Having been to Atlantis before and having read the latest forum postings, I had certain expectations going in. Money of course was the big thing; food is expensive, there is a charge for everything, etc. First of all, Atlantis has been running a few promotions which meant that there were significant savings to be had for stays from the Beach Tower all the way up to the Cove. (BTW, the COVE is very nice.) I was in for a conference and since that was held in the Beach Tower side, we elected to stay in the Beach Tower. The rooms were pretty standard, we were upgraded to an oceanview which was very nice. Flat Panel TV with lots of channels, beware the minibar...don't touch or jiggle anything as you will be charged and for those who don't use it, check your folio every night to make sure no charges come up. The furnishngs are dated, and even in the 'renovated' Coral tower rooms, it still about a 3 star hotel room. Pod Coffee maker, iron, hairdryer and in-room safe provided also. No doubt, if you spring for the Reef or Cove, the furnishings are much nicer, but IMO, hardly worth the cost as I don't spend much time in the room.
Facilities (Aquaventure, etc.): Everything except for the Goombay Slides between the Coral and Beach towers was open. Easy access to Atlantis Beach ( Smooth, white sand, gets deep quickly, not much in terms of marinelife, i.e. coral, fishes, etc.), Cove Beach (a 5 min walk - towards the Cove, a lot of shallow coral/rock formations and more wildlife, white sand good for Snorkelling.)and Paradise Beach (at the opposite end of the Atlantis property, nice white sand, shallower and calmer, some rock formations and coral but not as much as Cove Beach. No problem with access to Cove and Paradise Beach for non-Reef/Cove guests encountered. Power Tower was operational, conveyor included, but was hit or miss with intermittent closures, probably because of the number of guests. The Current as a reminder to some, is NOT a lazy river, there are rapids and waves; I flipped over a few times and lost my waterproof container thing that was hanging around my neck once. The true lazy river is located between the Beach and Coral Towers and is pretty tame, but also shaded for the most part . Fitness Centre (charge of $15/night) looks nice, but didn't use. Spa (looks very nice, but I didn't partake in any treatments. Internet access - fee, depending on number of hours purchased, wireless is intermittent throughout the hotel, I was able to connect wirelessly in the convention centre , lobbies and pool areas and intermittently in the room (6th floor); okay for sharing if one person in the group has signed up for it.
There are a lot of EXTRA type of activites that you can sign up for including the Dolphin interaction. I did the new Snorkel with the Manta activity for about 80 /person. It is a small group Snorkel through the Ruins lagoon (between the Royal Towers and the Dig.) where you can see the Manta Rays (2 of them) as well as stingrays, a few sharks and lots of fish. It is about 30 minutes or so of Snorkel time, surface only and no touching with educational briefings along the way. We had a great time and got lots of pictures both in and out of the water. I would recommend this for people who have limited snorkelling experience, those with more experience or diving experience won't get much out of it with the exception of the Manta interaction. We also did an outside snorkelling trip to Rose Island by Catamaran. The coral was pretty shallow with lots of fish, again, those with a lot of snorkelling experience might not get too much out of this experience, but it would be good for beginner snorkellers. The boat ride was about 40 minutes to and back and was about 70 / person.
Dining: - We were on the Casual Dining plan (only because we had my wife's parents with us who otherwise wouldn't eat if they saw the prices.) so we only went to Bimini Road, Carmines and Chopstix as well as the MarketPlace buffet. THe buffet was pretty good for a buffet, nothing too exotic but lots of varieites. The kids love the Ben and Jerry's ice cream at the end. Bimini Road was good, they do have Lobster Tails on the menu if you like that; no surcharges for certain items, and a lot of food. ChopStix was very good for the Asian food theme, a shout out to Mersay who was great in helping me get a reservation here on short notice. Carmines - Italian food served FAMILY style which means that every plate is meant to feed 3-4 people. On the DP, that can mean that you potentially over order but the waiters are good in warning you about that; if you are not on the plans, that may be a good place because you can share appetizers and entrees. Tried the $100 Porterhouse...not that great for the price...but a lot of meat, problem is if you have guests who have different requests for how it's done. NOTE, during busy times, RESERVATIONS ahead of time is a must. We were able to get last minute reservations (2 or so days before) but with a very limited selection of times. Earlier and later seatings are usually better and have more availability, but Chopstix was pertty much booked the whole week we were there and was closed 2 of the days that we were there. That was the only restaurant closings that we encountered, but we only had the 3 to choose from anyway.
Service. After reading some of the reviews of Atlantis, I had lower expectations about the service there but let me say this, everyone at Atlantis from the maintenance workers, to the housekeepers, to the lifeguards and the wait staff was great. Always a greeting whether it be 2 am in the morning or 5 in the afternoon. The restaurant wait staff was very good and we ended up giving most extra tips on top of the included 15% (as the whole wait staff shares that.) The pool attendants, lifeguards were all friendly, yes, some do seem to be dozing at times though. The front desk service was also very prompt and friendly. We really didn't encounter any disinterested or rude staff at all while we were there.
All in all, we had a great time. Yes it can be very pricey, stop off for supplies and water on the way there and that will save some money there. Staff is great, deals are available as the economy is still depressed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barefoot and carefree, The Beach at Atlantis, Autograph Collection is literally all about the beach itself. Perfect for value- minded guests seeking a casual and tropical, relaxed ambience steps away from Atlantis Beach, our Paradise Island, Bahamas hotel experience does not include room service, but does offer the amenities of Atlantis within easy reach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atlantis Resort Bahamas
- Beach Hotel At Atlantis
- Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
- Beach Hotel Paradise Island
- Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
- Atlantis Paradise Island Beach Tower
- Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel
- Atlantis Island Resort
- Atlantis Royal Tower
- The Beach At Atlantis, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island