My wife and I have stayed at The Reef several times in the past and had always thought it was the "hidden" gem of Atlantis. In the past, The Reef was always extremely quiet, almost deserted, impeccably maintained, and had 5 star service. It also holds sentimental value to us, as this is where I proposed to her several years ago. We are in the market for a vacation home, and were here to really put The Reef to the test, as they have several units available for sale. This trip to Atlantis and The Reef was great fun, and it still may be the hidden gem of Atlantis, but it certainly has fallen off, and was underwhelming enough for us to scratch it off our list of potential vacation homes.
Our stay got off to a bad start with our encounter at check in. We arrived to a line of about 4 people that for some reason was not moving at all. 4 people is obviously not a huge crowd, but the front desk staff seemed unable or unwilling to move it along quickly. Shevonne at the Owners Desk offered to check us in because the line at the hotel front desk was so long. It was a nice offer, but her kindness ended there. She was short, but not rude during our check in. We checked in, got to the room, and our keys did not work. I returned to her desk and told her the keys did not work, and she proceeded to grill me about proper procedure for sticking the key in the door, as if I still haven't figured that one out. I asked her if she thought it was acceptable for an employee at a 5 star hotel to provoke an argument with a guest, and she replied "I don't work for you, I work for the owners here. I know how it works here, and I don't care about you." Fair enough. Just don't volunteer to deal with hotel guests if this is going to be your attitude. Shevonne should be canned immediately.
We got to the room and it was nice as always. The rooms here really are fabulous, particularly the bathrooms. We had an end unit with a very nice wrap around balcony as well. It didn't take us more than 20 minutes into our stay, though, to realize several things from the room were missing, namely a hair dryer, hotel information notebook including room service menu, notepad and pen. I called the front desk and these were sent up right away, but for a 5 star hotel, having to call the front desk to get these items sent up should not be necessary. Housekeeping should not sign off on a room until it is stocked with the basics. We then showered, and noticed that the shower had a mind of its own in terms of the temperature, constantly alternating between hot and cold regardless of the setting. In fairness, we did not raise this issue with the hotel. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing with the room.
The Reef's common areas were the biggest disappointment as they have become surprisingly run down. The elevators have in-car TV screens that play Atlantis advertisements, but of the 6 cars operating, only 2 had working TV screens. Several of the elevators appeared dirty and had scuff marks all over the doors. Not big issues, but a 5 star hotel needs to care about these details. The hotel's corridors were most surprising. Throughout the day, there were always several maid carts and unattended towel bins left out in the hallway, to the point that it was like walking through a maze to just get down the hallway. There were also several room service trays left out throughout the day. One night, we returned from the casino at 1:00am, and there was still a breakfast tray in the hallway that had been out since the previous morning. The carpet is also starting to bubble up in several spots. None of these is a big deal, but none of these should happen at a 5 star resort.
The bottom line though, for a vacation, this is still an awesome place to stay. It's a gorgeous building with great amenities and for the most part, the service is good. However, I point all the above out to illustrate that this was built as a 5 star hotel and has been managed like a 3 or 4 star hotel. If the current trend continues, the building will not look so pretty in another 5 years. These concerns have caused me to cancel a future trip to officially look at their units available for purchase, and will likely cause me to look elsewhere for vacation next spring, but the next time I head back to Atlantis, which I'm sure will be sooner rather than later, The Reef is still the place to stay. I just wish they'd show more pride in their beautiful hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on Paradise Beach, guests of The Reef Atlantis enjoy miles of white sand and ocean in their backyard with all the wonder and excitement of Atlantis on their front doorstep. The Reef features studios, one and two bedroom suites that offer all the conveniences of home with a full kitchen or kitchen area complete with linens, cookware, table settings, refrigerator and private balconies with water views. Guests of The Reef enjoy a semi-private pool, shared only with The Cove Atlantis and a Starbucks lounge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Reef Atlantis Hotel Paradise Island
- Reef Atlantis Paradise Island
- The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection Bahamas/Paradise Island