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November 15, 2010

Video: Riding the Rapids at Atlantis in the Bahamas


"It's not a lazy river--it's a crazy river!" said my six-year-old of the mile-long whitewater ride at Atlantis in the Bahamas. It's actually my favorite ride in the whole 141-acre water park. My husband filmed it with his waterproof point-and-shoot camera (and with our six-year-old practically in his lap) so I could experience it vicariously while stuck in our hotel room chained to my laptop during the first three days of our recent Bahamas getaway. On our last day, not only did I finally hit the rapids, but my eight-year-old insisted I accompany him down The Abyss--a water slide with a near-vertical drop of 50 feet inside a dark tunnel. Never again. But I did have a blast racing all three boys (husband included) down the high-speed Challenger Slide that clocks your times.

The Challenger Slide at Atlantis Bahamas

The thrill of victory: My six-year-old raced my eight-year-old down The Challenger Slide...and won!

November 12, 2010

Recipes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant Dune in the Bahamas

WP & Jean-Georges Vongerichten Nov 4, 2010

The nicest world-famous chef you'll ever meet: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with yours truly at One&Only Ocean Club, November 4, 2010.

While I was down at Atlantis last week, I happened to get invited to the 10th anniversary party for Dune, Jean-Georges' restaurant at One&Only Ocean Club (which is owned by the same company that owns Atlantis next door). Did you know that Jean-Georges now has 27 restaurants, from London to Vegas to Shanghai to Bora Bora?  I've eaten in only five of them...which might make my global culinary To Do List a bit longer than yours. 

At any rate, the party took place in the three-bedroom villa that was the setting for several scenes in Casino Royale, the 2006 remake of the James Bond film.

Ginger cosmopolitan at One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
My shot of the villa's pool just before sundown hardly does it justice. See that thing on the horizon line? That's a cruise ship leaving Nassau harbor. And see those drinks? That's Dune's signature cocktail: the ginger cosmopolitan.

So I didn't exactly pick up any travel secrets at this party, but I did pick up some recipes. 

Here's how to make that ginger cosmo you see above: Mix 3 oz. cranberry juice, 2 oz. vodka, 0.5 oz cointreau, 0.5 oz ginger base, and a touch of lime juice in a shaker. Serve in a martini glass.

More recipes from Jean-Georges, after the jump:

Continue reading "Recipes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant Dune in the Bahamas" »

November 11, 2010

Thinking About Atlantis in the Bahamas? Five Reasons to Stay at The Reef

View from Reef balcony rm 21910Note the absence of theme-park insanity in this view from my 21st-floor balcony at The Reef, one of the five hotels that comprise Atlantis in the Bahamas. 

Just back from my second visit to Atlantis, the behemoth Bahamian waterpark resort that practically every East Coast family ends up at for one school break or another. The biggest question most families face: Which of the five hotel towers to choose? I spent my first visit wishing I was staying at The Reef.  I spent my second visit actually staying there. Here are the five reasons why I think it's the best choice for most families:

1. It's an oasis from the crowds and craziness.

The Reef is situated at one far end of the Atlantis complex--the less built-up end. When you need to venture into the hubbub--say, the restaurants and shops of Marina Village--you can just hop on the resort's shuttle bus. There's a shuttle every 15 minutes. And the supervised kids' club, Atlantis Kids Adventures, is only about a 10-minute walk from The Reef.

2. You get your own kitchen--plus a grocery store and Starbucks.

This saves you from having to spend a fortune on restaurant meals. If you're like my family, you won't even need to purchase a dining plan. Just an elevator ride from your room, in the lobby, is a well-stocked Starbucks that sells not only breakfast foods but also sandwiches and salads for lunch. Also in the lobby is a small store where you can buy milk, bread, cold cuts, ice cream, and the like. Prices are expensive compared with the

Continue reading "Thinking About Atlantis in the Bahamas? Five Reasons to Stay at The Reef" »

September 02, 2009

50% Off in the Bahamas This Winter at a New All-Inclusive Resort

For a three-minute getaway to the turquoise waters and pink and white sands of the Bahamas' Exuma Islands with Condé Nast Traveler editor Kate Maxwell, click on this video.

by Kathryn Maier on Travel Deals

Daily deals Many people figure they'll get the best deal if they wait till the last minute to book their winter trip to the Bahamas or the Caribbean. That tactic may work if your destination is a relatively large island with lots of flights from the mainland (e.g., Nassau, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten), but if you want a smaller island with limited airline service and haven't got much date flexibility, waiting till the last minute can mean sky-high airfares or no seats available at all. 

Which is why we're advising you of this particular deal now. Sandals Emerald Bay is scheduled to open on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma in January, on the site of the former Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma. Sandals is renovating the property to include a new pool complex and additional restaurants, and it's offering an introductory special of 50% off. Nightly rates start at $324 per person (based on double occupancy). That price includes all meals and drinks, nearly all activities--including unlimited scuba diving--and all taxes and fees. The only things you'll pay extra for are treatments at the resort's spa and greens fees at the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course. 

When to go: The resort is scheduled to open on January 22, 2010. The introductory special will likely continue at least through the winter.

Bonus: For more information about the Exuma Islands, check out our comprehensive Bahamas guide in Conde Nast Traveler's September issue. And if you liked the Exuma video, check out our additional Bahamas videos here.