Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in the Bahamas

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Oyster reporters headed to the Bahamas to explore the destination's top hotels. We slept in the beds, lounged by the pools, ate in the restaurants, and even sampled the nightlife, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. The Bahamas is an excellent family-friendly destination, particularly with the Atlantis complex, but there are a few resorts better geared toward hosting little ones. Here's a list of our favorite kid-friendly hotels.

  1. Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

    Brimming with activities for kids and teens, Atlantis is a veritable Caribbean Disneyland. In addition to all the basics (babysitting, cribs, rollaway beds, kids club) the resort has 11 spectacular pools (including several kids' pools), a 141-acre water park, a speedway for racing remote control cars, and a marine habitat with sharks, stingrays, and dolphins to swim alongside -- and that's just a small sample of all the attractions. In addition, for teens, Atlantis has an elaborate shopping center, a rock-climbing wall, teen-focused spa treatments like "Acne-attack" facials, an under-18 nightclub, and, on occasion, a pop-star concert (think Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber).

  2. One&Only Ocean Club

    If the Atlantis is the "Disneyland" of the Caribbean, consider the One and Only Ocean Club Atlantis' older, more refined sibling (it is, in fact, its sister resort). More exclusive and hush-hush than some of the other big resorts, the One and Only Ocean Club will make you feel upscale, but not so upscale that the kiddies can't participate. There is a family pool so younger guests can have fun while the big kids have quiet time at the nearby adults only pool (don't worry, it's not too near). The beach provides some great waves for body surfing, and lifeguards are on duty make sure everyone's safe if the surf gets a little too strong. And just around the corner at the Atlantis are all the great amenities like an awesome waterpark, movie theater, and delicious dining with kid-friendly options. The One and Only even provides guests with free transportation to Atlantis!

  3. Atlantis - Coral Towers

    With 600-plus rooms, the comfortable Coral Towers (formerly the Brittania Beach Hotel) is a section of Atlantis that appeals to mid-range travelers -- mostly families. It's cheaper than the Royal Tower but closer to the action (and crowds) than the budget-friendly Beach Tower. Though decor and amenities are similar to the Beach Tower, Coral offers larger room options, such as the Regal Suite, which has two full bathrooms. It sits next to the harbor (some rear-facing balconies have views of it), and offers easy access to Marina Village for more choice in restaurants, shops and after-dinner strolls among the yachts. The most notable Atlantis features include its extensive marine habitat (the world's largest outdoor aquarium); and Aquaventure, a 141-acre, 200-million gallon water park that combines a series of slides (Mayan Temple and Power Tower), a lazy river, and the Current, a mile-long water ride with waves and tidal changes. Access to both of these is free for guests.

  4. Atlantis - Royal Towers

    When most people think of Atlantis, they immediately envision Royal Towers -– the massive, pink, now-iconic structure that opened in 1998 and houses over 1,000 spacious rooms. It sits along a near-perfect (if it weren't for the vendors) stretch of beach in Paradise Island. Atlantis has six separate sections, and Royal Towers is the mega-resort nerve center; guests staying here will find themselves within easy walking distance of the best pools, a luxury spa and fitness center, the 141-acre Aquaventure for incredible waterslides and river rides, and activities at Dolphin Cay. 

  5. The Reef Atlantis

    This modern, luxurious condo-hotel with nearly 500 residential-style units is located on the far edge of the enormous Atlantis complex. The big studios, one-, and two-bedrooms units (many with views) are well-suited to families, and have pull-out sofas and fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. It's one of the priciest Atlantis options (though not quite as expensive as Cove), but families will likely appreciate being able to cook to save money, as Atlantis' 19 bars and 21 restaurants are notoriously expensive. The property has a nice stretch of beach and a large family pool that is exclusive to Reef and Cove guests, and major Atlantic highlights such as Aquaventure are within walking distance.

  6. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach-An All Inclusive Resort

    On the southeast shore of Grand Bahama near Freeport is one of the few all-inclusive resorts on the entire island with 274 rooms spread out over 26 acres. This Wyndham offers low prices for families on a budget. All rooms in the two-story bungalows have balconies, coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi, and are an easy walk to get to the three restaurants, the main lounge and bar, as well as the theater for nightly entertainment. A snack bar, pizza joint, trapeze, and water sports keep kids busy, but parents may want to invest in a good pair of headphones if looking for peace and quiet from the vendors and animation activities.

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