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“Go for the weather, not the food” 4 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
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Go for the weather, not the food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We spent 6 days at the Reef after the New Year. The weather was absolutely perfect and the Reef was a perfect choice for us. It is set at the end of the complex, away from the "Vegas-like" Royal Tower and "Vegas-like" crowds. The room was a two bedroom suite with three bathrooms a full kitchen and comfortably fit our family of 6. We should have taken better advantage of the kitchen, since the food at the resort was unbelievably expensive. That price did not quite translate to (or come anywhere near) the quality of the food. Otherwise, we had a great time and the staff was very friendly.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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925 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (247)
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Glen Allen, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We just spent 4 nights in a 2 bedroom ocean suite at the Reef. The master bedroom had a breathtakingly beautiful view of both the harbor and beach. For the high price, there were many things were poorly maintained. Which included switching out the mini fridge, resetting the thermostat, fixing the toilet seats and unlocking the safe. All the mentioned problems were promptly resolved by the polite staff. The washing machines and dryers in the rooms have been disconnected, so you now have to do laundry on the 2nd floor. I found this to be a little annoying. However, overall we LOVED it there. It is a third world country and I didn't expect perfection. The hotel did give us a $150 credit to make up for all the problems we had. The Reef and the Cove seemed to be the nicest and least crowded of the property hotels. We rented a car and purchased fresh seafood from the market daily, which was much less expensive then dining at the Atlantis restaurants (and poorly reviewed food). The suite had a nicely appointed kitchenette, so we ate most of our meals there.
Our 9 year old had the time of his life as we signed up for both the "Snorkel The Ruins at the Dig" and "Shallow Dolphin Encounter". The water park was huge and clean. A bit crowded when the cruise ships were docked mid day and the Atlantis allowed those people to purchase day passes.
Overall, a great family vacation that would do again.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to a higher floor upon arrival
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed at the Reef Atlantis as a bit of a treat to ourselves for 5 days, as part of a 4 week holiday. We chose the Reef as was one of two luxury style accommodation options (the other being The Cove) which also offered kitchenette facilities.

The Reef was amazing - we booked a room overlooking the ocean. It had a balcony too, and we also had a view of the pools accessible to only Cove and Reef guests. Room was large - big bathroom, bedroom and lounge room area (plus the balcony). It was great to have a small fridge separate to the mini bar. The kitchenette had a small cooktop, microwave, cutlery, crockery, glassware, a dishwasher (plus powder), frypan and cooking utensils. On the second floor there is also a free self service laundry - bring your own laundry powder which you can buy from the shops at the resort. Note - down near the Marina Village there is a Scotia Bank. Behind the Bank (ie not part of the Atlantis property) is a very small shopping centre which has a large convenience store where you can buy food to store/cook in your room.

While the Reef is towards the back of the property, we were happy to be away from the 'family' atmosphere of the other accommodation options. Reef and Cove have a completely different feel which was exactly what we were looking for on this holiday.

Staff by the pool at the base of the Reef were good - always walking around between the lounges offering cocktails and lunch menus. A small band also plays during the day whereas the other pools have DJ music playing all day.

Go to an area called Fish Fry while you are there - about 10-15mins from the hotel in a taxi, costs about $16 and has local Bahamian Food. We went there twice - to Frankie Gone Bananas and Twin Brothers. I remember Frankie Gone Bananas has a meal with a 12oz lobster tail + 2 sides for about $25! The restaurant selection at Atlantis is excellent - caters for all tastes but is pricey.

You can get internet access via the Library in Coral Towers (the other side of the 200 acre property) for free - 15 mins/day/person.

Access to Aquaventure is free for hotel guests. Great fun! But can be quite busy with cruise ship guests who come daily. We saw about 4 ships per day docked at the main marina. You can rent lockers of varying sizes at Aquaventure - small is $7.

Highly recommend an activity at Dolphin Cay - we chose the Sea Lion experience and this was a highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stonington, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We just returned on January 3rd from a week at the Reef. This was our second trip to the Atlantis so we were prepared for the criminally high food prices and extra charges for everything under the sun (pun intended). What we were not prepared for is just how much the Reef is showing its wear and tear and how so many things seem to be overlooked by management. Don't get me wrong, it's still a nice hotel and there is plenty to like about it. But for what you pay to stay there you'd think they would be keeping up with things. Instead it appears management has decided that rather than maintain this facility they are going to pocket as much profit as possible before they start losing customers to the massive new Baha Mar Resort that is scheduled to open in Nassau in 2014. I have to believe that is what is going on because there isn't any logical explanation for why they would allow so many things to slip. What we experienced ranged from little inconveniences to rather significant hassles. In no particular order of significance we experienced the following: a toilet that constantly clogged as it flushed poorly, a balcony door that required Hulk Hogan to slide open or shut, a refrigerator that smelled like a hockey lockeroom when we arrived, a television remote that would not control volume (same for the replacement!), glass privacy dividers between the bathroom and main area that no longer aligned and were grinding into the frame, and pillows on the sleeper sofa that looked like they had spent years at a college frat party. I threw them in the closet the day we arrived so my kids wouldn't go near them. Did any of these things ruin our visit? Of course not, but for what you pay a night at the Reef the maintenance and upkeep is atrocious. The workers at the Atlantis are for the most part very nice and friendly but I didn't find the customer care and service to be a point of focus. Nobody seemed to care about any of the little things and when I checked out nobody asked me word one about my stay. We booked our meals well in advance as again we know the drill but overall found the food quality to range from neutral to substandard. The beach and pool that is reserved for the Reef and Cove guests is much nicer and upscale from the main areas so we enjoyed that. The water rides were as enjoyable as we remembered them and in general the entire resort is very clean and attractive. Reminder to be aware of when the cruise ships arrived because lines increase dramatically during peak hours. My wife and I aren't big drinkers but on the two occasions we had cocktails we wondered if the bartender understood that you are actually supposed to put vodka in a Grey Goose and tonic. Also, the one pina colada I had was simply the worst I've ever tasted. In closing I would say that the Atlantis is still a nice resort and a lot of fun for a family. But for the arm and a leg it costs to go there it should be a five start experience all the way around and at least at the Reef that is not the case.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Romantic 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*
Number of rooms: 497
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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