Beautiful, but needs a new staff A review of The Cove Atlantis
We spent 6 nights at the Cove, Atlantis and absolutely adored the ability to be near Atlantis' activities, but in a gorgeous setting with lovely rooms. We traveled with our 15 year old daughter and her friend, and enjoyed the adjoining rooms connected by a private vestibule. But from the moment we attempted to check in, the horrendous service that characterized the entire stay was evident. This is not a Ritz Carlton, a Four Seasons, or close to any of the nicer hotels in South Beach. The staff is pretentious and acts like they are doing you a favor to check and see if your room is ready at 3:30 when they guarantee check in by 3:00. Each afternoon the lobby is filled with tired looking travelors, and the staff never attempts to rectify the problem. But the experience with check in pales next to the staff's decision to freeze our room keys without telling us in the middle of the day Wed. because of problems with credit authorization (this even though the rooms were prepaid, and they were only concerned with food and phone charges). No one at the desk knew the card was purposefully frozen, so they kept giving my husband new keys, and couldn't understand why it wouldn't work. He wasted an hour and a half of a sunny afternoon before they realized the problem, and that it was a computer glitch from the beginning. Did they even send an apology note? Nothing but attitude. This pretentious attitude was again in evidence by the new adult pool staff. The pool opened the week of our stay, and we saw people using it and wandered over. A security person stopped us and told us the pool was only for people staying at the Cove. When we displayed our Cove bracelets, he further explained that today was invitation only before it opened. Since we had never been told that the pool wouldn't be open, and told on check in that it would be open Wed, we were more than perplexed on Wed. when we were not allowed to use our pool's hotel. Ultimately, the hotel seems to be using its swanky South Beach styled new pool as a perk for high rollers at Atlantis. We visited the next day, after being told that we couldn't enter from the beach, and found it to be a lovely area, if only the Cove employees were replaced by the pool staff from the other Atlantis properties. These people are helpful and friendly. They laughed when I told them how staff at the Cove had told us it would be a five minute walk under a breezeway to the Royal Towers. No one at the Cove had bothered to take the walk and discover that the only entrance to the Royal Towers is through the Spa, which closes at 10. Then the walk involves doubling back through the lagoons and pools, and is an additional 15 minutes.
On a high note, the food at Mesa, Bobby Flay's new restaurant is superb, as was his staff. The food at Mosaic, the Cove's buffet restaurant, is uneven. And the staff, like everywhere else, was unpleasant.