If you’re planning a Nassau, Bahamas honeymoon or couples’ trip, you’re probably looking at two of the top resorts in the Bahamas: Sandals Royal Bahamian and Atlantis. Both of these Bahamas resorts are popular, but they are very different. Which is right for you?
In this article, we will compare Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis and tell you all about their differences and similarities so you can choose the best Bahamas resort for your honeymoon or vacation.
Sandals Bahamas vs. Atlantis: Overview
Atlantis is a mega-resort that is open to all ages and popular with families, couples, and singles. It offers unique attractions like an enormous waterpark and the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, as well as 14 pools, a golf course, 21 restaurants, 19 bars, a nightclub, and the largest casino in the Caribbean. It covers about 150 acres.
Sandals Royal Bahamian is a luxurious adults-only all-inclusive resort that focuses on offering a romantic ambiance for couples. Recently renovated, this glamorous resort now offers beachfront swim-up suites with butler service, 7 pools and 6 whirlpools, 10 restaurants, and 8 bars (including 3 swim-up bars). The resort also has a British influence, with billiard rooms and daily high tea, plus a compact layout that is easy to get around (about 15 acres).
(FYI, there are two Sandals resorts in The Bahamas: Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau and Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas. Since we are focusing on the Nassau area in this article, we will only cover Sandals Royal Bahamian. You can read a full review of Sandals Emerald Bay here.)
Sandals Bahamas vs. Atlantis: Location
Sandals Royal Bahamian and Atlantis are located somewhat near each other, on New Providence and Paradise Islands. Sandals Royal Bahamian is on New Providence Island along Cable Beach, just west of downtown Nassau. Atlantis is on Paradise Island, a short bridge or ferry ride away from downtown Nassau.
How far is Sandals Bahamas from Atlantis? Sandals Royal Bahamian is about a 20-30-minute drive from Atlantis.
Sandals Royal Bahamian is located about 15 minutes from the Nassau airport, while Atlantis is located about 30 minutes from the airport. Both resorts offer complimentary airport transfers.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Atmosphere
Since Sandals Royal Bahamian is an adult-only resort, it has a romantic atmosphere. Everything at Sandals Royal Bahamian is geared toward couples in love, making it one of the best Bahamas resorts for honeymoons and romantic vacations.
It also offers a vibrant atmosphere with lots to do, including a wide range of complimentary watersports. What sets Sandals Royal Bahamian apart is the private offshore island with beaches, a pool and swim-up bar, Jacuzzi, a restaurant, and cabanas.
Atlantis is primarily geared toward families, with tons of activities and a huge waterpark onsite. It has also been compared to Las Vegas, with high-rise buildings and the largest casino in the Caribbean as well as a nightclub and plenty of bars onsite.
Many travelers recommend going to Atlantis when school is in session to avoid peak crowds; the worst time to visit Atlantis is said to be during spring break. Something else to consider is that anyone can buy a day pass to the resort facilities, and it is very popular with cruise ship passengers.
Atlantis has multiple “resort areas” with their own vibe and buildings: The Royal, The Reef, The Coral, The Cove, and Harborside Resort. Couples may want to choose The Cove, which has an adults-only pool.
Atlantis is rated slightly higher than Sandals Royal Bahamian. Atlantis has a Google rating of 4.4, while Sandals Royal Bahamian has a Google rating of 4.1.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Activities
While there is plenty to do at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Atlantis is a much larger resort with a wider range of options.
Atlantis has tons of activities at facilities like the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, Dolphin Cay, Blue Atlantis, and the huge Aquaventure waterpark. Aquaventure covers 141 acres and offers multiple water slides, 11 swimming pools, and a mile-long river pool. Atlantis also has kids’ programs, tennis courts, a casino, an 18-hole golf course, and 6 beach areas.
Atlantis features 5 bars, a nightclub, a teen nightclub, a comedy club, a theater, and multiple special events like concerts, sporting events, festivals, and more. There is also a fitness center and a spa.
At Sandals Royal Bahamian, all onsite activities are included. Sandals Royal Bahamian offers watersports such as kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, sailing, water trikes, and Hobie Cats, as well as snorkeling and scuba diving. You can enjoy multiple pools and whirlpools, plus two beautiful beaches and the Coconut Grove lounge area.
Land activities at Sandals Royal Bahamian include day and night tennis, pool tables, croquet, basketball, lawn chess, shuffleboard, table tennis, and beach volleyball. In addition, there’s a full fitness center which offers amazing views from its penthouse location.
Sandals Royal Bahamian also offers the exclusive offshore island of Barefoot Cay, which is just minutes from the resort via the Love Runner. It features a Beach Club with a pool, whirlpool, and swim-up bar; two secluded beaches great for relaxing, swimming, or snorkeling; an open-air seafood restaurant; and plenty of romantic spots to lounge like hammocks, cabanas, and a fire pit.
You can also visit the Red Lane Spa, which offers a range of optional (and extra) treatments and services like couples’ massages.
While Sandals Royal Bahamian has more of a party vibe than the other Sandals in the Bahamas (Sandals Emerald Bay), it does not have a casino or nightclub. It does, however, have 8 bars (including 3 swim-up bars and a British pub) and plenty of entertainment options including beach parties, theme nights, and live shows.
