Watch out Atlantis Resort, there’s a new sheriff in town! The new Baha Mar Resort is quickly dominating Nassau, Bahamas, and in my opinion, becoming a true competitor to the Atlantis Resort on nearby Paradise Island. Home to the biggest casino in the entire Caribbean, with 7 tropical pools to choose from, and restaurants to please any palate, the Baha Mar Resort is a true piece of paradise in the Caribbean. Learn about our stay at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas and why we would go back in a heartbeat.
I’m so incredibly sad right now! I just came to the realization that this time last week I was most likely finding the perfect lounge chair on the beach to park my happy little butt on for the rest of the day. It’s so depressing, folks. I wish I could tap my heels like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and be back there right this moment. Why can’t it be that easy?!?!
Our stay at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, was amazing, spectacular, exemplary, flawless and any other synonym you can find for the word, perfect! Honestly, we didn’t want to come home. You know how sometimes you go somewhere but you’re ready for the trip to be over? You just want to be in your own house, sleeping in your own bed. Yeah, I’ve been there before but this definitely was not one of those times. The only thing that made it a little easier when getting on the plane last Wednesday morning, was that it was raining. I’m not lying, if it weren’t for that rain, I’d probably have made a break for the beach…
Getting to the Baha Mar Resort
Patrick and I took a quick three-night, adult-only trip to the Bahamas while our son, Zach, was on a road trip with his grandparents and girlfriend, Emily. You have to see these adorable Road Trip Gift Baskets we sent them off with.
Getting to the Bahamas is extremely easy for most Americans, specifically those of us who live in Florida or on the East Coast. We were able to get a 57 minute, non-stop flight from where we live in Florida to Nassau. You heard me right! It took us just shy of an hour to make it to the Bahamas. Our flight left at 7:40 am and we were already in route to the Baha Mar Resort by the 9 o’clock hour. It makes doing a short trip or long weekend completely feasible.
One thing I should mention is, although it is close to the US, it is its own country. This means you will need a passport to travel there and will also need to go through customs when arriving and leaving the country. The customs process was extremely quick, though. We actually spent more time going through security in the US when leaving for the Bahamas.
The Baha Mar Resort is only a short 10-minute ride from the airport in Nassau. You can set up a car service through the resort or catch a taxi right outside of the airport. If you choose a taxi (that’s what we did), there are a few things you should know. For starters, there’s no set price to get from point A to point B. The driver basically comes up with the price on the spot and then charges more for each piece of luggage that you have. We paid $20 to get to the Baha Mar Resort when we arrived and $26 when leaving. Mind you, we had the same amount of luggage and nothing had changed. Patrick wasn’t happy about this at all but it is what it is. My advice is to make sure you tell the driver where you are headed and ask the price BEFORE ever getting into the taxi. Once you’re in, you’re committed and God only knows what they’ll charge.
Where to stay at the Baha Mar Resort
The Baha Mar Resort is a “mega resort” made up of three different hotels: the Grand Hyatt, SLS, and Rosewood. The three hotels increase in price and luxury in that order with the Grand Hyatt having the most affordable room rates. The three hotels have access to all the amenities within the resort so you can’t go wrong with whatever option you choose.
I should point out that if you stay at the SLS, you do get access to a private pool that’s only available for guests staying there. During the weekend, there is a DJ out by the pool, and from what we heard after speaking to someone staying at that hotel, the atmosphere is pretty awesome and lively! I have heard people say that the DJ is there every afternoon but we were at the Baha Mar during the week and never saw/heard the DJ for ourselves.
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel and loved it! We had an ocean-view room and it was absolutely perfect. The room was very modern, clean and crispy with whites and blues. I loved staying at the Grand Hyatt and in no way shape or form did I feel like it lacked in luxury.
Our favorite places to eat at the Baha Mar Resort
The food at the Baha Mar Resort was INCREDIBLE! There really is something for everybody in terms of food at this resort. Yes, they even have a Starbucks although we didn’t go near it because we wanted to try something we couldn’t find at home. You’ll find everything from fine dining restaurants to an adorable pink taco truck by the beach. There are quick places to catch a bite, as well as sit down restaurants for a real dining experience.
