The Reef Atlantis
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
The Reef is superb, rooms were over the top.
I just got back and was in awe of the new Reef.
I got a Harbor view close to the beach on the 9th floor.
It was stunning, the view of the beach was close enough
to hear the waves yet high enough to see the cruise ships coming and going, along with spectacular sunsets.
The room a "studio" had granite countertops with a sink,
refrigerator, microwave, small dishwasher, blender stovetop.
The bed and pullout couch were first rate, (my wife and 2 kids
had plenty of room)
The bathrooms could only be discribed as "wow".
double sinks in granite, a rain type shower with marble
a beautiful tub with artwork around the entire area and
frosted divides along with a flat screen TV.
The main room had a table for two, two chairs a pull out couch
a large flat screen TV, and a mini bar type of area with glasses
a toaster, Computer hookup etc.
The room even had a tray type ceiling and that looked like
it was about 10' high .
The service and security were wonderful, They made you feel
like a vip. (I guess that's because a number of sports and other personalities have bought condos at the Reef, [each unit is privately owned.])
The food at the Atlantis is not cheap, but the rooms and service
at the Reef are over the top. The drinks around the pools are
resonable $7.50 compared to the Cove's Cain pool which I heard were more expensive (I heard but could not validate this)
The beach in front of the Reef is beautiful, protected and uncrowded. I am returning for Easter.
If you don't mind not using the Cove's Cain pool, (which we
did not) The Reef is magnificent and better priced then the Cove. There is no comparison between the Royal/Coral towers
and the Reef/Cove area. It's like two seperate resorts both
wonderful, but the Reef/Cove area is special.
It's Not Perfect, But We Can't Wait to Go Back !!!
Yeah, the food is expensive, and the service isn't always the best, but it's the Bahamas, mon! Take it in stride, sit back and relax, and get ready to have a great time.
Atlantis has always never been cheap, so if you're on a tight budget, this may not be the vacation for you. It's been several years since we last visited Atlantis, and the growth is absolutely amazing. One thing my husband never liked was the "cattle car" feel of the Royal Towers, particularly when the cruise ships were in port. Staying at The Reef is an entirely different experience. One of the bellmen told us that many celebrities stay at The Reef and its sister building, The Cove, so security is really tight. You have access to all of the Atlantis resort, but if you're not staying at either building, you can't get past security in the lobby. It makes it feel more exclusive, safer, and dramatically cuts down on the traffic through the common areas. Even over the New Year's holiday, things never became unmanageable. Service at The Reef and The Cove also seemed to be a cut above the rest of the resort.
There will be times that you don't feel like getting up and going out for breakfast, and having a refrigerator with limited kitchen facilities is a godsend. (They also have a FULL Starbucks cafe in the lobby.) When I'm on vacation, I have no intention of cooking, and don't really get the idea of a one/two bedroom suite with a Sub Zero refrigerator, GE Monogram oven, and full washer/dryer. The four of us (two adults and two children) stayed in what they call a "junior suite", and had more than enough room. The bathroom was incredibly spacious, with a small flat screen TV that you can watch from the tub or when doing your makeup. On the second floor they have complementary (free!!!) washers and dryers that only guests at The Reef can use. (I hate getting home from vacation and having to do the laundry. This way, my husband and kids had clean socks and underwear when it came time to deal with reality.)
We booked an ocean view room, and lucked out when we assigned to a junior suite with a wrap around balcony that overlooked the Dolphin Encounter, Royal Towers, water park, Cove, and of course, the ocean. The view was spectacular, and clearly the finest vantage point in the entire resort. (Our friends had the same room several doors down, and didn't have half the view. The wrap around balcony really does make a difference. My only complaint is that there should have been a lounge chair.) When the kids went to sleep, we would sit out on the balcony with a bottle of wine, and just admire the view. When the kids got up in the morning, they'd go out on the balcony and watch the dolphins with their trainers. (Make sure to bring a good set of binoculars, and ask for one of the "902" rooms on a high floor.)
