5 Reasons Why The Atlantis Bahamas is the Ultimate Family Vacation Even During Covid

atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantisIf you’re like most people, you’ve spent the year in lockdown daydreaming about your next vacation.  And now that vaccines are readily being dispersed and lockdown life is softening up, I thought you’d like to know why I think the Atlantis Bahamas is the ultimate family vacation and why I think it needs to be on your radar even during covid times.  Read on for insider insights, tons of tips and all the covid travel information you’ll need to know!  atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantisWe are so grateful to Atlantis Paradise Island for hosting us!

1).Safety First

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It’s crazy times and safety is at the top of everyone’s minds when considering travel.  After researching the safety of airplane travel (and being comforted with their amazing H.E.P.A filter and sanitation policies), we wanted to find a destination that had very low new covid cases each day and someplace that wouldn’t require too long of an airplane flight (given we’d have to wear masks the entire flight). 3 hours and 17 min from NYC to the Bahamas seemed tolerable with masks on.  And the fact that the Bahamas had on average only about 20 new cases per day (compared to over 9000 for NYC and 9000 in FL where many NY-ers also fled during spring break), we realized we were safer in the Bahamas than in our home state.

And with everyone (11 and up) having to test negative within 5 days of the flight, we had great assurance boarding the flight – way more than you would’ve had while doing everyday things like grocery shopping or eating indoors at a NYC restaurant!

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The other thing that made me rest assured about traveling to the Bahamas over other possible destinations was that they had such strict covid related policies.  For example,if you stay 4nights, in the Bahamas you must test negative again on the 5th day.  (Or you will be fined $1000 or face 1 MONTH of imprisonment)!  “The negative COVID-19 result must be shown within three days (72 hours) of departure and presented pre-departure at the airport. Airlines must deny passengers boarding if they do not provide a negative COVID-19 test result or show proof of a recent positive viral test.atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis
Visitors returning to the United States may use the Day 5 Bahamas government-mandated Rapid Antigen negative test result to re-enter the U.S. as long as their departure date is on the 6th, 7th, or 8th day of their stay and test results are negative.” Luckily the timing worked out for us so that the 1 test while there covered both needs.  And luckily, the PCR test these days does not go all the way up the nose and practically to the brain like you’ve probably painfully watched others in the beginning of the pandemic have to endure. Additionally, the Atlantis provides 2 complimentary Rapid Antigen Tests per room for registered guests of The Royal, The Cove, The Reef and The Coral hotels and has several testing locations within their grounds.atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

Below are some additional measures the Bahamas and the Atlantis had in place that made us feel like they were taking covid precautions so much more seriously than the US and NY where we live:
  • citizens/residents/tourists who fail to complete the daily Health Survey will be required to submit to a mandatory quarantine at a government identified facility and will be subject to deportation.
  • guests over two (2) years of age will be required to wear a mask and follow physical distancing protocols. (beach, pools, Aquaventure and eating/drinking moments are exempt) else face a fine of $250 or a penalty of one month imprisonment, or both if they are found not wearing face masks in areas where it is required. (wow, right??)
  • all transportation operators, inclusive of taxis, must adhere to government mandated safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times and weekly COVID-19 Rapid Antigen testing.
  • all Bahamas staff must pass weekly covid testing, daily temperature checks and self surveys for possible symptoms
  • everyone entering through the Atlanis hotel doors pass through a non-invasive thermal temperature scan to ensure normal body temperatures
  • non hotel (visiting) guests must present a negative COVID-19 test that is valid within 5 days of arrival at the resort
  • extensive health and safety protocols are enforced by the entire Bahamas tourism industry and must verify their adherence to the government approved health and safety guidelines outlined by the Clean & Pristine certification (i.e. no buffets allowed
  • check-in associates will sanitize their hands before and after each guest transaction and keys are sanitized.

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Impressive list, huh? Of course, with this ever-changing COVID-19 climate both in The Bahamas and worldwide, the safety protocols and procedures are subject to change. Click here to check the latest updates (since this post is about our travels during the End of March- early April period). The link will give you more info. too about health visa costs, traveling to/from other places than the US and what would happen if in the small chance you actually got covid while staying in the Bahamas.

2).It’s Paradise!

