Free water sports and leisure activities (e.g. paddle-boarding and tennis)
Free Wi-Fi throughout
40- to 45-minute
drive from Freeport and the international airport
coastal setting can experience strong winds
The upscale Old Bahama Bay Resort feels like a luxurious tropical compound, set on 225 acres of beachfront grounds next to a full-service marina. Its 73 elegant, spacious suites are set in plantation-style villas, in king, double and two-bedroom layouts (sleeping up to six) -- all with terraces, water views, kitchenettes or kitchens, and huge marble bathrooms. Freebies include Wi-Fi, water sports, and tennis. There’s a beachfront tiki bar and a nautical-style dinner restaurant. Arrival by seaplane, boat, or private jet (into nearby West End airport) is ideal, but taxis or the hotel shuttle can be arranged for the 45-minute trip from Freeport. Its fairly isolated location is best suited for those seeking an escape from touristy bustle, but travelers craving more a central, livelier property could try the the Grand Lucayan.
Sprawling beachfront oasis scattered with bright plantation-style villas
Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Club unfolds like a private little paradise framed with clear waters in every shade of blue (but strong coastal winds aren’t unusual given the exposed setting). It occupies a sprawling expanse of tropical green grounds, flanked by five miles of private beachfront on one side and a 72-slip marina on the other. A parade of villas dressed in Bahama-bright hues and pastels are aptly named after vibrant tropical flowers, like bougainvillea and bird of paradise. At the resort’s heart, a split-level freshwater pool, framed with sun beds and shady palm trees, cascades down to the beach -- where the thatched-roof activities hut and tiki bar dominate the daytime action. A couple of multicolored market-style stalls (selling shells and souvenirs) enhance the cute island-inspired ambience, and plenty of picnic tables invite alfresco dining on the beach. Shaded hammocks are slung between palm trees here and there, a colorful line-up of water-sports equipment sits ready and waiting on the beach, and there’s a little playground for the kids. Dockside Bar & Grille complements the marina it overlooks with nautical decor, and the lobby exudes British Colonial elegance that continues into the guest rooms.
Grand Bahama’s westernmost tip, near West End private airport
The resort occupies the westernmost tip of Grand Bahama Island, and it's a two-minute walk from West End’s quaint fishing village center. It’s a nine-minute drive from West End private airport, and about 40 minutes by car from Grand Bahama International Airport. Port Lucaya Marina & Marketplace, and Freeport’s touristy hub of hotels and casinos takes around 45 minutes by car, and the resort shuttle can be arranged if required (for a fee). (Guests should arrange this in advance to guarantee getting there.) Seaplanes from Fort Lauderdale can be caught directly to Old Bahama Bay, and the resort is of course, accessible by boat.
Spacious apartment-like layouts, dressed in British
Colonial-style decor with terraces and water views
The brightly colored villa facades give way to Old World luxury in the guest rooms, with more subdued, neutral palettes, marble floors, and British Colonial-style decor blending tropical cues with timeless formality. Botanical fabrics, island-inspired artworks, and white plantation shutters complement dark timber furniture accents, such as elegantly carved headboards and coffee tables. Spacious layouts with French doors opening onto private terraces, lounge areas (with sleeper sofas), and kitchen facilities feel more like upscale apartments than hotel rooms. Junior suites (spanning 600 square feet) are available in king or double queen configurations -- all with kitchens, and a choice of ocean or pool view, or oceanfront categories. Two-bedroom suites, spanning over 1,300 feet, sleep up to six guests, and feature dining areas, two private terraces (with ocean views), three bathrooms, and full kitchens. Kitchen units with large refrigerators, microwaves, stovetops, and dishwashers are provided in all rooms, as are stunning oversized marble bathrooms with large shower/tub combos (some whirlpool), and stone and timber vanities stocked with premium individual toiletries. Free Wi-Fi, washer/dryers, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players are also provided, and closets are stocked with dressing gowns, safes, and umbrellas.
Private beach, freshwater pool, full-service
marina, fitness center, spa, free activities, and two
Features are in abundance at the Old Bahama Bay, so there’s not much need to venture beyond resort confines. The resort's star attraction is its miles of private beach, outfitted with loungers and hammocks. But a close runner up is the split-level pool with a waterfall feature; its ringed with loungers and sun umbrellas. The marina offers plenty of docking space and on-site customs and immigration to process international arrivals. In addition to the private beach, leisure fans are well catered to with an array of free water sports on offer, such as paddleboards, sea kayaks, and snorkel gear. Other outdoor amenities include volleyball, shuffle board, basketball, giant checkers and chess boards, free use of bicycles, and tennis courts that come with free court-time and racket use, although guests must pay for balls. The activities hut located near the pool can arrange ecology tours (such as dolphin spotting and turtle feeding), sunset cruises, and private boat or fishing charters -- the area is known for its exceptional deep sea fishing.
A selection of indoor activities may come in handy if the weather turns bad -- there’s a pool table, ping pong, board games and a Wii console. Massages, Reiki, body treatments and mani/pedis are available in the spa or in-room, and the fitness center is equipped with modern cardio and weight-training equipment. Teaser’s Tiki Bar is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and happy hour. It serves up local specialties and American favorites alongside cocktails and beers, and sometimes features seasonal barbecues, live entertainment, and bonfires. Dockside Bar & Grille features a range of local and international dinner dishes, and both restaurants offer a “Cook Your Catch” option, for guests who’ve managed to catch their own. The hotel gift shop is well-stocked with souvenirs, clothing and accessories, snacks, and basic necessities. Business facilities are provided in the lobby, and Wi-Fi is free throughout. The hotel shuttle can take guests farther afield (for a fee).