Splurge for your Bahamas honeymoon
Mention the phrase “… sophisticated Caribbean” and there’s a good chance the Bahamas will come to mind. The Bahamas has been welcoming well-heeled visitors — from royalty to Hollywood celebrities — for decades.
More than a single island, the Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands, cays, and islets, covering 760 miles. Most visitors set their sights on the islands of New Providence, where the capital Nassau is located, as well as the islands of Grand Bahama, Eluethera, Exuma, Andros and Abaco.
Budget hotels and resorts can be found, but the Bahamas is not an inexpensive destination. But if you’re prepared to splurge, there are several appealing options for newlyweds.
Atlantis Paradise Island
Atlantis Paradise Island is a good recommendation for honeymooners who are looking for the “wow” factor. The resort is an over-the-top Caribbean mashup of Vegas glitz and Disney World diversions. It would take several honeymoons to enjoy everything the resort offers, which includes waterparks, swimming with dolphins, casino action, a spa and restaurants.
The last time I was at Atlantis, filmmaker George Lucas and his family were guests. It seemed fitting since the Atlantis could be a background for a blockbuster film. For the ultimate honeymoon, consider a Deluxe Ocean Suite in The Cove at Atlantis, Autograph Collection, a 600-room hotel. Posted rates at The Cove start at $409 per night.
Honeymooners with a bent for history will love Graycliff Hotel, a property offering overnights in a mansion dating to 1740. Graycliff is a good choice for those who want to be in the heart of Nassau.
Graycliff has a romance package that starts at $510 per person per night for a three-night stay in a Deluxe Room. The hotel also offers honeymooners a complimentary upgrade on a regular twonight stay or longer.
Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas
In the late 1950s, Huntington Hartford II, heir to the A&P supermarket fortune, bought Paradise Island and created the Ocean Club hotel, which hosted celebrities from Zsa Zsa Gabor to William Randolph Hearst. In 2006 the Ocean Club served as a location for the James Bond film Casino Royale. Its current incarnation offers a mix of traditional Caribbean charm with up-to-theminute amenities and resort features. The 107-room and suites beachfront resort also has three villas serviced by butlers.
Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the creative force behind the resort’s DUNE restaurant which serves French-Asian cuisine spiced with a taste of the Caribbean. There also is a Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole Ocean Club golf course, tennis courts, and a spa. Advertised rates online start at $1,110 per night.
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
All-inclusive resorts often bring to mind a lot of frenetic activity and noise. This isn’t so at Sandals Royal Bahamian, which has a more sedate and sophisticated air. Standout features include complimentary scuba diving, and a nearby offshore island, with two beaches, a restaurant, and a beach club.
I recommend booking one of the secluded villas. Rates at Sandals Royal Bahamian start at $274 per person, per night based on double occupancy.
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Honeymooners can put the brakes on the cost of a Bahamas honeymoon by booking the Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort has a prime location in New Providence. Riu resorts tend to be lively, so lovebirds looking for seclusion might find the ambiance a challenge.
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island is just up the road from Atlantis Paradise Island. Rates at Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island hover around $400 per night double occupancy.
Honeymooners can get lovely accommodations for a little less at Pineapple Fields Resort in New Providence ($249 a night) and Sunrise Beach Clubs and Villas in Eleuthera, ($314 a night).
Sandals Royal Bahamian once was the posh Balmoral Club in the 1940s, a favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Honeymooners who love history will love Graycliff Hotel, in a mansion dating to 1740.