We got a great deal otherwise we could not have afforded the nightly rate which is over $400 plus the various charges and taxes on top.
Dan Knowles transport picked us up from the airport in Nassau. Many reno's going on at the airport so it doesnt look that great but by 2013 they say they will have 2 terminals and it will be very modern. A bit chaotic for travellers outside the airport looking for their pre arranged transportation , you have to keep asking people to direct you to the correct 'desks'. An extended mini van picked us up along with several other travellers also going to Atlantis.
The drive took approx 35mins which took us through an expensive neighbourhool in Nassau and then through their 'downtown' area which is geared towards tourists as every shop is either a jewellery store or souvenier store. No idea where the real Bahamians shop! Running alongside downtown Nassau we saw two cruise ships docked , so it was busy in the downtown area with tourists making up the majority of people . We crossed the toll bridge over to Paradise Island where Atlantis is. There is a ferry docked nearby and we were told that you can take the ferry into Nassau for $4 dollars each way trip. During our stay we chose to take a taxi which cost approx $11 each way plus the $1 dollar toll and of course then there is atip on top of that. Be prepared to have your hand in your pocket whilst at Atlantis because you will be paying 15percent gratuity on EVERYTHING you purchase and then on your bills they will ask if you want to add a further tip!
Checking in went smoothly enough and we were upgraded without our knowledge [no extra charge to the Coral Towers from the Beach Towers which is what our reservation was for . We got a big room on the 8th floor of the Coral Towers overlooking the Marina side not the Ocean side. This was fine with us as there was a lot going on and we could see the Cruise ships in Nassau and the million dollar [and then some] coming into the Marina .
You are given a plastic key card when you book in which is also a charge card for the whole resort. You can charge your food, drinks, purchases from some of the stores etc. on that card even the cost of a locker by the pool area near the Rapid River ride. BE CAREFUL . We paid with our credit card for that locker and they still needed our room number. Later that day we found we had been charged on the room card for that locker also. So we we charged twice. Having read a previous tripadvisor review I knew to check our "Atlantis Folio' on our tv in our room daily to watch and dispute any charges we felt were not ours. If you wait till the end of your trip it will be harder to sort out. ANYWAY we disputed the locker charge and two other charges on our bill by going to the check in desk. To resolve the issue they had to fax the locker place and a bar on the other side of the resort , wait for the info to come back and if the signature from the guest [me]and the signature on the bills from the bar and locker place were not the same then they would take the charge off. This took some time and I had to come back later in the day to make sure it was taken care of and the charges were taken off. Which they were. If I had waited to do all this at the end of my trip I would have left the resort still not knowing if the charges were taken off and I'm sure I wouldnt want to keep calling Atlantis from Canada trying to sort it all out. Please check your 'folio' on your room tv daily to avoid hassels down the road , it could spoil your trip otherwise. As it was, we had charges of over $170 dollars at the end of our stay which was not in dispute as these were the 15percent charges for every meal we had prepaid for before our trip as we bought a meal plan.
MEAL PLAN: We paid $400 total for 2 people for breakfast and dinner daily for our 4 night 5 day stay. This allowed us to eat at either the Seagrapes buffet in the Beach Towers or the main buffet which is much bigger and better called the Marketplace buffet in the Royal Towers. Even though you have prepaid before arrival, you give the receptionist your room key when you get to the buffet. They then give you a 'bill' which is then given to the hostess who seats you. The waiter/waitress then takes it from you at the table. Off you go to the buffet to get your food. Great selection at Marketplace , not that great at Seagrapes. Point in fact, at Seagrapes which is right beside the Coral Towers and a little closer, which is why we went there the first two evenings, the waitress was happy to tell us they had 'beef brisket' to carve as part of the buffet. At Marketplace there was a huge beef roast and a large ham and one night a Turkey roast along with all the other buffet items. We preferred the selection at Marketplace which is through the casino and lobby of the Royal Towers. You will be charged 15percent gratuity on what staff consider the 'cost of your breakfast'. Breakfast they charge to their inventory as costing $56 -$62 dollars for two, so we got charged 15percent of that and that gratuity charge went on your daily bill. The same thing happens at dinner, only they charge dinner to their inventory as costing approx $96-$100 for two , so you get charged the 15percent gratuity on that amount daily . If you have a drink [every drink] will be charged at a 15percent gratuity. It adds up very quickly over 5 days. So take extra cash or pay it to you charge at the end of the trip. You are nickled and dimed for everything.
POOLS: many lovely pools to swim in and they are kept beautifully. We loved the Blu pool [blue loungers I think thats why its called that] behind the Coral Towers. There is a snack bar for drinks and hot dogs and burgers right there also. You can hire the 'day beds' for a cost of $75 dollars for the day,YES, I said $75 dollars! We just used the lounge chairs for free. Towel huts are right beside the pool and you can ask for more than I towel each[you will need more than one each as the chairs are not that comfy as they are not padded]. Show your room key and they will put a different colour band on you each day. There is a great pool also by The Cove which you can use and it also a very short walk to the lagoon area of the beach. There is a huge Kids pool area which lots of climbing frames in the water which is also over towards The Cove.
