The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas is one of the most beautiful themed resorts I have ever seen. I won’t ever go back.
While the resort offers all you can imagine, the prices, hidden charges and underlying greed of the resort makes it almost painful to enjoy yourself. After 4 days, everyone in our group was more than ready to come home. Not a usual occurrence on tropical vacations.
The back story is my wife earned a getaway from the insurance company she works for based on her performance. All the recipients of national performance awards were treated to 3 days at Atlantis to include business awards, meetings & dinners. it was a great reward for those who had busted their butts making the company money. We elected to go a day earlier to try and enjoy the resort. “Try” being the operative word.
The extra night (off season) was $269. Steep, but okay, big resort lots to do. Well, the price of everything there was astronomical.
- A hamburger was $17 plus a mandatory 15% gratuity added to it, plus tax. (In fairness, the same hamburger you could buy at Burger King for $1.29 was only $10.00 at the pool bar. Beers were ONLY $7.85)
- The cab ride from the airport was $33 + $2 per bag + $3 per extra person + gratuity. While informative, it was fraught with danger and very tension building (not good for a vacation start). The drivers door wouldn’t shut. Mine wouldn’t open, my window flopped and hung a screw. Traffic was insane with several near collisions on the 40 minute drive to our hotel. $60 later, I am a nervous wreck.
- Swimming with the dolphins for two people was $380. Which, if they would have been focused on our enjoyment, would have been tolerable, but you could see that each activity with the dolphins was barely veiled manipulations to position you for photos that Atlantis sells to you for $70-$450. Because her company paid for the other three nights, we only paid for one, a few meals and (her coming paid for our Shallow Dolphin Experience (petting), which we upgraded to the Deep Water Experience (swimming) for an additional $120. Plus the minimal package of photos for $70.
- Upon check-in, you are charged a Bellman fee (would have been good to know BEFORE I tipped them $20 for ours & another couple’s luggage. A fee we were not made aware of until after check out.
- There was a $10.00 maid service fee on our bill for a Gratuity which turned out to be a daily maid service.
- Internet service was $19.95 (and Verizon wanted a second mortgage for Roaming Intl fees.) and there was nowhere in the hotel, like a business center, that I could take my iPad or laptop to work. Really? For $339 per night, I can get on the damned Internet?
- There was tax on the room to the tune of $23.50 per night.
- And a matching resort fee of $23.50 per night that was explained as one for the government and one fee for the hotel. WTF?
- My personal favorite was $3.50 per day for use of the Pool. Are you frigging kidding me?
So, the advertised rate of $269 really added up to a one night stay of $269 + $10 + $10 +23.50 + $23.50 + $3.50 = $339.50 per night. Why don’t they just say the the room rate is $339 and be honest? I had a great time on our trip, but the deceptive policies was beyond annoying. With our one night hotel stay, a few meals, and the dolphin swim, our one night at Atlantis cost $685.
My suggestion is save your money. Go to Aruba. Or St. Martin. They don’t have the manufactured scenery or activities of Atlantis, but you won’t need a second mortgage and defibrillation when getting the bill.