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“We had a great time.”

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The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“We had a great time.”
Reviewed August 30, 2014 via mobile

I had an ocean view room

Reading reviews made my trip go very smoothly. I booked the reef because I don't like crowds. The room was more costly but to me worth it.
The location is a 5min walk to the waterpark. On the taxi ride in we stopped at the supermarket and bought items for breakfast and lunch I thought this idea was genius since everyone complained about the food. For dinner we took the shuttle to the bottom of the bridge and walked across. I took this advice from a previous reviewer and I was very pleased. Once across the bridge there are many restaurants to choose from and it is a 5min walk. We ate at the poop deck. The food was good. If you want local food right at the bottom of the bridge there are huts that serve food. I recommend Tony's. (He is closed Thursday) We had fried fish and fried lobster. I would also recommend going during the earlier part of the evening. They open at around 2pm. My kids ages 15 and 8 had so much fun they loved it and so did I. The whole resort is huge. It's a heaven for kids of all ages. We enjoyed it more that Disney World.

Tips

-The Royal tower reminded me of grand central station.
(One of the aquariums is located there)
-Most kids daily activities are in the beach and Coral tower
-The cleanest and prettiest beach is by the tower closest to the Riu hotel (I think that's the beach tower
-The beach closest to the Reef and Cove has seaweed and rocks. But better pools
-finally if your on a tight budget stay at the comfort suites it's walking distance and you can get free passes for the attractions and rides.
-The reef has a complimentary laundry room. (Pack detergent)
*Bonus tip
-haggle the guys that rent the jet ski
They charge $75 I gave them $40(they are independently owned)
-if you are going without kids stay at the Cove they have the best pool and it's restricted to Adults only and Cove guests only.
-On the rapids river stay on until the end there are hidden rides. (Best lazy river ever)

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank fee319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (423)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2014 via mobile

I am currently staying at the resort and totally love it. Transportation from the airport costs approximately $26 per person. As we were 4 we took a town car from outside the airport which cost $50 and was a much classier ride.

On the way the driver took us to a supermarket to stock up on groceries as the food on Atlantis is on the steep side.

The reef was chosen as it has a kitchen area a massive fridge freezer which is perfect for storing drinks.

The reef has it's own pool which is shared with the cove. 2 mins walk and you are on the most amazing beach which is quiet and not crowded.

During our stay we even had the pleasure of Michael Jordan also staying at the resort.

People have complained about the boutique shops as being very expensive. Shopping here is duty free so taking that into consideration they are cheaper than prices in the States. Good value me thinks.

Warning on top of your room rate they also add on Taxes, Utility Fees and Gratuities on a daily basis, which can add over 35% to your room rate.

I have eaten in a number if the restaurants and they have been reviewed separately.

Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
5 Thank Peteboo1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2014

We decided rather late in the game (about three weeks in advance) to go to Atlantis in early August. We booked the Reef based on reviews saying it was less crowded, nicer pool and bigger rooms all of which appealed to us - two adults and two kids - 8 and 11.

We arrived and checked in with relative ease. We booked a harbor view suite deciding to trade the ocean view to save some money. This was worth it as we could still see the ocean - as well as the harbor and knowing the number of cruise ships in port each day helped us prepare (mentally anyway) for the crowds. Desk clerk was very nice, although a bit confused on our room and the bellman was very helpful.

The room was great. Big two room suite with a nice master bedroom and bath. The second room had a living room area with a pull out couch and second smaller couch so the kids did not have to share a bed. The kitchen was a good size and there was a full bath as well. We stayed at the Reef to avoid the crowds at the Royal Tower. Also the price of the suite was far less than getting two rooms at the Royal. We also liked having the kitchen and ordered food from Foodstore2go.com. I would recommend this as it was great to be able to have snacks and light meals in the room in the morning and afternoon and not have to order from room service or go to a restaurant. The Reef does not have any restaurants - only a Starbucks. There always seemed to be a line there but they did set up a continental breakfast on some mornings which was nice for a quick bite.

The pool at the Reef is very nice and it is not very crowded. We spent much of our time there and only ventured over to the Royal Tower pools when we wanted to go to the water slides. As far as the slides go...plan your time on the slides. Early in the day or late in the day are best. Midday gets really crowded with the cruise ship crowds.

We ate at a number of the restaurants on the property. Most were decent. Mosaic was good for breakfast (buffet style with everything) and we did do the dinner buffet there one night as well. We ate several times in the Marina Village which was nice but very crowded. If you are going to the restaurants - plan ahead and make reservations due to the crowds.

A number of reviews mention the cost of the food (and other things) at Atlantis. It is expensive - no doubt about it. For example - breakfast buffet at Mosaic was $32 for adults and $16 for the kids..lunch at the pool would generally run us about $70 for basic burger, hotdogs and fries. Some places are worse than others but be prepared to spend money on meals. Room Service is also off the charts. We learned quickly that if you want a bottle of wine, buy it at the store - room service is ridiculously overpriced for what they serve. Also keep in mind that every place adds 15% to every check - even Starbucks. I am not opposed to tipping but make sure to factor in that tip before adding more.