Just accept Atlantis for what it is, and enjoy your time in Paradise (Island).
You know that you're in trouble when...
You know that you're in trouble when Starbucks food is the best deal in town.
The room was nice. Was it nicer than others of that price range-no. But had a good sized tv, a decent computer option, a well-organized kitchenette, nice linens, a roomy and pretty bathroom area.
We arrived late-ish and the kids wanted a family treat-room service! Menu looked ok too. But really, a piece, a piece of cheesecake for $20.00?! Some spaghetti for $38.00?! So, no.
The pools were all pretty, the grounds meticulous. Entertainment at the pools was good. Lots of screaming kids. The booths at the pools which had meals for not-too-bad prices still charged 15% to hand you a burger or a drink. And then had the audacity to add in a line for "extra gratuity". No. The expensive restaurants-good, but does a buffet have to cost $60.00 too?!
There were kids/teen clubs. $18.00. No. The kids enjoyed the dolphin experience.
In general, there was very little to do when the sun went down, which is good for a family like mine-we got to spend more time together, but it would not have been bad to have a little bit more happening.
So no, I'm not going to say that it was my favorite vacation, though my kids seemed to like it. I think I'd prefer an all-inclusive or a good S. Florida hotel, both with less stress due to the hugely inflated prices and mandatory tipping even if there is no service, and few after-sun options. And, my mistake, I didn't realize that the weather could be so variable!
A pretty spot, but I don't get it.
Good place to stay w/ kids
We chose The Reef because it seemed like the logical choice with 3 kids (ages 5, 8, & 12), a sitter, and 2 other families with children and sitters. The rooms (our family had a one bedroom deluxe and an oceanview studio) were appointed nicely, but not as high scale as the Cove. We have stayed in the Cove, Royal Towers, and Harborside. The Cove is the best, in my opinion, but with the kids, I liked the idea of the refrigerator and the washer/dryer and Harborside is so far away from everything.
Since the nannies were with us and took the kids most of the day, we would have liked to have had access to the Cain pool, but we made due. The Reef's pool is fine, but no cabanas (the hubbies wanted to watch football, but had to go to the sports bar, when they would have rathered paid for a cabana at The Cain, like they did last visit). The kids loved the waterslides (our second trip since Aquaventure opened) and were worn out by days end every day. We did the dolphin swim (3rd time), which the kids love. The sitters also took them to the movies almost every night.
The kids ate at Johnny Rockets or ordered in most nights while the adults went out to dinner, with the exception of the one night that we all went to Carmine's. We went to Bahamian Club (best lobster thermidor ever), Nobu, and Mesa (twice). We also ventured over to Dune one night. All were very good. We never had any service problems, but food did take a while to arrive. We weren't in a hurry, so it just gave us time for a few more drinks. We had breakfast at Mosaic twice, and the other days, just grabbed something at Starbucks in the lobby.
New years eve, the adults went to Aura and had an absolute blast. The bill for 6 of us was over $6,000, but we rang in the New Year with Cristal, so what do you expect? Most nights we went to the casino, which is not Vegas, but sufficient. I won, hubby lost. We went to the comedy club, which was ok, nothing too special.
The only real problem we had was that housekeeping only came twice in the 5 nights we were there. I am a neat freak, so the rooms basically stayed clean, but we had to call down 3 times for towels and tp. Also, the sheets are not the 600+ thread count that you get at the Cove and the towels aren't the same quality.
We were away from the room most of our visit and brought more clothes than necessary, so we didn't really use the washer/dryer or refrigerator. We will probably stay at the Cove next time, but the Reef was fine too.
