Friday, March 15, 2019

Baha Mar: The Best Resort In Nassau, Bahamas


Let me start off by saying, I have been to the Bahamas many times via many forms of travel (ie. cruises, airfare, hotels) and this was by far my favorite Bahamas trip to date. Baha Mar, a brand new luxurious mega-resort located on Nassau's Cable Beach is home to three iconic oceanfront hotels (Rosewood, SLS, Grand Hyatt). I had the pleasure of staying in the West Tower of Baha Mar's Grand Hyatt, a stylish and modern hotel perfect for a romantic getaway, a family beach trip, or a girls weekend getaway. 

GRAND HYATT HOTEL ROOMS

The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar offers 1800 guestrooms, including 230 suites, with a variety of view options including ocean, fountain, or island. I had the opportunity to experience both ocean and fountain views in the West tower, and naturally would highly recommend an ocean front room. I was extremely impressed with the cleanliness, decor, and overall setup of these rooms. Decor was up to date, modern, and super bright and airy - making me feel right at home! I also really appreciated the thoughtfulness that went into the bathroom lighting. As a female, being able to see what I'm doing easily in a giant bathroom mirror is important and extremely hard to find in most hotels. My room also came equipped with a spa like rain shower, which I know my husband would've loved! 

The only caveat to my room was that housekeeping did not clean until around 4:00 - 4:30 PM daily, and the cleaning is minimal. If this is important to you (I know some don't care about their room being cleaned at all), I think you could get around this by requesting an earlier cleaning time, and clean sheets daily or every other day. From my experience, the staff at Grand Hyatt was super friendly and accommodating - so I don't foresee a request of this nature being an issue. 



AMENITIES

There truly is something for everyone at this resort! All three properties are connected, and each hotel guest has complete access to all of Baha Mar. I experienced a 4 night, 5 day stay at the property, and still feel like I didn't see it all! Some of the most popular amenities include:
            • A flagship ESPA (spa)
            • Caribbeans largest casino
            • Luxury boutiques
            • Tennis Courts
            • Fitness Classes
            • Nightclubs
            • Jack Nicklaus 18-hole golf course
            • The Sanctuary 
            • Numerous restaurants and bars
            • Complimentary water rentals
            • 10 swimming pools


 


THE FOOD

The most important part of a hotel stay, am I right!? Baha Mar has over 30 restaurants, bars, and lounges to choose from ranging from quick casual bites to eat, to luxurious meals to remember. With that many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick! I love basing my choices off recommendations from other travelers, or locals on site at the resort as it usually proves to be good. Take note, I highly recommend making reservations for your entire stay prior to arriving. We were unaware of how booked everything would be, and had a little trouble being able to just walk into a restaurant without reservations prior to 9:30 PM. Here are my recommendations:
  • Cleo //  This was my favorite dinner spot! Here you will find traditional Mediterranean cuisine inclusive of Bahamian ingredients. It's super easy to eat healthy, the food was fresh and super flavorful, and if you like trying a ton of options - it's tapas style and perfect for sharing with friends or family. I also really liked the energy and vibe at Cleo! It's located in SLS and outfitted in white on white decor - very Miami. $$$$ ($100+ with alcohol)
  • Cafe Madeleine // Cafe Madeleine is a french bakery and coffee shop - perfect for a quick bite to eat in the mornings! This was recommended to us by the social media manager on site and it was a great recommendation on his part! There is a Starbucks on site, but the line anytime prior to 11:00 AM is a 30 minute wait. We opted to check out Cafe Madeiline instead, and ended up here every morning of the trip. Highly recommend the croissants! $$ ($20-$25)
  • Fi' Lia // Italian cuisine by James Beard Award-winning chef - Michael Schwartz. Fi'Lia hand makes their breads and pastas and the decor inside the restaurant is warm and inviting. $$$ ($50-$60)
  • Da Poke Bowl Shack // This is a fast casual shack near the beach serving fresh and healthy raw fish! We had this for lunch out on the beach one day and it was delicious and super quick. Another great healthy meal option if you're looking for that! $$ ($20-$25)
  • Umami Burger // Umami burger is located in a vibrant orange airstream right near the beach! We walked up barefoot looking for a simple bite to eat and were blown away by the grilled fish mini tacos! You must try them if you like Ahi Tuna! We were also told Umami has an amazing veggie burger that doesn't take like it's veggie. $$ ($20-$25)
  • SLS pool // We ate lunch poolside at the SLS pool one day and really enjoyed the salads and burgers here. You are able to order right from your chair and the food was fresh and delicious. $$ ($35-$50 with alcohol)
  • Room Service // Highly recommend checking out the super greens salad with chicken from room service if you're looking for a light, healthy, room service option! We ordered it several times, and could've eaten it daily! I also had an omelette for breakfast one morning, which did not disappoint. Do note, the wait times on room service can be over an hour, so call sooner rather than later, or schedule a time for delivery the night before. $$$ ($40-$50)
Overall, the food is fantastic. We tried several other places as well, but these were the ones that really stood out to me. Something worth noting, food and beverages at Baha Mar are very pricey. A VAT tax and general 15% service charge are added to the price of each meal - if you know this going into your vacation and aren't afraid to spend some money, you will no doubt eat like a king. However, if you are looking to save a little money here and there on food, I would recommend checking out all the air streamers and shacks near the beach (they are all delicious) over the indoor dining options. Dinners with alcohol run around $80-$100 per person, lunch was consistently in the $40-$50 range (with one alcoholic beverage), each cocktail runs around $22-$24 after the VAT tax and service charge, and I ate light breakfast meals from Starbucks or Cafe Madeleine with a coffee and pastry for around $20-$25 each morning. 


