The Reef at Atlantis Bahamas – A Photo Review and 32 Tips for an Amazing Stay

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.

studio terrace view room reef at atlantis

This is a fourth floor “terrace view,” looking toward the Cove.

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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.

Related post: What to Bring to Atlantis Bahamas – 35 Things to Add to Your Family’s Packing List

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.

bedroom at Reef studio Atlantis review tips

The beds are comfortable! The bathroom is behind the window, and the studio room has a large entrance.

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.

reef at Atlantis laundry room

The laundry room is clean, large, and free!

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.

kitchen at reef atlantis bahamas

The kitchen in a studio room. The dishwasher is in the lower right drawer and the microwave is in a cabinet. Cookware is in the cabinets along with shelves for your food.

kitchen space Reef Atlantis review tips

The mini fridge is in the cabinet, and these are all of your dishes.

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.

seating at Reef Atlantis Bahamas

The couch fold out into a bed. There is also a small round table and two chairs on the other side of the coffee table.

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:

floor plan studio suite reef at Atlantis

two bedroom reef Atlantis

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!

View Reef Atlantis Bahamas review

This is the ocean view from the top floor, looking towards the water park, Royal Tower, and Coral.

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.

Pool at Reef Atlantis review tips

This is one of the Reef’s two pools. The other pool is a zero entry for the little kiddos.

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.

paradise beach

This is Paradise Beach, walking away from the Reef.

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.

Paradise Beach Reef Atlantis

This is Paradise Beach, walking back toward the Reef and Cove. We’ve seen seaweed on the beach, but it’s usually raked up in the early morning.

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:

This is your complete guide to the Reef Resort at Atlantis Bahamas. This article has a photo review of the property and tips for your family's stay. See what your room, and view, may look like. Find out about saving money on food, and check out the pool and beach! #Atlantis #Bahamas #Reef #Thatwasafirst


  • Tara March 23, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks so much for writing! I originally booked for the Royal tower prior to reading about the crowds. We changed our booking for the Reef, and I am really excited to hear about the shuttles as the location and distance was my major concern. I am now rethinking the potential for the kitchen and meals. Thank you, we are excited for our trip this summer!

  • SH February 19, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Really great info, thanks for writing!!

  • Jasmine October 1, 2021 at 12:40 am

    What is the cheapest way to get from the airport to the Atlantis?

    • Vicki October 1, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      You’ll want to take a taxi.

  • Melissa February 21, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Hi! So I have a 2BR terrace view suite. Does that mean I can possibly be on the ground floor? I was hoping for at least a balcony. Thank you!

    • Vicki February 22, 2021 at 8:50 am

      Good question….the floor plan for your room type does show a balcony. I don’t know how many rooms are actually located on level 1 and may not have a balcony. At least the odds of having a balcony are in your favor! Have a fun trip! The Reef is amazing!

  • PRIYA AGARWAL February 28, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Is there a fitness room the guests can use?

    • Vicki February 28, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      The fitness room on the second floor is only for the owners of the residences. Guests at the Reef can use the fitness center near Royal Towers.

  • Jess January 27, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Great information on the Reef! Thank you!
    Does the kitchen come equipped with dish washer soap, sponges to wash pans and paper towels? Or are these things we need to bring/buy? Just trying to figure out what to pack or buy at grocery store on way. We are going in May. We went last year the same time but stayed at the Royal. We have two toddlers, so need something more child friendly.

    • Vicki January 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm

      The kitchen does have everything you need for clean up. We ran low on supplies, and a quick call to housekeeping had us restocked in no time. We brought our own paper plates, ziplocs, bag clips, and napkins to use. You will love having the kitchen, it’s so convenient when traveling with kids!

  • Katherine January 20, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Hi!! This is a great informational piece! We are going to the reef in February fam of 4 (2 small kids) do you have a recommendation in terms of what floor or closest to what I should request the room? We have an ocean view suite. Also how far walk to water park? Thank you!

    • Vicki January 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks Katherine! You are going to love the Reef! There is only one bank of elevators in the Reef, and it really isn’t a long building where you will feel like you’re walking forever to reach them. I think as long as you get your ocean view, your room location will be just fine. We’ve stayed on the top floor, and as low as the 4th floor. Definitely higher is better, for both the view and the quiet. The walk to the water park isn’t bad. You’ll leave the back of the Reef, walk along the Reef pools, and then cut through the Cove tower. You end up by the Baths Colonnade Pool, and this takes about 10 minutes. I would stop, along the way, at the towel hut by the Reef pool and get your wristbands for the day (whole family needs to be present). If you want to explore the pools and lazy river by the Coral and Beach towers, I would suggest riding the resort shuttle at least one way. Have a great vacation!


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