You guys, it’s been hardly a week since we got back from the Bahamas and I am missing all the wonderful moments and memories we made during our 7 days’ stay on that beautiful island. The Bahamas is a quintessential relaxing Caribbean vacation spot that offers gorgeous white beaches, luxury hotels, two insanely large water parks, and a great array of attractions for all ages.
During our stay, we stayed at two different resorts. Each offers its own positive and negative points for young couples and families. In this post, I will go over our stay at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.
(Photo was taken at 7 am so I could get the place empty)
Baha Mar is a large resort that offers three hotels – Grand Hyatt, SLS, and Rosewood. Each hotel offers its own unique service to its guests. If you are a young couple or a young family, SLS is the spot for you. It tends to be favored by young couples because outside their balcony they will be overlooking a pool that tends to play music. Plus they tend to host a lot of private affairs/weddings at the nearest pool to the hotel.
Grand Hyatt, the one we stayed at, and is great for everyone. The rooms are a touch bigger (by 40-50 sq feet) and have two towers. East Tower is close to the Rosewood and West Tower is smack dab in the middle.
Last is the Rosewood, this one is for anyone who wants luxury accommodations during their visit to the Bahamas. It doesn’t stop there, they also offer a wide array of services while you stay in their luxury suites that virtually look like a home away from home.
We decided to go with the Grand Hyatt because it was the best for the budget and the money we saved basically went towards food. We also stayed there because Mr. S and I stayed there previously and had an amazing time.
We booked a room with two queen beds and it was perfect for all four of us. They were also very accommodating to make sure my folks were situated on the same floor (we booked them two queen beds in case the twins didn’t want to share a bed). Below is a snap of the 1 king bedroom room we had during our previous stay.
(Photo was taken from our previous stay in their East Tower where we booked a 1 King Bedroom)
Our two Queen bedroom was very comfortable and spacious. We took a room facing the ocean because it we wanted to wake up every morning to see the ocean and watch the water change from cotton candy pink to aqua at sunrise. The twins loved to see giant cruise ships make their way to Atlantis.
The bathrooms are large and spacious with a walk-in shower and a giant soaker tub.
POOLS / INSTAGRAM HOT SPOTS
If you are looking for a resort that is INSTAGRAM perfect, Baha Mar is it! They offer a dozen pools, each one with its own unique feature to take that perfect Instagram shot with zero lineups. They also offer pools that are super shallow, making it perfect to take your kids so they can sit and splash water with you with their hands and feet.
Because the resort offers so many pools, I loved the fact that none of the pools were crowded. You saw maybe 40-50 people at each pool area, half of them in the pool and the other half sunbathing.
One of my favorite pools to visit is the Dean’s Blue Hole Pool (photographed below). It is a gorgeous pool to take photos both inside the cave and outside. Kids or no kids, make sure you visit this pool because they offer a hidden surprise!
Inside the cave, you will see two thick glass walls that will give you a sneak peek into their sanctuary where they look after a group of nurse sharks and sea turtles. The twins had so much fun looking at the glass wall, that they made a point to visit it every day when we were on the property.
Outside the cave area, instead of diving boards, they have this cliff-like feature where you can jump off into the deepest area of the pool. I of course went up on the cliff – to take the perfect Instagram photo.
Another great pool to visit is the Fortune pool. The twins loved this pool because it was connected to a giant hot tub, had a waterfall feature, and you can have your own little mini-pool with jacuzzi jets.
Right by the Fortune pool is the Flamingo Cay where they offer their guests a complimentary chance to mingle with them. If you get a chance to take some time out from the water park, pool, or beach – make sure you reserve a spot to hang out with these pink long-legged birds. The twins were gobsmacked the first time they saw them and made a point to say hello to them every morning.
The resort hugs 3000 feet of powder white sand beach with very little to no seaweed. I personally loved the fact that the beach chaise was already laid out with umbrellas and they had a little table set up every few chairs so you didn’t have to drag one to your chaise. If you need anything moved around, or an extra umbrella, the Hyatt staff is on the beach to help you and yes, it’s a complimentary service. They also had some floaters and a variety of water toys/accessories for their guests plus kayaks and paddleboards.
This was the first time the kids have ever seen a beach and they were IN LOVE! I heard that the resort sells sand pail bucket sets at a bit of a crazy price tag so I picked up some from the dollar store and some dinosaur sand molds. On the first day at the resort made a beeline for the beach and didn’t leave until they were hungry for lunch.
