With pristine beaches, friendly service, and its proximity to the US, the Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. While we always encourage travelers to explore local culture and destinations, you’ll spend a lot of your time in the Bahamas at your resort, so be sure to pick somewhere incredible. We’ve rounded up the best luxury resorts in the Bahamas, including Nassau, Eleuthera, Paradise Island, and even a private island.
Rosewood Baha Mar
Rosewood Baha Mar upped the standards for luxury resorts in the Bahamas when it opened in 2017. This stunning property is located on Cable Beach, a short drive from the Nassau airport. It has 230 rooms, suites, and villas, each thoughtfully designed with a coastal color palette alongside Bahamian art and décor. All rooms have private balconies, which are perfect for enjoying a morning coffee alfresco. The U-shape hotel has lush gardens and two pools at its center, so even the resort-view rooms have pretty vistas to admire. Coming with a group? Rosewood Baha Mar has several villas on properties, as well as immense penthouse suites.
There are several fantastic restaurants on property. Costa is a fan favorite. This Mexican-inspired restaurant serves delicious tacos and fresh ceviche, as well as more substantial main courses. On Sundays, it hosts a fun brunch. In 2021, Daniel Boulud brought his French savoir-faire to the Bahamas with Café Boulud. It specializes in ultra-fresh and refined seafood, and it has an incredible wine list. Rosewood Baha Mar also has the more formal Manor Bar, which is perfect for a nightcap, and the Library. The Library serves high tea in a nod to the island’s British roots (and frequent British visitors). While it might seem odd to have high tea in a tropical destination, it’s actually a fun experience, and they serve some very interesting teas.
The beach is just steps away from the hotel, and the attentive staff sets up well-spaced chairs with ocean views. You can order snacks, lunch, and drinks, of course. We recommend taking your glass of rosé to the floating lounges in the ocean. You can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
While the Rosewood is located within Baha Mar — an immense luxury complex in Nassau that spans three hotels, dozens of bars and restaurants, a 100,000-square-foot casino, and multiple pools — you wouldn’t know that during your stay unless you ventured out. The hotel is completely separate from the other two resorts. Hence, unless you choose to go into the rest of the complex, you won’t even know they’re there. Rosewood guests may make reservations at the other restaurants and bars, but Rosewood’s amenities are exclusively available to its own guests. This ensures a tranquil, luxurious environment at the resort. But, if you’re looking to party, it’s just a few steps away.
The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort
This expansive resort lines five miles of beautiful beach and has 35 acres of formal gardens inspired by Versailles, including a restored 12th-century Augustinian cloister. The juxtaposition of multitiered gardens with stone walls and sculptures and the brilliant blue waters of the Caribbean is quite striking. The gardens also make it one of the best luxury resorts in the Bahamas for weddings. Each building throughout The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort on Paradise Island, is low-rise, which creates an intimate feeling, despite its size. You truly don’t need to leave the resort. It has three pools, a fantastic spa, six tennis courts, and access to the neighboring golf course.
The flagship restaurant is Dune by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is known for his French-Asian cuisine. Here, he adds a Caribbean twist to dishes, such as sesame-crusted salmon with passion fruit or local lobster with curry and fried plantains. There’s also fresh Caribbean fare served at Ocean and French-Mediterranean cuisine at Versailles Terrace. You may recognize The Ocean Club from its starring turn in the James Bond movie Casino Royale, so be sure to order a Vesper martini — shaken, not stirred — at the Martini Bar and Lounge.
The Ocean Club originally opened in 1962 as a tropical escape for the glitterati, and since then it’s been through a few transformations. It was a One & Only property, and in 2017 it joined the Four Seasons portfolio. It’s just a 40-minute drive from the main airport on Nassau.
The Cove is one of the most private and tranquil resorts in the Caribbean. The hotel is located on Eleuthera, a sleepy but beautiful island just a 20-minute flight from Nassau. The Cove is undergoing a renovation and is reimagining the property as a more intimate experience, akin to staying on a private island, not a hotel. However, it’s keeping its fantastic amenities and talented staff. It reduced the number of villas from 55 to just 16, ensuring the highest level of service for every guest. The Cove has two private beaches, and many villas are oceanfront with undisturbed views. While it’s aiming to re-create a private-island experience, there’s still plenty to do, including water sports, dining in the sushi restaurant, indulging in Thai massages, and taking a tour of the island with a nature guide. The Cove reopens in spring 2022 and is now accepting reservations.
Kamalame Cay (pronounced “key”) is an all-inclusive luxury resort on a 96-acre private island just off the coast of Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas. This elegant island is a hideaway for the rich and famous, who absolutely adore its low-key lifestyle. The slow pace on the island is extremely relaxing, but not best for those looking for adventure and frequent activities.
There is a small collection of suites and villas on Kamalame Cay, and each feels extremely private, thanks to the lush vegetation. Each is fully serviced and comes with a golf cart that you’ll use to get around the island. Days are spent relaxing on your own stretch of private beach, socializing at the main pool, or indulging in treatments at the overwater spa. It’s the only one in the Bahamas! If you love a party, plan your trip around Kamalame Cay’s monthly luncheons. This raucous, rosé-fueled party attracts locals, too. Don’t be surprised to find yourself dancing on a table.
To get here, you’ll fly into Nassau and take a Coco Bahama Seaplane, which lands directly at Kamalame Cay’s private marina. If you’re not a fan of seaplanes, you can charter a yacht for a somewhat long and bumpy ride, or a small jet can take you from Nassau to Andros airport.
While Kamalame Cay is a truly special place, and undoubtedly one of the best luxury resorts in the Bahamas, the service can be slow at times. If you don’t mind, or if you can relax and consider it to be part of the experience — after all, where else do you have to go? — it won’t be a problem. However, if you are looking for super-fast service, we’d recommend a more formal resort, such as Rosewood Baha Mar or The Ocean Club, instead.
Harbour Island is a chic getaway with a spirit all its own. This island in the Bahamas has several luxury resorts, the best of which is The Dunmore. This boutique hotel is located on the island’s famous Pink Sand Beach and feels more like a second home than a bustling Caribbean resort. This relaxed feeling is why visitors choose Harbour Island over the more built-up Nassau, and why it’s a popular stop for Bahamian yacht charters. The Dunmore embraces this heritage, especially the island’s glamorous heyday of the 1960s. The property spans 10 acres of lush, tropical landscape. It’s dotted with cozy cottages and more spacious residences, which also have private beach access. The on-site restaurant, the Clubhouse, still has its 1960s-era décor, but it serves up modern Caribbean-meets-Mediterranean cuisine.