I'm really big on reading reviews and writing reviews and I am HUGE on customer service. I have to say my stay at the Reef was everything I wanted and more. I was hesitant to book my vacation there because of ALL the negative reviews I've read on here and other review sites, however I am SO glad I did. I considered staying at the Sheraton in Nassau and I'm glad I didn't because there is SO much to do in Atlantis and there was never a dull moment throughout the entire experience. The Reef has incredible rooms and are kept well. The shampoo, conditioner, soaps they provide are all good quality and they refill them daily. We brought our own stuff and didn't even use it. I highly recommend the hotel to everyone from people with families and people just looking for a romantic getaway. Before I booked my stay I had a VERY difficult time deciding where to stay based on reviews I read. I hope my review answers your questions and helps you make your decision.
1. Customer Service - was excellent. I could not ask for more. The Reef provides all the service you could possibly need. They are extremely friendly and they even remembered my name and always addressed me as Ms. followed by my last name. I had a medical emergency and they showed their concern and even comped our taxi fare to the hospital. The guys at the front desk were amazing. We weren't happy with our room being on the first floor so he moved us to a higher floor without a problem. He also made our reservations for us so we wouldn't have to do it from the room. Local calls from your room cost $1.99 - I'm not sure if this applies to reservations at the resort. There are employees outside that help you haul a cab or complementary bus to the other hotels or outside the resort. As far as the customer service goes for the other hotels, I found the employees at Coral Towers to be very unprofessional and rude. I guess you get what you pay for considering CT and BT are the cheaper hotels comparable to Motel 6. We had to pass through CT to get to the Predator zone where all the sharks are at that hotel smelled musty and funky. The people weren't very helpful and there is definitely a HUGE difference in vibes from that hotel and the reef/cove/royal towers. Spend the extra money and stay at the better hotels.
2. Food - ok I gave this review 4 stars because of the food. I will recommend Nobu which is highly expensive, but very tasteful and a great experience, but as far as anything else, I suggest you bring a luggage of food and stay at the Reef or eat outside of the resort. If you eat at Nobu, I suggest you order a dish from the chef that is not on the menu. For example, just tell your waiter you want the chef to prepare you a dish with your favorite seafood. It allows the chef to showcase their creativity and normally you are not disappointed. Food in other restaurants comes in small portions and is PRICEY (not including Mesa or the buffet restaurants). It doesn't taste any better than processed frozen food you find at your local grocery store. Believe me, don't waste your money. We actually packed a luggage of canned meat like tuna and spam, boxed rice and mac and cheese, instant potatoes in a bag, microwavable foods and snacks like chips, cookies, crackers, etc. We even brought our own coffee creamer and condiments. When we arrived at Nassau, we asked our cab driver to take us to a grocery store before going to the resort and paid an extra $15.00 which was well worth it. We were able to get a whole case of water and food to cook like meats/ deli etc. I highly suggest you do this because it's much healthier, the food you make will taste better than the food they offer at the resort, and it's much cheaper and you don't have to make reservations or wait in ridiculous lines! Trust me when I say this...you will thank me! The kitchen at the Reef has everything you will need from a stove, microwave, fridge, pots and pans, a coffee maker, toaster, dishes, dishwasher, kettle for boiling water - and that's just in the basic studio. If you book a bedroom suite you get a full kitchen. Although I didn't get to see the harbor rooms, I'm sure they offer the same.
3. Best place to stay between all the hotels: I would def stay at the Reef because it is the only hotel with a kitchenette or the Harbor which I believe are like mini apartments. The rooms at the Reef are very homey and modern, not to mention spacious. I believe it is one of the newer hotels on the resort along with the Cove (which is mighty expensive- and to me not really worth it). There is a private beach shared between Reef guests and Cove guest- ONLY. You will appreciate this considering how CROWDED the Royal Towers and other hotels get (not including the Cove). There are multiple cruise ships that dock EVERYDAY that hog everything and when you are surrounded by a lot of people, it can get quite annoying and obnoxious! Royal Towers has the casino and most of the marine life so if you don't care about the crowd then stay at the Royal Towers. In my opinion it pays to stay somewhere more relaxed, after all you are on a vacation. Staying at the RT, CT or BT is like staying at a Disney Resort with screaming kids everywhere. There is a shuttle bus that travels back and forth every 5 minutes till 12 midnight between all the hotels. If you happen to stay at one of the hotels later than that, there are cabs that will take you back to your hotel and a walking path about 5-10 minutes long that connects to all the hotels. Waterparks close, so in the evening you will probably be spending most of your time in the Royal Towers or the Marina.
