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“Here now - it's really nice” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection

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The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Certificate of Excellence
Cleveland
Level Contributor
147 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Here now - it's really nice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012 via mobile

Checked in yesterday @ 230. Very smooth and room ready. Nice ocean view studio. Very clean and fresh. Will post full review when return.

Bottom line is yes it's expensive but worth every penny!

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank ctownhokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (397)
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Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012

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.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank I521YOU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

The Reef is a great hotel. If you are the type of vacationer that likes high-end accommodations and don't mind paying for it, this may be for you.

There are plenty of reviews of the Reef, so I'll try to provide some information that may not be as obvious:

The hotel: The Reef is a Condo Hotel, meaning that you are renting a condo, not a regular hotel room. The units have high-end finishes (granite, etc.) that you would expect in luxury condominium. These units sell in the neighborhood of $1000/sq. ft.

Taxes/fees/tips: The Bahamas has no income tax. They more than make up for it by gouging the millions of tourists who visit each year. You will pay about 25% above the quoted price for a room to cover taxes, extra person fees, housekeeping, etc. These fees are generally mandated by the government, so don't blame the hotel. Also you will pay an automatic 15% gratuity for any food/drink you buy.

Balconies: Not huge, but a nice place to sit and read in the morning, or to relax in the evening. You could even sleep out there on a warm night. The ocean view from the higher floors is amazing, but it costs extra. The balconies aren't great for sunbathing because you can only get the morning or afternoon sun. The balcony above you will block the mid-day sun. The east side of the building gets the morning sun and overlooks the pools. You will hear music from the pools until early evening.

Groceries: If your room includes a kitchen, you can get groceries delivered, or your cab driver will stop at a store on your way from the airport. It is nice to have drinks, snacks and small meals available when you get up and throughout the day. Buying groceries is a great way to save money as well. The resort restaurants range from fine dining to all-you-can eat buffets, so you can easily get by with one large meal per day and munch on something lighter the rest of the time.

Pools: The pools are nice, but can get crowded. Around 8am, guests start staking claims on the pool chairs, and they will be completely gone by the time the pools open. Most people take blankets and other items down to the pool of their choice (there are many) to reserve a spot. Most pools have music, so consider where the speakers are when you select a chair.

Weather: The weather in the Bahamas is great, but don't assume it will be perfect every day. We went in April and had a couple days of rainy and windy weather. Save some indoor activities (aquarium, casino, etc.) for any potential bad-weather days.

Restaurants: All the restaurants are very expensive. Lunch by the pool will cost you $20 or more. The buffets will cost you $50-$75 a person. The fine dining will cost you anywhere from $75-$125 a person depending on drinks and desserts. For the most part, the meal plan seems like it would be a wash unless you are a big eater. We didn't have any bad meals while we there.

Activities: The water park is included in the cost of your room, and you could easily spend days just hanging around the pools, floating in the lazy river, or doing water slides. There are a number of activities you can pay for. Many of these activities are also available off-resort from 3rd party providers at a lower cost, but doing it at the resort is a more efficient use of time. If you are on a shorter vacation, consider doing more at the resort. If you have more time than money, straying from the resort is a great way to experience more of the Bahamas.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank RogerMKE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
193 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

I did a lot of research before I booked The Reef hotel at Atlantis for our family vacation. That research definitely paid off. There are a lot of complaints about the pricing/cost at Atlantis, here's what you need to know the Carribean is EXPENSIVE it doesn't matter where you stay, it is just extremely expensive, some places more than others. Any island including Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket needs to ship everything there by plane or boat which makes things expensive. If you are looking for an economical vacation the carribean isn't the place for you. That being said, if you are looking for a splurge Atlantis is it. Here are some pointers and highlights:

I think the meal plan is worth the price, it costs $100 per adult per day and approximately $30 per child per day. This includes breakfast and dinner. Included in the dinner option is an appetizer, entree and dessert per person. In order to get your money's worth, you need to make all your dinner reservations ahead of time, so that you can get into the best restaurants and take advantage of the meal plan. Our absolute favorite restaurant was the SeaFire Grill it was spectacular, we ended up eating their twice. Our least favorite restaurant by far was the Bahiamian Club. The service was horrific and the food just so so. We hit it off with the waiter, Bradley at the SeaFire, and secured him for our second night, he was so friendly and great with the kids.

