Atlantis is located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and is an ultra family friendly destination.
We flew from Chicago’s Midway Airport via Southwest Airlines into Fort Lauderdale Airport and then transferred to Nassau via a short flight that felt like 20 minutes of total flying time. Passports are needed for children and everyone entering the Bahamas.
Once we landed we had pre- arranged a driver through Atlantis to pick us up via a town car and take us the short 30 minute drive to Atlantis.
The hotel lobby is stunning. We stayed at the Towers and opted to splurge on the beach front room. It was such a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean and crystal blue waters set against a creme colored sand.
Our room was renovated nicely although we did have trouble during our stay with the water being shut off mid day.
We were happy that we opted to buy the meal plan ahead of time that included breakfast and dinners. We purchased the trident meal plan and we are glad we did as it saved money and had great dining options.
We immediately explored the hotel upon check in and suited up into our bathing suits to hit the water park.
Our daughter is 47.5” and they are very strict on the 48” to ride any of the water slides including the shark tunnel water slide. We had a crying child on our hands after finding that fact out a little late.
We planned to swim with the sea lions on our second day and it was cute. It feels more like an Instagram photoshoot at times and we found it frustrating that they don’t allow you to take your own photos. They sell you 5 digital images for $100 after all the animal encounters or all images
We also swam with the dolphins which Olivia isn’t old enough to do in the states at Discovery Cove but in the Bahamas there were children of alll ages including babies on our dolphin experience. In full disclosure the animal encounters really felt more like photo ops and props. Brian and I have swam with the dolphins in Orlando and that was more experiential than Atlantis.
Our favorite places to dine were Cafe Martinique, Chopstix and Seafire.
A few things we didn’t like were that none of the pools were heated at all. In January that’s tough for adults with thin skin. Also the pools close at 5pm. I’m not sure if that changes in the summer with longer days but 5pm seemed early. They won’t allow you to swim when the lifeguard leaves either.
The beaches at the resort were gorgeous. However these beaches are scarier than the gulf coast of FL and the beaches we experienced in Grand Cayman. Those beaches have a very shallow and long entry. The beaches of Paradise Island have an immediate and steep drop off. Their waves and rip currents can be scary. In fact we saw a small baby and his 3 year old sister tossed to the shore and almost badly hurt. Use extreme caution with little ones at this beach.
There are a few beach vendors who ask if you want to jet ski, get your hair braided and buy tropical beverages. We opted for hair braids and let a local woman braid our both our hair. $7 a braid adds up fast but they were really cute and it allowed us some sun bathing time while Olivia was kept occupied by her hair stylist.
We had looked at taking an excursion to swim with the pigs on Exuma Island but when we found out the boat ride is 2 hours one way we knew our 5 year old would not be able to tolerate such a long day on the beach. Unfortunately we had to table the swimming with the pigs for now.
Overall we enjoyed Atlantis and loved the fact that once we arrived we never left the enormous resort all week. It’s completely self contained and has so much for families to do. You can spend an entire day at the beach. There is a casino and Marina Village has great shopping and dining.
Our main tips would be to invest in the dining plan, choose one or 2 animal encounters and be cautious at the beach.
We can’t wait to come back to Atlantis next year.