As I walk into the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, I contemplate its namesake—the legendary underwater advanced civilization. With towering waterslides modeled after ancient ruins, 14 pools, six beaches, and more than 50,000 marine animals living in the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, the resort does not stray far from its inspiration.
Of Atlantis’ several properties, The Cove is the most luxurious, with koi ponds that lead up to its 600 balcony suites, each with an ocean view. The Cove is also home to the resort’s adults-only pool. Enjoy a piña colada and an order of Watermelon Poke from poolside restaurant Frezca for a lite lunch or afternoon snack, then head next door to Cascades Grill for a Bahama Mama (rum, coconut rum, and orange and pineapple juices). Those seeking an even more secluded and luxurious afternoon can rent a private beachside cabana for the day. When you are done enjoying the sand and waves, choose from one of the resort’s many dining destinations for your evening meal.
Dinner at Fish by José Andrés showcases several ways to sample the local seafood, including the resort’s well-known conch, a mollusk kind of like a mussel. Those seeking a bit of a kick can enjoy cracked conch, while diners with more mild palates can opt for the conch fritters. The shrimp and grits are an excellent take on a Southern classic, and the Chocolate Paradise is a rich finish. Another restaurant option is Olives inside The Royal, which features Mediterranean cuisine curated by Chef Todd English. Nearby Nobu showcases sushi options galore. I opted for the Wagyu Dumplings and Chilean Seabass with Truffle Dashi Ponzu to start, followed by the Spicy Scallop, Bahamian, and Japanese Eel and Cucumber Rolls. On the walk back, stop by The Dig, the resort’s aquarium, then pass by the property’s four sawfish sharks, the only members of their species bred and raised in captivity.
When you are ready for an adventure, take a Coco Bahama seaplane to neighboring Andros Island (keep an eye out for sharks and rays as you pass the third-largest barrier reef and descend on the water) and enjoy lunch on the beach or stay at one of Kamalame Cay Resort’s private bungalows, cottages, villas, or suites. Walk out your back door to white sand beaches or cruise in one of the resort’s golf carts to the overwater spa, where you can relax while watching the waves below. Owned by a British family who grew up in Jamaica, the island’s culinary program showcases specialty wine and fare. Try a Kamalame Spritz (Louis Picamelot Cremant de Bourgogen, Cocchi Americano, Giffard Abricot du Roussillon, soda water, and fresh-squeezed lemon) before heading back to Atlantis.
Round out the trip with a walk through the resort’s Marina Village, where you’ll find locally made souvenirs, upscale dining options, and The Dilly Club—a new venue by wine import businessman William Young and mixologist Kyle Jones that combines coffee and tiki bar concepts. I toasted a successful trip with a robust espresso martini, soaking in the last moments of the island’s hospitality, rich food, and relaxation—the perfect ingredients for a legendary experience.
A visit to Atlantis Resort’s Dolphin Cay made for a memorable moment for Russell Glen Co. leader Terrence Maiden. The real estate developer spent an afternoon with the resort’s 17 dolphins, many of which were rescued from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. “You get to watch them do different performances, and you’re able to get up close and personal in the water with them in the cove. I actually have a picture kissing the dolphin on the nose,” Maiden says. During the encounter, the dolphins perform tricks where they jump out of the water and flip. Some even come behind guests, pick them up under the arms, and guide them through the water. “They’ll swim around you and play with you,” Maiden says.