Exactly one week ago, I was in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. What I didn’t know is that I would embark upon one of the most magnificent travel experiences I have ever had. I was with my daughter, and our trip together to this part of the world has created memories that will forever bring us back to this place of exceptional beauty. I would like to share how a stay at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel made our vacation one that we will always remember.
Location. Location. Location.
First of all, getting to the Bahamas is a breeze, at least from New York. We took a direct flight on Jet Blue from JFK and arrived in the Bahamas in 2 hours and 20 minutes. The Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) is very modern and professional looking; my daughter actually thought it was a bank! After we cleared customs and grabbed our bag, we were greeted by a representative from Majestic Tours. We were then driven to the Comfort Suites® Paradise Island hotel in Nassau, Bahamas. This took about 45 minutes. During our ride, we drove along the coast and saw some of the main tourist attractions including the Straw Market where tourists can shop duty-free.
The Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel is located adjacent to the Atlantis Paradise Island. All guests of the hotel have access to all of the Atlantis Paradise Island facilities, including swimming pools, private beach, magnificent waterscapes, Lazy River Ride, water slides, health spa, tennis, and Kids Camp. Each day, a 2-sided sheet full of all of the activities is available at the front desk. This includes both complimentary events as well as activities that require additional fees like the Kids Camp. Just so you know, the Kids Camp is amazing, I had a sneak peak, even the very secret room that nobody knows about unless they are a kid and in the Kids Camp.
Even with Atlantis across the road, the pool at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island pool was plenty of fun. I was able to put my feet up while my daughter swam. She also really loved the swim-up bar and had an ice cream there too.
Guests at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel also have full signing privileges at Atlantis’ restaurants and lounges. Since I have a special diet and keep kosher, I learned that kosher meals can be ordered in advance to the Atlantis’ restaurants. Once I learned the prices, I decided that wasn’t the best option. Just so you know, these are the prices for the meals (directly from the Atlantis Resort FAQ page):
Atlantis Provided Kosher Meals:
PLEASE NOTE: All prices, fees, services, options, menu choices and programs related to kosher dining are subject to change without notice at anytime. You must contact Room Service prior to arrival at 242-363-3000 with your full dining details and special needs. Kosher meals are not included with our dining plans.
There are other options. One of them is bringing frozen meals in your suitcase and having the hotel warm them up. Those prices are also high (I have included those prices direct from the Atlantis website):
Guest Provided Kosher Meals:
While we did not choose this option, there is still yet another one out there. I actually learned from a fellow guest at the Comfort Suites that there is a grocery market, Solomon’s Fresh Gourmet, over the bridge. I also found out that a taxi ride to the store one way would cost $12, and walking there with my 8 year old was not an option either. The good news is that Solomon’s Fresh Gourmet will deliver food for free to Paradise Island with a minimum purchase of $100. I found the prices good as well. If you plan on going to Paradise Island in the near future, you should definitely check out this option.
Access to All of Atlantis
When you stay at The Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel, you will get a pink card with the dates of your stay on it. Check out what activities are happening each day via The Atlantean Daily Activities Guide, also available at the front desk of the hotel. Each day, you will need to walk over to the Atlantis (just across the street) and walk about 15 minutes to the entrance to The Dig. The first day that we did this, we got lost. I had to ask a lot of people if I was going the right way. Thankfully, they were all very helpful. The way that we went took us through the Casino and passed a lot of very nice shops. Coincidence? I have to admit, I was not thrilled to walk through the Casino as it smelled like smoke and my daughter held her nose as we passed through. Once I had been at the Atlantis a couple of days, I found another way to get to Aquaventure without going through the Casino.
Once you get to the desk to get your wristband you need to sign a sheet with your name (and the names of your children as well). The first time we went to Aquaventure in Atlantis, we walked through The Dig. You can definitely spend a lot of time looking at all of the beautiful fish. There is more than enough to see, after all there are 20,000 marine animals in The Dig and Ruins Lagoon. The 2.7 million gallon exhibit is the largest open-air marine habitat in the world! There is even a touch pool with starfish and sea urchins.
