All products and services featured are independently selected by Forbes Vetted contributors and editors. When you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. Learn more
Rosie Bell, Contributor
Scattered across endless miles of Pantone-blue water, the Bahamas is a jewel box of islands that are equally as impressive from space. Home to natant pigs, a showstopping barrier reef, rose-hued beaches and countless blue holes, this tropical playground is one of the planet’s most attractive corners. There are simply too many gorgeous stretches of sand here to see in one lifetime, but luckily, repeat visits are easy to plan. The best resorts in the Bahamas are as legendary as they are lavish, offering everything from swim-up suites to overwater spas and yoga classes alongside flamingos.
Make your island time count with a stay at a hotel that offers superior service and nifty extras, like The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, which features Balinese style bungalows and an Augustinian cloister. For a romantic getaway, it’s hard to beat the serene escape of Sandals Royal Bahamian, and for families, The Reef at Atlantis has it all. No matter what kind of vacation you’re seeking, our selections are sure to help make your trip planning easier. Below, we’ve narrowed down the best resorts in the Bahamas in 2023.
Best High-End Resort In The Bahamas: The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort
The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort
Who Will Love It: Well-traveled sophisticates
All-Star Amenities: Multilingual concierge; bungalow plunge pools; daily pilates; Balinese-style spa bungalows with private gardens; Atlantis water park access; Ocean Club Golf Course
What Not To Miss: Tennis lessons with resident coach Leo Rolle who has taught there for five decades
You’ll be treated like royalty at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, one of the Bahamas’ most beguiling upscale hotels. This beachfront stunner may be recognizable by film buffs for its cameo in the 2006 James Bond flick, “Casino Royale,” but its glamorous history dates back even further. A&P supermarket heir George Huntington Hartford II dreamt up the lavish Paradise Island escape and adorned it with European-imported fountains and, uniquely, a 12th-century Augustinian cloister and a well-manicured sculpture garden inspired by the Palace of Versailles.
When you opt to stay at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, you have a world of luxury at your fingertips. French-Asian fare is available at Dune, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and exceptionally elegant dwellings come in the form of rooms (with either garden or ocean views), suites, bungalows, and spacious villa residences with fully equipped kitchens. There are also three pools to luxuriate in, with the pièce de resistance being the Versailles Pool complete with views of the striking gardens leading to the cloisters.
Best Boutique Resort In The Bahamas: Graycliff Hotel
Who Will Love It: Oenophiles and history buffs
All-Star Amenities: Two pools; an insanely well-stocked wine cellar; a five-star restaurant; a cigar factory and chocolatier; a culinary academy; a museum right across the road
What Not To Miss: Learning the art of cigar-making at Graycliff Cigar Company; chocolate workshops
Luminaries and household names—including Mariah Carey, Michael Jordan, and Beyonce—regularly flock to the historic Graycliff Hotel in Nassau to luxuriate by the pool, prepare their own chocolate, and most importantly, to drink wine. With an estimated value of more than $20 million, Graycliff has the third-largest wine collection in the world. The Graycliff Chocolatier and Graycliff Cigar Company are also tempting draws to this historic hotel that dates back to the 18th century.
Set in a manor house reportedly built by the pirate Captain John Howard Graysmith, lodging at this 20-key boutique hotel feels like a trip to the Bahamas of yesteryear (it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places) with Victorian décor, chaise lounges, wooden four-poster beds, and floral furnishings. Despite being within walking distance from many of Nassau’s main draws—John Watling’s Distillery, the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle, Junkanoo Beach, and Arawak Cay—Graycliff feels peaceful, lush, and full of character.