Patrick and I just completed our first round of the 21 Day Fix right before going on our vacation. Although we weren’t necessarily dieting while on this trip, we made an effort to eat smaller and healthier meals earlier in the day so we could really enjoy our dinner without feeling guilty. Lucky for us, we were able to find something to meet our needs. There were healthy options available, along with full-out indulgences all around the resort.
The breakfast options are endless. You can go all out and indulge in a breakfast buffet at Regatta, or grab a pastry at the French cafe, Cafe Madeleine. We found a cute little outdoor restaurant called The Palms. Here you can get a regular breakfast like you would in the US. You’ll find eggs, french toast, bacon and sausage. I ended up with two scrambled eggs and a side of fresh berries every morning while we were there. Patrick stuck to something similar but decided to try the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon on the last day. He loved it, by the way!
Just like breakfast, there are so many options to choose from for lunch. What I found really adorable were the food trucks lined up all along the pool and beach area of the Baha Mar Resort. You can find BBQ, Mexican, Poke bowls, and even hot dogs, all within the same vicinity.
For lunch each day, we started at Daqs which is an all-natural daiquiri bar. It was amazing! Instead of getting a mango daiquiri from the regular pool bar where they are pouring the mangos out of a carton, you actually get to watch the bartender cut up the real fruit to add to the blender. Other than the little bit of coconut rum that was added to the drink, our daiquiris were pretty healthy. You can also leave out the alcohol and just do a fruit smoothie but why would anyone do that! Oh, and one more fun thing, you can blend up your own daiquiri by using a bicycle out front of the shack that has a contraption connected to it. No, we didn’t do that. We were on vacation after all 😉
With a fresh daiquiri in hand, we walked to the next hut over called The Conch Shack. The menu is small with only 5 options which all include conch. Conch is a local seafood that can be found on the island of the Bahamas and a must try for anyone who is visiting. Be warned, this dish is made fresh to order and can take up to 20 minutes to prepare. They tell you this right on the menu. It’s well worth the wait, though. You’re basically getting lunch and a show because you watch the conch salad being made right in front of you from start to finish.
Patrick and I shared a conch salad which is just fresh conch, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. They then add some salt and squeeze limes and oranges on top and give it a good toss. Ask for a side of the spicy sauce if you dare! We did and loved it in moderation but I don’t think I could handle the entire salad being tossed in it.
Each night we did opt for a nice dinner. Upon arrival, we stopped at the concierge desk and made reservations to secure our spots. I highly recommend you do this as well because the restaurants can get extremely busy.
Night one: 3 Tides
This is predominantly a seafood restaurant. Out of the three restaurants we dined at, this was our least favorite. I had the lobster tail and Patrick went with a steak. Our dishes didn’t come with sides so we opted to share grilled asparagus. When the food came, the side of asparagus was only 6 stalks…Ouch! The food was good, but nothing to write home about.
The only positive thing about the portions being small is it left room for dessert! I will say that although the main course was our least favorite, the dessert was by far our favorite of all three restaurants. They had handmade milkshakes that were literally works of art. We shared the Bourbon apple pie milkshake that was topped with a miniature apple pie, whipped cream and cotton candy. Don’t miss this!
Night two: Katsuya
This is a sushi restaurant very similar to Nobu. Patrick was looking forward to this restaurant the most and it didn’t disappoint. We sat at the sushi bar and were in awe at all the concoctions being created. We ordered the tasting menu which included 2 appetizers and 4 main dishes handpicked by the chef. In addition, we added a specialty sushi roll that had tempura-battered rock shrimp on top. The rock shrimp were tossed in a spicy cream sauce that was to die for. If you’ve ever been to Bonefish Grill they tasted almost identical to the Bang Bang Shrimp they serve there. Another must, in my opinion, is the crispy rice with spicy tuna. It comes in the tasting menu but we liked it so much we ordered an extra one…
Night three: CLEO
This Mediterranean-Tapas restaurant was fantastic! There are many great items on the menu so it’s perfect that everything is served in small portions. It’s just more of an excuse to try them all. My favorite dish was a toss-up between the Feta and Lebaneh dip served with homemade pita bread and the Haloumi Cheese Saganaki flambeed tableside. The hummus was also delicious and so were the skirt steak kabobs.
