Seeking to build a resort that would be like no other, South African hotel magnate Soz Kerzner, built the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas in 1998.
He wanted a resort that would capture the imagination of children and adults. Kerzner built his resort on its own island – Paradise Island. And the Atlantis Resort has made a big impression on visitors, and also on me.
I’d longed to visit for years. So imagine my excitement when the Bahamian Tourist Board, heard about 4xfour project and invited me to stay there.
The first glimpse you get of the resort is as you drive past the town centre and along the main stretch of ocean road, it glints through the trees on the left hand side. It looks majestic.
There are only two ways to get to the island, by boat or car, and as we sped across the bridge I could barely contain my excitement.
Hotel staff greeted us at the open air lobby and we were escorted to the reception area. The first thing that is striking is the scale of the Atlantis Resort – it is huge. The ceilings are so high and covered with beautiful art and marble. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in some kind of palace.
Our room was on the 11th floor of the royal tower. With beautiful views overlooking the river, the room was clean, spacious and comfortable, if not a little dated in terms of design. It reminded me of what you might expect in a three-star hotel in Tenerife, so I was a little disappointed, as everything else about the hotel had surpassed my expectations.
Standout attractions at Atlantis Resort
A must see, when staying at the Atlantis Resort is to explore The Dig – the world’s largest open-air marine habitat. Hundreds of different species can be spotted in The Dig’s various tanks such as angelfish, sharks, manta rays, and various types of jellyfish. The marine life manager told me the original idea behind The Dig was to provide guests with a taste of the legendary lost city of Atlantis.
Check out the floors in the different aquariums, the wreckage and debris scattered about represent the Lost City of Atlantis. I’m not usually impressed by things like this, but you really can’t deny the magnitude of what they achieved.
Being at the Atlantis Resort reminded me of visiting Las Vegas or holidaying on a cruise ship. The resort is designed so that you never have to leave the complex. Everything you need or want is available there.
The beaches are stunning, the swimming pools are large and plentiful, the on-resort water park caters for kids, and the big kids.
Poolside bars are plentiful, snack huts, restaurants and cafes cater for even the fussiest eaters. There is a vast range of activities and facilities available from games rooms, to guided talks and tours, comedy clubs, nightclubs, cinemas, a casino and bars.
The Atlantis Resort has a magnificent marina designed to dock large yachts and Marina Village which had market style shops, bars and restaurants. It reminded me of the types of towns you find at Disney World. It had a free shuttle bus to take you there and back, but it’s also accessible from the harbour side of the resort.
They also have the most amazing Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream parlour, which boasts exclusive flavours, so it’s well worth a visit.
Beyond Atlantis Resort
We did venture out on one evening to a nearby restaurant called the Poop Deck. Don’t let the name put you off. It was a fantastic eatery, which overlooked the ocean, and had all the charm and ambiance of a long established restaurant.
There were many local diners and lots of tourists, drawn by the promise of a good, reasonably priced Bahamian meal, and that’s exactly what we got. If you go, do check out the Wall of Fame, featuring stars from all over the world who have dined at the Poop Deck.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Atlantis Resort and other than a few minor things, had an incredible time.
I’d recommend it for families looking for a holiday where the children can be entertained 24/7 and the adults can relax and unwind. Atlantis certainly provides a place where unforgettable family memories are made.