Best Resort In The Bahamas For Couples: Sandals Royal Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian
Who Will Love It: Couples who want their perfect romantic getaway completely taken care of
All-Star Amenities: Swim-up suites; VIP Rolls Royce transfers for select suites; premium spirits; 10 dining options; complimentary scuba diving
What Not To Miss: A trip to Sandals’ private island (Barefoot Cay) on the Love Runner boat
Much like its name implies, Sandals Royal Bahamian does indeed feel regal with enticing, with sun-filtered suites perfect for lovestruck couples to spend quality time together. Guests can enjoy award-winning dining at 10 different venues, and the resort’s Red Lane Spa has accumulated accolades for its tropical treatments for one or (preferably) two. This adults-only all-inclusive understands how to host a romantic vacation and has welcomed bold-named couples, such as Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, who escaped to the Bahamas after abdicating the British throne in 1936. The former king became the governor of the Bahamas and he frequented the sprawling property, known then as the Balmoral Club.
These days, the resort has everything couples need to have a perfect time in paradise: four-poster beds, swim-up suites, low-lit bars, six pools to make a splash in, and miles of spellbinding beaches for hand-in-hand strolls. There is a lot to love at Sandals Royal Bahamian, but enamored pairs can have twice the fun by planning a day away at Barefoot Cay, a private offshore island a mile away that’s reachable with a scenic ride on the resort’s Love Runner boat.
Best Resort For Families In The Bahamas: The Reef at Atlantis
The Reef at Atlantis
Who Will Love It: Independent families with a preference for cooking
All-Star Amenities: The most thrilling water park in the Bahamas; sizeable family pool; kitchens; shuttle service between all Atlantis hotels; daily evening kids programming; teen nightclub with gaming lounge; a 400-seat cinema
What Not To Miss: Sliding down the 60-foot Leap of Faith at Aquaventure
Whisk your family away to the Bahamas and take them to The Reef at Atlantis, where they’ll be spoiled by adventures on both land and water. Part of the legendary Atlantis resort complex on Paradise Island, you’ll find a swimming pool for every type of traveler here, from water play forts and mini water slides for little ones, to pools with hieroglyphs, Mayan temples, and cascading waterfalls. The 141-acre wonderland that is Aquaventure water park is the place to be for big and little kids to catch thrills on dizzying water rollercoasters and exhilarating water slides. And the perks don’t end there.
The Reef at Atlantis ticks all the boxes for groups that want an array of activities as well as in-room cooking facilities. This family-friendly hotel has spacious residential-style accommodations with pull-out sofas, kitchenettes, and full kitchens. If meal prep isn’t on the menu, Atlantis is home to an array of eating and drinking dens so that even the pickiest of eaters are catered to. Day trips can also be organized to The Exumas for your nearest and dearest to swim with pigs, feed Bahamian iguanas, and make memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Resort With The Best Amenities In The Bahamas: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Who Will Love It: Beach lovers that get bored easily
All-Star Amenities: A grandiose spa; the Dean’s Blue Hole replica pool; the Baha Bay water park that’s open to all Baha Mar guests; an ocean-view casino
What Not to Miss: The Sea Shell Serenity massage for 80 or 110 minutes
If you need more than sand and sun loungers to keep you satisfied, bookmark the amenity-rich Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. There’s grown-up fun at Grand Hyatt’s 100,000 square-foot casino (the Caribbean’s largest) and at numerous bars, including the slick and soul-soothing Jazz Bar which harkens back to the roaring twenties with art deco décor. Sporty guests can take advantage of the tennis courts, fitness center, Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, and six pools—the most impressive being the Dean’s Blue Hole pool, which features a 15-foot cliff jump. A wildlife sanctuary and a 22-room spa are also part of the sumptuous offerings.
After the day’s activities, guests can tuck into delicious cuisine at more than 30 dining options dotted around Baha Mar, then retire to their rooms to take in balmy Bahamian breezes from their terraces. All 1,800 guest rooms have full or Juliet balconies with views of the beach or the hotel’s crowd-pleasing fountain show.
