Our first few days in Nassau were spent at Atlantis which is like a mix of Las Vegas and Disney World. It is by far one of the most expensive trips we’ve ever taken, but definitely worth the money. Everything you likely already know about Atlantis is true: they have the world’s largest open-air aquarium, a slide that goes through a shark tank, and a suite that costs over $50,000 a night.
What you might not know is that within Atlantis there are 5 hotels within Atlantis. This was the most confusing part of booking at Atlantis because there weren’t many guides to the differentiating factors, so I’ll give you a bit of an idea of what they are:
The Cove: Adults only hotel, the most expensive, gives you access to the stunning adults only pool. *totally worth it
The Reef: All-suite hotel beside the Cove, closest hotel to the beach/furthest away from Aquaventure but still only a few minute walk away
The Royal Towers: What you likely picture when you think of Atlantis, this is where the casino and aquarium are and is central to most things except the beach.
The Coral/Beach Towers: If the Cove and Reef are First class, the Royal Towers is Business, and the Coral and Beach towers are coach. There’s nothing wrong with these hotels, but they were some of the first built in 1984 and are beginning to show their wear.
Just like Vegas and Disney, there’s no way to do it all, and you will spend an absolute fortune no matter what you do. So do some research before you go, and take a long walk around the property on your first day there.
Aquaventure, the waterpark, is included in your stay (and one of the only things), so start there. The not-so-lazy river is a blast and I could have spent an entire week there. The slides are amazing and I don’t care how cool the adults only pool is, there is no denying a slide that has so much water pressure that it shoots you uphill.
The restaurants are fine, we went to all of them and Nobu was probably the best, but if you’ve eaten at Nobu in Vegas, New York or Malibu this will not measure up. I definitely recommend either heading off the resort for meals or asking your cab driver to stop at a grocery store on your way in to stock up on some snack items. Everything is a fortune: drinks are $13, a bottle of water is $7, so plan ahead.
When we got there I really wanted to swim with the dolphins, I’d done a lot of research and found that these were some of the best treated dolphins in captivity, and we had a great view of the dolphin cay from our room at the Reef which made me want to go even more. As we looked in to it a bit more we found out that you can actually go snorkelling in the aquarium. This was 100% cooler than just swimming with dolphins. We got to swim in the aquarium that surrounds the Royal towers - which meant swimming with sting rays, sharks, and nearly every type of aquatic life you could think of. The best part was that everyone who had signed up for our scheduled time bailed, so Taylor and I got a private session, and our guide was super cool and really knowledgeable!
Check out the casino, it’s really fun and right beside the restaurants and night clubs. I won $2,000 on a slot machine.. so I’m a big fan. But at the end of the day, it’s a casino.
If you have an extra $700-$1300 kicking around then rent a cabana, the seats around all of the pools, and especially around the adult’s only pool at the Cove can fill up really quickly. If you’d rather hold on to your money, get there early and put a towel/beach bag on your chair. Cruise ships come in around 11am and get day passes for pools and the waterpark, so as long as you’re there before them you should be fine.
What you should know:
-You will spend a fortune. Accept it now and you’ll have a blast.
-Be nice and the concierge might upgrade your room, just ask nicely :)
What you should bring:
-A lot of money, a lot of sunscreen (the weather is perfect), some snacks & water
Who you should contact:
-Look on sites like Expedia, they frequently have great deals on rooms, don’t bother with the meal plan it’s not worth the $$