White Sand Beaches, pools with thrilling water slides, luxury suites with fabulous views, and award winning dining options, are all just a few of the reasons that my family loves to vacation at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort. We have stayed at the resort numerous times and each visit has been fantastic for our family. This summer, we invited our friends to join us with their 3 kids. Together we took all 5 kids on an unforgettable Bahamas vacation.
The Resort tag line is “Where water meets wonder” and it was priceless to see the kids’ reaction to all of the wonders at Atlantis. That being said, the Atlantis Resort is vast and can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are tips to booking a memorable Atlantis Resort family vacation:
Is the Royal Tower is right for you? What I love about Atlantis is that you have a ton of choices of unique buildings around the property, and you can find a room to fit your budget.
With kids, we knew we wanted to be close to the middle of the resort, so we chose the Royal Towers. We selected a one bedroom suite – the Regal Suite. The Regal Suite was a comfortable size for our family of 4 and the views were incredible!
We enjoyed having a full master bath and then a second half bath just for the kids. The full dining area was perfect for breakfast and we loved seeing the sunrise on our balcony.
My advice is to request a high floor in the West Tower, if possible. (If you are looking to save money, you can choose the Coral or Beach Towers but you will be further from the main pools and with kids it is a lot of walking.)
The Cove is the epitome of luxury at the resort. If you happen to travel without kids, do not hesitate to stay at the Cove. It will deliver on a luxury getaway and you can even gamble at the swim up casino tables at Cain, the exclusive pool forCove guests. The pool, however, is adult only, but a great getaway from the crowds for the adults.
Is it all inclusive? The answer is no. Although they offer a meal plan, we did not purchase it. Even though to purchase the meal plan, you must also pay for tax and tip on the food itself (an additional 20-25% on the price of the food). It has been our experience that you will pay less eating a la carte even at the fine dining choices. However, for some families, the meal plan might work. My advice is to look at it closely.
Also make your dining reservations before you arrive. Since we were a group of 9, the family style at Carmine’s and Virgil’s was a perfect choice for group dinners. I would not go there with a small party as the dishes are truly for a large party to share.
We also enjoyed an elegant dinner at the Todd English restaurant, Olives. It was kid-friendly and had a nice choice of dinner on the kids menu. We celebrated a birthday at both Olives and Carmine’s and they made it very special!
Kids Activities – Kids and adults alike were well entertained by the water slides and wave pool which are included for resort guests.
Plan to get to the pool early to get chairs under a shady tree! By the afternoon, depending on the day, cruise ship passengers come to enjoy the pool and slides. This was overwhelming for us one day with five cruise ships. So we used that busy crowded time of day for a break or a nap for the kids in the room.
We loved the organized complimentary kids activities on the pool lawn each afternoon. Our kids loved the dance contest one day and the scavenger hunt the next. The beach is also beautiful, and our girls loved getting their hair braided by the sweetest Bahamian ladies (ask for Miss Pam if you go and tell her Amanda from Florida sent you!).
We were lucky to have a kid friendly show at Atlantis while we were there. We saw the Rob Lake Magic Show and it might have been the highlight of the kids’ trip! The tickets were reasonably priced and it was fun and entertaining. Atlantis Theater also has nightly movies – family movies at 5 pm (you can plan this around dinner and it is free…… I love taking advantage of all of the included amenities at a resort).
The Dig is Atlantis’ archeology-themed aquarium and it is an activity you can enjoy day after day. Definitely #nottobemissed.
It is located in the lower level of the Royal Towers, another benefit of staying in that tower, and our kids took the “Fish Identification Sheets” and had a wonderful time pointing out the fish and marine life. There is even a touch and feel area for starfish, horseshoe crabs and conch.
For a respite from our kids, we decided to sign them up for Atlantis Evening Adventure which was from 6- 10 pm and welcomed guests over 3 years old (for an additional charge, but well worth it). Normally we do not hire babysitters while on vacation, but I am really glad we decided to try it on this trip.
The kids loved the Cartoon Network partnership. Each night is themed, and the night they went it was carnival night. What kid doesn’t like a night of character appearances, snow cones, cotton candy and games?
While they were enjoying carnival night, we had an amazing dinner at Dune at the One & Only Ocean Club down the beach from Atlantis (previously a sister property). It is the secret getaway that not all Atlantis guests know about.
Activities for Adults to enjoy – We love a resort with something to do after the kids go to bed, and if you are traveling with another family or extended family you can take turns going out after the kids are in bed. The adult activities include the casino, multiple bars, clubs, shows, and even great shops, everything you need for late night activity. Kids Adventure also has a late night option from 10 to midnight that was discounted for summer while we were there.
Every luxury resort needs a good spa and Mandara Spa at Atlantis was exceptional! The service was unparalleled and a highlight of the vacation for me.
Service was top notch at Atlantis. We encountered friendly and helpful staff everywhere around the resort.
Overall, it has been my experience that the Atlantis Bahamas is a great resort for families with kids of all ages, and also as an adult escape. When planning your visit be sure to do your research and find what fits your needs best – Atlantis is not short on choices!
One last piece of advice – No matter where you stay at Atlantis, book airport transportation through Atlantis for easy and reasonably priced private transportation. The best part is you can book everything through their website, even airfare. Sign up for the emails to take advantage of the many specials. Our family will definitely be returning to Atlantis in the future!
Various Photo credit: http://www.atlantisbahamas.com/