Hotel was grate, however, there was an unexpected service fees slap at your face upon checking in. I was dissatisfied on the hidden fees and overall fees mandated to pay. It’s a disservice an unethical to present someone with hidden fees upon checking in. Especially after booking and led to believe your payment made up front was final. This leaves you in a bind not expecting to hear of these ridiculous fees. I would definitely warn anyone who books a vacation packages through an online transaction. It’s an unscrupulous business move. Very distasteful and not appreciated. In addition, breakfast was advertised as free online only to discover it was not upon checking in, another distasteful experience.
So, you’ve likely read the many reviews on Baha Mar. You know that Atlantis is akin to MGM Grand Las Vegas while Baha Mar is akin to Aria. You know that everything is going to be 25% more than what you had initially priced out because of the 15% automatic gratuities that are added to everything and the variety of VAT taxes that will be assessed. You probably know that your quoted room rate is just the tip of the iceberg because you’ll also need to add the daily twenty-dollar-and-change housekeeping fee plus the $60’ish resort fee. Bottom line … it’s a great place to vacation but it’s going to be pricey. On our end, our party is a mom, dad, a 14-yr old girl and a 12-yr old boy. Here are a few tips to perhaps stretch your dollars out a bit more here at Baha Mar. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, so these observations mostly focus on that property. 1. Don’t be afraid to plan meals at the fast-casual Chinese restaurant (Stix) and the fast-casual Italian restaurant (Pizza Lab) as the food there is actually quite good. For the 4 of us, eating at any of the fine dining spots (more on that later) would routinely bring the bill to over $200 (and we didn’t order any alcohol!) once the VAT and gratuities were added. You could probably keep the bill to about $120 or so at these fast-casual but no less delicious eateries. I can’t comment on the only other fast-casual, Sugar Factory, as we never ate there. 2. Of the all the fine dining restaurants we tried (which included Cinko, Cleo, Fi’lia), our dollars went farthest at Cleo. That’s the Mediterranean restaurant located on the SLS side. I say this because they offer a Mezze platter for 2 for $120. It consists of several proteins and sides and I think that it was enough to feed our family of four (although we did add in one more appetizer). So, perhaps two Mezze platters for a party of 6 adults could be enough. In any case, this was the only dinner that we had where the total bill came in under $200 and we felt full (I think the bill was about $175). Moreover, it’s not that it was the only meal that held value, but I thought it was the tastiest of the three restaurants that we tried. 3. Breakfast? Hmmm… Starbucks is always reliable and not really overpriced. Café Madeleine is very good and reasonable and something you should try, although the selections are a bit limited (their best items are the honey-infused fruit plate and the French toast; we were able to get breakfast for under $100 after the VAT and gratuity). If you need a buffet though, there are two. The Regatta and the aforementioned Cleo. IMHO, Regatta is the better option. There are more food options on display. But, in keeping with stretching your dollar, this one is the better value overall. Cleo is $10 more per adult, with a price tag of $55. Also, Cleo’s “adult” pricing starts at 6 years old. Regatta comes in at $44 for an adult, $15 for any child 11 and under. Regatta gets the nod here on every level that counts. 4. The housekeeping fee includes up to 4 bottles of Dasani water brought to your room every day. And, you’re going to want water. Even if you didn’t finish the water from the night before, hide the unopened ones so that housekeeping gives you four more when they clean the room. If you totally run out of water, you can actually find complimentary bottles of Dasani in the Departure Lounge (Grand Hyatt West, lobby level). Obviously, don’t abuse this secret. Take one bottle if you need one. Don’t be THAT tourist. If you purchase Dasani from somewhere on property, that will cost about $4. 5. There is actually a place where you can get some “free” drinks. And, that’s at the entrance of the Grand Hyatt West lobby entrance (by the bell hop). Between 11a’ish and 4:30’ish every day, there is someone there who will gladly give you a cup of either punch (non-alcoholic) or rum punch. There is no tip jar there, but I know that leaving them $1 is something they’d appreciate. Every time I walked from one part of the hotel to the other, I would find a way to make my way past this punch station. It probably saved me $50 in drinks a day that I would’ve spent otherwise at a bar. 6. The casino – although I admit my lack of planning costs me in this department, but I don’t usually bring loads of cash to a casino nor do I establish casino credit. If I feel like I want to play, I usually will take money out of my credit card (I have a card through my credit union that I keep handy solely for this purpose). I bring this up because the fee for withdrawing from your credit card here at Baha Mar is 3% of the amount withdrawn. That is actually incredibly reasonable. Here in Washington DC at the nearby MGM Grand National Harbor, that fee is 7%. And, most of the casino properties in Las Vegas levy 5%. 