What else is there to do at the Baha Mar Resort?
There is so much to do at this resort that you can easily stay on the grounds for a week and never get bored. Upon arrival, we dropped our stuff off in our room and headed into town to get some shopping out of the way so we didn’t have to worry about leaving the resort for the remainder of the trip. That was a really great idea because once Patrick and I started seeing what the resort had to offer, we didn’t want to leave.
There are 7 tropical pools and they all have their own vibe. There are lap pools, pools with waterfalls and aquariums inside of them, and fancy pools with luxurious Cabanas built right in the center.
The beach area is spectacular. There are lifeguards present throughout the morning and into the early evening. There is a rock wall that protects the beach from getting any large waves so the water is always calm. You can find paddleboards and kayaks that are free to use right on the beach. My favorite place to be was in the water on one of the many floats that were also complimentary! There are plenty of lounge chairs throughout the beach area and multiple beach attendants waiting to bring you over an umbrella to help protect you from the hot Bahamian sun. The umbrellas are also included but we chose to tip the attendant. Some people did not…
The casino was another huge plus for Patrick and I because we LOVE to gamble. We are big Craps players and found ourselves at the casino a couple of times a day. Besides the fact that we enjoy playing Craps, the drinks are free while you’re playing so it’s kind of a way to save some cash! This casino is currently the biggest casino in the Caribbean and has any game you could imagine and then some. You won’t be disappointed if you like to gamble. We won about $800 and then lost it all on the last day thanks to Patrick! I guess breaking even is better than losing.
We also worked out at the gym every day while on vacation and the facilities were state of the art. They provide free bottled Dasani water in the gym, along with pieces of fruit like apples and oranges. We took one piece of fruit with us every morning and had it as a snack during the day while sitting on the beach.
Other activities at the Baha Mar include shopping, spa treatments, tennis, bars, dancing, and an 18 hole golf course.
Who should stay at the Baha Mar?
This shouldn’t come as any surprise at this point that I would highly recommend the Baha Mar Resort for a romantic getaway. This would also be a great honeymoon destination. If you’re an adult, you’ll love this place, period!
As far as families are concerned, I have to say this is where Atlantis still has this place beat. Although there are pools and the beach, it’s nothing in comparison to the waterpark that can be found at the Atlantis. There is no splash-zone for little kids, a lazy river, or even water slides for that matter. The most we saw was a cliff jump at the waterfall pool.
For now, the Atlantis is still the better option when traveling with kids. Apparently, this won’t be the case down the road. The Baha Mar Resort has bought out additional hotels next door to the current resort and the word is they are planning on tearing them down to add a better pool area and things such as a movie theater and bowling alley. If and when this happens, I’d hate to be the Atlantis resort because the Baha Mar will be unstoppable.
One final tidbit about the Bahamas in general
Visiting the Bahamas can be rather pricey. The Baha Mar Resort, and the Atlantis for that matter, are not all-inclusive resorts. This means that you will pay for all meals and all drinks that aren’t provided for free at the casino. Although we found the prices for these items to be reasonable, we weren’t expecting the additional taxes that are placed on things you purchase on the island. In addition to regular taxes, a luxury tax is added to every purchase you make. This does add up quickly so just beware and have a nice cushion of spending cash for your trip. While on the resort, you make purchases directly on your room key and you don’t realize how much you spend until you get the final bill at the end of your vacation!
As you can see, our stay at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas was impeccable. The service, the grounds, the food, pretty much everything, was top notch. It is a place I know we will be visiting again and again. I simply can’t wait to see the improvements and additions that are in the works for this mega-resort. You must visit this place!
Want to remember this? Post this Travel Review of the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas to your favorite Pinterest board!