The Babymooning Weekender: Atlantis Bahamas
Pools, beaches, sun, cocktails and mocktails.
Collin and I just got back (as in, I am still wincing at sunburn as I write this) from an early "babymoon" at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. When we told some of our friends and family about our upcoming trip, when we said the word "babymoon," there was often an inevitable pause before they figured out what that might mean. I guess babymoons are something soon-to-be-parents have started doing only more recently. Basically it's a trip you take before the baby comes--and when I heard about it, it made a lot of sense to me! We chose to go toward the end of my second trimester while I still had energy, and we also wanted to go to a place where we wouldn't need to plan a lot and could relax while we still could. We chose to go to Atlantis.
Atlantis is a mega resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, about a 35-minute cab ride from the Nassau airport. Like I said, I didn't want to do a lot of planning since we're doing so much other planning right now, so basically I just booked the flights and hotel a few months in advance and then we figured out what we wanted to do when we got there. A few suggestions in the WW Playbook below--and then more details about what we liked after that.
Where: Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas (P.S. for pregnant ladies--this was one of the few Caribbean islands that didn't have a Zika warning!)
Get there: There were many direct flights from DC to Nassau and those take about three hours (nice and not too long if you're having lower back pain!). For whatever reason, we struggled to find a nonstop flight back, so we flew from Nassau to Charlotte first (about two hours) and then another hour and a half back to DC.
Do: Beach, pool, Lazy River, check out the extensive marine life, go to the spa, casino, gym, movie theater, or comedy club, go shopping in the hotel and outside at Marina Village, and go into downtown Nassau for the straw market and restaurants
Eat/drink: There are lots of nice restaurants to choose from at the resort. Our favorites were Mosaic (their Sunday brunch was amazing) and Fish by José Andrés. Nobu was great too. Outside the resort, we loved Señor Frog's. And just for drinks, check out the Atlantis Beach Bar.
Stay: We stayed in the Beach tower at Atlantis, but there are number of sections of the resort that you can stay at depending on your price range (I think the Beach was the cheapest when we booked!) FYI, this resort is very family-friendly, so expect lots of kids running around--but if you're about to have a family of your own, you'll be very entertained like we were!
Explore the resort. We did this on our first day and really every day we were Atlantis--this place is huge and you can always find a new place to walk around.
See the marine life. Everywhere you go, it seems like there is a new pool of sting rays, sharks, fish, or turtles to see. Our favorites were the turtles, of course--and that's going to be the theme of our future son's nursery, so it was pretty cute to walk by those guys every morning.
Shop and eat in Marina Village. Marina Village is a cute group of shops and restaurants at the edge of the resort. Importantly, they have a Ben & Jerry's, which we went to not once, but twice. It was fun to eat outside there and imagine what our lives would be like if we owned one of the yachts docked in the harbor.
Play with the dolphins--or just watch them for free! Playing/swimming with the dolphins is a huge attraction at Atlantis. We decided not to splurge on that activity, but we did discover a set of tables outside Dolphin Cay where you can sit and watch groups with the dolphins. Basically like a free dolphin show.
Beach, pool, and all things water. We spent the majority of our vacation relaxing by a variety of pools and beaches throughout the resort. We were usually able to find pool chairs with shade, although you have to get to the beach before 9am to get a chair there with shade--otherwise you have to pay $25 for an umbrella. (Thus, motivation to get to the beach early.) Atlantis is also known for their extensive water park. We did not do any of their famous slides due to my paranoia about the baby and Collin's lack of interest in going on slides alone, but it was definitely popular among all the families there. Our favorite water activity turned out to be the Lazy River, which we went around and came back to many times. Nothing beats a good Lazy River!
Take a cab to downtown Nassau. For $4/person, you can share a cab from the resort to downtown Nassau. We went on a Sunday afternoon, so unfortunately it was pretty dead when we were there--but it was more lively when I briefly got to stop by on a cruise during college. The big attraction is the Straw Market, where you can barter for little touristy and handmade goods. We also walked farther out to Graycliff (below), which has a hotel, restaurant, chocolate shop/factory, cigar shop, and wine store (we just went to the chocolate shop).
Beyond that, we walked to John Watling's Distillery, where we got a short free tour and then sat out on the porch while Collin tried their rum. It was very relaxing!
We ended our Nassau day at Señor Frog's, a very fun and quirky restaurant/bar on the water. They're known for their "yard" drinks, but lucky for me they also had great frozen mocktails!
Try the casino or a show by night. Once it turns dark, Atlantis fills up with families who have showered from the beach and changed into nicer clothes for dinner and entertainment. Most nights we (read me) were tired by the end of dinner and we would honestly just go back up to our room for a movie in the A/C. We tried (and failed) to play the slots one night (why is it that slots seem so complicated??) and finally on our last night we went to a comedy show in the resort's comedy club. But you should be less lame than us.
The Beach Bar. This is a hidden gem at Atlantis! A bar with tropical drinks and mocktails right on the beach. We went here almost every night before dinner.
Fish by José Andrés. We shared the hush puppies, I got striploin, and Collin got his favorite dish of the trip: Cobia Steak. This was our treat to ourselves on the last night of our trip. (And what Washingtonians can resist a José Andrés restaurant?)
Mosaic. We had an amazing Sunday buffet brunch here. No judgement, please, on my mix of foods. And yes, I had to grab one more piece of garlic bread with my dessert plate. It was that good.
Olives. We didn't have a reservation so they "had" to put us out on the balcony. Thank you--that was the best option, anyway! We got steak and butternut squash pasta here, plus the amazing olive bread and a decadent chocolate dessert.
Marina Village restaurants. There are lots of lunch options throughout Atlantis--most of which you can take advantage of outside. I won't put them all down here, but we did enjoy our lunch in Marina Village. Collin got a fresh conch salad from Mackenzie's and I had a Chicago dog from the Village Burger Shack. (Hungry yet?) One useful note: the restaurants we went to in Marina Village, and I think most restaurants throughout the resort, take your room key as payment and will just add your purchases onto your bill.)
Overall, the best part about going to a resort like this for your babymoon is that you get to do you. Relax, soak up some sun--and get away with eating whatever you want while you're pregnant. Here's one final picture of my favorite breakfast: PB&J on the beach. Enjoy!