Considering a beach vacation? Choice Hotels has affordable hotel options throughout the Caribbean. The Comfort Suites Paradise Island hotel has renovated rooms and free hot breakfast. But its biggest benefit is included exclusive access to Atlantis Aquaventure. Conveniently located across the harbor from Nassau, it is a prime location to take excursions and enjoy the city.
Hotel Review: Comfort Suites Paradise Island Hotel
The Comfort Suites Paradise Island hotel is centrally located, making it easy to explore Nassau, spend a day at the beach, and take advantage of the included amenities of the Atlantis Resort. The friendly staff made me feel at home and kept me from missing my family.
What Works for Families
Full Use of Atlantis Facilities
With a waterpark, multiple pools, the beach, an aquarium, and more, Atlantis has enough activities to fill an entire vacation.
The Bahamas doesn’t have the same smoking regulations as the United States, so I enjoyed knowing my hotel would be a refuge from the smoke.
Friendly and Helpful Staff
Every employee I met from the front desk clerks to the restaurant, to the housekeeping staff was friendly and helpful. They all said hello and asked about my day.
Breakfast is served every morning in two locations – inside the hotel and out by the pool. Both places served the same selection of bagels, bread, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, French toast strips, waffles, cereal, and fresh fruit. Beverages included coffee, milk, apple juice, and orange drink.
Onsite Pool With A Lifeguard
The pool is large, and not crowded. There were plenty of lounge chairs, but I had to bring a towel from my room. Bonus: There is a swim up bar.
The onsite restaurant offers takeout pizza. So when your family is exhausted from a full day at Atlantis, you don’t have to take them out to dinner. Pick up a pizza and eat in your room instead.
Multiple USB Plugs and Outlets
Our family fights over hotel room plugs, so having multiple places to charge devices is a plus.
Connecting to the internet was free, but sometimes spotty at night. I got notifications of the connection not being secure which may have prevented me from connecting to some sites.
WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE COMFORT SUITES PARADISE ISLAND HOTEL
There wasn’t anything about the hotel that I would say doesn’t work for families. But there are a few things that are helpful to know in advance.
Taxes and Fees
Be aware that room taxes are 18% and there is a resort fee of $22.15 per person per night for everyone over 12 years old. Also, kids 16 and older are considered to be adults and are subject to a $40/night charge for over two adults in a room. The good news is the resort fee includes housekeeping tips.
Limit of Four People Per Room
A maximum of four people are allowed in each room. That includes rooms with two double beds and a sofa bed.
Firm Check In Time
The 3 p.m. check in time is firm, so don’t expect your room to be available early. However, you can store your luggage and pick up the card that gives you access to Atlantis. You can change into your beach clothes in the hotel restroom, or use the changing rooms and lockers (additional charge) at the Atlantis waterpark.
No Food Outside Breakfast Area
The hotel is strict about removing food from the breakfast area, so you will not be able to send someone down to get breakfast for the family.
THE COMFORT SUITES HOTEL
The Comfort Suites hotel is located on Paradise Island just across the harbor from Nassau in the Bahamas. The closest airport is the Lynden Pindling International Airport which is about a 30-45 minute taxi ride from the hotel ($35 – $40).
The staff is friendly and greeted me by name whenever I walked through the lobby. In addition to the front desk clerks, there is a staffed tourist desk, concierge, and bellhop in the lobby available to answer questions.
Paradise Island feels laid back and quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the main tourist area in Nassau. Beautiful bougainvilleas surround the grounds, and the best room views look out on the pool.
The island is pedestrian friendly, and cars will stop to let you cross the road. On my first walk, I attempted to take the direct route to a restaurant. Big mistake. I quickly learned to stick to the sidewalks lined with Caribbean blue railings. When you cross the street, remember that cars drive on the left side of the road.
Getting to Nassau cost $14 when I visited in 2016 and took about 15 minutes. Taxis are available right outside the hotel. If a bellhop isn’t there to help you, just wave your arms. You can also travel to Nassau by water taxi for $4 per person one way.
TravelingMom Tip: Several tourist companies will pick up at the hotel or the Paradise Island Marina. When you book excursions, make sure where the company will pick you up–you may have to travel into Nassau to meet your ride.
The Comfort Suites Junior Suites
All of the rooms at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island hotel are Junior Suites. A partial wall separates the sleeping area and sitting area but does not provide a sound or light barrier. I didn’t use the sitting area much because the television was located across from the bed and hard to see from the sofa.
The rooms have ceramic tile floors which surprised me. Then I decided that the tile floors were brilliant for visitors who are wet and sandy from the beach.
Rooms are available with either a king or two double beds. My king bed was comfy, and there were plenty of fluffy pillows to keep this pillow hog happy. There was a ceiling fan over the bed, but the air conditioner kept the room nice and cool. The AC was noisy, but that was a plus for me because I like to sleep with white noise. The dresser was large enough to accommodate a family. In the sleeping area, there was a built-in counter with a coffee maker and supplies and a refrigerator tucked underneath.
