The Paradise Island in the Bahamas welcomed the Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel and Casino in the year 1968, a coveted property that would soon become the most attractive tourist destination in the state. Built by the visionary architectural firm HKS Inc., the Paradise Island Hotel was originally owned by Resorts International, a Merv Griffin Company.

Having changed hands and management several times, this ocean-themed resort is built around Aquaventure, a 62-hectare, or 154-acre large waterscape on the island. As the world’s most sought-after idyllic get-away, the Bahamas heavily depends on tourism for its economic stability. The establishment of the Paradise Island Hotel, spread over more than a quarter of Paradise Island’s geographical area, drastically bettered the island’s influx of visitors from all over the world, particularly from the United States.

Part of a Puzzle | Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel

The Atlantis Resort was built over a long period, with a variety of structures added over several years to the place, each as a result of an increasing influx of tourists or the need of increasing the number of activities within this recreational retreat.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet1
Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel-A Map of The Atlantis_©Atlantis Official Website

The Beach Towers, built as one of the first structures during the resort’s establishment in the late 1960s, were a combination of three identical hotel-style towers, which faced a water landscape that merged into the sea. Today, this structure is set to be demolished to make way for a new wing of the resort called ‘Somewhere Else’, which is set to open in 2024.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet2
Beach Towers at Atlantis_©All Inclusive Outlet

The Coral Towers, built during the 1990s, follow the same language of hotel-building, with two tall towers in an L-shaped formation housing several rooms on either side of a double-loaded corridor. These towers house a pool with other aligned amenities in the courtyard space, and are built at a walking distance, although disconnected, from the nearest beach.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet3
Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel-The Coral Towers at Atlantis_©Oyster Reviews

The Royal Towers changed the resort from a beach-side retreat to a grand celebration of the sea and sand. Built larger than life, these towers were set on them of the ‘Lost City of Atlantis’, and designed in an open stepped formation, facing towards a large central landscape feature that merges into the sea. Sky-reaching spires with a central Moorish archway give a language to this part of the resort, which also sees Greek and Arabian architectural influence in its building style. Post the construction of these towers, the Beach Towers, as well as the Coral Towers, were renovated to match the theme of the ‘Lost City of Atlantis,’ and the earlier name of the ‘Paradise Island Hotel and Casino’ was changed to ‘Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island.’

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet4
The Royal Towers at Atlantis_©Tony A

In the year 2007 came The Cove, Atlantis, a 600-suite luxury hotel as a part of the lavish resort at Paradise Island. With freshwater pools, artificial waterfalls, lush landscape and proximity to the beach, The Cove is deemed to be one of the most luxurious stays on the island. It follows the architectural language of The Royal Towers, albeit having been built at a much smaller scale.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet5
The Cove at Atlantis_©Adventure Buddies

The newest addition to this resort came in the form of The Reef, a 497-room tower that houses the famous 141-acre water park and lavish marine habitat. Designed right behind The Cove, the exterior of The Reef follows the same language of the rest of the resort, while the interiors see a new, modernist approach in architecture.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet6
The Reef at Atlantis_©Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Lost City of Atlantis 

The Atlantis Resort has been built on the theme of the ‘Lost City of Atlantis,’ with a combination of water-based activities carefully intertwined with the places of recreation and residence. Many of the attractions also serve to host activities, pause points, and ecosystems through landscape and preservation centers for biodiversity. The boundaries between the built and the unbuilt forms are the most important transitions in this resort.

The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel by HKS - Sheet7
Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel-The Mayan Temple at Atlantis_©Fred Hsu

A lot of additions to the Atlantis Resort come in the form of built activities around water, such as the Mayan Temple structure, which replicates the form of the Mayan Temple integrated with water slides and a shark-filled lagoon.

The Rapids River is another water-based attraction that winds around a quarter of the property, moving in and out of lagoons, caves and several rises and falls in its 1.6-mile length. Apart from this, ‘The Dig’, designed as an underground ruin at the Atlantis, is home to 14 lagoons and more than 50,000 aquatic animals across 250 species.

The Rapids River_©Cherly S
The Dig at Atlantis_©Alan Rappa

In addition to the creation of natural-like outdoor spaces, such as lagoons, caves, lakes and rapids combined with tropical flora and fauna, some outdoor area at the Atlantis has also been dedicated to well-trimmed, maintained sports spaces next to the hotels, such as the 7100 yard golf course, multiple tennis courts and a 3500 seat arena designed for hosting events and outstation sports games.

Conclusion | Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel

The Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas, was created as a city reminiscent of a lost paradise and civilization. Over the years, different owners have come together with the architects to create bits and pieces of this lost puzzle, built a large ocean-bound area in a style that looks haphazard yet fits together perfectly – with balanced built and landscaped forms and homage to the water that the myth of the ‘Atlantis’ is tied to.

Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel-The Atlantis Resort_©Wallpaper Safari


  1. Stromberg (
  2. Miami Herald (
  3. Wikipedia (
  4. HKS Inc. Official Website (
  5. EDSA Official Website (

A young architect turned to the world of writing through poetry, Nupur looks to bring together science and creativity at its core – through architecture. She believes that the built environment is the primary influencer of every person’s life, and the un-built, in-between spaces are where humankind grows as a species.