Off the coast of Florida lay a relaxed archipelago made up of over 700 distinct islands, and 2,000 rocks and cays covering 100,000 square miles of ocean: the Bahamas. As everyone knows the best way to experience the Bahamas is to play Assassins Creed: Black Flag on the PS4. Except it’s not, because the best way to experience the Bahamas is to binge watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Except that’s not true either, because the very best way to see the Bahamas is to jump on a plane and visit.
Words cannot clearly define the magic experience of standing on a white sand beach, staring out over the clearest ocean water in the world, sipping a cocktail while a cool breeze tousles your hair. Close your eyes for a moment and try to imagine the warm sand between your toes, the sound of the ocean against the shore, and seabirds flying overhead. Now stop that because you’re wasting your time. No matter how great your powers of imagination, they are not able to compare to the actual experience of standing on the beach on Nassau, snorkel gear in hand, getting ready to slip into the warm waters.
With 700 islands, each with their own distinct personalities, and populated by unequivocally the coolest people on the planet, a holiday in the Bahamas offers relaxation and adventure in equal measures. There is nowhere in the world quite like it.
Check out this list of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas:
1. Fowl Cay Resort
Fowl Cay is a private island in the Exumas islands. The resort offers a remarkably secluded holiday destination, out of the shipping lanes and removed from the main tourist destinations. There are 6 villas on the island and 50 acres of otherwise deserted island. The Villas all have impressive ocean views, fully stocked pantries, and access to all the equipment on the island. This includes golf carts to move around the Cay, and boats to explore the neighboring islands.
Breakfast essentials are stored in the pantry, and the island chef will prepare picnic lunches for guests to carry with them on their daily adventures. Dinner of local seafood and delicacies is served in Hill House restaurant, where guests also get to experience cocktails and extraordinary sunsets. All equipment and dining options are included in the cost of the stay. Fowl Cay offers a truly individual way to explore the Bahamas.
2. Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort, Nassau
Nassau was once the home of the most notorious pirates and privateers who sailed the Caribbean. Now it is the home of the sumptuous European-styled Sandals Resort, offering unprecedented luxury. Exquisitely styled rooms at the resort have been designed to maximize the ocean-side location, each provided with spa-styled bathrooms for the ultimate in relaxation. Guests every appetite is accounted for, with personal Butler service available during the stay.
The Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort incorporates 10 restaurants and 8 bars, with all dining included in the price of the accommodation. Between episodes of eating there is an extraordinary range of activities guests can engage in, including scuba diving and snorkeling in the crystal-clear water, or swimming in one of the two oceanside pools. There is a fitness center and day spa, as well as basketball, tennis and beach volleyball courts. With five-star service combined with an exquisite location, there is little to detract from the Royal Bahamian.
3. Hotel Riu Palace, Paradise Island
The Hotel Riu on Paradise Island is situated directly on the beach, and offers 379 guest rooms of various sizes that are carefully built so that they all capture ocean views. Equipped with 9 restaurants and bars, swimming pool, gym and day spa, there is no need to ever leave the complex.
Except of course, to explore the ocean or try your luck at the on-site casino. The Hotel Riu is in an incredibly beautiful location, and offers all the essential services guests could possible desire of a holiday in the Bahamas.
4. Grand Lucayan Resort, Grand Bahama Island
Offering premium golf experience in the Bahamas, the Grand Lucayan Resort strives to hit the perfect balance between the contemporary holiday experience, and the rich history and culture of the region. Rooms at the resort are casually styled, and built to offer unique views of the island, ocean, or marina from all angles. Holidaying at the Grand Lucayan however, is conducted outside.
A championship golf course is attached to the resort, which also sports a number of tennis courts, each with a different surface. Coaches are on hand to assist players of any skill level. The fitness center and day spa are integrated into the resort, and each provide the unique backdrop of the tropical island and infinite ocean. Once the adventures and exertions have come to an end, guests are invited to dine in one of the seven restaurants, cafes or bars. With every item on the holiday checklist marked off, the Grand Lucayan appears to offer the perfect holiday experience.