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Were you like me all winter yearning for sunny skies, sandy toes, and beautiful beaches?  Paradise Island (where the Atlantis Bahamas hotel resides amongst the 326 islands of the Bahamas) lives up to its name! I promise; it will fulfill all your beach vaca fantasies.  After traveling to about 35 countries, I still think that the Bahamas has the softest, finest grained white sand and I’m always wow-ed by its crystal clear waters.  Plus, there is so much coral by the shore that you don’t need to go far at all for amazing snorkeling experiences!  I was stunned when I found sea urchins, and fish of all sizes and colors just steps from the 5 mile beach shoreline.  My friend even exclaimed that it was the best snorkeling he had ever done!   And it was all within the property – no expensive excursion required.  Kids and non swimmers alike will totally appreciate being able to touch the bottom while snorkeling!  What a special experience!atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

You’ll love the tropical vibes.  It’s breathtaking!  Grounds are perfectly manicured, flowers are lush and marine life abounds.  atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis, travel blogger review, review of atlantisHere I am at one of the 11 pools – an adults only one with live DJ, so FUN!    It was heaven.  Trust me, here, you’ll forget all about lockdown life.  Here, you’ll breathe in fresh ocean air and just not care.  Here you’ll find the tranquility and peace quarantining for so long stripped you of and then you’ll start wondering whether you ever need to go back home…atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

3).  Atlantis Bahamas is FUN for the Whole Family!

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During covid, you need a one-stop resort that allows for minimal, movement, outside contact and exposure while offering plenty of outdoor dining, space and activities.  And you should note that downtown Paradise Island, normally bustling with cruise ship activity pretty much closed down even during our high season of spring break.  So travelers to Paradise Island really relied on the hotels to provide entertainment and daily activities.  And there is no more fun hotel for the whole family than Atlantis!atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

Aquaventure is what makes Atlantis stand out from all of the rest.  atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantisAccess to this incredible 141 acre waterpark is complimentary with your hotel stay and includes everything from thrill-rides like the famous 50′ drop “leap of faith,” to memorable waterslides that dump you into a see-through tunnel surrounded by sharks, to a 1mile long rapid river, to all the best kiddie slides and splash areas.

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We made so many hilarious memories here as a family.  If you traveled along with us through Instagram stories, you know why I’m laughing here. atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantisDolphin Cay, “walk with the sharks,” and “snorkel with the ruins of Atlantis” are other epic marine adventures awaiting your arrival.   And if you’re looking for a slower pace by the water, one of the 11 pools or the serene beach will float your boat.atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

Dry entertainment is available too!  Everything from the  Tom Weiskopf-designed, championship golf course to tennis, rock climbing, casino, bars, restaurants, shopping, and library are available to guests! (The theater and comedy club are temporarily closed during the pandemic). atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantisatlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

TIP. Save the indoor stuff like shopping, the hotel’s program of kiddie activities (i.e. arts and crafts as an example) and the “Dig” which is the amazing indoor aquarium for periods when you’re expecting sub-standard weather.  And if you have dreams of leaving your kid(s) at the Atlantis kids club please note that during covid, they only have 24 spots (for their entire resort)!  SO plan your itinerary ahead of time, note their limited hours and make those reservations before you even arrive.  We were not able to take advantage of the kids club during any part of our stay and I wish that I had known this prior.  You can thank me with a blog comment below 🙂   For more ideas on what to do with kids, click here.  Atlantis has helpfully broken down activity ideas by age group for you!atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel review, atlantis review, review of atlantis

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If you want time out from all the activities and want to enjoy some indulgence, head to Mandara spaIt’s where I spent a couple hours of alone time (thanks to them hosting me) and I tell you it was bliss.  The service, the massage, the surroundings, and the complimentary hot tub/sauna and aromatherapy lounge area were little slices of heaven that I feel so fortunate to have luxuriated in.  Lockdown life was hard.  We all deserve this!!  Don’t you agree??

4). Fine Dining

With so many options at your disposal, (21 restaurants and 19 bars to be exact), each meal time becomes a true foodie adventure!  Our favorites were Nobu for mouth watering omakase, Seafire Steakhouse for succulent fare and outstanding service, and Olives for the tastiest chicken sausage and breakfast potatoes we’ve ever had.  Click here for more.

