If you are considering Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort for your family vacation, this mom's review will give you everything you need to know. A relatively new resort, it is getting a lot of buzz as a great family destination for post-pandemic travel.
But is it right for your family?
Many families are looking for a great Caribbean resort that is kid-friendly. And Baha Mar Resort Bahamas has continuously come up as one of the best ones for kids.
As you consider the best Caribbean resort for your next family vacation, Baha Mar Resort Bahamas might be just what you are looking for. Here's everything you need to know about Baha Mar Resort Bahamas. This is a mom's honest review to help you decide if it's the right fit for your family.
This guest post is by Lee Friedman of Mango Tree Travel. This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using this link at no additional cost to you. See my disclosures. Cover Photo credit: Lee Friedman
About Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort
The Baha Mar Resort Bahamas, located on Cable Beach in Nassau, just celebrated its 5-year birthday. But in some senses, the resort is still relatively new. This family-friendly resort has been expanding ever since its grand opening a few short years ago.
When it opened in April 2017, it had only one hotel, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. It expanded by 2018 to include two others: the SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar. In 2021, it added the Baha Bay waterpark. Now, Baha Mar Resort Bahamas is getting a lot of buzz as a great family destination for post-pandemic travel.
Our Experience at Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort
With so much publicity as a family-friendly resort, many families have been wondering, “Should we take the kids to Nassau and stay at Baha Mar Resort Bahamas?”
I hope this honest review helps you make that decision. I generally tend to prefer smaller, boutique hotels for family travel.
But I’d been hearing great things about Baha Mar and wanted to check it out. So I traveled there for 3 nights with a friend and our three kids (ages 5, 6, and 7) to decide whether to recommend it to other busy parents.
The short answer: Baha Mar is an amazing resort with all the amenities you need for a fantastic family vacation, plus luxury touches. We had a great time.
But the resort is huge, and full disclosure, it is expensive. If you choose Baha Mar for your family vacation – and there are lots of reasons to do so! – be sure to go in with your eyes wide open.
Overview Of Baha Mar Resorts Bahamas
Baha Mar Resort is three distinct hotels. A casino in the center of the property connects them. In that sense, it’s very Vegas-like.
It matters which hotel you choose because you only have access to the pool areas that belong to your hotel. The resort monitors this by giving every guest an electronic bracelet – which also serves as your room key – that’s color-coded to match your hotel.
When traveling with children, choose the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar or the Rosewood Baha Mar. The SLS Baha Mar is more focused on young adults, with pool parties and DJs. While it would be a terrific choice for moms seeking to get away without kids, it’s not the right place for families.
Grand Hyatt: Rooms and Pools
The Grand Hyatt is the most popular Baha Mar hotel for families, and the most affordable of the three. It has 1,800 rooms in two large towers.
We stayed in a one-bedroom residential suite that was fantastic for families, with tons of space, two bathrooms, a living room with a pull-out couch, and a full-kitchen. It was plenty big enough for 2 adults and 3 kids.
In addition to having spacious rooms, the Grand Hyatt pools are the best for kids. Two of them really stand out.
The Blue Hole Pool has:
- a zero-entry pool for toddlers
- a waterfall
- a swim-up aquarium with nurse sharks, stingrays, and fish
- a rock cliff with 8ft and 15ft jumping points (a huge highlight for our adventurous kids)
The second pool we loved has in-water cabanas with rain showers forming the walls. There are shallow shelves with lounge chairs right in the water where parents can relax, while kids jump off the ledges.
If I could spend one day at Baha Mar Resort Bahamas, it would be by this pool. In reality, though, I didn’t get to spend as much time here as I wanted. It was hard to drag the kids away from the cliff jumping and waterpark.
A Note About The Pools
This is one of those hotels where the pool chairs fill up early. If you think your kids will enjoy jumping off the rock walls, we recommend getting to the Blue Hole pool early and getting chairs near the aquarium. You’ll be able to relax with your kids in view.
