My daughter, Mallory, has always had a dream of going to the Bahamas. When I saw that a free stay at Atlantis Paradise Island is one of the free perks of being a Caesars Rewards Diamond member (which is a free perk of having a FoundersCard), I set out to make Mallory’s dream come true.
Mallory got her passport in 2019 hoping to go on her dream vacation in 2020, and then the darn pandemic hit. That obviously put a hold on a lot of people’s plans for the next couple of years. Fast forward to 2022, and we booked our trip for June 2022. Then I personally got Covid a couple of days before we were supposed to go, and yes I was fully vaccinated. With strict Covid restrictions in place, we had to postpone our trip until August 2022. Luckily, the airline nor the resort charged any change fees. This was especially nice because I did not purchase travel insurance. Plus by August, Covid testing was no longer mandatory to travel so that was even nicer.
The photo above was the view from our hotel room. So how exactly did we get this free Atlantis Bahamas stay for free? And was it totally free? Let me explain the whole process and give my review.
What is Atlantis Paradise Islands Bahamas?
Found on Paradise Island in The Bahamas, Atlantis Resort is a one-of-a-kind destination that melds natural beauty with engineering. It made its debut over 25 years ago and has been going strong ever since, representing Bahamian culture through its immersive programming while also promoting sustainability.
How Do I Get Free Atlantis Hotel Nights?
- First, sign up for a FoundersCard membership for enjoy all of the benefits.
- Second, sign up for Caesars Rewards (free)
- Log into your FoundersCard account, search for Caesars Rewards and “Redeem Benefit” to get a complimentary upgrade to Diamond Status.
- Once your Diamond Status is upgraded and confirmed, you call Atlantis Casino VIP Services at 888-877-7592 to book your reservation.
- You will need to provide your Caesars Rewards number to verify your Diamond Status and provide a credit card number to hold the reservation, but no amount will be charged.
Depending on what month you stay, the free nights vary. We originally booked to stay in June for 4 free nights, but had to reschedule to August which is also a free 4 night month. I did not have to pay anything down to reserve the room, and there was no change fees when I had to reschedule.
I searched Atlantis Bahamas’ website to see what the cost for those four days would be; it was $1430 (taxes and fees not included) which equates to $357.50 per night—still without taxes or fees.
The free room is based on double occupancy, and according to the website additional guests will result in a $50 charge per person per night. My mother went us making us have an additional guest, but we never got charged the extra $50 per night. We did have to wait an extremely long time in line to check-in, so I’m not sure if they waived the fees for us waiting so long or if they just forgot.
I was a little worried when I saw the fine print on the confirmation email about casino play as I’m definitely not a gambler. After I spent my free $100 in play plus another $100 of my own (which is way greater than my normal play), I was done gambling. I definitely did not generate 4 hours of play and did not get charged any extra. Since the fine print says “you may be charged”, I think it’s more of a marketing ploy to get you to play more.
What’s Not Included In Atlantis Free Stay
Nothing in life is totally free. Here is what we had to pay for out of pocket.
Airfare and transportation is not included in the offer, so I tracked Google flights for the best flight deal. We took a cab to and from the airport, which was about the same price we would have spent on a shuttle ride for three people. We are very curious travelers, and both cab drivers were very eager to share their knowledge of the area which was a nice bonus.
One of the cab drivers was very thankful that people are starting to vacation again as most of the population makes their living in the tourism and hospitality industry. I asked him what he did when no one could travel, and he said fished a lot so he could barter the fish with other locals for other products.
Food & Drink
Atlantis Bahamas is not an all-inclusive resort, and the food and drinks are very expensive. Although I have to admit that the strawberry daiquiri that I paid ~$20 for was one of the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t find out until it was too late that one can purchase a dining plan at the Atlantis. Had I known and invested in such, I may have saved some money on food.
