Caribbean mega resorts have gotten a bad rap in recent years for uninspired food, tacky décor, and swimming pools of questionable hygiene. Only 11 minutes from Nassau’s airport, Baha Mar challenges that reputation with three hotels: the towering Grand Hyatt’s complementary facades; SLS Baha Mar, which draws younger travelers with its Miami vibe and rooftop bar; and Rosewood, offering boutique, residential-style stays in multi-room villas with butler service.
Inside Grand Hyatt is the Caribbean’s largest casino, with more than 1,000 slot machines and 100 table games, not to mention designer storefronts and a jazz lounge. Forget the seedy adult-arcade stereotype; floor-to-ceiling windows give gamblers views of serene pools cascading down to the cerulean water of Cable Bay.
You could easily spend two weeks at Baha Mar without repeating activities: Each pool has its own atmosphere, from the upscale, adults-only Privilege Pool (you might catch Shaq DJ-ing) to family-friendly Dean’s Blue Hole, complete with a jumping-rock modeled after the famous Bahamian diving spot. Beachside, grab a free paddleboard and explore the bay — where you may just glide past a spotted eagle ray.
There are more than 40 restaurants and bars at the resort, ranging from French pastries to a beachfront poke shack. Sushi lovers will find bliss in the tasting menu at Katsuya, a sleek indoor-outdoor spot serving melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi. For a taste of Bahamian flavor, head to Conch Shack, where the mollusk is cleaned and prepared right in front of you. With exceptional food, pristine pools, and artwork by Bahamian artists, you can consider Baha Mar the new bar for big resorts. —Steve Fowler
From $225/night; www.bahamar.com
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