The various activities are pricey as well. We spent close to $700 on the Dolphin Adventure. Two of us did the shallow water adventure and two did the deep water adventure. The kids loved it - so that makes it worth the price but it was not anything spectacular. The shallow water adventure lets you pet, tough and hug a dolphin - it does some tricks for you, you take some pictures and that is about it. Depp water adventure is a bit more involved and you "swim" with a Dolphin - but again - nothing special. Having done the exact same thing at other resorts - it was clear this is one place where they really jack up the prices.

We had a very nice time overall. The staff at the hotel was very nice - everyone we dealt with from when we arrived to when we left. It is important to keep in mind that everything moves at a different pace there. Service is slow - everywhere you go - at the resort and out on the island. It is a way of life there - so get used to it and relax! The golf course is very nice and is actually a pretty good deal if you do the Ultimate Golf Package and book pay for it in advance. The kids had a great time - from the water slides to the aquariums to the Dolphins - they had a great time. My wife and I felt it was overpriced for what you got and dealing with the crowds detracted from the experience for us - but this trip was really all about the kids.

Some tips when going there. Again - the Reef is the best place to stay. Book a harbor view suite - the ocean view is not worth it and if you ask at check in they may upgrade you free. The Royal, Coral and Beach Towers are huge and crowded. The pool shared by the Reef and the Cove is very nice and it gets you away from the crowds using the Water Slides. The Cove seemed very nice too, but tends to cater to adults more so than families. The Reef is not too far to walk over to the Royal and you can always take the shuttle which runs very frequently amongst all of the buildings.

We used Cheryl's Taxi Service to get to and from the airport. They were super! Met us on time when we got in and also when we headed out. They gave us a good piece of advice...you go through customs and immigration IN THE BAHAMAS - not back in the states - so get to the airport an extra hour earlier than normal. AS noted above - use Foodstore2go.com to order food for the room. They are reasonably priced for most items and delivered right when we arrived...no hassles. There are also some stores - not Atlantis related - near the Marina Village. Go there for extra supplies and especially wine and beer.

The cab driver on the way in from the airport recommended the "Fish Fry" - a section of Nassau with a bunch of local food restaurants. We went to Twin Brothers. Food was good and it was a nice break from the high prices at the hotel. Take a cab there and back. Be picky when getting a cab in town (the cabbies are all over you when you are on the street) as we wound up in a beat up 1982 Civic going back to the hotel (really!). Thinking back, I would have explored more of Nassau for dinners and such.

Room Tip: Save a few bucks and book a Harbor View Suite - they may upgrade you to Ocean View on check in but i...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SEFinke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2014

We just returned from a four night stay at The Reef -- one of the hotel options at Atlantis. The hotel is a calm, tasteful oasis in the midst of this mega-resort. The pool is restricted to Cove and Reef guests, which keeps the number of guests a manageable size. Also, the beaches (Cove and Paradise) are lovely. It is a bit pricier than some of the other options but so worth it! The Cove is even a step up from The Reef and are the only other place I would consider staying.

Our teenagers loved the water park and aquariums but even they appreciated coming back to The Reef to get away from the crowds. The other pools in the main part of the resort are HUGE and overcrowded. Also, most of the other pools have a DJ -- and while that can be fun for a while, nonstop music with a monotonous beat is not my idea of a relaxing afternoon.

We had a studio at The Reef so we did breakfast in the room each morning. If you've read any reviews of Atlantis the high price of food is often cited as a criticism. I would add not only is the food overpriced, it simply isn't very good. Avoid the "fine dining" at ChopSticks - we spent nearly $200 on a meal that I wouldn't even describe as mediocre, it was just bad. We did lunches at Cascades by the pool and while a bit pricey, the food was decent. Carmines in Marina Village was good - portions are very large.

This was definitely a trip oriented to our boys and they loved it. We loved that we opted to stay at The Reef, making it an enjoyable stay for us as well.

Room Tip: Even though we had a terrace view, we had a nice view of the harbor, Dolphin Cay as well as the ocea...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MWJFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here with my family over New Years (husband, sister, parents in early 70s, 18-month-old son). There are a lot of positives: rooms are suites are great for a family, the pool is LOVELY, had great dinners at Nobu, my sister and I had so much fun at the water park, my son was in awe with the aquariums, very obliging service, excellent fitness facilities. This is really a great place for family and I suspect even better with older kids.
I do have a few complaints that give this place less than 5 stars and though I would recommend the place I don't think I'll be back (though that is mostly bc I wasn't crazy about the Bahamas generally). First, my mother had mobility issues. They do provide a shuttle but it is very difficult for someone with limitations to get on and off because the steps are so steep and there is only one rail. For such a big property, this is a problem. Second, the restaurants are very inconsistent. Some are great and others are very average but still pricey. Nowhere was bad though. At the Reef there is only one restaurant and Starbucks nearby which I found less than ideal given my mom's issues but I wouldn't stay anywhere other than the reef or cove. Other parts of the resort liked much older. Third, the beach is not great for kids (very rough water and steep).

