After spending a few hours reading a mix of positive and negative reviews, I had guarded expectations as to what I was getting into. I took the time to make contact with representatives of both Harborside at The Atlantis and The Cove Atlantis (we spent a week at each) in order to coordinate how our stay was to go. I have to say from the time we got off the plane, until the minute we got on the plane to come home, every person we interacted with was pleasant, professional and took the time to make us feel special. I can only assume that the people who complained about their experience at either Harborside or The Cove simply didn't take the time to extend a common courtesy of smiling and looking people in the eye when they spoke to them. We saw several examples of guests being rude towards the employees. I would have reacted more aggressively to those people than the representatives of Harborside or The Cove did.
Our room at the Harborside was 2711 (Building 7) and our room at the Cove was 20-826. I would highly recommend either of the rooms. The Harborside room was quiet and had a nice view of the Marina, the view from the room in the Cove was breath taking. We stayed at "the club level" which I would recommend as there is an included breakfast, snacks served throughout the day and an open bar from 5 - 7pm.
During our stay at Harborside we ate breakfast at The Market Place Buffet on the Atlantis ($64.00 for a party of two). We usually ate around 9:30 or 10:00, the food was outstanding and usually kept us full until dinner at 6-ish. So when you look at it from that perspective it was actually a pretty good deal. There is a grocery store across the street, as well as Anthony's Pizza, which had good Pizza ($16.00 for a large) and a breakfast/dinner menu with reasonable prices. There is also a liquor store in the same complex for those looking to save a few bucks on adult beverages. We also ate at Carmine's, Nobu (Sushi), The Dunes, and The Bahamian Club. Carmine's was precisely what one would expect from Carmine's. Nobu was outstanding. Ask for the New Style Salmon Roll or the Bahamian Roll, you won't be disappointed. The Dunes, for our experience, was ok. The restaurant had a great atmosphere and service staff, but we weren't impressed with the food. The Bahamian Club was absolutely was fantastic! Expect to pay Ruth's Chris prices there, but also prepare yourself for an incredible meal!! If you find the prices too steep for the food onsite, there are cabs which you can take out to Fish Fry ($10 - $20 from Atlantis for a party of two depending on your cab driver, or $1.25 per person on the #10 Bus from the Straw Market). At Fish Fry we ate at Goldies restaurant. A Conch Salad, (3) drinks w/alcohol, Grilled Snapper, and BBQ Ribs came to roughly $100.00 (15% gratuity included).
Did some shopping at The Straw Market ($8 cab ride from Atlantis). Speaking of cab rides, we recommend you use Cheryl Wells. She was our driver. Very professional woman.. She and her son are both in the business. It was Cheryl that recommended I save the cab fare to the Fish Fry and take the #10 bus from the Straw Market. With her permission, here is her contact information: (Cell: +1 (242) 565-1997, E-mail: email@example.com) Found all of the vendors at the Straw Market to be welcoming and friendly, regardless if you bought anything from their shop. All they ask is that you take a moment and look at their wares. Not too much to ask I thought. I politely kept moving, saying that I was waiting for something to speak to me. A couple of things did and the shop keepers were flexible when it came to the selling price.
The water at the pools and the lazy river was clean and warm (felt cool at first, but once you got in it's refreshing). Word of advice in reference to the rapids and the slides... pay attention to your surroundings and your riding position on the tube. We saw several people get hurt for failing to do so. Injuries ranged from bruised butts to cuts and scrapes on shoulders, head injuries, and a broken toe. We rode the slides and the rapids several times, keeping our wits about us, and enjoyed it each time.
Surprised my girlfriend with "The Journey of Joy" treatment at The Mandara Spa. Was disappointed to see her walking out of the spa without the pedicure and manicure I not only prepaid for, but confirmed with the Mandara Spa representative at check in. As it was a surprise for my girlfriend she didn't know what it entailed. Had I not happened to be walking by the spa when she was ushered out of the massage area she would have missed out on some more "pamper time". That was pretty disappointing to me. I have read other people describe the spa as having an assembly line feel. I didn't go through the process, but it did indeed have a lot of people rotating through it. The volume of people they process may have been why my girlfriend didn't receive a level of attention to where a spa representative would have at least advised her as to what was coming next, versus let her think it was over and feel ushered to the door.
Last three tips:
1. If you are turned off by the price of staying on the Atlantis property, you can stay at The Comfort Suites. It's a short walk from the property and, as they are affiliated with the Atlantis, you have access to all of the Atlantis aquariums and the water park. The only exception being the Cain pool at the Cove. The rooms at the Comfort Suites have been newly refurbished, you have a kitchen (so you can save a bit by cooking for yourself) and you don't have to pay for internet access.
2. There is a guy that sings in the lounge area just above the Virgil's restaurant, directly across from where you can purchase your Atlantis photos. Find out when he is going to be performing. The man puts on a great free show. We stumbled across him, spent a couple of hours listening to him sing and were disappointed to learn we wouldn't be able to enjoy him again during our stay. His performance was certainly a wavetop of our two week stay. It was that enjoyable.
3. Recognize that the staff at Harborside and The Atlantis property as a whole are at WORK. They deal with a large volume of people day in and day out. Take a minute to smile, ask THEM how their day is going before you jump right in with your question/request. Invariably I found that when I approached a person in this fashion who didn't have a smile when I walked up, by the time I was ready to ask my question or request they had a big smile on their face.
This place is simply fantastic. If you have the disposable income to stay on property you won't be disappointed. If your budget is a little more restrictive, there are still plenty of options available for you to enjoy yourself here.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.