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Reviewed 8 April 2018

I recently stayed with my family at the Reef. My husband and I were traveling with our 4 young children - no small feat. I wanted to give my highest recommendation for Handia who works at the front desk. Handia provided us with exceptional service, going above and beyond. She worked to make our arrival at the Reef effortless which was greatly appreciated.
Dr. Shannon Humphrey

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank shumphrey2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Walking into the one bedroom Topaz Suite at the Reef at Atlantis absolutely took my breath away! That view. The bedroom sits above the azure ocean and a floor to ceiling window ensures you enjoy every bit of its beauty. You can even see it from the bed! The room is huge, with a large master bath and a second bath in the living area with a shower. The patio is almost the length of the room, and includes a table for four with chairs and two lounge chairs.

The kitchen is well equipped and the sofa pull out was perfect for the kids. We definitely scored big with this room. Staff was extremely friendly. It was peak season here and although crowded, it wasn’t too much if you secured your pool chairs early - everyone goes down early and throws marker items down to claim them.

The water park - Aquaventure - is outstanding. With plenty of pools, slides, and tubes for the river rapids, it’s just the best place I’ve ever been to for a family vacation. Food down at the park isn’t too bad price wise, but it does add up with the taxes and tips always included. The restaurants are a bit pricey, but you’re in the Bahamas and the tourism sustains this beautiful place. At least that how I try look at it.

The aquarium and outdoor sea creature habitats are incredible. Sharks everywhere! Beautiful rays, turtles, and more are at every turn. It’s amazing how well appointed every bit of this place is. You can truly tell where all your dollars go. The landscaping, maintenance, staffing, and cleanliness are very impressive.

For more about Atlantis and more pictures, be sure to check out Eat, Drink, and Go!

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Eatdrinkandgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

I haven’t been to Paradise Island in 35 years since my parents used to take my sister and I and this time my wife and my sister and mother are back with our 4 children ages 11, 12, 13 & 14. Three girls and a boy. We chose the Reef because we wanted something that had suites. The Reef is comprised of rooms that have upscale kitchenettes with sub zero fridges and stoves and a wet bar with stools. Some of them are just a big room. Our rooms had a separate bedroom and two full baths. The rooms are very big. The beds are hard as a rock and there’s one queen and a sofa bed or an aero bed and I think there should be two queens in each. The room that is comprised of only one big room has two and the other one should as well. They have two huge flat screen TVs. One in each room. The bathrooms are gorgeous and very clean and large. The bigger one features a tub and a marble shower stall. The rooms are beginning to age and you can tell. The carpet was starting to fray in one area near where it met the stone floor. The furniture on the terraces was pvc wicker and the strands were broken. The terraces are great. Large and private. Most modern rooms have USB ports near the bed or in the lamps and these didn’t. Nonetheless it’s still very nice. The Reef is at the far end of the property and has no restaurants so when it’s time to eat you have to walk a long distance or take a shuttle. The shuttles are generally run pretty well and the wait was never more than ten minutes.

The Cove is a different building at Atlantis and the pool for that hotel is the multigenerational friendly pool so we wound up trekking to the Cove pool every day instead of the Reef pool. Those with kids ought to understand the amount of walking involved. It’s tough on kids and I can only imagine the complaining from younger kids.

The water park is fabulous. It’s clearly the number one attraction here. The kids spent hours and hours each day on the various water slides and the rapid river and in the pools. We often wondered when they’d be back. They really had a blast. Lounges at the pool are generally available if you get down by 9 or so and we were here for a holiday week so that’s nice. Drinks at the pool were about $12 and I thought that was very fair considering they have a captive audience and the pour was decent.