4. What to do: THERE IS PLENTY TO DO. That was the best part of my vacation there. I didn't exactly get to enjoy much considering I had a medical emergency, but had I not, I would have been VERY busy exploring. There is a huge water park surrounded by marine life (including sharks) and pools in every hotel, there are excursions you can sign up for where you can interact with sea animals or just snorkel. You can go shopping just outside the resort in Nassau. You can also shop around in the Marina. There is a casino for the adults where we both won a total of $900 in 1 hour playing slots. There is also the dig which is a cool, huge aquarium full of sea life and where the enormous manta rays are. There are plenty of places to eat and grab snacks like a Ben and Jerrys. Lastly, my favorite - there is the beach where you can just lounge around on the sand and enjoy the crystal clear waters.
5. Price: Expect to pay a lot here. 15% Gratuity is added to everything so there is pretty much no need to add tip unless you are extremely happy with service. As I mentioned earlier, FOOD is ridiculously priced. Drinks are ridiculously priced. Add an additional $2-$5 to everything you normally purchase at home and that is how much it will cost in the Bahamas. If this is a problem for you then I suggest you plan your vacation elsewhere because going to the Bahamas will cost a pretty penny. If you purchase water at one of their grocery stores, get a Bahama brand. Our case of water costed us $13.50 because it was an american brand.
6. Medical Emergencies: Hopefully this doesn't happen to you, however if it does go to the Doctor's Hospital. Do not go Princess Margaret Hospital. I was treated at the Doctor's Hospital and they were extremely helpful. It's more expensive, however I was told by MANY locals that they are more reputable than the doctors at the public hospital. The wait is apparently much shorter as well.
7. Airport - DO NOT EAT THE DONUTS AT DUNKIN DOUGHNUTS. They serve you OLD doughnuts and are stale. When I bought a few at the airport on my way back home, I noticed she gave me a slightly burned one and asked her for a replacement. She snapped at me and asked me why I touched it because she couldn't re-sell it anymore, and finally gave me a different doughnut. My question is, WHY would you re-sell a doughnut that is burned on the bottom, why would you even sell them period! That really pissed me off. Anyway, after taking my first bite I realized they were old. They were stale and didn't even taste good. It was such a disappointment because they are expensive in the Bahamas. I spent nearly $8 for donut holes and 2 glazed donuts expecting something warm, soft and chewy. RIP OFF!! Keep in mind, that would have cost me $3 in the states. Before you go to the airport, make sure to BRING your OWN snacks or breakfast from the hotel or make a stop at a nearby store!
8. When you arrive, there will be a lot of cab drivers you can choose from. I used Sandra Ferguson - Fergies taxi's and to be honest I was disappointed. There are a lot of reviews that claim she is the one to call and offers the cheapest fares. Well when her person picked us up, she picked us up in a ragged old van with no A/C forcing us to use the windows. The van also rattled a lot and produced a lot of carbon so it wasn't a pleasant ride. If I had children with me or a person who may have asthma or breathing problems, I would have turned down the cab immediately despite the reservation. It was that bad! It cost us $35 plus $1 for toll and $15 for an extra stop at a grocery store. When I asked other cab drivers we used when we were at the resort how much they charge to pick people up at the airports, their prices were the same, if not less and their vehicles were newer and also in better shape with A/C. On a brighter note, the woman who picked us up from Fergie's cabs was very kind, but unfortunately that's all. Part of paying for cab service is the help you get from someone assisting your with your luggage, but when you are traveling with a male and your cab driver is a female, it is very ill mannered to expect or even let your female cab driver to lift your luggage into her vehicle. So that was also a disappointment because my bf had to do it and we were exhausted from hauling our luggage from the different stop overs and had back pains from the long restless flight. If I were you, don't worry about pre-scheduling your cab fares. Just find one when you get there and remember it is around $35 to take you to Atlantis. If they try to charge you more, they are screwing you over and taking advantage of you.
I hope this helps!