We just got back from a 5 night vacation in the Bahamas at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and wanted to share a review while it is still fresh in my mind.
Tommy had two weeks off and I knew we had to go somewhere warm. In November, a friend of mine went to the Baha Mar resort and stayed at SLS, a Miami-esque hotel. She recommended I check out the Grand Hyatt as that seemed to be where all the families stayed. A direct 3 hour flight and 15 minute cab ride from the Nassau airport were the two main reasons I was so interested in this resort. I had also never been to the Bahamas.
Baha Mar is about a year old. It is made up of 3 hotels, Grand Hyatt, SLS and a Rosewood. There are 11 pools, a golf course, 30 restaurants, bars, lounges, as well as a casino, tennis, a spa, fitness classes, kids club, beach, shopping, marina sanctuary and more.
Let me preface by saying, we loved our stay! We had so much fun and would totally go back next year. Here are a few tips before the run down:
Book early. I got a great deal via Booking.com in November for our March trip.
Make dinner reservations! The resort is huge and the reservations will sell out. I did not do this and it was frustrating. I thought we could be carefree, no agenda and this was not the case. While we walked into a restaurant completely booked at 6:30 pm without any problem, one night it rained and since all the restaurants lost outdoor seating, it was stressful finding a place to eat. Our favorite was 3 Tides for dinner.
Our room was not ready until 4 pm. Pack a bag with pool stuff so you are not waiting around for your luggage. It took forever to get ours… see below.
If you are a family, the “good” chairs by the pool go between 7 and 8 am. While the hotel says, you have 45 minutes to get your actual butts in those chairs you reserve, some people didn’t show up until 11 am without losing their stuff. We did not do the beach because Connor kept eating the sand.
There is free Sun Bum 30 SPF at the towel cabanas as well as 2 bottles of water every day to your room, life jackets by the pool and beach and paddle boards, kayaks and floats for the ocean.
There is a kids club for kids ages 3 and up. We did not use it. I did want to hire a babysitter for a night or two but since Connor isn’t 1 yet, we weren’t allowed. So if you want a sitter, your kids need to be 1 and up.
There are so many yummy food options during the day from hotel operated “food trucks”. My favorite and the quickest turnaround by FAR was Da Poke Bowl. Be aware that all the bills have an added 12.5% VAT tax as well as 15% gratuity added on. It is labeled at service charge. I would add 5% when it was appropriate but there is a spot for “TIP” when you sign your check.
That being said, it’s expensive. We knew this going in. You could get kids chicken fingers for $8 or $13 for a basic hot dog… It was $23 for a Poke Bowl all in and starting at $17 for a margarita with tax and tip. The buffet was $123 total without drinks for our family and the boys were free. It was still cheaper than an all inclusive resort of similar “star” status.
We brought the UPPABaby MINU stroller as well as our carrier and were fine. A few times, a double would have been nice for nap time but not necessary. Some people brought strollers for the beach but there were tons of Uppa Vista and Cruz models.
Everyone was so friendly! The staff and the guests were all great. I left my iPhone X in the bathroom the first day and someone turned it into security. We felt very safe and made lots of new friends with the families who sat by us.
The gym is the best gym I’ve used and also the busiest at any hotel. Even when the hotel is fully booked however, it was easy to use whatever machine you wanted but it was bumping! I loved seeing how many people were streaming classes on iPad on the outdoor green space (our room overlooked the gym) as well as women strength training. I saw one yoga class going on outside but didn’t look at a list of the offerings as I was squeezing in 30 minutes only a couple mornings.
It’s very family friendly but it can also be a total party spot or quiet and romantic depending on what pool area you choose. We’d love to go back with or without the kids. There are a few lounges and bars we would have loved to go to but couldn’t because we had the kids.
What we did after dinner was let Connor fall asleep in the stroller and Tommy ran around while we grabbed one last drink and hung out by the cabanas along the pool or watched one of the movies that was on for families on the weekends.
If you have a question, leave it below! I’ll be sharing a recap next week once I clean out the inbox!