Atlantis is a cash-fee resort, so everything you purchase is automatically charged to your room. And they automatically added 20% gratuity to everything plus included a line to add a tip. I didn’t realize this until late in the trip, and I had been adding another 20% tip! Considering we tried to eat at the least expensive places where you help yourself to the food and just pay a cashier, I feel like I definitely over-tipped on service.
We did save some money by walking off of the resort to a local grocery store to stock up on Diet Coke and snacks for our room. Our cab driver actually gave us that tip. Items were still marked pretty high compared to home, but much cheaper than to buy at the resort. We were also able to use American dollars as they are interchangeable with the Bohemian dollar.
Another thing we noticed is that were no gluten-free options at the restaurants for my mom who is on a gluten-free diet. She had to resort to ordering things that she knew were naturally gluten-free. Thus she ate a lot of salads.
While the fine print says complimentary rooms will not be charged room taxes, you will have to pay resort fees. The resort fees include access to the water park, shuttle service between hotels (we never used this and walked everywhere), coffee and tea in the room (which we never used), reusable water bottles (we did use these religiously), fitness center access (didn’t use this either), and free Wi-fi (we definitely used this). I paid Verizon an extra $10 per day for international access on my cellphone, but Mallory just used Wi-fi to communicate the entire trip.
My confirmation email showed the above daily resort fee would be $52.95 + 12% VAT, and according to my sales receipt for the stay, I was charged a daily resort fee of $59 + $5.90 VAT for a total of $64.90.
We were also charged a daily gratuity fee of $15 which we presume is for the maid service even though we declined maid service half of the days.
Atlantis Bahamas Review
Keep reading to see my favorite part of the stay as well if I would want to visit again.
Things I Recommend
I highly recommend investing in a waterproof phone dry bag case to wear around your neck while in the water areas. They can hold your cellphone and room key (and money if needed). The stores on the resort were all sold out so we kept our cellphones in the room while in/on the water. We finally found some for sale the last day we were there off the resort for $15 each, but decided it was too late in the trip to buy. I just ordered a 5-pack of them on Amazon for only $10 for my upcoming trip to Mexico.
The Rapid River Ride was our favorite water ride, and we took advantage of riding it every day we were there. There was no line to stand in to get started which was the nicest of all. And no one touched our shoes or backpack of items that included our water bottles, sunscreen, books (more on those later), and bug spray (we never needed this but someone had suggested we bring).
We decided we would try one of the other water slides (without researching them) and went to the first one we came upon: The Abyss. The Abyss, located in the Power Tower, is a 200-foot long body slide that begins with a 50-foot near vertical drop through complete darkness. Let’s just say that we decided against any other water slides after that and stuck with the river ride.
I did want to mention that if you have children (especially young children), the Atlantis Bahamas would be a good choice as the water parks would keep kids busy for hours on end. There are also lots of marine habitats to see fish, sharks, turtles and more. Plus children under 6 dine for free with the purchase of an adult dining plan.
On the other hand, if you don’t like kids, this resort may not be for you.
Books I Read
There are fourteen swimming pools plus six white sandy beaches, and I read several books while lounging close to the water. Here are the books I read:
- My Antonia – A classic by a Nebraska author, Willa Cather, written in 1918.
- Tanqueray – I follow Humans of New York and was intrigued by Stephanie Johnson’s story.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Many of my friends have been raving about the show on Hulu. The book was interesting, but is definitely different from the show.
- Where The Crawdads Sing – My daughter loved the movie, which I liked as well, but the book is even better.
I offered my books to my mom to read since I obviously cannot read four at once. She ended up reading “Tanqueray” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” – I think she thought they were both a bit raunchy!
Mallory obviously thought it was the best vacation ever and didn’t want to go home! I am glad I went to say I was there, and it was definitely a nice place. But now that I’ve been there, I want to go explore new places. And quite honestly, even with the free rooms, I think it would have been cheaper to go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico to enjoy the sun and beaches.
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