So Called Paradise

03Jun09

Originally written on June 3, 2009

 

Hello!!! 🙂

If you are expecting emails written in volumes about my last trip, this isn’t going to be one of those, or at least I don’t foresee it. Simply because I was stuck in a resort on an island, and there wasn’t much we could do although we had tried. Hehe…

About 35 of us board the same flight from Toronto to Nassau to attend F.S. and M.C. wedding in the Bahamas. The expectations were running high – if nothing else because of the travel cost. To stay in the Atlantis for a week was equivalent of a mortgage payment or perhaps even a down payment as F.P. put it sarcastically.

Atlantis Resort, the Bahamas

 
Atlantis resort takes a good portion of the Paradise Island. It is going to expand even further taking on the ownership of the surrounding hotels. It’s the second largest employer in the country after the government.

Right next to it, there is a gated community where Oprah Winfrey (hint to A.W.), Michael Jordan and other celebrities have homes.

Across from the resort is a port where the most expensive yacht in the Bahamas is docked. It’s owned by the Russian billionaire at the cost of $250 million dollars. I was a bit disappointed with the ship because it lacked a helipad! Hehe…

The resort itself has a bridge suite also called Michael Jackson suite connecting two Royal Towers. The cost of staying over there is USD 25, 000/night with a minimal stay of four nights. Little boys aren’t included into the price, though.

 

The Royal Towers, Atlantis Resort

Large pizza in the resort was USD 40, and a buffet dinner at the Market Place USD 50. To visit the resort as a daily attraction would cost one USD 125 plus addition charge for the use of pools, water rides and visit to the aquarium.

The Mayan Temple Water Ride, Atlantis

Tips and taxes of 17% were already included into the cost of everything which ticked me off a bit. However, one was always welcomed to tip on top of being charged for the tip! These were just some of the prices one had to pay for staying in the “Paradise”.

Nevertheless, we were very lucky because F.P. managed to get us VIP treatment thought an acquaintance. While many were living on one meal per day because of the cost, our stay included: breakfast, light lunch, happy hour and night time desserts. Had the resort known how much money they were losing by feeding the two of us, they would have changed the arrangement. LOL We also tipped the bartender at the beginning of our stay, so every hour turned to be a happy hour.

Atlantis Resort at Dusk, the Bahamas

Tourism in the Bahamas is targeted to Americans which easily could be seen in the amount of fast food restaurants, large food portions and a lot of tackiness. Yes, I found the resort with all its sea horse, starfish and barracuda motifs quite tacky. There is, however, one end of the resort which suited my palate, but the price tag didn’t.

 

The Cove, Atlantis Resort

The Cove, one of the hotel towers, was the place to be. Yet to rent a sun bed for a day, which was still exclusive only to the Cove guests, was USD 100/day. In order to rent a cabana surrounding the pool and beaches, one had to be a casino guest with the credit limit of minimum USD 500K! Despite the price ridiculousness, they serve over there the best mojitos I have ever tasted. 😛

F.P., F.S. and I loved the Cove, tried to spend time at the pool over there, and even developed a scamming technique of getting in. The scam almost worked, but the only problem was that we were too recognisable.

Firstly, it would have been better if F.P. looked more bloated. LOL As he has proved, he can’t really float on water and mostly sinks like a whale. I trained him a bit, so his floating and swimming capabilities slightly improved. Secondly, our bathing suits might have been too revealing for the staff and the guests. Some staff members remembered colours of each bathing suit I wore. I kid you not! (R.M. & S.S., I’ve got a new bathing suit thanks to A.W.’s big booty! LOL)

On the side note, one couple called me a gym bunny as I was passing by! I found that very offensive. It’s not my fault that most North American society has coke and Dunkin Donuts for breakfast!

Entrance into Atlantis Casino, the Bahamas

The unfortunate thing with the Atlantis, however, was that the nightlife was almost none existent, and it consisted on going to the Atlantis casino, the largest one in the Caribbean. There is a saying in the Serbian culture that whoever doesn’t have luck in love, has luck in gambling. So I went for it, and lost my $10 on the slot machines ending my gambling career quicker than it had begun. I’ve permanently labelled myself as a loser (j/k). LOL

To spice things up in the family oriented resort, I had to come with some ideas which were over the time accepted by most people we were hanging out. These included:

  • drinking in the hot tub after midnight
  • skinny dipping in the pools at night although the use of pools is prohibited after the sunset
  • swimming in the ocean during thunderstorms. This happened to be not the cleverest idea although it was fun. Sand got stuck to my scalp from the strong waves, so I had scalp skin exfoliation while on vacation. LOL

The Dig at Atlantis Resort, the Bahamas

Other highlights were the aquarium called The Dig, which I found mesmerizing; water slides through the shark pools; the Paradise Beach which was stunning on the very few sunny days that we had; F.P. pretending it was his birthday and had 10 restaurant staff members singing a medley of Happy Birthday and We Are Family; and the wedding of course.

The wedding was very simple and private, yet elegant. Everyone enjoyed it, and the bride got everything she asked for – from the custom made engagement ring, to the custom made designer wedding gown and the destination wedding. The memories are priceless, and for everything else there will always be MasterCard. 🙂

Sunset over the Atlantis Resort

Overall, Atlantis is worth visiting for a day or two, but anything beyond that is excessive. The locals might have changed the name of the island to the Paradise Island, but it’s far from that. Mexico has more beautiful beaches for instance, and if one really wants to see paradise on Earth, one needs to go down South to Angra dos Reis, Brazil where the nature has created stunning beauty, and one doesn’t need to call it a paradise to feel like being in one. 

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