I had read a lot of reviews, many negative, before I realized a lot were coming from people staying at the royal towers. From What I noticed over the course of a week are a few important things. One, the reef and cove are exclusive areas which are not too busy and are well maintained. If you stay in these two hotels you have an exclusive beach which is perfect white sand, clean and hassle free. It was not busy at all during our stay and we never had a problem finding a place at pools or he beach. Two, you have a mini kitchen and free laundry in the hotel that can really make up for the room price difference. The rooms have a double glass stovetop, microwave, cutlery, dorm fridge, frying pan, dishes and dishwasher and coffee maker. The room was in good shape. The sofa sleeper not comfy enough for adults but fine for smaller kids. The balcony facing the ocean overlooks the pools and the music can sometimes be loud from the pools of the other hotels, but the ref is the furthest from all of these so it's as quiet as you get. You cannot hear the music while on the beach which was nice. When you walk from this part of the property to the other parts with the slides you do see some differences. You will find random towels dropped in various walkways and draped over rocks and more trash. You will find more of the Vegas/cruise ship going patrons....many of which are drunk and loud. This is not something kids notice much and these areas are grater for kids. The aquarium in the royal towers is a must see...as much as I can condone keeping two giant manta rays prisoner and way too many fish for the space...but it's impressive. My favorite, the jelly fish and moray exhibit. The staff are super friendly and helpful and unlike other reviews, I did not feel like they were expecting tips EVER. 15% is included on ALL bills including the bottled water ordered at the little coffee shops etc. I don't need to reiterate how expensive food is but just to give a little shocker...a bowl of soup $15, two tiny tiny spring rolls $27, a bowl of oatmeal $15, penne pasta with pesto sauce $48. A good idea is to by food from foodstore2go(com) and have it delivered to the hotel. You can do breakfasts in the room and save $130 a day in brunch which is really the only thing worth the money. The buffet at the mosaic was the only time we felt like we got our money's worth but if you don't eat much you feel like you got screwed for a soup and salad. The marina has some options, Johnny rockets and Quiznos as well as a pizza place we did not try. We enjoyed bambinis and ey have a really nice band playing in the evenings. We took the ferry to the downtown to hit the straw market but never made it. Downtown is worth seeing in my opinion and the ferry guide is the only one the entire trip who asked for tips after giving a funny informative 10 minute, duration of the ride, speech. We ate at a great Indian restaurant, Euro Tandoor, very tasty right across from the hard rock and a gyro place. It was tastier before we got the bill, tiny tiny portions, three entrees, only one with meat, five cubes of chicken, two waters $90. To be honest, the only bad part of the trip was food. It's unhealthy, you have to pay a car rental for one meal, and you are kind of a prisoner on the island. You have to eat and they know it. You can leave with an empty wallet and heart burn. Dont waste your time on Nobu, you'll dent the bank account and have to go out for dinner afterwards. The Sea glass and Mesa were great. The dune and cafe Matisse elegant and worth the price. As far as the activities, we liked the beach the best. It's a big resort and sort of Disney/casino/consumerism mentality and you'll get that more as you partake in the activities although many people seemed to really enjoy them. We are vegetarian and we found it moderately easy to find options especially at the Mosaic buffet. One great vegetarian option for the more open minded is to visit the Sivananda ashram for lunch or dinner. In fact you can take a retreat from the bustle of Atlantis into the wilderness on the tip of paradise island for some real rest and relaxation for a day for $45 including two meals and two yoga classes. Meal drop ins are $10 for a healthy lunch or dinner. Back to the people and the service....these people are some of the most open, warm and friendly people I have come upon in all of my travels. A person coming from somewhere "less warm" (which is pretty much everywhere else) might think that they were out to get something. If you live like that, you will feel that the people here are always trying to take you, if you don't you can enjoy the true warmth of the people of the Bahamas.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.