Rosewood Baha Mar: Rooms and Pools
Walk into the Rosewood Baha Mar lobby and you’ll immediately notice an overwhelming feeling of calm, and the smell of eucalyptus. Consistent with the Rosewood brand, you’ve arrived at a luxury hotel.
Compared to the Grand Hyatt’s 1800 rooms and suites, the Rosewood has only 226 rooms, suites, and villas. Some of the suites have kitchenettes, others offer butler service and private plunge pools.
I toured the property to scope out the Rosewood Baha Mar pools. There are two — the Cabana Pool and Lagoon Pool.
These pools are not as kid-oriented as the Grand Hyatt pools, but they still offer plenty of kid-friendly swim areas. The Cabana Pool, for example, has a zero-entry shallow end and Baja shelf platforms toddlers will love.
If you want total luxury, with a family-friendly edge (and the price tag to match) you might choose the Rosewood.
The Reserve at the Grand Hyatt
If you want something in between the Rosewood and Grand Hyatt—the kid-focused pools of the Grand Hyatt with a slightly more luxurious feel—consider the Grand Hyatt Reserve.
Billed as a “hotel within a hotel,” the Reserve has a separate check-in area, a separate elevator, and lots of little perks. These include complimentary continental breakfast, coffee, and happy hour.
Some of the premium suites also come with personalized butler service. Your butler will help with booking cabanas, restaurants, and activities, and answer any questions you might have.
Baha Mar Resort Bahamas Amenities and Activities
It would take far more than one blog post to describe all the activities Baha Mar has to offer. I’ll stick to our favorites so that you can decide whether the Baha Mar Resort Bahamas is right for your family.
The Baha Mar App
Before I dive into a specific activity, let me share one quick note about the Baha Mar app. Yes, the hotel has its own app.
You can use it to book activities and restaurant reservations. It feels like the Disney app, which I’ll admit turned me off a little. But there’s so much to do at Baha Mar, it is helpful to be able to get the lay of the land on the app ahead of time.
We struggled to book experiences through the app. Once we arrived at the hotel, we could never get it to work properly. It kept freezing up on the wi-fi.
We made our reservations at the activity desk the old-fashioned way, which was easy. But we wasted time trying to book things on the app, which was annoying. If the app doesn’t work well for you, just stop trying to use it, and stop by the activities desk in the casino.
The Baha Mar Explorers Kids Club
As for activities, families love the Baha Mar Explorers Kids’ Club—and for good reason. It’s great to have a chance to explore the adult sides of the resort property, like the casino!
One definite upside to Baha Mar is that the kids club offers evening sessions, from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. It is one of the perks of a resort like this and Beaches Turks and Caicos. Parents can have some adult time while the kids have fun in the kids' club.
The night we were there, the session had a carnival theme. The kids played carnival games, had cotton candy, did an art project, and then got to watch a movie at 8:30.
The evening kids’ club means you can enjoy all the adult-focused restaurants Baha Mar has to offer. We used our free time at the casino, which was really a fun treat.
The Sanctuary, Aviary, and Flamingos
Baha Mar has a wildlife sanctuary where kids can see nurse sharks, stingrays, and green sea turtles up close. There’s also an aviary to learn about tropical birds.
And they have flamingos on-site. According to the website, there’s a daily flamingo parade, but we missed that.
There are several different sanctuary experiences you can book. We chose the Sanctuary Wildlife Feeding Demonstration & Touch Tank Experience. It was only 20 minutes long.
For about 10 minutes, the kids got to watch one of the guides feed the stingrays, sharks, and turtles. They got very close and the girls were definitely into it.
At the end, they got to spend 5-10 minutes at the touch tanks. It was a short and sweet experience, and we were definitely glad to have done it. Also, it's a nice break from the heat.
Baha Bay Waterpark
For kids, the Baha Bay waterpark is awesome. It was the highlight of our kids’ trip. It’s well-designed with areas for kids of all ages. With kids aged 5-7, we spent more of our time bouncing between Stingray Cove, the Baha Bay lagoon wave pool, and the lazy river.
Turtle Cove, designed for toddlers, was not entertaining enough for our kids. The rest of the waterslides have minimum height restrictions, only accessible to older kids, teenagers, and adults.
