Most North American-based travelers have heard of Atlantis Bahamas located on Paradise Island, a short two-and-a-half-hour flight from New York City. The monolith resort designed for vacationers of all kinds tends to attract families seeking an active vacation in a warm climate with water-themed activities.
The enterainment complex offers accommodations at all price points and seemingly endless fun-filled activities for children. Parents, take note: wellness offerings are avaiable for for adults, including spa and fitness activities, peaceful spots to relax, soothing water features. Finally, you’ll find an impressive array of restaurants and cafes, most that offer plant-based options for the health concious.
In this complete guide to Atlantis Bahamas, you’ll find descriptions of the myriad hotel, activity and dining options, including property maps, wellness offerings and links to popular guided tours.
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Atlantis Bahamas: Where To Stay
Atlantis Bahamas features four main hotel towers, The Coral, Cove, Reef, Royal, and the Harborside Resort.
The Cove, the luxury tower with its own adult-only pool and upscale shops, is situated on the far end of the property facing a gorgeous, secluded beach.
conveniently located near the waterpark, The Reef is tucked behind the Cove with larger suits and studios.
The Royal tower is centrally located and grand in appearance, with a Romanesque lobby featuring salmon-toned terra cotta architecture, muraled ceilings, and larger-than life aquarium with emerged faux Mayan ruins, and a wide hallway connecting a casino, restaurants, and shops.
The Harborside Resort
The Harborside Resort, which offers villas for larger groups, is located off the main section of the property past the marina. Staying at the Harborside requires a 20-minute walk to and from the pain pool areas of the resort.
With rooms at a slightly lower price point, The Coral is located at the entrance of Paradise Island, across the street from a marina and charming outdoor retail area set on the water designed with Bahamian architecture featuring vendors, clothing retailers and restaurants.
We stayed at The Coral, the most reasonably priced tower among the four. The lobby of the Coral has been renovated recently, with a café and spacious seating area sporting a chic retro 50’s art deco décor. While the lobby sparkled with newness, the elevators and rooms were somewhat older. Overall, our room–a larger with 2 king beds and a distant view of the marina–was well-kept and comfortable, with sparce décor and modest, dated furniture.
Navigating Atlantis Bahamas
Being located at the entrance of the property forced us to take long walks back and forth daily to reach the main pools and waterpark, so we quickly got a knack for navigating the grounds after a few hours.
Atlantis Bahamas Map Options
The Atlantis Bahamas website includes an interactive map, which you can access from your mobile device. However, WiFi was spotty at the far end by the waterpark so keeping a printed map on hand is helpful. As for a printed map upon check in. Among the many things to do, Atlantis Bahamas offers a long list of daily activities that can be accessed on their mobile app, which you should download before leaving your room.
The resort is also very well marked, with clearly marked signage around every corner with arrows to guide you to the different areas of the property. You’ll also find oversized maps on the walls of all of the towel huts with the QR code below to give you access to the map online.
Atlantis Bahamas Things To Do
The Pools, Aquaventure Waterpark and Marine Adventures
Among the many things to do, the water activities are clearly the focal point of a stay at Atlantis Bahamas.
Marine Adventures include snorkeling, swimming, paddle boarding, playing with and training dolphins in the private lagoon.
Atlantis includes 14 different pools and 20 swimming areas, including the Aquaventure Waterpark. Younger kids can find plenty of safe play areas, including the fun-filled interactive Poseidon’s Playzone.
Since I was visiting with two teenaged boys, our sole focus was the waterpark, with the slides tucked among several different pools with Mayan temple-inspired designs, and myriad walkways and bridges.
The Rapids River includes one-mile bumpy ride of powerful white-water rapids and wave pool rushes of water. But The Leap of Faith is the most harrowing—ascend a Mayan temple-inspired tower to descend a 60-foor slide with a vertical drop into the lagoon. The Serpent Slide is a visually stunning experience. According the Atlantis Bahamas web site,” Travel on a tube at high speeds through the darkness of the Mayan Temple’s core. The twisting and turning ride culminates with a leisurely pass through a clear acrylic tunnel submerged in a lagoon filled with amazing marine life.”
Yoga & Spa
Despite the focus on family time and active play, calming wellness activities can definitely be found at Atlantis Bahamas. Yoga classes are offered a few times a week in the mornings in an inspiring setting on the grass next to the spa surrounded by the resort-s lush tropical landscaping.
The Mandara Spa, designed to “revitalize your spirit” offers body treatments, facials, massage and a salon in a serene, low lit luxury setting.
