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Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort (‘HfP in The Bahamas’ series)

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Last month Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Voyages and The Bahamas Tourist Board invited us to The Bahamas for a few days. With Rhys literally just back from holiday and Rob and Sinead tied up with family commitments, we were struggling to find someone who wanted an all-expenses-paid 5-star business class trip.

Luckily our occasional contributor Jamie was bravely willing to step up and take one for the team. We have already covered his visit to the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady ship and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort in Nassau. Over to Jamie ….

This is our review of The Cove, one of six hotels within the iconic Atlantis Bahamas Resort, situated on Paradise Island, Nassau.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

It was opened in its current form in 2007 and has 600 rooms, all of them suites. In 2014 the Atlantis Resort joined Marriott Bonvoy and is currently classed as a Category 8 hotel.

The hotel website is here.

The resort is massive in scale and is reminiscent of the sort of structure you might see at Disney World. During the thirty minute taxi from the airport it appeared on the horizon – a dominating set of pink multi storey buildings far bigger than anything else in the vicinity.

As I arrived for my two night stay I was excited but also fearful it may lack elegance and quality. 

However, as I entered the hotel I was pleasantly surprised. The gaudy pink exterior had transformed inside into something far more contemporary and refined. The reception area was spacious but managed to maintain a relaxing atmosphere, feeling warm and welcoming. The decor was simple, modern and timeless.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

A well mannered and friendly gentleman offered me a very nice Bahamian cocktail whilst waiting to check in. As I enjoyed the drink, I admired a rather stunning Christmas tree in the corner, adorned with ornate marine themed decorations. The warm climate made it easy to forget it was the festive season but this would be the first of many reminders!

As we arrived in a group, I waited about ten minutes for my turn to check-in. It was handled swiftly by another friendly staff member. The friendliness of everyone I met was to become a theme throughout the trip. Every Bahamian person I spoke to (whether in a hotel, restaurant or on the street) seemed delighted I was visiting. Everyone greeted you with a smile (even when wearing a mask, you can see it in their eyes) and on many occasions offered up help or advice, all done with the upmost sincerity.

I was given a west facing room on the 16th floor and headed out to find the lifts.

Whilst the reception desks are in an enclosed room, the rest of the foyer and ground floor is completely open with just the structural pillars of the building in view. The warm air reminds you of the glorious weather you have come to experience.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

As you walk through the corridors you are greeted by lush plants. Water features follow you every step. It was all very Zen and had a lovely calming effect.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Rooms at The Cove, Atlantis

Up on the 16th floor I quickly found my room, half way down what felt like a fairly unremarkable corridor, considering the environment I had left behind downstairs.

I had been given an Ocean Suite with a king size bed. On entering, there was a porch area with the bathroom on the right, a walk-in closet next to it and the main bedroom space straight ahead. Beyond the bedroom was a lower floor living room space and balcony with floor to ceiling sliding door.

Here is a photo looking back at the entrance door.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

There was a decent size desk with two wall sockets situated in front of you. There was also an ethernet connection box on the desk which had a USB charging point. The desk had an integrated tube type lamp which would be useful for reading. Tea and coffee making facilities are on the left on this desk.

A large flat screen TV was positioned on the right which can be viewed from the bed. The TV shows a multitude of channels including endless American sports channels. You are also able to order room service through the TV or view the various activities going on throughout the resort.

This was the sleeping area:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

The decor was ok and inoffensive. The bed linen was crisp and clean. The bed itself was very comfortable and provided a good nights sleep. Electrical sockets were located either side, under the minimal bedside tables.

This was the view from the lower living space:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

There was a two seat sofa and single arm chair with coffee table.

On the opposite side was a small table and two chairs. Another large flat screen TV adorned the wall directly facing the sofa:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

To the side was a set of cupboards housing a fridge containing two cans of water. This also formed a table top space for the bed room area.