The Reef First Hand
We stayed for 6 nights at The Reef in a one bedroom deluxe ocean suite.....here's the catch. Even though we were up on the 11th floor and did have an ocean view, you could never hear the ocean. They have generators on the rooftop of the Cove and their restaurant that continually make noise. We had to close our balconey doors at night to drown out the generator noise. It was such a ridiculous notion that you could spend $1500 a night to stay in such a great looking suite and end up with that. There were some general bugs to iron out but I turned out to be handy in that after 3 attempts to get staff to figure out why the washer/dryer combo unit was not working, I simply moved it away from the wall, plugged the unit in, and turned the water on myself. Also, housekeeping did not show up at all 3 of the days we stayed....I had to call them at 5:00 p.m. and then we had to shower while they were cleaning the room so that we could make our 6:00 dinner reservations. Good times. Also, be sure to carefully check your bill.....they tacked on 6 days of housekeeping fees even though I already paid that in the initial hotel booking price....double-dipping at its worst. This added on an additional $400.00 to our bill that we had management remove. Well, on a positive note, the staff directly at The Reef were very nice and tried to be accommodating. We stayed at The Royal Towers back in 1998 and vowed to never return after that treatment. Sol Kerzner group really trying to improve employees attitudes towards the tourists here. Staff was cheerful and smiling. Oh, one last thing. Dinner each night at the hotel's properties would run anywhere from $300.00 to $350.00. This is for a family of 2 adults/2 children. 1-2 appetizers, 4 entrees, 1-2 desserts and bottled water and maybe 1-2 glasses of wine. Pathetic. They have a trick in the restaurants when you order the bottled water-they don't ask you if you want another bottle. They continually come to your table and pour the bottle and then just open another and keep going. This would tack on another $20.00 to the bill. It became a joke to see how quick the waiter would come over to the table and top off the water glasses just so he could open another bottle. Keep on eye on that one!
My extended family stayed at The Reef over the Christmas holiday and had a great time.
Hotel: Beautifully decorated, modern, clean. Love the trendy music they pump through outdoor speakers so you have a soundtrack to walk around to. There's a Starbucks (also serves drinks and has salads/sandwiches for sale) and a Convenience Store (milk, bread, treats) in the lobby. The resort shuttle comes about every 10 minutes, but the grounds are easily walkable and give you the chance to explore. The Mesa Grill restaurant is right next door and floods the air with delicious smells all day!
Also, the resort grounds are very stroller-friendly, with smooth walkways and lots of elevators.
Rooms: Both the one-bedroom suties and studios were spacious, clean, and had all the amenities you need, including kitchen supplies/appliances. Everyone gets a terrace with a nice view of the beach or across to the big island. Pull-out couches are available in both rooms and were comfortable. The hotel will also bring you an Aero Bed at your request. The mini bar is equipped with motion sensors so if you even touch something, you automatically get charged!
Service: Approachable, gracious and super-polite. You can always locate someone in and around the lobby to help (whether they have the answer you're looking for can go wither way). Service throughout the resort can be slow: it took a few hours for the Aero Bed to appear, the woman who was cleaning our room when we arrived home for lunch said she would "return soon" but didn't come back until we called the main desk after dinner. It's the island attitude, mon.
Beaches/pools: The Reef pool is beautiful and not nearly as crowded as the main pools by Royal Tower. Your Reef wristband (you need to get a new one each day from the nearby poolhouse) gets you everywhere you need to go. The beach chairs always went fast, but getting down there by 9/9:30 should secure you a few. Ocean water was cool in late-December, but there were still many swimmers. You may want to bring water shoes or sandals because the shallow waters have rocks/reefs on the ocean floor (hence the name of the hotel, I suppose).
Water attractions: Great! Of course, lines got long in the afternoon, but waiting is half the fun when you're on a tube or filled with nervous energy above a shark-infested pool. DOn't forget suncreen. Before you know it, you've spent half the day on the lazy river and have a nice burn to show for it.
Restaurants: We had a good sampling of the restaurants and the service was always polite. Food took a while to appear in most sit-down places, so plan ahead or try to eat during off-peak hours, especially if you ahve a large group. Reservations can be made after you arrive, or even the day of, but you need to be flexible. The quality of food was higher than I expected, but it was expensive (not a shock, really). We enjoyed "bargain-hunting" for the cheapest poolside burger (all the way at the Beach Tower end,$7. $10 at the food shack closest to The Reef).
