The Harborside is a timeshare resort within the Starwoods Network that can be rented by non-owners. Yes, this resort has a pool, a gym and a restaurant on site. But what makes this resort a WINNER is its proximity to Atlantis and the fact that all guests have full privileges at Atlantis. I love being able to partake in all that Atlantis has to offer and then retire to these quiet, spacious villas at the end of the day. For those who like to walk, Atlantis is less than 5-10 minutes away. Most guests, however, will take advantage of the convenient shuttles that leave every 10 minutes or so.
When booking your room, it helps to know that the resort was built in two phases. The phase 1 villas are decorated in a vivid, blue tropical scheme but are starting to show their age. They will all be refurbished starting some time in 2010. The phase 2 villas are decorated in muted earth tones and have flat screen TVs. Photos of both and floor plans are available on H---------m.
You will not get assigned to a specific villa until you arrive but your day of check in will decide what buildings you may be assigned to. The list below will let you know what buildings are phase 1 or 2 and what views the building has. When you look at an Atlantis Map, the building immediately above the words Harborside Resort is building 7. Continuing counter-clockwise to building 1, then 2, then 5, then 6, then 3. Building 4 is in the middle.
Bldg 7 (saturday check in,marina view, phase one)
Bldg 1 (sunday, marina, phase one)
Bldg 2 (friday,pool,phase one)
Bldg 5(saturday, pool/harbour/gardens, phase two)
Bldg 6 (friday, gardens/harbour, phase two)
Bldg 3 (saturday,gardens, phase two)
Bldg 4( sunday, gardens, phase two).
Check-in is at 4pm. If you will be arriving before then, pack your swimsuits in your carry-on bag. Once you've checked in, you can have lunch by the pool, change into your suits and have a relaxing swim while you wait. The bellman will keep your bags and deliver them to your room when it becomes available.
The kitchens are stocked with pots, dishes, etc. A bus leaves daily at 10 o'clock (8 on Sundays) to take you across the bridge to a Nassau grocery store. I think the fee is $7 a person. A convenience store is in the shopping center across the street and a sundry shop is off the lobby for small items like milk, eggs, bread, coffee.
One downside is that the timeshare folks are everywhere. The concierge is really a front woman to get you booked into a timeshare talk. She will offer you a free dinner ($150 value) if you go but keep in mind both husband and wife must be there to get the free gift. Your kids will be given something to color while they wait for you. They say it will take about an hour but it will take a little longer.
This was our second time visiting the Harborside Resort at Atlantis and I would not hesitate to stay here again. If you are interested in some tips that I've picked up along the way, keep reading.
Tip #1: Take a taxi from the airport instead of the ground transportation that Atlantis arranges for you. Taxis are abundant and most are minivans that can easily accommodate a family and their luggage. The cost is $32 for the first two passenger and $3 for each additional passenger. Atlantis, along with many other hotels and resorts in Nassau, contracts with Dan Knowles Tours. You'll have to wait in line at the airport while they verify your paper work, you'll have to wait for them to fill a bus, and then you have to drive around the island dropping off passengers at various hotels.
Tip #2: Don't overpack. You will spend 80% of your time in your bathing suit. A cover-up is necessary. Water shoes are really nice to have.
Tip #3: Make some decisions about meals before you go. The gourmet dining plan is $99 per adult per day and $50 per child per day. The casual dining plan is $69 and $35. These prices don't include the mandatory 15% gratuity and some items on the menu will not be covered.
Without a meal plan (in 2007), breakfast in one buffet restaruant cost $19.50 for an adult and $11.00 for a child. Dinner at the Marketplace (buffet restaurant) cost $124.20 in 2009 for two adults and a child. Dinner in a casual restaurant for two adults, no alcohol, costs us around $120. Dinner in a gourmet restuarant for two adults, with alcohol, cost us around $250.
Food is an area where you can save a good bit of money. We froze everything we would need for breakfast (bacon, pancakes, juice,etc) and brought it with us in a soft-sided cooler within our luggage. We bought eggs and milk in the sundry shop on site . It was nice to have a big, relaxing breakfast in the room before we set out for the day. Our next meal was typically eaten at a poolside restaurant later in the day. For a family of three the cost was typically around $35. For dinner we tried as many of Atlantis' restaurants as we could.
If you do plan on going to one of the gourmet restaurants, don't forget that you can't where shorts. You will need long pants (not jeans) and shoes (not tennis shoes). Cafe Martinique suggests a jacket.