Frankly, I don’t know why a couple without kids would come here. Yes it’s nice but there are kids everywhere and if I was alone with my wife I’d want some peace and quiet. Yesterday, a 20 year old girl drank too much and puked by the kids pool. Her immature friend simply put a lounge over it. Finally, since no one else wanted to do anything and we were twenty feet from it, we spoke to someone and in about another twenty minutes they sent someone to clean it up while the girl who puked sat there watching. I wondered why a 20 year old would be in this area to begin with. Even more bewildering was that no one asked her to leave. I didn’t need my tweens thinking this sort of behavior is acceptable. However, as our week progressed, it became clear that this resort won’t do anything that might upset a guest, even if the guest is acting inappropriately. For instance, we were in a restaurant last night and I will not say which one because I don’t want anyone who works there to get in trouble. Despite the web site indicating that children under 6 are not permitted, there were many and that’s of course fine with us, as we’re parents too. One child was acting out to no end. Literally screaming and screaming. For some reason, the parents didn’t care and didn’t try to hush the child or remove him for a brief calm down period so we could enjoy our dinner which is $100+ per plate and that’s standard here. They saw we were upset because he was screaming five feet from our heads and we asked that they do something. Instead, they were nasty to us and had words with us when they left, causing a scene. In my view, the staff should’ve stepped in and let them know that this was inappropriate. When I called the manager over she told me that the staff can’t do that for fear of repercussions from management. So people can simply do whatever they want here and it doesn’t matter if it’s inappropriate or if it affects another guest’s experience. When I pointed out the web site that said that 6 and under weren’t permitted I was told that it should’ve been revised and the manager tried to appease us by crediting us for about $150 of our bar tab. While I appreciated that, and it brought our check down to $950 from $1100 for a party of 8, the fact is that at those prices we shouldn’t be subjected to that sort of conduct and stress on our vacation. Period.

The meal plan is simply a ripoff. We paid $8000 for it and I’m quite sure that the sum total of our food purchases are about $1500 less. Olives is a great restaurant (check out my separate review) and I also recommend their breakfast because if you don’t go there, you’re left with the very loud and bustling Mosaic. Mosaic is a buffet we’re you pay 15% tip for someone pouring orange juice and wait twenty minutes for an omelette. Strangely, it costs extra to go to Mosaic for dinner when you buy the meal plan. The web site makes it seem like a unique dining experience when in fact it’s a mediocre buffet and we were sorry we had dinner there one evening. They also don’t tell you that the way the meal plan works is that you get a regular check as though the plan doesn’t exist and then they credit you at the end for the food and for the kids soft drinks purchased during the meals. We were never informed of the meal plan procedures and were confused by how it worked. When we asked at various restaurants they were quick to brush us off and tell us it doesn’t matter because we get credit at the end. Again, I’m quite sure we spent more on the plan than we would have just paying for the food. Furthermore, I’m going to have to spend hours checking out to make sure that everything that’s supposed to be taken off the bill is taken off and that’s not a good way to spend the last hours of my vacation. Lastly, because the food is in essence free after you buy the meal plan, you over order. Kids who wouldn’t get appetizers get them anyway because it’s free. So had we not taken it, we would’ve saved even more money because we would have ordered less.

The beaches are generally nice but have a lot of litter on them. Old cups and straws and cigarette butts. Of course the guests are to blame. But the resort should do a much better job cleaning. Additionally, there is no recycling here at all. I find that shameful in this day and age and even more so at a resort that touts it’s efforts at marine preservation. There is an awful lot of plastic here. It should be recycled. Period.

Another thing to note is that the transfers from the airport are worthless. The price for 8 of us wasn’t much less than the $120 including tip we spent on a stretch limo and we arrived in comfort instead of packed into a bus.

All in all, this vacation was for the kids and they had a blast so that’s the most important thing. There are some things left to be desired here for sure and I could never give it a five star review, but the issues raised above aside, it’s a very fun place for a family vacation in the sun. If they stopped pandering to a few ne’er-do-wells and got with program re recycling and were forthright about the meal plan, in my view, they’d be a lot closer to that elusive fifth star. Hope this helps.

