Living the Island Life

Writer Rob McGovern | September 7, 2018

Made up of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas is synonymous with paradise thanks to its pristine beaches and crystal-clear seas. Long favoured by celebrities and filmmakers, Nassau, on New Providence island, is the Bahamian capital and a popular spot for those looking for some tropical R&R.

SLS BAHA MAR

Comprised of three properties on Nassau’s Cable Beach, the Baha Mar complex looms large on Nassau and collectively welcomes thousands of guests every week. With a collection of lounges, bars and restaurants, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, an ESPA spa, shopping, a casino and several pools, Baha Mar is popular with everyone from families to those celebrating something special.

One of the three properties, SLS has only recently opened. The open plan lobby is welcoming and comfortable, and Monkey Bar, the property’s lobby bar, is a great place for a pre-dinner drink. Follow this with a sunset drink at Skybar, the only rooftop lounge on New Providence. While children are welcome at Baha Mar, Privilege Pool at SLS offers an adults-only enclave with cabanas, cocktails and light dishes that are served by your dedicated pool concierge.

SLS has some great drinking and dining options. Katsuya offers sushi, sashimi platters and a range of specialty cocktails; Cleo Mediterráneo is the property’s Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that blends local ingredients with traditional dishes; and Fi’lia, from James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Schwartz, offers Italian dishes that are simply prepared with fresh ingredients and includes handmade breads and pasta.

The rooms are calming thanks to a neutral colour palette using white to highlight room accents. Ocean View rooms with balconies mean relaxing with coffee and admiring the azure water before rushing to the beach is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an hour or so after waking. If you need more space, the two-bedroom residences might be the way to go.

www.slshotels.com

ROSEWOOD BAHA MAR

The undisputed jewel in the Baha Mar crown is Rosewood. Chic, elegant and luxurious, the property is also warm and inviting, which follows the company’s ‘A Sense of Place’ philosophy. An area that is much more welcoming than conventional lobbies, it connects to the Library, a room with high ceilings, grand bookcases, and comfortable places to relax and enjoy afternoon tea, specialty coffees, and cocktails.

Designed to make guests feel as if they are at their own beachfront holiday home, the 237-room property, all of which feature private balconies, artworks by Bahamian artists and accent pieces made from rattan, rope and grasscloth to offer a local aesthetic. Rooms are decorated in shades of blue, coral and lavender that give an airy feel that mirrors the island’s beautiful waters. There are four villas, one six-bedroom and three three-bedroom, that have private plunge pools.

Elsewhere in the property, there is  Sense, A Rosewood Spa, two pools with luxury cabanas, access to the aforementioned Jack Nicklaus golf Course and tennis courts.

F&B at Rosewood is, as anyone who has visited one of the brand’s properties will know, very good. Taking cues from local culture and history, Commonwealth is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers dishes from half a dozen Commonwealth countries, so expect mulligatawny soup, fish and chips, and confit duck poutine, in addition to dishes like Bahamian conch chowder. There is also outdoor seating for balmy evenings and the Rum Room for private gatherings. Both pre- and post-dinner drinks can and should be enjoyed at Manor Bar, a sophisticated spot with lovely cocktails.

There is also a poolside restaurant, Costa, which offers coastal cuisine with a twist of Mexico as well as mezcals, tequilas and craft cocktails. Sociable types will enjoy the communal cabanas at Costa which encourage convivial conversation with other guests.

www.rosewoodhotels.com