Atlantis on a Budget
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been intrigued about checking out the Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas – especially after seeing all those commercials on TV. A couple of weeks ago I was finally able to make a trip out, without breaking the bank. So I wanted to share how you too can enjoy the Atlantis on a budget.
First off, don’t think you have to stay on the Atlantis property to enjoy everything there is to enjoy there. The Comfort Suites in Paradise Island is literally next door and is the only other hotel that offers full complimentary access to the Atlantis with your stay. It also offers a complimentary hot breakfast of eggs, bacon/sausage, waffles, cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels, pastries and a variety of breakfast beverages. While it’s not a five star resort or a gourmet breakfast, it offers clean and comfy spacious junior suites (with either two double beds or a king bed), a flat screen TV, refrigerator, in-room coffee/tea service and the ever coveted Wi-Fi, free of charge.
If however you want to stay on property, then the Beach Tower, which is Atlantis’ value tower, is your budget friendlier option, but it doesn’t include the complimentary hot breakfast or free Wi-Fi.
I opted for the Comfort Suites and when I arrived, I was allowed to pre-check into my room, even though I arrived well before the 3pm check-in. This allowed me to enjoy breakfast, store my luggage and get my access card to the Atlantis so I could start my vacation.
Food and Beverage Options
Lunch and On-site Drinks
Lunch at Atlantis is actually not that bad, especially if you opt for a value meal which includes a hotdog/burger/nuggets with fries and a drink for about $10-$12. The added bonus of getting this meal is that your drink cup allows you unlimited returns to the soda fountain.
If water is your go to drink, then I suggest you either purchase water at a local store or from the Comfort Suites vending machines. Water at Atlantis was $3.50 when I was there, but the water from the vending machine was $2.
If you want to enjoy some adult beverages, again, purchase them from a local store. Adult beverages start at $10 and go up from there depending on what you order. If frozen beverages are your thing, and you’re not into carrying a souvenir back home, opt for the regular glass portion over the yardstick option. You end up saving a couple of bucks and don’t have to worry about where you’re going to store the large container. I made that mistake my first day and just ended up tossing the yardstick container.
Dinner can get pricey when you eat at one of the upscale restaurants inside Atlantis, but it doesn’t have to be. The Marina Village – between the Atlantis and Comfort Suites offers options in various price ranges.
You can grab a quick dinner from Marina Pizza or Quiznos, or enjoy a nice sit down dinner from Johnny Rockets, Murray’s Deli, Bimini Road or the fancier Carmine’s. The one thing you have to remember is that most of the sit down restaurants require a reservation, so make sure you book accordingly so you don’t miss out.
Want to enjoy some more local eats? Then you’ll need to grab a taxi and head back into Nassau to the Fish Fry. It’s a nice line of restaurants, offering local flair and eats, that will remind you you’re definitely in the Bahamas.
Entertainment and Shopping
During the day you definitely want to enjoy the beaches,
pools, water slides,
the various marine habitats of Atlantis,
and their cool nooks and crannies.
The sprawling landscape will definitely keep you and your family entertained and it will take at least a few days to get to see and experience it all.
At night you’ll definitely want to take in the amazing harbor views, eats and shops at the Marina Village. It’s not only a great spot to catch the sunset, people watch, and enjoy live music, but on Saturday nights, you even get to enjoy a parade showcasing the lively sights and sounds of the Bahamas.
Looking for more? Then you can head back into Atlantis to shop at their upscale shops, catch a free recently released movie at their cinema, or take in the hustle and bustle of the casino.
Want to experience more of the Bahamian life? Then head to the outdoor Straw Market in Nassau and feel free to negotiate away as you purchase some Bahamian crafts to take home.
Here are a few things I tend to think about when I travel, so I decided to share what I knew about them with you here.
Keeping Your Items Safe
Use your room safe to store electronics, passports, etc. I know mine was big enough to keep my laptop. camera and other electronics/papers I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose. And since I knew I was going to be by the water most of the time, I also purchased this waterproof bag for my cell phone.
And while it’s big enough to keep a credit card/ID/room key and cash, I didn’t because I wanted to keep my phone locked down and water free, so I got this separate case for those items.
Before you head out, you may want to contact your carrier to see what your service and data rates will be while you’re in the Bahamas, so that you’re not be surprised by your bill once you return home. If your rates are high, then make sure that when you arrive you turn off your data or just leave your phone in your room safe.
If you can’t live without a phone and you happen to have an unlocked phone, then you may want to bring it with you and stop by a BTC (Telecom in The Bahamas) location to purchase prepaid phone plan to use during your stay.
Although I don’t focus on the possibility of needing medical care, I know things happen. One of the added benefits of Atlantis is that they have an on-site nurse and an on call doctor to attend to any medical needs that may come up. If however, they’re not available or unable to take care of your needs, there are a few options available in Nassau. You can opt to visit:
- the Princess Margaret Hospital, which is where locals receive free medical care, but it may take hours before you are seen,
- the Walk-In Medical Clinic, which requires a deposit of anywhere between $130-$150
- or the Doctor’s Hospital, which requires a deposit of anywhere between $1500-$2000
Note: If you have health insurance, it will be up to you to file your visit with your carrier. They won’t file it for you.