As I sit in the Grand Bahama International airport awaiting our return flight home to the States, I decided to write this article while things are still very fresh in my memory.
This journey began about 2 months ago when I was looking for a special place to get away and to surprise my wife with a trip for our 20th anniversary. I budgeted around $2k, and thought that would be enough for a four day, three night stay at a nice place somewhere in the Bahamas. I researched many different options, including cruises, all-inclusives, and others.
After much reading online in forums, and talking with other friends and family, they all recommended Nassau and Paradise Island. Looking into the pricing options, it made more sense to stay in Nassau rather than Paradise Island, although after visiting Atlantis on Paradise Island, I will tell you that the difference between there and Nassau is night and day. We will talk about that in more detail in just a moment.
I spent several days searching online for the best deals, and I decided to stay at a “Super Club” called The Breezes. They position themselves as a super inclusive resort. Although we have stayed at an all-inclusive before while in Cancun, I had never heard of a super inclusive resort before. According to the research, what that meant was that not only were all meals and beverages included, but so were all of the other activities.
The other activities that they mention were playing water volleyball in the pool, nightly entertainment in the hotel lobby, and use of all non-motorized water activities. They did offer kayaks, small catamarans and small sailboats as part of their amenities.
When we first arrived at Nassau international Airport, we took the cab to the resort. Ernie was the name of our cab driver. He was very pleasant and pointed out a lot of the local scenery. As he dropped us off, he gave us his phone number so that we might be able to call him on the last day of our trip for our return ride to the airport. The cab ride was only $20 and I tipped him another four dollars.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were met by the concierge staff who offered to take our luggage to our room. As we started to walk the steps to the grand entrance of the resort I could begin to see a very beautiful scenery unfolding. Once we got to the top of the steps I could see the entire lobby and how it was open to all the elements. There were no front doors on the building and the very back of the lobby area had giant openings that showed one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen.
The views were breathtaking. We were met at the check-in desk by a gentlemen serving a very tropical drink. After a few issues with our key card we finally made it into our room. The first thing we did was go over to the window and open the curtains. Wow! What an amazing view. We were able to see a full view of the swimming pool as well as the ocean. The water in the pool and the water in the ocean actually matched. I told my wife that the trip to the Bahamas could have ended right then and there, and that would have been all worthwhile for me. I had experienced what I had come to see… That is, the most beautiful waters in the world! However, this trip wasn’t just about me, but about celebrating 20 years of a wonderful marriage.
Although the room was clean, it was old and dated and did not match the hotel lobby area. It was also lacking in seating. The only two places to sit in the entire room… either on the bed, or a hard chair next to the desk. A loveseat or a comfortable chair and Ottoman would have been nice. However, the view made up for it. Besides, we really didn’t plan to spend much time in the room anyway. After a short rest in the room, we decided to head out and explore the resort.
After walking the property and having our first couple of cocktails, we realized that this property had tons of potential, but needed a tremendous amount of tender loving care. There were many little things that made the difference. We could see cracked tiles in the swimming pool, loose boards on some of the decking, and unfortunately they certainly were not using top shelf liquors at the bar.
After a short walk on the beach, we decided it was time to try out the buffet. We stepped into the dining area and it felt as though we had just walked into an igloo. We just entered the lobby from the outside, walked down the stairs and through the double doors into the dining area where the temperature dropped by a minimum of 30°. It was at least 65° in there. With the exception of one meal, we ate every meal outside.
Aside from the buffet, the hotel did offer four other restaurants. Unfortunately, they all required long pants in order to dine there. This posed a problem for me because the only clothes that I packed were shorts and comfortable shirts. Needless to say, we never got a chance to dine at any of the other restaurants for the duration of our entire stay. As a side note, we did look for pants while shopping downtown, but the cheapest pair we found were $150.
Day two started with breakfast and an interesting ride downtown to the ferry docks via a local bus. We found the bus ride to be quite interesting, and very affordable at only a $1.25 per passenger. Initially we were going to rent a scooter, but after seeing how the people drive in the Bahamas, I am glad we chose to use public transportation. Driving on the opposite side of the road looks pretty confusing to me as well.
Shortly after we boarded the ferry to take us over to Atlantis, we met another couple who were from the states that came via a cruise ship. As it turned out we were all headed to the aquarium, so we decided to hang out with each other which gave us the opportunity to be able to take pictures of one another.
Atlantis was a very nice, upscale resort property with prices that match. Everything costs money. They have day passes that can be purchased for various activities that start at $39 per person for the “Dig” aquarium tour (Which we did), $69 per person for the “Day at the beach”, or $125 per person for the water park. Although Atlantis was a very nice upscale resort, with incredible surroundings, it appeared to be the most touristy area as well.
As with everything else on Paradise Island even drinks were expensive. I paid $14 for a drink called “Blue Balls” that contained four shots of different rums and a handful of blueberries. Actually, the drink was only $12, but I tipped the young lady two dollars. Although the drink was very expensive, it was the best drink I had during the entire trip.
As the ferry arrived back in Nassau, we said goodbye to our newfound friends. They were headed to a cybercafe and we were going to go shopping and have a bite to eat. Not to mention that they were going to have to head back to the ship soon anyways. We did exchange our information and hope to connect with them again.
After having a late lunch at the Hard Rock Café and doing a little souvenir shopping in downtown Nassau, we headed back to the resort and decided to take an afternoon swim in the pool. We spent the rest of the day and evening just relaxing and taking in the amazing views of the ocean.
Finally we made our way back up to the room, and decided to take a late afternoon/early evening nap. After our nap with freshened up and went back to the buffet for dinner. And yes, we ate outside. After dinner we went to the hotel lobby to check out the entertainment. We ended up going over to the pool tables and played a few games of pool. After a few glasses of wine we decided to call it a night and head back up to the room.
The third day started out with the breakfast buffet, and a conversation about the day. We decided to just hang out and relax. With that in mind we chose to rent a cabana on the beach for the day. The cabana included full butler service. The day was pretty uneventful, and full of delicious tropical drinks and much-needed rest in our little piece of paradise… On cable Beach in the Bahamas.
Our final evening was much the same as the night before. The evening entertainment in the lobby of the hotel was similar to the night before. We found the evening entertainment to be quite boring and in many cases very distasteful.
On our last day, once again we ate at the breakfast buffet, and took a final stroll around the resort. While doing so we met another couple who were there to celebrate their anniversary, and were also from the United States. They had mentioned that this was their third trip to the Bahamas, but that they were not impressed with The Breezes Resort. We could relate to how they felt, and we discussed other locations for our next visit to Nassau and Paradise Island Bahamas.
Overall, we would rate this stay at the Breezes a 7.5 on a scale of 10. The building was old and needed a lot of attention, the food was average for a buffet, the entertainment was marginal at best, but the service was excellent. That is the only reason we gave it even a 7.5. If the service would have been any less, it would not have even been a 5. We did fill out the comment card, and hope that this resort addresses the issues. Otherwise, I could not see myself returning, or being able to recommend to anyone else.
All in all, we had an amazing time, even though the hotel was not the best. Everything else really was. The view, the trip to Paradise Island, the downtown area, meeting new friends, etc. I think it’s just a matter of time before we return to the Bahamas.
While sitting here at the airport, I have been looking at other places to visit in the Bahamas. One of those places is Harbourside Resort on Paradise Island. It is a five-star resort that offers all of the amenities. Through a discount travel club that I found, we are now able to stay in a two-bedroom villa at a five-star resort for only $299 per week! With that kind of a deal you can bet that he will be returning to Paradise Island Bahamas in the very near future.