Atlantis Bahamas Review 2023 + Travel Guide
We recently spent a week in The Bahamas to celebrate our baby girl’s second birthday and it was nothing short of spectacular! The famous Atlantis Bahamas is the first place that came to my mind when we considered vacationing in The Bahamas. We are not resort people but this trip was all about relaxing and giving fun experiences for our baby girl and I knew that Atlantis Bahamas would be a perfect choice.
Atlantis Bahamas is a huge resort (even for resort standards) with several hotels to choose from, numerous restaurants to dine at, multiple activities to do while there and took a lot of planning. I did a lot of research to plan this trip and was not disappointed! Here is an honest review of our week long stay at Atlantis Bahamas and a comprehensive travel guide to help you decide which hotel/tower to stay at Atlantis Bahamas, where to eat in and around Atlantis Bahamas, activities for kids and adults at Atlantis and some useful tips and recommendations to make your stay eventful and stress free!
Atlantis Bahamas – An honest review
Atlantis is a world-class resort located on Paradise Island and is known for its famous Aquaventure waterpark, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, amazing restaurants, casino and more. It was built in 1998 (25 years ago) and cost an estimated $900 million dollars to build. Atlantis Bahamas has everything you can think of (and more) and is a city in itself. In fact, you do not need to venture off the island! I have included as much information as I could in this guide to help you choose the best hotel, save on food, activities and finally my verdict whether Atlantis Bahamas is worth staying.
Tips and recommendations for your stay at Atlantis Bahamas
Make sure you book your accommodation and activities well in advance as they are quite popular and can get sold out quickly.
The resort is quite large and can be overwhelming to get around for first timers. Download a map of Atlantis or the app to orient yourselves.
The food is EXPENSIVE! If you plan to dine three times a day or have kids who need snacks and are hungry often, I highly recommend a trip to the grocery store and liquor store to save some $$.
Make use of the free shuttles that run every 5-10 minutes between various hotels, the Marina Village and The Four Seasons. Taxis are also available at each hotel/tower if you would like to take a trip to Nassau Downtown or elsewhere.
Pack all the summer essentials – sunscreen, hat, tote bag, flip flops and sun dresses.
US dollars are accepted everywhere and the Bahamian dollar is the same value as USD. Carry change or exchange notes either at the airport. Atlantis Bahamas is a cash free resort and you cannot get cash or change at the resort. And you would need enough cash to tip the staff and for taxi fares.
The Bahamas in general and Atlantis are very expensive as they import most of the goods. Be prepared to spend top $$$ on everything.
There are many free activities to do at Atlantis Bahamas. Take advantage of all the fun and free things to do before indulging in other experiences.
If you are a hotel guest, you get a wristband for the duration of your stay that allows you access to the waterpark, pools and other facilities.
There are sundries available at each of the hotels to buy snacks, sunscreen and other essentials.
Your keycard not only gives you access to your room but can also be used at the casino and restaurants as a credit card. Keep it handy and you don’t have to carry your credit cards.
Getting to and around Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis is about 30 min drive away from the closest airport – Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau. You have an option to either take a taxi or shuttle to Atlantis. You can also take a ferry from Nassau Downtown to Paradise Island. After the long flight, I recommend a taxi and the fare usually ranges from $40 – $60 USD.
Getting around Atlantis Bahamas
Don’t worry about getting around the resort. The resort offers multiple shuttles between the different towers/hotels, to/from The Marina Village, Golf Course and The Four Seasons resort. The shuttles are convenient and fun and our whole family enjoyed riding in them!
Taxis are readily available if you would like to venture off of Paradise Island to Nassau Downtown or elsewhere. Make sure you have enough cash for the fare plus tip.
You could take a fun ferry ride from Paradise Island to Nassau Downtown as well. Boat tours are also available to other islands like Exumas and Blue Lagoon.
Which hotel to stay in Atlantis Bahamas?
Choosing the right hotel to stay at Atlantis Bahamas can get overwhelming but also the most important step to make your stay enjoyable. There are 5 different hotels to choose from with different amenities. The choice of the hotel is based on your preferences whether you are looking for a romantic couples’ only space or a family friendly one with a kitchenette. This section breaks down the different hotel options and amenities available and a review of the hotels at Atlantis Bahamas.
The Royal at Atlantis Bahamas
This is the flagship tower of Atlantis Bahamas that is featured in all the photos of Atlantis Bahamas. It is central to all the main attractions including the aquaventure park, casino, and has multiple restaurants like Nobu, Olives to name a few. The Royal as the name suggests makes you feel like royalty but it is also one of the oldest and quite dated. We noticed that there is no bell service at The Royal and it can get quite crowded and noisy.
