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Making a decision to visit the Bahamas should be a relatively easy one. What is harder to decide on is where to stay. Even if you decide to stay at the Atlantis resort, you are still faced with deciding on which hotel within the resort to stay at.
Will it be the value for money Beach Tower, the moderate run of the mill Coral Towers, the deluxe and signature Royal Towers or the ultra luxurious Cove at Atlantis?
Each will suit a different kind of visitor and each will be have different price ranges.
One thing that is consistent across all the hotels available at Atlantis, is the access to the beaches, aquaventure water park, and the marine aquariums.
Considering a non-Atlantis guests will pay around $135 USD for a day pass to Aquaventure water park and Atlantis' beaches, you might even consider your room to be quite value for money given that access to these facilities are inclusive of your room price (even the value option of Beach Tower).
For many visitors, a stay at Atlantis resort is a no brainer. Prices at Beach Tower are comparable to budget hotels outside of Paradise island, and yet no other resort can offer the same quality inclusive facilities or sheer number of activities. Baha Mar doesn't offer the expansive marine aquariums, or the terrific Aquaventure water park, despite this fact, Baha Mar's prices lean closer to the Cove at Atlantis - the high end ultra luxurious hotel which of course include access to all of Atlantis' standard offerings.
So, is it really worth staying at Atlantis?
Is access to Aquaventure water park and Atlantis' private pools and beaches really worth it for the extra cost?
Well, now let me show you the beaches, pools and water park which are also exclusive to Atlantis guests.
Most of the food choices by the main pools are quite simple. Salads, Wraps, Burgers, and Soft Drinks are your standard options, for anything else, a visit to a "proper" restaurant is recommended, and we've also had the opportunity explore a number of these already.
If you prefer to hang by the beaches, there are two main beaches, namely Cove Beach and Atlantis Beach.
Both have beautifully clean and natural sandy beaches with shallow blue natural water. Be warned that there are many non licensed water sports operators here who will try to convince you to have a go on their jet ski's and other water sports. These are not licensed by the hotel so the hotel will not be held liable for any accidents which may happen. Use at your own discretion.
The Cove beach seems like a sun bathing paradise with so many sunbeds laid out in neat orderly rows.
I prefer Atlantis Beach. It doesn't have the plethora of sunbeds and seems to be favoured by the sea gulls too.
For most people however, the Aquaventure park and it's many pools are the main attraction. This is the 'waterfall pool' which was surprisingly empty.
There is also a toddler area with some mini slides and climbing apparatus. The pool here is also very shallow making it both safe and fun for the young ones.
There's even a place dedicated to rock climbing. It looks quite simple and probably isn't a challenge to the experts but at least the option is there!
This is the main swimming pool which is directly in front of the Royal Towers. For me, it's probably the least interesting pool out of them all.
Being the main pool, it's also the one most visited so expect to find a lot of people here throughout the day. If you like the busyness and aren't too claustrophobic then it'll be fine. Perhaps some of you will even like rubbing shoulders with strangers due to close proximity.
You can also rent private tents to save you from going back to your room if you intend on staying by the pool all day.
Here is yet another super shallow pool. If you're here to actually go swimming, then this is not the place for you, as even standing up, the depth of the water is only up to my knees. Let's face it though, very few people actually swim "properly" here. It's a holiday resort, not a training place!
We already mentioned this place before as we made our way to the Predator Lagoon.
In the distance, you can see the seashell roof of the Predator Lagoon entrance.
There are hardly any people here, it's so peaceful and tranquil. No annoying kids screaming, and splashing around in the water. Just pure bliss.
You can grab yourself a sunbed and lie half submerged in the shallow water.
This is my view from the sunbed.
Around me there are just palm trees absolutely everywhere. It's a really lovely mixture between the green trees and blue waters.
Here you can see the different gradients of blue as they transition to green and then back again.
One of the other great things about Paradise Lagoon is that it is connected to the sea. This means it has it's own marine ecosystem independent to the aquariums run by Atlantis. Here, all the fish and marine wild life are completely natural and free to roam the sea.
To explore the Paradise Lagoon, we can cross over a bridge to the other side, and pick up some snorkelling equipment.
As you can see, there are lots of mini paddle boats here which can be used on the Lagoon if you wish to rent one.
I was surprised to find quite a lot of fish in this Lagoon.
To attract their attention, you can just use a leaf to perturb the surface of the water, and they will come over thinking it's something to eat.
They don't seem to be afraid of humans at all. They swim so close to me and my camera that I often felt them physically touch me and the camera.
Luckily they don't appear to be carnivorous. If I was around this many Piranha's, I wouldn't be this relaxed.
Rides and Slides
One of the most popular 'rides' at the Aquaventure park is the river rapids. You sit on your own donut float and the artificial current of the water will whisk you away on a very wet, and exciting journey around the whole of the park.
It's really quite fun actually, and all the splashing around and rough water currents make for a very "cool" experience. You'll never feel too hot under the sun whilst on this ride because there's almost no chance that you'll stay dry!
Mayan Temple Slides
One of the signature buildings at the Aquaventure water park, the Mayan Temple is actually home to several slides each with their own offering.
The most exhilarating would be the Leap of Faith which features a near 60ft vertical drop from the top of the Mayan Temple.
For me, I opted for the Challenger Slide which is like a beginners option.
After the Challenger Slide, I decided to go for the Serpent Slide which is a twisty turny slide in the darkness culminating in a leisurely pass through a clear acrylic tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon.
So, after a look at the various water activities and facilities available at Atlantis, my personal feeling is that they do add a whole lot of value to the stay at the resort. Atlantis without the aquariums, lagoons, beaches, pools and water park would not feel like Atlantis, and that is part of the reason why people are willing to pay a premium to stay here.
If you are not interested by any of these 'extras' then you are likely better off staying at somewhere like Baha Mar, or even a budget option in downtown Nassau. That's perfectly reasonable too, after all, Bahamas is a lot more than just resorts such as Atlantis. In fact, I might avoid Atlantis altogether next time I visit, not because it's not a fantastic resort, not because it's not value for money (because it is fantastic and is value for money), rather because it's almost too distracting from the rest of Bahamas which I had less time to explore as a result of all the activities which keep you glued to Atlantis!
On the other hand, I can't praise it enough, and for first time visitors, I really couldn't recommend anywhere better.
I hope you enjoyed my round up of Atlantis' water park, beaches and lagoons. Please upvote the post if you like it, follow for more, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!