We went to Nassau, Bahamas and stayed on Paradise Island two days after Hurricane Matthew (the largest hurricane to hit the Bahamas in 87 years! lucky us!). As a result, our experience wasn’t exactly the dream vacation that we were looking for. However, the island is very nice (even post-hurricane), albeit very expensive (seriously, budget for this one), and a place we could see ourselves returning to at some point in the future.
For our trip, we had planned to primarily stay on-site at the Atlantis resort, although we had hoped to venture into Nassau to see the Pirate Museum and some other sites downtown. Unfortunately, the hurricane caused damage at the pirate museum and it was closed while we were on the island. Therefore, we never ventured off of Paradise Island and into downtown Nassau. For our next trip the Bahamas, we would probably try to see another island, but we’d also like to go back to Atlantis and try to do some of the things that we missed due to the hurricane.
Unique to Bahamas – Paradise Island:
- Atlantis Resort (aquarium, waterpark, casino, fine dining)
- Pirate History points of interest
- Snorkeling at the Clifton Heritage Park’s underwater sculpture garden
Visit the Atlantis Resort – The Atlantis Resort is just a beautiful in real life as it looks in pictures. And they have a lot of things to do. Unfortunately, when we were there, most of those things were closed due to the hurricane. Since our entire visit to the Bahamas we stayed on Paradise Island, I’m going to discuss some of the things that guests can and should do at the Atlantis resort.
- Visit the Aquaventure Water Park – The Atlantis Waterpark is small, but beautiful. They have some really neat slides on their Mayan Temple (one goes through a shark tank!) and the Power Tower. They’re also supposed to have 2 different lazy rivers, a small one and a larger rapids river. That being said, they were all closed when we visited the island (due to the Hurricane) so all we got to do was look at them. We did get to ride the smaller kid slides and we spent the rest of our day just chilling in the Grotto Pool which is easily the most beautiful pool onsite.
- Walk through the beautiful Aquarium – The Aquarium at Atlantis is absolutely stunning. The fish are very colorful and diverse and the scenery is amazing. It was also really neat how it was built in the tunnels underneath the resort. The planning that it took to build the entire complex is just unreal. They also have a moat full of turtles and another with sharks outside. It’s really neat.
- Walk around the grounds – The grounds at Atlantis are beautiful. We walked all over and never saw it all (note, lots of paths were closed due to hurricane clean-up). It’s also really easy to find your way around because the pink Royal Towers are always in view for a reference point.
- Eat Dinner and pretend you’re fancy – Or maybe you are fancy. Either way, the price tag and the setting will make you feel like you are, even if you aren’t. We had a couple of fun date nights pretending.
- Visit the Casino – The casino at Atlantis has just about everything you’d want to do, slots (look for Karate Pig – the bonus level is so cute!), table games, and even a sports betting area. If you are lucky enough to win big, they have lots of shops with luxury goods to help you spend your money.
- Visit the beach – There are two different beaches at Atlantis, the Cove Beach and one by the Coral Towers. There are vendors renting jet skis and other things at the Coral Towers beach. The Cove Beach is beautiful and the one we visited (see picture below). It wasn’t crowded at all, but had a decent amount of seaweed in the water (possibly because of the hurricane). There is also an interior beach alongside the pond area. I’m not sure why you would visit that one with the beautiful ocean just a few extra steps away.
- Paid Extras – If you’re up for it, Atlantis has lots of things that you can pay extra to do such as swim with dolphins or snorkel the ruins. We didn’t opt to do any of these things (due to the cost), but it’s definitely worth looking into.
Next time I visit Bahamas – Nassau/Paradise Island:
- Visit the Pirate Museum
- Go snorkeling at Clifton Heritage Park
- Visit other Bahama Islands
In the Bahamas they drive the British-way (on the left side of the road) therefore, we opted to just take a taxi from the airport to our hotel. It was easy. Taxis line up in front of the airport and the cost to get from the airport to the hotel was $42 (per online, it ranges from $35-40). We didn’t care about the extra couple of dollars, they just had a hurricane for goodness sakes. We also had to pay a $2 toll to go over the Paradise Island bridge. No big deal. Returning to the airport, our concierge at the hotel had a taxi waiting. Again, $40 and a piece of cake.
Comfort Suites at Paradise Island – Okay, we didn’t actually stay on-site at Atlantis, because that place is expensive (in my opinion!) yikes. But, I think we got a great deal from CheapCaribbean.com where we paid $750/person for a package including flights and a 3-night stay at the Comfort Suites. The best thing about the Comfort Suites is that each room gets 4 wristbands for the Atlantis Resort which lets you do the Aquaventure Waterpark and the wristbands are good for your entire stay. Those wristbands cost a lot if you buy them separately ($140 each per adult and $80 per child per day!). So I highly recommend staying somewhere that the wristbands are included. The Comfort Suites is also located next door to the Atlantis resort and it’s an easy walk through the Marina village to get to the resort. Those are the good things about the Comfort Suites.
Now for the not-so-great things about the Comfort Suites. It is not a luxury hotel. It is comparable to a Hampton Inn or a Marriott Fairfield Inn. Very clean, just nothing fancy about it. There are absolutely no rooms in the hotel that have a nice view. Our view was of the wall of the Atlantis convention center and overlooked the dumpster. The other side of the hotel is of the parking garage across the street and maybe the top floors can see Nassau. Bottom line, ocean views don’t exist at the Comfort Suites, so don’t even get your hopes up. Also, the staff is somewhat awful with the exception of the bellhop. They are very rude and unhelpful. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were preoccupied because of the hurricane, but I was not impressed by the staff. Also, the deal through CheapCaribbean supposedly gets you an upgrade. The hotel was only half-booked and we didn’t get one, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up about that. Expect the room that you paid for.
Now, all of that being said, we would stay at the Comfort Suites again in a heartbeat because it’s a great value. I’m just managing expectations and you’ll have a great experience.
Restaurants/ Meals & Drinks:
Anthony’s – We actually ended up going to Anthony’s spur of the moment for brunch the day we flew out because the waterpark was closed and we had some time to kill. That being said, the food was good and it was the cheapest meal we ate on the island ($50 for two).
Murray’s Deli – We ate at Murray’s deli for lunch one day because I had read some good reviews online. It’s was very good and their menu is incredibly long. They had a lot of choices, so it was hard to decide. No complaints other than a bit overpriced.
Olives – I really thought that we couldn’t go wrong with an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, and I had gotten my hopes up about Olives. Therefore, I was a little bit underwhelmed. The food was fine, it just didn’t quite measure up in terms of the cost IMO ($150 for two, food only). Click here for the full review.
Seafire – Seafire was the most expensive restaurant that we visited, but it was also the best! My plate was absolutely delicious and Brian enjoyed his as well. We recommend it, just budget accordingly ($200 for two, food only). Click here for the full review.
Shark Bites – We ate at the Shark Bites to go (it was one of the few restaurants open). It’s standard water park food (burgers, chicken strips, etc.) located right next to the grotto pool. Overpriced a bit, but no different than any other theme park we’ve ever visited ($40 for two).
Tips/ Things to Know:
- Atlantis is EXPENSIVE!!! Not saying that you shouldn’t go, just budget for it. 🙂
- Read some online about crime in Nassau. We can’t confirm that because we never ventured off of Atlantis, but I recommend being smart travelers and keeping your money under close eye.
My Time Spent on the Island:
- 2 days (originally supposed to be 3 nights and 3 days total) in October 2017 at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island