Since its grand opening in 1998, Atlantis Paradise Island has welcomed millions of visitors eager to walk along its white-sand beaches, experience the thrill of its one-of-a-kind water slides, and test their luck at its entertaining casino. We’ve all seen the enticing commercials and we've all dreamed about going to Bahamas’ Paradise Island to explore the ocean-themed resort. But, beyond the information gathered from the commercials, how much do you really know about Atlantis Paradise Island? Unless you’ve already started planning your ideal vacation to the resort, the answer is probably “little to nothing.” That’s completely understandable since the resort is so huge that it can be tough to know where to even begin your search for information. Don’t worry, though! We’ve got all the important tips and facts about one of the world’s largest and most well-known resorts right here.
After reading this list, you’ll understand why celebrities choose to bring their families to Atlantis Paradise Island and why the cost for a few nights is so high (but totally worth it). Nothing is perfect, though, so we also have the scoop on a few downsides to this famous resort. Read on to learn the must-know tidbits about Atlantis Paradise Island, including those regarding accommodations, water and non-water activities, and ways to save money.
Warning: this list may cause you to have a serious case of wanderlust, the desire to go swimming with dolphins right now, and cravings for some poolside cocktails.
21 It’s Actually Six Separate Resorts
The beauty of Atlantis is that it contains six different hotels, each with its own vibe. So, before you book your stay, you’ll definitely want to do your research. Here’s a quick summary to get you started. The iconic structure you see in most Atlantis advertisements is called The Royal. It’s at the center of Atlantis and is home to The Dig. Coral Towers, on the other hand, houses the Atlantis Library and a Starbucks. Beach Towers is best for families on a budget, while Harborside Resort is perfect if you enjoy quiet areas with kitchen facilities. The Reef is pricey but contains luxurious units with amazing views, a Starbucks, and direct beach access. The most expensive and secluded section of Atlantis is the Cove. Clearly, there’s something for everyone!
20 It’s Home To The World’s Largest Open-air Marine Habitat
If you love marine creatures or would simply like to learn more about them, then Atlantis is the place to visit. Paradise Island is home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world. It contains 14 lagoons and over 50,000 animals from 250 species. So, what are some of these lagoons and the creatures you’ll find in them? Well, there’s the Ruins Lagoon, where you can snorkel to view colorful reef, snappers, and lobsters. There’s also the Predator Lagoon, an underwater tunnel featuring hammerhead sharks, barracudas, and sawfish. The lagoons are scattered throughout Atlantis, but they’re not the only place to see marine life. You can also discover hundreds of exotic sea creatures at various exhibits, Cenote Cave, and The Dig.
19 It Contains Over 20 Restaurants
If there’s one thing that Atlantis has no shortage of, it’s restaurants and bars. Throughout the resort, there are 21 restaurants and 19 lounges catering to your taste buds and late-night cravings. However, you’ve got to be willing to pay up to get your fix of food. This may come as a surprise, but Atlantis is actually not an all-inclusive resort. That being said, there are numerous dining options available, from fine to casual dining and everything in between. There is also a wide variety of cuisines served throughout the resort. You can expect amazing views as you eat at any of these restaurants.
18 And The Largest Casino In The Caribbean
At over 50,000 square feet, Atlantis Casino holds the honor of being one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean. It’s truly a sight to behold with its skylights, large windows, and glass sculptures. The casino features 85 gaming tables, including Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em poker, blackjack, and roulette. There are also 700 of the newest slot machines where you can try your luck. And if you don’t know how to play some of the games, that’s not a problem! There are daily complimentary gaming lessons. To make things even more exciting for those who like betting on sports and races, Atlantis recently opened a Race & Sports Book. It features an LED video wall spanning 67 feet and 20 simultaneous HD feeds! Who’s in for a great time?
17 Atlantis Hosts A Live Concert Series
Did you know that some of the biggest names in music have performed at Atlantis? As part of the Atlantis LIVE concert series, resort guests have been able to enjoy the musical presence of Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, and Kelly Clarkson. Throughout the year, Atlantis hosts various scheduled performances (both private and open to the public). So, you’re guaranteed to be entertained, especially if you carefully plan your trip to coincide with a concert. Can you imagine anything better than being on vacation in the Bahamas and seeing your favorite singer or band? We definitely can’t!
16 You Can Swim With Dolphins At The Resort
Swimming with dolphins is typically a once-in-a-lifetime activity and one that is often found on many bucket lists. Atlantis can play a part in making your dreams come true, since they offer numerous dolphin interaction programs in their renowned Dolphin Cay.
