Bahamas Lodging Primer
With almost 16,000 hotel rooms across the country, you're bound to find a home away from home in the Bahamas. Unfortunately this is not an inexpensive destination, but almost all islands offer a mix of low-key lodges and sparkling resorts. Room prices come down significantly in the off season (mid-April through mid-December), and many hotels and resorts offer special deals on their room rates or throw in extras during hurricane season, late August and early September.
Mostly in Nassau, Paradise Island, and on Grand Bahama, these resorts are big enough and fancy enough to rival the major resorts found anywhere in the world. Casinos, amazing swimming pools, countless dining options, and rooms that make you wish you didn't have to go home are what set these properties apart. The downside—with thousands of rooms, the staff will provide top service, but aren't likely to remember your name. Atlantis, Paradise Island; Our Lucaya, Grand Bahama.
For the budget-conscious traveler, an all-inclusive resort is a good option. Rates cover the room, all meals, most activities, and usually your bar tab. Most guests tend to spend most of their vacation on property since it's been paid for upfront, so there are lots of activities to keep you entertained. Be sure to do your homework as these resorts vary in terms of quality. Club Med, San Salvador; Riu Palace, Paradise Island; Sandals Emerald Bay, the Exumas.
These properties are small and don't often have a lot of amenities, but they've created a high-end luxury experience that makes that irrelevant. There may be just one restaurant on property, but it's guaranteed to be top of the line. Staff-to-guest ratios are higher than any other property type and they are there to cater to your every whim and fancy. Of course, be prepared to pay for such special treatment. A Stone's Throw Away, New Providence; Cocodimama Resort, Eleuthera; Rock House, Harbour Island; Sammy T's Beach Resort, Cat Island.
The Bahamas is not known for being a cheap destination, but throughout the country there are no-frills budget hotels if you're really just looking for a clean safe place to get a shower and grab a good night's sleep. If you plan on spending full days exploring the islands or lounging on a beach and are happy to do without extras like pay-per-view TV, in room minibars, room service, and high-thread-count sheets, this accommodation type is for you. Castaways Resort and Suites, Grand Bahama; Tingum Village, Harbour Island.
Homey Guesthouses and Cottages
Out Island accommodations tend to be more like a home away from home. Small, and often family owned and operated, these guesthouses and cottages are usually simply decorated, but have all you need to make your stay comfortable. Guests often gather in common areas for drinks, meals, and conversation and the staff take a personal interest in making your stay perfect. On-site activities and amenities will likely be basic, but you'll feel right at home. The Cove, Eleuthera; Fernandez Bay Village, Cat Island; Orange Hill Beach Inn, New Providence; Seascape Inn, Andros.
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- $1749 -- Balcony: Weeklong Cruise to Bahamas in Summer — $1,749 Royal Caribbean
- $409 & up -- Bahamas: Summer Weekend Cruise — $409 Royal Caribbean