When it comes to Atlantis, it is luxury all the way. The resort is adorned with elaborate art, the restaurants serve mouth-watering meals and the grounds are immaculate. And with this top-of-the-line, upscale environment, I found it surprising to discover how family-friendly the resort actually is.
To begin, The Coral is newly renovated and offers a welcoming vibe for all members of the family. It is one of the more affordable option at Atlantis, perfect for a multi-generational trip. You’ll find a kids’ concierge in the lobby, with experts ready to help with activities, child menus, strollers and childcare.
Not far from the kid’s concierge is Sun & Ice, an ice cream parlour that might just serve the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted. Bahamian chef Wayne Moncur created recipes reminding him of the islands, including Benny Cake Crumble and Soursop. You won’t find these flavours anywhere else, so you’ll want to go back for seconds. Or, you can hit up the Coral’s swim-up bar, which serves Pop Stop gourmet pops, with flavours like pineapple basil and strawberry watermelon.
Outside The Coral, aside from the immaculate white sand beach and clear blue waters, kids have a wide array of activities to keep them busy. There are amazing waterslides (that parents will love, too), an incredible splash pad and a (not-so) lazy river. Plus, there are aquariums and ponds full of sea life everywhere you turn.
A highlight for my daughter was stopping by Dolphin Cay, getting up close and personal with the smiley creatures (some of which were rescued during hurricane Katrina). Though the dolphins are talented and have an arsenal of tricks, they are not here to perform. Dolphin Cay is their home and guests are asked to respect that. You can also meet a playful sealion or two.
In the evenings, teens can hang out at Crush, an unbelievable club that rivals any adult club I’ve ever seen, featuring a dance floor, massive gaming stadium and Internet lounge. Parents aren’t even allowed inside! Kids must sign in and out, and Internet usage is monitored.Everything is safe and well supervised, so parents can feel at ease.
Little ones can head to The Atlantis Kids Adventures Club (or AKA) to enjoy a pretend grocery store, a Lego construction room, a “life size” Victorian Doll House and so much more. My daughter was a little nervous during her stay here, which was unusual for her, but the staff was kind and patient. She was thrilled to go back the next day for a cooking class. (We made the most delicious pineapple tarts!)
We were lucky enough to take part in a mini Junkanoo celebration (think: Caribana) the night before we left. My daughter lead the parade, whistle in her mouth, wearing a mask she had made of feathers and seashells, and dancing away to the loud music. And that’s what I really love about Atlantis: their push to make the resort a truly Bahamian experience. They bring in local chefs, artists, customs and cuisine, and that’s what I want when I’m on vacation: I want to feel as though I’ve soaked in some of the country’s culture.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Fall 2017.