The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar property—part of Nassau’s Baha Mar resort complex, also home to the SLS and Rosewood properties—“is a reflection of something or somewhere in The Bahamas,” says Yvette Edwards, director of sales and marketing at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, “and that’s what we’re all about: being where you are.”
As I explored more of the property, I saw how true Edwards’ words were. Walking into my spacious guestroom at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, I was greeted by ocean views and stylish decor that mimicked the deep blues and bright whites of the water and sand just outside my balcony. With only a sliding door separating the bathtub and sink area from the rest of the guestroom, plus a king-sized bed also facing the ocean, every corner of my accommodations made it easy to admire the primary factor that draws visitors to The Bahamas: its natural beauty.
Making my way back to the lobby, the Caribbean’s largest casino awaited me, and while the initial vibe is like any other Vegas-style casino, a closer look revealed a few key details that infused Bahamian flare, including floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the great outdoors to tempt you away from the slot machines and walls decorated with work made by local artists. And the art doesn’t stop there. Baha Mar worked with over 50 Bahamian artists to decorate the entire resort, and the onsite art gallery The Current offers art classes, as well as rotating exhibits and goods made by resident artists that are for sale.
A stroll to the beach brings me through what feels like a mini colorful Bahamian village filled with intimate gift shops and food and beverage shacks that serve up some local favorites like conch, which is particularly popular in The Bahamas and can be prepared in dozens of ways—conch fritters, conch salad, grilled conch, and the list goes on. Recommend your clients try conch in as many of its forms as possible. The conch fritters at the poolside eatery The Palms is especially delicious with its perfect conch to breading ratio and a side sauce that adds a little spicy kick to it.
Take note: The Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood are all connected by the casino, where guests will find the majority of the resort complex’s shops, restaurants, bars and lounges. Although a stay at any of the hotels allows for access to the dining and beverage venues of all three properties that make up Baha Mar, guests of the SLS and Rosewood may also use the pools of the Grand Hyatt, while Grand Hyatt guests are “limited” to the outdoor facilities in their area. With six pools to choose from and easy access to the beach and watersports, your clients will hardly feel limited at all.
Of course, venturing outside of a resort is the best way to experience the local culture, and with Baha Mar’s convenient location, my fellow writers and I had easy access to many of Nassau’s points of interest. For clients looking for a particularly unique experience with Bahamian culture, suggest a visit to the Educulture Junkanoo Museum, which was my personal favorite activity during the trip. At the museum, we learned the history behind The Bahamas’ carnival parade known as Junkanoo and peeked inside one of the
many workshops where Bahamians work for months to make their elaborate Junkanoo costumes out of cardboard, wire, and small strips of paper.
After a crash course in the parade festivities, we ended our visit to the museum by taking part in our own mini parade while playing traditional musical instruments, dancing to Bahamian music, and posing for photo-ops as we tried on some of the colorful costumes. Our expert Junkanoo guide was a unique and colorful character—just like the costumes—and I realized that he wasn’t the only Bahamian we met who fit that bill.
Throughout our stay in The Bahamas, locals, expats and visitors alike raved about the friendliness of the Bahamian people, and I couldn’t agree more. Their positive and welcoming energy was palpable everywherewe went, and I understood why so many people told us that despite the natural beauty and the intriguing culture, it was the Bahamian people that really made a visit to the country worthwhile.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar: bahamar.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html