I also want to add that I like that this is not an all inclusive resort, I find there are way too many drunk people at the all inclusive resorts and I thing people are much more careful with their alcohol intake when they are paying $10+ dollars a cocktail!

The spa is a must if you can fit it in, some of the best spa treatments I have ever had. They have private bath rooms for couples that you can book, just lovely.

The Reef is a great choice for families because they are spacious suites with full kitchens. We booked a two bedroom ocean view suite. The view was absolutely incredible. We had three full bathrooms and the master bath was so large, we put a blow up bed in it for our 2 year old to sleep on. You have a private pool and beach that none of the other resort guests can utilize, which is nice because you then avoid the cruise ship day trippers invading your space. The only day there are no cruise ship people on property is Thursday as there are no ships that come into port that day. That makes Thursday a great day for the water park. You can pool hop to any other pool except the Cove Adult only pool if you stay at the Reef.

The water park is amazing, yes the lines for the slides can be long, but they are at ANY water park I have ever been too, including Disney's water parks. The key to this water park is that there is a rapid river ride where there is never a line. The kiddie pools and play areas are just incredible here. To reaffirm what one contributor said below the height requirement for all the water slides is 48 inches which is very high for a water park, therefore my 5 1/2 year old couldn't go on any of the slides, but my 9 year old twin boys could. She could do the rapid river and the kiddie slides in the kiddie pools.

We spent two mornings at Dolphin Cay we did the shallow water encounters for both the Sea Lions and the Dolphins. The shallow water encounters allow for kids of all ages so even my 2 1/2 year old could participate. I have done discovery cove in Orlando and this is just as good. I found the animals to be in good condition and the facility to be clean and well kept. These are rescued dolphins from other marine parks not dolphins taken from the wild and animals that were born there. These encounters are expensive as are the pictures if you chose to buy them, but again all these types of places are expensive.

The resort is so well decorated and the groundskeeping is wonderful. We ate breakfast ever day at Mosaic at the Cove hotel next door as they have the closest buffet. The food was incredible, fresh fruit, omeletes or eggs made to order and the staff was friendly.

We found the beach attendants to be excellent, great food and drink service at the pool and the beach. One of the attendants played football with my boys one afternoon and they had a blast.

TIP: get extra towels at the end of the day to take back to the room with you then use those to place on chairs on your way to breakfast. There were always plenty of chairs, but if you have little ones who you need to keep a close eye on you will want the front row chairs at the waters edge.

TIP: Get to the airport 3 hours early the immigration lines are LONG!

TIP: Kids Adventure is wonderful and I spoke with the manager about my soon to be 3 year old (he was two months shy of 3 when we visited last week) he is potty trained and she was willing to take him as long as we took a pager so that if there was an issue we could head back. So they are flexible on the 3 year old requirement for the kids club..

TIP: Keep your eyes open this place is a celebrity mecca. We saw Buddy from Cake Boss and various members of his family, two NHL players and Dennis Rodman when we were there.

Truly a fabulous family vacation with breathtaking views of that aqua water from everywhere you looked!

Room Tip: Try to upgrade to an end unit with a full ocean view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank sullymom4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

Before we went to the Reef I gathered feedbacks from friends who've been there and of course here in TripAdvisor. We knew that the restaurants and getting on a meal plan is expensive. The very first day we arrived we have e-mailed Sandra Ferguson Taxi to pick us at the airport. The driver is courteous and has patiently waited for us to do our Grocery Shopping and drop by at the Liquor Store before dropping us at The Reef. It helped us a lot to have Bottled Water, Juices, Milk Bread, Bacon, Eggs and some basic stuff handy in our room. Theres always free coffee,tea,sugar, creamer and small bottled water everyday (dont overdo buying gallons of bottled water). I love the fact that there's a Starbucks at the Reef, you can even grab a light snack here when you feel tired going out of your building and the price is just right.