The downsides to Baha Bay? There are two.
First, it’s hard to tear your children away. Baha Mar has a lot to offer families but, in our experience, some kids will never want to leave the waterpark. For example, we never set foot on Cable Beach during our three-day stay because our kids were more interested in the waterslides.
With younger kids who aren’t quite ready for the adult-friendly waterslides, you’ll spend a fair amount of your time sitting in the heat watching your kids on the little slides. Or you’ll have to manage meltdowns when it’s time to leave. The lazy river helps, though, because parents and kids can enjoy that together.
The second downside to Baha Bay is the distance from the entrance to the hotels. There’s a single entrance to Baha Bay, and it’s at the edge of the Baha Mar property near the beach.
From the Rosewood or Grand Hyatt rooms, you cross the entire property to get the beach, then enter the waterpark, and walk back up through the park to get to the different slides. We had quite a few episodes of kid tears on the long, hot walk back from the waterpark after the kids wore themselves out.
Our advice? Treat the waterpark as a separate activity than the Baha Mar pools. Discuss with your kids ahead of time which chunks of time will be spend there. And leave the waterpark 10-15 minutes before your kids hit the tired wall to avoid meltdowns on the walk back to the hotel.
If you can tear your kids away from the waterslides and pools, Cable Beach is gorgeous. The water is exactly what you want out of a Caribbean beach vacation – aquamarine and transparent.
Baha Mar has lots of chairs on the beach and pool floats for relaxing. Plus, they have several food trucks lined up at the back of the beach, which are great easy options for lunch on a beach day.
Dining At The Baha Mar Bahamas Resort
Baha Mar has almost too many restaurants to count. Many of them are high-end – from sushi to Italian to steak restaurants. We skipped those with the kids on this trip.
On our first night, we ended up at The Sugar Factory because we had forgotten to make a reservation. You absolutely need reservations for a big group!
When 6 pm rolled around and the kids were starving, this was the quickest and easiest option. The kids’ food was totally fine. In fact, they were amused by the rainbow-colored buns on the slides. We had salads, having consumed a lot of fried food at lunch, and they were surprisingly delicious.
On the night the girls went to the kids’ club, we grabbed them slices at Pizza Lab. Then we sat at the bar at Katsuya Baha Mar, a sushi restaurant off the casino. It was also delicious – lovely cocktails and fresh seafood.
The Regatta Breakfast Buffet was excellent. There was a place to get rice bowls near the waterpark for lunch, which gave my daughter a break from her normal vacation staples of chicken fingers and fish sticks.
Overall, I don’t think I had a bad thing to eat at Baha Mar, and we didn’t even scratch the surface of the culinary options.
The Downside To Baha Mar Resort: Cost
Because this is a mom's honest review, it is important to give you all of the information you need to decide if Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort is right for your family. And you need to know that it is expensive.
Although we had a great time at Baha Mar, the cost was a reality we had to accept. So, it’s worth spending some time talking about the expense of taking your kids to the Baha Mar Resort Bahamas.
This trip made me appreciate why many families choose all-inclusive resorts like Beaches Turks and Caicos. With an all-inclusive, families know ahead of time exactly what their trip will cost, and don’t have to worry about it on vacation. And for any family vacation on a budget, having costs during a trip can make it hard to plan for in advance.
Total Room Price
When I first looked at the room prices for the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, my reaction was that the price was quite reasonable for a Caribbean trip, especially in 2022 when hotel prices are at an all-time high. I was pleasantly surprised!
But the hidden costs were everywhere.
Fees account for a big increase on the base price of your room. For example, on top of the nightly room rate, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar charges a 10% Levy Fee, a $30 resort fee per adult, a $20 service fee, and a 10% Bahamas VAT.
To put that in perspective, the listed rate for our large one-bedroom residential suite was $775 per night—a reasonable rate at a luxury hotel for a spacious suite that comfortably fit 5 people. But our total nightly rate was actually $1,023 per night!