Tap water is fine to drink as are ice cubes, although the resort will tell you tap water is a "precious commodity"...code for "buy our $7 bottled water."
Groceries: A 10-minute cab ride will get you across the bridge to the nicely-stocked Winn-Dixie grocery store. Amazingly, milk and bread were cheap! Cheetos, not so much. If you have room in your suitcase, bring some cereal, snacks, etc. and pick up drinks and perishables at the grocery store. The Reef rooms have all silverware, fridges, plates, glasses, pots/pans, dishwashers, etc.
Overall, the vacation was FANTASTIC. I would recommend The Reef for all types of travellers: families, couples, groups, young, old. Everyone knows what it'll cost you to vacation on Paradise Island, so don't let it discourage you: a positive attitude will definitely get you your money's worth.
The Reef Atlantis - no regard for customer service!
We have just arrived from a 6 night, 7 day trip at the Reef Atlantis.
Upon entering our room, our door was wide open and it appeared that someone had been napping prior to our arrival. Our minibar would not open so we called the engineer to fix this problem which someone promptly did. Ignoring our do not disturb sign, we received a call at 2:30 am waking us up that someone would be arriving to fix the minibar
which we told them was taken care of. From this day forward, nothing went right. Our room was only cleaned twice in the week we were there,
even after alerting the management. Our shower did not drain and after
being assured that it would be taken care of, never was attended to. Room service was late and would mess up orders. As much as we complained to the management, they would turn a deaf ear. My sister and brother-in-law spent a lot of money on their "suites" and received
even worse service and they were greeted with a disgusting clogged toilet upon check-in. All week every person we would talk to had nothing but complaints with management seeming to not care at all. I would NEVER recommend this place and left a very expensive vacation completely stressed out. This is not a review from a regular complainer, I would just like to save people their hard earned vacation days and dollars.
For a family with small children,. this was fabulous. The quality of the rioom was incredible. The kitchenette was really handy for feeding our small children. The location near the beaches and the pools was wonderful. The staff bent over backwards to help. The only downside is the price. If you're not staying too long, just go, because it really is fantastic....
Für eine Familie mit kleinen Kindern war es fantastisch. Die Qualität des Zimmers war unglaublich. Die Küchennische war echt praktisch, um das Essen für unsere kleinen Kinder zuzubereiten. Die Lage in der Nähe der Strände und Pools war wundervoll. Die Angestellten gaben sich allergrößte Mühe, um behilflich zu sein. Der einzige Nachteil ist der Preis. Wenn Sie nicht allzu lange bleiben, dann kommen Sie einfach hierher, da es echt fantastisch ist...
Atlantis is truley a place to visit.... if you love to have fun!!!
The initial feel of this hotel was "Did we make a mistake?" There where kids all over the place. I was waiting for Mickey Mouse or Dora the Explorer to come running through the lobby with balloons. Since I have no kids I could only think about the pools and attractions being filled with screaming and whining rich kids wanting their $15.00 ice cream.
Now for the truth. We stayed at the Reef hotel which is basically like a nice Holiday Inn. The way to go is either the Royal Towers or the Cove (bad thing about the Cove is that it's a hike and the pool there is reserved for the young clubbers that like to think they are on MTV's Spring Break). If you can afford the Ocean Club and are looking to find peace and quiet then stay there (we are planning to return and stay there next year). Either way, you will not spend much time in your room anyway. The attractions at this place are incredible and this is what makes this worth the $350 +/- per night room rate.
The "kid factor" was minimal since this place is huge and we could always find a place at the pool to sit. We have our secret areas so I am not telling. Ths casino was nice and for the most part not crowded and we actually won enough money there to pay for NOBU and Mesa Grill (Both excellent restaurants).
All in all, I would recomend this "mega" resort to all that want to have fun in the sun!
Enjoy your time!
TripAdvisor Reviews The Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
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... tasty conch chowder and watched the game in our room. My husband Facetimed his brother, and we got to "meet" our 2 day old grand nephew (my in- laws first great grandbaby and my father in law's namesake. :)
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