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“Overall great time but bad experience with kids' club” 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
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Overall great time but bad experience with kids' club”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We visited The Reef in February last year during a non-school vacation week. We had been prepared that it could be very crowded but we were very lucky and had the place practically to ourselves! This is a beautiful resort that is almost a city unto itself. The Reef and the Cove are the two newer hotels and it shows! I felt the decor in the Reef was far superior to that of the other hotels on the property.

THE ROOM: Our studio room in the Reef was ample space for us and our 2 children as we left the room at 8 am, came back to change for dinner and then back to sleep - we were never in it! When we were, everything was brand new, clean and comfortable. Beds were great and bathroom was beautifully appointed. Great views of ocean and harbor where my kids got a kick out of watching cruise ships come and go. One note -- there were not ample towel hooks in the bathroom and there was no outdoor lighting on the terrace which made it impossible to enjoy at night when the kids were sleeping.

REEF LOCATION: We liked this particular hotel because it was newer and while it was a bit of a walk to the water park, we enjoyed the walk. The Reef is a quiet hotel away from the rest of the resort, which we have heard can get quite crowded with day and cruise trippers. The Reef shares a private pool with The Cove and during our stay there were never more than 3 or 4 other families at the pool. With such low occupancy, one would think pool service would have been amazing. It was not - had to search out staff to help with chair set up, often there was no one to take food or drink orders so you had to go to the bar area to order yourself. There is no excuse for this lack of service ever but especially when the resort is empty.

WATER PARK: was great for kids. We had no waiting in line which was amazing. There were a few rides that my smaller child could not do due to height requirements but the lazy river was a hit as was the water playground. One day we hopped a shuttle to the other side of the resort - we had been told the Beach Tower had its own lazy river and my kids wanted to try it out. It took us almost 45 minutes to get there and after we'd been dropped off and made our way through the Beach Tower lobby to the outside, we noticed it was empty. It turned out The Beach Tower and one other hotel were closed down due to low occupancy so all attractions and restaurants here were closed. It would have been nice if concierge at the Reef or the shuttle operated had communicated this to us knowing where we were going. We wasted almost 1 1/2 of our day going back and forth for nothing. Pools are great throughout the resort (although we never experienced decent pool service at any of them) and the beaches are beautiful - although the water temperature in February was quite cold which was disappointing.

FOOD: we bought the meal plan for my husband and I and our children were free. Food here is pricey and the meal plan was well worth it in my opinion. We ate every breakfast at Mosaic in the Cove because we couldnt imagine it any better elsewhere. It was a very pretty, bright and uplifting place to eat. Huge choice -- made to order omelettes, pastries, cereals, fruits, oatmeal, pancakes, french toast etc. Lunches were tougher with children. There are only a few poolside bars serving food and the offerings are limited. No chicken nuggets. No pizza. Our children had difficulty finding something to eat which is not pleasant to deal with. Dinners were mixed. We ate at Carmines twice - being from NY - and it was just as good. The portions are huge so we brought back to the room and our kids had leftovers for lunches two days which worked out well. Mesa Grill was very good and we went there twice as well. Bahamian Club was mediocre at best and Casa' D'Angelo was fine. Service at all were fine.

KIDS' CLUB: Our children wanted to check out the kids' club and begged us to go after seeing it. We have never left our children in a kids' club situation before and were apprehensive about doing it; however, the staff reassured us and told us exactly what they would be doing. They were to play in the indoor camp for a bit, go to a cooking class, get a behind the scenes tour of the sea lions habitat and then go swimming. Seemed like a nice schedule for 4-5 hours so we made an appointment for the next day. When we dropped our children off, we brought several bottles of water because our children do not like juice. The staff said they had water and it was not necessary. When we arrived to pick up our children we were shocked by what had transpired: they had stayed inside the ENTIRE time (we did not go to the Bahamas from NY in February to have our kids inside for an entire afternoon). They did not have a cooking class, did not going swimming and did not see the sea lions. Furthermore, they had not been given any water to drink in 4 + hours and one child had a pretty nasty gash on his hand and no one was quite sure how it happened. We were terribly disturbed by this experience and voiced our complaints to the director of the kids' club. Later that day, we received an apology with presents for the kids in our room with an offer for a complimentary visit back to the kids' club. We obviously passed.

