Atlantis on Paradise Island
Atlantis on Paradise Island is an upscale resort that offers something for everyone.
A Visit To Atlantis
Close Encounters of the Kid Kind
By David Rottenberg
If the fabled continent of Atlantis should rise up out of the waves, it might look like Atlantis on Paradise Island. With its coral-colored buildings, strange rooftops (even with leaping marlins facing each other) and an iconic main building consisting of two halves connected by a bridge, Atlantis on Paradise Island creates an impression of erupting from another time, another place, another world.
Atlantis on Paradise Island is an upscale resort that offers something for everyone. For adults, it offers thousands of comfortable hotel rooms, suites and condominium-type living spaces. More than 21 fine dining and casual dining venues make sure one never need go hungry. Nighttime entertainment includes music and dancing, a theater and a comedy club, in addition to bars and lounges. The biggest casino in the Caribbean, decorated with enormous Chihuly chandeliers, allows many opportunities to tempt the gods of chance.
A large spa features a choice of therapies for personal pampering. A fitness center and tennis court keeps athletes in shape. The challenging Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course makes golfers happy.
The resort is lush with vegetation, verdant with lagoons and pools. It boasts of white soft sand beaches and a series of interconnected pools for cooling down when the sun gets too hot. It has ocean views that go on forever. In short, the property is dazzling.
Paradise Island is in the Bahamas, connected to Nassau by two bridges. Nassau has become a popular cruise stop for many Caribbean cruise operators, usually on the way back to a U.S. home port . Unfortunately, at this point in time, when one has tired of island beaches and ubiquitous tourist shopping traps, there really isn’t that much to do in Nassau, even for a few hours of disembarkation.
So, many cruise passengers opt for a day pass to Atlantis because, even though it is very expensive, it is a unique and fascinating destination, particularly for kids.
Visitors check in and get tagged with ID’s to make sure they don’t wander into areas reserved for resident guests. Mostly, they have access to the pools and beaches on the property. None of the pools or lagoons are particularly deep, so kids can have a good time in a safe environment. Parents and grandparents with kids in tow off the cruise ships can enjoy the relaxing day.
It is the adventures, however, that justify the price of admission. Atlantis, true to its name, has amazing water slides and aquariums that can leave adults and children thrilled and spellbound. The Leap of Faith water slide, for example, takes a leap of faith as guests ride a nearly vertical 60-foot drop at high speed through a clear acrylic tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon. It is amazing to watch a huge shark swim by as you glide through the water. The top of the slide looks like an ancient Mayan Temple, adding to the “human sacrifice” apprehensions.
Guests can even race each other down one of the adjacent water slides and then check their speeds on the time clocks at the bottom to see who won. Small children can enjoy a special slide area built for them, ending in a pool only three feet deep.
Kids can have close encounters with a large variety of sea creatures, creating thrilling and educational experiences. In Dolphin Cay, kids can interact with dolphins and sea lions, even hug and kiss them. There is also a “trainer” program where kids can work with the pros in close proximity while learning about the animals. Kids can touch, interact with and feed sting rays in several lagoons on the property.
Walk down a flight of stairs and step into a tunnel that goes to The Dig, a simulated archeological excavation complete with turn of the century tools that looks like a scientist found and is reclaiming that eponymous fabled kingdom. An old-fashioned deep sea diving suit directs attention onto the glass walls of an enormous sea life aquarium. Huge sharks, mantas, eels and other amazing creatures swim by close enough to touch, but for the glass. One giant manta casually “flapped its wings” to glide through the water, revealing a wing span of perhaps 15 feet. The Dig is an exciting simulation that can excite kids’ imaginations.
Walk up another staircase and enter the enormous lobby, with Egyptian-like pillars, huge domes and colorful frescos that reflect ancient themes.
Atlantis on Paradise Island was developed and expanded to its current size by Sol Kerzner, a successful South African hotelier, who operates properties worldwide. Among other brands, he controls The One And Only chain of hotels in exotic locations. He built another similar Atlantis in Dubai and one is under development in China.
Guests staying at the property have access to the many attractions located at Atlantis. It can be less expensive, with all the deals offered online, to hop a plane and stay at Atlantis and to enjoy leisurely all that it offers. But, even with just a day pass, there are many things that adults and children can enjoy. For kids, it can be a great opportunity to have “close encounters of the kid kind” with archeology, mythology and amazing sea life.