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“It is what it is. 7 Star pricing, 5 star construction, 3 star service, 2 star maintenance, 1 star food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Reef Atlantis

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The Reef Atlantis
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Casino Dr, New Providence Island   |  
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Ranked #2 of 14 hotels in Paradise Island
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“It is what it is. 7 Star pricing, 5 star construction, 3 star service, 2 star maintenance, 1 star food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We knew what we were in for, we took our entire family and stayed in a 2 bedroom oceanfront suite at the Reef.

Buildings:

The original construction quality when new was decent caliber. In line with an elite hotel. We had good control of HVAC and fittings and fixtures were nice.

But, no one is paying attention to upkeep. The patio door frames were falling out of the door to the patio. Light switch plates fell off the fixture. Door stops were worn and about to pull out from the floor. Shower doors scraped along the floor. The toilet in the master bedroom ran the entire stay even after calling and requesting maintenance repair it twice. Bedside lamp switches were depressed inside the fixture and couldn't be turned on or off without unplugging them. Still nice for now(the reef is only 4 or so years old), but 2 years or 3 years from now? Who knows?

Housekeeping once daily at these prices? Absurd.

The water had a terrible sulfuric smell making the showers unpleasant, but I guess is the consequence of a desalination pant requiring huge volumes of water.

Food:

The food was served promptly but bordering on vile. There was no decent lunch anywhere with the best option the bland buffet at the mosaic. The food in the poolside huts is a variant of fast food takeout. There were notable exceptions, the "branded" restaurants Mesa Grill and Dune were pretty comparable to their NYC counterparts. Mesa Grill was quite good, and Dune was a Caribbean downgrade variant of the JoJo empire. (Some Jean Georges restaurants are stunning and some are so-so Dune was fine) Carmine's was identical to it's mediocre NY twin and Virgil's was palatable. The Atlantis restaurants like Chopstick's were vile. But what can you expect feeding mass quantities of child laden families demanding quick turnaround and chicken nuggets on every menu?

Service:

There is a huge staff on grounds, 8000 or so. In general staff was very pleasant and friendly. However, not sophisticated, it felt like there was no leadership present. On occasion, there were gruff clock punching staff members.

Water Park and Safety:

The slides and river are fun, I don't have anything to add on that front. From a safety and cleanliness standpoint, I don't think anything like this could be built and run in the United States. While they were strict on the height requirements, children from all over were allowed into the massive pools and we saw at least two rescues of children completely unable to swim. Parents fault, not the resort's.

None of us got badly injured, but I can only guess that the way it is constructed there is a high risk of injuries in the water park and probably not great medical care around.

After several days of swimming in the park, 4 of our 5 kids came down with a severe cluster of serious rashes or bug bites on their skin. Back at home the doctors have suggested it was some kind of parasite in the water. The kids spent a lot of time in the hot tubs which did not have the same chlorinated smell I'm used in more properly managed facilities. I'm going to guess that was the source. I don't want to think it about it much more, but a poorly maintained hot tub holding 10 to 20 kids for 8 to 10 hours a day?

Expense: If you;re not in the one percent, this place will ruin you with the charges and pricing. It's understandable, the facility has to spend a mint to run that park, but expect to spend 2x what you would spend in the US on food and extras on a daily basis.

I realize this review is getting little alarming, but all in all, it was a fun experience for the kids and we may consider returning, perhaps with two bottles each of benadryl, skin cream, neosporin and a gallon a day of bleach for the hot tubs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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823 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (216)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stay at the Reef Atlantist from Saturday to Saturday in June 2012. Atlantis is composed of five main buildings, The Royal, The Cove, The Towers(beach and coral) and The Reef. Each building is built with luxury in mind. The Towers were the first to be built, therefore its less expensive. Inside the Royal you will find most of the Atlantis aquarium. In the Cove you will find the area to swim with dolphin. The Reef and Cove are next to each other. The Cove is more for couples, the reef is more for families. The most beautiful beach is located along the area of the towers(beach and coral) but the serenity and silence is at the reef and cove. Only guests of the reef and cove are able to walk in an out and use the services of the other buildings, guest from the royal and the towers are not permitted at the reef or cove. Each day you must get a bracelet at the beach house which identify each guest of where they are staying. Without the bracelet you will not be allow in the buildings. As the reef guest we had unlimited access to the water park, the aquarium, the shuttle(which takes you to all the Atlatis location), and all the beaches along paradise island. Food and Drinks were not included in our package, of course you can purchase a meal and beverage package separate,but we though it was very expensive since we were traveling with our three young children. Bahamas is very expensive, what we did and that save us a lot money was that we we went to the main city and we purchase our own drinks, (coke,water, milk and snacks). We also booked a ocean view studio room which had a microwave, two burner stove, fridge, dish washer, sink. With this in mind I was able to prepare quick breakfast(oatmeal). (12 pack water Cost $12 at the supermarket). We dine outside of the hotel, specially the Marina. Atlantis has a Marina where you will find fine stores and fast food restaurant, such as Johny Rockets, Quiznos, Pizzeria, Ben and Jerrys, and other stores. For two adult and three children we spent $65 at Johny Rockets, which I though it was decent compare two other restaurants, we also spent $30 at the pizzeria for a whole pie and wings, Ben&Jerry $20 for two shakes and ice cream. Eating inside the hotel can get expensive specially if you have children. So consider your options. Of course outside of paradise island is less expensive for food, but of course you must cross a bridge to get over. You can catch a taxi or the water ferry. Taxi for us five was $20 and ferry $18 one way. I strongly recommend eating at the two cousins restaurant. Authentic bahamian food and you can find the best daiquiris here. We spent $45 for the five of us. Even though Atlantis stay was a bit pricy, It was worth it, because most of the tours at Bahamas is to come to Atlantis (to the water park, aquarium) which cost $120 per person. If you have children it will paid to stay at Atlantis. People are very helpful and coursteous. We really enjoy our quality time we had as a family.

