We recently stayed 5 nights and 6 days at the Harborside Marina at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and had an amazing time! The weather was great and the kids had the best time at the waterpark during the day and the kids club in the evening!
The Bahamas can be expensive to visit, so here’s what we learned! We booked our flight and stay with points. We usually always fly Southwest Airlines, so we use our Southwest credit card for large purchases, and of course just make sure we pay it off at the end of each month. With flights and purchases we have a companion pass, so everywhere Jason flies, I can fly FREE! You can also change your companion pass 3 times a year. You can find out more about a Southwest card here.
The Atlantis is also part of the Marriott family, so you can use Marriott points to book a room at the Atlantis. We even used our American Express points to book our stay! The resort does run specials, but you can often find great deals online.
Where to Stay?
Harborside Marina– There are many different options on where to stay at The Atlantis Resort. We chose to stay in Harborside because of the suite style rooms which included a small kitchen with a washer/dryer. It was nothing fancy but nice to have the extra space with the kids. We stayed in a one bedroom with a pull-out sofa bed and the kids were fine. I was worried about staying too far from everything but the resort offers shuttles that run every 10 minutes, so we never had to wait long. To be honest it was kind of nice to be away from the “hotel” feel. Harborside also has its own pool and restaurant overlooking the harbor.
The Royal Tower– The Royal is the main hotel with traditional rooms. If you want to be closest to the waterpark, casino and main restaurants then this is for you.
The Coral– The Coral is the second oldest part of the Atlantis but has been recently renovated. The Coral is near the casino and shops, so a good option if you are trying to stay in the main area.
The Beach– The Beach is the oldest part of the resort and also the furthest away from everything. It is also the most inexpensive part of the resort.
The Cove– The Cove is the newest part of the Atlantis and not recommended for families. The Cove also features an adult only pool. Might be great to check out on a couples trip!
The Reef– The Reef is also a new building featuring family suites with small kitchens. It’s away from the main area, so a little quieter but also includes it’s own pool and beach.
If you are wanting to save and still experience the Atlantis, the Comfort Inn and Suites located directly across the street has full access to the Atlantis waterpark and other amenities.
Where to Eat?
The Atlantis offers over 20 different restaurants. Everything from fine dinning to casual. Food in the Bahamas is not cheap, so be prepared for prices at the Atlantis to be higher than normal. My biggest tip is to bring snacks. We brought an entire suitcase with snacks, breakfast items like oatmeal, cereal, and bars. I even packed bread, peanut butter and jelly to make the kids sandwiches for lunch by the pool. Don’t forget to pack a cooler. We did not have any issues bringing everything through customs or a cooler to the pool. We also made a quick trip to the local grocery once we arrived for waters and milk. Waters at the Atlantis can run from $5-$15, so you will want to purchase a case of water if possible. They do have filling stations around the resort as well if you pack a water bottle.
If you plan on dinning out be sure to make reservations in advance. We had issues making reservations for some restaurants 2 weeks before our arrival, so be sure to make reservations as soon as you book! Nobu is one of our favorites, so if you like sushi, I highly recommend. We also tried Fish by Jose Andres at The Cove and it was not our favorite, and we are huge Jose Andres fans, but maybe it was just an off night.
Some other restaurants at the resort to try:
Frankie Gone Bananas
We also ventured off property a couple of nights to try local food. You can get a taxi to the Fish Fry to experience true Bahamian food. The Fish Fry is a strip of about 10 local restaurants. We dined at Oh Andres after hearing many people recommending. The portions are huge and large enough to share. My kids are not huge seafood lovers, so they ordered the burger and said it was the best burger they’ve ever had, and the price is much better than a burger at the Atlantis. Most entrees are about $15-$20 and they include 2-3 sides. A taxi is about $25-$30 each way from the Atlantis but you save in drinks and food!
Things to do
There are plenty of excursions and activities around the resort, but you can stay busy at the waterpark or just exploring the grounds, like the Dig which are all included in your stay.
If you choose to do anything extra, I do recommend the dolphin encounter. I was a little hesitant, but this was the kid’s favorite activity. The kids loved being pushed by the dolphins and swimming with them in the water. It’s a real hands-on experience. Just be prepared to pay for the different interactions and the photos taken on site.
You can also book different adventures outside of the resort like deep sea fishing, parasailing, jet ski rentals, even visiting the famous pigs!
When we visited the end of February 2022 you did have to purchase a health visa for $60/pp and upload your negative covid test upon arrival. Please be aware that only certain testing centers and labs are accepted for entry into the Bahamas. And of course you must have a negative test to re-enter the US. Luckily the resort offers onsite testing to help with reentry.
The other great thing about flying back from Nassau is that the US custom/borders control is at the Nassau airport, so once you land in the states you do not have to wait for customs there. They do recommend arriving to the Nassau airport 3 hours before your departure to guarantee time for all the check points.