Tim and I had both been wanting to go to The Bahamas for a couple years now. So, 8 months ago, we decided to just do it. Tim booked everything and we figured out when would be the best time to go. We spent a week early this December and went down to enjoy the sunshine and isolate ourselves from our busy lives back home!
Where We Stayed
Tim and I stayed at the Coral Hotel on Atlantis Paradise Island. The Coral is one of five hotels on the island. It features newly designed rooms with beautiful views of the new pool and cabanas below. The Coral is connected to the casino, Crystal Court Shopping, and Marina Village.
Our room had a balcony and looked directly over the entire island. The room featured a bath/shower combo, tile flooring, sitting area, closet, desk area, and king-sized bed.
The first couple nights at the hotel were great, but mid-way through our stay we experienced very noisy neighbors and disruptions throughout the day. Construction work took place at the room next door, and there were several very early mornings where an alarm clock went off for half an hour next door and Tim had to call the front desk to ask to try it off.
Where We Ate
Located in the Marina, right below the casino. This deli is an excellent breakfast and lunch spot with many classic American items on the menu.
A healthy option for bites by the pool featuring wraps, salads, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Half bar, half restaurant with an open terrace looking over the marine life. Dine with scenic views of the island as sharks and fish swim around you. Go downstairs and find more marine life in the underground tunnels.
Assorted sandwiches, salads, fruits, and snacks by the pool.
Dive – In
Another poolside food/snack area with wraps, salads, chicken fingers, burgers, and snacks.
One night Tim and I walked around for an hour and a half (if not longer) to find a place to eat on the island because nearly everything was closed. We finally stumbled upon this pizza place because well, it was cheap and there wasn’t a wait to get in. I ordered a caesar salad and fruit, we ordered two slices of pizza and we both ordered drinks. Our cheapest dinner of our entire stay and a good option if you have kids or want carry-out.
Lively family-themed Italian restaurant with the most delicious bread and succulent pasta dishes. All orders are ordered for 4-6 or 6-8 servings. Best to go with a group of people or family as you’ll be served huge portions for all to share. Tim and I shared a caesar salad, chicken cutlet, variety of fresh baked breads, and angel hair pasta. The marinara itself was the most delicious I’ve ever had. Highly recommend.
This ended up being our go-to for dinner when other places were closed as they had a wide variety of options on the buffet line. A lot of the dishes repeat during the week, so I wouldn’t recommend returning if you are wanting to try new cuisines each night. Serving pizza, pasta, salad bar, fresh sushi, fruit, vegetable dishes, fish, soups, sliced meats, and huge desert bar.
Modern steakhouse with a warm intimate atmosphere serving classic steakhouse foods including classic shrimp cocktail, prime beef, potatoes, and a fine wine collection.
Located just off the lobby of The Royal Hotel, this chic grab-and-go place is a great option for mealtime if you’re not wanting to spend a lot of time or money in one of the restaurants. They serve breakfast sandwiches, salads, fruits, pastries, coffee, and wraps.
Sun & Ice
A gelato/coffee/pasty/dessert bar. It’s got a lot – lol. Incredibly convenient in the morning if you need a quick bite. They serve morning baked goods, coffee, juices, sodas, fruits and yogurts. Later in the evening it turns in the perfect place for gelato and ice cream if you want something more unique than Ben & Jerry’s.
Not a restaurant, but a must for all coffee drinkers. There are four different locations on the island. One in the basement of the Coral Hotel, the lobby at The Reef, one by the Mayan Pool deck, and one in the Marina Village. Be aware, if you thought Starbucks was expensive before, get ready to pay an extra penny to get it on the island. My typical venti cappuccino jumped in price from $5.25 to $8.75. Also be aware, that like other places on the island – their hours very. So if Starbucks are closed one day, you’ll have to visit Sun & Ice or for your morning joe.
What We Did
Day Trip to Rose Island
Full day experience to Rose Island through Sandy Toes where Tim and I swam with pigs, had the chance to snorkel, enjoyed a buffet lunch, day on a private beach, and boats. Highly recommend this excursion if you prefer not to spend over $200 per person and was to get a full days worth of activities in!
Atlantis Paradise Island Water Park
The waterpark on Atlantis Island is a bit of a maze – which makes it more fun! There are maps everywhere if you get lost, and tons of little sidewalks to take you in and around the park. The main structure features the Leap of Faith, Challenger Rider, and the Serpent Slide.
The newest structure features The Surge, The Drop, and The Abyss. There are several jungle-gym structures around the island for kids to play on, as well as a lazy river, rapids river, hot tub, and wading pools.
Atlantis Paradise Island Pools
There are 11 pools on the island, enough to hop around and test out. The one “adult” pool is the Cove Pool available only to adults staying at The Cove Hotel.
Family pools include the Grotto Pool, Colonnade Pool, Mayan Temple Pool, Royal Baths Pool, Coral Pool, River Pool, Lap Pool, Harborside Pool, and Cascades Pool.
Kid-friendly pools include the Ripples Pool, Poseidon Pool, and Splashers Pool.
Cabanas are always available for rent if you want more privacy. Just be sure to book ahead as they can fill up quickly depending on the time of year.
Atlantis Paradise Island Marine Life
It is impossible to walk around Paradise Island and not come in contact with the abundance of marine life in and around it. The structures for these areas vary, but all are equally are beautiful and unique to the island.
The Dig is perhaps the most famous, and largest viewing around of marine life on the island. The Dig embarks you on a journey through the forbidden city of Atlantis through a series of tunnels and walkways.
The Predator Lagoon feature up-close encounters with sharks, as well as the Reef Lagoon which host Nurse Sharks. Surround yourself with sharks (literally) by taking a ride on an inner-tube through the Mayan Temple aquarium.
The Ruins Lagoon gives you the opportunity to snorkel with 20,000 fish.
The Stingray Lagoon, Royal Ray Lagoon, and Waters Edge Lagoon give you access to tons of stingrays of all shapes and sizes.
Paradise island has four beaches. One is exclusive only to The Cove guests, while the others are open to everyone. Each of the beaches are incredibly scenic and the water is entirely crystal clear.
Although Tim and I aren’t much of gamblers, we did end up spending every night in the casino. Part of it was there wasn’t much else to do, and part of it was because we ended up getting fairly addicted to Roulette. I won’t say how much we made – or lost at the casino, but I will say we had a good time gambling and meeting new faces!
What I Wore
During The Day – Shorts, swimwear, swim coverups, sunglasses, lightweight sweatshirts, sandals, sneakers.
During The Evening – Jeans, pastel-colored dresses, blazers, sneakers and heels.
PS – If you are traveling in the winter time, please bring several pairs of pants and sweaters! I did not pack warm enough clothing so ended up having to wear a lot of the same pieces to stay warm at night and early in the morning!
Where We Shopped
Crystal Court Shops
High-end shopping circle (literally just a circle) featuring Gucci, YSL, Tory Burch, MAC, and Rolex.
Lots of jewelry and souvenir shops to pick up as gifts for those as home. Also a great place to look at the beautiful yachts that come and stop by for the day. Variety of restaurants to dine at in the evening and even a Ben & Jerry’s for a sweet treat afterwards!
All in all Tim and I had an amazing time and will surely return in the future! This was one of our more expensive trips so it’ll be several years before we do go back, but both of us will eagerly be awaiting for that time to come!