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Atlantis - Harborside Resort 4.0

Paradise Island, New Providence Island, Bahamas

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Condo-style units in colorful colonial-style buildings
  • All units have a kitchens/kitchenettes and washers/dryers
  • A great option for families, with pull-out sofa beds and multi-bedroom units
  • Access to most Atlantis pools, as well as an exclusive pool for Harborside guests
  • Nice lobby area with a sundries shop for essentials
  • Walking distance to Marina Village for restaurants and shops
  • Free access to Atlantis amenities such as the Aquaventure and marine exhibits
  • All units have living/dining areas and furnished balconies
  • A fitness center for this section only (no fee to use)
  • Free shuttle to get to other areas of the resort

Cons

  • A long walk or shuttle ride is required to get to the main attractions
  • This is the only part of Atlantis that doesn’t have direct beach access
  • The pool here, like all Atlantis pools, closes early
  • Lack of restaurants and nightlife on-site
  • Some units have views that are not very exciting or attractive
  • Room decor is pretty generic and may show minor wear and tear
  • Fees for use of Wi-Fi and non-motorized water sports

Bottom Line

This upscale time-share property across the marina from Royal Towers is distinguished from the five other sections of Atlantis by its series of colonial-style, pastel-colored buildings -- and its lack of direct beach access. The 392 condo-style units (with one, two or three bedrooms) are popular with families thanks to their additional space, kitchens, and laundry facilities. Some of the furnished balconies in the four-story elevator buildings have views of the yachts and Nassau Harbor. This section is a bit quieter than others, though the kid-friendly pool with water fountains and lawn games does get lively. A free shuttle ride runs regularly to other parts of the resort, where guests get complete access to all the main pools, Aquaventure, and the marine habitats.

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Scene

A quiet family-friendly section of Atlantis removed from the crowds

While five distinct high-rise sections of Atlantis are considered "Towers" for a reason, this low-rise time-share property stands out from the others with a series of colorful buildings -- like a basket of Easter eggs -- situated on a piece of land that is smack between Nassau Harbor and Atlantis Marina. This would be a good option for guests who want to avoid the Atlantis mainstream while still having access to all the amenities, and for those who have arrived by boat (docks are literally right outside some of the units).

Harborside's central building is accessed via public road, and is attached to several units that have direct views of bobbing boats in the marina with the Royal Towers in the background. The lobby is a bright and cheerful, like the rest of the property, with sea-green furnishings and pale yellow walls. There's a front desk, concierge, and computers for guest use here, as well a sundries shop that sells essentials (though many choose to stock up at a grocery store on the way in from Nassau). Guests often can be found relaxing while waiting for the shuttle, which makes stops regularly to transport guests to other sections of the resort.

The rest of the property is spread out and can be accessed via paved roads and sidewalks lined with pretty gardens and palm trees. It is virtually free of any crowds; in fact, the Harborside pool area may be the only time guests run into one another. The pool area has views of Nassau Harbor, as well as lounge chairs, hammocks, kid-friendly swimming areas, and games such as pool and shuffleboard. Next to the pool is a white and pink building that houses the fitness center. The property draws primarily families, and there's virtually no nightlife. Guests can walk over to Marina Village for more action, or take a shuttle to Royal Towers or The Cove.

Location

Unlike all other sections of Atlantis, this one is not directly on the beach.

The Harborside is the only section of the six-part Atlantis complex that is partially removed from the mega-resort. Instead of being directly on the beach, it is located between Nassau Harbor and Atlantis Marina -- visible from the main entrance of Royal Towers. There is a free shuttle that regularly picks up guests to take them to other parts of the resort, so there is no problem accessing Aquaventure highlights and marine habitats. There is also a daily shuttle service to a large grocery store, though it does cost a per-person fee to get there. Some guests choose to rent a car in order to explore the island.

Atlantis is located on Paradise Island, a small island off of New Providence, and it has earned its name for a reason; guests will understand the name change from Hog Island back in 1961 as soon as they get their first glimpse of the turquoise water and white-sand beach. Atlantis itself is sometimes referred to as "Vegas by the Sea." The resort is accessible from the airport by shuttle or taxi service, and it takes about half an hour depending on time of day (traffic can get bad through downtown Nassau). Some drivers will make passengers pay the $1 cash-only fee to get across the bridge to the island, so it helps to have a little cash on arrival.

Rooms

Clean but basic decor make these condo-style units comfortable for families

The Harborside Resort offers spacious (time-share) accommodations –- 392 in total -– spread out over several four-story buildings that have both stairs and elevators. Decor is similar among the one-, two- and three-bedroom units; it's a bit generic, and not quite as upscale as some may expect given the property's advertised four-star status. Bright turquoise carpeting is contrasted against pale yellow walls and wood furnishings. Living rooms have pull-out sofas that sit across from flat-screen TVs and Bose Sounds systems. All units have a washer and dryer.

One-bedroom units have kitchens that are more like kitchenettes, if only because they sit up against the wall and have less counter space. They are still fully equipped and have large refrigerators, coffeemakers (with one set of free coffee), dishwashers, microwaves, stovetops, cookware, and place settings for four people. Bathrooms in these units have one sink and tub/shower combos. Two- and three-bedroom units have master bathrooms with separate jetted tubs and walk-in showers, as well as larger kitchens with bar stools.

Views vary from the furnished patios: some look over Nassau Harbor and/or the bridge that leads to Paradise Island, some look over the pool and gardens, and some look onto Atlantis Marina with views of boats and the iconic Royal Towers.

Features

A large pool and nice fitness center for Harborside guests only

Though this is a time-share property and pretty much stands on its own, guests at Harborside still have complete access to all of the amenities located on the Atlantis "mainland" that are available to the other five sections. A free shuttle service regularly picks up and drops off guests -- about every 15 to 20 minutes -- from the entrance outside of the lobby, and then continues the route to all other Atlantis entrances.

This mega-resort would not be what it is without the 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. These two major amenities are free for guests, as is admission to the casino and nightclubs, but that's pretty much where the free ends. There is also a 14-acre Dolphin Cay, which can organize swimming with dolphins, playing with sea lions, and, snorkeling with manta rays. The 10,000-square-foot gym offers yoga and cardio classes for a daily fee, as well as six tennis courts and a rock-climbing gym.

Guests arriving to the Atlantis will receive cards upon arrival, which are not just used for room access -- they're also used to charge payments to the room for amenities, restaurants and bars around the resort. Guests pay this balance upon check-out, and the resort puts a hefty hold on guest credit cards during the stay. Some Atlantis spots do accept cash for payment, but many are considered "cashless", so it's best just to pay with plastic. Guests who are using a regular credit card may have to show ID.

Other amenities include a high-end spa called Mandara, the huge fitness center with yoga and cardio classes, and non-motorized water sports (all for a fee). There's also a daily fee for Wi-Fi, which includes unlimited devices. One benefit of staying at Harborside is that there is a separate fitness center that is free to use for guests, and wood floors and nice natural light.

Guests at Harborside have access to their own pool, as well as every other pool belonging to the Beach, Coral and Royal Towers (not the Cove or Reef, however). The pool directly on property is family-friendly, with a big shallow area for kids with water fountains in the center. There is a deeper end for adults, as well as a separate hot tub area. Light blue lounge chairs and umbrellas surround the pool, and there's a smattering of hammocks that overlook the harbor. Spacious restrooms and a shuffleboard and outdoor billiards table can also be found on the pool grounds.

Since all units here have a fully equipped kitchens, Harborside is not surprisingly devoid of restaurants and nightlife, giving it a peaceful vibe that is an added benefit for those with kids. The closest restaurants to the property are at Marina Village, which is walking distance from Harborside; otherwise the shuttle service can deliver guests to the other towers for more choice. At The Cove, there is a high-end buffet called Mosaic. Mesa Grill, the Southwestern restaurant and steakhouse from celebrity chef Bobby Flay, is located in a space designed by architect David Rockwell. Other high-end options in the complex include Nobu at Royal Towers, and Café Martinique in the Marina Village. A shuttle can also take guests to One&Only Ocean Club for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's first Caribbean restaurant, called the Dune. The casino, Moon Lounge, and Seaglass provide after-dinner drinks late into the night.

The Atlantis complex has an endless supply of food and beverage options both inside and out. Breakfast is offered at Seagrapes buffet and at casual outposts such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. For lunch, most eat at one of the many pool bars and grills located around the resort selling the usual sandwiches and snacks. Value meals are available for a single price, and a cup of soda can be refilled several times at the soda fountains to help keep costs down. For dinner, there are some casual options such as pizza and subs, mid-range options like Chopstix and the Lagoon, and the aforementioned high-end options.

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