Honeymoon like a celebrity and royalty at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas

Elizabeth Corbyn

You want your honeymoon to be a vacation to remember – somewhere out of the ordinary, maybe a celebrity hotspot or a royal retreat – so after hearing that not only the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Hilary Duff were regulars of Paradise Island of Atlantis in the Bahamas, but this was a recent stop on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour, we were pretty sure this was the honeymoon destination for us!

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The fabulous resort comprises five hotels, each with its own distinct style and all aimed at different populations and budgets. For our honeymoon, we opted for The cove, famous for its luxurious, intimate setting and the same all-suite location that William and Kate chose 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 sweeping ocean views and tropical breezes, plus a soothing soundtrack of Ibiza-style lounge music.

All rooms at the luxurious Cove Hotel are suites

Only Cove guests have access to the fantastic adults-only pool (perfect for a honeymooning couple), which features private cabanas, an extensive cocktail menu, outdoor gambling, and talented DJs. With attentive sun lounger service, there’s no need to move around all day if you don’t feel like it. Pure relaxation!

There’s so much to do on Atlantis Paradise Island, it’s hard to know where to start! No matter which hotel you stay in, all guests have access to Aquaventure, the on-site water park spanning 141 acres is fun for kids and adults of all ages. We loved it – big kids at heart, there’s not much to do on the sunbeds before getting fussed over, and that’s really the joy of Atlantis. There’s something to do whenever you feel like it!

Aquaventure is a water park like no other!

And the pleasure only intensifies after dark; there are many bars offering various happy hour formulas (the delicious cocktails are also excellent value for money thanks to the very generous portions of rum!). And on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, the resort opens its 9,000-square-foot Aura nightclub from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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The resort’s casino also comes alive each evening with the bright lights of 700 slot machines and 85 gaming tables attracting visitors. There’s live music in the main bar (although drinks are free if you play on tables) and it’s an incredibly fun experience – we’ve never seen anything like it. And we never figured out how to play craps!

There are surprises around every corner of this hotel. As you approach the casino, you pass a lagoon of turtles (if you’re there on time, you might even see them being fed). Then there’s a hallway flanked by the Ruins Lagoon – a gigantic aquarium full of colorful tropical fish, spotted stingrays and (perfectly safe!) sharks. An absolute highlight of our trip was the hour-long snorkeling adventure in this magical environment, adorned with artifacts inspired by ancient Atlantis – it’s out of this world!

The snorkeling in the ruins is out of this world

Atlantis offers a range of opportunities to get closer to nature, known as Atlantis Marine Adventures. These include Marine Life camping, the Stingray experience, adventures with sharks at the Mayan Temple and a variety of different experiences at Dolphin Cay, from sea lion encounters to being able to swim yourself -even with the dolphins.

The view from the deckchairs!

The company’s commitment to respecting the environment in various fields is clear in all aspects of its resort, from the rehabilitation works of Dolphin Cay to its Atlantis Blue Project foundation, whose mission is to save marine species. and their extraordinary habitats. It’s great to know that these activities are not only amazing adventures, but also give something back to nature.

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And while all that activity doesn’t sound like a typical honeymoon, there are also plenty of desert island moments to be found on this incredible 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 pleasure (and care) available here.

The beach is beautiful and endless

One morning we went to the on-site fitness center which offers personal training, body composition analysis, nutrition and fitness analysis, yoga and Pilates and although the weather took us missed, there are also plenty of pampering opportunities at the Mandarin Spa — a 30,000-square-foot sanctuary with 32 private treatment rooms, two couples’ villas, and two couples’ spa suites, where treatments include facials, body scrubs and salt glows. Happiness!

The Seaglass Lounge, located in the opulent lobby of The Cove, was one of our favorite spots. It has a particularly laid back vibe, with Jazz and Soul themed nights which we loved. There are also plenty of high-end fashion shopping opportunities if you can sneak them past the new hubby!

With 21 restaurants across Atlantis Paradise Island, the resort’s claim that there is “something to delight every palate” is authentic reality. Trusting the recommendations of the resort staff, our first evening took us to ‘Olives’ for Mediterranean cuisine, a restaurant which, as you would expect on such an island, offered excellent fish dishes, overlooking the resort’s sparkling marina.

Jose Andres Fish the restaurant is a royal favorite

In contrast to the romantic vibe of ‘Olives’, the next night we visited ‘Frankie Gone Bananas’ which was great fun, featuring Bahamian food, brightly colored decor and live music. José Andrés, friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (royal credentials keep pouring in at Atlantis!), also has his own restaurant, ‘Fish’, which is nothing short of perfection. The local Bahamian conch is to die for.

The world famous “Nobu” also has a restaurant on site and we can only describe it as the best meal we have ever had. The menu is varied and deliberately minimal in terms of descriptions in order to facilitate dialogue between the server and the guest. So we left all the choices to our server, Hearn, whose service and knowledge was impeccable. And we were certainly not the only couple to develop a passion for Nobu during our stay – the couple at the next table had visited on the first evening and then booked Nobu for each subsequent evening!

There is so much to do, experience and enjoy at Atlantis Bahamas that we could literally go on and on, but whether you consider it a honeymoon destination or some other special treat, this huge, beautiful and magical resort sure to impress. Our overall experience was one of blissful relaxation and luxury with endless possibilities for entertainment. From the personal welcome we received on arrival to the consistent high level of housekeeping and attention, the staff made us feel like we, as newlyweds, were royalty ourselves. You really can’t ask for more than that!

For prices and details to book, visit booking.com

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