You want your honeymoon to be a holiday of a lifetime - somewhere out of the ordinary, perhaps a celebrity hotspot or a royal retreat - so after hearing that not only were A-listers like the Jonas Brothers and Hilary Duff regulars at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, but that it had been a recent tour stop for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we were quite sure it was the honemoon destination for us!
The fabulous resort comprises five hotels, each with their own distinct style and all aimed at different demographics and budgets. For our honeymoon, we settled on The Cove, famed for its luxurious, intimate setting and the same suite-only location William and Kate had chosen for their recent stay on the Caribbean Island. The five star luxury was evident from the moment we entered the open-air lobby with its stunning ocean view and tropical breeze, plus a soothing soundtrack of Ibiza-style lounge music.
All rooms at the luxurious Cove hotel are suites
Cove guests alone have access to the fantastic adults-only pool (perfect for a honeymooning couple), which boasts private cabanas, a wide-ranging cocktail menu, outdoor gambling and talented DJs. With attentive sun-bed service, there’s no need to move all day if you don't fancy it. Relaxation in its purest form!
There's so much to do at Atlantis Paradise Island, it's hard to know where to start! Whichever of the hotels you stay at, all guests have access to Aquaventure, the onsite water park spanning 141 acres an fun for kids and adults of all ages. We loved it - big kids at heart, there's only so much lying around on loungers you can do before you get restless, and this really is the joy of Atlantis. There's something to do whenever you feel the urge!
Aquaventure is a waterpark with a difference!
And the fun only ramps up after dark; there are numerous bars with various happy-hour options (the delicious cocktails are also excellent value for money thanks to the very generous servings of rum!). And on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the resort opens its 9,000-square-foot nightclub Aura from 10pm until 4am.
The resort’s Casino also comes alive each evening the bright lights of 700 slot machines and 85 gaming tables beckoning visitors in. There's live music in the main bar (though drinks are complimentary if you’re playing on tables) and it's an incredibly fun experience - we'd never seen anything quite like it. And we never did work out how to play craps!
There are surprises around every corner in this hotel. As you approach the casino, you walk past a lagoon of turtles (if you’re there on the hour, you might even see them get fed). Then there's corridor flanked by the Ruins Lagoon - a gigantic acquarium full of colourful tropical fish, spotted sting-rays and (perfectly safe!) sharks. An absolute highlight of our trip was the hour-long snorkelling adventure into this magical environment, adorned with artefacts inspired by ancient Atlantis - it's out of this world!
Snorkelling the ruins is out of this world
Atlantis offers a whole range of opportunities to get up-close and personal with nature, known as the Atlantis Marine Adventures. These include Marine Life Camping, the Stingray experience, Shark adventures at the Mayan Temple and a variety of different experiences at Dolphin Cay, from meet and greet sessions with sealions to the chance to swim with dolphins yourselves.
The view from the sunloungers!
The company's commitment to eco-friendliness across various is clear across all aspects of its resort, from the rehabilitation work at Dolphin Cay to its Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, whose mission is to save sea species and their extraordinary habitats. It's great to know that these activities are not only incredible adventures, but also giving something back to nature.
And if all this activity doesn't sound like a typical honeymoon, there's also plenty of desert-island moments to be found on this incridble island paradise. There are five miles of stunning white sand beaches and pool upon pool upon pool to enjoy. Five days wasn't even enough to scratch the surface of the fun (and pampering) available here.
The beach is glorious, and never-ending
One morning we made it to the onsite fitness centre which offers personal training, body composition analysis, nutrition and fitness analysis, yoga, and Pilates and although time ran out for us, there's also plenty of pampering opportunity at the Mandarin Spa - a 30,000-square-foot sanctuary with 32 private treatment rooms, two couple's villas, and two couple's spa suites, where treatments include facials, body scrubs and salt glows. Bliss!
The Seaglass Lounge, located in the Cove’s opulent lobby, was a favourite spot of ours. It has a particularly chilled vibe, with Jazz and Soul themed nights which we loved. There are also numerous high end fashion shopping opportunities if you can sneak them past the new husband!
With 21 restaurants across Atlantis Paradise Island, the resort’s claim that there is ‘something to delight every palate’ is a genuine reality. Trusting the recommendations of resort staff, our first evening took us to ‘Olives’ for Mediterranean cuisine, a restaurant which, as you would expect on such an island, had excellent fish dishes, overlooked the resort’s sparkling marina.
José Andrés Fish restaurant is a royal favourite
In contrast to the romantic ambience of ‘Olives’, the following night we visited ‘Frankie Gone Bananas’, which was great fun, offering Bahamian dishes, brightly coloured decor and live music. José Andrés, friend to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (the royal references just keep flowing at Atlantis!), also has his own restaurant, ‘Fish’, which is nothing short of perfection. The local Bahamian conch is to die for.
The world renowned ‘Nobu’ also has a restaurant onsite and we can only describe it as the best meal we have ever eaten. The menu is wide ranging and purposefully minimal in terms of descriptions in order to facilitate dialogue between waiter and diner. We therefore handed all choices over to our waiter, Hearn, whose service and knowledge was impeccable. And we definitely weren’t the only couple to develop a passion for Nobu while there - the couple on the next table had visited on their first night and then booked Nobu for every subsequent evening!
There's so much to do, experience and enjoy at Atlantis Bahamas we could literally go on forever, but whether you're conidering it as a honeymoon destination or for another special treat, this enormous, beautiful, magical resort could not fail to impress. Our overall experience was one of blissful relaxation and luxury with endless opportunities for fun. From the personalised welcome we received on arrival to the frequent and consistently high standard of housekeeping and attention, the staff made us feel like we, as newly weds, were royalty ourselves. You can't really ask for more than that!
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