Atlantis, Paradise Island – Bahamas
Atlantis is a sprawling ocean-themed resort consisting of three huge hotels; Beach Towers, Coral Towers and The Cove, and a private apartment building, The Reef, spread out around the Caribbean’s largest water theme park. With over 20 million gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons and pools – this resort is the ultimate waterscape. Atlantis is the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, with over 50,000 animals in the lagoons and displays. Guests at any of the hotels enjoy free access to the water park, private beach, casino and numerous restaurants throughout their stay.
Accommodation Beach Towers is the least expensive accommodation option and is very family orientated. The adjoining Coral Towers is also similar in classic American style. The Cove is more exclusive hotel which is set slightly away from the other two hotels with a lovely Polynesian feel to it; wide wooden walkways with glass walls surrounded with lush, tropical gardens and ponds stocked with fish. The Cove has a pool area, “calm,” which is available exclusively to Cove, and some honeymoon guests. With an adult feel, wide day beds, a DJ and bar, and luxurious wooden cabanas with fridge, toilet, television and day beds – available to rent for $750-$1000 per day, plus food and drinks. The Cove also boasts the resort’s Mandala Spa. Although more pricey than the other two hotels in the resort, most couples will enjoy the quieter more exclusive feel of The Cove. For high rollers – and apparently Michael Jackson – Atlantis has a suite in the “bridge” area between hotels. Priced at $25,000 per night you might want to try your luck in the resort’s casino first.
Dining Atlantis is also known as the best culinary destination in The Caribbean. Offering a range of restaurants from world-renowned chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Aquaventure Aquaventure is perhaps the main attraction at Atlantis – a non-stop water experience consisting of exhilarating water slides and a mile-long river ride with high intensity rapids and wave surges. Guests can also encounter dolphins at Dolphin Cay, the resort’s interaction and education centre – a once in a lifetime experience.
Weddings and events The resort has over 20 different wedding and reception venues for you to choose from; whether you are looking for a small intimate ceremony or a huge wedding reception – Atlantis offers something for everyone in a grand unique style. The Reef wedding Chapel offers a stunning ceremony venue; overlooking the sandy beach and luscious blue sea, this chapel picture perfect. Atlantis has 8 full time wedding planners and on busy days, all 8 will be overseeing a different wedding. Even with the help of a golf buggy it took nearly 2 hours to see all the possible places on the resort used for weddings and receptions! Couples are encouraged to choose online, and the wedding planners are skilled at marketing each couple with the ideal space, based on numbers, time of day, and the feel the couple are aiming for. Our favourite spot was on an arc of white sandy beach, below a single palm tree, clear blue water behind.
Legalities (General for Nassau) Resorts in Nassau are all well versed in marriages for oversea visitors and will usually make all the arrangements for you. You need to be in Nassau for 48 hours before the court can issue a license allowing the marriage to take place. The marriage must be carried out by a local minister or Justice of the Peace and can be religious or humanist. Catholic weddings, however, can only take place in a catholic church. Gay weddings are not permitted, the wedding must take place before sunset and the Certificate of Marriage you will be issued is valid worldwide.
Cost of Weddings at Atlantis The majority of options at Atlantis are priced at $150 per head spend on food and drinks. However, this can be spread over two celebrations, e.g. drinks reception and an evening buffet. The resort’s newest option, a private beach lookout with its own chapel, decking and lawn, has a minimum spend of $250 per head.
Activities If the aquaventure isn’t enough to keep you busy then Atlantis offers a range of other activities including shopping, pottery, a spa, golf, tennis, rock climbing and basketball. The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques, a stunning casino, and the largest conference centre, meeting and convention facilities in The Caribbean.
What do we love? “The Dig” – a maze of underwater passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis.