Since its opening in 2017, Baha Mar has sat front and center on the beach of Nassau, encompassing three properties in one large-scale resort: Grand Hyatt, Rosewood and SLS. It is a beast of a resort, but that’s just what its visitors want: non-stop entertainment and loads to do– or not do. They deliver choices ten-fold; when you arrive for a 3+ night stay (recommended, coming from Texas), you do not need to leave the property – everything you need is there. Choose from 42 restaurants & bars, a casino, 10 pools just for Grand Hyatt, beachfront access, Baha Bay waterpark, retail therapy, two spas and all the fun you can handle.
Baha Mar serves up the ideal blend between action and relaxation; experiencing and chilling in water. If I had to pick my top three favorite aspects of Baha Mar, they’d be: impeccable evening dining experiences, nights at Jazz Bar, and floating in the resort’s North Atlantic Ocean (crystal blue water at the ideal temperature). Let’s start with the dining scene…
F&B for your R&R
Cafe Madeleine – Breakfast
*Vibe: Small French cafe on the bottom floor of the west wing of the Grand Hyatt with an outdoor covered patio; pumping in relaxing Parisian music
*Bites: Toast A L’ Avocat (avocado toast with cherry tomatoes, feta and arugula on sourdough) or a breakfast sandwich on brioche stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions; of course, grab a sweet treat such as a chocolate croissant
*Drinks: Sip on a cappuccino
Out Island Bar – Lunch
*Vibe: Poolside beach bar with a view of the ocean
*Bites: Small portions of roasted turkey wrap delivered to your table in a to-go box
*Drinks: Try Sands, a light local beer
25N – Lunch
*Vibe: Tucked back into the Beach Club, this outdoor grill has an exclusive vibe and a glorious view of the ocean
*Bites: Start with the chicken empanadas, munch on truffle fries and share the large caesar salad with grilled chicken, or for a heartier lunch choice (because they close at 5 pm), go for the Exotic Mushroom & Truffles pizza or turkey club sandwich
*Drinks: pina colada and other frozen fruity bevs like their daiquiris hit the spot on a warm day
Cinko – Dinner
*Vibe: Asian-Latin fusion at the bottom of a chic wooden staircase, very modern with upscale casual attire, enhanced by friendly customer service
*Bites: Guacamame – a blend of traditional guacamole and edamame as a starter, followed by Bibimbab – a bowl filled with beef, kimchi, rice, carrots, cucumber and topped with a fried egg
*Drinks: Order a bottle of Baron Hezog chardonnay (which seems to be a better deal than ordering by the glass)
Marcus Fish & Chop House – Dinner
*Vibe: Down by the beach, this bougie restaurant is fabulous; the creation of celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, touting Bahamian influence and featuring refined seafood delicacies
*Bites: Conch croquettes for a starter and their warm bread glazed with rum butter; creamy and savory Shrimp & Grits all the way, or for a spectacular show, order the Fried Yard Bird (its own mini celebration)
*Drinks: Rose 2.0 cocktail on the rocks
Costa – Dinner
*Vibe: Costa Rican vibes as you walk through a jungle-like canopy of trees in the back of the Rosewood, this mostly outdoor restaurant is surrounded by koi ponds (walk carefully on the wooden platforms between the thatched roof huts filled with dining tables as there are no railings and we did witness one patron fall in, which apparently happens often); the tropical atmosphere of this Mexican/seafood fusion restaurant is memorable
*Bites: You must start with the Queso Fundito, a warm bed of gooey delicious cheese blended with perfect amounts of chorizo, onion and folded into warm tortillas. Go full send with the tacos: grilled fish tacos and the short rib birria tacos (come in sets of three).
*Drinks: “The best margarita on property,” order it frozen; or peruse the interactive wine menu on an ipad where you can read all about it before ordering (chardonnays run from $70-1,810/bottle!)
