As the blazing heat blared from the August sun in Tennessee, I soaked up what was left of the summer. I’d just gotten back from Jamaica for my best friend’s birthday trip while I was deciding how I would spend my 30th. In previous years, I’d organized a themed party and engaged traditional birthday mantras. I sat on the couch, scrolling through footage of my recent trip, and then I immediately hoped on Expedia.com and told my husband I was booking a trip for us to explore the Bahamas. Just a short time after this, Hurricane Dorian would leave a few of the islands in devastation. We’d heard the woes of friends and family who knew we’d be traveling to the Bahamas, and we contemplated canceling our trip until I did the following.
Tip #1: If you’re traveling anywhere, read the reviews of the most recent travelers. Moreover, view their photos and their videos. There is not a more important place to do so than social media. I searched hashtags on Instagram for natives and travelers. I, then, DM’d them to get real accounts. I viewed their footage and took all of their testimonials into account. Most said they had a remarkable experience in Nassau, which was where our trip would commence. The verdict was in, and we were going to the white sandy beaches. I even learned the fun fact from a native that the Bahamas has over 700 islands. Who knew?!
When we book trips, I try to book package deals as you tend to save a couple of hundred bucks. Since it was hurricane season, the rates for the SLS Baha Mar were much less than peak season prices.
Where to Stay
The flight to the Bahamas is a relatively short one as it just off the coast of Miami. We’d booked an experience at the SLS Baha Mar not only because of the rate but also because we love resorts that offer a variety of experiences. We didn’t have to leave the resort for anything. Moreover, we felt extremely safe and comfortable in this lavish abode on the beach.
When we got off of the plan, we immediately were greeted by a wall of White Hennesey, which you cannot buy in the United States. Mr.Sweet and I have traveled quite a few places, but we’d never seen it as cheap as it was in Nassau. It was $50.00 for this luxury bottle of brown liquor. We bought one bottle and vowed to find it at the resort or a Nassau liquor store for cheaper. We were wrong and should’ve bought it at the Airport.
So, here is tip #2: Buy your Alcohol at the Airport. It is cheaper than anywhere I’ve ever seen.
SLS Baha Mar is beautiful. From the moment you arrive at the resort until the moment you leave, you’re inundated with the glitz and glamour, yet relaxation that this place offers. We spent our days at one of the endless pool offerings sipping some of the best drinks we’d ever had. As the sun dipped each day, we’d have the most in-depth conversations about life and gratitude while sipping glasses of champagne in the hot tub next to the ocean.
By day, there are food trucks that you can visit or endless restaurants at your beckoning. You have access to an adult playground of fun. We ventured over to the Privilege Pool Party for only the best Island DJ and daytime entertainment. Then, at night, we’d made our way to the Bond Nightclub. SLS Baha Mar is just one of many hotels in the Baha Mar landscape.
All of the hotels have access to each other’s restaurants, shopping, and more. The hotels are connected so that you can have easy access to all of the amenities. There’s even a casino in SLS Baha Mar where you can play every game possible.
Tip #3: Bring Cash to the Bahamas
With all of the activities on the resort, I suggest bringing cash with you for tipping. Moreover, if you are planning on taking any escapades off property, you can estimate $25 one-way taxi fares. Many of the taxis don’t accept cards.
Where to Eat
As mentioned, the Resorts are absolutely equipt to supply you with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and everything else you can imagine. However, it can get pricy. Every meal or drink that you indulge in is charged to your room. If you’re not careful, you could quickly leave the oasis with a large ledger.
We ventured down to “The Fish Fry.” It is a local strip of restaurants and shopping. Native Bahamians welcome you with open arms and invite you right into their restaurants. We were enticed at the mention of a Bahama Mama (a rum-based drink.) After our ventures to this area, we wanted to experience more culture. The next day, we ate dinner at the Bahama Grill. It’s a local spot just down the road from the Baha Mar area. Eat on the rooftop to enjoy the cool breeze and delicious delights. I enjoyed a jerk chicken plate with rice and peas and of course, a Bahama Mama.
Tip #4: Market and Buy Food
There is a market just down the road from the Baha Mar landscape. Stop there and grab any necessities you think you may want: Gatorade, Gummies, Chips, Oatmeal, Cookies, Pepto Bismol, Advil, etc. You will save yourself the trouble of having to spend $10 on a bag of chips at the hotel. The prices on the resorts are inflated tremendously.
The Bahamas is still a beautiful place with so much culture. While excursions are offered, they aren’t even necessary with all that the SLS Baha Mar has to offer. Indifference from other places I’ve gone to, the excursions in the Bahamas are rather pricey. You can prepare to spend at least $500.
How to Help the Bahamas:
“Every trip, from a friends’ getaway to a business conference, will help the country’s effort in rebuilding the affected islands. Tourism accounts for more than half of the country’s economy and a healthy tourism industry is essential to the people of The Bahamas.
“Travelers can do something for The Bahamas by doing nothing on one of our beaches. Plan a trip to Nassau, Paradise Island, and the Out Islands. Our beautiful island nation is ready to welcome you,” said Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism.
Many of the more than 6 million people who visit The Bahamas each year spend their time on Nassau and Paradise Island, which were not impacted. If you want to kick back on the beach with an umbrella drink, you can feel good doing it. Many resorts and hotels, like Atlantis, Paradise Island and Baha Mar, have already supported relief efforts in major ways, and hoteliers will be offering incentives and voluntourism opportunities soon. Check out Bahamas.com for updates regularly.”
Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
Weber Shandwick, Public Relations for The Bahamas