DESTINATION: Atlantis, Bahamas

The Atlantis Resort has been popular with families since it was first built-in the 1990s. The resort is located on Paradise Island, a small land mass adjacent to Nassau. Over the years, the resort has grown in size and amenities, with virtually something for everyone.For families, the Atlantis resort offer cribs, high chairs and a fantastic nanny service. If you ask for a crib, you will receive a Gentle Traveler kit, which includes a bedtime book, plus some little bottles of baby massage gel and a night-light.

photo courtesy: Atlantis Resort Media Access Files

Elsewhere on the island, there are world-class restaurants, some great water slides, and off-island excursions for those with deep pockets.

Perhaps the best family friendly perk, at least for those on the East Coast, are a number of direct flights to The Bahamas (most Caribbean flights make a stop in Miami). From our home in DC, we made it non-stop to The Bahamas in 2 hours flat. Brilliant!

TRAVEL TIP: Get that passport for the kids you’ve been putting off. They’ll need it to get enter The Bahamas. The Atlantis Resort offers a number of towers to choose from. They include:

The Coral Towers and the Beach Towers are the oldest properties. The architecture may be outdated by comparison to the other towers, but for those who are budget minded, these towers can’t be beat. Indeed there are always great deals to be had for these towers.

The Royal Towers is the main building (with the bridge). This is where the restaurants and casino are located. It is the most centrally located of all the properties. The downside is that it can be loud.

The Harborside Resort is a smaller cluster of buildings away from the towers. It is ideal for those seeking quiet, and the resort itself describes this property as ‘tranquil’. The Harborside Resort is adjacent to The Marina, an area that resembles a small Caribbean village, but don’t be mislead- while you can walk to the village, it’s not advisable. You’ll likely need the shuttle bus to take you anywhere on the island from The Harborside Resort.

The Cove is definitely the hippest of the properties on Paradise Island. Many families do stay here, but perhaps this property is best suited to singles and couples. They have an amazing adults-only swimming pool that one can access ONLY by being guests of The Cove. The pool is beautifully landscaped, with contemporary water falls and manicured lawn surrounding it instead of concrete. This pool also has an outdoor bar and casino right on site!


The Reef Tower, the newest property at Atlantis is ideal for families, especially those with babies and small children. The following is based on my personal experience in this property in Spring, 2009.

The Reef Tower is the resident tower at the Atlantis Resort, which means one can purchase their rooms, and then have the resort rent them out to other vacationers when the owner is away. I didn’t stop to ask too many questions of the sales staff, but I assume its something like a time-share.They did tell me sales of these units were better than they’d expected, given the current economy.

The Reef is the best choice for families because they have full kitchens, unlike any other property at Atlantis, and adjoining rooms if your brood requires more space. Indeed, there were a number of families with small children and babies when we were there. One unexpected perk to this arrangement  is that other families “get it,” meaning if your wee-one has a fit at the pool, you’re not likely to upset the other guests sitting around (because they can empathise!)

Another perk of The Reef Tower is that there is a Starbucks on the lobby level for those of us from The States that have made their “Grande Latte” art of their daily routine. This is the only Starbucks in one of the towers- although there is one way out at the Marina. Believe me, I discovered many folks trekking all the way over to The Reef from the other towers just to visit this Starbucks (as sad as that sounds!)

The Reef’s lobby gift shop offers baby food, formula and sippy cups if you lose, or run out of your own supply. The prices were not as steep as one would expect either.

The Reef has a double swimming pool that can be accessed only by Reef and Cove guests, but when you stay here, you are allowed to use all of the other pools on site– with exception to the adults-only pool at The Cove.

At The Reef’s double pool, we met friendly folks who kindly offered to lend us their floaty baby toys, and we in turn were happy to offer baby wipes when they needed them- again with the understanding!

Being the newest property, The Reef is on the edge of the resort, so it is at once quiet, and out-of-the-way. You’ll need a shuttle, or great walking shoes to get around.


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