Harborside at Atlantis… know before you go…
The condo portion was lovely and well-equipped, clean and quiet. Staff is indifferent to needs, although they do everything with a smile. Water was turned off for an entire day (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) due to the main break — no phone call, no printed notice — no communication of any sort. No one could tell us when the water would be in service again. But we received phone calls at 9 a.m. on three separate mornings, “Remember to attend your owners’ update.” Very annoying.
No direct beach access. You have to travel through the Atlantis Hotel metropolis to get to the beach. There are two: Cove Beach, exclusive for Atlantis and Harborside guests; and Atlantis Beach, which is the public beach open to cruise ship travellers and others. No shade on either beach — there are a very limited number of canopied lounge chairs on both, but you have to get there around 6:00 a.m. to secure them. On the public beach, you can rent an umbrella for a whopping $30. The public beach was crowded with so many vendors trying to sell overpriced trinkets, or rent a jet ski or other water sports device.
These people were very pushy and a little scary. No happy hour at any of the many bars on the property. It costs $17 to rent a very small locker at Aquaventure, the Atlantis water park. Everything costs a fortune (think $35 for one tequila sunrise and one mojito on the beach). Food at the Atlantis property is very expensive; remember to bring a water bottle so you can refill at one of the water fountains.
The on-property water costs $8.50 for a regular size bottle of Dasani. Being nickeled-and-dimed is not pleasant when you’re trying to relax. Also — they charge $10 per person to bring you to an overpriced grocery store on Nassau (over the bridge from Paradise Island). A case of water costs about $40 — that you can get on sale at Target for around $4. You can go to the grocery store on your way from the airport, but beware: the driver will charge you ‘waiting time.’ The usual trip is $38; the driver charged us $65 because we stopped for 20 minutes to shop.
Also, there is nowhere to keep your perishables once you get to Harborside if you have to wait for your room to be ready — and keep in mind that none of the staff is in any hurry on your behalf.
There is a 15% ‘gratuity’ that is included on all meal/beverage tickets, with space to include an extra gratuity. We are usually very generous with tips, but I can count on two fingers the number of times I left an extra trip; service is not a priority anywhere at Harborside or at Atlantis. There are two buffet dining options; we went to one (Poseidon’s Table); food was varied and very good. Cost was $132 for two adults for dinner with water and soft drink.
They have an all-you-can drink $15 per person wine option (‘red’ or ‘white’), but it was so bad you couldn’t drink even one glass. Wait staff was generally awful — I had to hunt for a knife or a spoon — and no one ever came to our table to check if we needed anything. No water or drink refills unless you approached a manager. And even then it took another 15 minutes for service. We went to several fine dining restaurants. Best one hands down was the Bahamian Club.
Very dedicated wait staff, very good food. Pricey, of course — nearly $350 for chateaubriand for two (five pieces of meat, total), for two adults with a bottle of mid-priced wine. Seafire Steakhouse was not good; around the same cost as the Bahamian Club, but the T-bone for two was small, tasted like it was pre-cooked and then shoved back under the broiler. If you go with small kids, eat breakfast in your condo — you will save some money — but even the pizza place at the Marina Village costs around $35 for a regular-sized pizza.
A water park is a water park. If you enjoy those activities, do yourself a favour and go to Splish Splash as a day trip. You’ll save the airfare and the aggravation.