More about The Reef Atlantis
Atlantis is overpriced and offers poor service
We visited Atlantis and stayed in a one BR Suite at the the Reef Atlantis over Spring Break 2008. Upon arrival our MB toilet was clogged. We asked for it to be fixed and it was not until 8 p.m. The sofa bed was not made up for our two kids and after waiting 5 hours it finally was. There were never enough towels for 4 people in the room. When we asked housekeeping for additional towels they said their was a shortage. The same was true for beach towels by the many pools. They were out of beach/pool towels everyday. We would vacate our room by 8 a.m. and return by 3 p.m. and our room was not made up. We called the Prompt Response line 5x and no one answered. We called for the Hotel Manager and was told they were busy. After waiting for a return call for over 1 hour we called the Front Desk and asked to be put thru to a Hotel Mgr immediately. We spoke to Mr. Adderly, Hotel Mgr and he put us in for early housekeeping which solved this issue.
We ate at Mosaic for $188 for 2A and 2C (both 3 years old) which was insanely overpriced. Poolside lunch of chicken nuggets and hot dogs ranged from $45-55 which did not include beverages. The Cascades Snackbar opened at 11a.m. but most days there was no food ready to be served at 11. Upon returning to the US we got takeout at the Outback Steakhouse which cost $45 and was the cheapest meal we had eaten in a week.
They was bickering everyday at the Cascades Pool over lounge chairs by various guests.
We booked our Shallow Water Dolphin interaction in January 7, 2008 for March 27, 2008 via 1-800-ATLANTIS. We left a hefty deposit on our AMEX card. We got to the Dolphin Cay and was told our booking was cancelled. We spent 4 hours on the phone trying to resolve the issue first with the 1-800 number then with Quality Assurance. We were told that unless we booked by directly calling the Bahamas number our reservation was not guaranteed. The booking was made somehow for January 27, 2008 a date and time we would not be in the Bahamas. To date, this issue is unresolved.
We will never return to Atlantis.
Our family of 5 just got back from The Reef Atlantis Spring Break week, had a great time.
We had a Junior Suite overlooking the pool/ocean, great view. Yes 5 people in that room is pretty cozy but a lot cheaper than adding the second room. You can add another $100 per night for various promotion fees and maid gratuities. They do push the buying a suite deal hard, sorry we didn't have $700,000 for our little suite. We figured we can stay there about 140 times before we're even with that.
I found the Bahamanian staff to be very cordial and professional, kudos to all. We had the breakfast buffet the first day at Mosiac, very expensive $28 for adults, but hey they do have an excellent steak available. From then on we bought a fruit cup at the lobby Starbucks and muffins from the Sundries shop and ate breakfast for around $20 total.
I told my wife I'm not making reservations 3 months in advance to get into ANY restaurant, well...we didn't get in anywhere except lucked into The Cafe at Royal Towers one night. We were laughed off trying to get into Bahamian Club even at 5pm. So you learn flexibility pays off big time. At the end of the day, to me it's only a meal taking you from hungry to not hungry, the pomp and circumstance of the fancy places doesn't impress me but I travel on business all the time. I was just as happy downing a huge and delicious slice of pizza at Marina Pizza as eating anywhere else. We had no problem getting into Bimini Road for lunch at the Marina.
I didn't think the food as a whole was exceptional, no better than our restaurants in Katy, TX for a fraction of the price. One night we splurged and went to The Poop Deck across the bridge in Nassau and were somewhat disappointed. Marina Pizza was great. Food Service was ok, very expensive. Lunch at Breakwaters Grill by the pool was very good and somewhat reasonable. Let's face it, you don't go to Atlantis to scrimp on money. How do you think Sol Kerzner became so wealthy.
The room movie technology was impressive, hopefully this is the future for all pay rentals. Our flat screen tv sound went out and took into the second day to get it fixed, wasn't that big a deal.
One day the weather wasn't great and they added two free movies at the Atlantis Theater, very nice. My son loved the miniature car racing at Atlantis Race Club and the arcade at Beach Tower.
The weather was mostly sunny the Spring Break week we were there but quite windy. We all got badly sunburned doing the Lazy River even with SPF off the scale waterproof sunburn used, our bad.