I mean look at the sand! There were very few rocks/shells on the beach and like I mentioned earlier, little to no seaweed. Cable beach also has semi calm water so you won’t find yourself knocked out because you got hit by a wave (unlike the Paradise Lagoona beach that hugs Atlantis)
By the beach, you’ll see these adorable candy stripe cabin-like structures where you can pick up complimentary towels and order drinks. I mean seriously, how cute are these structures!
The last time we visited Baha Mar, they were in the initial stages of building Baha Bay – a luxury waterpark that’s perfect for all ages. This time, we made sure to visit the waterpark and check out specifically Turtle Beach, The River, and Stingray Cove which were perfect for our 5-year-old twins.
Mr. S and I were hoping to try out the Cyclone Rush, Dueling Riptide, and Devil’s Backbone but let’s face it – we were having too much fun going down the slides at both Turtle Beach and Stingray Cove. I love that Turtle Beach had this one slide that allowed all four of us to go down together at the same time (you can catch this under the Bahama’s Baha Mar highlight).
If you ask the twins which area was their favorite at the luxury waterpark, they loved Turtle Beach the most shortly followed by The River where they could chill in the double inflatable donut that didn’t have an open bottom. They loved Stingray Cove but my little guy didn’t like the teacup part lol.
FOOD / DINING
Baha Mar is not an all-inclusive resort, meaning every restaurant on the property has to seriously step up their game to ensure that guests will dine at their establishment over the competitors.
Out of all the restaurants they have on their property, there is only one to avoid and it’s the one by the East Tower elevator called STIX A Noodle Bar. In fact, when I shared this information on stories, I had a flood of messages in my DM of people sharing their horrible experiences with this restaurant.
Now that we got this information out in the open, let’s share all the restaurants we dined at and absolutely loved – which is basically all that wasn’t STIX!
Marcus at baha mar FISH + CHOP HOUSE
This is one restaurant I was very eager to try because I heard wonderful things about Chef Marcus Samuelsson and the food his staff serves. First thing, I got super lucky to get a reservation for lunch at FISH + CHOP HOUSE. I did all my reservations a week before our trip and this restaurant, including Cafe Boulud, were the only two I couldn’t reserve a spot before we flew to the island. I am so glad I stopped by the restaurant to check if the staff could work some miracle.
Four years ago, this very same beachfront plot had a pink food truck (picture below). This year, the food truck is parked near Flamingo Cay and in place is Marcus’s restaurant which offers its guests a breathtaking view of the clear calm aqua water while they dine on food inspired by his visit to the Bahamas.
Photograph was taken in 2018
Photograph was taken in 2022
By the way, if you get a chance, do try the pink Faberge design food truck, El Jefe, on the property for lunch. The food is amazing and all the guests make a point to stop by and grab some tacos or Mexican-inspired pizza.
What we ate at Marcus at baha mar FISH + CHOP HOUSE: Lobster Roll, Grilled Cheese (for the twins), Salad from the farm (with mango), and Fried Fish Sandwich (which was too good that we ordered 2). We also had this non-alcoholic tamarind drink that was so good (not pictured) so if you are a tamarind fan, I highly recommend you try it.
Overall, if I had to rate this restaurant, I would give it a 10 out of 10 on food, ambiance, staff, and waiting for food (so important when you have hungry kids on your hands).
CINKO ASIAN LATINO GRILL
Cinko is one of the newer places they opened in the last four years and the food was really good. Everything in the menu was simple, light, flavorful, and had a unique twist that captures South American cuisine with a twist. If you have a kosher diet, don’t worry, they are kosher certified.
Overall, we loved eating here and I don’t know if we were starving or the food was that good, we inhaled everything that was served. Even the twins ate everything on their plate.
I would give this place a rate of 8 out of 10 on food, ambiance, and staff. I gave it an 8 because the ambiance needs a bit of help when you compare it to the other restaurants on the property. The Red snapper was amazing! Like too good that if we had a bit more room in our tummy, we would have definitely ordered two! I enjoyed their Shishito Pepper and O-toro and to be honest, at $30 for 2 pieces, I was blown away by the quality and how tasty it was.
What we ordered: Guacamame, Roasted Beet Salad, Cucumber Sushi, Shishito Peppers, Red Snapper, and O-toro.
CAFE MADELEINE FRESH COFFEE + BAKERY
Mr. S and I had a discussion if we should do a buffet breakfast or pop in at Cafe Madeleine, a Parisian cafe, for a quick grab, eat, and go. Because I was in love with all the pretty desserts offered at Cafe Madeleine, we opted for this place for breakfast and any impromptu snacks we needed to keep ourselves afloat until dinner. Overall, this place is super cute, their food is amazing (think healthy Instagram pretty food that actually tastes good), and yes – I 100% recommend you stop by here.