In the Shallow Water Interaction, you’ll learn and engage with the beautiful creatures as you simply sit in the water. In Ultimate Trainer for a Day, you’ll have the chance to experience dolphin training sessions, feed nurse sharks, and work alongside animal trainers for an entire day. In Serenity Snorkel, you can snorkel for 20 minutes alongside the dolphins, as you please. The programs range in costs and swimming experience, so there’s bound to be one that suits your needs.
15 You Can Also Feed Stingrays
Stingrays have a somewhat bad reputation for harming people. But, they’re actually quite friendly and there’s no other feeling like touching one’s smooth, slimy skin. If you’ve ever wanted to do this, the Atlantis Stingray Experience may be an activity to add to your itinerary. This 45-minute experience allows you to snorkel alongside hundreds of cownose stingrays and feed them in a shallow lagoon. An Aquarist will be there to guide you and share interesting facts about stingrays. The experience is open to those aged five and older. It also supports Atlantis’ Blue Project Foundation, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
14 There’s A Lesser-known Sea Lion Experience
Dolphins seem to be the star of Atlantis, but there are many other amazing animals with which you can interact! One of these animals is the sea lion. In the program Playtime with the Sea Lions, guests of any age have the opportunity to spend 30 minutes in the water with the delightful sea lions. In this program, you will learn how these animals are fed and cared for. You’ll also be able to swim and play with the energetic sea lions. The experience is often a highlight for visitors, as it is much more affordable than the dolphin programs.
13 The Dig
The Dig reflects the lost city of Atlantis better than any other attraction at the resort. So, what exactly is The Dig? Well, it’s a giant underground aquarium filled with sunken representations of ruins from the lost city. To explore The Dig, you’ll have to navigate your way through dimly-lit tunnels, which totally give off an Indiana Jones vibe.
The Dig contains numerous marine exhibits, so you’ll be able to see animals, including clownfish, jellyfish, lobsters, seahorses, and eels. There’s also a touch tank aquarium which allows you to interact with starfish, crabs, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. This is one thing you can’t skip!
12 There’s A 141-acre Water Park
We hope you have a plethora of swimsuits or trunks available! One of the highlights of Atlantis is Aquaventure, a 141-acre water park. It features 11 swimming pools, high-speed water slides, a water play fort, and a mile-long river called The Current. One of the most popular slides is called The Leap of Faith. It’s a 60-foot slide that’s nearly vertical and positioned in the center of a replica of a Mayan temple. But, the most thrilling thing about this clear slide is that it leads into a shark-filled lagoon! If you prefer waters that are not infested by sharks, try hanging out in one of the beautiful pools or award-winning lazy river. And if you want to feel the sand in your toes, there are five miles of white-sand beaches to explore!
11 There Are Plenty Of Places To Shop
You may not be aware that Atlantis is actually a premier shopping location. It contains luxury stores with designer brands from around the world, such as Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Rolex. These are located in Marina Village and The Crystal Court Shops, which are near the casino (so you can win some money then blow it all on new handbags and fancy watches). Atlantis also contains the Pro Shop, which sells sports apparel with the Atlantis logo and offers racquet rentals. Of course, there are also stores that sell Atlantis souvenirs and gifts, including mugs, stuffed animals, beach bags, towels, and artwork.
10 There’s A Suite For $25,000 Per Night
The famous Bridge Suite spans the 17th floor of the Royal Towers, offering the best views of the resort’s blue waters through its full-length windows. Also known as the Michael Jackson suite (because he often stayed in it), the suite is one of the most expensive in the world. So, what must one pay to enjoy the sheer opulence of this suite? Approximately $25,000 per night (or the equivalent of a brand-new car). We know what you’re thinking—it must be made of gold! Well, that’s not completely inaccurate. There is a 22-karat gold chandelier hanging in the suite’s dining room, along with gold-threaded sofas in the living room. There’s also a grand piano, permanent staff of butlers, 12-foot ceilings, marble floors, whirlpool tubs, private entrance, and spacious bedrooms. Wow! We can almost see why it costs so much!
9 Every Guest Visit To Dolphin Cay Supports A Good Cause
Not only does Atlantis showcase marine creatures, but it’s also committed to helping these creatures and their habitats. In 2007, Atlantis created The Atlantis Blue Project Foundation to fund scientific research, community outreach, and conservation programs.
One specific effort made possible by The Atlantis Blue Project Foundation was the out-planting of corals to coral reefs destroyed by a hurricane in 2016. The foundation also helped to increase marine park boundaries on the west side of Andros. The funds for such efforts are raised through your participation in paid marine interactions, such as the dolphin interaction programs. Doesn’t that make you want to swim with the dolphins even more?
