Paradise Island is the perfect place for a family vacation. If you are not familiar with Paradise Island, it is a small island in the Bahamas, across a bridge from Nassau. Only 685 acres, it has a semi-tropical climate and is hidden among the islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, a few hundred miles from the United States’ southern coast. The main attraction on Paradise Island is the spectacular Atlantis resort.
We had the pleasure of staying at the Comfort Suites, which is right next to the Atlantis resort. The best part about staying at the Comfort Suites is that you get to use all of the Atlantis amenities, but still come back to a smaller, quieter place to call home during your visit. Check out my full review of the Comfort Suites Paradise Island here.
The Atlantis resort is truly a kids paradise. Named one of the top 25 Amusement/Water parks in the World by Trip Advisor, The Atlantis water park, Aquaventure is full of things to do for kids of all ages. The adults have a great time too! The park features over 20 million gallons of water. WOW!
Walking to Aquaventure through the main entrance is an adventure in itself. You’ll walk through the area called “The Dig.” It’s like a walk through the ruins of Atlantis while being surrounded by likely thousands of fish including 500 pirhanas, six-foot Moray Eels and brilliantly colored tropical fish.
Throughout the park there are lagoons, caves, and pools that showcase exotic marine life like sting rays, barracuda, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles and more. It’s one of the largest collections of marine life in the world. There’s over 50,000 aquatic animals representing over 250 marine species. Our favorite spot was watching the baby sea turtles!
Aquaventure has high speed water slides, 20 swimming areas, a splash park for younger kids and so much more. One of our favorite activities was the mile-long river ride. This is no lazy river! Riders experience rolling rapids, wave surges and slides. The best part about this ride is that there are never any lines for the main loop. There are sometimes lines for the slides, but they were worth the wait too.
In addition to the huge water park, the resort offers visitors a variety of other activities like snorkeling with tropical fish, walking through the shark tank, making friends with a dolphin or feeding the sting rays. We had the pleasure of having a Dolphin encounter. Our dolphin Cosmo was the largest in the Dolphin Cay. Most of the resort’s dolphins have been rescued after hurricanes or other injuries.
All around the water park are places to dine or have a tropical drink. My favorite was a combination of Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri. I think they called is a Miami Vice. The kids enjoyed typical grill options like hamburgers and chicken fingers. My husband and I enjoyed wraps and salads.
The resort has a wide selection of dining options as well. Atlantis actually features 21 restaurants, 19 bars offering everything from buffets to family-style meals and fine dining. My favorite meal was the grouper at Olives Restaurant. The fare at Virgil’s Real BBQ was also amazing! This is a bit more casual and kid friendly. There is also a marina village with other restaurants, shops, a candy store and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Back at the Comfort Suites, they provide free buffet breakfasts and have a restaurant and bar. My daughter LOVED the waffles. They conch fritters are great too! They also have a pool and swim up bar. It was a great place to unwind after a busy day at Atlantis.
I have few complaints about a stay on Paradise Island. Here are my tips for making your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Tips for a Great Family Vacation at Atlantis Resort
- Consider staying at Comfort Suites or booking Atlantis during the off season for the best rates.
- Carry a resort map. Atlantis is HUGE so it can be tricky to navigate.
- To save money, do some shopping on Nassau to pack snacks/lunch.
- If you want to be around the main pool (next to the Mayan Temple slides), arrive early to reserve seating with your towels. Otherwise, I recommend finding a spot near the lazy river closer to the kids splash park. We never had to compete for seating there. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.
- There are also private cabanas and a preferred seating area that you can book in advance for a fee.
- Don’t carry money within the resort, you can charge nearly everything to your room. If staying at Comfort Suites, you do need a credit card for some activities/shops.
- Ask for routes in and out of the water park where you can avoid going through the smokey casino.
Have you been to Atlantis or Paradise Island? What tips do you have for a great stay?