If you have a Kosher diet, Cafe Madeleine offers a selection of breakfast and snacks that adhere to your diet and are super accomodating.
This cute little cafe is located at the end of what I call the shopping hall (it’s where they have over a dozen boutiques lined right by the casino). The cafe is super cute, and yes very insta-worthy if you want to take a cute snap. If the weather is not too hot, make sure you get there a touch early to secure a spot on their balcony.
What we usually ordered: Fruit bowl (the non Kosher one which is 50% less in price), Tartine Madeleine, Almond Croissant (it’s soo good), and Toast A La Avocat (Avocado Toast).
Overall, I rate this cafe a 9 out of 10 on food, ambiance, staff, and waiting for food. I give it a 9 because it’s super popular and always had a lineup of around 10 people ahead of us whenever we got there.
This was our favorite restaurant because all the lamb dishes they had on the menu were halal. You didn’t have to call them one week in advance to ask them if they could get you some halal options for you before you arrived. Another reason I loved dining here was they had the best falafel I have ever had! We dined there the last time we came to Baha Mar and it was amazing, this time – I feel like it was even better!
Overall, I rate this cafe (for light breakfast) as 10 out of 10 on food, ambiance, staff, and waiting for food.
What we ordered: Chopped Farro Salad, Green Falafel, Brussel Sprouts, Lamb Shawarma (we ordered two because it was too good), rack of lamb, and tagine – Morrocan lamb. Everything was too good!! Just too good!
If sushi is your jam, you have to make sure to dine at Katsuya. Mr. S and I dined here the last time we came here and the food was amazing. Everything tasted so good.
The last time we dined here, we had this incredible miso-marinated black cod (what they are known for) and it was amazing! Another item we had was the Chilean Seabass which was just mouth-watering good. This time we had our reservation a little late so they sold out of both the black code and Chilean seabass – so note, make sure you make an early reservation (as soon as they open for dinner).
What we ordered: Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Popcorn Rock Shrimp, Sweet Corn, O-Toro Fatty Tuna, Salmon Terriyaki (from the kid’s menu), and Salmon on Cedar.
Overall, I rate this restaurant a 9 out of 10 on food, ambiance, staff, and waiting for food. I gave it a 9 because they carry some of their well-known dishes in (what feels like) small quantities so you have to score an early reservation to make sure you get it.
The first place we went to eat when we arrived at Baha Mar four years ago was STIX and you all know what I thought of it. This time I made sure to not make the same mistake. Instead of going to STIX (which was the closest restaurant to the elevator) right after we checked in and were starving since it had been over 5 hours since our last meal, I got my family to go down the elevator, past a few shops and scored a last-minute reservation at Sugar Factory. Sugar Factory offers lunch 1-2x a week so we got super lucky to get a lunch reservation on Sunday.
Because we were starving, I didn’t take any photos of our food but if you head on over to my stories (or click link here) you will see what we ate.
Sugar Factory is a classic favorite to visit in Vegas and I feel like if you come to Baha Mar, you should also make a point to visit here also to check out their decor, grab some candies from their store, and park yourself at the bar so you can get a beautiful view of the water fountain at night when it dances to the music every few minutes.
Overall, I rate this restaurant a 7 out of 10 on food, ambiance, staff, and waiting for food. I gave it a 7 because the lobster patty was too bready for me, the veggie burger was good but not mind-blowing, the salmon salad was good but I probably shouldn’t have ordered it because it was too much – note to you, they serve American portion size, so A LOT!
What we ordered: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Sourdough Lobster Club, Sugar Factory House Salad, Salmon Salad, and California Veggie Burger
Filia was another restaurant I couldn’t score a reservation for during this trip but we did dine there the first time we came to the Bahamas and the food was really good. I can’t rate this restaurant because it’s been over four years and I can’t recall exactly how amazing their food was but it’s definitely one I recommend you try.
Baha Mar is a great resort because it offers a lot to its guests from a mini outdoor boulevard where it’s filled with shops so you can grab some food, drink, or souvenirs, to an activity area for kids, conservation & education center where families can learn about their marine initiatives while interacting with nurse sharks and sea turtles. They also offer luxury boutiques inside the building if high-end luxe is your jam.
In conclusion, I would definitely come back to Baha Mar and recommend it to all my friends and family because we had an amazing time here on both visits. The twins and my folks had an amazing time also and are looking forward to coming back.