Mexico and the Caribbean

9 of the Best Bahamas Resorts with Every Amenity Under the Sun

Whether you're looking for a sophisticated romantic retreat or an expansive family resort with every amenity under the sun, you can't go wrong at one of these Bahamas resorts.

Gazing out from the top of Elbow Cay’s 120-foot-tall Elbow Reef Lighthouse, I’m looking at perhaps the prettiest view in the Bahamas. Sailboats are bobbing in the bay and green fingers of land are stretching into glimmering water that shifts from neon turquoise to midnight blue.

I wonder if this day of island-hopping in the Abacos has peaked on our very first stop. Luckily my concern is unfounded. Next, we anchor on Lubbers Quarters where we order one serving of smoked fish dip from delightfully divey Cracker P’s Bar & Grill, then another. Bellies full, we set a course for Great Guana Cay to play bocce ball on the sand at Grabber’s Bed, Bar & Grill. As the sunset turns the sky creamsicle-orange and I finish my umpteenth goombay smash, I know I’m done for—the Bahamas has me head-over-heels.

I’m not the first to swoon over this archipelago of 700 islands that are known worldwide for its sugar sand and superlatively clear water. Snorkelers, divers, beachcombers and seclusion seekers flock here to find quintessential island bliss. From bustling Nassau to the Out Islands you never knew you needed, here are some of the best resorts in the Bahamas.

A Bahamas Resort For Sailing Enthusiasts

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The 120-mile-long string of islands known as the Abacos attracts sailing enthusiasts from across the world, and no other area resort captures that boat-loving vibe better than the Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour—a 72-room haven on Great Abaco Island. The onsite DiveTime shop offers scuba and snorkeling tours, and the concierge can arrange sport-fishing outings, day sails, and sunset cruises. Or charter a boat to island-hop to nearby isles where golf carts and bikes are the only modes of transport.

Back at the resort, take advantage of two pools and gratis kayaks and paddleboards. After all that activity, you deserve a drink: Snappas Grill & Chill—just a quick walk from the hotel—keeps things entertaining with live music on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Bonus: For the little ones, Abaco Beach Resort’s unique Bahama Buddies Program pairs visiting kids with local children for activities like crafts, nature walks, and fishing.

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Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour

7.8 Good (276 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
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Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour

7.8 Good (276 reviews)

Home to the Famous "Moon Pools"

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Pink-sand beaches, pineapple farms and “moon pools” draw visitors to Eleuthera, a pristine Out Island that was unoccupied when English colonists began settling it in the 1700s. Only 2 miles wide by 110 miles long, the isle now attracts couples seeking seclusion and simplicity—and The Cove supplies both in spades. Wind down with carefree diversions like kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, and touring the onsite organic garden. Or remain completely inert in a hammock and in the hilltop infinity pool.

When you’re ready to explore, fascinating natural attractions range from caves and a blue hole to the Queen’s Bath—a series of coastal pools formed by rock formations filled with sun-heated ocean water. Then return to one of just 55 rooms, cottages, suites, and villas; the cozy standalone cottages exude charm, while the three-bedroom villa boasts its own pool and butler.

As dusk falls, admire the view from the open-air sunset bar, then cuddle up for a private movie screening.

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The Cove Eleuthera

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (299 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
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The Cove Eleuthera

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (299 reviews)

Nassau's Newest Resort

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Nassau’s newest resort is also its most conservation-minded. Opened in 2017 on Cable Beach, the 1,000-acre Grand Hyatt Baha Mar complex comprises the BEACH Sanctuary, where guests of the development’s three high-end hotels can feed and interact with sea turtles, nurse sharks, stingrays, sea stars and reef fish (for free) while learning about protecting these native Bahamian species. The resort highlights land animals as well with an aviary and a flamingo habitat.

Guests also have access to 40-plus dining options; the Jack Nicklaus–designed Royal Blue Golf Course; a flagship ESPA; and the largest casino in the Caribbean. Each Baha Mar hotel has its own personality, but Grand Hyatt is easily the most kid-friendly thanks to the Dean’s Blue Hole pool, complete with waterfalls and a grotto that looks into a BEACH Sanctuary tank. Families can also take advantage of the Explorers Club (ages 3 to 12), watch dancing fountains, ply the sea on complimentary kayaks, and play jumbo lawn games like bocce ball, chess, Connect Four, cornhole, and Jenga.

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Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Top rated
Nassau, 2.4 miles to Ardastra Gardens
8.6 Excellent (2004 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Top rated
Nassau
8.6 Excellent (2004 reviews)

The Toniest Address On Paradise Island

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Paradise Island’s toniest address became a Four Seasons property in 2017, but the Ocean Club has been attracting a whos-who of guests since opening in 1962. Celebs like Zsa Zsa Gabor, William Randolph Hearst, and Burl Ives once spent their holidays among the resort’s villas, lawns and gardens; now you can keep your eyes peeled for the likes of Jay-Z and Beyoncé when soaking in the Ocean Pool, lounging on the white-sand beach, or pampering yourself in the Balinese-inspired spa.

Gourmet cuisine takes center stage at DUNE by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose menu mixes French, Asian and Bahamian influences. Before tucking in, take a sunset stroll through the Versailles Gardens (inspired by France’s notorious palace) and 12th-century French Cloister, shipped from overseas and reassembled piece by piece. The gardens and cloister are open to the public, but Ocean Club guests have the closest proximity—and access to the adults-only Versailles Pool. Families also find plenty to love here, from a kids’ clubhouse to afternoon milk and cookies.