5. Melia Nassau Beach
Built on stunning Cable Beach, Nassau, the Melia Resort offers an array of accommodation and activities for the whole family paces from the legendary white sand beaches. Within the confines of the resort guests are able to play basketball, take dance classes, swim in one of the three pools, participate in craft activities or just relax in the day spa. Leave the Resort and guests gain access to the remarkably clear water of the Atlantic Ocean.
With rooms that can accommodate a romantic couple, a young family, or a business executive on a corporate retreat, there are no gaps in the range of rooms. Guests can dine in any of the seven on-site restaurants, or relax in one of the 4 bars, with it all included in the cost of the stay. Set on a stunning beach in an incredible location, the Melia Resort at Nassau Beach deserves your attention.
6. Viva Wyndham Resort, Fortuna Beach
On the south shore of Grand Bahama Island, the Viva Wyndham incorporates a 26-acre complex included the 274-room hotel, ocean-side pool, tennis courts, gym and day spa. Guests are able to dine at one of the four restaurants on site, each reflecting a different ethnic cuisine, from Italy through to Central Asia. The rooms are designed to sleep up to 4 guests in comfort, providing stunning views over the ocean from private balconies.
Once you venture out of the room of course, guests have access to the numerous beachside and open water activities available in the Bahamas, including windsurfing, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling through the clear waters of the archipelago. Perfect for a relaxing holiday or a corporate retreat, the Viva Wyndham has everything on hand to create a memorable holiday.
7. Small Hope Bay Lodge
Offering beachfront cottages, international cuisine, and access to one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, Small Hope Bay Lodge in Andros, has been designed to provide a comfortable, contemporary holiday experience while having has little impact on the environment as possible. The operators of the Resort have a clear vision in mind, and their guests understand the importance of the relatively unspoilt landscape surrounding the complex.
The rooms are at absolute beachfront, and are designed for comfort, peace and harmony, providing no TV, Internet or phone connectivity. Guests can dine on local cuisine prepared using fresh ingredients, with gluten-free and children’s options always available. Between meals guests are able to engage in group scuba diving lessons, or organized fishing experiences off one of the local beaches. Otherwise there is always the option to set off on one of the nature paths and explore the island. Offering a break from the constant connectivity of the modern world, Small Hope Bay Lodge is perfect for those wanting to truly recharge their batteries.
8. Stella Maris Resort
Located on Long Island, in the Bahamas, Stella Maris Resort exhibits an ‘outer island’ atmosphere, where the operators have created a resort that is casual and relaxed, while taking advantage of the islands location to offer panoramic ocean views from all rooms. Complementing the hotel complex, the island also contains a number of self-contained villas lining the beaches, capable of sleeping up to 8 people, some of which have private pools.
Outside the resort the ocean activities available to guests are plentiful, and in line with expectations for a holiday in the Bahamas. Scuba diving and snorkeling are available, and the hotel will facilitate Eco Tours of the island and the local area. There are a number of different dining options on the resort, each with its own distinct identity and menu. If you are looking for a relaxed family holiday in the Bahamas, Stella Maris Resort has what you need.
9. Sandals Resort, Emerald Bay
The Sandals Resorts are idyllic snapshots of luxury and beauty, and the Emerald Bay Resort on Great Exuma is no exception. Decorated with sophisticated elegance and constructed on magnificent landscaped grounds, the resort offers a first-class Bahamas experience. The rooms are beautiful and luxurious, with spa-styled bathrooms, and have been built to maximize the ocean views and access to the beaches.
With numerous dining options in the complex, supported by other services such as the gym, day spa, and golf course, your days will be filled out with activities, even before you venture into the ocean for the unlimited water activities on offer. A first-class experience in a magnificent location.
10. Club Med Columbus Isle
Club Med has always represented the epitome of luxury, and beachfront holiday accommodation, and the Columbus Isle Resort holds itself to that standard. Located on the remote Bahamas Island of San Salvador, the ocean is considered one of the best scuba and snorkeling locations in the area. The rooms have a breezy atmosphere, and are designed to provide easy access to the beach.