We loved our days at Aquaventure. Since the walk back to the Comfort Suites is about 15 minutes, you will want to bring snacks and water with you. There are plenty of snack places to purchase food at Aquaventure, however, the prices are high ($4 dollars for a bag of chips). The options for kosher food were only good in the restaurants. Something we found helpful was that if we filled up water bottles in the morning, we would ask the If one of the bars near the pool if he/she would re-fill our water bottle. Thankfully, they were kind enough to do so.
Aquaventure is absolutely incredible. I have never been to such an immense area of pure beauty. From the Palm Trees, Hotel Design, Pools, and walkways, every inch is just as exceptional as the next. There is so much beauty to explore, and so much exhilarating fun to have. I felt like a kid again as my daughter and I squealed with excitement through the Serpent Slide, which actually takes you through a shark tank (via a solid glass tunnel). We also loved Splashers Kids Pool and Ripples Kids Pool, perfect for little kids too. We also spent a lot of time at the Mayan Temple Pool. My daughter just loved the ease of going down the Jungle Slides. One downside of the big pools is that guests do smoke at the pool. After living in New York where these things do not happen anymore, I really noticed the smell. I feel with such beautiful air and surroundings, why would anybody feel the need to smoke. I was so happy to find that Ripples Kids Pool and Splashers Kids Pool had a “no smoking” sign in front.
After a few hours at Aquaventure, we were happy to spend some time at the Atlantis Library, located in the Reef Wing of Coral Towers. They had a nice selection of books for adults and children.
Our trip had so many incredible adventures, especially the Dolphin Cay. My daughter is still talking about her experience at the Shallow Water Interaction with a dolphin named Kalli. This is an additional charge, but definitely worth the memories it will provide for years and years.
Explore the Culture
The Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel is within walking distance to Marina Village at Atlantis. This is a very pleasant area to walk around, with over 20 attractive shops and several restaurants. We enjoyed a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream Saturday evening and even caught the Junkanoo parade at 9:30. Just before the parade, the kids took a turn at playing the steel drum and other man-made percussion instruments. They loved this!
When you stay at The Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel, your free, making breakfast at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island the perfect way to start your day. I loved the fresh coffee and my daughter enjoyed the fresh fruit and cereal. If you do not keep kosher, there is a quite a variety of hot foods available.
About the Room
We just loved spending time the room. While I needed to catch-up on email, my daughter watched some of her favorite shows on the Disney Channel in the other part of the suite. The room felt really spacious. There was a slight partition that made us feel like we were together, but separate.
The Comfort Suites Paradise Island is actually going through major renovations and upgrades. This includes the refurbishment of its 232 Junior Suites and features new bedding, lush sofa beds, elegant draperies, lamps, notable artwork and plush area rugs installed in the bedrooms. Guest bathroom renovations include new granite counter tops and soft mirror lighting. Meeting and event spaces have also been enhanced. I was very impressed!
These rooms can sleep up to 4 people, but more than that is not allowed. There are rooms with King Size beds, or two Queen Size Beds. Each room has a separate living area with a sofa sleeper in each room. That’s not all. All suites feature refrigerators, safes (for $2 per day), hair dryers, cable television, irons and ironing boards. I also love that microwaves are available upon request. I was informed that some properties on the island charge guests for these amenities. At the Comfort Suites, there is no additional charge. Did I mention the free Wi-Fi!! There was also no shortage of ways to keep my electronic devices charged with the recharge device including AC and USB outlets provided in all guest rooms.
Comfort Suites, we love you!
Would you like to win a trip like this? Now you can! Check out the Picture Yourself in Paradise contest over on Facebook now! You’ve got 30 seconds to share why you should win a 6-night stay for a family of 4!
Disclosure: I participated in a press trip to Paradise Island by the Paradise Island Tourism Development Association. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.