Atlantis Bahamas First Impressions: Good, Bad & Ugly

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Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review

This week my wife, daughter and I are splitting our time between two beach resorts. (Our son is holding down the fort at home!) The first resort of the week is Atlantis in the Bahamas where we are now. We will then be moving on to Cancun to review a brand new all inclusive hotel on the Riviera Maya.

Our Atlantis stay is free thanks to my Total Rewards Diamond membership gained through Founderscard. As part of the deal, we get 4 free nights in the “Beach Towers” (yuck) including a waived resort fee. Diamond members can also get a 4 night stay in the Coral Towers (slightly less yuck), but the resort fee isn’t waived. The Coral Towers are closed for renovation right now so we didn’t have a choice.

This Isn’t the Atlantis You Know!

At this point you may be wondering which of those buildings you see in the ads are the Beach & Coral Towers. Well, the answer is they (mostly) aren’t in the ads. Generally, the ads feature the Royal Towers (the one with the bridge suite between the buildings) and the luxurious Cove and Reef Towers. And that is for good reason.

The Coral and Beach Towers are the moderate and budget options at Atlantis. They weren’t built with the rest of the hotel, but instead were previously standing buildings that were encompassed into the new property. Thus, they are far from everything and in the case of the Beach Towers are pretty run down. I sort of think they look like a step above a prison. 😉

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Beach Towers. Ok they don’t look THAT bad!

So the outside actually isn’t that bad despite being pretty basic, but the inside is rundown. Among the complaints on Trip Advisor are dirty rooms, broken everything and even some bed bugs. I am not going to lie, the place is WORN.

While we haven’t had any bed bug issues (thank god), we have noticed this place shows its age. Our first room had a broken door lock, our second room had a broken tv, the walls and doors are banged up badly and the ice machine is in the service area?!?

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Get your ice!

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review

The truth is the rooms aren’t terrible. If everything is working, they are serviceable 2.5-3 star rooms. I have certainly stayed in worse. Our first room had a rooftop and parking lot view, but we asked to be moved due to our confirmation saying “Waterview” and we were given a darn good view. Our balcony now overlooks the pool, beach and those towers that they actually show in the ads!

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Our initial view.
Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Our new view.

Speaking of water, the Beach Towers have a pool nearby, along with the ocean and a lazy river. For the waterslides, rapids river and other pools you have to walk about 10-15 minutes to the main section of the water park. Not a huge deal, but you do sort of feel like you are staying “off property”.

Some More Thoughts

As someone who lives in Vegas, visits a lot of theme parks and who has been to a lot of beach resorts, I am sort of unimpressed. Let me say that I researched this property and the Beach Towers before coming and my feelings are in line with what Trip Advisor and other reviews have said. In other words Atlantis is about what I expected.

Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Royal Towers Lobby and aquarium.
Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Atlantis Beach.
Atlantis Beach Towers Initial Review
Atlantis River Rapids! Very fun.

Yes, the water park is gorgeous and the aquariums are nice. The property is fun to walk around and there are definitely some beautiful pictures to take. But, it doesn’t offer much that I can’t find elsewhere. I mean the rapids river was fun and the slides are good, but those can be found in most water parks. 

The biggest issue for me as someone who is staying in the Beach Towers is the cost and the size of the resort. Sure, I am not paying on this trip, but I think about those who are. The average room in the Beach Tower goes for $300+ when you factor in the mandatory tips and resort fee. That is TOO MUCH!

Bottom Line

There are many things that I like about Atlantis but it isn’t as unique as their ads would have you think. The property is immense and beautiful, the prices are high and overall it probably isn’t a good value. With that said, we are having a great time with the baby and I’m glad I am getting a chance to experience it. (For FREE!) I’ll have a full review later.


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22 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Bahamas. I’m not impressed with Atlantis at all. I’m sure you’re really underwhelmed compared to LV.
    My suggestion is next time book a cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas and just do the shore excursion to Atlantis to use the pools, pet dolphins or whatever. It’s not really too bad and cruises to the Bahamas are super cheap…plus the rooms and service will be better.

  2. Did you ever double check on if you have to gamble a certain amount to keep the rooms free since it is a “gambling” offer? I thought I had read some people ran into that issue. Thanks for the post – great info!

    • With the Diamond Status trip you do not have to gamble a certain amount to keep this trip Free. Of course they expect you to gamble. If you do not meet their play expectations, you will not be invited back. That’s pretty much it. We are high level players with Harrah’s/Caesars and have been comped 4 nights in the Cove at Atlantis, so at $700+ per night I made sure I was crystal clear on the rules.
      We travel often thru casino player programs for land based and cruise lines and are extremely familiar with casino programs stateside and abroad. Hope this helps.

      • Awesome – thank you! I also earned my status the hard way but just wanted to see if there were some unwritten rules you needed to follow. Should have booked the room last year when I was Asp 2 instead of this year when I will most likely not get above Asp 1.

  3. The wife and I stayed in the Royal Tower for free and it was pretty awesome. We also did a couple nights at the Comfort Suites across the road (free water park access is included) and that was much more reasonably priced vs the regular Royal Tower rate. The room was clean and comfortable although a bit dated but a great deal with Atlantis access.

  4. Well, Shawn, at least you’re in the Bahamas while those of us back in (most of) the US are freezing. Enjoy your free vacation.

  5. Thank you so much. The commercials make it look like the best vacation and we have often wondered if we missed out with our choices at beaches in TCI and aruba and I am glad to know we made the better choice and can move on to other vacations outside of the Caribbean in the future.

  6. I took a cruise to the Bahamas last year. It was cheaper for me to book a room at the Comfort Suites next to Atlantis than it was to do the Atlantis shore excursion (2 adults and 2 kids). The rooms were very nice at the Comfort Suites and included passes to use the waterpark at Atlantis. You could book the room using Choice Privileges points too. We tried checking in to the hotel right away in the morning, but our room wasn’t ready. The worker at the front desk gave us our vouchers for the Atlantis waterpark wristbands. We walked to Atlantis, picked up our wristbands, and just put our clothes/passports into an overpriced locker. I’m glad we went, but I don’t think I need to go back again.
    Just for the record, you can use Marriott points to book rooms at Atlantis too. The Royal towers that you see pictured in all of the TV commercials is a category 8 property.

    • Thanks Barry. The Comfort Suites trick is one I am going to mention in a future write up. It is just as close as the Beach Towers and many say it is nicer. As you say, it also can be cheaper coming off a cruise to get the room instead of paying for day passes.

      • I just did it on a cruise. Spent 12000 spg points for a room (35000 marriott points), instead of 4 passes which I understand could have cost $500 +.
        Nice cheese and fruit plate with 2 sodas as a platinum, passes to use the facilities, water bottles, etc.
        Resort fee and tips are about $70. I thought it was worth it for the day. Beautiful beach, kids enjoyed rhe water park an the aquarium. Long walk though. Did not gamble, but the casino looked very nice.

        • Ricardo-you can transfer 5334 spg points to 5334 amtrak guest rewards. Then transfer 5334 amtrak GR points to choice privileges points for a sum total of 16000 points. Book the Comfort Suite Paradise Island at a rate of 16,000 points and get free passes. Resort fees should/could be less (depends on age and guest additions after 2 per room). Do status match to get some extra benefits. Hope this helps.

  7. Man, your standards suck. That place is a dump. I wouldn’t bring my family and stay in that dump if they paid me.

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