There’s a reason why introverts seek out island destinations like Dominica, Saba and Nevis: it’s easy to hunker down with a book, a frozen drink and miles of empty beach. But peer pressure can be pretty tough, particularly when it’s your spouse, partner or child who is simply dying to visit the 171-acres of waterslides, beaches, shops and restaurants that are Atlantis Paradise Island.
But here’s a secret: hidden throughout the resort are a handful peaceful oases—islands of solitude that, while not devoid of humanity, will at least give you a chance to take a breath (and a big slug of pina colada) and get ready to take on the Leap of Faith waterslide… or at least join the crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the action.
Some resort spas seem to bustle with energy, but not the Mandara Spa at Atlantis. Beyond curling up with a cup of tea and a stack of up-to-date gossip mags in the comfy lounge, you can soak in a pair of mineral pools, take in sauna and steam or relax on one of the chaise lounges, shower and play on Instagram—there’s free WiFi throughout the spa. Access is complimentary with any treatment (book before you arrive and you’ll get 25 percent off) or $30 per day.
The Lap Pool
Tucked between the Fitness Center and Dolphin Cay, the Lap Pool is a bit off the beaten path, but in this case, that’s a good thing: what you give up in convenience, you more than make up for in peace and quiet. Even better, with four 25-meter lanes, this is no puny plunge pool masquerading as a full-sized pool. There’s lots of room to do actual laps, and, when you’re finished, no jockeying for a place to sit and enjoy the sun.
The Cove Beach
The main part of Cove Beach can be crowded, but keep going, toward the point and it will empty out beautifully. Chairs are reserved for Cove guests, so you might want to bring your own, along with a cool drink. While you’re there, be sure to check out Sacred Spaces, an outdoor art installation by Bahamian artist and sculptor Antonius Roberts.
The Outdoor Patio at the Sea Glass Lounge
This small, pretty verandah located at the back of this popular Cove gathering spot overlooks palm trees, a pool and the ocean. It’s especially nice at sunset, when you can watch the sun sink into the water. A micro-casino in the elegant but sexy lounge is small enough that you might want to take in a game or two on your way out.
The Atlantis Library
Bigger is better at Atlantis, even at the peaceful library, a two-level stunner with ocean views and an interesting assortment of books that you can read on site or check out to take back to your room. There’s also a computer (and printer) and a collection of board games.
Sometimes, happiness is all about having a bit of space to call your own. Available at the Mayan Pool Deck, Riverbend Pool Deck, Current River Deck, The Beach River Pool Deck and Bath Colonnade Pool Deck, the resort’s 31 canvas-walled cabanas, though not soundproof, do provide a sense of escape amid the action.
Anywhere in the Morning
Although the water park doesn’t open until 10 AM, you can wander through the large fish exhibits at The Dig and Predator Tunnel as early as you want, giving you a chance to check out the sneering Moray eels, elegant rays and graceful jellyfish without jostling for space. The walking paths are empty, too, making it easy for joggers and walkers to get their steps in.
The Beach East of the Resort
Just past Atlantis, the beach opens and empties. There are a few resorts, but, for the most part, you’ll have the strand to yourself. If you brought shoes and a shirt, stop in at the Four Seasons Ocean Club’s Dune restaurant for a lobster pizza and cold Kalik beer; otherwise, enjoy the squeak of your feet as you meander along the blush-colored sand.
The Fitness Center in the Afternoon
Jammed in the morning, the fitness center quiets down after lunch, making it perfect for a judgement-free workout or long, cool walk on the treadmill. You can also schedule a private Pilates session or tennis lesson.