Only in Paradise
By: Gary Lewis Jr.
"Please fasten your seatbelt and prepare for landing," commanded the pilot. Before I knew it Nassau was in the rear view mirror and the Royal Towers were within sight. After unpacking as fast as a child opens presents on Christmas morning, we were off to the pools. "Which one should we go to?" asked my sister. "I don’t know, isn’t there like fifteen?" I replied. The remainder of the afternoon we scoured the resort like a tourist at a national monument. At first glance, the Atlantis had certainly lived up to the hype. For the months preceding the trip the photos and literary descriptions of the Bahamian hotspot had raised expectations to an almost unattainable level. Only two hours into the trip, however, it was clear that the pictures didn’t do it justice.
The Atlantis is a world renowned tropical destination sitting on Paradise Island. Despite its short one mile distance from the slums and ghettos of downtown Nassau, the Atlantis is a world away. The 60 foot yachts floating in the harbor, the breathtaking façade of the resort, and the 150 acres of water attractions show that Atlantis means luxury. After cooling off in the various pools for the remainder of the afternoon it was back to the room with one burning question: Could the nightlife compare? Only a few hours later that question was answered with a resounding absolutely. The Atlantis has something to offer people of all ages once the sun goes down. My younger sisters departed to the 17 and under, Club Rush, which serves as a combination dance club and internet lounge. I was off to the brand new Club Aura, an 18 and over nightclub perched atop the casino floor. After enjoying the multiple shots of Patron handed to me by some new friends it was off to the casino to try my luck. I didn’t win any money that night, in fact I lost everything I brought, but the monetary setback did not dampen my spirits. The first night was in the books and I was starting to believe that I really was in "Paradise."
Day two was spent soaking up the sun, riding jet skis, and taking several plunges down the 60 foot Mayan temple water slide. This particular water attraction takes you on a vertical descent into a tube surrounded by shark infested waters. Despite preventing imminent danger, the four inch thick plastic tube encasing you does little to quell the rush of adrenaline experienced as the kings of the ocean meander by. A long day in the Bahamian sun was followed by a delicious meal at Carmine’s, one of the many high end restaurants located within the resort complex. The remainder of the night was filled with drinks, laughter, and celebrity sightings. I trekked back to the bar at club Aura except this time I was rubbing shoulders with Patrick Ewing, Jr. After a ten minute conversation filled with small talk and jokes I left him with a handshake and my best wishes for his upcoming season as part of the Georgetown University basketball team. I departed the club and paced through the casino to see none other than his father, Patrick Ewing, enjoying a game of blackjack at his private table. The night followed suit for my sisters as well when they encountered Zach and Cody, Disney channel stars from The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, at Club Rush.
Meeting the famous was nothing more than a drop in a rather large bucket. The Atlantis provided a truly 5 star experience from dusk til dawn every single day. There were so many aquatic adventures that being in the water never seemed to get old. When it did, you could simply pass the time by relaxing next to one of the shark or manta ray lagoons. The interior architecture and artwork made me feel as if I was in Italy staring at the ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The nightlife was second to none whether it was spent in the world renowned casino or in the one of a kind club Aura. The Atlantis provided the most relaxing and fun-filled trip I have ever been a part of. Every detail was utterly perfect. Pictures, including those of the Atlantis resort say a thousand words. However, there are one hundred thousand words that describe this tropical getaway that can’t be experienced unless you see it firsthand. I cannot wait until I get a chance to return, except this time, there are even higher expectations waiting to be fulfilled.