The Getaway
Atlantis, Paradise Island: The Cove vs. The Reef vs. The Royal

While the lost city of Atlantis may just be a myth, visitors to The Bahamas can experience the next best thing: Atlantis, Paradise Island. Bask in unparalleled luxury, enjoy fine dining options, and unwind at this unbelievable resort destination. Covering over 154 acres and featuring five distinct resorts to choose from, Atlantis is a dream vacation spot. While you couldn't go wrong choosing any of these five, the three standouts are The Cove, The Reef, and The Royal.

If you love swimming and having access to the outdoors, The Cove is for you. Visitors who like their privacy and need a room with a view would do well at The Reef. Meanwhile, The Royal is the core of the area and offers easy access to the entirety of Atlantis. But that's just a sample of what each has to offer—these three resorts are drastically different and full to the brim with incredible amenities.

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01 The Cove at Atlantis: Luxury and exclusivity

When it comes to your options for luxury at Atlantis, The Cove is the pinnacle. Tucked between two private beaches, this resort is an elegant hotel for adults seeking a dreamlike getaway. The Cove is the only resort that features the adults-only Cove Pool with 20 private cabanas, as well as stylish daybeds and outdoor gaming. Dedicated cabana butlers will serve guests complimentary tea, coffee, flat or sparkling water, and spa treatments. And if that weren't enough, visitors also have quick access to the legendary beaches.

02 The Cove at Atlantis: Sophisticated dining

Beyond its serene offerings and adult-oriented activities, The Cove also has several impressive dining locations. Frezca is perhaps the most well-known, with upscale dishes including fresh seafood and seasonal fruits—as well as an inventive cocktail menu. However, it is Fish by José Andrés that earns The Cove its reputation for sophisticated dining. Enjoy all of the ocean's bounties, from the simple conch to exotic lionfish.

03 The Cove at Atlantis: Spacious suites

Choose from over 600 suites, ranging from the cozier Ocean Suites to the impossibly spacious Penthouse Suites. Regardless of what you choose, you'll have plenty of space as even the Ocean Suites cover about 700 square feet and include a step-down living area with a sleeper sofa, comfortable chairs, and other beautiful furnishings. Each suite provides either a French or full balcony with floor-to-ceiling ocean views. Basic amenities include flat-panel TVs, individually controlled air-conditioning, a Keurig coffee maker, and so much more. Plus, if you choose one of the Lapis Club suites, you gain exclusive access to the Lapis at The Cove. Here, you'll find a concierge to help you make plans, gourmet breakfast choices, and a cocktail bar.

04 The Cove at Atlantis: Adult-Friendly atmosphere

More than any of the other resorts, The Cove is all about adult-only vacation opportunities. The adults-only pool is a big plus but it's the private beach access that really comes in handy. If you ever get tired of the hustle and bustle within the hotel, the beach provides a tranquil escape. Head over to the Dragon's Ultra Lounge for live entertainment and some tropical drinks or keep it lowkey at the Sea Glass lounge.

05 The Cove at Atlantis: Privacy and serenity

It's not common for guests to be able to find moments of privacy at most resorts, but The Cove is something special. From the private beach to the large rooms, you'll always be able to find some time for yourself. But if you desperately need a moment to unwind, head over to the Mandara Spa and enjoy a combination of Balinese healing techniques, natural Bahamian elements, and traditional European therapies. There are private lounge areas for men and women, complete with steam and sauna rooms. Just choose from an array of treatments, therapies, or pampering services and let go.

06 The Reef at Atlantis: Family-Friendly comfort

While The Cove provides plenty of adult-only entertainment, The Reef is far more family-friendly. This hotel has more suite options, including studio or multi-bedroom suites, kitchenettes or full kitchens, and all the modern amenities you could ask for. These residential-style suites are perfect for extended stays or guests traveling with their families.

07 The Reef at Atlantis: Direct beach access

Guests staying at The Reef have exclusive access to one of the area's quieter beaches, a gorgeous stretch of white sand and turquoise waters. This is perfect for families who don't want to lose track of each other on the busier beaches around Atlantis. Beyond this, The Reef also has easy access to the Marina and its unforgettable views of ships sailing in and out of the docks.

08 The Reef at Atlantis: Comfortable accommodations

Many people describe the suites within The Reef as "homes away from home," and it's easy to see why. Even the smallest suite is roughly 1000 square feet, while the largest non-penthouse suite reaches an impressive 1700 square feet. Guests can also request cribs and rollaway beds, showing how the resort caters to a family's needs. This, along with the potential for multiple rooms, makes The Reef the easy choice for any traveling family.

09 The Reef at Atlantis: Self-Catering option

The other hallmark features of The Reef's suites are the attached kitchenettes, or—depending on the suite—the full kitchens. Constantly trying to make dining plans with a family is a struggle even at home. The ability to enjoy a meal from the comfort of your own accommodations takes an unnecessary weight off of your shoulders and lets you enjoy your vacation without any headaches.

