Cold, rainy, gloomy weather always makes me long for the Bahamas. Anytime my fingers crack from the winter chill or my knuckles bleed from the winter rash, it feels like the islands are calling my name. To me, there’s no place I’d rather be than squishing my feet in the white sand and frolicking in the ocean waves at a private beach at a Bahamian hotel. From accommodations with all-inclusive meals to resorts with water parks, the Bahamas has something to please everybody.
Home to five towers, three private beaches, world’s most famous water park, the Bahamas’ largest aquarium and a casino that’s more beautiful to look at than gamble in, Atlantis is the dream resort of nearly every traveler in the world. Stroll through the shoppes throughout the hotel by day and gaze at the yachts docked in the Marina at night at this exquisite resort located on Paradise Island.
Sleeping accommodations begin at a few hundred dollars per night in the Beach Towers, though I suggest you stay in the Coral Towers instead, as the Beach Towers were not the Atlantis experience I was looking forward to. Plus, many rooms in the Coral Towers look out over the entire property of Atlantis and the Caribbean, a beautiful vista to wake up to each morning indeed.
There are several activities on the beach – parasailing, jet skiing, hair braiding – but be warned that the vendors are third-party, and not employees of Atlantis. Some, like the jet ski owners, charge sky-high rates and give you just enough gas in the tank to get halfway out into the ocean and leave you stranded!
Atlantis is not all-inclusive, and many of the restaurants require you make reservations several days before eating there. However, I highly recommend the Marina Pizzeria or Johnny Rockets, both located in the Atlantis Marina, as the prices aren’t as high as inside the hotel and you can eat outside with a view of the marina.
I stayed at this hotel during my first trip to the Bahamas, back when it was the Radisson. Since then, they’ve upgraded the rooms and turned the place into quite a beautiful hotel. Their slice of heaven on the beach isn’t near as large as the private beaches at Atlantis, but they’re perfect for lounging around, reading a book or building a sandcastle.
I’m immensely fond of the pool bar, where you can swim up to the bar stools and order a tropical drink – remember to ask for extra cherries! The Dolphin Grill, an outdoor eatery right on the beach, serves up chicken fingers and fries, cookies and brownies and soft drinks, perfect for lunch on the beach.
The whole atmosphere at the Sheraton in Nassau, Bahamas is everything you’ve dreamed a tropical vacation to be, and then some. The rooms are bright and airy and equipped with free wireless Internet access. Plus, you’re just a short taxi ride away from the Straw Market.
Prices are less here than at the Atlantis, not surprisingly, as you can get rooms for as low as $200 during some seasons. Last I knew, many or all of the accommodations are all-inclusive.