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Atlantis - Harborside Resort
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Reviewed March 2, 2009

We stayed at Harborside 2/21-2/28, 2009. We booked our week from a Starwood owner off from Redweek. We had a one bedroom deluxe villa in Building 7 in Phase I (Villa 4706). It was a very nice villa with great views of Atlantis and the marina. The overall condition of the villa was fine for our needs. The sofa could have used a good cleaning but other than that the villa was perfect for us.

We are family of four with two small children so we opted to purchase the casual meal plan because the kids would eat for free. In hindsight, we probably would have skipped the meal plan had we known we wouldn't have to pay for our three year old at the buffets, but, overall, we were happy with the meal plan. We were a little disappointed to find out that certain restaurants were closed on various nights so if you want to eat at a specific restaurant on a specific night, I would suggest you plan ahead. We ate at Carmine's (great garlic bread but the rest of the food was ok), Murray's Deli (great food and fun atmosphere for kids), The Point (huge disappointment), Water's Edge (typical breakfast buffet), and Marketplace (more selections than Water's Edge for breakfast and a wide variety for dinner). Our kids loved the buffets so we ate there the most. If you choose to purchase the meal plan, I would suggest that you keep track of how much your gratuity is for each dinner. When we got our final bill, about 75% of our gratuities had mysteriously doubled! We pointed this out when checking out and they changed the gratuities back to their original figure. One other note regarding the meal plan, the price of the buffets included soft drinks, milk, tea, and coffee with their meals. The Atlantis website indicated that the price only included tea and coffee.

The pools and the grounds at Atlantis were beautiful and well-kept. Some of the pools were heated and others were not. The weather was a little chilly while we were there (low to mid 70s) so it got a little chilly in the non-heated pools.

The staff at Atlantis and Harborside were very helpful and courteous. The shuttle bus drivers and the taxi drivers were a lot of fun too. Very informative by filling you in on hot spots in Nassau.

We took the $6 boat ride over to Nassau. They only charged us for two people even though we were a family of four (probably because of our small kids). Had a great time walking through the Straw Market and seeing the sights, the big cruise ships, and celebrity homes.

The marina around Atlantis and Harborside is unbelievable!!! It is a great environment for boat enthusiasts like ourselves. We had a great time watching the boats come and go during the week. It was so much fun to walk around the marina at night and during the day to see all of the wonderful boats.

Overall, we had a wonderful time and will probably return when our kids are a little older. I would highly recommend Harborside for anyone that would like a home away from home while staying at Atlantis!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank seekingsun4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2009

We spent school vacation week at the Harborside based on great reviews and us wanting to experience Atlantis at least once. Here is my opinion:

Resort: A bit aged but wonderful location. The 2 bedroom was really large. The doors that separate the bedrooms from the bath room and main living space are just too cumbersome, I was also opening and closing doors, they just had too many.

Location: Ideal for gettting to Atlantis, free shuttle service.

Groceries: Everyone seems to think you should pack it but to be honest packing extra food did not save us much. There is a daily shuttle to the market for $7 round trip. My husband and his friend took it to purchase essentials. They took carry on bags with wheels to the market to carry their groceries. A gallon of water was only $1.59. We ended up going through 10 gallons for 6 people. We did not like the taste of the water in the Bahamas so had to purchase it. The other groceries were also reasonable. If you end up packing it and paying for an extra bag it just may not be worth it when you can get decent prices at the market.

Restaurants: There are plenty but I have to say they are way over priced. We made reservations at Carmines after hearing great reviews. It was a big disappointment. Our reservations were for 7 and they didn't seat us until 8PM. Others who were there since 5:30 were still waiting after us to get a seat, they did not have reservations. Given the long wait we figured the food would be great. Wrong!! It was just okay. They wanted $50.00 for a bottle of white zinfandel. We pay $4.00 in the states. The liquor store in the Bahamas sold it for $10.00. Carmines is extremely disorganized, overpriced and the food is no where as good as the Carmines in the states. Don't waste your money.

We also ate at the Marketplace: the buffet over at Atlantis. That was $60.00 per person which was extremely expensive because lets face it, its a buffet. The food was good but not great.

The pizzeria in the marina was decent. There pizza was good but we did pay about $40.00 for a large one.

Activities: We had two 18 year olds with us who did the Dolpin Encounter. It was excellent. Well organized event that gave us the option to observe the kids as they did the dolphin swim. I will post a couple of photos of that. It was well worth it. You can pick up the ferry across the street from the Harborside.

Taxi: We used Trevor of Royality Limo, he was super. He came on time and had plenty of booze in the limo that we got to taste along the way to the liquor store. The cost was $90.00 plus tip each way. There were six of us. He also does private excursions for $90 an hour. We thought that was a little high so opted not to do it.

