This post is sponsored by the Atlantis Resort Bahamas and the writer was hosted.
Planning a trip to the Atlantis Resort Bahamas is a lot like planning a cruise. There are many decisions to make, from figuring out how you’ll get there and back (are your passports up-to-date?), how you’ll get around on the island (including transfers between the airport and the resort), and which of the many, many, many fun activities you won’t want to miss while you’re staying at this incredible luxury resort (and, yes, you should make restaurant and excursion reservations in advance).
We’ve got you covered with tips, secrets, and tricks to help you navigate Atlantis like a VIP.
1. How to Get to Atlantis Resort
Fly to Nassau (NAS), then take a taxi from the airport to Atlantis Paradise Island. Taxi prices are regulated so you won’t be overcharged. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the resort. Bahamian taxi drivers are courteous and professional.
Some Atlantis Resort package deals include complimentary private transfers to and from the airport. You also can book airport transfers through the Atlantis Resort. This costs a little more but may give you peace of mind to know a ride is waiting.
I would not recommend renting a car. You won’t need it and you’ll pay a daily parking fee at the resort. If you want to explore more of the island, it’s cheaper and easier to hire a taxi. The locals may have some insider tips on places to go, too!
2. Which is the Best Atlantis Hotel?
All of the accommodations at Atlantis are fabulous, so you really can’t go wrong! And, no matter where you stay you will want to explore the entire property.
Pools, restaurants and lagoons filled with marine life are spread across the resort. You’ll definitely get some exercise trying to see and do it all. You can check out our in-depth look at the Atlantis hotels, but here’s a quick overview.
This is a great option for families because it is close to all the action. The Royal houses The Dig—a free “underground” journey that takes you through the streets and tunnels of the lost city of Atlantis, past huge, themed aquarium displays. Ruins Lagoon, viewable from The Dig, is home to more than 20,000 deep reef and pelagic fish.
Step outside and you will discover the world’s largest open-air marine habitat. You’re not far from the Aquaventure waterpark.
And, you’ll be steps away from Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA), which offers fun programming for kids. My 8- and 12-year-olds loved attending the club one evening for an outdoor Slumberless Party where they ate sugary treats and played games all night. (OK, the event lasted until 9:30 pm, but that feels like “all night” to kids.)
Read our 25 reasons to stay at The Royal.
The Coral has family-friendly rooms and suites. It’s a bit more budget-friendly than The Royal and is still close enough to explore Aquaventure and the many lagoons around the resort. You can read our full review of The Coral from a millennial’s point of view.
This is the place to stay if you want to get away from the crowds of the main resort, The Harborside has one- to three-bedroom villas with full kitchens and laundry facilities.
That means it’s also good for larger families and those that like to lounge around in the morning. The full kitchen makes it easy to have breakfast in the room before venturing out for day.
This hotel offers big studios and one- to two-bedroom units with fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. You’ll get more upscale living here.
Thanks to its location, this resort works well for families wanting easy access to the beach.
My personal favorite, The Cove, is where we stayed on our last visit. It’s a luxurious, modern option with suites that boast incredible ocean views. A stay here means you are steps away from the beach.
It’s also closest to the adults-only pool and the Atlantis Casino. It’s billed as a romantic getaway, so many couples stay here.
My kids marveled at the open-air walkways between buildings and enjoyed breakfast each morning at Fish by José Andrés. We were also within walking distance of several pools and Aquaventure attractions.
Are There Adults Only Accommodations?
There are no adults-only accommodations on the resort property. Generally, though, the higher the price, the fewer families you’ll see.
There is, however, an adults-only pool. Exclusive to adult guests of The Cove Atlantis, the 9,000 square-foot pool has 20 private cabanas. The Ocean Club Golf course is an adults-only activity, as are the resort casinos, bars and nightclubs.
SheBuysTravel Tip: When booking Atlantis hotels, check for resort credit deals. You’ll get more resort credit the more nights you stay. You’ll also earn more resort credit at the higher-priced hotels. The resort credit is per room, not per person.
3. Is Atlantis an All-Inclusive Resort?
No, Atlantis Resort Bahamas is NOT all-inclusive. But it does offer a meal plan.
The Trident Dining plan costs $135 per day for adults and $57 per day for children ages 7-11. (The price does not incllude the 12% VAT tax and mandatory 15% gratuity that is added to any restaurant charge on property.) Children ages 6 and under eat free for breakfast and dinner.
