room and bathroom is very nice with a separate rain water shower and tub. The room has a balcony which is perfect for lounging.

We must have been there during a low occupancy time in October because it felt like we had the whole resort to ourselves. This was in contrast to the other side of the resort (Royal) that was much more lively.

Incidentals cost us around 300/day for a family of 3 including a two year old who does not each much and who ate dinner for free. This included internet at 20/day. I went into it knowing that food would be costly and trying to ignore it but it still stung bad for the first couple days. After that I got used it it and it didn't hurt anymore. Unless you're going to carefully manage expenses (cook for yourself, order groceries, etc as others have done), there's really no way around this.

Only other logistical issue is that this hotel is at the far end of the property so you will need to do a lot of walking back and forth to get to the action (waterpark, stores, and most of the restaurants). This can use up some time if for example you'd like to spend your day at the Reef beach which is amazing but take your meals on the other side of the resort where there are more casual / less expensive options. The flip side of this is that the Reef side of the resort is quieter, calmer and feels much more luxurious.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ne15211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

This place was awesome but thanks to Laura Kelly it got even better. She's been outstanding providing the information, directions and suggestions. She surely made us feel welcome every time we encountered her. We'll definitely come back.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ladycrystal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013 via mobile

I should start by disclosing that I detest Las Vegas. A fried was getting married in the Bahamas, and when we looked at the Atlantis website, we thought that the Reef would be the lesser of many evils. I was very pleasantly surprised.

The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The room had plenty of space for me, my husband, and our 3-year-old son, and the kitchen made life really easy. The bathroom was well appointed.

The location was also very good - there's a pool for reef and cove guests only that is very calm. It feels more like a mid size resort in Hawaii than a mega resort. The beach right next to the reef is similarly nice. So if you want leave and quiet you can get it. But it's also only a short walk to the complete and utter chaos and crowds that is the waterpark and some of the other towers. It was great to be able to take our son to the waterpark but but be able to leave the Vegas-y parts of the complex behind - especially the cigarette smoke that seemed to permeate many indoor areas of the resort, and even the waterpark (ewww). The only downside to the location is that it's quite the schlep to get from the reef - completely on one end of the property- to the aquarium in the middle let alone the turtle feeding at the beach tower. The shuttle service is spotty, at best, so be prepared to walk.

The kids activities are also great. Our kid loved the slides, all of the animals, and the beach. It was really a pleasure to have our three-year-old there. As much as it surprises me to say it, we may be back, although I expect that without the wedding rate the sticker shock will be more than it was this time around (expect to pay $100 more a night than the room rate for taxes etc) plus any in incidentals.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank valifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

I don't often write reviews after a vacation but thought I should since I use Trip Advisor for helping me choose my vacation. I have stayed at Atlantis 5 times. This is our first time at the Reef. Had a fantastic vacation. The hotel is great for families. It has a toaster, kettle, and fridge. Great for keeping milk for the kids and toasting bagels for them in the mornings. The staff were great. I loved having access to the quieter beach and swimming pool as the other side of Atlantis does get a little too busy for me. We have booked another trip to Atlantis for next year, this time we will be staying at the Cove. No reason, other than we just wanted to try it. We were totally happy with the Reef though.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tpow2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AURORA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

I'm sure you all have read all the other reviews, so here are my tips: bring your own food and take advantage of the kitchenette. We paid nothing for breakfast the whole week. Use the food2go.com site for water and other refrigerator things. We actually never went our for lunch either had bagel sandwiches or crackers and cheese. We went out every night and a family of 4 never spent more than 80 bucks for dinner. We went to the Marina every night, much cheaper food! Take a boat tour, expensive but well worth it. Go downtown and take the water taxi, a little weird that it costs and the "tour guide" still asks for tips. Souveniers are cheaper down there too. Last tip, when you make your reservation ask for a floor that is high up. We got the top floor and it was unfreaking believable. Loved the whole trip, can't wait to go back!

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
11 Thank Jeffry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2013

I stayed there this morning and now I am back to Toronto writing this review. First time travelling with our 10 months-old. We chose Reef because it's equipped with a kitchen. Like what they have advertised, it is an up-scale condo. You won't feel any special until you head over to the other towers which are busy and noisy. Reef and Cove are elegant and quiet. It may not be as close to many attractions but it definitely gives you some privacy and quietness, especially for the exclusive use of pool and beach only open to Reef and Cove guests.

We asked for a crib and our son behaved surprisingly well in it. He usually doesn't like to be confined in one place for long especially in his owns, but this spacious crib like having some kind of magic and spared us some time.

Due to the low season, not all restaurants open everyday and most of the time you only find out when you get there. We tried to ask around but most staff don't know what's exactly going on. (when to re-open).

Not all staff provide the same quality of services. Some are exceptional but some are ridiculous. We had a bad experience at Mosaic. We walked in at 2:25pm but the front desk lady did not tell us that they are closing and still seated us at a table. It ends up that our family has to rush through the whole lunch in 30 mins. The manager there apologize and gave us an extra five minutes... not sure if I should thanks her. This is suppose to be a vacation and we wanted to take our time, not a quick bite in between meetings at work.

Spending is not really that bad. It is not cheap spending in Atlantis but it is not way overpriced neither. Expected to spend like in a downtown area of a major city. Depends on what you want to eat. You will find $40 to $50 a course at a fine restaurant or $15 at a casual one. Except for buffet (Mosaic or marketplace), they are overpriced in my opinion. Try to avoid them. They cost around $60 pp, but just providing regular food and limited variety . Not even crab legs.

The Paradise beach is the best beach at Atlantis! We spent every morning there. It was a good way to start a day. The beach chairs are way better than the ones in all the other beaches. We could spend half a day on the chair if my son allows, very relaxing.

Reef or Cove is very exclusive. I will definitely stay here again next time at Atlantis. I would recommend Reef for family because it has a kitchen, and Cove for couple because of their romantic ambiance.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BriGuyTor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection

Property: The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Address: 1 Casino Drive, New Providence Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Casino Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 497
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on Paradise Beach, guests of The Reef Atlantis enjoy miles of white sand and ocean in their backyard with all the wonder and excitement of Atlantis on their front doorstep. The Reef 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 enjoy a semi-private pool, shared only with The Cove Atlantis and a Starbucks lounge. ... more   less 
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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

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