Stunning beaches, turquoise waters, wonderful wildlife, friendly people, colorful carnival celebrations, and an amazing array of hotels. This is The Bahamas. While the recent hurricane devastated the two most northern islands, the main areas are open for tourists including Nassau and Paradise Island. This summer, I discovered a surprising family-friendly AND budget-friendly hotel near The Atlantis, the Comfort Suites Paradise Island — and these are all the reasons why.
Flights from Denver to The Bahamas are not convenient, but once we landed in The Bahamas, the islands made it all worthwhile. While I had visited these islands multiple times, this was my 13-year-old grandson’s first visit, and to say he was excited was an understatement. We overnighted first at the luxurious Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, and then transferred over to the Comfort Suites Paradise Island.
While the Baha Mar was amazingly luxurious with so many things to do with kids, the Comfort Suites Paradise Island simply felt comfortable, cozy and laidback, and it is family-friendly and affordable. The real selling point of this Paradise Island hotel is that the price of the room INCLUDES admission to The Atlantis and its water park.
Is the Bahamas Open For Business?
Before going into my experience at this hotel, let me assure you that yes, much of The Bahamas is open for business. On September 1, 2019, just two months after my visit to Nassau and Paradise Island, The Bahamas experienced a devastating hurricane. While the country grieves the devastation of Hurrican Dorian upon the two most northern islands, the majority of The Bahamas (including the area of Nassau and Paradise Island) and its warm and friendly people continue to be open and welcoming travelers.
Arrival to Comfort Suites Paradise Island
Starting just 50 miles southeast of the coast of Florida, The Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands and thousands of cays dotted over 100,000 square miles of ocean. The Comfort Suites Paradise Island is located adjacent to the Atlantis Resort, 10 minutes from downtown Nassau and 30 minutes from the Lynden Pindling International Airport. That means you’re on beach time way more quickly!
And another budget-friendly bonus is parking is free.
With the mega-Atlantis Paradise Island complex literally in view, the Comfort Inn is steps away. Unlike your check-in at the supersize resorts, guests pull up, unload their bags, and walk into the reception area. The reception desk is to the right and seating in front of you. To the left are a lobby bar and the exit to the pool area. No, this lobby isn’t fancy, and perhaps dated, but the price you pay fits perfectly into a family vacation budget.
In addition to the right beyond the reception desk is the business office. Each time I passed through the reception area, however, I did note that there wasn’t almost always a line to use the computers.
Good news though — the WiFi in the room is free, and the signal kept my teen grandson happy.
Friendly valet will cart your luggage up the stairs beyond just beyond the reception desk as unfortunately, this is not the most handicap accessible accommodations. But it’s a small all-suite hotel with just 223 junior suites.
My grandson and I checked into our room (#347), recently renovated. The bathroom is located at the entrance, divided off from the beds, with a small sink and separate room with shower/bath and toilet.
A partial wall separated the sleeping area and the sitting area (with sofa, coffee table, and desk). Choose from either two double beds or a king bed, with a perfect view of the flat-screen TV on top of the dresser. The built-in counter near the entrance housed the mini-fridge, coffee maker and supplies.
FREE wireless internet access rounded out the amenities in the room. The desk also included USB plugs, as well as the bedside table.
I also found the housekeeping staff to be equally as friendly and always accommodating with requests, ie extra towels.
Included in your hotel stay is a complimentary hot American buffet breakfast daily and served in the Crusoe’s Restaurant (with air-conditioning) and covered outside seating near the bar and pool.
In addition to the free breakfast buffet, the restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner — and offers take-out pizza.
Guests also have the option to dine at The Atlantis (see details below). In addition, there are more restaurants (and shopping!) nearby at Marina Village.
In my opinion (and my grandson’s) the pool was the best amenity. We visited in the summer and the heat (for this Colorado family) was stifling. Even with The Atlantis and the ocean nearby, we looked forward to just chilling in our own hotel pool. And surprisingly even at nearly full capacity, the pool never seemed crowded. Many times there were only a handful of families taking advantage of the pool.
Full Access to Atlantis Aquaventure
This is the amenity that has families smiling as your guest room gives you full access to the Atlantis resort. I’m talking The Dig and aquariums, its 141-acre Aquaventure water park, waterslides, 11 swimming pools, dozens of restaurants, bars, lounges, and the Atlantis casino. Leave your cash at home because as a Comfort Suites Paradise Island guest you’ll have signing privileges at all Atlantis facilities – just present the hotel guest card given to you at check-in.
For those curious minds…if you aren’t a guest at either The Atlantis or Comfort Suites Paradise Island, day passes can be purchased, based upon availability. The cost of passes varies depending on the season, ranging from $166 – $135 per adult, and $103-$93 per child.
While full complimentary access to the Atlantis and Aquaventure are included as a Comfort Suites Bahamas guest, there are additional room taxes and resort fees tacked on to your room rate. Be sure to read the “fine print” on those charges.
The bottom line: for families looking for a Bahama vacation without The Atlantis price tag, Comfort Suites Paradise Island is your ticket to a budget-friendly and family-friendly vacation. You can go to Expedia or Travelocity to compare rates.
The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board provided accommodations for the purposes of a review. However, opinions expressed are my own.