ACTIVITIES

Baha Mar truly caters to everyone! Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation, or an activity filled stay - the options are endless. Here are a few activities we checked out during our stay that I would recommend!

Espa is a full service resort spa, and the first flagship ESPA in the Caribbean. Services include massages, facials, mani/pedi's and complete body treatments. I experienced a manicure here which was fantastic! The decor is bright and serene, extremely clean, and the staff was super polite and friendly. We will be returning in December, and I'm making it a priority to checkout a massage and potentially a facial here. Will update this post with my thoughts once those services have been experienced!

This was one of the coolest activities I experienced! As you know, I'm big into health and wellness, and fitness is a priority to me no matter where I am in the world. This was my first time experiencing personal training on vacation, and I loved it! I had the pleasure of training with Tavette Darville, who was knowledgeable and passionate about fitness, and even had me trying exercises I've never tried before! I definitely felt like I got a great workout, and this is something I would consider doing again during our next visit. Tavette also mentioned PT can be purchased as a package of sessions, in singles, and you can split a session with your partner. So if you and your husband or significant other want to tackle training on vacation together, you can do so. 

I've become quite the yogi on vacation these days! We tried out a sunrise yoga session overlooking the ocean right outside of ESPA Spa together with instructor Alexis Bethel. In all honesty, I wasn't looking forward to that 6:00 AM wake up call - however, Alexis was the best yoga instructor I've ever practiced with which made the early morning 100% worth it. If you're into yoga, and want a phenomenal practice - this was super peaceful, relaxing, and totally worthwhile. 

If you're a curious nature lover, this ones for you! The Sanctuary offers hands on animal encounters with sting rays, sharks, and sea turtles as well as daily feedings, while educating guests about the species, and preservation of their environment in the Bahamas. This is a great activity for all ages, however, I think this would be absolutely perfect for families with kids. Encounters run $65, while feedings happen twice daily and are free of cost. 

If you're an early riser, the waters on Cable Beach are calm and serene - a perfect environment for a little paddle boarding before the hustle and bustle of beach goers begins. Boards can easily be rented right off the beach free of charge, and if you're lucky - you may even spot a wild sting ray in the water! 




 Overall, I really enjoyed my time here and cannot wait to come back! Many of you have asked me for recommendations on which property is best for the vacation type you are seeking and here are my thoughts: If you are a family or anyone looking for a more budget friendly option, I would recommend the Grand Hyatt. Those seeking a more trendy, Vegas/Miami feel to their trip like Bachelor or Bachelorette parties, I would suggest SLS. Those coming on a honeymoon, babymoon, or anniversary trip and seeking a more quiet, luxurious and laid back atmosphere - Rosewood is your best bet (although it is expensive). No matter what option you pick, you really can't go wrong!

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* In partnership with Baha Mar. As always, all opinions are my own.

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