Travel Guide – Escape to The Bahamas

Photo: malendyer

Our recent trip to The Bahamas served two purposes, a cheeky getaway from the cold and of course, to source the best options for you so you have the most Otterlicious trip when you make your next escape to The Bahamas.

We are dividing our recommended travel guide into two categories: for those wanting a one-stop-shop and for those wanting a more à la carte experience.

For the One-Stop-Shop

Atlantis Resorts
Set on its own island, Paradise Island, Atlantis Resorts offers nearly everything you would need within its property, from restaurants to water excursions to on-property adventures to night life to much more.

 Photo: atlantis resort
Photo: atlantis resort

They also work to accommodate various price points, starting at the value option of the Beach Tower to the luxury setting of The Cove, pictured below.

Photo: atlantis resort
Photo: atlantis resort

Of course, no matter which option you choose, you will have complimentary access to Aquaventure (the 141-acre water park), pools, aquariums and restaurants.

Photo: atlantis resort
Photo: atlantis resort

And, to the beaches.

Photo: atlantis resort
Photo: atlantis resort

The Otter Take: We were pleasantly surprised by the Atlantis Resorts. We’ve been to all-inclusive resorts before but this one lived up to the hype. What we appreciated most was you could let all of your worries disappear and simply let Atlantis entertain you – no planning, no thinking, just going where the property takes you.

For the À La Carte

For those times you want a little bit more of an adventure and maybe experience more of the local fare, we recommend the following itinerary.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Hotel
Situated in downtown Nassau, the British Colonial offers up its own private beach and lots of marina sightseeing, including cruise ships and yachts.

Photo: british colonial hilton
Photo: british colonial hilton

The building itself dates back to the 1920s and was ran by Sir Harry Oakes; his 1943 murder still remains unsolved.

Photo: british colonial hilton
Photo: british colonial hilton

Tour the City
There are hidden gems within the city, such as walking up the Queen’s Staircase, which is a “102-foot staircase [that] was hand-carved by approximately 600 slaves. [They] used pick axes and hand tools to cut their way through solid limestone, and the entire staircase took over 16 years to complete. It was only decades later the impressive staircase was then named in honor of the 65-year reign of Queen Victoria,” according to Nassau Paradise Island.

Otter Tip: Check out the Frommer’s walking tour of Nassau.

Aqua
Based within the British Colonial, Aqua serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. When we were there, they offered a Caribbean buffet, along with the current menu offerings.

Café Matisse
Behind Parliament Square in Nassau, this gem can be found. From the outside, it appears to be an ordinary restaurant, although, this is a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover.

We first stumbled upon the restaurant before they opened. As we inquired about their opening time, we were quickly offered a private tour of the space. Unbeknownst to us – simply by looking from the outside – there were two floors with indoor and outdoor seating.

Photo: cafe matisse
Photo: cafe matisse

Although they serve lunch, we enjoyed dinner on their outdoor terrace. The food rivaled that of something we would find in New York City while the setting reminded us were were in a beach paradise.

The Otter Take: The à la carte option does require a tad more planning, but if you are looking for a bit more of the authentic Bahamas experience and open for venturing beyond the comforts of your resort, than we recommend this option.

And now, here are the details you need to plan either option:
Atlantis Paradise Island
One Casino Drive
Paradise Island, Bahamas
AtlantisBahamas.com

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Hotel
One Bay Street
Nassau, Bahamas
Hilton – British Colonial

Aqua
One Bay Street – Inside the British Colonial Hilton
Nassau, Bahamas
Hilton – Aqua

Café Matisse
Bank Lane behind Parliament Square, just off Bay Street
Nassau, Bahamas
Café Matisse
NOTE: They are closed on Sunday and Monday and reservations are recommended – 242.356.7012.

P.S. Wherever your Bahamas escape takes you, be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as there are sights to be seen wherever you turn…

Photo: malendyer
Photo: malendyer

Including one of our favs – lighthouses!

Photo: malendyer
Photo: malendyer

Enjoy!