Within this area were an assortment of gifts. These included a branded woven beach bag containing his and hers flip flops:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

…. and two vacuum insulated reusable water bottles:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

The bottles are standard gifts throughout the resort as part of a drive to reduce plastic water bottle usage. I was also left a plate with nut and coconut based nibbles and a small bottle of locally made rum:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Due to the nature of this promotional trip, I can’t be sure if all of these items were standard gifts. I do know the water bottles are given to all guests as part of the resorts Blue Project Foundation conservation drive.

This was the impressive view from the balcony:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

The balcony wasn’t huge but had room for two chairs. As I had a west facing room I did get to enjoy the sunset whilst getting ready for the evening activities.

This was the entrance to the generous bathroom space:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Straight ahead was a bath tub with basins either side:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

To the right was a walk-in shower:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Bathrobes were also provided. The toilet was situated in a separate room to the left. The toiletries provided were from Archipelago Botanicals and came in ample sizes.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

The shower itself was disappointing. On two occasions there was no hot water. On one of those times it stopped providing water altogether and I had to wait several minutes for it to start flowing again. Perhaps I was simply unlucky with my timings and other guests got to the hot water before me. But do hotels of this calibre really run out of hot water? It was frustrating whatever the cause.

Next to the bathroom was this walk-in closet.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

It contained a safe, iron and ironing board plus room to hang clothes and store luggage.

Wifi is freely available throughout the hotel and connecting in the room was straightforward. The quality was good although on one afternoon it did stop working for an hour or so.

Restaurants at The Cove

There is no shortage of dining options throughout the resort with over thirty venues to choose from at various times of the day. If you want to stay close to the Cove hotel you have the outdoor Cascades Grill, indoor Sea Glass bar and outdoor Sip Sip open during the daytime. Sip Sip is next to the glamorous Cove pool which is reserved for Cove guests aged 21 and over only. We enjoyed cocktails and canapés here on the first evening.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Fine dining at the Cove is available at the well regarded Fish by José Andrés. Buffet style dinner is available at Mosaic. You can also visit any of the other restaurants around the resort.

Breakfast is also available at Mosaic. It is buffet style and is not included as standard with your room. It costs approximately $40 so isn’t cheap.

There was a huge choice of dishes served, heavily influenced by the primary guest market of North Americans. There were fresh fruit stands, cereals and cold cuts.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

There were egg stations and freshly made pancakes, waffles and pastries:

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

There were also all the usual hot items you would find in a full breakfast plus grilled ham and pineapple and a selection of sushi. Finally there were quite a few additional local dishes such as coconut French toast and chicken souse. I enjoyed a full English type combination, the quality was excellent and you may find there is no need to bother with lunch.

I was told the coffee was good but I was too busy choosing from the twelve different varieties of tea on offer.

What can you do at The Atlantis Resort Bahamas?

Atlantis is a huge resort and there is no shortage of activities. Fitness fanatics can attend various classes such as HIIT and yoga or work out at their own pace in the 1,000 square foot gym. There are tennis courts, basketball hoops, golf and countless swimming pools (including a land lap pool). In keeping with the marine theme, there are large open air seawater habitats that you can walk around.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

In these you can observe rescued turtles undergoing rehabilitation or see critically endangered sharks that have been bred in the resort as part of coordinated conservation efforts. There is ‘The Dig’, an Atlantis themed aquarium where you can snorkel through the ruins of the lost city and come face to face with many species of marine life.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Hotel guests also have access to Aquaventure water park and its many slides including the famous ‘Leap of Faith’ with its near vertical drop taking you through an aquarium in a clear underwater tube surrounded by sharks.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

They are several private beaches and Paradise lagoon for snorkelling.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

The hotel can also organise trips to neighbouring islands where you may get the chance to see the famous Bahamian pigs swimming in crystal clear waters.

Evenings can be spent fine dining at restaurants such as Café Martinique or Nobu. The Marina Harbour and Village is a pleasant short walk away with luxury shopping options, cafes and views of dreamy private yachts. There are numerous bars, two nightclubs and the centrally located casino for those who like to carry on late into the night.

