The Bahamas is home to several resorts, a few of which also have the so-called “all-inclusive” vacations.
Before going into the resorts themselves I think the term “all-inclusive” should be defined because most people think this means one thing, when in reality it means something else all together.
All-inclusive is a term to mean that three major meals and some soft-drinks during the day, are included in the hotel charge. It does NOT automatically mean that everything there is to do at the resort is free of charge (though some things are).
European is a term to describe hotels where you are paying for the hotel room, but drinks and meals are extra. It does NOT automatically mean that other amenities/ “things to do” will also come with a charge.
DO NOT make the mistake of automatically assuming that one of the above is automatically going to be less expensive or have more things to do than a hotel/resort that operates under a different one.
There are numerous pros and cons, and VAST differences from one hotel/resort to the next.
The major resorts are:
Atlantis Paradise Island
*European Plan* The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas hardly needs an introduction. With its 2,300+ guest rooms divided amongst 3 tower sections, this 4 star, family friendly resort offers more to do than many major theme parks.
This is one of the most popular destinations for first-timers to the Bahamas for a very good reason.
However, due to its size, you can’t really “get away” at this resort.
*All Inclusive* Here, beside the crystal clear waters, you can listen to the gentle call of the sea bird and feel your worries drift away with the tide. At night, a short stroll along the beach takes you to the excitement of Nassau’s glittering casino.
This is one of the few resorts where “all-inclusive” almost really does mean that. Food and drinks whenever you want them are included and there is A LOT to do right here in the resort. Somehow, this resort does a FANTASTIC job of never seeming crowed or over busy.
While there isn’t as much to do as at the Atlantis, this may be one of my favorite resorts for a short getaway.
Comfort Suites Paradise Island
*European Plan* Comfort Suites Paradise Island Bahamas is located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas adjacent to the Atlantis Resort. 5 minutes from Paradise Island International Airport. 10 minutes from downtown Nassau.
If you’re on a budget, and money is tight but you still want a vacation in the Bahamas, this “resort” is the ticket. While it is little more than a glorified hotel with virtually zero on-site amenities, the price of this one is right. Further, it is close to just about everything and they do an admirable job of keeping the feeling still up-scale enough to make it a worthy vacation destination.
Nassau Beach Hotel
*European Plan* A 3 star budget hotel located amidst the hustle and bustle of the other Cable Beach facilities, Nassau Beach Hotel owns 750 feet of beachfront property and offers complimentary watersports to guests, who can also sign up to take advantage of the amenities of its companion hotels the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino, which it neighbors.
This is another hotel for the budget conscious, and many people prefer this hotel over the Comfort Suites thanks to the fact that this hotel is RIGHT on the beach. I will say that I’m partial to the Comfort Suites, but if you’re going to the Bahamas to spend most of your time relaxing on the beach then this is the hotel for you.
*European Plan* Nestled at water’s edge, the 90-room Pelican Bay at Lucaya is a Caribbean hotel with a distinct European architecture and a spectacular location on Lucaya Bay. For our more discerning guests, we offer The Pelican Bay Suites.
When it comes to the budget 3 star resorts, those that are Paradise Island, or within the city of Nassau itself, are typically just a little better in my opinion. This one however is an ENORMOUS exception. Part of its appeal is that it isn’t on the main island where almost every “newbie” to the Bahamas goes. It is well maintained, in expensive, and thanks to being on the Grand Bahama island isn’t quite as crowded. The hotel is well maintained, and one of my personal favorites for the short getaway when I’m not planning on spending much.
RIU Paradise Island
*All Inclusive* Located right next door to the expansive Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, RIU offers an endless variety of activities for every traveler. Watersports on the fabulous beach, daily activities for adults six days a week, and nightly entertainment are offered.
Seriously, for the money, I don’t think this one is worth it. I know lots of people however that absolutely love this resort … I don’t. It isn’t that there’s anything “wrong”; it’s just that for the money you can do better.
Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa Quote or Book Online Here
*All Inclusive* Voted the Caribbean’s Leading Resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa is the ultimate getaway for travelers. Absolutely nothing compares to this Four Diamond All Inclusive resort. Nestled on Nassau’s famed Cable Beach.
If you’ve got the money, this is THE location to go to (and honestly, if you’re going to RIU you can probably afford this). Easily my single most favorite resort in the Bahamas PERIOD. If you’re going to be taking a week or more in the Bahamas and can afford a little extra, then I highly recommend this over th much more crowded Atlatis.
Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach
*All Inclusive* Among the many amenities, the property offers two delicious restaurants, three bars, a disco, an invigorating activities program, a kid’s club, and gymnasium. Often referred to as vacation paradise,
Some of the best golfing in the Bahamas can be had right here at this resort. I’ve only stayed once and it was pleasurable, but my time actually IN this hotel was quite brief so unfortunately I can’t say any more about it.
Wyndham Nassau Resort Quote or Book Online Here
*European Plan* This 3 star resort on the banks of Cable Beach features a Las Vegas style casino, a 75-yard swimming lagoon and 200 yards of private crystal sand beachfront. Along with its own amenities, guests staying at the Wyndham Nassau Resort can enjoy the comforts of its neighboring resort, the Nassau Beach Hotel.
Little more than a glorified Wyndham you can stay in anywhere else in the states. Its one saving grace is some fantastic activities for kids.
The bottom line:
I do want to point out a couple of things real quick. First, there are other smaller hotels that are in quite a large number of ways BETTER than these that you can stay in for less money. There are also beach cabanas you can stay in (think small beach cottage) for about the same price as some of the more pricey resorts.
If you haven’t been very many times to the Bahamas, then these popular resorts/hotels are definitely the places to stay, and which one you choose should be determined by your budget and planned activities.
If you have plenty of money for your vacation, and if you have not been to the Bahamas often, then the Atlantis, Sandals Royal are the places I most recommend.
If you’ve got a budget and plan to spend time out and around town in Bahamas, then go for the Comfort Suites.
If you’re on a budget and you plan on spending most of your time at the beach, then the Nassau Beach Hotel is for you.
However, if you’ve been to the Bahamas more than three or four times and want to stay away from Paradise, then shoot for Pelican Bay (no matter what your budget).
Those are my recommendations anyway.