We did the Dolphin Encounter swim, kids loved the foot push and I loved the trip to the little island, beautiful like right out of Gilligan's Island or Castaway. My wife enjoyed shopping on Bay Street across the bridge.
Next time we're looking at doing the Disney cruise that stops in Nassau.
The cabs? We never saw one that had a meter going. Yes, negotiate the price up front, but they still have a huge advantage in knowing the area. We paid $20 just to go over the bridge into town, which was absurd, but we didn't know how far the restaurant was.
The shuttle that takes you around Atlantis is terrific, we used it extensively. Our kids loved the water slides, Lazy River, Power Tower, etc. Really the huge water park is worth around $250/day easily for a family.
Overall the kids certainly can't wait to go back again.
We thought the air travel was pretty expensive getting to Nassau and we had to take a prop from Florida which kind of turned adverturesome.
My overall rating? It would be hard to find a better overall place for a family with kids.
One of best beach vacations we've had
We visited the Reef for 7 days during our kids Spring Break. The one bedroom suite was the perfect size for our family of 4. Our 6 year old slept on the pull-out sofa and our 4 year old slept on the single aero-bed provided - which he loved. My husband and I had a large room to ourselves and were able to rent movies and watch TV once they were asleep with no problem. The full kitchen was really nice to have as well because we were able to buy some food at the sundries shop downstairs for snack etc.
We enjoyed the Mosaic buffet more than once. The food was fantastic, although like most food at Atlantis, it was pricey. We didn't know that we had to make reservations at the gourmet restaurants so far in advance so we ate at Mesa Grill...but at the bar (a good idea if this happens to you) and we lucked out and got a table at Dune at the One and Only Beach Club - part of Atlantis, but not on the beaten path. It was excellent.
The sitters were nice, but reserved. Our kids are used to more outgoing friendly sitters, but they were fine for a few hours out in the evening. They were $28 an hour for 2 kids with a 3 hour minimum so we were sure to have a good time while we were out!
Our 4 and 6 year old were too short and too young for a majority of the water parks/slides etc... so we did feel like we paid for those amenities but didn't get enough use out of them.
That said, the pools were fantastic and there is enough stuff to do for smaller children - we were never bored. The weather was windy and the beach very rough so we mainly stuck to the pools.
The shuttle is very convenient and we used it several times to visit the other towers, however the walk between them was totally doable as well if you're used to walking (we're from NYC)>
Instead of paying for expensive breakfasts each morning we ate a continental breakfast at Seaglass at the Cove which ended up being about $30 as opposed to a $100 breakfast at Mosaic. Starbucks coffee, great muffins, yogurt, cereal and toasted bagels and cream cheese or peanut butter.
The staff was extremely cordial. I don't think we opened our own doors - ever. Everyone asked the kids how they were and if they were having fun, their names, ages, etc...we could not have been happier with the experience.
I hope we can go back next year and I've already recommended this place to more than one friend!
Our family of 3 went for 6 days over the Easter weekend. We heard that the Altantis was a top place to go. For that reason we tried it out. It's difficult to get into a restaurant at this property unless you book in advance. So, good idea to book ahead. We didn't get into any as we had not pre booked and given that our holiday fell during the Easter weekend. We called every day to see if we could get into one of the restaurants on the property but without success. So we took taxis into Nassau which was fine and also picked up abit of groceries. I can't emphasize enough that for what you are paying you don't get the friendly service you would expect and also get somewhere else. The staff could sure use some training from the employees at Disney where you are guaranteed a magical time. We travel alot and when we compare other sun destinations or child friendly resorts the Atlantis rates in our opinion at the low end of the spectrum. Luckily, this was not our only holiday this year. We heard a number of families complaining about how overrated this place was and how they would go back to either Disney or an all inclusive resort next year. If you want a nice beach there are plenty of other great beaches. Go to St. Barths, St. Martin, Barbados, Punta Cana, etc. If you are going here for the water slides and to have your children entertained there are much better places to do so at a fraction of the price. We don't mind paying for a good holiday but this place is ridiculous. We booked our stay directly with the hotel and received confirmation via email of our stay price. It was a different story when checking out as the hotel adds on other fees such as maid service and other taxes that you are not told about. As for the positive side of things, it is a very beautiful property and very clean. The spa is amazing and offers great services. The Reef was a great choice for us as we had a large suite with a great view and it worked out for meals since we had a kitchen and given the issue with getting into restaurants. Despite its positive features, we personally would not go back. It is simply overrated.