PS the staff was all very nice and helpful. Many guests were rude to them for some reason but they were always there with a “good morning” and always ready to help with questions.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
8  Thank LINYfoodGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

We booked two, two bedroom ocean view suites and one, one bedroom ocean view suite for our family of 11 adults and one baby. We had requested that our rooms be on the same floor if possible, and were told multiple times that that was possible.When we checked in our rooms were on the 4th,15th and 20th floors,not what we had been told repeatedly on the phone during booking and subsequent confirmation calls, and the staff was dismissive of our questions. We checked into our rooms and one was very worn and marginally clean, stains on the furniture, the sliding glass doors required ones entire strength to open, there were cigar butts on the balcony and the carpet was very worn and stained, there were multiple burned out lights and the toilet paper holders literally fell off the wall. . After our debacle at check in we knew complaining would get us no new room. The room on the 20th floor was cleaner and less worn but still very "tired". The doors to the balcony opened easily so that was a plus. The single room on the 15th floor was the same.
Most of the housekeeping and hotel service staff were pleasant to interact with but excellence in service and detail was not a top priority.We quickly gathered that expecting what was not possible was only going to make us angry so we went with the "flow" It literally took 12 hours to get a blanket for the person who slept on the pullout.Meaning they did without the first night.
The rooms are quiet and the views are beautiful! The property is beautiful and the grounds are kept clean. The pool at the reef was uncrowded but chairs were a daily struggle to obtain. One day we literally had to sit on the cement with the baby as all the pool chairs were "taken" with towels and belongings.
The beach is gorgeous! We walked the property daily and enjoyed viewing the fish tanks and Dolphin Cay. The Reef is considerably less crowded than most of the other buildings so that was a plus.There is a line for everything! Be prepared for lots of waiting. Waterslide lines are long!!!
There are a lot of activities to keep a variety of tastes entertained.We participated in multiple Dolphin Cay activities.Enjoyable but you are completely at the mercy of the staff as to what "program" you actually experience some were not as advertised.
Aquaventure activities were the same. Four of our group visited the spa, again most received what was advertised one did not.
We enjoyed ourselves and everyone had things to do. We utilized a private boat for snorkeling and that was a trip highlight.
Having now experienced Atlantis I would describe it as mass entertainment venue in beautiful surroundings, go with a theme park mind set. I have no comment on the costs as I knew in advance that they were high. Again, a theme park mentality will serve you well.
Our group loved walking to Sun and Ice in Coral Towers for snacks during the day it is not crowded and the seating area is comfortable and spacious.
The photo kiosks are also a mixed bag.Some of our photos were simply not uploaded by the staff who took them. Two of our photo passes were empty.

Room Tip: request a room without a view of the shipping container yard.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank gowinjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

i just returned from Atlantis with my family, which includes 3 teenagers. We stayed at the Reef, because with extra guests of my children, we needed the 2 bedroom suite. I'll start with the weather, which wasn't the greatest. Who knew it would be 5-7 degrees cooler than Florida? And, a non-stop breeze that varied from somewhat breezy to gale force. Highs in the upper 70's combined with the wind make it not as fun to be in the water all day, which is why you go to Atlantis. At night it was very cool. We needed much warmer clothing for the evenings. When it was sunny, and you were out of the wind, it was pretty warm, but those conditions just didn't happen enough for my liking.

Now, for the different towers. It's a bit frustrating that you have to give a review for a specific building rather than the whole resort. I had read that the rooms in the Reef were dated, and they are. It's pretty good space, though. One bedroom with a king bed and large bathroom, a sitting area and kitchen with a pull out, and then, another bedroom. This is where I would caution parents with young children. The second bedroom is not adjoining. It is another room that has a door to the hallway next to the first suite with a lock that opens with your card key. There is then a master door to the main hallway. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of that. You could just lock the outer door, and leave the two doors unlocked by putting the bolt out. Worked fine for my teenagers. I was surprised to be told when we arrived that a $2000 "hold" would be put on my credit card for incidentals. You will spend that and more.

The Reef is on one end of the property, which is about a mile wide. If you don't need the suite or the kitchen, I would advise staying at the Royal. Everything is pretty much there or farther to the Coral and Marina. There is a nice pool for the Reef, and while it is only supposed to be for the guests of the Reef and Cove, no one was really checking. The chairs by the pool are padded, and each has a cover that can be pulled up for shade. This is a nice feature, but doesn't shade the whole chair, and there are no umbrellas by this pool, so when one of my daughters got sunburned, she couldn't sit with us at that pool. There are lots of trees, but not enough to full shade anywhere. The Cove and Reef buildings shade different areas of the pool depending on the time of day. There is a picture of the pool.

