Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas….either you love it or hate it. It’s a gorgeous resort, the prices are outrageous, the pools and beaches are perfect, it’s too crowded. Where you stay on property, plays a big factor in how much you like Atlantis. The Reef resort is perfect for families, and your family is going to love Atlantis after staying there. Book the room, and read these tips for how to have a fantastic stay at the Reef at Atlantis Bahamas.
Pre-Arrival Tips for Your Stay at the Reef at Atlantis Bahamas
Room options are studio, one bedroom suite, and two bedroom suite and prices are also based on the view. Available views are harbor, terrace, ocean and premium ocean. Terrace view rooms are located on levels 1-4 and face the ocean. You can easily see the water from level 3 and 4. Try to avoid harbor view rooms if you plan to spend some time on your balcony taking in the views. Harbor view rooms also overlooked some shipping containers and construction.
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The greatest benefit to staying at the Reef at Atlantis is that the rooms have kitchens. This is a big money and time saver if your family can eat some meals in the room. The easiest way to stock your room with groceries is to plan a stop at the grocery store before you check in. The best thing to do is to hire a private taxi service ahead of your arrival, and add a stop at a grocery store. The driver’s we use have no problem giving us a half hour to spend in the grocery store for an added fee. You need a loose meal plan and shopping list before going into the store, and you won’t have a problem getting your shopping done in 30 minutes.
Read the Reef at Atlantis room reviews on Trip Advisor a couple of weeks before your arrival. The reviews can be helpful if someone posts about something being temporarily closed, small construction projects, or upcoming events at the resort.
Pack some food items in your suitcase, if you have room. Things to consider bringing are packaged snacks (granola bars, cookies, crackers), mac n cheese cups, oatmeal packets, cereal, etc. Pack these in your checked suitcase, so you don’t have any delays at airport security. The kitchen area in your room has some cabinets and shelves for storing all of your snacks.
The Reef has free laundry on level two. Pack a couple of laundry soap pods, and do laundry half way through your trip. This majorly cuts back on the amount of clothes that you need to bring. If you forget laundry soap, there is some available for purchase in the first floor sundries shop.
Pack additional shampoo, conditioner, and hair detangler for your trip. The bottles that are in your room are small, and all the water park and pool time really does a number on hair.
Read my popular article, 40 Easy Ways to Save Money at Atlantis Resort, for even more tips!
Room tips for the Reef at Atlantis Bahamas
Rooms have a safe for storing your valuables. In the studio rooms, the safe is in the closet along with a laundry basket, shelving, and rod for hanging clothes. There is room in the closet to keep one of your suitcases opened up too.
The suites have full size, fully stocked kitchens. The deluxe studio rooms have smaller kitchens, but they are pretty well stocked. Here’s a list of what you should find in the studio kitchen: cook-top, small refrigerator, drawer dish washer, microwave, plates, bowls, glasses, toaster, silverware, cooking utensils, frying pans, measuring cup, coffee maker, wine glasses, cutting board and mixing bowl.
You will get 2-4 bottles of water delivered to your room every day. This was a separate delivery, and did not come when your room was getting serviced by housekeeping. But, if you don’t receive water, give housekeeping a call.
Deluxe studios have balconies that have a small table and two chairs. Just enough room to sit outside in the morning for breakfast, or to watch the cruise ships leaving in the evenings. The suites have balconies that included the table and two chairs, along with a lounge chair.
You can track your room charges by accessing your folio on the television in your room. Try and do this every night, while you still remember what you charged that day.
There is a separate television in the bathroom, but it doesn’t get all of the channels that the television in your bedroom does.
Here are the floor plans for the available room types:
General Tips for Around the Reef Resort and Atlantis
You need to carry your room key with you at all times. There is security by the first floor elevators that you have to show your key to, and you also have to scan your key in the elevator to get to your floor. Atlantis is a cashless resort, and you charge everything to your room, so don’t lose that room key!
Every day that you are using the water park, you need to get wristbands at a towel hut. Everyone who is getting a wristband will have to be with you. Usually the shorter lines (if any) were at the towel hut by the Reef pool. If you wait to get your wristband at the water park, you’ll likely have a longer wait.
The hammocks that are in the “garden” area look very relaxing, but they aren’t. We saw so many people tip out of them while trying to lay down! Be careful!
Grab the daily newsletter at select towel huts and the hotel check-in counters. The newsletter has a schedule of activities, restaurant hours, and other useful information.
The Starbucks on the first floor, will be busy in the mornings. This is the only Starbucks on this side of the resort, so people staying in the neighboring Cove walk over here for their morning coffee too.
You can not use your Starbucks rewards at any of the Starbucks at Atlantis, and you can’t charge to your Starbucks card.
The pools at the Reef are only for Reef and Cove guests. This really cuts back on the amount of people, and is a nice benefit of staying at these towers. We’ve been the only people using the pools more than once.
The beach (Paradise Beach) is also private to Reef and Cove guests. This means there are no vendors walking the beach trying to sell you something every few minutes.
A lot of resorts have issues with people getting up super early and placing towels on pool or beach chairs to save spots for later in the day. During the off season, this is not an issue at the Reef. There were always plenty of open chairs throughout the day. I’m sure during the busy holiday travel season, this is not the case.
The pools are open certain hours of the day, which is when the life guards are on duty. The pools usually close at sunset, which is fairly early during the winter months. Pools are cleaned in the mornings, and I have seen guests using the pool before the posted opening time and after the closing time.
The sand on Paradise Beach is soft, make sure you build a sand castle or two! Beach toys are available for sale at the towel hut, but try to pack your own if you have some room in your suitcase.
You can walk a long ways along Paradise Beach. It’s pretty quiet and a perfect way to spend your morning.
The fitness room that you see on the second level is for owner’s at the Reef. The rooms at the Reef are residences and are available for purchase. If you love the Reef, really want to use the fitness room, and have a lot of money, there is a representative in the lobby you can talk to about purchasing a residence.
The Reef is on one end of the Atlantis Resort, but it is very easy to get to the other areas of Atlantis when you ride on one of their many shuttle buses. The pick up and drop off is outside the front entrance, and the buses run quite frequently. The stops the shuttle will make are listed on the outside of the bus. The shuttles stop at each tower, Harborside Resort, and the Marina Village.
There is a nice walkway from the Royal Tower to the Reef and Cove. This is a nice way to get back to the room after your evening dinner in Marina Village. The walkway is mostly covered, in case you have a rainy day.
To avoid the water park crowds, go early or late in the day. Check the park hours in the daily newsletter.
If your check-out time is a few hours before you actually need to leave, ask the front desk for a later check out. They may have a later time available for you.
If you arrive before your room is ready, or couldn’t get a later check out, there is a transit room available. Just store your luggage with the bellman, and change into your swimsuit in the transit room (locker room), then go have fun!
Can you see the benefits to staying at the Reef at Atlantis? Yes, I agree, that it is higher in price than the Beach, Coral, and Royal Tower, but it is worth it. The best way to offset the higher price is to eat some meals in the room instead of the expensive restaurants around the resort.
The private beach and pool for the Reef and Cove guests is also the best way to escape the crowds at the water park. Also, don’t let the location stop you, there are always shuttles to get everyone around the resort property very easily.
Have a fantastic trip, and get ready to love Atlantis Resort – Paradise Island Bahamas!
Plan the trip:
- Read 40 Easy Ways to Save Money at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for all of my money saving tips! Check out the extra tips in the comments too.
- Read the current reviews for the Reef at Atlantis, on Trip Advisor
- What to Bring to Atlantis Bahamas – 35 Things to Add to Your Family’s Packing List