Many people have asked me for my opinion of the Baha Mar resort! You might have seen it on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and it really is beautiful. They stayed at the Rosewood which is one of three hotels that make up the resort, the Grand Hyatt where we stayed as well as the SLS.
In my previous post where I shared quick tips before you go, I told you guys that we chose the Grand Hyatt because my friend who stayed at SLS said that GH was the family friendly spot. She wasn’t wrong but families were definitely staying at these other two spots.
Our check in was probably the most frustrating experience of the trip. After arrival, it took 90 minutes for our room to be ready and after that, it took another 90 minutes to get our luggage from the bell hop which was frustrating because it made us late for our only dinner reservation.
In hindsight, I should not have given all of our luggage to the bell hop and taken out our bathing suits. We should have gone up to the room at 4 and not waited until 5 thinking our luggage would have already been brought to our room.
While we waited, we discovered our love for the spicy margaritas at El Jefe as well as the chips and guacamole. We also discovered that it can take a really long time, on the weekends especially, to get your food from the food trucks that line the beach. The food trucks are all operated by the hotel and have great options for lunch or early dinner so you don’t have to go and sit down at a restaurant. You also could flag someone down to have your lunch or cocktail brought to your beach or pool chair.
The hotel is large, there are a lot of people, sooo it took awhile to get your food from the food trucks. It took 20 minutes to get chips and guacamole on Friday at 2:30 pm. It was quicker all the other days. The upside, the food was really good and made fresh! The drinks were so good, I happily paid $20 for a margarita at least once a day.
The best lunch spot in my opinion was Da Poke Bowl. There was never a wait and my bowl was ready in 2 minutes, literally. I also got a good poke caesar salad from the Umami Burger truck but that took a long time. I guess I was feeling the poke. One tip would be to grab lunch early ahead of the crowds to avoid waiting a long time.
So once we were in our room, we discovered that it was brand new and very cute! We had a room overlooking the gym and the ocean, no balcony. I went cheap on booking.com in November and then reached out the PR team who handles Grand Hyatt to see if they wanted any social in exchange for a room upgrade or media rate. We got bumped up from no view to the ocean view room which I think was about $50 more per day than the room I booked. That was the only “perk” we got as disclosure in case you were wondering, because you were, right? If you weren’t, you should always be wondering when reading a blogger review.
We had a room in the West Tower and while I was told to request one in the East, I was really happy with our room as I felt like it was closer to the family pool we preferred as well as the gym. The room was pretty and spacious however Nick was unable to unpack our bags fully because the drawers in the closet were broken. I never would have noticed because I live out of my suitcase on vacation. Nick likes to unpack and get organized so this annoyed him for being a brand new hotel. There was not a ton of space to unpack, just like three drawers and a small closet. There also weren’t many hooks to hang wet bathing suits or towels which was odd.
The rooms each had a tablet with a hotel map and list of amenities including restaurants and menus. You could book a reservation easily through the tablet except during our stay, the restaurants were pretty much all booked up. Rookie mistake on my part not taking care of this problem.
We got a crib for Connor through the hotel and planned to just have one of us sleep with Tommy. The beds were super comfy and we all slept pretty well, except for the baby who never slept well until we got back from this trip! True story. We brought a slumber pod for Connor as well which helped create a blackout tent over his crib. We all went to bed basically at the same time so it wasn’t totally necessary but I love the idea of it.
The wifi throughout the entire property was amazing. Sometimes I look forward to being off the grid during vacations that are not in US but the wifi worked EVERYWHERE except for one patio during dinner where Tommy almost had a meltdown but even on the beach the wifi worked fast!
The hotel casino is clean, pretty and large. We both do not gamble and were there with our kids so I don’t have much of a review of this however, we had to walk through it to get to restaurants and Starbucks and did not mind. The smoke was hardly detectable. I barely noticed it, really.
My daily routine was to wake up with Connor, go down to the family pool and “claim” chairs, go to Starbucks and get breakfast, bring it back to the boys, let them eat while I went to the gym and then we all went down to the pool together around 9:30 am. I suggest grabbing a chair if you want to be by the pool or front row on the beach around 7:30 am. As a parent, this isn’t too early. You’ll get a chair, they won’t run out, so don’t stress if this isn’t your thing but if you want a good location, you’ll want to go early.
