A few months after the Bahamas mega-resort reopened, we visited The Cove, a luxurious 600-room tower and one of Atlantis’ more upscale options.
When most people think of Atlantis, they picture the iconic pink tower at the heart of the resort: The Royal. The grandiose building is home to Nobu, the casino, the James Bond Bridge and an intimidatingly tall collection of slides. But for those who prefer a bit of a getaway from kid-friendly paradise, The Cove offers a peaceful and stylish oasis from which to enjoy the beauty of the Bahamas. A guest room at The Cove also gets you access (via the resort’s main currency: a wristband) to an adults-only pool and great food courtesy of Sip Sip.
A serene promenade entrance sets the tone for the grown-up Atlantis tower, built in 2007. Inside The Cove are a lively bar, a breakfast buffet, a restaurant run by a celebrity chef, a shop Well-stocked sundries and a chic boutique. . Condo-style rooms are sleek and spacious with sunken living space and stunning marina or ocean views from every angle. There’s nothing particularly trendy about the products or furnishings, but the rooms are very comfortable, with walk-in closets, a stocked Keurig, and everything you need to recharge for another day in paradise.
The aforementioned spot run by celebrity chef, Fish by José Andrés, is an upscale option just around the corner from The Cove elevator. The restaurant masterfully incorporates fresh Bahamian dishes like lionfish and conch into its beautiful dishes. Andrés is a renowned chef, so there’s no wrong choice, but fellow Texans will enjoy the Salt Air Margarita – a fresh, frothy version of our favorite cocktail.
When you’re working up an appetite at The Cove’s adults-only pool, where a DJ expertly sets the mood, a lobster quesadilla and Sky Juice at Sip Sip are a must.
The Cove is an oasis of calm at Atlantis, but the hustle and bustle of the rest of the resort is just steps away. Those not interested in diving down waterslides can still chase thrills down the mile-long lazy river of Atlantis. Fitness-wise, a paddleboard yoga class may be the coolest way to catch the sunrise. There’s also a sleek spa (Mandara) on-site, with plunge pools, fluffy bathrobes, and the works, but unless your stress has followed you on vacation, the partially underground setup might be better saved for a day’s work. rain.
However, one activity that no visitor to Atlantis should leave without experiencing is swimming with wildlife at Dolphin Cay. Serving as a refuge and rehabilitation site (in fact, all of Atlantis’ remarkable conservation efforts through the Blue Project Foundation should get more attention), the marine mammal habitat allows visitors to play and snorkel with dolphins and sea lions while a professional photographer captures the vacation moment. Don’t worry though, the animals are beautifully cared for and never forced to perform. (At some point in our group’s experience, one of the dolphins decided he wanted to go do something else, so he left. We weren’t offended.)
When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, the entire Atlantis resort closed until December. The destination is now fully operational (and remarkably well-staffed), but those traveling to Nassau currently require a negative Covid test to enter and exit the city. Fortunately, there was an airy test site available in The Cove. Throughout the resort, staff and many guests have been diligent with their masking.
The downtime may also have given the resort the boost it needed to start renovating the iconic Royal Towers, built at the heart of the property in the early 90s. We visited a few rooms undergoing a transformation airier and more modern – the results were stunning.