My wife, 18 month old daughter and I chose to go to Atlantis in mid October to celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday and to have one last hurrah before the arrival of our second child this December. After booking our trip in the Coral Tower, we received an email confirming our reservation that also solicited any special requests. I requested a crib in the room, a room on a high floor, and if possible without charge, a fridge in the room. I also informed them of our reasons for travel.
At check-in we learned that management decided to complimentarily upgrade us to a two-room corner suite on the fifth floor with bay, ocean, and resort views. Needless to say we were very happy. The space allowed us to let our daughter run and play, and with the sofa bed in the living room it provides more than enough room for any family of four to stay comfortably (five if using a crib). We of course are only three. The fifth floor is high enough to shelter you from ground floor noise, and the room we were given was fairly toddler proof.
The room itself is furnished nicely, not too fancy, but not worn. The building itself shows some signs of age, but nothing that should scare you away from staying there. Examples include cracked glass on hall artwork, chipped doors (where there should be a door kick), and antiquated color schemes. The only knocks on the room is a lack of unused power outlets outside of the bathroom and a lack of hooks on which to hang wet bathing suits/clothes. If you charge phones, camera batteries, and computers, I suggest you consider bringing a power strip. It will make life easier.
This resort is pretty cool. You can believe the hype – the casino is enormous by Caribbean standards, the pools are huge and plentiful, the water attractions like none other, the aquariums phenomenal (and I say that as a past member of the National Aquarium in Baltimore), and the options for eating and night-life seem limitless.
There are plenty of slides and rides to keep one entertained for a day or two (longer if cruise ship visitors clog the lines). Over the course of two days you should be able to experience everything and then concentrate on your favorites. Some activities take longer than others – the canyon rapid ride takes approximately 40 minutes to completely traverse, and others are over in a few seconds (the abyss). Depending on where you are staying and which pool you decide to park at for the day, the canyon ride can be used to move around the property faster than walking (for instance going from the cove to the kid’s pool). While there is an excellent baby pool with attractions to climb and slides to ride down, the water attractions are geared toward guests 48” and taller.
The pools (in the offseason) have plenty of empty chairs and do not seem crowed. The beach too had plenty of space and is fine sand. The ocean, however, has underwater coral which makes it a dangerous place to body surf. If you like to bounce in the waves, or float on a raft (bring your own) it is great. In mid October the ocean was warmer than the pools. Bring your own snorkeling gear and enjoy the scenery.
Traveling with a toddler, we choose to bring a full-size stroller thinking that the convenience of being able to carry and store towels, food, and clothes underneath was worth the excess weight. It was, but the layout of the property is such that without taking circuitous routes, stairs are unavoidable. The resort was not designed with the handicapped in mind. Leave the full size stroller at home and take the umbrella. You’ll want to carry it upstairs rather than take the alternative paths.
Hurricane damage was described as cosmetic but we arrived to discover that an entire pool was closed, as was the “Lazy River” attraction. This peeved my wife as at 6 months pregnant and traveling with an 18 month old, we had planned on them being able to drift away parts of the day. The resort could have been more forthright when we called and asked.
We chose to use Dan Knoles transportation from and to the airport. In our opinion, a wise choice.
We chose the value meal plan which included the two buffets (Market Place and Seagrapes) and also Murray’s Delicatessen. Murray’s was closed so I can’t comment on that, and having paid for the plan, other than grabbing a lunch poolside, we didn’t avail ourselves of the dining. Upon walks of the property we saw prices in every range from $15 entries up. If you are on a budget, buy the value plan, arrive at breakfast before 9:00am and dinner before 7:30pm to avoid the lines, plan on either bringing food from home for lunch, or buy a combo meal (sandwich, chips or fries, and a unlimited refill drink) for around $10 poolside to split between two people. To save money you can bring non-refridgerated snacks from home – we were quoted $15/day for a fridge. Buying a few glasses of wine and lunches, at checkout our gratuity and food charges were under $250.
Do check every item on every receipt. We were overcharged due to the server charging more than the advertised price, and when we asked how they calculated the bill, we were told first to just “allow” the charge, then that our math was incorrect (it was not). Finally, after more time than it was worth, the charge was corrected. Also we were charged for items out of the minibar which we did not take. The total of these charges was minimal (under $10), but we are not big drinkers, and they were alcohol centric. If every guest is treated this way and it goes un-checked, it adds up to big profits for the resort. As they charge obnoxiously high amounts for drinks in the first place, I found it insulting. Just charge me the extra dollar or two upfront – I’ll pay it. Don’t treat me like a moron. Anyway, check your receipts, and if you are not going to use the in room minibar, ask that it be locked on day one.
If you are going with a family with children under 48”, stay at the beach tower. It’s cheaper, closer to the lazy river, and has close access to great aquatic resources (pools, shark tanks, and the dig). SeaGrapes looks like a dated Atlantic City buffet, but in my opinion the convenience of it being right below you offsets the dated decor.
If you are going with a family of older children, stay where your budget allows, but understand that if you choose the Corral Tower over the Royal Tower you will be doing A LOT of walking. Finally, make sure that you take the time to enjoy Marina Village at night – on most nights there is free outdoor musical entertainment and the yachts that dock there are quite impressive.
The resort has a few “secrets” like the statue of Frodo at the Atlantis Speedway, and the fish with one eye down by the Beach Tower. The staff does a good job of keeping you entertained with them. Nightlife seemed to be great with short skirts and low tops being the norm after 10:00pm. The nightclubs are open until 4:00am.
There are kids’ programs available for those over 3. I wish I could comment on the kids program, but beyond seeing staff members walking with them on the resort, I do not know enough to feel comfortable giving advice. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves enough that once our smallest child is over 3 we will consider going back. Of course by then Atlantis will have built an entirely new resort. You may want to wait for that. But if not, my advice is to go in offseason. The lines at the water attractions were busy enough just from the cruise ship traffic. We will not be going any other time – there is just too much capacity in the hotels, pools, and beach. The water attractions and buffets would be way too crowed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection is a centrally located hotel on Paradise Island and within the Atlantis resort. We 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. Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection 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