My annual travel consortia conference found me in Nassau, Bahamas this year… not a bad place to spend some time for work. So I went in a few days early to enjoy the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, and I brought along a couple of friends.
Travel was uneventful, except for a complete lack of time to do anything between flights. Arrived in Nassau around lunch, room was ready at the resort (and upgraded for free!)… dumped our stuff and off we went to explore and find some lunch.
This resort is beautiful! The grounds are immaculate, the staff is amazing, the beach is great (minus a bit of construction going on with the pier and next door – but you never really noticed it). It’s not all-inclusive, so you have to factor in a food and beverage budget, but it’s definitely worth a visit. It shares grounds with the SLS and the Rosewood and you can access their restaurants as well. The pool areas are lovely, with lots of options for full sun or shade, depending on what you like. It’s not near by a lot of things to do off-resort (there’s a small version of a straw market nearby and some stores within a 20 minute walk to so), but there is a bus that goes downtown frequently ($) and a free shuttle between the resorts nearby and the golf course.
Between the SLS, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, and the Rosewood, there’s plenty of options for restaurants – Italian, Mediterranean, steak house, pub, Japanese, cafe, Starbucks, casual options out by the pools, some food trucks down by the beach, and more. You won’t go hungry. In over a week, we didn’t try them all – but we did visit Cleo (the tapas restaurant) three times.
The resort also has a fairly large casino, a night club, a piano bar, plenty of bars and lounges, some Bellagio-style fountains out front, a fitness center, a spa, a few stores selling locally made items, plenty of high-end shopping, an art gallery, and it’s connected to the conference center.
Half of my visit this time around was spent in the conference center, finding out about what’s new and interesting with so many of our amazing suppliers and getting a chance to meet them in person. Highlights included an interesting panel with several of the river cruise companies, inspirational speakers, and happy hour sessions with some great suppliers like Hurtigruten, Air New Zealand, Hawaii Tourism, and Viking. We wrapped up conference with a lovely beach bash courtesy of Carnival Cruise family of brands and Delta.
In between conference sessions and getting in a little relaxing at the beach, we took the opportunity to explore a couple of other resorts in the area. The Meliá Nassau Beach All Inclusive and the Riu Palace Paradise Island.
The Meliá is undergoing renovations and what they have completed so far is looking great. It shares the same beach as the Baha Mar, and it’s a solid option if you are looking for an option that’s not too big with a nice beach. They treated us to a nice dinner in their asian fusion restaurant and it was quite good.
I visited the Riu with one of my colleagues courtesy of Sunwing. They gave us a nice tour around the property (Paradise Island is where you would find Atlantis) and a nice dinner with drinks and music. This property is also on a nice beach and is a nice option that isn’t too big.
All-in-all, Ensemble put on another great conference in a lovely location. It’s brilliant for me to be able to talk to so many suppliers in person all in one place… and I can’t complain when there’s a little beach time thrown in.