Reef is Good, But Why Are Cruise Ship Passengers Allowed?
The Reef Tower is nice enough for most travelers, particularly those with young children. Rooms are spacious and there is a nice full kitchen and private laundry room. Resort rides are fantastic and a blast.
Service, as is the case throughout the Islands, is very leisurely (not great when maid service leaves you with no towels and you don't realize it until you're nearly done bathing the kids) so be prepared to be patient. That is the good news - don't read on if you want the bad news.
As for the resort itself, I would highly recommend not staying there during spring break if you can help it. Place was sold out and beach chairs impossible to find - the resort has also allowed cruise ship passengers to pay for access to the resort as well (including beach and rides). This absolutely detracted from the experience and is a huge, huge negative. For the amount of money charged ($1000/nt for lowest cost room at the Reef), guests should not have to fight cruise ship passengers for beach chairs and rides. I witnessed one cruise ship family deliberately removing towels from chairs and then claiming innocence when the rightful owners returned - not a pleasant holiday experience (note this incident occurred away from the Reef area so I'd recommend staying at the Reef property pool area for more privacy and avoiding the riff raff).
Restaurant reservations were also a nightmare as we did not realize you were supposed to book them in advance. What they also don't tell you are empty tables abound at all times and the restaurants are holding them for those willing to pay an extra tip for the table (disgusting).
As for food costs, paying $10 for a bottle of water at the beach stand is right up there with the best European resorts - I will leave it up to each individual guest to decide whether or not it deserves to charge so much (not for me). I guess I am jaded a bit as well by the lady who actually cut me on the food line at the beach stand (!!!).
Last words of wisdom - be careful of the airport lines if you go during a busy time. We got to the airport 2 hrs before departure and only made the flight because the plane deliberately delayed takeoff for 30 minutes to accommodate passengers trying to get on board. Flight was oversold (I witnessed two families who each had one seat bumped and one of the families had "elite" flying status as well) and the plane ultimately departed with ~20 empty seats. That's what happens when the security line goes the length of the airport, across the street, and into another parking lot.
Reefs - A Great Hotel
My wife and I stayed at The Reefs at Atlantis for four nights in April 2008 and found the whole experience very enojyable. We stayed in a one bedroom suite which was very nice - modern, large, two bathrooms, two flat-screen TVs, big King bed and a nice view from an extra large balcony. The staff was very nice and, I think, unlike some of the other hotels it wasn't packed with people.
Regarding Atlantis itself:
We went at a somewhat busy time but it seemed but not too crowded overall. The Cascaded pool by The Reefs was very nice - never crowded and always a pleasant temperatue. We also really liked The Baths pool which was near Aquaventure - it was more crowded but it is pretty big so we didnt have a problem finding a seat. The only pool that we couldnt get a seat at was the one by the Beach Towers (River pool?) but there was some fairly loud music by that pool anyway so we went elsewhere.
We took one ride on The Current which was fun but overall the problem we found with Aquaventure was we didn't really understand how to ride anything ahead of time. Maybe we are a little slow. Anyway The Current was fun but also crowded
Atlantis is fairly notorious for its expensive food and that is true but we were expecting it and on a vacation like this its a litle silly to get too worked up about expenses. The quality of the food varied.
Mosaic - This buffet in the Cove was empty for lunch but then a little overwhelmed for breakfast. Lunch food wasn't great and staff didnt seem to be around to make the food that needed preparations. Breakfast was better.
Marketplace - We went there for breakfast two days and there is a wide range of choices but the food is only so-so. Still, at $25 a person if you have a big appetite you'll be satisfied enough
Nobu - Went there for dinner one night - it was pretty good - not great but tasty.
