Disclosure: I received a complimentary trip to Nassau/Paradise Island which included a stay at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post may result in a commission paid to us.
The Bahamas, a chain of islands made up of over 700 islands and cays, is one of the more popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, is also its largest city, and it connects to the small island of Paradise Island via two bridges. Emerging from the Paradise Island like the mythical land for which it was named is the Atlantis resort, a family-friendly vacation destination. Several weeks ago, as part of a press trip with Nassau/Paradise Island, my son and I stayed at the Reef Tower of Atlantis for three nights. We really enjoyed our stay, and plan to return with the rest of our family soon.
Bahamas family vacations can vary dramatically – from a relaxing beach vacation to an adventure vacation (and everything in between). An Atlantis Paradise Island vacation is all of that and more. It really does include something for everyone.
Atlantis Resort Bahamas Review
Rooms at Atlantis
If you are going on an Atlantis Bahamas family vacation, you’ll first want to figure out where you would like to stay. There are multiple towers at Atlantis – the Reef and Cove Towers are the most luxurious, Beach Tower is the most economical, and the Coral and Royal Towers are a happy medium. We stayed in the Reef Tower, with a gorgeous ocean view of the beach and the port of Nassau. Our room had a king bed and pullout couch, a small dining area with two chairs, loads of closet space, and a bathroom with large tub, shower stall, and a two-sink vanity. The Reef Tower rooms are the only rooms with mini kitchens, and our room was outfitted with a range top, microwave, mini dishwasher, blender, mini fridge, and cooking supplies, all tucked into wooden cabinets under the large-screen television.
Atlantis is a large resort, and a shuttle is available to take you to various locations throughout the resort. The Reef does feel a bit remote from some of the amenities, but it’s also nice to be removed from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Towers (where the casino and nightclubs are located).
The Service at Atlantis
As you may imagine, Atlantis employs many people, and all of the employees we encountered were extremely friendly and helpful, especially the housekeepers. There was some confusion among staff about the complimentary bottled water available as part of the resort fee (which includes 2) – I was given a few different answers, but I think that is because the policy varies by tower. Some towers provide water with turndown service, while others offer coupons for guests to get water at the quick serve restaurants.
We did encounter long lines a few times during our stay – at the Starbucks in our resort, at the front desk, at the towel stand, and at the concierge. However, we found that the mornings were quiet. Things definitely got started later in the day.
Aquaventure at Atlantis
The Aquaventure waterpark is definitely one of the highlights at Atlantis. The highlight is the iconic Mayan Temple, pictured below. This 141-acre waterpark includes several water slides, 20 different swim areas, a mile-long current and rapids ride, a splash park, and 11 swimming pools. Wristbands are required for entry (on property guests need to get a new one each day from a towel stand), and admission is complimentary for resort guests.
My son was a bit nervous to go on the water slides, but we absolutely loved the current and rapids ride. It’s a bit more adventurous than a lazy river, but is so much fun. If riding with a child, I’d recommend using a double float. It’s easy to get separated on the mile-long adventure.
Beaches and Pools at Atlantis
In addition to the Aquaventure rides, there are several additional beaches and pools. We spent most of our time at Paradise Beach, located right by the Reef Tower. There were lots of chairs (some with sunshades) available, even when we arrived at the beach late in the day. We didn’t bring along our snorkel equipment, but still saw loads of fish right in the shallow water.
There’s also a private zero-entry pool for guests of the Reef and the Cove called Cascades Pool. We spent some time there, and my son really enjoyed it. It’s quieter than some of the other pools, and is just steps from the Reef and Cove Towers.
Dining at Atlantis
Atlantis is home to 21 restaurants and 19 bars, including quick service and fine dining locations. We dined at several family-friendly restaurants including Bimini Road and Carmine’s (in Marina Village), and Virgil’s BBQ. Carmine’s and Virgil’s both offer family-style entrees, and are great for larger groups. Reservations are recommended at some of the more popular restaurants, and the concierges at the towers can assist with that. There are numerous quick service spots located throughout the resort as well, offering things like sandwiches, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and conch fritters. The food we had was delicious, but be prepared to pay higher rates than what you’d expect to pay in the U.S.
Kids’ Activities at Atlantis
In addition to the pools, beaches, and waterpark, Atlantis offers many activities for families. Each morning, be sure to pick up a copy of the Daily Atlantean – a schedule of events for the day.
One of the fun activities we participated in is pottery painting at the Earth and Fire Pottery Studio, located in Beach Tower. For an addition fee, children are able to choose a piece of pottery and paint it. Fired pieces are available for pickup after 4pm the next day, so be sure to do it with enough time to get your completed work.
This summer, Atlantis is working with the Cartoon Network to offer some fun programming for families. The Cartoon Network Lagoon is an inflatable obstacle course located near the Coral Tower. Although there is no additional fee, reservations are required. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to experience it because there was no availability. We did, however, get to see a sneak peek of the new show We Bare Bears on the giant inflatable screen outside of Dolphin Cay.
My son also enjoyed viewing the animals located throughout the resort. My little turtle lover insisted that we find the sea turtles, and just sat watching them.
We also explored the Dig, an Atlantis-themed aquarium located right at the resort. We’d been there before, on a cruise ship excursion, but liked wandering around in the evening. Admission to the Dig is included in a resort stay.
For longer animal experiences, Dolphin Cay offers dolphin and sea lion experiences, as well as “trainer for a day” adventures. Guests pay separately for these experiences, and those who want to observe also have to pay for admission to the beach.
We didn’t get to experience the kids’ clubs located on property, but did walk by a few times. The clubs are a good option for parents who want to experience some of the fine dining locations, the nightclubs, the entertainment, or the casinos. There’s also the Ocean Club Golf Course located on property.
Our three-night experience at Atlantis was a good amount of time. I’d probably recommend staying five nights to experience most of the resort. Flights arrive at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is about a 45 minute ride from Atlantis. Shared van rides are available, and are probably the most economical.