In December of 2019, right before COVID hit, my hubby and I took a cruise with our one-year-old. Crazy, right?? (post here). I still can’t believe we did that, but we had such a blast. One of our spots on the cruise was Nassau, Bahamas. We had an entire day to check out the city, so we visited a private beach and went duty-free Cartier shopping at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. We loved our short time spent at the Baha Mar and knew we wanted to return for a more extended stay. The goal was to come back with our son again because we could tell the resort is kids and family-friendly even at first glance. Fast forward to November 2021, we booked a stay at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, but due to our current times, we decided to head out just the two of us. Keep reading below if you are interested in our experience and my Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Review!
Info to know before traveling to the Bahamas
At the time of our trip, the Bahamas required a health visa for entry into the country. This can be filled out directly on their website a few days before your trip. During the application process, they will ask you about your vaccine status and require vaccine proof. You will also need to upload a negative Covid test 3 to 5 days before your trip (for anyone two years of age and older) and pay $40 per person for insurance. The process was super easy and self-explanatory. Interestingly enough, we were never requested to show our health visa at customs.
Hotel Grounds & Check-In
The Grand Hyatt is an enormous property and only about 15 minutes from the airport. The grounds house 3 hotels: Baha Mar, SLS, and Rosewood. My understanding is that both SLS and Rosewood are a bit more expensive and offer additional amenities, although each hotel is equally gorgeous. The Baha Mar reminds me of the Wynn or Caesars Palace in Las Vegas but in the Caribbean. The grounds are home to 8 restaurants, 12 bars, 2 cafes, 6 pools, beautiful lush greenery, stunning turquoise-blue beach, and even some wildlife on-site, including flamingos.
Upon arrival to the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, we were greeted by a bell boy who inquired about our vaccine status. There is a separate check-in for guests who are fully vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. It seems that you may also need to take a test upon arrival at the hotel if you are not currently vaccinated. Testing is done free of charge both at arrival and departure. I’m not sure if they’ll consider your test for entry into the Bahamas but know you may have to go through a couple of tests. In the vaccinated check-in, we were required to show our vaccine cards.
I typically don’t talk about check-in during my hotel reviews, but I was super disappointed with this property’s lack of welcome and introduction. With such a large hotel like the Grand Hyatt, I expected a little walk-through of resort amenities, tips on the resort, etc. We got nothing. We had a better check-in experience at the Secrets Cap Cana, where someone WALKED us around the property for a tour. This resort is so big it’s a bit overwhelming at first. While having options is a good thing, you certainly don’t want to waste time walking around such large grounds looking for something.
Overall, the hotel is stunning. Think Las Vegas hotel in the Caribbean. The entrance sits in the middle of a casino floor, with red carpets, gold accents, and crystal chandeliers. The casino floor flows through the property, sprinkled with shops like Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, etc., along with restaurants like Katsuya and Carna.
We typically don’t book anything fancy at Caribbean hotels as we spend most of our time on the beach, but we prefer to stay in an oceanview room. This time we booked a king oceanview room. Upon entry, we were surprised that we didn’t have a balcony, instead just a perch. I had no idea when I booked that it runs an extra $50 per day to book a room with a full balcony. Besides the balcony, the room was great! It’s modern, large, and spotless. Although they told us at check-in that housekeeping would come by every two days (due to COVID), they seemed to be in our room every day. We had plenty of room storage, a beautiful bathroom with a huge vanity with double sinks, a full soaking tub, and a walk-in stone shower.
Our view was a little off to the side but still oceanview. I found the bed and bedding comfortable and loved the view directly from the bed to the ocean!
If you are looking for a resort where you don’t have to leave the property to eat fantastic food, this is it. The grounds have so many phenomenal options! There are enough food options here that you can easily stay for a week and not eat at the same place twice. They have something for everyone. Restaurant options include sushi, steakhouse, Mexican, Mediterranean, Chinese, pizza, Italian, and many more.
For dinner, they recommend reservations at most restaurants, but we didn’t have an issue making them same-day for most places. As expected, the prices at the restaurants were pretty high. One of our best dinners was at Carna Steakhouse; we both ordered the Wagyu Filet Mignon, and it was incredible. One of the best-cooked steaks I’ve ever had. The service was also phenomenal! We also really liked Katsuya, it was one of the best Caribbean sushi experiences we’ve had (next time I want to check out Nobu in the Atlantis). We also had excellent experiences with lunch; we never had to wait for a table, and we were always done eating in less than 45 minutes. There are many food options for lunch by the beach/pool areas, including a taco truck, a fried chicken truck, a poke shack, and a few restaurants. They have servers coming around serving drinks on the beach and pool but unfortunately, not food. Overall, lots of options to try a delicious variety of cuisine. The food was one of the highlights of this resort. So much better than the food we’ve had at all-inclusive resorts, but also more expensive.
Outfit Details: Dress– Shein
As you can imagine, the beach was absolutely beautiful. Clear turquoise water and white sands that stretch the property. There were plenty of lounge chairs; we never felt like we had to rush to get a spot in the morning. The beach is my favorite place to be, so I was super bummed that we had some winds and crazy tides, so much so that for 2 days, we were not able to swim. Anytime someone would try to go swimming, the lifeguards would blow the whistle and run after them. The waves didn’t seem too high, but the tide’s undercurrent was concerning for the lifeguards. Some even said that they were nervous for sharks to appear on the water, not sure if this was a scare tactic, but it worked.
Outfit Details: Coverup– Amazon, Swimsuit– Fendi, old similar here, Bag– Old, similar here, Sandals– Valentino here and here, dupes here, Hat– Lack of Color, Sunglasses– Bottega Veneta Hat Clip– Lindsay Albanese
Pool & Fitness
The Grand Hyatt has so many pools; we couldn’t turn a corner without discovering a brand new pool area. They have 6 total, although it feels like so many more. They have a zero-entry kid-friendly pool, a private adults pool, a family pool, a pool with an aquarium, and a rock jumping pool—so many, many options, no matter what you like.
Like the beach, the pool areas have lots of lounge chairs and plenty of space for everyone. The hotel grounds also boast a brand new waterpark, Baha Bay, which opened this year. The waterpark entry is complimentary for hotel guests. We visited for a short hour before it started raining. This would be the perfect place to spend the entire day, whether with your significant other, friends, or family. At the time of our visit, the park was empty, with no lines and many options—a wave pool, wave surfing, lazy river, several slides, kids and adult-friendly.
I worked out every day while on vacation, the fitness center is large and has everything you would need. Lots of machines and available equipment. With how large the hotel is, I never had a problem getting weights or a treadmill.
Overall, we loved our stay at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and will absolutely be back with kid in tow! At the time of our visit, I would say that hotel was maybe 75% booked. It didn’t feel overwhelming at all, but definitely noticed more people than our past hotel experiences during COVID.
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