Beaches and Hammocks
The private beaches on Paradise Island suggest perfection, with cloud-like waves of pearl-toned sand, serene teal waters close to shore that transition to a rich cobalt as the ocean deepens. Even during the crowded winter months, the crowds tend to migrate to the pools, leaving the oceanfront areas unexpectedly calm and peaceful.
Several spacious hammocks are placed between a group of palm trees in a nook of sand along the resorts’ pathway running along the periphery of the resort near the beach. Those seeking a respite from family time or simply looking for a moment of relaxation can swing peacefully undisturbed by the surrounding noise and crowds.
Honorable mention goes to the views on the beach at dusk and as the sun set. The soft pastel horizon glowed with warm peach tones, and the sky transitioned from lavender to periwinkle to a smoky deep purple. The effect was gorgeous and stunning.
Water features can be found throughout the resort, but the lovely ones are all situated in the center along the grand arched walkway area between the exit of the Royal tower and the Royal Baths pool. The lagoon, which extends across a big portion of the resort, peeks out here, with fish and sharks wigging along in the water. Nearby, a small waterfall continually flows, and a centerpiece iron sculpture shoots spouts of water that loop back downhill along a series terra cotta steps.
The Food: Healthy Options
The dining options are seemingly endless at Atlantis, with options ranging from fine dining to quick bites, to casual family-friendly restaurants and kiosks bars selling cold drinks and snacks. I seek healthy, vegan food during my travels around the world, and did not fail to do so Atlantis despite its large-scale offerings that appeal to mainstream culture.
The Paradise Island outpost of the much-loved New York City iconic family-style Italian restaurant chain, Carmines serves the same dishes as its NYC counterparts: large plates that feed at least four people of salads, pastas, and meats. Tucked away at the end of the marina’s shopping area, the restaurant seats diners at large tables with a reservation, and at smaller stool height tables in the bar areas for those without a reservation.
I ordered a house salad, which I suggest requesting with olive-oil based dressing on the side. The house dressing is cream based. I also ordered a pasta dish off the menu – penne with broccoli, olive oil and garlic. The platter came with generous amounts of heavily fried garlic, not exactly low calorie but sumptuous and worth every bite.
The Shark Express
The Shark Express, a casual lunch restaurant with a take-out counter next to the Mayan Temple pool, sells falafel wraps and salads, in addition to plenty of fish, poultry and meat options.
The Pita Beach Bites
The Pita Beach Bites, a to-go kiosk located past the Baths Colonnade Pool next to the Cover tower, features an impressive selection of healthy Mediterranean food, including hummus place, falafel wraps, salads and more.
The large scale restaurant located past the lobby of the Royal is the only place to eat a buffet breakfast. The buffet spread is impressive, with six large platters of grilled vegetables, another to food section with roasted Brussels sprouts, a nice selection of healthy toppings for hot cereal, including nuts and dried fruit. You’ll also find a generous selection of fresh bread, frittata cups, potatoes, pancakes, and meat options.
The Burger Shack
Located next to Carmines at the end of the marina, Burger Shack has casual indoor and outdoor seating, and a menu with traditional border options, chicken sandwiches and Beyond Meat burgers. We appreciated the fast service and casual setting on our last night after battling crowds and lines for the previous few days.
Ben & Jerrys
The familiar cool cow mural at Ben & Jerrys, located in the marina, was a welcomed reference to home. The menu included my all-time favorite coconut-milk based vegan cookie dough ice cream. Of course, I had to treat myself to a scoop.
Sun & Ice
The café in the lobby of the Coral sells pastries, freshly brewed coffee and espresso drinks. You can order your coffee with oat milk. A latte with oat milk was a such appreciated daily fix.
Atlantis Bahamas Eco-Friendly Practices
The eco-friendly practices at the resort are worth noting. As a Marriott Bonvoy member, I was given three high-quality stainless-steel water bottles upon check in for myself and my two children. Water bottle refill stations were placed throughout the resort, although several of them either did not work at all or didn’t work properly. Water for purchase was sold in aluminum cans, reflecting an impressive effort to cut down on the use of plastic. Drinks from the bars were served in recyclable plastic cups with paper straws.
A vacation to Atlantis Bahamas can be stimulating and action-packed, with large crowds and many dozens of options for water-themed activities and dining. Those seeking moments of respite, relaxation and healthy food can certainly find it between the vegetarian and vegan menu options, spa, yoga classes, resting areas, and water features. Be prepared with a mobile device, expect to do a lot of walking, and arrive with a sense of adventure to guide you along the way.