The legend of the lost city of Atlantis which slipped into the sea “in a single day and night of misfortune” has for centuries inspired stories and fired the imagination.
Greek philosopher Plato first wrote of the famed city of wonders in 360 BC describing it as a place of “great and marvellous” power.
Today name of Atlantis lives on in a grand ocean-themed resort on Paradise Island in Nassau in The Bahamas (and of course in Dubai in the UAE), surrounded by crystal blue water and white sandy beaches, and frequently bathed in golden sunlight.
What would Plato have made of the luxury resort which boasts a huge casino, a giant waterpark, swimming pools galore, a dolphin centre, a state-of-the art kids club dozens of restaurants and its own glamorous nightclub?
Well he did once write “life must be lived as play” so I’m guessing the wise man would happily rolled his toga up and got on with the fun.
And fun is one thing which is guaranteed at Atlantis, like the legend of old everything at this resort is done on a grand scale, the 2,900 room is an epic undertaking (it’s bigger than its Dubai sister) and is a citadel in its own right which tries to be all things for all people. So much so that it is difficult to know where to start, so let’s break it down for you:
The resort’s 2,900 rooms are split between a number accommodations, the Beach Tower overlooking Paradise Island’s main beach called Cabbage Beach, the Coral Towers situated near the main Atlantis casino and the lagoon, home to stingrays and sharks, The Royal Towers which features the famous bridge suite once owned by Michael Jackson and which costs $10,000 a night.
However, perhaps the most fashionable is Atlantis’ upscale tower The Cove, which features 600 suites. The most basic (though it hardly seems fair to use that word) is the Ocean Suite, which features a huge king size bed, a step-down living area which leads onto a balcony with an ocean view. Add to that a spacious bathroom with marble floors, twin granite vanities with vessel sinks, frosted glass-tile enclosed shower and separate large bathtub.
Like most things at Atlantis, The Cove creates a jaw-dropping first impression with guests welcomed by its impressive Breezeway, which is more a stunning architectural feature than it is a walkway leading the facilities such as the bar, shops and two amazing eateries, the acclaimed Mesa Grill and the Mosaic gourmet buffet. Another great feature is possibly one of the coolest swimming pools, which is the Cain adults only pool, featuring a DJ, cabanas with their own waiters, huge bar, comfortable loungers and day beds, a lot of beautiful people and a fantastic view of the ocean.
One of the brilliant things about Atlantis is that it is somewhere where you can have family time and some vital quality adult time. Take for example the AKA – Atlantis Kids Adventure – which is a $10 million state of the art club for youngsters up to 12 years old. Here they get to access some of the newest technological wonders, plus there are games and field trips such to the shark rescue center, or the beach. So $45 for an afternoon will see you child get an afternoon they will come out smiling from ear to ear, while you get to slip away, enjoy that daquirie by the Cain pool guilt free.
When it comes to family time there is nowhere quite like the Aquaventure park, a 141-acre water park with more 20 million gallons of water, this non-stop “aqua” adventure offering Atlantean-themed towers with multiple high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and waves, a kids water-play fort and 11 pools.
Two highlights in Aquaventure are firstly The Leap of Faith slide a 60 ft almost-vertical drop from the top of the park’s Mayan Temple, through a clear tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon, and then there is The Current, a mile-long river journey that sends inner tube riders through a densely landscaped tropical jungle of extreme rapids, caves and rolling waves.
And no visit to Atlantis would be complete without a visit to its Dolphin Cay, where families get to come together to meet and play with dolphins.
In the Shallow Water Interaction at Dolphin Cay, you wade in waist-deep waters as these amazing trained dolphins come to meet you, shake hands (well fins) and perform some incredible tricks. You even get to kiss them on the nose, which is actually quite pleasant. The dolphins are just fantastic and you’ll come away with a huge smile and plenty to talk about.
Again there is a bewildering choice at Atlantis from budget to fine dining, and it can be a little difficult to know where to start. One secret to Atlantis is to look into their meal plans, especially the Reef and Cove plan. While these might seem a little on the steep side you do get to eat in all the restaurants without having to take you calculator and work out what you can afford. Included in that is the beautiful Mesa grill, which is dining at its finest with excellent service, or the fantastic Mosaic buffet, which is probably the best buffet you’ll ever go to, it’s fantastic and you can eat as much as you want.
Other highlights are the Seagrapes buffet, or for those watching their wallet, Murrays Deli is a great spot with a view of the marina and its impressive yachts, and great food for a reasonable price.
Throughout the year Atlantis hosts shows so it is always worth checking if there is an act to catch. Other than that you have the impressive Temple of the Sun Casino with lots of bars and hundreds of machines and tables if you fancy living like James Bond. It’s Martini bar is a great hang out spot, where a lot of local expats venture, and then to round off your night there is the 9,000 sq ft Aura nightclub open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Certainly nowhere in Europe can replicate what this resort offers, luxury wrapped up in Bahamian sunshine and sandy beaches.
But it depends where you are in the world.
The Bahamas compares well with its Dubai counterpart so from the UK it’s a toss of a coin as the flight times are similar. You don’t have the UAE’s huge leisure and shopping offering on your doorstep (seriously you’ll need to fly to Miami if you want to shop).