The Club Med brand is synonymous with family holidays, and on Columbus Isle there are activities available for all ages, including the Junior Club Med which is iconic of the company. There are 2 restaurants and 3 bars in the complex, each of which offering a casual atmosphere, excellent food and magnificent ocean views. Experiencing the Bahamas with your family via the Club Med doctrine is sure to create memories.
11. Breezes Resort
Dominating one of Nassau’s finest beaches, Breezes Resort offers a magnificent all-inclusive holiday in one of the most magical and storied places on the planet. The resort offers a range of rooms, each offering unique views of the island itself, or the legendary white sand of Cable Beach, but once again the best way to experience Breezes is to leave the room.
There are 5 restaurants and 4 bars on site, and the resort also facilitates romantic private dining evenings on request. During the day guests are welcome to relax on the beach, swim, snorkel or fish along the shore. However, when the sun goes down the Resort truly comes to life. With live entertainment every night, a nightclub that pulses till dawn, and themed parties scheduled across your stay, Breezes really offers a Bahamas experience like nowhere else.
12. Warwick Hotel Paradise Island
Warwick Hotel on Paradise Island is designed on the premise that a holiday on an island called Paradise should be perfect. The Resort offers an all-inclusive adult experience that is as magnificent as the location on which it is constructed. Rooms are strategically designed to optimize the views over the world-famous Cabbage Beach, and offer a level of casual comfort and warmth that aligns with the views from the windows.
There are 7 restaurants and bars in the complex, offering dining options to suit all tastes and moods (definitely try Tings on a Stick for a unique experience). There is a full-service day spa on site, as well as a fitness center equipped with all contemporary equipment. Guests are also able to relax by the beachside pool, or delve into the Atlantic on scuba and snorkeling ventures. Bikes are also available to explore the island. As a dedicated adult holiday experience on iconic Paradise Island, Warwick Hotel meets the brief, and is worth a look.
13. Kamalame Cay Private Island Resort
Just off the Andros Barrier Reef mainland is the Kamalame Cay, on which the award-winning Private Resort has been constructed. With rooms designed and decorated with distinct island character, the Private Island Resort is dedicated to those who love the finer things, but consider a sarong as dressed for dinner. Relaxed luxury at its finest, the resort offers an array of accommodations, spread around the island to provide guests with privacy to enjoy their stay.
There are two main restaurants on the island, offering the finest in Bahaman cuisine while capturing the casual atmosphere of the island. Between meals there is an entire island and surrounding crystal ocean to explore, or guests can relax at the on-site day spa. The Kamalame resort offers a private Bahamas holiday on unmatched luxury.
14. The Cove, Eleuthera
On the shore of Eleuthera is The Cove, a 57-room private resort that offers a mix of sophistication and pure island living. With a private beach, fitness center, day spa, an open-air bar and a gourmet restaurant, the resort features all the items one would expect from such an exclusive location. Beautifully landscaped grounds surround the stylish and comfortable hotel complex, giving guests all the room they need to truly relax and enjoy the surrounds.
Accommodation can be had in hotel rooms, or a range of villas, suites and private cottages that are spread around the grounds to optimize guests desire for privacy. For guests looking for a more active adventure, an abundance of water activities can be arranged from the Resort, including snorkeling, paddle boats or fishing expeditions. Otherwise guests are able to explore the island on bikes or horseback. The Cove offers magnificent white sands and long, slow afternoons punctuated by sensational sunsets over the ocean. Do not miss.
15. Atlantis Paradise Island
Styling their resort around the tale of Atlantis sinking beneath the sea may be questionable in concept, but in execution the operators have built a magnificent resort on Paradise Island, with a stunning entry in a magical beachfront location. The Resort is one of the largest in the region, offering an incredible array of rooms, restaurants, and bars.
By far the most memorable feature of the resort, however, is the Ruins Lagoon, a massive aquarium populated with an enormous array of fish, spotted rays and sleek sharks. Inside the lagoon are the ruins of the ancient civilization of Atlantis, and guests are able to explore the entire thing by snorkel on 60 minute guided tours. The opportunity to snorkel the ruins of Atlantis is something at guests will remember for the rest of their lives.