Best Resort For Groups In The Bahamas: Kamalame Cay
Who Will Love It: Stylish groups and digital detoxers
All-Star Amenities: The daily in-villa breakfast wicker basket; the only over-the-water spa in the Bahamas
What Not To Miss: The Luncheon that takes place in the Great House or Tiki Bar every month; snorkeling or diving the Andros Barrier Reef
Location: Kamalame Cay
Kamalame Cay is a collection of beachfront villas on a private, picture-perfect stretch of white sand off the Andros Barrier Reef. The family-run 96-acre resort is a hot ticket, luring in-the-know scenesters seeking sweet seclusion, rejuvenation, and recreation at the world’s third-largest barrier reef (Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian honeymooned here). All guests are housed in standalone bungalows that sleep two to ten, making this a prime locale for groups to unwind and connect with each other—all accommodations are notably free of televisions, phones, or Wi-Fi.
It’s the special touches that truly make Kamalame Cay stand out. Every morning, a delightful culinary delivery will magically appear on your doorstep. The much-adored breakfast wicker basket includes coffee, just-baked goodies, and oh-so-fresh juices, among other treats. Other top-tier amenities at this boutique resort include tennis courts, golf carts to traverse the island, fishing excursions, and an on-site dive shop with PADI-certified professionals. To top it all off, groups can take turns getting spoiled at the spa, the only overwater spa in the Bahamas.
Best Beachfront Resort In The Bahamas: Caerula Mar Club
Who Will Love It: Toes-in-the-sand beach lovers and deep-sea explorers
All-Star Amenities: On-site dive center; pickleball court; resort bikes; exclusive Sarah Baeumler bath products; indoor games room
What Not To Miss: A delectable surf and turf dinner at Lusca; guided mangrove tours; a blue hole expedition
You’ll easily sink into holiday mode upon arrival at Caerula Mar Club on South Andros, where there will be a sugar-white beach to call your own. The very first hotel to swing open in South Andros in almost 20 years, the resort is the brainchild of Bryan and Sarah Baeumler of HGTV Canada fame. This serene seaside sanctuary is heaven for urban escapees looking to get away from it all in pristine digs. The 18 whitewashed suites and five villas are made for lazy days unperturbed by haste or obligation.
At Caerula Mar Club, you can bliss out by the outdoor pool or dive into a good book. Those who feel called to adventure can take advantage of the plentiful provided gear (paddleboards, kayaks, and resort bikes among them) or visit the dive center to get suited and booted for undersea escapades. The Adventure Team will gladly take you on an educational excursion to visit the many blue holes of Andros as well as jaunts to peep around the Andros Barrier Reef, a giant aquarium cherished by divers. After a day of exploration, you can enjoy a post-plunge drink or seafood-rich feast at Lusca, one of three dining concepts that will keep your heart and belly full.
Best Private Island Resort In The Bahamas: Fowl Cay
Who Will Love It: Paradise-adoring castaways and anglers
All-Star Amenities: Personal powerboats with unlimited fuel; golf carts; professional fishing gear; premium alcohol included; tennis court; swimming pool; personal butlers
What Not To Miss: Gathering with other guests at Hill House for cocktails at sunset
Location: The Exumas
Fancy whizzing around a private island in your own powerboat? Escape the crowds and the quotidian at Fowl Cay, a dreamboat private island resort in The Exumas. This is not your average all-inclusive resort: there are only six waterfront villas sprinkled beautifully across 50 acres of pristine, powdery sand. Personal butlers cater to your every whim, pantries are fully stocked with food and fabulous beverages (cocktails included), and the island’s very own Hill House restaurant serves delicious locally-sourced meals (also included with your stay).
Guests at Fowl Cay can spend days exploring the sparkling 365-island Exuma chain on their own private powerboats (after an in-depth tutorial, of course) and enjoy the use of complimentary fishing gear—the chef will even help cook your catch of the day. Villas accommodate two to six guests and you can invite bliss in with a massage inside your quarters or relish a treatment alfresco with the warm waters lapping and lulling you into serenity. This is barefoot luxury at its finest.
