Elegant Seaside Hotel with Renowned Golf Courses and Four Swimming Pools
According to local lore, George Washington once called the Bahamas the "Isles of Perpetual June" after a visit. The former president's description was apt, as the archipelago's temperature hovers in the mid-70s, even in winter, luring visitors from all corners of the globe. On the southwest corner of Grand Bahama Island, the 519-room Grand Lucayan sits along 7.5 acres of aquamarine beachfront, acting as a home base for an itinerary filled with land- and sea-based recreation.
Grand Lucayan lodgers have outlets for all manner of activities, from the four tennis courts—outfitted with Grand Slam surfaces—to the onsite casino. The hotel’s nonmotorized watersports are free, so kayaking, snorkeling, and diving into the Caribbean Sea are all on the menu, as is swimming in one of three outdoor pools. Golfers unwind on the resort’s 18-hole championship Reef Course, designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., with nearly 7,000 yards of greens and fairways littered with water hazards and grassy rough. After a day on the links, the 25,000-square-foot Senses Spa & Fitness Center pampers physiques with 50-minute massages ($89), a seasonal facial ($90), or the Bahamian Wrapsody body wrap ($168).
Island-inspired décor, such as wicker furniture and fresh-fruit centerpieces, adorns the 400-square-foot ocean-view rooms. Each room has a balcony or patio with chairs that overlooks the Caribbean Sea, a vantage point ideal for heckling slow-moving sea turtles. Come morning, dig into a full breakfast buffet with an omelet station, fresh baked goods, and traditional Bahamian breakfast items. A total of nine restaurants, cafés, and bars on the property dish up a range of eats, from the casual international cuisine at Willy Broadleaf to upscale Pan-Pacific fare at China Beach.
Grand Bahama Island: Scenic National Parks and Duty-Free Shopping
Grand Bahama Island, the northernmost isle in the archipelago, sits a mere 70 miles (113 km) from the eastern coast of Florida. The town of Freeport, just across the street from the resort, houses Port Lucaya Marketplace, where duty-free shops sell jewelry, china, leather goods, and designer apparel. When the sun sets, Port Lucaya's Count Basie Square comes to life as live bands belt out tunes from a range of genres.
Three national parks on Grand Bahama Island allow travelers to immerse themselves in the island's native scenery. The 40-acre Lucayan National Park contains all six of the island's ecosystems as well as plant life, such as rare flowers, mangroves, and pine trees. Beside the secluded sands of Gold Rock Beach, the park is well known for its network of freshwater caves, which visitors can spelunk to glimpse prehistoric movie posters.