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank April2179
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2014

This was our second visit to the Reef (previously stayed at the Cove). We got upgraded on arrival to an ocean view one bed suite, which was great. Loved having the full kitchen to prepare quick breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, since we didn't sign up the meal plan this time (even considering the exorbitant cost of groceries, we still came out on top). Also having two bathrooms was great, with three kids in tow.

Check in was pain free, though shortly after arriving in our room another guest opened our door with a key he'd just been given. Front desk very apologetic. They arrived with our extra linens for the sofa bed promptly and called to check we received everything.

Housekeeping this time was disappointingly sketchy. Somedays we didn't get a bath mat. We're pretty tidy, but anything we left out was cleaned around, rather than moved. Kitchen trash not always removed.

Even so, I still think the Reef is the best of both worlds at Atlantis. Although some reviewers complain about it, I like the fact that it is over in a corner of Atlantis that requires a 5-15m walk to other locations such as the water park or some restaurants. It is significantly quieter than other areas and having the Cove/Reef pool and beach right in front of the building is perfect. And being able to circumvent the extraordinary costs at Atlantis restaurants and fast food outlets can only be good (try foodstore2go.com for reliable online grocery delivery).

For me, this time Atlantis on the whole was a bit less polished than on our two previous visits. Cracks are starting to appear (literally) around the place, with bottoms of pools, tiles etc. looking a tiny bit shabby. This is not what you expect from a place where you pay so much for the privilege of being there. Many staff members seem disgruntled, though most were extremely friendly and helpful when positively approached.

All the restaurants we ate in were overpriced but food exceptionally good, still love the buffet at Mosaic. Dolphin Cay experiences overpriced but wow, what knowledgeable staff and amazingly enjoyable for the kids. Fast food outlets by the beach overpriced but great for fast food. Theme emerging? The costs were wearing this time. Should I really have a 15% mandatory tip added to my bill for a soft drink? $22 per day for wifi with no discount for buying a week? Seriously?

In conclusion, still an amazing family vacation and if you haven't been before, I doubt you'll be disappointed. But take a big fat wallet.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sminky2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Under the bridge
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2014

Fourth time in Atlantis, third time in the Bahamas one, second time at the Reef. Anyone seeing a pattern? Yes, we love the place.

If you have small to medium sized children, it is virtually parental abuse not to take them to Atlantis at some point. I have never ever seen my kids so happy as when I chasing after them around Atlantis. You could have leather seats or alloys on that new Ford, or see a great big smile on your kids face. You choose.

If you are doing the "dolphin thing", then go for the Ultimate Trainer for the Day. You get everything, plus inclusive photos and a full lunch at Mosaic for much much less than the combined cost of the components. It isn't cheap, but I know that we had our money's worth.

Read the reviews and go there with an open heart, mind and wallet. As I said in my review last time, yes it's expensive, but you know that before you go, and the food is great (don't do the meal plan, unless you eat three big meals a day or are American), and the choice huge. We love Mosaic, but also think Mesa Grill is brilliant, Seafire Grill and Carmines good. We liked Olives, although the service was a bit hit or miss.

The waterpark is still brilliant, and the rides amazing as ever. Yes there are some signs of wear and tear, but heck, when you see the abuse that place gets, it should be in ruins by now.

Only fault with the waterpark is what my 10-year old termed "cruise vermin", i.e. the daily shiploads of daytrippers turning up on cruise ships. They don't care about relaxing and taking it easy. "Six hours, so much to do, baseball cap on backwards, tattoos well oiled, elbows out. Charge". Atlantis need to adjust the pricing of the day passes, because the residents really have to stay out of the way while the daytrippers do their thang.

I am really not seeing the theme about the staff being surly. The staff we connected with were genuinely happy to see us and wanted us to have a good time. We got upgraded, and it was done with a smile. We had an ocean view junior suite. We paid on average USD 550 per night for USD 1050 room.

I guess it all comes back to attitude. Walk in there like you own the place and you'll get it back in spades, but have a good time, be nice, and that comes back to you too.We'll be back, and we'll know exactly what to expect and love it.

Room Tip: Be nice, don't demand. Ocean view is a plus, but probably not worth paying too much.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GrumpyOldTroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection

Property: The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Address: 1 Casino Drive, New Providence Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Casino Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 497
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on Paradise Beach, guests of The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection enjoy miles of white sand and ocean in their backyard with all the wonder and excitement of Atlantis on their front doorstep. Our Bahamas resort hotel features studios, one and two bedroom suites that offer all the conveniences of home with a full kitchen or kitchen area complete with linens, cookware, table settings, refrigerator and private balconies with water views. Guests of The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection enjoy a semi-private pool, shared only with The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection and a Starbucks lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reef Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island

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