After 15 years visiting Sarasota, we decided it was time for a change, and I booked the Grand Lucayan in October 2012, for a stay in February 2013. Consequently, as the months passed and I read the reviews, I was increasingly uneasy as to what we would find when we arrived. The situation wasn't helped by the fact that there is no clear explanation on any site I could find, including the Grand Lucayan's, that really provides a good description of the resort e.g what's the difference between Breakers Cay, and the Lanai Suites, or the Reef Village for the matter. A map would be great.
Bottom line, things turned out much better then I expected, and we were completely satisfied. I certainly believe we received full value for our money. As to specifics:
Fabric - look hard enough and you'll find issues at any resort, the Grand Lucayan is no exception, however, it is a big piece of real estate, and a lot of infrastructure right on the sea, in a warm climate. There's going to be rust, some wear and tear, some frayed carpet etc etc etc. There was also a very nice oceanfront room on the 9th floor with a great balcony - the furniture was fine, nice TV and the bathroom was clean and well equipped.
Spa - Absolutely, a bit of a hike from Breakers Cay, but also a nice walk in the morning, lots of equipment, nice staff.
Housekeeping - Room was well serviced, housekeeping staff were very pleasant and very accomodating, No complaints here.
Reception - No wait on arrival or departure, very pleasant, helpful, bell staff were very good as well. Sunday 10th and Monday 11th when two 747's worth of Italian telecommunications types arrived, the reception area in the Manor House was quite simply a mad house. Sometimes things don't work out the way you'd like - patience people, you're in the Bahamas.
Staff - Generally, no complaints, polite, accomodating, interesting to talk to. As with everything, there were a couple of superstars, and a few not so much - certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
Food - won't lie, we strolled over to the Marketplace most of the time. Having said that, we did sample the China Grill - perfectly fine, Willy Broadleafs for breakfast - nothing wrong, just liked sampling the various spots in the Marketplace for breakfast - called room service twice and liked what we got. Really liked the treats at Starbucks - we'd have dinner, walk back and grab a tea and a piece of cake to eat on the balcony, and watch the cruise ships sailing away in the distance.
On that note, clearly the Grand Lucayan makes a mint off the cruise ship day trippers. All I'll say is that they were a mixed bag - some were fine, others were people you wouldn't want as houseguests - bottom line, if you're staying at the Grand Lucayan, the cruise ship day visitors arrive early morning, and start to disappear in the early afternoon to get back to their ships, or head over to the Market for 2 Sands for 5$ at Rum Runners.
So, we enjoyed ourselves, were completely satisfied and would return again. Spent a lot of money, including some at the Casino (don't think Vegas, it ain't) and thought I got good value. Sandals? The Ritz? no, it was the Grand Lucayan and it was just fine.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Lucayan is an elegant, serene AAA four-diamond resort set on 7.5 tropical acres of sandy coastline and spectacular oceanfront. As part of Grand Lucayan Bahamas Beach & Golf Resort, this 542-room hotel delivers the ambiance of the islands with all of the style and amenities you expect in a Resort destination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Hotel Freeport
- Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort
- Radisson Freeport
- Lucaya Sheraton
- Sheraton Our Lucaya
- Sheraton Bahamas
- Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Freeport, Grand Bahama Island