We were happy not to get the Meal Plan because it was such a waste of time lining at The Breakfast Buffet. We had a pleasure of getting up not too early and not in a hurry. Having our breakfast overlooking both the beach and the Harbour at the side (our room is at the end) feeling the ocean breeze is a pleassure. Then we'll head at the center of fun which is at The Royal Tower which gets really really crowded from The Cruise Ship guests. We still can manage to get some seat, there's 5 of us but 2 seats are enough because we only use the seat to dump our things anyway and we're all for the waterfun...besides The Reef Beach and Poolside is a much better place to hang around if you're just only after the sun and lounging. All of us Adults and Kids had fun at the Water Park. Tip:Bring plenty of Sunscreen. We stayed there for 6 days and the 5 of us finished 3 bottles of SunScreen.
The Reef PoolSide is beautiful and much much calmer from The Royal Tower, you always have to bring your keys so you can get the bracelet. The poolside food is just okay, the price is fair. For 2 burgers fries and drinks under $20 considering your at The Reef is not bad at all. The Water at the Beach is amazingly clear. Bring your own goggles, we had a blast swimming with the tiny fishes. The water is just below the adult waist level but once the fishes saw some tiny drops of food they all go crazy and swim around you. I got good pictures of them! The Beach is private, clean, the sand is fine powdery and white and nice crowd of people.
At night time The Marina is a good place to go. Lots of Restaurants to go to but some of them needs a reservation. At that time we couldn't get into 2 of them so we ended up at Johnny Rocketts. There's Ben & Jerry's which is good for the hot weather. If you plan to buy RumCakes , there's a nice store there that has the price similar to the local stores outside. If you dont feel like going at the center of the town The Marina has Souvenir Shops that has a fair price. At nighttime the place is alive with music and some fun activities for kids.
We also went at The Twin Brothers FishFry, lots of local people but that was the slowest service and the waiting for each course is painfully loongg. My daughter fell asleep at her seat. However, compare to the places I ate, they had the best FishFry and Conch appetizer I had in Bahamas.
The PoopDeck is a must to go to, you will need reservation but the food is superb as well, much expensive than the regular local restaurant, though. The Sunset view is stunning if you get the seat with that view.
Getting around the area is easy. There's taxi everywhere and they are not like other place where if they know you're a tourist they'll rip you off. As long as you know the fare you'll be fine. They all speak fluent English as well.
We took The Stuart Cove for Diving and Snorkelling and had a blast after knowing that we were swimming on top of the baby sharks (had I known it before I wouldn't dare get off the boat). The crew are distracting the baby sharks not to swim up to us and they all let us get in the boat when the sharks realized we were watching them quietly. The added attraction is when one of the crew threw a fish to them they all jumped up the water...that was a sight to behold, I got pictures of them but wasnt able to video them.
The room is nice Studio is just fine for me, my husband and 6 y/o daughter. Bathroom is big. The kitchen utensils and appliances are of good quality. Housekeeping are fast to give your request and did a good job taking care of us. We were at the end unit so we had the view of both the ocean, the harbour and overlooking The famous Atlantis building.
Be at the Airport early, it takes a long time to check-in and the Immigration line is long. And this is the sad part of our vacation because we are leaving this real Paradise Island. We were actually already back to NY getting our luggages and there's still this young girl sobbing and being comforted by her mom, she's in our flight and she still has all the entrance bracelets from The Atlantis......that's how I'm going to miss this place

Room Tip: end Unit with both the Ocean and harbour View
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank narsinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection

Property: The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection
Address: 1 Casino Drive, New Providence Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Casino Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#1 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#2 Family Hotel in Paradise Island
Price range (per night): ₹ 36,277 - ₹ 1,25,415
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Reef Atlantis, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 497
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

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