7. Invest in an afternoon at the Beach Club within the water park. Let’s assume that you plan to be at the water park all day. Let’s also keep in mind that we have the mom/dad/two kids scenario. This Beach Club is a premium experience within the water park. It’s a private area where you can rent an all-day chaise lounge chair for one adult ($100); a two-person day bed ($200); or a cabana (not sure of costs). This private area gives you access to their gorgeous infinity pool and a private bathroom area. But what made this worth it for us is that the entire $200 (we rented the day bed) can be used as food credit while you’re there. The food comes from a beachfront restaurant called 25 Degrees North, so the food is “high-end” as opposed to coming from a hot dog stand / burger stand. Technically, we purchased the day bed so only two of us are allowed in that private area. But the monitors are pretty lax about letting kids come in and out to connect with their parents. In any case, the kids would probably just check in with their parents, grab some food, and then head back to the main water park anyway. So, the $200 entry for us equated to good food throughout the day, private time for mom and dad, wading in the infinity pool (or joining up with the kids in the water park). BTW, while I say it’s $200, it’ll be $250 when you get the bill due to the VAT and auto gratuity. 8. Finally, consider whether this (or Atlantis) is where you really want to go. Let’s say you’re a solo business traveler and you find that you have meetings to attend / work to do from 9a-5p. You won’t then be able to enjoy the water park or the swimming pools (they all close at 6p). Do you then really need to stay at a property like this (as well as Atlantis) that charges $80’ish extra dollars for water park access and 4 bottles of Dasani daily? Or maybe your goal is to try the local island cuisine (like the restaurants of the Fish Fry where a taxi ride will be $22 one way there) more than just once. You may just want to find a different property all-together in downtown Nassau where you can still enjoy the island vibes and proximity to Bahamian culture without being charged all those fees for services you won’t really use and taxi costs that you can otherwise avoid.…
From the minute we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff. Korine at the check in desk was able to find us a room that was ready (we arrived at 1). The loungers at the beach club were worth every penny. The waiters and waitresses were excellent at every restaurant we went to. We will be back, but not in January again due to unruly and undisciplined kids. We found out that 3 weeks in January is an orthodox holiday. The children were totally out of control so we spent a lot of time avoiding the kids. Thank goodness for Adult only areas
Grand hyatt The hotel is great but the housekeeping in the worse I have encountered. Day one- three adults in a room with only two robes. Body soap bottle was empty and broken. Day two- did not leave any face towels or floor mat. Day three - did not fill the krurig coffee pods. Did not leave any water in room and again not enough towels Day four - can back to the room at three and room was not made up. They said they would send some one up. It was 4 and still not done. From a day at the pool, we needed to shower. Lucky we had dry beach towels. We do not need room to be made up. Just need fresh towels. They really need to have better accountability of house keeping. So far every day we had to call. Not what to expect from any Hyatt. Day 5. All was good until discovered that they did not leave extra toilet paper. We actually ran out before we asked for more.…
Resort was absolutely beautiful as well as pools and ocean/beach. I expected to pay a little bit more for food and drink, but it was unbelievably more expensive than I had assumed it would be! Borderline gouging. I don’t plan to go back simply because of how much it cost for food and drink.
I will warn you the resort and its vendors are expensive. That being said, you get what you pay for! The resort has plenty of pools, beach space, casino, and even access to the connected water park. Service is top notch. They make check-in easy. Further, if you realize you've forgotten something, they will most likely have it at hand to give or lend. We ran out of toothpaste and they came back with not only a travel size tube, but also a brush and mouthwash. The pools are kept clean even though they are rather busy. They have a few depending on what you are looking for. I appreciate the 18+ pool to avoid some of the craziness. However, I spent most of my time down by their beach. I did not spend time at the casino, but you do need to walk thru it to get pretty much anywhere. They are attached to a conference center which was also well maintained. The water park is cool, but I will review that separately.…
Be prepared to spend a lot as this is a premium resort but in return you’ll receive fantastic quality everywhere (food, shops, casino, pools (There must be 2-dozen of them!) and exceptional, friendly service and amenities throughout. Great place!
The hotel was overcrowded and highly overpriced. I would not recommend staying here. There were hidden fees with each transaction. I will say that the rooms were clean and the staff courteous and professional.
What a superb experience. Outstanding staff and facilities. Gorgeous surroundings including tennis courts and golf. Not only beaches were pristine, but well kept and constantly groomed. And the water park, is just the icing in the cake.
The property is gorgeous. The staff is not as friendly as most resorts I have stayed at in other countries. I was overcharged on my resort fee by almost double for the 7 nights we stayed. Had to jump through hoops to get it resolved. When you check in they will charge your card $150/night that you stay assuming that that is what you will spend, and you will! My husband and I didn't have a single meal under $100. Everything is outrageously priced. We were shocked. I felt like I was on vacation in Norway with the cost of everything. Just beware that it will be an expensive vacation.