This is part of a series of articles about the Virgin press trip that I went on to celebrate the start of their flights to Nassau.
Baha Mar is situated on Cable Beach and consists of three hotels, the SLS, Rosewood, and Grand Hyatt. Baha Mar covers 1,000 acres and has over 2,300 rooms and more than 40 restaurants and lounges. It also boasts the largest casino in the Caribbean, a state-of-the-art convention center, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Royal Blue Golf Course, the Caribbean’s first and only flagship ESPA spa, a brand new $200 million Baha Bay luxury water park, and over 30 luxury retail outlets.
It’s around 15 minutes to the airport and slightly less to downtown Nassau.
The Grand Hyatt is split into two towers with a reception area for each but we checked in at the main reception. It has a feel of Vegas with a large fish tank behind the reception desk. Instead of a key, you get a wristband that allows you to use the water park and enter your room. This is a good idea as you are unlikely to lose your key. However, as we all found, that means you can’t remember your room number when you go to charge your drinks at the bar! They do give you a slip of paper with it on, but, of course, most of us forgot to take it with us!
The receptionist also recommended the Baha Mar app which you definitely need as it’s a large resort and it takes a while to get your bearings! You can download it if you want to explore the hotel before booking as the interactive map has 360° photos of many areas.
Even the lift areas are something special!
I had an Ocean View Queen Room which came with a Juliet balcony which had quite the view of most of the resort.
The room was slightly different from what I would usually expect at Grand Hyatt and had a clean minimalist feel in neutral colours. There was also a resort vibe with the wooden shutters over the wardrobes, wicker lights, and coconut (I think) pictures. Room decor varies between the two towers with some rooms having more of a Vegas vibe.
The room included everything you would expect from a five-star hotel, a plush robe and slippers, a Keurig coffee & tea maker, iron and ironing boards, and an in-room safe. As well as effective air conditioning there was also a fan which is great if you prefer not to have the air con on. At the time of year I was there (December) the high temperature was around 26c.
There was plenty of water provided in the room and some coconut water and sweets as a gift. The bed was just the right amount of soft for me and the rooms were quiet during the night.
Beside the bed was a handy tablet with all the information you needed and it was easy to turn off if you didn’t want the extra light. You could read newspapers on it and even connect your own speakers to it.
The bathroom was modern, again with a beachy resort feel. There was no bath, just a large rainhead shower. Toiletries were by Balmain and of great quality with a light unisex fragrance. I took the body lotion with me it was so good!
Food and drink
One of the great things about staying at the Grand Hyatt is you have access to the whole of the Baha Mar complex which has 40 bars and restaurants to choose from. They range from a food truck by the beach or an ice cream shop to fine dining restaurants.
I ate a different course at three of their restaurants.
This is a Chinese restaurant that feels sophisticated and elegant. Here I sampled some delicious dim sum and I really didn’t want to tear myself away to the next restaurant.
They do a good range of Chinese favourites including their specialty Peking duck which sounds amazing!
This is not the Costa that serves coffee but instead a “coastal” version of modern Mexican cuisine. It had a really stunning setting surrounded by water in the gardens of the Rosewood.
Food portions were generous and beautifully presented. I loved the beautifully cooked spiny lobster with the creamy rice and chorizo.
We also had the roasted cauliflower with Pipián sauce which was yummy. I’d never tried Pipián sauce before but I liked it as it was full of flavour with all the spices but not too hot. Pipián sauce is thickened with ground pumpkin seeds.
KATSUYA by Starck
We finished at Katsuya led by Master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi. The restaurant combines Japanese flavors with local ingredients in sushi, sashimi, wagyu beef, seafood prepared on the charcoal robata, or Katsuya’s tasting menu. The restaurant’s striking design is the handiwork of design icon Philippe Starck.
The Gen (Fireball) was a chocolate sphere with caramel chocolate mousse, coffee ice cream, coffee mousse, crumble, cocoa nibs and Japanese whiskey. It’s served with the Japanese whiskey to pour over the top, gently melting the sphere and brought a sense of theatre to the table. I also enjoyed the L’ici strawberry “akari” which was a light, fresh dessert with poached strawberry, lemon meringue, strawberry sorbet, fromage blanc spuma and red wine reduction syrup.
Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House
If I had been staying longer I definitely would have tried Marcus at Baha Mar as it was situated beachside and looked lovely. There’s also a rooftop bar. The restaurant is a celebration of Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s groundbreaking culinary legacy as a six-time James Beard Award-winning Chef.
The menu featured locally and sustainably caught seafood, fresh produce, and premium dry-aged cuts of steak. The restaurant has lots of different areas with an open grill kitchen, seafood display station, bar and cocktail lounge, wine bar, outdoor patio, outdoor garden, outdoor terrace and private dining room.
This would also have been on my list of must-eats. Café Boulud offers the glamour of traditional French cuisine combined with a neighborhood café and is led by the globally recognised Chef Daniel Boulud
I also loved the look of the library with its traditional colonial decor. It may also have been the champagne trolley that caught my attention!
This outdoor/indoor rooftop bar is the place to be seen so make sure you make a reservation for one of the tables around the edges. A DJ plays later in the night and the cocktails were great! I loved the greenery and lanterns everywhere.
Breakfast was served at Regatta and was buffet-style. It was on the scale of a Vegas buffet for sure! Here staff served you the food when you went up, presumably due to Covid. Coffee and tea were served at the table by friendly, efficient waitresses.
I loved the breakfast here with so much to choose from such as Mexican specialties, traditional breakfast, roasted ham cut for you, and much more. Despite the hotel being at almost full capacity it didn’t feel too crowded even at peak times.
Pools, beaches and waterpark
If you are a water baby this is definitely the place for you with a vast expanse of white sand beach set against the turquoise blue sea as well as 7 pools, 4 hot tubs and an entire waterpark!
My favourite was the Dean’s Blue Hole pool which had a mini cliff you could jump off and a “grotto/cave” where you could swim past the sharks!
I also loved the elegance and peach and quiet of the Reflections pool which is surrounded by private cabanas to hire.
Next to the Reflections pool is the Fortune pool.
Finally, the Drift pool has brightly coloured striped beach huts, loungers in the water, and shaded pavilions with plenty of loungers.
The beaches here are beautiful and each hotel has its own area of the beach. Service was good with beach attendants to find you a chair and plenty of bar staff to bring you a drink or a snack. There were also lots of food trucks/shacks right by it if you wanted more choice.
The jetty was also a lovely feature.
The waterpark had everything you would expect from the more sedate wave pool and lazy river to the adrenalin-filled water slides. There’s even a surf pool if you want to try out surfing before venturing out into open water to do it.
Spa and other facilities
The resort has a huge amount to offer and you could easily spend a week without leaving the hotel without being board. There’s a 100,000-square-foot casino with 1,140 slots and 119 table games, a 30,000-square-foot ESPA Spa and high-end retail shops.
The beach offers water sports, plus there’s The Racquet Club at Baha Mar, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course.
In the evenings there is a lake of fire show outside and even some flamingos!
The gardens through the grounds are also beautifully tropical and a pleasure to stroll around.
I travelled with Virgin Atlantic Holidays – you can check prices here.
Baha Mar offer a Travel with Confidence Program which pledges that should a resort guest first test positive during their stay, Baha Mar will facilitate their quarantine with courtesy accommodations and a daily in-room dining credit of $150 per registered guest per day, for up to 14 days or until the guest receives a negative COVID-19 result. You can book direct here.
If you wanted to use World of Hyatt points for the Grand Hyatt, it costs between 17,000 and 23,ooo points a night. You could also consider using a Hyatt Prive agent such as our partners, GTC as they can offer extra perks:
- Early check-in priority, based on availability
- Room upgrade priority on availability (excludes non-suites to suites)
- Daily full breakfast credit for two
- Connecting room priority, based on availability
- Welcome amenity – $50 – $100 property credit (valid for certain incidentals)
- Late check-out priority, subject to availability
Prices start around £285 a night in low season.
The Grand Hyatt has so much on-site, it’s great for a lazy break in the sun. The beach there is beautiful and there are so many pools that there’s never going to be an issue getting a sun lounger. I liked the fact that you had two other hotels next door and so many restaurants to choose from. If you wanted to head somewhere a little quieter, Rosewood had plenty of bars and restaurants to hang out in. The decor was quite glitzy Vegas in the casino and reception public areas which may not suit everyone, but the rest of the resort is beautifully done.