Review: The Cove hotel at the Atlantis Bahamas resort

Conclusion

I really didn’t know what to expect when I saw the towering Cove at Atlantis appear on the horizon, but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.

The good sized suites provided a comfortable experience with a dramatic balcony view. The room decor was perhaps a little unmemorable but the amenities provided were perfectly satisfactory. The hotel communal spaces are nicely designed and created a feeling of well being with a touch of luxury.

You can book an Ocean Suite using 80,000 – 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points depending on availability. You will also be liable for the daily resort fee which is currently $67.14 at the time of writing.

Cash prices start at around $600 per night including service charge, taxes and the daily resort fee.  You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

Don’t miss my review of The Royal, one of the other hotels at Atlantis where I stayed for my final night in The Bahamas.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (February 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (19)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Cove? How quaint – not!

    Maybe it should be renamed Monstrous Carbuncle!

    As Joni Mitchell sang: They paved paradise and put in a parking lot!

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      But it’s a measure which actually would have alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise, something which Joni singularly fails to point out, perhaps because it doesn’t quite fit in with her blinkered view of the world. Nevertheless, nice song.
      😉

      • Dubious says:

        However this fails to recognise the reality of Braess’s paradox, which indicates that the additional intrafstructure would actually lead to an increase in traffic congestion.

      • Luke says:

        “I’ll be honest, I’m dead against it. People forget that traders need access to Dixons”

  • Yuff says:

    Stayed here after a Disney Florida trip in 2015 because of the link with the Dubai hotel, quickly found out it was a very poor sister hotel .
    Customer service was poor, water park was disappointing when compared to Dubai.
    Only good bit was the lounge staff who were very friendly and gave fantastic service,, nothing was too much trouble which could not be said for other staff around the hotel.

  • Matt says:

    Seems very poor value as a cat 8 compared to what you can get in the Maldives, etc.

  • Nate1309 says:

    $600 a night and no hot water? Completely unacceptable.

  • John T says:

    Good review. Bahamas does seem like a bit of an odd market for Virgin. Very expensive accom, f&b and activities geared to Americans which means you can expect to tip a minimum of 20% for just about everything.

    The Caribbean isn’t know for it’s great value but Bahamas seems like one of the priciest options and not the most exotic or luxurious. It’s like Vegas with a beach.

    Would Virgin not be better increasing frequencies to more popular British destinations like Barbados or Jamaica?

    • Rob says:

      The flight stops elsewhere I think? It’s not LON – NAS – LON.

      • John T says:

        It’s nonstop in both directions.

        I don’t think Virgin do any tag flights in the Caribbean?

      • John says:

        VS goes on to Jamaica and BA goes on to Turks and Caicos (which geologically is part of the Bahamas)

    • Gavin says:

      Vegas on the beach was my takeaway too

  • Mike Hunt says:

    “Cash prices start at around $600 per night including service charge, taxes and the daily resort fee. “ – for that I want guaranteed hot water in my shower- so it’s a no from me

  • NorthernLass says:

    We came here in 1998 when the first stage of the hotel had just opened. Nassau/Paradise Island is mass tourism, really, especially aimed at Americans/cruise passengers who have limited access to casinos where they live (also comes with a government warning about the level of violent crime!). If you want actual paradise you need to transfer to one of the outer islands. I imagine the Virgin market is people who want nice weather/beaches somewhere which sounds glamorous and aren’t bothered about leaving the hotel apart from for the odd organised excursion.

    • NorthernLass says:

      NB – this was when there was a direct flight from MAN which just goes to show how much the travel industry has changed in the past 25 years!

  • Andrew says:

    The Bahamas are beautiful, but you have to get off Nassau. Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Abaco, Andros – these are some of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean, with some first rate small hotels. But yes, crazy expensive.

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