Went with a family of four, staying at a one bedroom ocean front suite. Arrived a few hours prior to check-in. Our room was not quite ready, so we utilized the transition locker rooms. Wonderful amenity, and wish more beach front hotels made it so easy to store your luggage and enjoy the weather while you waited for a room.
Room itself was great. Boys slept in the pull out couch, which was reasonably comfortable with a thicker than usual mattress. Unlike most rooms with pull out sofas, it was so spacious that we rarely made it back up into a couch. Probably about 5 feet from the end of the bed to the wall. We were a little apprehensive about not splurging for the 2-bedroom, but were very happy we did not. The kitchen area is very nice. Would've preferred a real coffee maker for a full kitchen as opposed to the 4-cup one they provide, but not a big deal. We ordered from food store 2 go, and they were right on time. You MUST do this if you come to the Reef. Expensive is not the word for their restaurants. It's downright gouging, but since we knew about this in advance we placed a large order with food store 2 go and were able to literally save thousands. We ate every breakfast, most lunches, and a dinner in the room and the quality was better than the poolside fare while the cost was a mere fraction.
Anyway, master bathroom is huge. We did have a problem with our sheets the first night. There was blood on the sheet and the mattress pad. It was dried and I could see how the housekeeping might miss it. We called at 7 pm, and though a bit slow they were apologetic and changed the sheets out by 8. I was a bit perturbed, but that was the last service issue we had.
We loved the privacy of the Reef. There were a lot of spring breakers at Atlantis, and not once did we feel annoyed. They were all in the main areas near the Royal Towers, and in general MUCH calmer than we've seen at other destinations. They were probably hung over and sleeping during the hours were were around, but still! Anyway, we spent the beach time at the fairly remote and pretty beach in front of the Reef, and set up shop in front of the slides the latter part of the day for the boys. THe Dolphin swim was very expensive but certainly worth it.
We loved the Mosaic, liked Carmine's and Mesa. We've been to the latter two often in NYC, and while it wasn't quite up to that level the food was very good at each. Mosaic is hands-down my children's favorite buffet. Yes, it's $200 for a family of 4 before drinks. But the quality is top notch and the selection excellent. We went twice and while the basics remained the same there was enough of a difference in fare that it seemed like two different restaurants.
The aquaventure rides were fun. Kids loved them, and we liked the lazy river with the occasional trip to the top of the power tower for one of those three rides. Lines were never more than five minutes at any.
Our pet peeve with hotels is sound. So many places we've stayed have very poor sound proofing, where you can hear everything that occurs in the hallways. Well, the Reef is excellent in this area. Our room was actually sectioned off from the hallway by two double doors. This was designed to be able to create a 2-bedroom by opening the interior doors and closing the double doors, or split them into a studio and one bedroom. We were obviously split, but the angle and the extra barrier essentially closed off our room to normal noise (only hearing the occasional drunk at 3 in the morning).
The only downside to the Reef was really the cost of everything. There's expensive and then there's gouging, and they don't even try to apologize for the cost. I expect to pay $10 or so for a burger at a resort pool, but I don't expect a light lunch for my small family to run $150 (which it did for my sister's equally sized family the first day).
Would I go back? Yes. It's what you expect it to be. A busy pool and beach resort with lots to do and eat.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.