Now, to the all important chairs and how you get them. There are no silly rules here about not leaving your chair for an hour or they are taken, etc. The first few days if you got out there by 9am, you could get a number of chairs. All you have to do is put something personal on them and it's yours for the day. As the week went on, you had to get up earlier, especially if you were interested in particular chairs. By the last day I was up at 7 for the pick of the pool. There are so many chairs on the property, though, that you can pretty much find a chair or two any time of day if you're willing to walk around. For the cabanas, I would say don't bother. They were all sold out, but they started at $320/day, were very small (only 2 lounge chairs each) and generally in the shade and not in good locations.

If you go, you need to be ok with a sea of humanity. Everywhere. No matter where you go. Just masses and masses of people. The place is big, so it accommodates them for the most part, but it is just people everywhere. Unfortunately, that also meant that the lines for the water slides were very long. My kids gave up on them early, and the river ride (sort of a not so lazy river) was great but got very clogged up during the day. If you are going primarily for the water park, you will be disappointed if it's spring break and the lines are 45 minutes to an hour for the best slides.

Food. Tried many of the restaurants. The food you get at the pools outside wasn't all that expensive ($15 for a burger) but there wasn't much variety and after a few days the kids were tired of it. The restaurants were kit and miss. Murray's we liked, and it was reasonable. The Pizzeria was also good (just take out pizzas) and reasonable. The Point was terrible. Just a pool restaurant they're trying to pass off as something better. Skipped Nobu. Did try Seafire (steak - $50-$90, not cooked correctly) and Casa D'Angelo, which was the best restaurant we dined in on property. The breakfast buffet at Poseiden's table was good, much better than the cafe by the big aquarium. It will cost you $35/person. AND, you will be charged 15% gratuity for everything you eat, and 7.5% VAT is also on everything. Just figure an extra 22.5% for all of your food. There is a Patisserie in the Royal and a couple Starbucks on property for some quick bites. We fared much better off property - Cafe Matisse was the best meal hands down all week, and we also enjoyed the Poop Deck. We also went to the marina area several evenings.
Dinners at the fine dining places can run $100-200/person. If you are coming at a busy time, make your reservations before you come. They are very hard to come by once you get there, and you can cancel up to 4pm that day. They will charge you $50/person if you don't cancel by that time and don't show up.

OK, Dolphin Cay. I would say you should do at last one marine experience, and if you do, go early or stay late. You can hang at Dolphin Cay and pretty much see the shallow water shows and many of the tricks. We did the deep water encounter, and while they said it was supposed to be 60-90 minutes, that is not with the dolphins. It's pretty much a 30 minute deal whether shallow or deep. We got the pet the dolphin, then get pushed by our feet, then pulled by the fin. About 20 feet for each. Then you swim out into the deep water and the dolphin swims and you are supposed to be able to pet it, but our dolphin liked hanging by the trainer. He swam around a bit, though, and it was fun to be close. The shallow water had a group of 8 for each trainer/dolphin (as did we) and they stood in shallow water while the dolphin did a series of tricks. It seemed like a better show, but they are pretty similar experiences. It was $200 for the deep water, then they will charge you for pictures. It was $90 for 6 photos you could pick.

We were 5 people most of the week, and went grocery shopping in town the first day, so we ate breakfasts in and got our own beverages and snacks and we still spent nearly $4000 extra for the week on food and the dolphin experience. If you are going to be concerned or even cranky about spending ridiculous amounts of money, this is not the place you should go. Even the groceries were 2-3 times what they are at home. For us, it was just too crowded and cool, so the things we had hoped would really make the week for us just didn't work all that well. We will not be returning. I will say that I had read reviews that the service was bad and the people weren't friendly, but that is not what I experienced. While it was island service, it was mostly pretty good and almost everyone I encountered was very friendly and wanting to help.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank eap111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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