We booked a last minute one-way flight (since we were unsure of when we would have to go home) on Vision Airlines and stayed at the Grand Lucayan. We were hoping to be able to stay one week.
I was somewhat skeptical going into this trip but since it was a nonstop flight we decided to give the Bahamas another try. We visited Paradise Island about 10 years ago and stayed at the Atlantis. Compared to Mexico, we felt the Bahamas fell short in almost every way after that trip. I am happy to report that our trip to Grand Bahama has changed my mind about the Bahamas!
We stayed at the Grand Lucayan. We booked on hotwire on our way to the airport. The "4 star beach front with golf nearby" is the Grand Lucayan. We got a good rate but keep in mind that the hotel will charge you $9 per person resort fee and they also came up with a $16 per day service charge. I have yet to figure out where that came from. That totalled an extra $34 per day on top of what we paid hotwire. This was the only complaint I have about our stay. I knew about the resort fee ahead of time but the service fee was new to me. I don't think anyone likes surprises that involve paying more money. Overall I believe we still paid a fair price but not as good as if you purchase a package (which we usually do but were not able to do this time which turned out to be a good thing you'll find out about later!).
Customs/immigration was a breeze at the very small airport and our luggage was already on the belt waiting for us by the time we got there. We arrived at the Grand Lucayan and true to what I have read here on TA, the check in line was long and took a good while. It took almost an hour but we finally got to our room.
We mostly stayed around the resort but we did rent a car one day from Island Jeep Rental. We drove to Paradise Cove. It was lovely and we saw 2 small turtles about half-way out. I got some great pictures of them. They were beautiful!
We also drove to the East End and the Lucayan National Park and Gold Rock Beach. The beach here is so beautiful. I wish we could have returned and spent more time. I guess we'll just have to do that next time! We also visited Taino Beach. We also golfed at the reef course one day.
We spent most of our time at the resort and Port Lucaya. We definitely needed some down time and boy did this vacation deliver. You know you are getting your R&R when the biggest decision of the day is "which pool?" or "pool or beach today?".
The resort is nice with lots of activities around the pools if you are interested. Fridays and Saturdays were a lot busier than the rest of the time. This is where our one-way flight paid off for us. We left Louisville on a Thursday, hoping to return the next Thursday. We left the flight open-ended because there was a good chance we would be called back to work before Thursday. Luckily, we were able to stay until Thursday and at that point we were so relaxed and having such a good time we decided to stay until Sunday! So we ended up having a 10 day trip when we were feeling fortunate to just get a few days in the beginning! Since we were there for 2 whole weekends, I can say that the hotel was definitely busier on Fridays and Saturdays.
The room was nice, clean and spcacious. It was nice to have a refrigerator. We had a 10th floor ocean view and let me say the view was awesome. The rooms must be very well insulated because we never heard our neighbors while in our room.
We ate the breakfast buffet at Willie Broadleaf's one day. It was normal buffet fare, including an omelet station. We ate all other meals across at Port Lucaya. Luciano's and Cappacino's were our best meals with the best service but also the most expensive.
There is a Domino's pizza (which will deliver to the hotel for $1) and a Subway. We ate at BillyJoe's one day. My burger was good and my boyfriend loved the snapper.
Service at the restaurants was much better than I anticipated, however, we did run into some poor service at Zorba's (I actually think our waiter left) and Red Beard's. We were not impressed with Red Beards, maybe they were having an off night. We also ate at Cafe Breeze, Agave, Le Med (good for breakfast), the Chinese restaurant in the Port (China Hut?)and room service on our first night.
All the locals we met, at the hotel and elsewhere, were very nice. This was so much different than my trip to Paradise Island. Everyone was so friendly and nice. All the staff at the hotel were so very friendly and helpful. We never felt like we were a burden, everyone seemed glad to have you there. We never felt unsafe, even while driving around.
We rented a Hobie Cat one day from Ocean Motion a the Lucayan beach. It was a windy day so we definitely had a good sailing day. Our cell phone would not work most of the time while there which turned into a good thing. Wi-fi did not work so well while in the rooms which also turned out to be a good thing as we were forced to unplug and enjoy the silence. We are so busy in our day to day lives that this trip was just what the doctor ordered. I don't think I heard one horn honk or one siren for 10 whole days. And I didn't hear my cell phone ring once either. It was perfect!
We are glad we gave the Bahamas another chance. We will definitely be back, hopefully sooner than later. Hopefully they keep that nonstop flight around.
I am happy to answer any questions.