Lush. Elegant. Peaceful. Clean. The Rosewood Baha Mar invokes all the adjectives that make for an excellent vacation destination. This past November, I joined my work team in Nassau, Bahamas to execute a four-day conference for 250 lawyers (look up “Fall Convention”) at this incredible resort, which also happens to be one of newest and most highly ranked resorts in the Caribbean. Here’s what I discovered.
The Baha Mar Resort Complex
The Baha Mar Resort complex is actually comprised of three resorts: the Grand Hyatt (the family-friendly hotel, priced around $350 USD a night), SLS Hotels (the party hotel, priced around $500 a night), and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (the high-end luxury hotel in question, priced around at around $700 USD a night). Each of the properties has its own pools and amenities that are designed just a little bit differently from one to the other. For example, you can find all the stand-up paddleboards and kayaks, water hammocks, floating lounges, and snorkels at the Grand Hyatt, while the Rosewood’s private beach features woven capsule lounges and cabanas where you can have your sunscreen, Fiji water and fresh towels delivered directly to you. You get the idea.
The Baha Mar Complex is also home to the largest casino in the Caribbean, tennis courts, luxury shops, tons of restaurants, and a wildlife animal complex (think green sea turtles, stingrays, nurse sharks, and 50+ species of reef fish). Oh, and if you’re looking to snap a good photo for Instagram, Flamingo Cay (with flamingo parades twice a day) is not to be missed.
While all of the resorts in the Complex are fantastic, the Rosewood is undeniably the queen of the three properties of the Baha Mar. If nothing else, Rosewood guests have access to all of the amenities of the other two hotels above, while the reverse is not the case.
The Many Restaurants of the Rosewood
As soon as you walk into the resort, the staff will offer you a Bahamian classic called “Sky Juice”, a cocktail made with gin (optional but important), condensed milk, coconut juice and little juicy bites of coconut flesh. The lobby, as well as the entire property, is designed in a very modern take on the British Colonial Era style, featuring a lot of white and light grey panels and dark woods. The bedrooms and suites also share the same design, with elegant four-poster beds and white luxury linens. Look closely and you’ll also discover that most of the walls are hand-painted and not wallpaper-ed.
The lobby is connected directly to The Library, which is the kind of place you wouldn’t mind waiting in for a few hours to get your luggage (if that was ever the case) or to do some last-minute work before your departure. They also serve light breakfast and afternoon tea.
The other side of the lobby leads into the Manor Bar, described by the resort as having the “mature residential touch of a polished 20th-century salon”. This is the place you’ll want to come to grab a handcrafted cocktail and a few well-paired bar snacks before heading off for dinner, or coming back after dinner for a night cap.
Even with all of our attendees having arrived almost all at once on two flights, the group was quickly was absorbed into the serenity of the resort after a few short minutes of friendly exchanges. Most of the time, all you hear is the faint sound of the ocean waves, a little steel drum, and a nice lady asking you if you want another Sky Juice. The answer is always yes.
Underneath the Manor Bar, you will find the biggest nod to colonialism (which I will admit, seemed a little strange and potentially problematic) in the form of an eclectic restaurant that was, up until last month, called Commonwealth. Despite the concept, our dinner of Beef Wellingtons and Chocolate Block wine, lamb chops, gnocchi, grouper and pavlova was excellent. They had a beautiful breakfast buffet as well, with the option of going for a continental spread, or adding a little to access all the hot foods and (wait for it) an avocado toast station, with optional poached eggs and garnishes, all made to order. As of the date of publication, the restaurant has now been changed to one that focuses exclusively on Indian cuisine, called Malam. I suspect their breakfast will continue to be an international spread.
The final Rosewood dining spot we tried, and my favourite dining space in the whole resort, was Costa. The breakfast buffet is international, but the lunch and dinner offerings are Latin American in their focus.
We also asked Costa to cook our welcome night dinner under the stars, which featured round tables spread throughout the pools and lawn area, and a menu of salads, ceviches, tacos, braised short rib, churros, tres leches cake, and so much more. It was absolutely stunning. If you’re lucky, a huge part of experiencing The Bahamas is to catch a Junkanoo performance. We asked these awesome performers to surprise our guests, which turned out to be a great way to kick off the evening.
The only dining place in the Rosewood property I didn’t try was Tingum, a chic beachside fishshack. Other fantastic dining experiences within the Baha Mar complex include Carna, a sophisticated steakhouse under the patronage of eighth-generation master Italian butcher, Dario Cecchini, and Shuang Bao, which is an upscale Chinese restaurant that specializes in Peking Duck. Above all else, do not confuse Shuang Ba (which is hidden away a few steps and around the corner from Manor Bar) with Stix, the pan-Asian restaurant across from the Starbucks that did not inspire much confidence. If you don’t want to leave the beach, there are also a few standard food trucks located on the Grand Hyatt side near the flamingos.
There are luxury resorts, and then there is the Rosewood Baha Mar. The towels are fluffier. The sand is whiter. The pools are so quiet and designed in such a way that you sometimes feel like you’re the only person in the whole world who is there. There’s a spa and gym to keep up your health if you so choose. There is an infinite number of things to do in the city that can all be arranged with a short chat with the concierge onsite. In short, the Rosewood Baha Mar ticks off all the boxes for the kind of escape where you can leave all your troubles behind and just relish in the fine details of a well-designed resort.
You should stay here if: you appreciate high-quality experiences, are happy to spend on service, the cost is of no concern, and plan on really relaxing and embracing the space you’re in. Ideal for couples (especially for honeymoons and special occasions), a solo trip to relax, and for vacationing with the in-laws.
You should not stay here if: you have a bunch of adventure-seeking children in tow, you hate to “waste money on just food”, or if you are looking for an all-inclusive pricing structure.
Booking your trip: prices fluctuate quite dramatically depending on the season, so I would recommend setting up an alert to get the best price for the flexible date range you wish to visit in. I would also recommend reading more about all the pros and cons of each resort and book through TripAdvisor. The resort will also be happy to recommend fun day trips and city tours for you to take advantage of the surrounding area.
Getting there: The Bahamas is only a short flight from several major US and Canadian cities (there is a direct 3-hour flight from Toronto), making it extremely accessible for a weekend or weeklong trip. The resort is a 10 to 15-minute drive from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) and Baha Mar will arrange a shuttle service for you. If you are taking a taxi (although you are unlikely to require this), it will cost around $20-25 USD.
Planning a conference: Most of you reading this post will not be in the specific position of planning a conference here, but if you are looking for any insights, please feel free to contact me directly. We had a very positive experience overall, and I would highly recommend it.
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