TIP:  If you have a special occasion you are celebrating while there like we did (we had 3 dad’s birthdays within our large group), make your reservations a week early to ensure you lock in the day and time that you need.  Note and be warned that all their restaurants’ walk-in waits were a 45 minutes wait at best to totally unavailable.  We learned quite quickly, that you need (especially for dinner) to have a reservation a couple days in advance to be safe for any day you are there.https://stylishlystella.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/img_1806.mov

 

5).  Beauty Surrounds You

Everything from the guest rooms and suites to the views from every angle provide a sense of escape and inspire appreciation for beauty.  We were hosted at the Cove Oceanside suite and were wow-ed with not only how much space it granted us, but the stunning views from the private balcony!  It made the getaway truly dreamy to have such glorious views! (Pic below from the Atlantis website)

atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotelBut really, everywhere we walked and toured through the resort (it’ll take you days to discover the entire resort btw), resulted in awe-inspiring views.  From the lagoons and flowers to the cheery pastel hotel looming around us, there was always something to make us smile and be grateful for during this gorgeous getaway.

atlantis resort, atlantis bahamas, bahamas hotel, atlantis hotel, atlantis hotel reviewIf you travel to the Atlantis, you won’t have any problem (as you can see from this blog post) with finding Instagramable moments.  They’re EVERYWHERE!  And if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate every moment!

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Thanks SO much to the Atlantis hotel and PR team who helped make this trip a vacation to remember.  Feel free to leave me any questions or comments you have about this hotel, the Bahamas or simply traveling with kids during the pandemic.  And as always, you can stay in touch with us daily through Instagram.com/stylishlystella where I share all the Instagrammable hot spots around the world, inspire you to celebrate the everyday and offer lots of tips and shoppable links along the way.

Safe travels!!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Ways to have a Mermazing Party (even during a pandemic)

mermaid party, mermaid birthday, mermaid theme, mermaid decor, mermaid cakeMermaid Party!

Last year my daughter decided her upcoming 8th birthday would be a mermaid themed party.  And I was determined to make her dreams come true -pandemic or not. So mermaid party it was! If you too are over the zoom calls, can’t do a street parade and or can’t do a front yard fiesta, read on to see how we SHELL-abr-8-ed!!

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1). Limit guest count.

Only invite a couple or few besties whose families you trust have been acting in a Covid safe manner. We had an extremely small social pod that we ever so rarely met with through the past year. And from that mini pod, we invited 3 little girls and got lucky because right before the mini pod gathering, everyone had tested negative. Kids are less transferable and less in danger for catching and having any serious symptoms so it is with those facts we proceeded to celebrate on a smaller scale. (Click here for the 20 person 7th birthday recap from last year.).  As an additional measure, you can ask to ensure that their family members have not experienced any symptoms and or been in contact recently with someone who has had symptoms or covid. 

mermaid party, mermaid party ideas, mermaid birthday, sleepover tents, sleepover party ideas, mermaid squad, how to throw a mermaid party2). Make memorable mermaid decor!

We decided to host the party in our home ‘cuz living here in Manhattan, drive by car parades are not a thing and it was too cold in February to do anything outside. Plus I liked the idea of having my fully sanitized home be the private venue from which I could work for days on perfecting some extra special decor details. mermaid decor, mermaid food, mermaid theme, mermaid themed party, mermaid party ideas

Adding this splash of color felt like a happy burst of energy – the perfect thing to combat lockdown life.  Don’t we all need a little extra color these days?  Thank you to Chic Sugars for sponsoring our beautiful mermaid themed cake!  You incorporated the party colors perfectly and we adored all the mermaid fin toppers and ombre frosting!  Click here to see the Valentines cake they made for us last month!  Both were so so delicious and were the perfect focal point of our decor!  Based in NJ, they service the entire NY area too and can make ANYTHING you dream of. 

chic sugars, mermaid party ideas, mermaid party, mermaid theme, mermaid themed birthdayCheck them out! They were featured on the Food Network and have an amazing portfolio!!   

teepee in the city, how to throw a mermaid partyMermaid balloons, balloon garlands, DIY starfish chair accents, grand kiddie tablescapes, and teepee slumber party setups also created a wow experience for our mermaid squad! 