Resort With The Best Pool In The Bahamas: The Cove Eleuthera
The Cove Eleuthera
Who Will Love It: Those seeking serious pool time; privacy-seekers looking to get away from the crowds
All-Star Amenities: Two private beaches; 24-hour gym; the only sushi bar on Eleuthera; free (non-motorized) water sports
What Not To Miss: A visit to Glass Window Bridge; sunset yoga; island hopping boat tours
The Cove occupies a divinely secluded portion of Eleuthera’s 110 gorgeous miles. Tucked between two coves, this luxury boutique resort is a stone’s throw away from Glass Window Bridge (also known as the “narrowest place on Earth”), yet it feels worlds away from anything. Those looking to go off the grid in style will be content having a crowd-free existence here on the northern end of Eleuthera. The rooms, cottages, villas, and suites come with 500 thread count sheets, walk-in closets, outdoor patios, and Nespresso coffee makers. Most enjoyable will be perching at the elongated hilltop infinity pool, which impresses with knee-weakening blue-on-blue views. This is the ideal place to snag a sun lounger and sip on something sweet while overlooking the turquoise tides.
The backward C-shaped island of Eleuthera is purported to have some of the world’s sweetest pineapples, so once your poolside session is done, head over to Freedom Restaurant & Sushi Bar to sample the scrumptious Caribbean key lime pie or the coconut cheesecake that’s topped with pineapple sorbet. Evenings are often crowned with nightcaps around glowing fire pits under string-lit palm trees.
Best Spa and Wellness Resort In The Bahamas: Rosewood Baha Mar
Rosewood Baha Mar
Who Will Love It: Stylish wellness warriors and art aficionados
All-Star Amenities: The Cellar at Café Boulud for private dining; outdoor flamingo yoga; private premium pool cabanas
What Not To Miss: An art tour with Baha Mar’s executive director of arts and culture
Rosewood Baha Mar delivers the tropical aesthetic with style. Guests feel a sense of place via the 100 artworks by international and Bahamian artists that adorn the sprawling resort. The collection was curated by John Cox, a mixed media artist and the former chief curator at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas whose creations are also on display. The 226 well-appointed rooms, suites, and villas at Rosewood Baha Mar also feature tropical glassware and hand-painted walls in soothing tones with views of the resort or the cerulean water. The home comforts are such that you may never wish to leave, but there’s one very good reason to do so: the spa.
Sense, a Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Baha Mar will have you looking and feeling your very best with treatments that utilize native healing roots and plants and traditional Bahamian and West African remedies. Pamper yourself for 60 or 90 minutes with the Arawak Body Balance or Lucayan Relief treatments inspired by the Bahamas’ first inhabitants before European settlers. Wellness-focused travelers will also appreciate the 24-hour fitness center and outdoor yoga classes flanked by leggy bubblegum pink flamingos.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
The Forbes Vetted travel team has researched, written and published dozens of hotel guides featuring destinations across the globe. The travel section is overseen by Vetted’s senior travel editor, Astrid Taran, a 7-year industry veteran who’s visited over 30 countries. The writer of each of our hotel roundups is handpicked based on their area of expertise, whether they are area locals or avid travelers who have visited the destination frequently—and all have bylines in other reputable travel publications. Further, this story is regularly checked to ensure that all prices and information are as current as possible. It was last updated in October 2023.
About Rosie Bell, Your Bahamas Guide
I am a location-independent travel writer and the author of the book “Escape to Self.” I have written for publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including BBC Travel, BBC Worklife, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, National Geographic Traveller, Cosmopolitan, Hemispheres, Atlas Obscura, and Lonely Planet. I have also been featured as a travel and life design expert on the likes of ABC News, NBC News, South China Morning Post, Scandinavian Traveler, and Business Insider. I am trilingual and grew up in four countries on two continents, but these days you’ll generally find me wherever it’s warm. I adore the Caribbean and I will never say no to the Bahamas, Bonaire, or a beautiful oceanfront hotel on powder-white sand with an inviting spa. Follow my travels on Instagram (@TheBeachBell) and read more of my writing at RosieBell.net.
More Travel Stories:
- The 8 Stories Every Hotel Must Tell Effectively in 2022
- St. Augustine hotel plan review for tallest building delayed again
- MOH holds Joint Annual Review
- Taxis to quarantine hotels launched
- Victim of Glasgow asylum hotel stabbings fails in judicial review claim against Home Office in English court