Food and Drinks
Food and drinks are pricey here, to begin with. The taxes and service charges make them overly so.
Be aware that a 12% tax and 15% service charge is included in every single food and beverage purchase, whether it’s a takeout muffin or cocktail or a 5-course meal. A cocktail listed at $17 – an already steep price – will cost you $24.
On our last day, when we decided on ice cream for lunch, two single scoop waffle cones at Sugar Factory cost $26. We paid $50 for five slices of pizza. (That last one really got to me.)
One nice perk is that kids under 5 eat free at many restaurants, and this is helpful for family travel budget planning. If you go to Baha Mar with kids under 5, do your research ahead of time and save some money by making reservations at those restaurants. Note that this discount doesn’t apply at the Pizza Lab or Sugar Factory.
The resort activities are also pricey. For example, while many Caribbean resorts and Disney cruises offer complimentary kids’ clubs, Baha Mar charges $65 per child for three hours during the day, and $75 per hour for four-hour evening program (plus 10% tax).
This amounts to $20.50 per hour, per kid, for shared childcare. Paying $40 an hour for childcare for two kids can quickly become a huge expense.
You also have to commit to a 3-hour or 4-hour time slot for the kids’ club. So you can’t just drop your kids off for an hour or two at random during the day.
Activities can also be costly so you will want to be aware to budget for those as well. For example, Baha Mar’s sanctuary is pretty neat.
It gives you and your kids the chance to get up close and personal with nurse sharks, sting rays, and sea turtles. But it costs $25 per person (plus tax) for a very short, 20-minute program.
Bottom Line: It's A Great Family Resort But Be Prepared For An Expensive Vacation
I’m all about splurging for vacation. But I like to know upfront what I’m getting into.
At Baha Mar Resort Bahamas, the costs added up. And, when this happens, it can be hard to fully enjoy all a resort has to offer.
We ended up spending roughly $1500 a day for a group of 5—and we were being quite cautious about our expenses. The rooms, pools, food, and amenities were all top-notch for a large resort, but with a price that reflects it and then some.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Kids Stay At Bahamas' Baha Mar?
Yes, as you can tell from this review, Bahamas' Baha Mar is most certainly kid-friendly. However, you will find that the Grand Hyatt is the most family-friendly of the three.
The resort has kid-friendly pools, a water park, a kids club, family-friendly rooms, and kid-friendly food as well as numerous activities that make it great for families.
Is Grand Hyatt Bahamas Baha Mar Kid Friendly?
Yes, the Grand Hyatt Bahamas Baha Mar is the most kid friendly and affordable of the three resorts.
Is Baha Mar Good For Teens?
Yes, Baha Mar is good for teens as well as younger children. The water park is popular with both ages, and there is a lot to do on property teens will enjoy.
Is SLS Baha Mar Adults Only?
The SLS Baha Mar is not adults only technically. But it is definitely less fun for kids than the family-oriented pools are at the other resorts. This location is more geared toward young adults, couples, and people traveling without children. They can certainly be there, but they won't enjoy it as much as in the other areas of the resort.
Final Thoughts About Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort
If you are looking for a wonderful family-friendly resort full of fantastic amenities, great pools, beaches, and activities kids will love, the Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort is definitely one to consider. However, be aware that it is a pricier vacation, and you will need to plan your budget accordingly.
While all-inclusives are also expensive, you will know your cost ahead of time. Though, sometimes you pay for services you don't use at an all-inclusive resort.
You can pick and choose which activities to enjoy at the Baha Mar Resort, but with additional taxes and fees, as well as the cost of food and activities, you may pay more than you expected. The important thing is to understand the prices of rooms, taxes, fees, and costs for food and amenities before you go, so you can budget accordingly.
Overall, the Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort is a wonderful vacation for kids. Just be prepared for the cost as you consider if it is the right vacation for your family.
About The Author
This guest post and hotel review was shared by Lee Friedman, a mom of two young children and an avid Caribbean traveler. Lee recently launched Mango Tree Travel, a search platform that helps busy parents find the best, unique Caribbean hotels for family travel