Onsite Review: Grand Lucayan, Bahamas

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Grand Lucayan Suite.
Grand Lucayan Suite.

The trip began with a local fish fry and ended with a champagne brunch—at the Grand Lucayan, Bahamas, tell your clients to arrive on an empty stomach.

Living in Miami, it’s easy to forget how close we are to The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama Island, which is situated only 55 miles east of the Florida coast.

Getting there is easy: From Miami or Fort Lauderdale your clients can hop on an American Eagle, Bahamas Air, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, or WestJet flight. (I boarded a 40-minute Silver Airways flight from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport.)

After I got the Bahamian stamp on my passport—it’s a blessing when passing through customs takes less than two minutes—I hopped in a cab and headed to Grand Lucayan, Bahamas—the resort is located only eight miles from the airport and 13 miles from the cruise port—ready to experience the Bahamian culture and a resort that sits on a 7.5-acre beach of soft, white sand.

the layout
Grand Lucayan, Bahamas is, well, grand. The property features 542 guestrooms, including 27 one- and two-bedroom suites, two presidential suites and 23 Ocean Front Lanai Suites. Guestrooms are offered in three different categories: Island, Marina or Ocean View. My cozy 400-sq.-ft. Ocean View room came with two very comfy queen beds, a flat-screen TV, a balcony with views of the Atlantic Ocean, and classic comfort amenities like a work desk, a coffee maker, and 24-hour room service.

The beachfront property offers guests the choice to lounge beachside or at the three pools—a heated lap pool, a winding pool, and a tranquil infinity pool overrun with seagulls that also find it quite serene—an 18-hole, par 72 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (the resort offers guests shuttle service to and from the course), a 25,000-sq.-ft. multi-level spa, a full-service gym, a casino, and outdoor activities from tennis to shuffleboard, jogging paths and ping-pong.

Grand Lucayan, Bahamas is perfect for weddings, honeymooners, a girlfriends’ getaway, and multigenerational clients, too. Regarding the latter, not only does the resort offer a slew of eating options (because “sometimes” kids can be a bit picky when it comes to meals), but there are a variety of children activities like scavenger hunts, beach Olympics, and poolside games.

Entrance to China Beach, one of the resort’s  restaurants.
Entrance to China Beach, one of the resort’s restaurants.

hungry? you bet!
On my first night at the resort, I was driven to nearby Smiths Point for the traditional Wednesday night Bahamian fish fry—this is a local event that can’t be missed. On the menu was the perfect combination of chow to make any mouth water: fried chicken or whole fried snapper, conch fitters, cole slaw, peas & beans (Caribbean-style), and baked mac & cheese—our plates were clean in minutes. The best part about the fish fry is not only its beachside location, but the dance party that goes on into the wee hours. After the meal, it’s time to dance the calories off with the locals and other tourists.

Back at the resort, my appetite was satisfied at the five onsite restaurants. The culinary options at the resort are diverse—from sushi to pasta and seafood dishes created by the resort’s Michelin-star chef, Grand Lucayan does not disappoint the foodies.

Memorable dishes were savored at China Beach, an Asian-inspired restaurant, where the tempura shrimp served with a ginger soy sauce and the steamed fresh tofu with shrimp and vegetables in a hot bean sauce, were both divine, and at the elegant Churchill’s, where chef Gianfranco Chiarini prepares impressive meals, from a flavorful lobster bisque to a homemade tortellini dish filled with smoked seafood and ricotta cheese in an orange butter sauce. At Willy Broadleaf, the breakfast buffet had me coming back for omelets, while the Sunday brunch (unlimited mimosas) features everything from pizza to pasta, signature breakfast dishes, and fresh salad combinations.

Room rates this spring start at $119; summer rates start at $99.

contact information
Grand Lucayan, Bahamas: (855) 708-6671; grandlucayan.com or grandlucayan.com/travel-agents
Silver Airways: silverairways.com