Room Tip: Higher room have a better view.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Our family of 4 (with kids age 4 and 11) stayed at the Reef during the week of Dec 14, 2012. We have booked a Harborview Studio via the Atlantis website, but at check-in, the staff did not mind letting us take a look at the one-bedroom and another Oceanview room, and we decided to upgrade to a Harborview one-bedroom. Despite about 30% more expensive, I think this is a good choice for us, because with a 4-year old, we did return to the room quite frequently for breaks. We also did not have to sit on our beds to have breakfast.

Adjustment to the resort pricing needed some time, for us it was two days. We did pop our eyes when the first Nobu bill came out to be ~$280 for four, but after that, it was not as bad when we dined at the Dune and Mesa Grill. Afterall, we are also paying for the convenience of having dolphins, great beaches, fine dining, one-of-a-kind aquariums and awesome waterpark all within the same resort. It's also a plus that the Reef/Cove portion of the resort feels very safe. Compared to other sun destinations such as Mexico, the locals all speak fluent English.

Within the resort, my 4-year old had fun in three different zero entry pools, while my 11-year old could not get enough of the water slides. Typically we first got our wrist bands at the Reef (less lineup), then dropped off our bag with snacks and drinks at the Cove pool, and then got onto the Current to assess the water park or other pools or beaches. In our opinion this is neat and way more interesting than taking the rundown shuttles between towers.

Other than water activities, my 11-year old tried the $30 kids manicure and I tried the $70 25-minute massage at the upscale Mandara Spa, which was a good experience. We also ventured to the One and Only Ocean Club via the hotel shuttle, where Casino Royale was filmed. One afternoon, we had delicious grilled conch and grilled grouper at Twin Brothers in Potters Cay.

Note that equipment rental for tennis is $20 (add court rental of about $20) and for golf is $70. Try to bring your own snorkeling equipment as the beach waters are very clear. We could see fishes at the Reef beach.

Overall, we were pleased with the quality of our room and the friendliness of the staff.

Room Tip: Some Oceanview rooms have a partially obstructed view due to facing the Cove. The Harborview rooms f...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Park, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

This is the best family vacation we ever had! The room is new, big and clean. The Waterpark is absolutely amazing! We love the rapids and the slides! In the afternoon, we enjoyed playing bingo and watching a movie. The food by the pool is theme park prices, but the restaurants are expensive but we had a kids eat free package so it wasn't so bad after all. The best part that I loved about this place is that the staff at the Reef is very courteous. They are also attentive to the guest needs. There were several instances that the shuttle took longer to arrive. Without even complaining they will call the shuttle for you and ask how much longer the wait is and let you know. Overall, We will definitely go back again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My family and I stayed here for our Vacation this year WONDERFUL! Friendly helpful staff, there was something for every one to do! Loved it will be back next year, the resort was beautiful and the view from our room was amazing.However I do feel that things wore on the high side.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Miami, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Reef for our anniversary and we were very pleased overall. The hotel is definitely nice - beautifully landscaped, lots to do (or nothing at all), good restaurants. Like most every other reviewer, we thought things were pricey but did find ways to save - first, the beach and waterpark are included in the price so we took full advantage of that. Our room had a full kitchen (we splurged on that) so we ordered groceries online for delivery to the hotel and had many of our meals in the room. We took the water taxi into Nassau one cloudy day which is only $3 each - a great deal. The staff were excellent - the concierge staff especially - they were very gracious and helped with meal reservations and our spa reservation. Room was kept clean and everything was functional - no complaints there.

It was quite busy during our stay, lots of cruise ship visitors so that took away from our "intimate" get away. Otherwise, we'd love to visit again.

Room Tip: We always ask for an upgrade and get one about 70% of the time - Reef was only exception.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Reef on business and admit I chose it because it fronts onto the beach so I could walk there.

It's a modern hotel, part of the Atlantis resort which is aimed firmly at tourism but is good enough for a business stay and much better than the dos town hotels. Service is very good by Bahamian standards and the romo was top class. I rather resented paying $20 per day for internet however.

The weak point is the food, although there are about 20 restaurants in the resort I didn't find any that I would really choose to eat in. Tip : avoid the "cheese" nachos and the breakfast "danish" pastries at all costs.

The resort is in the Bahamas but clearly not like the Bahamas - more like a slice of Miami transported here. I'd use it again.


Overall though a good choice

Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Additional Information about The Reef Atlantis

Address: 1 Casino Dr, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Reef Atlantis 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on Paradise Beach, guests 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 and one- and two-bedroom suites offering 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, Starbucks lounge and are closest to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reef Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
The Reef Atlantis Bahamas/Paradise Island

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