"Managing expectations" is a big key to many aspects of life. Vacationing is no different. We are a well traveled family (Antigua, Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and others) and have stayed in some very nice resorts (including other all-inclusive), as well as, some pretty plain hotels. It all depends on the reason for the trip. For this trip we were looking for anywhere warm, with beautiful waters and beach, without spending a fortune (would rather spend the same money on two trips instead of one).
This was our first time to the Bahamas, but other family had been there multiple times. We didn't want to spend the money for the Atlantis and the Comfort Inn was booked (it gives you access to the Atlantis, for less $). We have stayed at several Riu properties, but it was booked as well.
Now the Paradise Island Harbour Resort. It is an older property, nothing fancy. As the name indicates, it is on the Harbour side, with boats (from yachts to cargo ships) going by all the time. We liked seeing most of the ships, but if you want to overlook the blue ocean you will be disappointed. The staff was very pleasant and polite. You always hear "thank you for coming to the Bahamas." That being said, they call it "island time" for a reason. After all that is one reason you go there right? Just realize, if you are use to the service at a resort in the Yucatan they are no where close. Other Bahamian resorts might be different, but this has been my experience in the Caribbean. It's just a slower, laid back pace. The rooms are OK, the bathrooms a little small and need an upgrade. The balcony rooms overlook the pool and harbour side, probably only 40 or so balcony rooms total. The big negative about having a balcony room is the noise at night. They had a live band one night and a DJ another. The music goes until 11:00 pm. Let's just say the music inside our room (8th floor) was louder than if we would have been playing the music in our own room. Being forced to listen to "DJ Slick Rick" until 11:15 while trying to relax on vacation was less than desirable. The need to have a seperate place for the music, without bother others who don't want it.
Beach access: There is beach access, with a pretty simple 10 minute walk. It is located to the south side of the Riu. Beautiful waters and sand! Many people will be there to offer you chairs, umbrellas, jet ski, and other water sports. If you are interested, great, if not just say "no thank you" and they are fine with it. We would go over to the main beach after breakfast, then come back to the resort for a late lunch, then get more sun time at our resort. (just grab some fruit to hold you over).
Food: We were actually impressed with the food. The taste was pretty good of everything we ate, with a pretty good salad bar. The pool grill was OK for basic fried food (recommend trying the Conch Fritters). The main buffet room is not fancy, like the rest of the resort. At night, the reservation restaurant was very good. We had the prime rib, pasta, and roasted chicken. It was all very good.
Summary: The resort is about a 25 minute cab ride from the airport. Cost us $45 (for 4 people) + $5 tip. We were glad we stayed on Paradise Island verses on the Nassau side, but wouldn't be afraid to stay there either. Did travel over to the straw market, queen's stairs, and a fort. A water taxi was fun to take across the harbour. It is located under the north bridge ($8/person round trip). If you're a beach person (likely if going to the Bahamas) plan on walking over by the Riu. It gets a little crowded when all the cruise ships port in. Walk south of the hotels along the beach for more seclusion if you like. We felt very safe the entire trip. After 6pm the aquarium is free at the Atlantis, for a cheap fun night. If you are willing to spend another 1K-1500, would probably upgrade to another resort. If money is tight, the Paradise Island Harbour Resort should fit the bill. For us the resort was the cheapest of all hotels and included all the food. That being considered we were happy with our choice. It was somewhere in between average and very good. We had a great trip, but still prefer Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. What a blessing it was to go. Travel on!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Best Value Of All-Inclusive Bahamas Hotels And Resorts......... great views of Nassau Harbour, picturesque scenery, and exciting recreation for the entire family at Paradise Island Harbour Resort. This resort is the perfect waterfront location - overlooking the harbor and ocean inlet plus unlimited food, beverage, music nightly,pre-planned daily activities....... all for 1 all-inclusive rate. Let your stress melt away amid cool ocean breezes, a private beach and spectacular 380,000-gallon pool. Take advantage of complimentary water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving lessons. We're the ideal escape for anyone seeking fun in the sun. And if you're feeling a bit adventurous, you're just steps from Atlantis and a host of boutique shops, gourmet dining, fabulous casinos, and the world's largest marine exhibit. Lose yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of our Paradise Island Bahamas hotel, which offers spacious accommodations in a breathtaking setting:Located just across the bridge and harbor from Nassau, the historic downtown capital, minutes from world-class golf, wind surfing, scuba diving, and fishing and within walking distance to all the excitement of Atlantis Casino, and shops. Nassau International Airport (NAS)is a short 30 miles (30 minutes) away. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Paradise Island Harbour Resort All Inclusive Hotel Paradise Island
- Paradise Island Harbour Hotel
- Paradise Island Harbor Resort
- Paradise Island Resort
- Paradise Island Harbour Resort All Inclusive Bahamas