If you want to make your money work to its maximum potential while on a Caribbean vacation, the best option might be to book an all-inclusive resort. However, some hotels deliver experiences that don’t quite match their description. The Bahamas, a destination characterized by its amazing beaches, clear water, and swimming pigs, is home to many all-inclusives -- and we’re here to suss out the heroes from the zeros. Here are six of the best bang-for-your-buck all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas.
1. Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Located next door to mega-resort Atlantis, Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island is one of the few all-inclusive resorts that’s close to Nassau. The hotel’s 379 rooms feature contemporary decor, free 24-hour room service, well-stocked minibars, and liquor dispensers. Regular nightly entertainment follows the grand buffet spread at dinner, but guests can also take advantage of the casino and nightclubs at nearby Atlantis. While the location isn’t the quietest, the resort’s setting on beautiful Cabbage Beach is a big attraction. The aqua park at the Atlantis is also popular.
2. Breezes Resort & Spa Bahamas
Located on Cable Beach, Breezes Resort & Spa Bahamas is one of Nassau’s most popular resorts. Although the decor in rooms is a bit bland and dated, some units offer direct beach access and ocean and garden views. Guests who opt for the super-inclusive package are entitled to included meals, snacks, drinks, and activities throughout their stay. Four bars (including a piano bar) and five restaurants present a diverse range of drinking and dining options, and one of the three outdoor pools features a swim-up bar with submerged seating for lazy cocktails in the water. If guests tire of the fantastic stretch of beach that borders the resort, they can enjoy one of the hotels quirkier features, like the trapeze or rock-climbing wall.
3. Melia Nassau Beach
If you’re up to the challenge of eating and drinking your way through Melia Nassau Beach’s collection of six specialty restaurants and bars, then the all-inclusive option provides good value. With a waterfront location on one of Nassau’s best beaches, the hotel and its lush surroundings represent the picture-perfect image of a luxury Caribbean vacation. Rooms at the resort are tastefully decorated and some come with private balconies. The on-site casino is a fun way to gamble away your time, and the lively swim-up bar is the place to celebrate a big win with included drinks.
4. Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
While Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort in Great Exuma can’t be described as a budget option, you certainly get a lot for your money here. Located on the gorgeous Emerald Bay, the beachfront resort offers a relatively affordable way to live a luxurious life in the Caribbean. The resort’s seven on-site restaurants serve up everything from French to Italian cuisine, and there are multiple pools, a full 18-hole golf course, and tennis courts to keep guests occupied before and after meals. As you’d expect from a resort that proudly labels itself as luxury, premium spirits come standard at the six bars here.
5. Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach
Of the few all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, even fewer are family-friendly, which makes Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach all the more noteworthy. While guests can still indulge in alcohol-fueled fun, the resort has plenty to keep families busy, from the tennis courts to the range of water sports like paddleboarding, windsurfing, and kayaking. The hotel is located on Grand Bahama Island and boasts its own long stretch of beach with plenty of loungers. Dining goes beyond the ubiquitous buffet, too, with options like wood-fired pizza and Asian-inspired fine dining. Rooms are light and airy with contemporary decor; some come with ocean views.
6. Stella Maris Resort Club
If by bang-for-your-buck you’re thinking of the best budget option, then there are few better places to make your money stretch than Stella Maris Resort Club. Nestled in a beautifully secluded location on Long Island, this 45-room resort is an antidote to the huge mega hotels. Guests can buy a simple all-inclusive package that includes three meals and three drinks per day along with house wine at dinner. While this might not jive with those who see an all-inclusive experience as an excuse to overindulge in food and drinks, Stella Maris Resort Club makes up for it with a range of activities included in the price. Kayaking, boat trips, caving, nature walks, and bike rides are all on offer, though the beautiful beach is unfortunately not swimmable.
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