Paradise island is a sliver of land connected to Nassau via a scenic bridge. Atlantis is the massive fairytale resort that dominates the island with its multiple tower accommodations, expansive water park with intertwined sea water lagoons and a Vegas style casino. We learned little tricks to make our trip to this piece of the Bahamas a bit more feasible on a budget.
Walk the Bridge to Nassau
You can take a public bus for a few bucks over the bridge, but we just didn’t feel like figuring all of that out. Taxis run about $15 from Paradise Island to Nassau—the price is consistent and the drivers are honest. But walking every now and then saves a good chunk of change—the scenery is awesome, and you’ll get a great uphill workout.
Atlantis does have convenience stores where you can get nuts and trail mix for a few bucks. There’s also a grocery store in the little pink plaza across the street from Comfort Suites. We didn’t check it out, but were told by hotel employees that waters and such are much cheaper. In the same shopping center, you’ll find a great rum cake shop.
Skip the Pizza
Atlantis is a big place, with a lot of great food. It’s a resort, so it’s pricier than the food over the bridge in Nassau. We tried the staple pizza joint in Marina Village, it was average, with the Bahamian themed pie being the best. We paid nearly $40 for some individual slices and a small side salad. But if you’re aching for pizza, it’s the best bet.
Use Water Bottle Refill Stations
Atlantis has graciously situated several refill spots throughout the grounds, and since bottled water has to be imported, it’s around $3-$4…per bottle. So the option to refill is not only cost effective, but it keeps less trash from piling up on the beautiful island.
Stay at Comfort Suites
Atlantis is purely magical, and definitely worth it if you feel like splurging on a stay in one of their real life sandcastle towers. But if pinching the pennies is a must, Comfort Suites is a stone’s throw away, and much cheaper. Rooms are “beach-y” and nice, and the included breakfast is complete with fresh cut fruit, yogurt, waffles and eggs. The best part? Atlantis access is included in your stay, so you’ll get to enjoy the world famous waterpark. Bonus—the on-site restaurant serves killer fried conch and fish.
Take Advantage of the Breakfast
Speaking of the included breakfast, seize the opportunity. Food on Paradise Island should certainly be experienced, but paying out for every meal isn’t realistic, for us at least! We spent $50 bucks on a meal for two, easily, every time. So our plan was to fill up on fruit, eggs, bacon and oatmeal at our hotel, which was more than enough to hold us until dinner. Then we went to places like Frankie’s Gone Bananas for conch salad and chowder!
Split a treat at Plato’s
There’s a little bakery counter inside the Atlantis that we fell in love with. From eclairs, cheesecake cups to tarts, everything we tried was pure harmony. The pineapple upside down cake was enormous, and many other desserts are generous in size, so splitting is realistic. Oh, and they have artisan sandwiches for around $10 bucks—dinner win.
People Watch at the Casino
It goes without saying that gambling is a great way to burn your money, unless you’re one of those unusually lucky people. We personally enjoyed grabbing a cocktail from the seashell embellished gazebo grill outside, (pineapple mojito gets an A+) and just browsing the interesting folks spending the big bucks. Not creepy right?
Walk the Property
You could pay for experiences, such as swimming with dolphins and sting rays, but lagoons, aquariums and downright awesome water features can be seen from walking paths. You have to walk through the underwater tunnel—it’s incredible.
We’d love to go back to this Bahamas kingdom, to get the other side of the experience and learn more about the sustainability efforts of the place. But we are thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to really dig down deep and make a typically more expensive vacation work for our small budget. Atlantis and Paradise Island, as a whole, have done an outstanding job of accommodating everyone. We loved it.