Comfort Suites – Paradise Island, Bahamas (and Atlantis Resort) Review
Paradise Island Drive
Paradise Island, Bahamas
By: Dave Grossman
Here’s a little secret about the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. There is one hotel on Paradise Island that is as close to the Atlantis resort as most of the on-site Atlantis hotel wings – but at a significant savings. That secret is the Comfort Suites Paradise Island.
What kind of savings are we talking about? We paid, via a AAA rate, $255 a night where the cheapest room at Atlantis (where there are many price points depending on the tower you choose) was $332 for our dates. These rates both exclude taxes and fees, though, which in the Bahamas is something of an annoying game. At the Comfort Suites, for each night, taxes and fees were as follows: Gov’t Tax: 15.28 (6%), Resort Fee: 15.28 (6%), Housekeeping: $4 per person ($8 based on double occupancy) and $14 per person Electricity Surcharge (????) for a total of $321.56. The cheapest room at Atlantis ran $1421 for 3 nights or $473 a night.
Now why is this a secret? The Comfort Suites Paradise Island, at the base of the entrance to Atlantis, comes with FULL access to the Atlantis resort as if you are a registered guest. All activities that Atlantis resort guests have – even the ability to sign charges to your room – are included. This is your ONLY option for free use of Atlantis facilities (casino, all pools and beaches, the waterpark, and all outdoor activities) without staying in the Atlantis resort. The other hotels on Paradise Island – Riu Paradise Island All-Inclusive and One and Only, for example, do not include Atlantis access and if this is something you care about, will cost you $60 per person per day.
OK, so far this is basically a lesson in economics. But if you are a family on a restricted budget, this could be the difference between affording an Atlantis vacation or not. Over 7 days, you’d save over $1,000!
Now, you do get what you pay for – the Comfort Suites Paradise Island / Bahamas is not even in the same class of luxury as Atlantis based on what we saw around the Atlantis property. That said, we cannot compare the rooms of Atlantis to the Comfort Suites to determine if the extra money is worth it as Atlantis Marketing roundly ignored our attempts to get a tour. So we can only talk about the Comfort Suites and you can determine if it may be worth the extra money to have the Atlantis experience continue over to the room itself.
First off, the staff at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island were very friendly – much as we found most people in the Bahamas to be. The country’s number one business is tourism and the locals seem to recognize that and treat you very warmly. Either that, or year-round sun and warmth just makes them happy people!
The room itself – well, it’s a Comfort Inn level property (part of the Choice chain of hotels). From the pictures in the review, you should get a good idea what you are in for whereas I’ll post some links to the Atlantis property pages at the end of this review to compare. The hotel is not new and is not recently renovated. It is basic, although it was a nice touch to have a fridge in the room – an amenity I’d guess Atlantis doesn’t provide (someone please correct me in the Comments if I’m wrong). That’s pretty much it in the amenities department, though. The shower was pretty awful. It would turn scalding (literally burn yourself hot) without provocation and no amount of moving the dial could get it back to a normal temperature until it felt like it (perhaps 5 minutes of standing out of the way). There was a complimentary breakfast outside consisting of some pastries, bagels, donuts, coffee and juices. They will also optionally upsell you a hot breakfast in the $10 range. The conditions of the food were not very sanitary, though. After the first day, we opted to walk the 5 minutes to Starbucks in the Marina Shopping area of Atlantis (as an aside, prepare for smaller cups and higher prices in Starbucks in the Bahamas compared to the U.S.).
There is no gym on property. There is a pool, but why sit there when you can walk a few minutes to Atlantis, flash your card, and get your wristband good for all their pools and beaches?
Checkout is at 11am. We were told that 12 noon is generally not a problem.
One major note: While the information posted by Comfort Suites as of this writing (hopefully it is swiftly corrected after I brought it to the attention of the manager) says that there is free internet access (Wi-Fi), there is not. The only way online is via a 3rd party provider at $10 a day.
Quick summary: Far less glamorous than staying inside Atlantis, but for the savings it is an attractive alternative for those wanting the Atlantis experience while lowering the overall cost. Remember, the idea is not to be in your room that much…. you’re in the Bahamas!!!!!!
PS: While I was told that the arrangement in place with Atlantis would be in place for many decades to come, please check the property page before booking to confirm the arrangement still exists.
A few select pictures from Atlantis:
Links to Atlantis hotel overview pages:
Atlantis Paradise Coral Towers (the least expensive on-site option)
Atlantis Royal Towers
Atlantis Beach Tower
The Cove at Atlantis (the most exclusive part of Atlantis)