You can visit Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas on a budget and still have fun! Want to know how not pay the high Atlantis room rates, or get a suite instead of a regular room? Here are some Atlantis Resort tips on accommodations, eating, and entertainment. My wife is the travel planner of all times. It never fails that when we want to go on vacation, she manages to find the best way to get the most for our money. We traveled to the Atlantis Resort, Bahamas in February. Yes, even in February it was more than warm enough to lie out and get a tan.
Getting to the Atlantis Resort, Bahamas
Most of you will be arriving at the Nassau International Airport. There are several ways to get from the airport to the Atlantis Resort. You can take a bus, ride in a limo , hail a taxi, or just plain walk. However, I don’t think many of you will want to do the last one unless you’re very energetic! You can look on line and find all the prices, but our advice is to just take a taxi. Taxi fare is pretty much a set and posted rate. There are usually signs at the taxi stands and in front of the hotels that tell the prices. Just tell them where you are going and make sure you ask and agree on the price before you start off. For both of us together, it cost $33 from the airport to the hotel. This is the cheapest way and takes about 40 minutes depending on traffic. Most taxis are van sized and at the airport they tend to try and fill it before they leave. Unless other passengers are going to the same hotel, insist your own taxi.
Now one would think that if your were going to visit the Atlantis Resort that you’d be looking at their website for accommodations. Well, even with packages, their cheapest bare minimum rooms average over $500/night. In addition, guests have to pay a mandatory housekeeping gratuity and utility service fee of $22.95 to $62.95 per person per day depending on unit type you stay in. It suddenly doesn’t sound like much of a deal, does it? So I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
On a trip to Atlantis in 2009, we only paid $320 a night; $225 for the room plus the taxes and fees, which in the Bahamas is something of an annoying game. Taxes and fees for each night were as follows: Gov’t Tax: 15.28 (6%), Resort Fee: 15.28 (6%), Housekeeping: $4 per person ($8 based on double occupancy) and $14 per person Electricity Surcharge for a total of $321.56/night. Why the big difference? We didn’t stay at any of the Atlantis Resorts, we stayed at the Comfort Inn Suites located right next to the Marina Village.
If you want use of all the Atlantis Resort amenities without the pricey accommodation fees, then stay outside the resort at the Comfort Inn Suites. Not a 4-star resort, but clean, comfortable and affordable. Here are just a few of the benefits of staying there:
• You get 95% access to Atlantis. You can’t, or at least not supposed to, visit the Cove Resort Then again, neither can the Atlantis guests unless they are rooming there. I’ll give a hint on how to do this later on.
• The Comfort Inn is 2 minutes from the Atlantis Resort entrance and you not only get room bigger than most Atlantis rooms, but you can get a suite with a fridge, a California King, or 2 Queen Beds, a couch and a desk. See pictures at their site. They have nice uncrowded pool, and I suggest you don’t miss happy hour, the bartenders are great. Oh, I forgot, breakfast is included at the Comfort Inn and it’s not at Atlantis! Don’t forget to grab snacks for later during breakfast!
• The cheapest places to eat around, or in, Atlantis, are right across the street from the Comfort Inn.
• Not a benefit, but I thought I’d mention that there is no gym at the Inn. If you want to workout you have to pay for the Atlantis Gym. However, there are running paths along Atlantis beach you can use. I can’t believe I ran on vacation!
Atlantis Budget Do’s and Don’ts
Follow these Atlantis tips for staying on a budget:
• Do arrange for cell phone service in the Bahamas before you leave for vacation. DO NOT use the credit card pay phones to call back to the states. They say it’s only $.50/min but there’s like a $18 surcharge that shows up on your bill a month after you get back. We tried to get through to our dog sitter, who let the phone ring through to the answering machine and finally picked up on the 4th try. Those 4 calls cost us $124 for 6 minutes of total talk time!! Other than for local calls, don’t even use the room phone at the Comfort Inn
• Do bring a foldable soft coolers with you. You know, the ones that are insulated plastic. We purchased one that would fit in a suitcases and packed if full of snacks from home. Once there, buy all your sodas, water and snacks from the market across the street from the Comfort Inn. It’s cheaper to carry them into Atlantis when you go to the pools than to pay the pool side prices. Although, until we found out about free refills in Atlantis cups, see below.
• Do eat outside the Atlantis Resort. Anthony’s is a good place to eat. It’s just across the street from the Comfort Inn. Good food and plenty of it, so you might want to think about sharing dishes. There is also a Quiznos.
• If you don’t want to carry sodas into Atlantis, buy one at a pool side concession stand and keep the cup. You get free refills, but only at the stands that have the coke machines “outside” the counter.
• Do buy a sports strap before you leave home. If you wear glasses buy a sports strap before you leave the States as they are very expensive at poolside shops.
• Don’t eat at the Atlantis restaurants. Remember, you’re trying to vacation on a budget. The big restaurants and shops within Atlantis are just that; big and very expensive.
• Do bring your own suntan lotion. Suntan lotions are priced like gold, so bring your own.
• Do the Dolphin Encounter. This is a splurge, but worth every cent. You can get a cheaper price on the Dolphin Encounters as a walk-in. However, it might be hard to do this during the peak seasons.
• Do charge to your room card. You can use your Comfort Inn Room card to charge things. I don’t think anyplace took cash just credit cards or room charge only!
Pleasure Do’s and Don’ts
Make sure you take advantage these tips to make your visit more enjoyable.
• Do pick your pool side spot early. When the cruise liners come in, it gets busy. We always laid out near the lazy river. Pick a place near the lockers. You’ll want to rent one when you wander away from you belongings.
• Do hit all the big water slides early, then later on you can just relax by, or in, the river when it gets crowded.
• Don’t go without sunscreen. Warning – you will burn – use sunscreen!! Even if it’s cloudy!
• Do take advantage of the Free movies at night in the Atlantis theater.
• Do visit the Atlantis Library. The Atlantis library provides 15 minutes/person/day of Internet time.
• Don’t bring beach towels. You won’t need beach towels. You just have to show your room card to get some.
• Do, during the winter months, bring a light windbreaker and some long sleeve shirts, you’ll need them early in the morning and late at night.
• If you want to visit the Cove Resort, go real early in the morning before the wristband checkers arrive. On our morning run,we were able to run through the Cove Resort and no one stopped us.
• Do check the schedule for the Atlantis Aquarium fish feeding time, you won’t want to miss them.
• Do scout out the menus of all the food stands on the first day so you know which ones sell what. They don’t all sell the same things.
• Do bring comfortable shoes, you’ll be walking a lot.
We’ll that’s about it. The Atlantis resort is a wonderfully place visit, but to get the most out of your money, stick to my tips above. Enjoy yourselves and don’t envy the yachts in the marina too much!
Key Source Links
• Comfort Inn Suites
• Atlantis Resort