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It’s among the most anticipated new resorts in the Caribbean. After years of waiting (for the property to be built, and then for its complicated bankruptcy to be resolved), the Baha Mar resort complex in Nassau on New Providence Island, is finally opening its doors. Here’s what we saw when we stayed at the first of three properties to open on the site, the Grand Hyatt.
Budget Level: Upscale ($150-$300/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
It’s Vegas meets breezy island style at Grand Hyatt, where the lobby is home an enormous tropical fish tank, turquoise marble floors, and white pillars too large to encircle with your arms. Or maybe the aesthetic is more Macau than Las Vegas. The influence of Baha Mar's Asian backers is felt everywhere, from the vibrant red accents in the sprawling casino (used for luck), to the prominently situated Japanese and Chinese restaurants on site. Despite the excesses in the public spaces, the Hyatt’s rooms get it right without being too over-the-top. Channeling a vintage vibe, they include nice touches like beds that face the windows for morning views, soaking tubs in the bathrooms, and plenty of outlets and USB charging ports.
Given that Baha Mar launched only a few months ago, and that two of its three hotels — an SLS and a Rosewood — have yet to open, the resort is still finding its audience and its stride. But here’s what seems to be falling into place. Though not specifically intended as a family resort, the Grand Hyatt feels like an all-ages retreat, and a quieter contrast to the water-slide-filled frenzy across the bay at Atlantis. The swimming pools, which will eventually be shared amongst the Baha Mar’s three hotels, have kid-friendly features like waterfalls and a fun cliff-jumping feature. They’re also situated beside a nature pool filled with nurse sharks and stingrays. But they never feel like they’re exclusively for the younger set, and there are plenty of poolside spots for grownups who want to sip cocktails and sunbathe in relative peace. Expect the SLS and Rosewood hotels -- slated to open in fall and early next year, respectively — to channel a distinctly more adult feel.
Who Will Love It
Anyone craving the convenience and proximity of a large Caribbean resort will do well here — especially if they love to stay in high style.
Who Might Not
Families expecting the amusement-park-style entertainment of Atlantis may be disappointed.
If you love to try your luck in the casino, the Baha Mar offers the largest — and we dare say, the most stylish — in the Caribbean. Additionally, the resort offers some excellent dining options. Our favorites include Cafe Madeleine, which serves top-quality French pastries and coffee in a serene indoor-outdoor space, and Katsuya, a Japanese restaurant with dramatic decor by designer Philippe Starck.
WiFi, non-motorized water sports (snorkeling, kayaking, sailboats, paddle boarding, and more), and daily bottled water are included.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
Expect a $32.25 per night resort fee.
How to Get a Deal
Go now. With just the Grand Hyatt open, the Baha Mar resort is still flying under the radar of most Caribbean travelers. For the moment, those sparkling new rooms are affordable. Look for rates under $200 per night through mid-November, with some select availability in December. Once January arrives, rooms shoot up to $340 per night.
In the Neighborhood
The Baha Mar is located on Cable Beach, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Nassau and Paradise Island.
The resort is incredibly convenient to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International airport. It’s just a 15-minute drive away. The Bahamas significantly improved its airport, and even its roadways around the Baha Mar when the resort was under construction, so everything you see is new.
THE BOTTOM LINE
After years of waiting, the Grand Hyatt makes a strong, stylish debut at the Caribbean’s most hyped resort.