Seafire Steakhouse - This was the best meal of our trip - really good steaks and service.
Chop Stix - A nice surprise - some really tasty chinese food
Atlas Bar and Grill in the Casino is good for a less expensive meal
Atlantis has a very big casino but for our favorite machine - video poker - many of the units didnt work or wouldnt take certain bills. Also there could be more video poker games and fewer slots.
Like others we were a little nervous about the weather reports which kept indicating storms of thunderstorms each day. But it didnt rain for one second and we had either sunny or partly cloudy skies every day.
Overall this was certainly an expensive trip but for a quick getaway from New York a relaxing experience.
The only glitch we had was the car service picking us up to go to the airport on our last day (Dan Knowles), didn't show up after 15 minutes of waiting but luckily there was a cab there.
Wonderful spring break family vacation, will be back
Booking this vacation, I compared prices at the hotel and with airlines and found it cheaper to book separately. Our spring break was scheduled later than most, so for mid-April we paid $600 for a ocean-front 1 bedroom suite.
It was amazing. The views. The Reef apartment. 2 Bathrooms!
When my husband started hyperventilating when we went down to the Sundries shop for supplies for our kitchen, I told him to stop right now!, it will be expensive, expensive, expensive to eat here. So we cut costs down by breakfasting in our room after purchasing our $10 box of cereal, and having lunches pool-side.
A rainy first day allowed us to walk around the resort, check out the arcade, and sightsee The Dig. The next day we did the Dolphin Encounter. Initially, I was hesitant to book this. It just seemed so pricey. But it was worth every penny. Our Hurricane Katrina dolphin survivor, Toni, was so sweet and the photos we got afterwards will keep our memories forever.
I followed the previous Atlantis visitors' advice on the TA forums as to where to eat and have to say that they were dead-on. We liked alot: Carmine's, Anthony's,and Mosaic. We also liked the Cafe near the dig. It wasn't overly busy, so we didn't make reservations ahead of time, but that didn't work for us since they alternately had 1 or 2 of the nicer restaurants closed each night. We ended up at the Marketplace and it was awful.
But we will return. My daughter loves the water attraction, she even got to try scuba. I love the lazy river and went around a few times by myself in lieu of a spa treatment. Next time my husband wants to do the scuba lesson too, and since the water pyramid slides were closed to a filter problem, we still have to do tthat.
Better than expected, even with a trip to the hospital
We stayed at the Reef end of March/beginning of April for 4 nights, and it really was better than expected! This was our first family vacation to someplace tropical and I read all the reviews and we debated the right hotel to choose in Atlantis. I am so glad we decided on the Reef.
We are in our late 30's with a 5 year old son and wanted an easy, fast, not too chaotic vacation, but we still wanted to have fun. Atlantis looked perfect for these reasons, but normally I'd run from such an organized, "bahamas in a box" experience. Don't get me wrong - the property was amazing, the fish, the buildings, the pools, the artwork. But normally I'd like a bit more relaxed environment with a chance to eat at local restaurants.
I thought we might have problems with service and expected the property to be very busy. Instead we checked in without an issue (although our bellman was a bit of a talker and all I wanted to do was get my bathing suit on and get to the pool!). We had booked a terrace room, which I think means we were supposed to be on a lower floor, but were given a beautiful room on the 15th floor with views of the ocean and Nassau harbor (my son loved to watch the cruise ships). The room was great- everything worked, plenty of towels, room was made up each day, and the only complaint is that there wasn't a bottle opener in the room. It was really nice to have a fridge in the room - we had the cab driver stop at the supermarket and liquor store on the way in ($35 cab ride total) and we got some snacks, water, dark and stormy mixers, beer. It was nice to have snacks and drinks on the deck after a day at the beach/pool.
Overall, service was excellent - everyone was friendly and helpful. We also didn't have any problems finding seats at the pools. I suspect we were there at a slower time, but that worked great for us.
My son did get sick on our last full day there (food poisoning or stomach bug?). I kept hoping he would bounce back, but at 7:00 PM we called the front desk and were told there was a nurse at the Cove. I got him as far as the lobby before he threw up all over me and the lobby floor. The staff was great and cleaned up, got the nurse on the phone, but ultimately they recommended we take him to the hospital (liability?).