The meal plan entitles you to eat at any of 17 restaurants on site. The three-course dinner includes an entree, dessert and choice of an appetizer, soup or salad.
Stick with water to drink and you’ll save a bundle. The resort provides two refillable water bottles in each room and there are water stations throughout the resort.
SheBuysTravel Tip: You can save money on food by walking to the nearby Village Grocery Store on Paradise Island to stock up on breakfast foods and nacks. Instagopher.com will deliver groceries to the resort as well.
4. Make Dinner Reservations ASAP
For dinner, you will want to enjoy all that Atlantis has to offer. There are some delicious options. If possible, make dinner reservations BEFORE your trip. Otherwise, you’ll run into some wait times or may have to eat very early or very late. Once you arrive, you’ll likely have a message on your room phone asking you to confirm your reservations.
Our favorites for fine dining are Nobu, SeaFire (melt-in-your-mouth steak), Olives (don’t miss the buttery shrimp), Mosaic and Dune at the Ocean Club. Our family-friendly recommendations are Carmines (for family-style pasta dishes with huge, shareable portions), Poseidon’s Table, and Murray’s Deli.
Dinner can cost between $100 and $300 for a family of four.
Read More: The Bahamas, Greece and More: The Best Places to Visit in May
5. Download a Resort Map
Atlantis Resort Bahamas is HUGE! Download an electronic map to your phone or pick up a printed map to carry with you. Without the map you may miss some of the resort’s hidden gems.
6. There’s a Free Shuttle
The buses circulate around this huge resort, running between The Reef, The Cove, The Royal, Harborside, The Coral, Ocean Club and the Ocean Club Golf Course. We only used it to go to dinner and never waited more than five minutes for a shuttle to arrive.
SheBuysTravel Tip: When we were there, the buses went to different stops, so always ask where the shuttle is stopping before you get on it!
7. How to Avoid the Crowds
Atlantis is a very popular resort. You are likely to encounter crowds, especially if you visit during holidays or school vacations. The best way to avoid crowds is to travel in the low season when most kids are in school.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Private cabanas offering exclusive poolside access can be reserved throughout the main waterpark area. The private cabanas come with perks, like electronic device plug-ins, a personal safe, and a refrigerator. You can also purchase amenity upgrades, from WiFi to a pre-stocked beverage selection. During crowded months, the expense can be well worth it.
8. Take Time to See ALL the Animals
From Dolphin Cay to Predator Lagoon, there are marine animals living all over Atlantis Paradise Island! Follow the map and make sure to visit every habitat, to see sawfish, stingrays, sharks, alligators and sea turtles.
Dolphin Cay offers opportunities to swim alongside dolphins and meet sea lions up close. Throughout the resort, there are many other ways to discover the local marine life, including optional snorkeling, snuba, and scuba experiences.
If you prefer not to get quite that close, you can visit one of the many marine exhibits showcasing habitats such as lagoons, caves, coral formations and more.
Predator Lagoon is a shark habitat located in The Coral. It is home to Great Hammerhead sharks, Caribbean Reef sharks, Barracuda, and Smalltooth Sawfish. Be sure consult the daily Atlantean for the daily scheduled fish feeding times.
And don’t miss the largest open-air marine habitat in the world at Atlantis, Paradise Island with more than 50,000 aquatic animals.
Visit the Atlantis website before you go to learn more about Blue Project Atlantis, the resort’s effort to save marine species and their habitats.
9. Check Your Cellular Carrier for Bahamas Coverage
There is WiFi access in guest rooms, and at the front desk and lobby areas, but not throughout the resort. Check with your cellular carrier regarding coverage in The Bahamas to ensure you don’t come home to an unexpectedly high phone bill.
WiFi in the rooms serves up to four devices and is included in the daily resort fee.
10. Yes. There’s a Resort Fee
The daily per-room resort fee differs by hotel. In October 2022, the resort fee for The Coral and The Royal is $64.90 per room per night. At The Reef and The Cove, it’s $77 per night.
While we are never fans of resort fees, we mind less when the resort fees cover impressive amenities like the Aquaventure waterpark. At Atlantis Resort Bahamas, the resort fee covers:
- Daily access to Aquaventure
- Wifi in guest rooms and lobby areas for up 4 devices; 6 devices at The Reef and The Cove
- Daily access to the Fitness Center for 2 people; cardio studio, universal and free weights are included; tennis, fitness classes and personal training sessions are not.
