It’s still common to think of the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas as a single entity, with its iconic twin towers connected by a soaring arch and surrounded by a sprawling, lost-world themed waterpark, Aquaventure, complete with waterslides emerging from a stepped pyramid and plunging riders through an aquarium tank full of toothy sharks.
That part of the resort, now called the Royal hotel, still stands at the center of the property, but over the years the Paradise Island has expanded to include six distinct resort properties, all occupying hundreds of acres of prime beachfront and complemented by an ever growing array of activities and amenities, including a casino, marina, golf, and animal-encounter programs.
Each resort has its own unique character, with more than 3,800 guest rooms aimed at appealing to nearly every type of Nassau-bound traveler:
The Royal When the Atlantis resort debuted in 1998, this property was where all the action and excitement reigned. In many ways this remains the nexus of Atlantis, housing the resort’s huge casino and many of its top eateries (including Todd English’s Olives and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s Nobu). It’s also the closest hotel to the 154-acre Aquaventure waterpark, and The Dig (a fantasy archaeological of the ruins of the list city of Atlantis) begins right in the hotel lobby, making the Royal the logical choice for families with children as well as gamblers. Proximity comes with a price, however, and the Royal remains one of Atlantis’ deluxe-tier hotels.
The Reef For a family beachfront vacation, consider the Reef. This luxury, residential style high-rise hotel has easy access to Paradise and Cove beaches, spacious suites with well-equipped kitchens, and is close to the Dolphin Cay animal-encounter program, the resort spa, tennis, and fitness center. And of course you still get access to Aquaventure and all of the other Atlantis amenities.
The Cove Located next door to the Reef, the Cove has a totally different vibe, starting with the fact that this high-end resort is for adults only. Considered the most upscale of the Atlantis hotels, the Cove has open floorpan rooms with balconies and oversized bathrooms, all at a peaceful remove from the bustle of the casino floor and the waterpark. If you’re seeking a serene corner at a mega resort, this is your place. (It’s also home to the outstanding Fish by Jose Andres).
The Harborside Resort With colorful low-rise, village style hotel buildings edging the Atlantis marina, the Harborside is an appealing mid-priced hotel that is conveniently close to the resort’s Marina Village shops and restaurants, including the traditional Bahamian performers who frequent the streets of the village. The villas are big enough to accommodate families, who also will appreciate some of the Marina Village’s more affordable dining, including pizza and a deli. The Harborside also is a good option for friends or multigenerational families thanks to its choice of one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas.
The Coral The Coral offers a combination of moderately priced rooms and a convention location amid Atlantis’ fish-filled lagoons, roughly in between the Royal towers and the marina village. The hotel has its own pool and is home to Atlantis’ CRUSH club for teens and pre-teens, and it’s also close to the resort’s lagoon snorkeling experience and predator tank with its 100-foot glass-walled tunnel — even more kid-friendly attractions, in other words (for mom and dad, the casino and Crystal Court shopping mall also are nearby). Three classes of rooms have one king or two queen beds.
The Beach Atlantis’ most budget-friendly hotel sits directly on Atlantis Beach has rooms with water or terrace views, and in addition to the beach guests will find the resort’s zero-entry River Pool, lazy river, kids pool, and game room nearby, as well as a comedy club and a theater showing free movies daily. The Beach was the original hotel on the property, originally the Paradise Island Hotel and Casino; opened in 1968, it has been renovated in the years since but is certainly the most “vintage” hotel at Atlantis.
Comfort Suites Paradise Island This 223-room hotel with recently renovated junior suites isn’t on the Atlantis property — it’s across the street, but thanks to a longstanding arrangement with the resort, Comfort Suites guests get access to all Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas amenities, including Aquaventure. Throw in the complementary hot and cold breakfast included with a stay and this may be the most affordable way to enjoy an “Atlantis vacation.”