Jazz Bar – Adequately refined, yet not stuffy, The Jazz Bar is a hot spot every night. Just off the casino, between Grand Hyatt and SLS, this open lobby lounge features a raised stage behind the bar. Perfectly perched on stage is a piano and just enough room for a jazzy band of talented musicians. Always featuring locals (The Essence and Vice Versa are populars), the tunes are fabulous and the setting is appropo for easy listening and dancing (we might have line danced to The Electric Slide with one hundred of our newest friends.)
Bond – For the young adults in the group (the drinking age in the Bahamas is 18), Bond is a popular night club for guests, locals and even visitors from other resorts on Nassau. With bouncers outside and a line wrapping around like Studio 54, the vibe is hip, loud and a strobe-lit dance floor beckons for the young at heart.
Marcus Up Top – A rooftop bar with a view of the ocean, the atmosphere is relaxed and dimly lit. A DJ spins the hits starting at 9 pm while guests dine on appetizers and sip cocktails.
Baha Bay waterpark – Right on property, just to the side of the hotels, the waterpark overflows, to the delight of kids everywhere, throughout 15 acres. Enjoy a lounging lazy river, tube slides, a drop slide, a lagoon and even a surf simulator.
Beautiful beach – Basically a private beach, the lounge chair covered sand stretches the length of the property, peppered with cabanas and beach umbrellas. A long wooden pier jets out into Goodman Bay and the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean are perfectly clear and the ideal cool temperature.
Sense Spa – The elevated atmosphere of the Rosewood is exemplified in Sense Spa. A customized 60 or 90-minute Bahamian massage is likely exactly what you need to tie this vacation up in a nice, soothing bow.
Fancy Flamingos – Guests can sign up for a half-hour private Flamingo Experience. Meet the four ambassador flamingos (the national bird of the Bahamas) in their jungle-like setting. There’s also a “display flock” on view to all, with the oldest bird (Clefty) being 47 years old.
>Expect crowds. Ever since folks started traveling post Covid (and especially now that vaccinated travelers coming from the U.S. don’t need any testing or paperwork), the 1,000 acres are full. The best seats around pools are snatched up early in the day.
>Prepare for “bookable experiences”. There are several locations on property that require a reservation and a minimum spend on F&B. A few of those are:
- The Beach Club – With blissful lounge chairs facing the ocean, set under palm trees and with access to your own infinity pools, this location requires a commitment of a $100/chair spend on F&B. Open from 10am-6pm, this is a special experience.
- Privilege – Ready to be “all up in the club” during the day? This pool at SLS requires a reservation and F&B commitment for loungers and cabanas but not to sit at the bar. Walk-ups are accepted. It’s open Thurs-Sat but the DJ is only there on Fri & Sat. There’s loud dance music and partiers dancing in the pool.
Here’s what’s new and fresh at Baha Mar…
- The Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival: The Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival will take place October 21-23, headlined by internationally renowned and celebrated chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson of Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House, Daniel Boulud of Café Boulud and Dario Cecchini of Carna. The festival will kick off with a welcome party hosted by Marcus Samuelsson, followed by two days of interactive cooking demos and culinary experiences led by Baha Mar’s epicurean talent and guest chefs. The celebration will conclude with an unforgettable al fresco dining experience on Long Cay, Baha Mar’s lush private island hideaway. Guests who wish to experience this delicious experience can purchase tickets here, from $79 to $499.
- Knosh: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has opened the property’s first dairy kosher food truck certified under the strict supervision of Chabad of The Bahamas. This exciting new food truck will expand the kosher dining options available for guests with dishes including cauliflower “mac & cheese” made with cauliflower, za’atar, cheddar and smoked gouda; loaded cheese fries with an impossible pattie, cheddar, mozzarella cheese and green onions; and Bahamian Banh Mi with crispy fried local fish, cucumber, pickled carrots, chili fresnos, cilantro, mint, pickle daikon and spicy mayo on a baguette.
Cover photo from Wagstaff
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “The Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.