The Cove at Atlantis Bahamas
The cove is the most luxurious of all the hotels at Atlantis Bahamas and offers chic, contemporary accommodations with ocean views, private balconies, and access to an exclusive pool. The hotel also has a large adults only pool and has a small casino. There are several restaurants including The Fish, Sea Glass and Fresca. The lobby and the views from The Cove are incredible and this is an ideal hotel for a romantic couples stay. This was also my favorite hotel at Atlantis and it is the most expensive of all.
The Reef at Atlantis Bahamas
This is where we stayed as it came with sweeping views of the ocean similar to The Cove but also a kitchenette. As we traveled with a toddler, we wanted a kitchenette for a quick early breakfast or snack before heading out and The Reef was perfect for that. I also liked that they have bell service and the elevators are a quick walk from the lobby unlike The Royal towers. The Reef has a couple of pools (including a kids pool) and a private beach shared with The Cove guests. There is a Starbucks which gets super busy in the morning. I also liked that there is no Casino at the Reef and is perfect for families.
The Coral at Atlantis Bahamas
The Coral is an updated mid-range hotel and has its own pool and a lazy river. It is quite close to The Marina Village and the multiple restaurants there. It is a great choice if you’d like to stay close to The Marina Village.
Harborside Resort at Atlantis Bahamas
The Harborside comprises residential style villas with fully equipped kitchen, laundry and faces the Marina. These villas would be perfect for families with multiple kids and intending to cook or looking for spacious accommodation.
Activities to do in Atlantis Bahamas for kids and adults
Beaches: The beaches here are something else! Staying at Atlantis gives you access to stunning private as well as public beaches. The turquoise waters and white sand will make you feel right at paradise. The guests at The Reef and The Cove have exclusive access to Cove beach. I found it to be more peaceful and pleasant.
Aquaventure Waterpark: This famous waterpark is one of the main reasons people visit Atlantis. It is one of the biggest and most exciting water parks in the world offering thrilling water slides, a not-so-lazy river, splash pools for kids and a replica of a Mayan temple. We had a lot of fun here exploring the waterpark and participating in the rides. Access to waterpark is free for resort guests.
Relax by the pools: What better way to spend your holiday morning than reading a book by the pool and watching your baby girl play in the water? That was what we did every day. 🙂 There are multiple pools at each hotel and are accompanied by restaurants and shacks to order food.
Walk and Explore: I suggest taking the shuttle bus to each hotel and walk around to orient yourselves first. There is so much to see and do at the resort and the best way to explore is to walk.
Marine Habitat: Explore an underwater world with more than 50,000 sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and exotic fish. You will find many of these at The Dig and scattered all around the resort. Pay good attention to water bodies wherever you find them as you may find turtles or manta rays. 🙂 They also let you feed different dish during different times of the day.
The Dig: The Dig is the highlight of our trip to Atlantis Bahamas. It is a large marine exhibit at The Royal and runs through the Aquaventure Water Park. My little one had lots of fun watching the stingrays, fish, lobsters and other sea creatures swim. We went there every day to watch the fish.
Paradise Lagoon water sports: The paradise lagoon at The Royal tower offers many different water activities like SUP, kayaking, pedal boating. You need to pay for the rental though.
Snorkel/Scuba diving the ruins: One can also snorkel or scuba dive the ruins at Atlantis. We’ve seen some kids and adults snorkeling and scuba diving. I had considered snorkeling but after seeing how cloudy the water was, I decided to give it a pass. Please bear that in mind if you plan to take kids snorkeling.
Marina Village: Marina Village is an outdoor shopping area with local stores, restaurants, ice cream shops and more. It is bustling with people and music at night and fun for every age group. We found that the restaurants here are less expensive and tastier than the ones at the resort. This was our spot every evening and you MUST try to conch salad at McKenzie’s Conch Shack and the seafood at Anthony’s.
Dolphin Cay: You can swim with dolphins in a natural lagoon and learn about these intelligent creatures. Make sure you reserve ahead of time.
Casino: Try your luck at gambling at one of the slot machines or gaming tables at the casino.
Golf: Enjoy a round of golf at the Ocean Club Golf Course.
Dune at The Ocean Club: Take advantage of the shuttle bus that goes to The Four Seasons to enjoy a brunch or lunch at The Dune. Make sure you reserve way ahead for lunch or dinner. The property and the grounds are beautiful to walk around.
Spa time at Mandara: Enjoy a relaxing massage or facial at Mandara Spa. Make sure you schedule ahead of your arrival!
Shopping: If you are itching to spend more money, you are welcome to shop at the high end stores at The Royal or Marina Village. 😉
Cooking classes/fun activities for kids (without parents): Atlantis offers cooking classes, fun activities and arcades for kids. Parents can enjoy a romantic dinner while kids have fun at the play centers.
