Where to Stay: The 5 Best Hotels in the Bahamas
With just twenty antique-furnished rooms and a reputation for superlative service, this Nassau nonpareil is the epitome of refined Caribbean relaxation. The classic hotel, where Winston Churchill used to stay, is home to its own popular line of cigars and has a renown 250,000-bottle wine cellar (with tours and tastings at noon each weekday as part of their optional wine luncheon). Graycliff's hotel restaurant is considered among the best in the Bahamas, its quality rivaled only by its expense – so plan accordingly. Room rates start at $325 per night in the off-season.
Old Bahama Bay
But where to stay if Graycliff is a little outside of your price range? Happily, Old Bahama Bay offers a similar colonial Caribbean ambiance at a reduced rate. Located on a slip of white sand beach on the western-most point of Grand Bahama Island, this getaway is in a quiet area known for its small-town charm and authenticity. It's also one of the best hotels in the Bahamas for fishing (it was a favorite spot for author Ernest Hemingway), snorkeling, and scuba diving. Low-season rates start at around $245.
Atlantis Paradise Island - Royal Towers and The Cove
We'd be remiss if we neglected Paradise Island's Atlantis resort, the biggest and most high-profile resorts with some of the best hotels in the Bahamas. With 40 restaurants, 11 pools, a 141-acre "Aquaventure" water park, a world-class kid's activities program and the largest casino in the Bahamas, its facilities are unsurpassed. Swim with dolphins or shop Dior – it's all here. Several hotels comprise the Atlantis complex; of those, the Royal Towers and the Cove offer different experiences for different needs.
The Royal Towers is the main building, with an assemblage of rooms from affordable terrace views to one of the most expensive suites in the world. This is the heart of the action. Basic room rates start around $450 in the slow season. The Cove, by contrast,is a smaller, 22-story all-suite resort-within-the-resort that has its own restaurant, boutique, and adults-only pool and nightclub, in addition to access to all the other amenities Paradise Island has to offer. Rates begin at around $650 off-peak.
Radisson Our Lucaya Resort
Radisson's Our Lucaya resort on Grand Bahama Island may not have the same extravagance of an Atlantis, but what it lacks in scale, it makes up for in service, savings, and smarts. For instance, it boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a 35,000 square foot casino, full service spa and a fantastic kids' program that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and until 10 p.m. during peak times – making it one of the best hotels in the Bahamas for children and adults alike. Room rates start at around $170.
Photo: Radisson Our Lucaya Beachfront by Oliver Harridge