8 There’s An Adult Only Pool
Kids are cute and all, but sometimes, we need a break from them. Fortunately, Atlantis has an adult-only pool called The Cove Pool. This exclusive pool is 9,000 square feet and features two infinity pools at each end. You can also rent one of 20 tastefully-decorated cabanas, which display the artwork of Lulu DeKwiatkowski. The cabanas truly make you feel like a VIP in paradise, as you can sit back, relax, and enjoy complementary tea, coffee, and spa treatments provided by a cabana butler. What more can you ask for? Food? There’s that too! Poolside concierges provide food service and the eatery, Sip Sip, is by the poolside.
7 The Pools Close Early
There are 11 pools at Atlantis, including three for kids. Each pool has a beautiful sculpture, work of art, or other distinct feature. For example, large columns with hieroglyphics decorate the Baths Collonade Pool and two waterfalls adorn the Grotto Pool. Some of the pools even have private cabanas to rent! While this all sounds perfect for a vacation, there is one downside. Unfortunately, many of the pools close early. We’re talking as early as five o’clock in the afternoon. The island gets very dark once the sun goes down and the pools are not lit. So, you’re out of luck if you were fantasizing about swimming under the starry sky.
6 There Are Complimentary Movies In The Theater
In real life (i.e. not vacation life), you may not have time or money to go to the movie theater and that’s where Netflix comes in. But, sometimes it is nice to dress up, head out for the night with your friends or significant other, and stuff yourself with buttery popcorn. What better time and place to do that than while you’re on vacation at Atlantis? The Atlantis Theater is included in your stay, so you can catch up on all of the latest blockbusters! Not only are there movies to watch, but there are also magic shows and other special events. How amazing does that sound?
5 You’ll Have Access To The Fitness Center
Every day from six o’clock in the morning to eight o’clock in the evening, guests of Atlantis (including holders of the day pass) aged 16 and up have access to the onsite fitness facility. The facility is 10,000 square feet and contains cardio equipment with personal LCD TVs and a sound system. It also contains a fully-equipped Pilates studio, free weights, a basketball court, and a set of machines for spinning. Of course, there’s also a pool where you can swim laps. Our favorite part of the fitness facility is the yoga pavilion where you can enjoy weekday yoga classes with a beautiful view.
4 There Are Tons Of Non-water Activities For All Ages
It’s impossible to be bored at Atlantis. Besides the amazing water park, pools, and beach, there are plenty of things to do. You can work out at the fitness center, as previously mentioned. You can also build a bear (or watch your children do so), read a book at the library, play tennis or golf, play table games at the casino, watch a complimentary movie at the theater, or create some art. Atlantis has a studio called Earth and Fire Pottery Studio, where you can fuse glass together to create your own masterpiece. How cool would it be to make something to bring home as a souvenir?
3 The Food Does Not Live Up To The Cost
If there’s one thing that’s true of every tourist attraction, it’s that they are not cheap when it comes to food and beverages! And Atlantis is no exception. You can expect to pay around $5 for bottled water and high prices for food, even at the poolside and the cheapest on-site restaurant! You may be thinking that it’s worth it for good food, and that’s true. But, there is one problem. Not all the food at Atlantis is good. The pool food has been said to be sub-par and the food from the fine-dining restaurants may be good, but it definitely puts a huge dent in your wallet. Fortunately, there are meal plans and nearby off-site restaurants available.
2 There Are Day Passes Available
Perhaps you’re planning on staying in the Bahamas but don’t want to spend your money at an Atlantis hotel. Or maybe you’re staying at Atlantis and would like your local friends to visit you for a day of fun in the sun. That’s no problem, thanks to Atlantis’ day passes, which are available to residents or citizens of the Bahamas and anyone staying at an established partner of the resort. These day passes may be purchased at Atlantis Adventures Tour center or online. They offer access to the resort’s main attractions, including Aquaventure, the beach, the fitness center, and Dolphin Cay. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
1 There Are Ways To Save Money
With all this talk about fancy restaurants, luxury suites, and pricey activities, you might be worried about affording a vacation at Atlantis. Fortunately, there are ways to save money. For starters, choose a budget-friendly hotel option, such as Beach Towers. You don’t have to buy food every time you’re hungry either. It may be wise to stock up an extra suitcase with breakfast items, such as peanut butter, cereal, and granola bars. If you do want to eat out for dinner, skip the fine-dining restaurants, and head over to Carmine’s, an Italian restaurant which serves affordable, shareable dishes. Alternatively, you can visit cheaper off-site restaurants. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t forget to bring beach toys and snorkels, since Atlantis charges for rentals. Finally, take advantage of all the complimentary activities that Atlantis provides.