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The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

Top rated
Nassau, 3 miles to Ardastra Gardens
8.8 Excellent (180 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

Top rated
Nassau
8.8 Excellent (180 reviews)

Swim with the Pigs

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If cavorting with the legendary swimming pigs is on your bucket list, the Grand Isle Resort and Spa is a 78-villa enclave on Great Exuma that can make it happen. The resort works with local tour operators to bring guests to uninhabited Big Major Cay to take selfies with the island’s wild swine. Other nature encounters include shark tagging, bird watching, and spying iguanas and stingrays. (For the safety of both travelers and animals, avoid feeding or touching wildlife.)

More into A-listers than animals? The property can also arrange sightseeing excursions past feature-film locations (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestThunderball, Splash) and vacation homes of the rich and famous (Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Chuck Norris, John Travolta).

But leave time to relax as well. Days spent at the hotel’s 23° North Beach Club—opened spring 2019 with an infinity pool and private beach—give way to nights dining on fresh seafood at the Palapa Grill. Plus, an Island BBQ & Junkanoo Bonfire on the Beach takes place once a week.

For families, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom villas provide plenty of room for the whole crew, and Hummingbird Hut team members treat kids to treasure hunts, paddling adventures, boogie boarding, and more (ages 5 to 12, must be able to swim).

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Grand Isle Resort and Spa

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (380 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Grand Isle Resort and Spa

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (380 reviews)

For All Things Hemingway

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When Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the tiny Bahamian island of Bimini in 1935, he never could have imagined the 750-acre leisure village of Resorts World that would open almost 80 years later. The complex—which welcomed a 305-room Hilton in 2015—continues to honor the author’s legacy with daily fishing charters and Hemingway’s, a sports bar that joins nine other eateries scattered around the grounds.

The resort’s list of activities is exhaustive; if you can’t decide between water sports, gambling, shopping or spa-ing, three pools are calling your name (families prefer the Sabor pool, while couples retreat to the rooftop adults-only infinity pool). That said, the white sand and aqua waters are the real stars here, so post up at the property’s private Paradise Beach, where you can float the day away in an ocean hammock. Or rent a golf cart to explore the shore at your own pace. (Favorite strands include Radio Beach, Blister Beach and Spook Hill.)

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Hilton At Resorts World Bimini

7.9 Good (1780 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
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Hilton At Resorts World Bimini

7.9 Good (1780 reviews)

An Adults-only Paradise

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All-inclusive fans find several options in the Bahamas, but the Warwick is an adults-only tower on Paradise Island and is one of the destination’s newest additions. Debuted in 2016, it comprises 250 cheerful rooms that flaunt a fresh, modern vibe, and the sprawling lagoon pool overlooks Nassau Harbour. But let’s be honest—you want to hear about the food. Five restaurants dish up a variety of eats: all-day buffet dining at Verandah, à la carte Italian at Abbiocco, Asian dishes at Tings on a Stick, poolside grub at Chickcharnie’s Pizzeria & Grille, and surf and turf at Edgewater Grill.

Plus, guests are never far from a drink: Hog Bar serves the small private beach, while Rum Cay Lobby Bar rules the night with live music and karaoke. If you need a change of scenery, a complimentary cart whisks guests to the island’s popular Cabbage Beach, where umbrellas, loungers and a picnic box lunch are waiting.

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Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas - All Inclusive - Adults Only

Top rated
Nassau, 2.9 miles to Ardastra Gardens
8.7 Excellent (2124 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas - All Inclusive - Adults Only

Top rated
Nassau
8.7 Excellent (2124 reviews)

A Bahamas Resort with a More Intimate Feel

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With its colorful facade, white trim and tin roof, the Pelican Bay at Lucaya is a 184-room boutique on Grand Bahama that offers a more intimate feel while still extending resort amenities like three pools, an onsite playground, and Waterside Staterooms with kitchenettes.

Days pass idly at Bones swim-up bar, where guests on whimsical floaties drink daiquiris, mojitos, and Bahama Mamas to their hearts’ content. For more action, Lucaya Beach is an eight-minute walk away, and Port Lucaya Marketplace—with its 80 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes—is even closer.

When hunger strikes, conch fritters, Bahamian lobster and fish-fillet sandwiches fill the menu of the hotel’s waterfront Sabor Restaurant & Bar. Still, any visitor to Grand Bahama will want to save Wednesday night for the island’s weekly fish fry, where the entire population comes together for food, drinks, and late-night dancing.

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Hotel Pelican Bay At Lucaya

7.9 Good (1262 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
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Hotel Pelican Bay At Lucaya

7.9 Good (1262 reviews)

The Largest Resort in the Caribbean

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The Coral at Atlantis is the largest resort in the Caribbean and has been making headlines since first opening on Paradise Island in 1998, and the numbers are mind-boggling. To start, water-lovers splash happily in 11 swimming pools, a 14-acre dolphin habitat, and a 20 million–gallon water park. The stats on land are no less eyebrow-raising: 5 miles of sugar sand, 40 bars and restaurants, and a 30,000 square-foot spa. And then there’s the main attraction: 50,000 sea creatures dwelling in the world’s biggest open-air marine environment.

The rooms (3,414, to be precise) are broken out into six hotels; The Coral is the most centrally located and underwent a complete face-lift in 2017. After sun-kissed days splashing in the renovated Coral Pool, cool off with treats from the Sun & Ice gelato and ice-cream parlor, set in The Coral’s lobby.

Cruise passengers and other visitors can buy day passes to Atlantis’ smorgasbord of attractions, but guests get it all included. That means more cash left over to splurge at Crystal Court and the Marina Village, two duty-free shopping areas featuring everything from Dooney & Bourke to Bahamian handicrafts.

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The Coral at Atlantis

7.8 Good (2207 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
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The Coral at Atlantis

7.8 Good (2207 reviews)

Featured image courtesy of Forest Simon, Unsplash