The Best Resorts in the Bahamas

Pink sands and coral reefs beckon during your vacation in the Bahamas
Pink sands and coral reefs beckon during your vacation in the Bahamas | Courtesy of The Ocean Club / Expedia
Claire Dodd

The Bahamas are more than a Caribbean cruise stop-off. For snorkelling in turquoise waters, strolling along white sand beaches and a visit to the famous swimming pigs at Exuma – book one of these top resorts in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands and 2400 cays peppering the map below Florida’s eastern coast, and cradled by the Caribbean to the south. While most islands are uninhabited, haloed by expansive coral reefs and white sand beaches, others like the busy cruise port destination of Nassau – the Bahamas’ only city – are a flurry of conch shacks, jerk joints, beach bars and designer shops. So, whether you’re looking for a true, remote tropical island escape, or a high-end break in the heart of the action, there’s a resort for you.

1. The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

Luxury, Chain Hotel

The outdoor pool, with sunbeds and seating, looking out to the sea with palm trees at the Ocean Club
Courtesy of The Ocean Club / Expedia

Hotel chains don’t get much more luxurious than the Four Seasons. The Ocean Club is no exception. Originally opened in 1962, the property is located on a 5mi (8km) stretch of white sand beach on the aptly named Paradise Island. The island itself is connected by bridge to downtown Nassau, meaning the bars and boutiques – not to mention transport hubs such as the cruise port and the Bahamas’ main airport – are within convenient reach. Though the bustle is nearby, the Ocean Club’s 5 acres (14ha) of preened grounds and low-rise buildings feel secluded. Hit the golf course, relax in the Balinese-style spa, or have a nightcap at the Martini Bar.

2. Rosewood Baha Mar

Luxury, Chain Hotel

The outdoor pool, sunbeds and palm trees at Rosewood Baha Mar
Courtesy of Rosewood Baha Mar / Expedia

Feel the warm ocean breeze whip around the colonial-styled gardens and generous balconies of this 230-room resort on Nassau’s Cable Beach. Part of the Baha Mar development, the hotel borders a number of other properties, a casino, and mall, meaning there’s plenty of entertainment options on your doorstep. In fact, guests visiting Baha Mar’s 40 bars and restaurants can sign charges to their room. Rooms themselves are monochrome with splashes of aqua, marble bathrooms, generous furnished balconies, and Nespresso coffee machines. The old-school luxury vibe is continued with daily afternoon tea. Family-friendly, there’s a kids club for when you need some grown-up time, or to relax on the private beach. Opt for a suite or villas if you truly want to put your feet up, as butler service is included with most.

3. Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Luxury, Chain Hotel

The outdoor pool, rock grotto fountains, palm trees and sunbeds with tents at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar / Expedia

Let the chips fall at the largest casino in the Bahamas. A stay at the Grand Hyatt on Cable Beach really is all about the facilities. With the property part of the extensive Baha Mar resort complex, a stay here means you have access to golf and tennis facilities, seven pools, water sports including snorkelling and kayaking, and even a wildlife sanctuary. The hotel itself is extensive too, with 1,800 guestrooms all in a large breezy style with a Juliet or full balcony. Make use of the kids club and tear up the dancefloor at the nightclub. For some VIP treatment, book the Hyatt’s hotel within a hotel, The Reserve, with its dedicated entrance, check-in desk, butler service, and private lounge.

4. SLS at Baha Mar

Resort

The bar with seating and potted plants, and a view of the sea, at SLS Baha Mar
Courtesy of SLS Baha Mar / Expedia

Hang with the beautiful people in the Miami-esque, ice-cream coloured interiors, or people-watch by the pool with a glass of fizz in hand. SLS – which actually stands for ‘Style, Luxury, Service’ – is a place to see and be seen, with its theatrical stylings of marble, hues of sky blue and flamingo pink, and even a giant bathtime duck garden sculpture. Enjoy the Baha Mar complex – alongside SLS’ five restaurants and lounges, two pools, and Nassau’s only rooftop bar. Instagram-friendly, this hotel tends to attract a fashionable crowd who order punch poolside to a soundtrack of funky house. Seek shade in the pool grotto.

