If 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! We are so grateful to Atlantis Paradise Island for hosting us!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
You’ll love the tropical vibes. It’s breathtaking! Grounds are perfectly manicured, flowers are lush and marine life abounds. Here 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…
3). Atlantis Bahamas is FUN for the Whole Family!
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!
Aquaventure is what makes Atlantis stand out from all of the rest. Access 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.
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. Dolphin 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.
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).
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!
If you want time out from all the activities and want to enjoy some indulgence, head to Mandara spa. It’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)
But 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.
If 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!
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.