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!!

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Families Need To Visit Woodloch Resort

Winter is coming!  Actually it’s HERE!  That’s why parents are scrambling to find fun ways to keep their kids entertained and happy cuz baby it’s cold outside!  And with multiple winter breaks like: the holidays, MLK day, Presidents Day weekend and school’s official winter and spring breaks, the pressure is on to find ways to pass the time with kids!  Woodloch Resort saves the day (and the weekend!).  It’s just 90 minutes outside of Manhattan in the Poconos area of Pennsylvania and it takes care of all of your family needs while ensuring a fun-filled winter getaway!  Below are 5 reasons you too must try it out!

  1.   It’s rated as the #1 family resort in the U.S! You heard that right!  Both USA Today and Traveler’s Choice singled out Woodloch Resort as the best place for families to vacation!  And to further reinforce those rave reviews, infamously critical Yelp reviewers averaged a 4.5 star (out of 5) rating!  It clearly is a people pleaser! And I can see why!  With the most abundant list of activities, delicious food, spacious accommodations, and the most welcoming staff, you really feel like you’ve come home (if home was a cozy spot with maids, housekeepers, nightly entertainment and non-stop fun! hahawoodloch pines, woodloch spa, woodloch resort, poconos hotels, best family vacation, best family resort, all inclusive resort
  2. FUN FUN FUN!  You cannot be bored here.  There is something for everyone, at really, every age! The indoor / outdoor list of play options (of 30+ daily activities) will blow your mind.  Here, parents don’t have to worry about how to pass the long days, weekends, or breaks!  Woodloch has it all figured out!  Toddlers will enjoy the splash zone, 1′ wading pool, outdoor playground, indoor toddler play gym, petting zoo, pony rides, magic shows and baby bumper cars.  Little kids will enjoy the pool’s slide and indoor pool, driving their own bumper car and gokarting on their own (if 48″ or taller), the kids club, ice skating for the first time with balance beams, the arts and crafts room, and 3-level climbing gym.  woodloch pines, woodloch spa, woodloch resort, poconos hotels, best family vacation, best family resort, all inclusive resortOlder kids will love the: go karting, silent disco dance nights,  archery, trivia, wiffle ball, bocce ball, the escape room and paintballing.  This isn’t even mentioning the fun-for-all ages: snow tubing, scavenger hunts, minute-to-win-it games, arcade, kareoke, bowling, putt putt, and family-friendly contests.  (phew that was a lot, right?) woodloch resort, woodloch, woodloch pines, poconos weekend, road trips from nyc When the weather warms up, they also offer: water-skiing, fishing, kayaking, clay shooting, boating, hiking, summer Olympics, ziplining and MORE!  Imagine trying to check off all those activities in one weekend.  You’d be hustling around town non-stop whereas here, everything is walkable or just a short shuttle bus ride away.  Trust me, your kids will never want to leave.  And nobody will believe how much fun you managed to pack into each day!
  3. The food is delicious! The yummy meals had us all leaving 5 lbs heavier I think.  Who could resist when the 3 course meals felt so homemade with love?  The selection was well -received even amongst us two families at the table with picky little eaters.  And the desserts and baked goods were to die for! AHHHh..  We ate SO much at every meal that we started realizing we could have easily gotten away with the 2 meal-a-day plan.  Surely we would have reached our daily allowance for calories even with just 2 meals but it was the weekend and we were on vaca…(vaca calories don’t count, right??)  With 4 restaurants and 3 additional spots for a quick snack or drink, you and the kids will always be able to find something!woodloch pines, woodloch spa, woodloch resort, poconos hotels, best family vacation, best family resort, all inclusive resort
  4. The service is incredibly warm, welcoming and genuine.  Us Manhattanites have gotten somewhat used to poor service, rude strangers and pushing and shoving in the subway trains.  So it is always with great pleasure and gratitude that we receive such nice service!  Everyone at Woodloch from the front desk staff to the waiters and greeters were so friendly and smile-y you felt like you were immediately welcomed into the Woodloch family!  woodloch pines, all inclusive family resort, poconos hotel, poconos for families, what to do in the poconos, woodloch spa, best family resorts Speaking of welcomes, did you know that costumed characters surprise you at every meal?  The kids loved seeing the likes of Paw Patrol and other familiar faces greeting them at the dining room.  Woodloch’s resort is a family-owned and operated resort (since 1958), something they are proud to highlight.  And everything from the family-style meals, family-oriented games and contests serve to emphasize their value on family time.  It’s no wonder families repeatedly visit, each time adding more families and friends to their stay.  Generations have been making Woodloch Resort their vacation destination of choice and their family reunion spot for years! The decor even has the nostalgic feel of visiting grandma and grandpa’s house.  It definitely has its own hospitable charm!woodloch pines, woodloch spa, poconos, family vacation ideas, family poconos,
  5.  The grounds are vast and beautiful.  We stayed in the Springbrook suite overlooking the lake and gorgeous grounds.  It had a terrace and amazing light would shine through our room.  Having just come from the concrete jungle of Manhattan, I really appreciated my vast view.  I saw that there was a walking trail around the lake and imagined how beautiful it would be when warmer- especially when the fall foliage bloomed in vibrant colors.  (I’ll have to return in the fall!)  With their outdoor rock climbing wall, championship golf course, and endless water sports, there are various ways to enjoy the view!  If nature and peace are what you’re looking for in a getaway, this Poconos destination can give you that peaceful pristine mountain / lake vacation you want!

woodloch pines, poconos weekend, poconos family, things to do in the poconos, where to stay in the poconos, poconos with kids, woodloch pines, woodloch reviewI’m always the one researching and planning out fun activities for friends and family so it was with great pleasure that I finally got to sit back and let Woodloch take care of all the entertainment and planning.  We had so much fun as a family and got to bond with another special family that we traveled with too.  Woodloch Resort really is an amazing destination to make memories with those you cherish!  They’re currently having a 30% off sale so book your next vaca today!  

Tell me in the comments below what you’d most look forward to!

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And to read another review of Woodloch Resort, check out my friend Melissa’s blog (she traveled with us) and you’ll want to hear her perspective as a mom of a boy and a girl.

Click here to read all about Pennsylvania’s Koziar’s Christmas Village and for everything you need to know before you go!

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