The sitting area had a small sofa, coffee table, stuffed chair, and a spacious desk. I especially liked the device clamped to the desk that provided multiple electrical and USB plugs. Through wifi, you can print documents directly to the business center located in the lobby.
The sink area was small and only accommodated one person at a time, but there was a ledge along the back of the vanity that gave enough space to hold essentials like toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. A small closet provided room for luggage storage and hanging clothes. The bathroom was large, and the shower had plenty of water pressure.
TravelingMom Tip: Lock up your valuables! The staff reminded me several times to lock up my valuables when I left the room. The safe was big enough to store multiple laptops, tablets, phones, and cameras.
Spend time enjoying the hotel pool. The pool is large, clean, and surrounded by seating. There are lounge chairs with and without umbrellas, tables, and chairs outside or under the covered patio. There is even a swim-up bar! The pool has a lifeguard which is unusual for a hotel
TravelingMom Tip: At the hotel and at Atlantis, bars and eating locations near the pools and beach did not accept cash. They only take credit cards and room charges. Fortunately, if you provide a credit card number at the Comfort Suites, your access card can be used at Atlantis to make charges to your room.
I loved the onsite restaurant Crusoe’s. I ate there for two dinners, but it is also open for lunch and offers take-out pizza. Chef Anthony Burnside served me a specially prepared meal highlighting a variety of their offerings. Unfortunately, I do not eat seafood, but I overheard a customer say that the snapper was the best she had ever eaten.
I had a sampling of the West Indian Grilled Chicken, Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb, and Grilled Sirloin Steak. My favorite was the chicken, and I even ordered it again the next night. I also had the chance to try several desserts including chocolate cake and cheesecake. But by far the best dessert was the Guava Brioche Bread Pudding made from Chef Burnside’s grandmother’s recipe. It was even better the second time with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
My favorite part of the entire trip was meeting the Crusoe’s staff. At my first dinner, I mentioned that I was disappointed to miss the Junkanoo celebration on Christmas day. The next night they brought costumes for me to try on and gave me a demonstration of the music played during Junkanoo. It was an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy Full Access to Atlantis Resort
By far, the biggest amenity is full access to Atlantis Resort and Casino. It costs more than $125 a day per person to visit Atlantis on a day pass. But it’s included for guests at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island at no additional charge.
Getting to Atlantis
When you check in, the clerk gives directions on where to pick up your wristband in Atlantis and provides a card proving you are a hotel guest. Once you have a wristband, you are free to go anywhere you want in Atlantis.
Strap on your FitBit, and let me explain what it means to be “just steps away” from Atlantis. You have to wind your way through the hotel and out the back exit. Across the street is the Atlantis Marina Village. Here you will find a variety of shops and restaurants. However, you are nowhere near a pool, beach, or the water park.
Atlantis is not just big. It is huge, and I didn’t come across many elevators. Prepare to do a lot walking to get to the fun. Especially since you pick up your wristbands at one end of the resort, and the water park is near the other end.
The good news is that you will work off any food you eat while on vacation. And if you eat at an Atlantis restaurant you will want to clear your plate because the food is about double the prices of an airport or theme park restaurant. Better yet, eat back at the affordable Comfort Suites Crusoe’s Restaurant.
TravelingMom tip: To get to Atlantis, you exit the back of the hotel and go down a well-lit ramp to the street. There was always a security guard on duty at night.
Atlantis has a water park, 11 pools, and access to the beach. It also has a casino, movie theater, and many marine habitats with everything from seahorses, to stingrays, dolphins, and sharks. As a Comfort Suites guest, you have access to all of it.
The 141-acre Aquaventure Water Park has 18 water slides. The Serpent Slide even goes through a transparent acrylic tunnel in the shark lagoon. There is a lazy river, but The Current river ride is anything but relaxed with rolling waves, rapids, and a water escalator.
The expansive beach areas include a child-friendly lagoon as well as three additional beach areas. I recommend the Cove and Paradise beaches for families. The Atlantis beach is steep, and the water is waist-deep less than ten feet from shore.
Atlantis has one adult-only pool and nine family pools including a lap pool. Three additional pool areas are designed just for kids. The Splashers pool has a water playground with slides, rope bridges, and water cannons so that younger children won’t feel left out of the water park fun.
TravelingMom tip: Atlantis provides beach towels, so you do not need to bring any from your room.
There are 12 different marine habitats in Atlantis. The largest is The Dig, themed after an archaeological expedition of the Lost City of Atlantis. It has multiple aquariums with everything from the smallest tropical fish and seahorses to giant Moray Eels and grouper. Other habitats have stingrays, turtles, and sharks.
Disclosure: I was paid by Choice Hotels to review the Comfort Suites Paradise Island hotel. However, opinions are my own.