Wedding: Travel: Honeymoon: Paradise Island
Continue your wedding day VIP treatment at The Cove Atlantis — the resort-within-a-resort located on Paradise Island. Designed by Jeffrey Beers and located within the well-known Atlantis resort, The Cove boasts 600 suites — each with an unobstructed view of the ocean, 300-thread-count linens, two flat-screen HD TVs and a Bose entertainment system. But while it’s easy to indulge inside the resort’s luxuriance and 35-plus restaurants
Continue your wedding day VIP treatment at The Cove Atlantis — the resort-within-a-resort located on Paradise Island. Designed by Jeffrey Beers and located within the well-known Atlantis resort, The Cove boasts 600 suites — each with an unobstructed view of the ocean, 300-thread-count linens, two flat-screen HD TVs and a Bose entertainment system. But while it’s easy to indulge inside the resort’s luxuriance and 35-plus restaurants, bars and lounges, step outside: Lush landscapes and over 20 million gallons of freshwater and saltwater pools and lagoons bolster pathways and surroundings. Tropical fish abound. You’ll feel so big-league that you won’t think twice about canoodling with the Us Weekly crowd in the Caribbean.
BY DAY: Don’t get out of your bikini (just yet). Play at Aquaventure, the 63-acre, 20-million-gallon complex that includes a mile-long river ride, beaches and lagoons — plus four surging waterslides that drop from the 120-foot Power Tower. Or relax at Cain, the adult-only area where chaise lounges and daybeds are positioned in the middle of shallow pools. Twenty surrounding cabanas (about $450 per day) offer exclusive privacy with a personal butler, outdoor shower, flat-screen TV and more. Then there’s Dolphin Cay, where you can get friendly with some of the 20 Atlantic bottlenoses.
If you prefer to move more slowly in the Caribbean sun, play the 18 holes at the award-winning One&Only Ocean Club Golf Course (oneandonlyresorts.com), the par-72 course whose claim to fame includes hosting Michael Jordan’s annual celebrity golf tournament and the world’s largest sand trap. If you’d rather as little movement as possible, get pampered at the Mandara Spa at Atlantis (mandaraspa.com), where couples’ massages are delivered in private villas with champagne, strawberries and lunch, and an additional 30 minutes of “private time.”
BY NIGHT: As with the engagement ring, prioritize nightlife by the Four Cs: Cain, Casino, Club or Casual. The adult-only Cain pool area transforms into an outdoor club with colored lights streaming through pools and a DJ ramping up the vibe with clubby music till early in the morning. Or take some of that newly accrued wedding money to the Atlantis Casino’s thousand slots and 90 gaming tables. Aura (aurathenightclub.com), located above the casino floor, is the kind of swanky nightclub that would of course be flanked by a grand staircase and have a dress code (at least, for the guys). For a low-key night, revel in the beauty of room service — which offers a menu devoted solely to nightcaps.
WHAT TO EAT: Make dinner reservations at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (mesagrill.com), with its southwestern flair, from the spicy meals to the cow-print leather chairs. Or, start the night at trendy Nobu (noburestaurants.com). Be sure to take a trip downstairs to the intimate sake cellar. For an open-air meal, visit Dune at One&Only Ocean Club (oneandonlyresorts.com). The beachfront seafood restaurant also serves drinks throughout the day.
WHERE TO STAY: Book early at the celeb-friendly The Cove Atlantis (877-COVE-VIP, thecoveatlantis.com). Suites from $460 per night. Or stay at the superluxe One&Only Ocean Club (242-363-2501, oneandonlyresorts.com). Suites from $820 per night.
BEST TIMES TO GO: Although the summer and fall seasons are more reasonably priced (suites from $460 per night), it’s also prime time for family vacations and hurricanes. Prime couples season is the spring (suites from $660 per night).
NEWLYWED NEWS: For $100,000, newlyweds can honeymoon Robin Leach-style with private jet and limo service, a personal 24/7 beck-and-call staff (butler, fitness trainer and spa therapist); a private beach cabana and penthouse suite; private yacht tour; private yoga and Dolphin Cay sessions; and nightly dinners at surrounding restaurants, including a private dinner on the beach by Mesa Grill chefs. Of course, you could hold off for now, and go the VIP route for a big anniversary down the road.
GETTING THERE: From Philly, it’s a three-hour direct flight to Nassau on US Airways, plus a 25-minute cab ride.
ROMANCE RATING: 2