- Two reusable souvenir water bottles per room and access to filtered water stations throughout the resort
- Indoor Theater and Poolside Movies
- Weekly schedule of complimentary activities
- Daily slot tournament in the Atlantis Casino
- Free gaming lessons
- Daily access to The Dig and Marine Life Exhibits
- In-room coffee and tea
- Resort shuttle service
- Local phone calls
At The Reef, the Daily Resort Fee also includes exclusive access to the Cascades Pool.
For The Cove, the Daily Resort Fee also includes exclusive access to the Cascades Pool and the adults-only The Cove Pool (ages 18 and over only).
At Harborside Resort, guests do not pay the resort fee. Instead, they pay a utility service fee of up to $16.95 plus a $1.70 VAT charge per-person each day.
11. Tips Are Included … Kind Of
Atlantis charges mandatory tips, much like cruises. According to the resort website, all guests ages 12 and up pay a gratuity ranging from $5 to $100 per-person per-day depending on their accommodations. This fee will be added to your bill at checkout, so it’s best to look up how much it will be before booking so there are no surprises.
In addition, a 15% gratuity is automatically added to all food bills. You can choose to add an additional gratuity when signing the bill.
12. The River is Definitely Not Lazy
The Current has that name for a reason. It’s a mile-long river ride with high-intensity waves and rapids, guaranteed to keep you cool and laughing.
The Current is similar to a lazy river, but without any laziness. It can take up to a half hour to float along the twisty path, but you’ll have fun along the way riding waves and bumping over rapids. My family did this over and over again.
13. Go into Town in Nassau
No visitor to Atlantis should miss a chance to venture off property for a meal or shopping to explore all The Bahamas has to offer. You’ll get a more authentic Bahamian experience.
Hire a cab to take you to the “Fish-Fry”—the cabbie will know what you mean. It’s an area on the beach with seafood huts and cheaper drinks. During Spring Break, though, it can be a bit rowdy, so keep this in mind.
14. Know How to Dress for High-Speed Water Slides
One complaint I often hear from friends and family members after a trip to Atlantis is that they got bruises from the high-speed slides like the Leap of Faith, The Abyss and the Challenger.
I recommend rash guards and board shorts to protect your skin. String bikinis are a no-no unless you want to end your ride without your suit.
15. Pack Like a Pro
You may be trying to pack light for carry-on luggage, but you’ll save in the long run if you bring your own beach essentials. Also, note that Atlantis is currently a cashless resort, so there is no need to bring Bahamian currency.
16. There’s a Hurricane Guarantee!
While hurricanes are rare in The Bahamas, the 2019 Hurricane Dorian did a lot of damage there. But booking an Atlantis trip even during hurricane season doesn’t have to be worrisome.
The Atlantis Resort Bahamas Hurricane Guarantee promises: “In the event that a hurricane watch or warning is issued by the United States’ National Hurricane Center within fourteen (14) days prior to your date of arrival for either your travel origin city or for New Providence, The Bahamas, guests with confirmed reservations can cancel your reservation up to the moment of scheduled departure. You then have the option to rebook your vacation without penalties for a stay to be completed within one (1) year of the original arrival date, subject to terms and conditions.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: The best time to visit the resort is between December and April when the weather is dry and mild. However, keep in mind that this is peak season and prices may be higher.
Q: Is it necessary to rent a car when visiting Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: It’s not necessary to rent a car as the resort offers complimentary shuttle service to various locations on the island. However, if you plan on exploring the island on your own, renting a car might be a good idea.
Q: Are there any age restrictions for the water park at Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: No, there are no age restrictions for the water park. However, children under 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult on certain rides.
Q: Are there any all-inclusive packages available at Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: Yes, the resort offers all-inclusive packages that include meals, drinks, and activities. These packages can be a good value if you plan on spending a lot of time at the resort.
Q: What is the dress code at the restaurants at Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: The dress code varies depending on the restaurant. Some restaurants require resort casual attire (no swimwear or shorts), while others require more formal attire.
Q: Is it safe to drink the tap water at Atlantis Resort Bahamas?
A: Yes, the tap water is safe to drink at the resort. However, bottled water is also available for purchase if you prefer.