As I mentioned before, the gym is beautiful and it was busy! Not too busy that there weren’t enough machines but the type of person that visits Baha Mar is the type that gets up and works out even on vacation. MY PEOPLE, lol! I only did this two out of the 5 mornings we stayed and only for 30 minutes, I was after all on vacation. Our room over looked the gym and I loved observing people watch their iPads to do classes using the outdoor space.
We hung out at the pool all day, until like 5 pm. I’d walk Connor in the stroller along the boardwalk for his naps while grabbing a margarita or daquiri from Daqs that uses fresh fruit! Tommy would nap on Nick or on one of the pool chairs.
We’d go back to our room, shower quick and then head out to dinner. We ate at the Swimming Pig (B-, go basic with salads and flatbread but octopus was delicious), 3 Tides (A, get the fish tacos and poke bowl), Commonwealth (A-, smaller portions but very delicious food from English “Colonies” <- literally food from countries England considered part of their commonwealth at one point or another. I only know this from watching The Crown, lol.), the Buffet (B-, it’s a buffet but better than most and a great dessert bar!) and lastly Stix (B+, really good but totally forget what we got!). Since I did not make reservations ahead of time, we ate where we could!
Make reservations for dinner. If the weather is bad and the restaurants lose their outdoor seating, you’ll be shit out of luck. We probably could have eaten at most of the restaurants without a reservation at 6 pm as long as weather was nice which was what we did at 3 Tides. We literally walked in at 7 pm and sat right down on a Saturday night even though it was fully booked.
The people and the workers at the resort were so friendly. We really enjoyed all the friends that we made at the pool. Connor ate the sand down at the beach so we didn’t spend much time there and ended up seeing the same faces at the pool each day.
Some people were surprised this was a kid friendly resort! It is very kid friendly. They have a kids camp for children 3 and up! There are three sessions where you can pay $65 to drop them off, morning, afternoon or evening. They do a variety of fun activities with the kids. There is also a sanctuary where kids can watch sting rays, sharks and turtles get fed. There was also an actuary with birds that we did not explore but could see while swimming in the caves by the family pool we loved. There was a touch tank, too with sea stars.
There also are flamingos for the perfect Instagram shot. Tommy loved these guys. At night, they also had movies by the pool. We caught the end of the Chipmunks movie after dinner one night. Connor fell asleep in the stroller and we walked around with a cocktail while Tommy got out the rest of his energy before stumbling on the big screen.
You can also hire babysitters through the hotel. We unfortunately weren’t able to use the service because Connor was too young. The kids must be at least 1 year of age.
We stuck to family friendly activities and most of the restaurants were family friendly! We weren’t sure which is why I didn’t make reservations every where but they totally were. We did not explore SLS which I felt was where the Spring Breakers were hanging out. Rosewood seemed too quiet for my munchkins but looked positively luxurious and I’d love to go without T+C!
The best part about the vacation was that the people at the resort were great, the food and drinks were delicious, the pools were perfect, the weather was awesome, and we didn’t have to leave the resort which is a huge plus when you have two small kids.
While we didn’t do much shopping, gambling, or clubbing, it too all existed on property. We even stayed at the same 2 pools each day even though there are 11!
The only negatives were the check in, the drawers (lol, Nick), the wait time for lunch except for Da Poke Bowl and the VAT tax of 12.5% on EVERYTHING. WTF Bahamas… but you know that going in so you can’t complain about it. It’s not Baha Mar’s fault. We would 100% go back which is RARE for me to say. I just feel like it was a really nice hotel that happened to be kid friendly. There were a ton of families there during Spring Break and it did not feel like COLLEGE SPRING BREAK even though we later learned they were there in fact. It’s big enough that you find your people and your experience and that is what will define your experience.
Also, shout out to the staff who were all SUPER friendly. I did not encounter one grouchy staff member. Everyone was so kind to our family and children. I even left my iPhone in the bathroom before we checked into our room and someone turned it into the security desk. Maybe the city has hardened me but I thought that sucker was gone. God bless the staff and other guests for honesty.