You can go on area excursions from both Sandals Royal Bahamian and Atlantis.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Beach
Many guests rave about the beautiful white sand beaches at Atlantis. However, they say that since the resort is so huge, if you want to spend a lot of time at the beach you need to be sure to book a room in a building located close to a beach. Otherwise, it can be up to a 20-minute walk.
There are 3 beach areas on the ocean at Atlantis, and 1 beach on a manmade lagoon inside the resort. Some guests say it can be hard to get beach chairs when the resort is full.
The beach at Sandals Royal Bahamian is smaller but equally beautiful, featuring sugar-white sand and turquoise water. There are also two beaches on the private offshore island. Cabanas are available on the beaches (but not included). The water is calm and perfect for watersports.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Food and Drink
While both resorts have a variety of restaurants, Atlantis has more dining choices than Sandals Royal Bahamian.
There are 21 restaurants at Atlantis offering a variety of cuisines including French, Asian, seafood, steaks, Bahamian, Mediterranean, tapas, burgers, and pizza, plus salads, healthy wraps, and sandwiches. There are several celebrity chef restaurants at Atlantis, including Nobu and Olives by Chef Todd English. There’s also an ice cream shop, a donut cart, and several Starbucks coffee shops. There are open-air dining options at Atlantis.
The 10 restaurants at Sandals Royal Bahamian offer elegant French cuisine, steaks, southern Italian dishes, pan-Caribbean and Asian cuisine, seafood, sushi, grilled items, Bahamian dishes, and British pub fare. There’s also a patisserie. There are several open-air and beachfront dining options at Sandals Royal Bahamian.
As at every Sandals resort, all meals, snacks, and beverages are included in your stay, so you can feast to your heart’s content! Room service is included in the club and butler-level rooms, with butler suites offering 24-hour room service.
At Atlantis, you will pay out of pocket for all meals unless you choose the meal plan, and some guests have commented that the restaurants at Atlantis are very expensive. The Aqua Meal Plan at Atlantis covers breakfast and a 2-course dinner with entrée plus appetizer, soup, salad, or dessert, plus complimentary beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, juices, and lemonade fruit punch. Not all restaurants at Atlantis are on the meal plan, and room service is not included.
Atlantis has 19 bars. Alcoholic drinks at Atlantis are said to be pricey, with some guests reporting that they can easily run bar tabs of several hundred dollars a day. There is no meal plan that includes alcoholic beverages.
There are 8 bars at Sandals Royal Bahamian, including 3 swim-up bars and a British pub. One of the swim-up bars is located on a private offshore island. All drinks at Sandals Royal Bahamian are covered in your stay, including premium liquors and Robert Mondavi wines.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Rooms
Sandals Resorts are known for its unique luxury rooms and suites. You can choose from a wide variety of butler, club, and luxury-level rooms and suites with ocean or garden views, including all-new swim-up rooms.
The elegant West Bay Oceanview Swim-up Butler Suites have walkout patios with views of the ocean, direct access to the zero-entry swim-up pool, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub for Two; a master bedroom and separate living room; fully stocked bar; and walk-in shower.
The West Bay Honeymoon Hideaway Swim-up Crystal Lagoon Zen One Bedroom Butler Suites have private furnished patios with zero-entry access to the Zen Garden swim-up pool, a separate living room with dining area and full bar, and a walk-in shower. Or enjoy your own private pool with the Island Village One Bedroom Butler Villa Suite! These suites all come with personal butler service for the ultimate pampering.
There is also a wide range of club and luxury level rooms and suites, including swim-up, oceanview, and walk out, with private patios or balconies (some with Tranquility Soaking Tubs for Two). Club-level accommodations at Sandals Royal Bahamian come with access to a dedicated concierge service, a stylish private lounge that’s available 24 hours a day, and special activities.
Rooms at Atlantis vary widely depending on the resort area you choose. The least expensive rooms are in The Beach and The Coral. The King Water View room at The Coral offers a balcony with ocean views, a table and chairs, and a mini-fridge.
The Harborside Resort offers villas with full kitchens; a Deluxe Villa 1 Bedroom includes a king bed, separate living room with sofa bed, full kitchen, master bath with jetted whirlpool tub, and furnished balcony overlooking the harbor.
The most luxurious rooms at Atlantis are in The Cove. The Deluxe Ocean Suite offers ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony, a separate living area, a walk-in closet, a spacious marble bathroom with a walk-in shower, and a mini-fridge. Some suites have soaking tubs, and premium suites like the Sapphire Suites come with butler service.
Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis: Cost
Sandals Royal Bahamian is an affordable honeymoon destination, with rates starting at $360 per person per night. Your all-inclusive rate here will cover complimentary airport transfers; all dining and beverages including unlimited premium liquors and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines; a stocked minibar in your room; a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee; water sports and equipment plus professional instruction; WiFi; daily and nightly entertainment; unlimited land sports; state-of-the-art fitness center; and all tips, taxes, and gratuities.
Atlantis’ room rates are not all-inclusive. The least expensive rooms are in The Beach and The Coral, with rates starting around $250 per night. The most luxurious rooms are in The Cove, with rates starting around $550 a night. Suites at The Cove cost $2500 and up a night.
Now that you’ve read our comparison of Sandals Bahamas vs. Atlantis Bahamas, what do you think? Which of these resorts is best for your Bahamas honeymoon or vacation? Let us know in the comment!