Straw Market: We took a cab for $24.00 and spent a few hours in town. We bought knock off bags at the market, loved bargaining over the prices and then had lunch at Senor Frogs. It was great fun. One warning, my daugher bought a necklace at the straw market and her neck immediately broke out. We took it back to the hotel and rinsed it. It was okay after that. That place is really dirty and crowded

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank lovevtovacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

I’m sorry this is so long, but you just can’t condense this much fun! This was our first trip out of the country (not including Canada) and other than having to go through customs it was not too foreign. They do drive on the other side of the road and their vehicles come from the US and other countries so some are right hand drive and others are left hand drive, it is pretty funny when they get to the tolls. The taxi ride from the airport was a bit of a walk on the wild side, the taxi was an old minivan with the wobbliest seat I have ever been on. He went like 40 on the narrowest roads, and watch out for the cabbies telling you the price. I was led to believe the ride from the airport was $40 dollars + Tip, and was told at the hotel that they can only charge I believe the rate was $32 dollars plus a couple of extra dollars for large bags. Their money is on par with ours so it is used and given for change everywhere you go, and the casino only uses US money. The casino also gives free gaming lessons every afternoon, which were pretty fun and informative.
I will say this was not the nicest room we have stayed in the Starwood network but it was still way better than any run of the mill hotel around and the scenery and views made up for any shortcomings of the room. Be sure to bring good walking shoes if you want to see the entire resort. I was a little nervous about what we were going to encounter on this trip, I read many reviews some good and some bad, I agreed with all the good reviews as for the bad ones either they just had unfortunate luck or maybe got what they asked for. Every single person we encountered was friendly courteous and helpful. Believe what you read about the food prices $$$$ we knew it would be expensive and it was! We spend between $180 and $200 dollars for dinner in the better restaurants two or three times. We went to Sea Fire for dinner which was delicious but a little on the loud side. One of the places we went for lunch was Bimini Road we spent about $45 for lunch, it was fun and had good food. Chop Stix was another place we went for dinner and it was ok, for the price of $180 it was not great. We considered buying the meal plan and were glad we didn't, we estimated the better plan would cost about $1600 for both of us for 2 meals a day and that doesn't include drinks or tips. I believe we spent less than $1000 for food for the week, and we ate pretty well.
There is a bus service that will bring you to the grocery store, the trip costs $7.00 per person round trip but the food in the grocery store is still pretty high. A pack of hot dogs is almost $7.00 dollars, but if you want fresh fruit and can organize yourself enough it is probably worth it. If you can't there is a little plaza right across from Marina Village. There is a Liquor store, convenience store, subway restaurant, and a mini straw market where you can haggle a little with the local craft people and some other shops and restaurants. The prices in the plaza are similar to the grocery store so if you can get by with the restaurants and a few snacks skip the grocery trip and save some money. The liquor store has better prices than we have up here in New England. The most common activity in the Bahamas is drinking because you can get a drink almost anywhere within a 2 min walk. The Harborside has shuttle busses that take you around to the other hotels; some of the bus drivers have the best personalities. On our first trip "Big Mama" gave us the lay of the land and offered to bring us to one of the hotels to get our bearings. The maps are a bit confusing, after you spend a few days on the property getting around becomes second nature. The property is absolutely amazing; everywhere you turn there are tanks with sea turtles, sharks, and all kinds of other sea life. There are so many pools you could not hit every one in a week, the water park is the coolest thing. The tower of power is so cool you can go around and ride the belt to the top and never have to get out of your tube unless you want to go to the top slide. It wasn’t the warmest day but the pools are warm and we had a great time at the water park. I really can’t say enough good things about the hotel property or the staff.
I also highly recommend taking the water shuttle across to Nassau the dock is at the base of the bridge and it only cost $6.00 per person round trip. Visit Senior Frogs for some real spring break type entertainment and lunch, and then stroll through the Famous Straw Market. It is mostly girl stuff like knock off purses and flea market stuff. I loved the ambiance, after lunch and a couple of drinks we walked through here and I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. If you spend some time walking the streets of Nassau you will find some local art and a lot of local culture off the main street there are some neat little alleys with art stores and restaurants. Plus you can get conch shells for $5.00 and bottles of water for $1.00 (cheapest anywhere). The bottled water is very expensive so we loaded up our backpacks before we took the shuttle back to Paradise Island. The cruise ships are docked nearby so the place is bustling. We were told to go the days the ships were there I think Saturday and Thursday are the days that they are there.
Since we were there to enjoy ourselves we decided to do one of those once in a lifetime things. We swam with the dolphins, if you can swing the deep water swim I would definitely recommend it. We did the Dolphin Cove one instead of the one that takes you off island. They were both about the same money and had very similar agendas. Dolphin Cove gives you a wetsuit to use and you get to keep the swim mask and snorkel. It was fun you do the dolphin push, then swim around with the dolphins using water scooters and finally do the dolphin kiss. They take pictures the whole time and you can buy different packages in the gift shop (of course) the packages are pretty expensive; I think for the two of us the whole thing with the pictures cost about $500.00. But that is why it is a once in a lifetime thing.
There is not too much to do at night other than gamble in the casino or hang around in the restaurants. The nights we didn’t decide to make reservations and go to a nice restaurant, we roamed around checking the place out, some nights went to the marina village and enjoyed being outside in the middle of December and just browsed the stores and looked at the amazing yachts and relaxed, or went to the movie hall. They offer free current run movies and you can purchase snacks or drinks. We will definitely be going back in the next couple of years.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank bjl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2009

I will preface this review with the fact that we are owners of a two-bedroom lock-off at Harborside.