5. Atlantis Paradise Island

Resort, Independent Hotel

People tubing down a lazy river surrounded by palm trees and greenery, at the Royal at Atlantis on Paradise Island
Courtesy of The Royal at Atlantis / Expedia

Fraternize with dolphins, spend the day at the waterpark, then hit one of the world’s swankiest nightclubs, all without leaving your hotel. Put simply, there are resorts, and then there are mega resorts. With over 2,500 rooms, the world’s largest open-air marine habitats, a 14-acre dolphin habitat and education centre, marina, golf course and water park, Atlantis definitely qualifies as a mega-resort. When it comes to rooms, there is a plethora of choice. Pick from all-suite luxury, to five- or four-star options in the property’s hotels-within-a-hotel.

6. The Cove

Boutique Hotel

The outdoor pool, palm trees and hammocks at the Cove Eleuthera
Courtesy of The Cove Eleuthera / Expedia

Paddleboard your way back to your hammock, and reward yourself with a cold beverage. For the Cove, with its secluded location, calm turquoise bay, and all-white suites, is all about taking it easy. If you’re inclined to explore the exceptionally slender, 175km-long scribble on the map that is Eleuthera, you’ll be rewarded with pink-sand beaches, surf spots, and top restaurants. Hire a vehicle from the hotel, or book a charter to visit the infamous swimming pigs, just off the north tip of the island. On site, there are three restaurants, including a sushi bar and cocktail bar on the bluff to take in those sunset views. Opt for a butler-serviced villa to be closest to the ocean.

7. Warwick Paradise Island

Hotel

The outdoor pool with palm trees, the sea and the harbor at Warwick Paradise Island
Courtesy of Warwick Paradise Island / Expedia

Let’s preface our description of this hotel with those magical words – all-inclusive. Here are two more – adults-only. That’s right, peace and quiet awaits at this waterfront property opposite Nassau Harbour. Boasting its own private harbor, all rooms – furnished with splashes of yellow and housed in a tower – have water views. Though the harbor beach is fairly small, there’s a massive free-form lagoon pool that more than makes up for it.

8. French Leave Resort

Chain Hotel, Resort

Outdoor seating, sunbeds and umbrellas at the outdoor pool overlooking the sea at French Leave Resort
Courtesy of French Leave Resort / Expedia

Combining the privacy of a villa, with the convenience of a hotel, you won’t find any stuffy airs or graces at this Eleuthera resort. Instead, time passes breezily as you lap the oceanfront infinity pool, or stroll the 10-minute walk from the pink sand beach to the restaurants and shops of nearby Governor’s Harbour. Quaint but modern timber-shuttered villas all have kitchens or kitchenettes and ocean views. Don’t worry, there’s no obligation to lift a finger – call for service from your in-room iPad. Head to the 1648 restaurant for killer sunset views – don’t leave without the pineapple island cake, or the fried fresh-caught grouper for dinner.

9. Grand Isle Resort and Spa

Apartment

The outdoor pool with palm trees and a thatched building at Grand Isle Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Grand Isle Resort and Spa / Expedia

If visiting the Bahamas’ famous swimming pigs is on your bucket list, or your golf dreams are based on playing the Caribbean’s longest course, then base yourself on Emerald Bay. The Grand Isle combines villa comfort with the amenities of a resort, including that golf course. In fact, for an extra fee, you can rent a golf cart to keep at your villa, and explore the resort, course and trails. Villas are opulently furnished with floral print soft-furnishings, large marble bathrooms with L’Occitane amenities, and full kitchens. Save your appetite for the weekly barbecue and bonfire on the beach.

None of these take your fancy? Discover our guide to the best boutique hotels in the Bahamas, and book now on Culture Trip.

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