Special thank you to our event partner, Teepee in the City who brought in these adorable sleepover sets and helped set the scene for such a special night!  The set includes teepees, fairy lights, mattress, sheets, blankets, pillows, rugs, trays, lanterns, customized teepee labels, garlands, mermaid tail blankies, a birthday sign and load in/out!!  They can customize to your theme and have lots of options to choose from!  It was the first time sleeping over someone else’s house for a couple of our little guests and thanks to these sparkly night lights and super fun teepees, they did just great and were so excited to spend the night!  I highly recommend this company for all your sleepover needs.  They would make an extra special addition for a lockdown movie night as well! 

Click here for 4 tips on elevating your tablescape!  Thank you to our decor partner, Wish for allowing us the store credit to pick and choose from your amazing selection! Stay tuned for a separate blog post with links on where to purchase everything plus our recommendation on mermaid themed gifts, fashions and favors too!

3). Stagger drop offs and pickups.

I gave parents a 30minute range from when they could pickup and drop off their kids. And upon entering, kids washed hands and changed into their mermaid dresses. Matching mermaid costumes were given to all party go-ers and also to their 18” dolls care of Mini and Me official. The girls loved twirling in them and noted how they weren’t itchy like other costumes.  

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We have a couple others from their vast costume selection and we just love their style, machine-washability and the fact that they don’t leave a trail of glitter everywhere like many other costumes do. 4). Entertain mermaid style

Swimming, mermaid bracelet making and mermaid TV shows were on our list of todos. But we also had fun playing with pretend makeup, and singing kareoke too! With a little creativity, it’s easy to add a themed twist to any kiddie activity. Sing songs from the Little mermaid soundtrack. Instead of passing the potato, pass a mermaid doll or instead of duck duck goose, play fish fish mermaid for instance.

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We were lucky enough to have a private session at our pool since during the pandemic only 1 apartment is able to reserve the entire pool at a time. It worked out in our favor! The girls had a blast splashing around and trying on Juliet’s new mermaid tail. They had a such a swimmingly fun time that they begged to go back to the pool the very next day!

5). Provide under the sea themed foods & treats

For snacks we had goldfish in pretzel and classic editions (swimming in clear fish bowls). For treats, we made clams with pearls (Nila wafers with frosting and a huge pearl sprinkle in between). And for shell treats, we simply frosted lines on madeline’s that were shaped in shell form. It made for an easy and fun baking activity for Juliet to prepare pre-party! The next morning, I made mermaid bagels by taking our gifted rainbow bagels from Liberty bagels/midtown bagels and adding natural food coloring to the cream cheese spread. Lastly I topped them with mermaid sprinkles and a cute mermaid toothpick topper. The girls went crazy over their breakfast in bed!

5). Find FINtastic favors

besides the beautiful mermaid costumes (that by the way are so soft and comfortable many of the girls chose to sleep in them), guests left with lots of fun surprises!! “Look at this stuff; isn’t it neat??”  Each mermaid’s teepee hid a goody bag filled with: a flippy sequin mermaid tail purse, mermaid outfit for Barbie, mermaid pen, bracelet in one of the party colors, squishy coral slime, and a mermaid stamper. Plus each child left with a party balloon!

mermaid party favors, mermaid themed party, mermaid party ideas, mermaid themed birthdayThis couldn’t have all happened without a little help from my friend and professional party planner Xin from Le Petite Prive who came over the night before (masked) and helped me get the balloons made, and generally help setup backdrops for me.  Having this on-site assistance from a professional planner is something I don’t normally have so it was SO appreciated!  I loved bouncing ideas off her, and having a partner in crime as we secretly set up the decor away from my little who only saw it when she came out of her bedroom slumber the day of her birthday.  If you need full-on event planning, styling, install and the full package though she is available for all of that too!  Her calm nature, and can-do, positive attitude will help relieve any party planning stress you may experience.  Plus she has an incredible eye for events and her style is so elegant.  What an honor it was to work beside her!

Above photos are a mix of my iphone shots and images from Andrea Kay Images.  She specializes in weddings, family portraits and all sorts of event photography and works primarily in the Long Island / NY area. She’s a joy to work with and always returns stunning shots and will stay safely masked for you!!

Tell me in the comments below, what your favorite party of this party was!  And follow me on Instagram for more daily inspiration for celebrating the everyday in style!

 

 

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