My friend and I stayed a week in room 7-903 at The Reef, one of the studio units with view of the Harborside. We are in our 30s, looking to get away from NYC and the cold temps for a bit. We read a great deal about how the restaurants were crazy pricy for not very good food. Since we have Mesa Grill, Nobu and Carmine's back home in NY, we really didn't want to pay a lot for a lesser version of what we have experienced at those restaurants, that would be a letdown on two fronts, low quality and high cost. So, based on all the great advice on this forum, we planned to make use of our little studio kitchen in a way that made sense for us, and that also didn't require we spend all our time inside, cooking. First, with packing: we each checked a bag and carried on a bag, so in our checked luggage, we packed a collapsible cooler (very important, bring one if you can for when you are lounging by pool or beach!), packed this cooler with ice, and threw in a couple thin chicken breasts, one packet of thin steak, and two packs of home made pasta sauce (shrink wrapped). All of these were already frozen, and we packed them into the cooler with ice. If you are at all worried about doing this - note, our flight from JFK was 3 hours, and by the time we got settled Into our room and unpacked, all these items were still rock hard frozen. We also packed a bag of pasta, a loaf of bread, a couple bags of chips and pretzels, box of granola bars, a small bottle of olive oil, and small Tupperware of our kosher salt and red chili flakes. Also packed two packets of taco seasoning mix.
Next, we emailed Cheryl's Taxi Service and lined up transport from airport to the resort. It was $35 for two of us, and if you tell them in advance, for an additional $5 they will stop at a real grocery store and let you load up. do this! Cheryl's husband Craig took us to the grocery store he goes to, and we loaded up on: gallon containers of water, (we just refilled our smaller bottles each day), small milk for coffee, eggs, spinach, lettuce, fresh sandwich meat from their deli, limes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, etc! The prices were normal - the little grocery store on atlantis resort is awful in comparison and the little shop inside the Reef will sell you a small milk for $6 (we paid less than $2).
We also stopped at another place and picked up duty free wine. With these supplies we managed to make omelets in the am, pasta and salad a couple nights, we seasoned the chicken one night and the steak another night and had with sautéed spinach. We felt we were eating healthy, but the food was also yummy. We made sandwiches for lunch, packed our chips/pretzels as snacks, loaded water and a bottle of white wine not our cooler, and would spend the day at the beach or pool.
We did go out a few nights - Luciano's of Chicago was good Italian, then we sat out one night at Cafe Matisse which was also pretty good. It's $22 round trip to go from Atlantis into town if you want to eat out, and about $100 for two for 2 entrees and wine at these two places. We might try the Poopdeck tonight to have some authentic Bahamian food (though a lot of it is fried seafood...). Craig and Cheryl of Cheryl's taxi are incredibly reliable and just wonderful. You can email them or call and let them know when your reservations are, they will pick you up, drop you off at dinner and give you a card that you can give the restaurant to call when you are about done. They are there to pick you up by the time you pay the check!
The studios have a tiny dishwasher that did the trick for us, as well as a coffee maker plus Starbucks coffee.
We are here the week of MLK and it really wasn't too crowded. Loads of chairs available at the pool and the beach. You can have parts of the beach all to yourself. The gym at the resort is amazing, $15 a day but they give you bottled water, apples, and it is huge. There's also a lap pool by that gym, that you can use with no charge.
You are left to yourself at the resort, you have to flag someone over if you want to order food or a drink by the pool. I kind of like this but others may want more attention. The resort itself has a lot going on, between the water park, the casino, the beach, the pool, etc. great place for kids. This week was nice because we also weren't overrun by kids, I'm not sure i would love it here with tons and tons of kids. However, they do have an adult pool too, but they have loud music pounding all the time, it feels like they are trying to channel south beach or something.
Have a great time, we did and are sad to leave tomorrow!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Amex, Tingo, Travelocity, BookIt.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, BookingOdigeoWL, Venere, Agoda and Jetsetter so you can book your The Reef Atlantis reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Reef Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
- Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
- The Reef Atlantis Bahamas/Paradise Island