Nightlife: Experience the vibrant nightlife at Atlantis, with live music, DJs, and a range of bars and nightclubs.
Where to eat in and around Atlantis Bahamas?
Atlantis Bahamas offers over 20 restaurants and dining options in multiple price ranges and tastes. Some of the most popular dining options include Nobu, Fish by José Andrés, Olives and Café Martinique. There are multiple restaurants at Marina Village as well.
A few things to note about dining at Atlantis Bahamas
If you are planning to indulge in fine dining, make sure you make the reservations well in advance (like at least a month)! I did not do that and all the fine dining restaurants were booked! Fortunately, some restaurants like Nobu allow walk-ins in the lounge and patio areas. Thanks to my husband, we were able to dine at Nobu (twice!) even without a reservation.
Try restaurants at The Marina Village for better food options.
Head to Fish Fry if you would like to eat where the locals eat!
One good thing about Atlantis Bahamas is that drinking water is free! Water canisters are provided and one can refill at the multiple stations throughout the resort.
Is food at Altantis expensive and worth the price?
If you wish to save some $$$ on food, get some groceries and liquor at a local store.
We found the food at the poolside restaurants and mid-range ones at Atlantis Bahamas to be mediocre at best. Avoid them and take your snacks with you. The food at fine restaurants like Nobu, Olives and Fish was delicious!!
Seafood entrees range between $40-$70 and breakfast fare was $20-40. 15% gratuity is added to the bill.
Atlantis Bahamas -A review of our favorite restaurants
What’s not to like about the famous Nobu chain of restaurants? We went there twice during our stay and the food did not disappoint. The service was fast as well. Our favorites were the miso black cod, wagyu, tuna with crispy rice and rock shrimp tempura. I loved the sake but the cocktails were meh! We absolutely loved the lava cake and green tea dessert! As I wrote above, if you cannot find reservations, go directly at 5pm and check for availability at the lounge or patio. It worked both times for us!
This was another hit and a favorite. The focaccia and olive combo that was complimentary was delicious! We loved the garlic spinach, the caprese and the seafood entrees.
Fish by José Andrés
We dined here for breakfast multiple times and it was so good! We loved the benedicts and my favorite was the Bahamian boiled fish. It was so simple yet delicious – a must try in The Bahamas!
Other mid-range restaurants at Altantis Bahamas
Fresca, Lagoon bar and grill, Murray’s Deli.
There is a Starbucks at The Reef for a quick coffee or breakfast.
Marina Village restaurants to try
If you visit Marina Village, you MUST try the conch salad (both traditional and tropical) at McKenzie’s Conch Shack. Anthony’s across from Marina Village is great for seafood. There is also a Dunkin’ Donuts right next to it.
Other restaurants in Marina Village that we found to be busy were Carmine’s, Cafe Martinique, Burger Shack, Marina Pizza and Ben and Jerry’s.
LOCAL DELICACIES of The Bahamas that you must try!
Conch is an edible sea creature that is unique to The Caribbean Islands and famous in The Bahamas, Turk and Caicos. It is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. The first time we had the conch salad was in Providenciales in Turks and Caicos and loved it so much. We were so glad to have found it again in The Bahamas. The conch salad at McKenzie’s Conch Shack in Marina Village was incredible and a must try. Even our toddler loved the salad.
Conch fritters are another delicacy made with conch and a great option if you’d like to try conch but not the raw version.
Bahamian boiled fish
A local said that Bahamians eat stewed/boiled fish for breakfast and fried/grilled for lunch and dinner. We had the boiled Bahamian grouper with grits and it was so delicious. It looks simple but tastes heavenly!
Restaurants at Fish Fry
This is an area with multiple restaurants frequented by locals and the food here is delicious and much less expensive. We had the conch fritters, fish fry (obivously!) and grilled fish at Oh! Andros and they were all yum. All the entrees were accompanied by peas and rice, plantains, cole slaw and other sides that were equally good.
Local beer like Kalik and Sands are popular in The Bahamas and are worth a try.
Is Atlantis Bahamas worth staying?
If you ask me if Atlantis Bahamas is worth staying – my answer is absolutely, yes!! Atlantis Bahamas is worth staying if you are looking for a relaxing vacation with lots of activities for kids and adults. There is something to do for every age group at Atlantis Bahamas and I think it is perfect vacation spot whether you are looking for fun family time, a couples getaway or a group trip with friends. The aquapark, beaches, casino, shopping, golf course, fine dining, marine habitat and Marina Village make it an absolutely fun place to stay and we (especially our two year old) had the best time for her birthday!
I highly recommend staying at Atlantis Bahamas. I would advise you to set your expectations regarding the food, expenses and choose your hotel wisely. Be prepared to spend a bit more than expected as I mentioned above and you will have a blast!
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I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.