We ended up at Doctors Hospital later that night - not a great way to end a vacation, but thankfully it wasn't anything serious. We were told before we went that we would need to pay with a credit card so that wasn't a surprise. The nurses and doctors were really good and took good care of us. I was surprised that the Reef didn't have any sort of courtesy shuttle to get us to the hospital - we ended up having to call a cab, but I guess that is The Atlantis Way.
Overall, the healthy portion of the trip was magical - we did the dolphin encounter and it was well worth the expense. The dolphins were so neat. The pools were great - we enjoyed the lazy river ride and the kids pools. They were amazing - especially the kid pool with the playground in it. The food was fine - nothing great, but we didn't eat at any of the nicer places. We had planned to have dinner at Nobu, but that was the night my guy was sick - so no Nobu.
The reef really met our needs for a quieter retreat with ample space for a small family. And it really wasn't too difficult to get to the other parts of the resort - shuttles were frequent and we also enjoyed walking. If I go back, I'd certainly stay at the Reef.
Hard to top this one
We went to the Reef on our kids spring break and we all loved it. Ya it's a little expensive, but if you do your research before you go you won't be surprised by this. The pool scene and weather alone are worth the trip. The service was awesome. shuttles to take you all over the property, friendly bahamian staff. We had no complaints. One tip I might give the avid gambler, take less cash for food, room charge everything. We found out that our gambling had given us a credit of over 200.us dollars that they took right off our room charge bill. (not bad) Our 10yr old son loved the river rapids ride the most, which also has a bonus feature of leading to one of the waterslides. (the power tower) The fact that the Reef has their own kitchens inside the rooms saved us money on the daily. We ate breakfast in every morning and sometimes lunch if we were there. At night they have activities for the kids (at a price of course) but if you want to get away for some adult time, it s well worth it. Another tip if you want to go into downtown Nassau to the straw market take the "ferry" for 3 bucks. It was a wonderful vacation, that's going to be hard to beat next spring break. I definetly recommend it for anyone with kids 5-16 years of age. What I like the most about the Reef and the Cove are they have their own private pools that only guests of those hotels can use. So it was nice not to have to fight for a chair or a spot by the pool.
Ritz Carlton Price-Holiday Inn Service
My wife and I got away for a 4 night get-away...When we travel we don't mind spending the money, in fact we are of the mind-set that when you get away you do it right and try not to skimp because you are there to enjoy yourself. The positives are the rooms are very comfortable and very nice, we had a 1 bedroom suite that was priced at $900+.....Bobby Flay's Mesa Grille is excellent......the down-side: service is not very good for what you would expect from a hotel that charges what they charge....room-service food was not good at all.....pool was nice, but nothing extravagant and the pool personnel were not very friendly, the rest of the property is flooded with people not only from the hotel, but from the cruise ships as well... in a nut shell over-hyped, over-priced, over-sold and under-served.
Chris and I at Atlantis
Go Buy Some Rum Cakes...
Activities @ Paradise island for an adult who does not know to swim
What are the activities an adult who does not know to swim can take in paradise island. Or you will enjoy only if you know swimming ? Is snorkeling there mandates to know swimming ? Highly appreciate your inputs.
Re: Activities @ Paradise island for an adult who does not know to swim
If snorkeling, wear a life preserver in the water while snorkeling to keep a float. I scuba dive and snorkel, I can swim, but still wear a vest so that I can relax and float. Enjoy the seeing the underworld. Cheers Tommy x
Re: Activities @ Paradise island for an adult who does not know to swim
I agree. I have snorkelled, but it's easy to drift out of your depth. Better be safe than sorry.Don't forget there are other things to see and do on the island that don't involve water.
Re: Activities @ Paradise island for an adult who does not know to swim
my mother who is 74 at the time went snorkeling with me and doesn't know how to swim. she loved it and saw the underwater world with a life vest on. use the buddy system when snorkeling. Make sure the vest is securely on. If worry, take two life vest. Then there is shopping and casinos on the island also,