The Lazy River was closed for renos when we were there so we went on the Rapid River ride . Now I would not take my 7 year old grandson on this. It all looks calm when you get into it at the the pool area but it soon becomes a very fast ride which smacks you up againt the rockey sides of the ride and there is a part that has a large wave action which pushes you very quickly along the river but you can also tip very easily. Its exciting but can also be very frightening for a young child. I would think 10-12 year olds could handle it, but no younger. Also there is part of the river that is called Power Tower which I made sure my plastic ring did not go towards after my husband explained I would not have liked it as it goes down a high water shute type of area of the river. There are various exit and entry points along the ride ubt honestly when you are on the ride, its not so easy to just get off when you want. I tipped up once and found myself under the water and the current made it hard to get back on my ring. There are 'guards' along parts of the rapid river but these young people didnt look like they were really watching the people on the river. If you suffer from motion sickness dont go on this Rapid River ride. I nursed a migraine the 1st time I went on it. I left it for a day or so and went on again, only to wind up feeling nauseous again. The ride is over 1 mile long.
BEACH: We spent the day on the lagoon beach near The Cove towers. The water was aqua blue and warm with white sand. No charge for the chairs which have shades over the top of them. This is a small quiet beach are with waiters coming to take your drink orders. There was also access to the main beach by the blu pool near the Coral Towers. I'm sure there are other points where you can get onto the beach but we preferred to be by the pools.
MUST DO's: Go down the stairs in the Royal Towers lobby and over as far as you can go to the right through a small entrance to the Atlantis Aquarium. Its free! Its spectacular to see the marine life and the guides down there are so knowledgable. The sides of the 'cave' are decorated in old world art, you can hold star fish and conches. We saw small children touching them. There is a huge Mantaray in there , his name is Poseidon and although he is huge apparently as he is only young he is going to get much bigger. The Moray eels are ugly but fascinating to watch. Certain times you can see them getting fed. Thr Predator tunnel is also amazing to go through [its nearer to the Coral Towers. The sharks, swordfish etc are so close to you,you can almost reach out to touch them, but dont! My favs were the cow nose rays. I enjoyed watching them . Get a cab into Nassau an walk around. We ate at a Bahamian restaurant called Bahamian kitchen which served local foods. Its up a side street near the main drag. Food was good but we waited nearly an hour for it. They were obviously on Island time! We had cracked lobster [bits of lobster coated and fried] with rice and beans and a small side of coleslaw. For that dinner for two plus two beers and a soft drink it cost $56US dollars.
CURRENCY: US dollars or Bahamian dollars which are dollar or dollar. Credit cards used everywhere except the taxis we used.
THE MARINA: across from the Coral towers and still part of Atlantis so you can eat at the restaurants there and charge it to your room.There are some high end stores there and also Ben and Jerrys and if you walk to the right of the steps there is a pizza place and also a deli restaurant called Murrays. One evening a week there is a Bahamian band in national dress walking through the Marina village . Its very loud and colourful so catch it if you can. It doesnt last long and starts around 9.30pm. The multi million dollar yachts are worth seeing at the Marina.
FOOD TIP: Best value for lunch either the pool bars where you can get a soft drink, bag of chips and either a burger or hot dog for under 10dollars. OR my fav was the Starbucks downstairs at the Coral Towers. It closed for Renos just as we were leaving but there are nice sofas and chairs and you can get a sandwich for about 8 dollars along with a coffee for about 3or 4 dollars. Its better value than the salad I had a Biminis at the Marina where we paid 12 dollars for a salad. Nothing special, just field greens on a plate with a salad dressing on top. Something that would cost you less than 5 dollars at home. If you are a drinker, get your booze before getting to the resort so that you can have it in your room. A beer at the resort is approx 7 dollars and my Perrier Water was 4 dollars PLUS the 15 percent dont forget! Another traveller told us their transport from the airport stopped on the way to the resort so that the people could buy booze before they got to the resort.
If you do get transport back to the airport as we did with Dan Knowles transport again [we paid approx 54 dollars for two of us for a pick up and return to the airport] make sure you tell the driver where you are flying to. We got dropped off at one terminal along with everyone else only to find Air Canada did not fly from that terminal. Luckily for us there was an airport shuttle that took us to the other terminal which is a good walk across a lot of contruction from the terminal we were dropped off at.
Weather in September was fantastic. We had temps. in the 90's every day with short sharp showers two of the evenings we were there.
FREEBIES : Movie theatre every night in the Coral Towers. Walk through the lobby and when you reach the fountain of dolphins its on you left. Through a small doorway. They have various movies at around 6.30pm and again at 9.00 or 9.30pm and a different movie at each of these times. We saw Thor and Your Highness on different nights. There is a concession for popcorn and drinks there but again you pay credit card or charge it to your room.
Aquarium : great for everyone.
We would go back to Atlantis as it was a lot of fun and the weather really made the trip great.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Coral Towers at Atlantis are centrally located and offer contemporary, relaxed accommodations within a tropically casual atmosphere. Guestrooms have one king or two queen beds with sitting areas and full balconies with water or terrace views. Coral Towers is just steps away from marine exhibits, a seven-acre snorkeling lagoon, BLU Pool, water slides, the Crystal Court Shops, Marina Village, the casino and several casual and gourmet dining options. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atlantis - Coral Towers Hotel Paradise Island
- Atlantis Coral Hotel
- Atlantis Coral Resort
- Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island