Food and beverages at Atlantis is EXPENSIVE! If you’ve ever read any articles or blogs about “how to do Atlantis on a budget”, forget about it. I’ll dare say, that it can’t be done!
My husband and I spent a week at The Reef Atlantis and our bill at the checkout was around US$ 2300 – and we only had 2 meals a day and no drinks during the day! I had one cocktail the whole week, a few cups of coffee at Starbucks, we shared one strawberry cheesecake from the pastry shop at the Royal Towers. The rest was pretty much spent on dinners, incl. wine. The prices are all of the a la carte restaurants (casual and fine dining) were similar. I found that the prices only varied a few dollars.
If you want to have some drinks and snacks in the room, go to Solomon’s Fresh Market supermarket, located at Harbour Bay Shopping Centre (about a 10 min drive from Atlantis). It’s still expensive but cheaper than buying the resort. A box of strawberries cost US$ 20 and the taxi was US$ 47 for a 10 min ride!
If you want to do Atlantis on a (food) budget, you might consider the following:
Skip the breakfast and go for brunch
Our strategy for the week was to skip a meal every day and just go for brunch around 10-11 am, have a few snacks in the room in the afternoon and then go all out for a fabulous dinner every night.
Start the day with a grilled chicken sandwich at the little beach bar & grill located between The Reef and The Cove. A simple sandwich in a nice burger bun, with 2 pieces of grilled chicken breast, lettuce and tomato cost $12 plus tax plus 15% gratuity. Pricy, indeed (and it doesn’t even come with a side of fries), but it’s enough to keep you full until dinner.
You CAN actually drink the tap water at the resort, so just ask for “a glass of water” which is free. You can also buy a glass for a soda dispenser, which seemed to offer unlimited soda. I’m not sure how it works, though, as we never tried it.
A (Late) Breakfast Buffet
Try the breakfast buffet at the Mosaic restaurant, located at The Cove (open for breakfast until 11:30 am). The price was around US$ 40 per person and the place has a nice atmosphere.
There was a large assortment of breads and pastries, freshly made pancakes and waffles, cold cuts and cheeses, cereals and yogurts, fruits, eggs, bacon, sausages… and coffee, tea, fresh orange juice.
My Favorite Restaurants for Dinner
There are lots of different restaurants at Atlantis, too many to try them all in a week. Having tried the restaurants at the Royal Towers and the ones in the Marina Village, I would definitely recommend the restaurants at the Marina – especially the ones with outdoor (quiet) seating.
The best tables at the steakhouse are the tables on the patio, overlooking the million-dollar yachts at the marina. They’re given on a “first come, first served” basis and it’s best to come around 6 pm or 8:30 pm. It can get very crowded and noisy inside, but sitting outside you can actually enjoy our meal and have a conversation without any problem (no shouting across the table necessary).
I recommend the salmon (plain & simple) with a side of green asparagus and Hollandaise sauce. My husband liked the Mixed Grill (lamb chop, homemade sausage, chicken, beef filet and bacon). For dessert share the sampler, with cheesecake, key lime pie, berries and chocolate mouse. It’s perfectly portioned for 2 people to share.
Café Martinique is one of Atlantis’ finest restaurants and was actually part of the James Bond movie Thunderball, starring Sean Connery. A simple, green marquis welcomes you and an old wrought iron elevator takes you upstairs to this elegant restaurant. It really feels like you’re stepping into an old movie. When you DO go, make sure to dress up.
Arrive early and have a drink at the bar (they serve these really delicious bar nuts). For dinner you can sit outside on the balcony overlooking the marina (we considered it), but the real fun is inside. The restaurant is so elegant and the waiters here also wear white smoking jackets. The ambiance, the food, the service…and the waiters going the extra length to make sure we felt really special.
We liked the escargots that come in the shell, covered with melted garlic & parsley butter. The lamb chops with potatoes is excellent. The local snapper is a steamed fillet of snapper (not grilled, as I thought) in a soup with fennel – pretty good.
For dessert, our amazing waiter (David) pulled up a cart to our table and started flambéing bananas that he served with ice cream.
Dune by Jean-Georges Vongerichten:
If you’ve seen the James Bond movie Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig, you probably remember that part of it was filmed at the One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. This is where they filmed the poker scene(s) in the James Bond movie. If you go just beyond the restrooms, you’ll come out to a fantastic courtyard with a garden, fountains and lounges. You won’t see it unless you stumble upon it (like we did), but if you do find it, it’s worth exploring.
You MUST dress up when you go there…you’ll see. Even when you’re on the Atlantis shuttle bus, which takes you there, you’ll notice that it’s a different clientele that goes to One&Only Ocean Club.
The Dune restaurant is located on a plateau right above the beach with a spectacular view of the ocean. Have a cocktail (I liked their signature cocktail One & Only Special) on the terrace and enjoy the view and live music.
The best tables are outside on the terrace! We started with the crispy crab fritters and chicken samosa – to share. Both were excellent. I had the Peking duck for main course, and it was probably the best duck I’ve ever had. The shallot confit was incredible. The Australian lamb chops with a side of potato au gratin – heaven!
For dessert, we shared a warm caramel apple pie with ice cream on top. WOW.