We have stayed there over Thansgiving week several times as well as other times and if you go prepared, this is a wonderful way to have quality family time at a reasonable cost.

This last trip, we packed one large suitcase with breakfast food, frozen meats, side items, peanut butter and jelly, etc. and rented a car one day to tour the island and shop for fresh fruits and vegetables and other groceries. (The car rental company came and picked us up at Harborside and brought us back after we turned in the car.)

We planned to eat out lunches since it is least expensive at the buffets. Portions at Murray's deli, Johnny Rockets and food on the beach and at the Point at Harborside were sufficient for some of us to share and what we didn't eat, we took back to the unit for leftovers. We did splurge for the Thanksgiving day dinner buffet at the Marketplace and it was well worth it!

Atlantis had gone all out and decorated everything for Christmas, so we took advantage by taking family photos for our Christmas cards. Several employees stopped and offered to take photos when they saw us trying to set the timer on our cameras, so that worked out nicely.

We did not seem to have the issues that some other recent visitors did, but I could understand how they would be upset if the quality wasn't up to par. When we checked in, we were told when housekeeping would visit and we asked that they do so a different day. They put it in the computer, but also suggested we talk to housekeeping to confirm, which we did and they did a very thorough cleaning on the day we requested. Also, we always take clothes detergent and fabric softener (can buy for $1 each at CVS in Texas) and use to wash our clothes (so we don't have to pack as much and leaves more room for food) as well as to wash towels and sheets, if necessary. We had asked for a crib for our grandson and although it wasn't in the unit when we arrived; it was delivered within 30 minutes. The only problem we had was with the wireless computer access and they sent a team over to help us work out the kinks within the hour. Since my husband was trying to work while we were there, this was important. You could access the network via a hardwire, but the cord was so short that you were stuck in one part of the unit - right in the middle of the living room so it made it difficult for him to work while others wanted to watch TV. This is the only reason, I would rate our trip "above average" instead of "excellent."

Most of the time, the shuttles were timely and easy to catch back and forth; although, if you have an infant, an umbrella stroller is easier to get on and off the shuttle with.

Everyone we came in contact with was helpful and friendly. For the first time, the weather was not as nice (rained a couple of days and was not as warm and there were warnings on the beach most of the week), but we used that as opportunity to sit in the hot tubs, visit "the dig", the casino, attend movies, etc. when it wasn't pleasant enough for swimming. Our "adult" children especially enjoyed all of the new water park additions. We call Atlantis the Disneyland of water parks with all of the slides, lazy rivers, etc. to enjoy no matter what your age.

We went with the attitude that we were going to enjoy our family and have fun and it seems that was contagious with all we came in contact with. Since it is a long way to travel and is hard to coordinate everyone's calendar, we probably won't go again until our grandson is old enough to really enjoy all of the water activities, but I would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to have fun and get closer to their family.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank TravelqueenMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2009

We're owners here, but haven't been here in about 3 years. We have a one bedroom and were given a room with a view of the water and the Atlantis. The rooms come equipped with all pots and utensils, paper towels, detergent for the dishwasher, coffeemaker, blender, DVD player, 2 TVs, iron and ironing board, a microwave/convection oven, sharp knives, and washer and dryer. Food is extremely expensive here, which we knew from previous trips, so we brought a suitcase full of food, dishwashing detergent, clothes detergent , cooking oil, spices, salt and pepper, coffee (they do give you one package) and filters, cereal, pasta, rice, sandwich bags, a collapsible cooler, ice packs and hot cocoa. We took the shuttle to the supermarket the next morning and bought meat, fruits, vegetables and milk. We also took a walk over the bridge and bought fresh snapper which was inexpensive and delicious.
It's easy to walk over to the Atlantis, but shuttles come and go frequently and the fascilities there are wonderful. We enjoyed the water slides and the aquarium. The pool at Harbourside was very cold, but nice to sit around and the ftiness room at Harbourside is free. They do charge to use the internet at Harbourside, but free internet is available at the Atlantis library for 15 minutes at a time.
The staff at Harbourside were all friendly and very accomodating, and any problems very fixed quickly. I highly recommend Harbourside for a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank blkatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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