Differences Between the Cove and the Reef at the Atlantis Resort, Bahamas

The Cove and the Reef are the two latest additions to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and knowing their differences can help you decide where to stay.

The Atlantis Resort, located north of Nassau on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, is one of the top vacation destinations in the Caribbean. It offers six different accommodations to suit every possible taste including a wide array of activities that range from swimming in its more than 20 swimming areas and careening down its six-story water slides to dining on food prepared by world-class chefs. Its two most recent additions include the luxury Cove Atlantis and the condominium-style Reef Atlantis. Although these two accommodations are part of the Atlantis Resort complex, they differ in a number of ways, including their overall general features and layout, in-room amenities, and on-site dining options.

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The Cove Atlantis officially opened in March 2007 and it includes 600 luxury suites that are primarily geared toward couples looking for a romantic getaway. Guests at the Cove receive special privileges, such as access to the adult-only Cove swimming pool and Cabana Club that offers private pool-side cabanas complete with daybeds, a full-service bar and wide range of spa services. In addition, a beach concierge is ready to arrange a wide array of activities such as golf and dinner reservations and other water-based tours.

The Reef Atlantis first opened its doors in December 2007 and it also offers luxury suites (497 of them). But this hi-rise condominium-style accommodation is tailored more toward families looking for a fun getaway while being more self-sufficient. Although it lacks the special features of the Cove, the suites make up for the difference with fully-equipped, stainless-steel kitchens and kitchenettes. The larger two-bedroom suites even include washers and dryers for the added convenience. But all guests at the Reef have direct access to the Cascade Swimming Pool and of course, the white-sand beach, which is just steps away.

Accommodations

The Cove Atlantis offers guests a choice of six different oversized suites, which are all divided by floor. Prices vary by type of suite, but the general rule is: the higher the floor, the larger the space, which translates into higher nightly rates. The 672-square-foot Ocean Suites are located on the 1st through 3rd floors while the 784-square-foot Deluxe Ocean Suites are on the 4th through the 19th floors. The top five floors include the 1,198-square-foot, one- and two-bedroom Azure Suites and the 1,700-square-foot Sapphire Suites. The exclusive 2,751-square-foot Presidential Suites and the 4,070-square-foot Penthouse Suites are both located on the top floor.

Each luxury suite at the Cove Atlantis includes a full-size balcony with panoramic ocean or harbor views as well as a layout that features a separate step-down living room. In-room amenities include large, flat-screen televisions, Bose sound systems, wireless Internet access, a large walk-in closet, and marble bathrooms that feature two granite sinks, a frosted glass shower and a separate oversized bathtub for two. The Presidential and Penthouse Suites include additional features such as a master bedroom with a king-size bed, a 60-inch flat-screen television, an executive office, marble foyer, a gourmet kitchen, wall-to-ceiling windows, a separate dining area, and an exercise room.

The Reef Atlantis offers four types of spacious luxury suites: the 523-square-foot Studio, the One-Bedroom Suite (974- to 1,195-square feet), the Two-Bedroom Suite (1,497- to 1,718-square-feet), and the Two-Bedroom Penthouse (2,477- to 3,000-square feet), which offers spectacular views from its 22nd-floor location . The Reef also provides guests with four different view options: Terrace, Nassau Harbor, Ocean, and Premium Ocean. In general, the combination of larger room size with the better view translates into a higher nightly rate.

The Reef’s luxury suites include a single-level, open floor plan with large, private balconies, sleeper sofas, and master bathrooms. Its most popular feature is the fully-equipped stainless steel kitchen, which not only provides a convenient way for families to dine but it also helps save money (or at least use the money toward other activities). In addition to a fully-equipped kitchen, the suites include in-room amenities such as flat-screen HD televisions, a Bose sound system, marble vanities, an oversized bathtub, and a washer and dryer. The top-of-the-line Penthouse Suite offers 24-hour butler service, a private wrap-around terrace, and access to the adults-only pool at the Cove Atlantis.

Dining Options

The Cove Atlantis includes three different upscale restaurants that are all open to guests of the entire Atlantis complex: The Mesa Grill, Nobu, and Mosaic. The Mesa Grill is the latest restaurant addition to the Cove Atlantis. This upscale restaurant offers Southwestern cuisine influenced with Bahamian flavors created by award-winning chef and Food Network personality Bobby Flay. Specialties range from Bahamian Spiced Chicken Skewers to Lobster Tail with Red Chile-Coconut Sauce. The dining room’s colorful interior was designed by architect David Rockwell, who incorporates copper colors with seashells for a festive but relaxed feel.

The Nobu restaurant offers a wide variety of gourmet Japanese cuisine prepared by Nobu Matsuhisa, who was one of “Food & Wine” magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs in America. It is located adjacent to the casino floor and it includes two small, intimate dining areas as well as the main dining space. For those who enjoy sake, Nobu provides a wide array of selections from its sake cellar.

The Mosaic is a casual restaurant that offers a wide range of Mediterranean dishes that range from fresh fish to churrasco. Its special feature is the custom-made dining experience where chefs prepare dishes “on-demand” from cooking stations.

Since the Reef Atlantis includes in-room gourmet kitchens, it is assumed that guests will use them while on vacation at Atlantis. Therefore, the Reef Atlantis does not offer its guests on-site dining options other than a Starbucks cafe located in the lobby and a sundries store, which sells food items to stock their in-suite kitchens.

These are the differences between the two additions to the Atlantis Resort complex. In no way does this comparison mean that one is better than the other. It all depends on what each individual guest or family is looking for and what their idea of a vacation in the Bahamas is all about.