Tip #4: Shuttle buses are available to take you from Harborside to either the Beach, Coral, Royal or Cove towers. Once on property there is a different shuttle bus that takes you between the Beach, Coral, Royal, Cove, One and Only Club and Golf Course. For families with babies or toddlers, bring an umbrella stroller. The bigger ones are difficult to get on and off the shuttle bus.
Tip #5: You must be 48" to ride the signature slides. They enforce this. There are some smaller but fun slides around the Mayan Temple pool and the Goombay slide near the
lazy river for those adventurous kids just short of the height cut-off. For the little ones, there are great slides at Splashers kid pool and some little ones at Ripples.
Tip #6: The Harborside, River, Mayan Temple and Baths pool are zero depth at one end. The Lagoon pool is 4 ft. The Royal Baths Pool starts is 3ft. Atlantis beach is the most convenient one to run back for food and drinks and is near the River Pool. The Cove Beach is quiet and can be entered near the Baths Pool. The Paradise Beach, Cascades Pool and Cain Pool are only available to residents of the Cove and the Reefs.
Pools close at 7pm. The Harborside has a huge hot tub and an infant 2ft pool. Hot tubs are located near the Lazy river and at the Mayan Temple.
Tip #7: Bring enough sunscreen for a week. Sunscreen costs over $20 at the resort. Some empty water bottles are nice to bring too. Bottled water can also add up.
Tip #8: Only those with AT&T will have cell phone service here. Walkie talkies are a nice way to keep in touch.
Tip #9: The Pirate Museum in Nassau is nice but I wouldn't make a special trip in just to see it.
Tip #10: Pick up the Daily Atlantean each evening for the next day. It is a newsletter containing the daily activities. There are some cute activities for kids and adults alike. Movies are free but snacks will cost you. The comedy club offers family shows.
Tip #11: The Earth & Fire Pottery Studio has pieces that you can buy to paint. Each color must be applied three times and dried in between before the piece is fired. You then pick it up the next day. The cheapest piece cost around $15 -$20. There is now an Atlantis Pal Shop, think Build a Bear Workshop.
Tip #12: Get your bands and towels at the Harborside pool before you go to Atlantis. You will avoid long lines. Don't be shy about moving towels. Most people just leave their towels on the chair when they leave the area instead of putting them up in the towel bins.
Tip #13: The kid's club (ages 3-12) is expensive but worth the splurge. My son loved it and it allowed my husband and me to try out some of the gourmet restaurants and evening activities. The morning session is available Monday to Saturday from 9 am till noon and costs $40 a child. The afternoon session is from 1pm to 5 pm and costs $45. A full day including lunch is $90. The evening activities are for kids 3 to 12 and are available Wednesday to Saturday. This costs $60 for 6pm till 10pm. Dinner is not included but snack food that fits the theme is. The themes are Willy Wonka wednesday, Buccaneer's Bash thursday, Candy carnival friday, Pizza and coketail saturday. Baby sitting costs $20 an hour. Everything has to be pre-arranged. Don't forget to bring your child's passport or other id. Will need it to register them and pick them up. You can view the facilities around noon each day when the children are not in the facility.
Tip #14: Club Rush is open from 4pm -7 pm for 6-12 year olds. 13-17 year olds use the same facility after 8pm. The charge is $15. This allows the kids to mix and mingle, watch movies, play Play Stations, XBoxes, etc. Again, don't forget an ID for verification of the child's age.
Tip #15: To use Gamer's reef you must buy a card. The cheapest one is $20. The games are around $2 or so.
Tip #16: Atlantis speedway is so fun! $75 to build a car to keep. $20 for 12 races. If you don't build your own car, you can use theirs. There is a Nascar Race Track, a separate Monster Race Track and Wii Racing.
Tip #17: 15 minutes of free internet per adult is available at the Library (Coral Tower). Internet hot spots are available for free throughout the resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Inspired by the natural wonders of warm Caribbean breezes, blue crystalline waters and sparkling white-sand beaches, Harborside Resort offers Atlantis guests a vacation filled with beauty, relaxation and excitement. Situated just across the marina from Atlantis, you have access to a wealth of private amenities combined with the home-away-from-home extras that only a spacious, private villa can offer. The Harborside Resort is just steps from a harbor front restaurant and pool area, a children's pool with fountains, a fitness facility and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atlantis - Harborside Hotel Paradise Island
- Harborside Resort Paradise Island
- Harborside Hotel Paradise Island
- Harborside Resort Atlantis
- Harborside Resort At Atlantis
- Atlantis - Harborside Resort Bahamas/Paradise Island