10 The Reef at Atlantis: Close to marine adventures

Thanks to The Reef's proximity to many kid-friendly activities, you'll never be far from something the whole family can enjoy. The entirety of Atlantis is built around the incredible Aquaventure water park, which has enough activities to keep your children engaged for months. For families that love to see local wildlife, The Reef is also a short walk or tram ride away from Dolphin Cay—the world's largest open-air marine habitat. At The Reef, you're never too far away from something people of any age will love.

11 The Royal at Atlantis: Central location

Though The Royal has just as many amenities and offerings as the other resorts, one of the best reasons for choosing to stay here is its location. Because it sits at the heart of Atlantis, it has extremely easy access to all of the island's main attractions, along with its dining and entertainment locations. If you're someone who needs to be able to do anything and everything, The Royal is for you.

12 The Royal at Atlantis: Family Adventure hub

Like The Reef, The Royal has many features that make it quite family-friendly. From the smallest guest rooms to the massive Bridge Suite, it also has several different room types to accommodate families of different sizes. The Royal also has even better access to the Aquaventure Water Park than The Reef, so you're never far from the fun.

13 The Royal at Atlantis: Variety of dining options

Just off of the Royal Towers lobby, you'll find Plato's Lounge. This large but cozy lounge has everything guests could ever want, including a patisserie with options for breakfast, dinner, or even a late-night snack. If you're looking for something a bit more filling, The Royal also features Nobu, a restaurant headed up by famed Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Indulge in innovative dishes ranging from yellowtail sashimi with jalapenos to black cod in miso and so many other iconic options. Each restaurant at The Royal is happy to serve families—though some have time restrictions—and have family-friendly menus that even the pickiest kid can eat from.

14 The Royal at Atlantis: Diverse accommodations

Of the three resorts, The Royal might have the most diverse accommodation options—especially after its recent renovations. Guests have six types to choose from, starting at the smallest guest rooms to the largest Bridge Suite. The suites on the lower floors have options for terraces, harbor, or ocean views. Meanwhile, those on the upper floors have remarkable ocean views and a range of opulent amenities. The more expensive suites also have options for multiple rooms, providing visitors with more privacy if they choose. Guests of any preference or budget can find a room to fit their needs at The Royal.

15 The Royal at Atlantis: Iconic attractions

Because The Royal is so centrally located in Atlantis, you'll be able to see all of its iconic experiences. Like The Reef, you're not far from Dolphin Cay and Aquaventure's many water slides and lazy rivers. However, one of the most iconic attractions is right under your feet. Descend the steps below the Royal Lobby to discover The Ruins, an enormous aquarium depicting the lost City of Atlantis. The Dig spans 15 chambers that imitate a 600-foot archeological dig in search of the ancient city.

16 Families and kids

Both The Reef and The Royal are great choices for families visiting Atlantis. The Royal is preferable if you want access to all of the island's main attractions with limited travel time. Alternatively, The Reef is ideal for groups that prefer quieter vacations and a homey place to return to at the end of the day.

17 Dining options

Incredible dining options are available all over the island, but each resort has something unique. The Cove appeals to an adult palate thanks to sophisticated locations like Fish by José Andrés, which is the go-to choice for a romantic dinner or an adult gathering. The Royal has more options to choose from and is closer to the various other eateries on the island, so guests can find exactly what they would like to eat. The Reef, however, stands out the most thanks to its kitchens providing the ability to dine in and save a bit of money.

18 Luxury and privacy

Privacy is often a rare commodity at popular resorts, but Atlantis has several places for some alone time. The Cove is the absolute pinnacle of both luxury and privacy on the island, thanks to its adult-exclusive options like the private pool and its serene beach. Both The Royal and The Reef are also very upscale resorts but cater more to groups and families rather than alone time.

19 Price and value

When it comes to customization and fitting into any budget, the best choice is The Royal. Thanks to its many suite options and diverse room types, guests can find something that will fit their needs. Alternatively, The Reef's amenities—like the kitchens—may help visitors save money on longer stays, ultimately becoming more cost-effective. This is particularly true if you're traveling in a group or with a family. The Cove is the premium option, though even its pricing varies on the season and the suite type.

20 Kid-Friendly activities

While Atlantis is truly massive, none of the three resorts are particularly far from any of the island's entertainment options. The Royal is definitely the best fit for a family that needs immediate access or frequent access to areas like Aquaventure, simply due to the convenience factor. The Reef and The Cove provide different levels of tranquility and luxury, but both will ultimately ensure families have an incredible vacation and make plenty of great memories.

Ultimately, the truth is that there is no wrong choice when it comes to Atlantis, Paradise Island's resorts. Each has its strengths and maybe a better fit for certain guests, but they are all incredible resorts. The magic of Atlantis is that every guest can cater an experience for themselves that fulfills exactly what they need and want from a vacation. It is the premier destination for that perfect paradise escape.

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