THE SPA: While our kids were at the kids club we had the concierge at the Reef book us a couples massage in the spa. When we arrived the receptionist quoted us a totally different price than what the Reef concierge quoted us (of course in the spa's favor). We spent more than half an hour going back and forth with the reef concierge on the phone and the spa trying to work it out. The spa staff was very rude about it and in the end, they made a compromise but did not honor the price that the concierge from the reef quoted us. It was a very poor display of customer service. The massage was fine but the whole experience was tainted.

Be sure to visit the Atlantis Racetrack - the kids had a blast playing with the remote control cars. We also enjoyed the rock-climbing wall and we swam with the dolphins which was definitely a highlight of our trip.

Overall, we had a great trip to the Reef in Atlantis and would return again in future however wont be using the kid' club or the spa.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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
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St. John's, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

An expensive and almost painful place to go if you have small kids. You think you know how much it is going to cost before you go. You have no idea unless you have been there. Think buying two virgin pina coladas on the beach for $25, apple juice $10, a bottle of water $7. We had the dinner plan so we avoided the high bills for dinner to some extent, but our bill just for drinks (most non-alcoholic) for a week was well above $1000 for our stay. For the meals we had to wait in a line for breakfast, 45 minutes every morning, then you had to wait for your bill, then wait for the waiter to return with your card (on the meal plan, we thought we could eat and leave, this was not the case). Parents with young kids would understand that a 2 hour routine for breakfast is less than ideal, especially when kids are excited to go to the beach. My husband booked all restaurants months in advance for supper, but getting to restaurants around the resort was tough with a few kids in tow and a reservation on the clock. The place is huge, and if kids are too big for strollers, yet so small that they mind walking 30 minutes or more, you may be in trouble. I feel we spent most of this vacation dragging kids around, calling for room repairs (doors were constantly not working), and waiting for our bills. There are so many other places which have better service, nicer amenities and a offer a better family/relaxing experience. I would not recommend this place to any of my friends with small children.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

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!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Oaks, Minnesota
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

A phenominal resort. The views from this tower are beyond discription. THis is the building to bring the Mrs. There are other family type structures on property more suited to kids. Yes there were some minor problems with the room. But all were taken care of immediately. Do Not go here looking for a bargain. There are none. This is that bucket list type vacation experience. The staff and management were far more polite and enjoyable than half of the clientele. Too many demanding ,pushy gotta have it my way or else jerks. I loved this place. You will too. Just be able to afford the best before you go and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new mexico
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

"All hype little substance"

Such a hyped but substandard stay..I will list my complaints

1. Upon arrival, NO front desk person, concierge handed the arrival
2. Given room with room propped open with broken electronic device
3. Broken device was entertainment box, meaning no electronics in room
4. Asked for workable room, no answer given that night (arrival approx 10 pm)
5. Given coupons for inconvenience...upon departure told we were not "eligible" for said coupons and were charged for items used with coupons
6. Numerous added charges bellman,"utilities", etc total 5 charges/day!!
7. Very expensive and very mediocre food

The worst hotel experience ever

Really pathetic

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Beautiful resort! We stayed for 5 days and it was lovely. Staff were pleasant and weather was hot but slightly windy. Helped having a mini kitchen for breakfast in the morning. It was really clean and had everything that we needed. We got the breakfast package from foodstore2go. They delivered the incorrect package to us so we had to call them to swap it. They also delivered a few hours earlier than we stated!
The food prices were on the expensive side but prepare for that before you go. Try to avoid the typical Americn diner places for dinner on the harbour, the quality is not great. The Atlas bar and grill in the casino is reasonably priced and great service. We also went to one place just outside the resort where there was a lovely restaurant on the corner that served Bahamian food. Was lush and definitely recommend. Also book in advance if you can.Mesa grill was lovely too.
There was plenty of room by the pool and on the beach. We went in September time. Having the water park on site was also great! Overall and fab holiday and would definitely recommend to all ages!

  • Stayed September 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AZ
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

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.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
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 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Luxury 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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