Grand Hyatt Baha Mar review – Part II, Amenities

By Michael:
This is installment 2 of a 3-part series where we review the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a brand new property that just opened in Nassau, Bahamas. You can read the first part of the series covering the room and general property here.
During the 4th of July weekend we enjoyed the newly opened Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort. In my opinion the most attractive feature of the hotel amenities is the significant number of pools available for use. There are a few that are kids friendly and feature zero entry for the little ones to play. All pools we used were never deeper than 4-5 feet.
As we mentioned in the first review section, the hotel is currently on a soft opening phase, and not all the rooms are ready. I believe the entire West tower is not in use yet. This made for a situation in which all pools had plenty of space to spread around. Most pools were essentially empty during the first few morning hours.
The pool are designed to create a relaxing atmosphere, with lots of lounge chairs submerged in the water, and some pools featured two-chair gazebos, some of which had water running off the edges to form a sort of water curtain. There were plenty of them available for the taking.
The same pool featured water streams jumping out of the floor, which conveniently kept our 2-year old occupied playing with them for about an hour.
The main pool also features a swim-up bar, which is one of my favorite pool features. The bar did lack TV monitors, which is usually a good way for people to sit there, drink and watch sports. Given the hotel is so large, I wonder if that is by design to discourage people from tying up a stool for a couple of hours.
The same main pool has palm tree islands in the middle, which also has submerged ledges where you can sit and enjoy a drink.
The pool nearest the beach features a rock wall with a couple of spots for both kids and adults to jump off from.
There is also a nearby fish tank featuring nurse sharks, turtles and different other species of fish. You can see the fish through a couple of large glass panels without having to leave the pool, or you can go up to the surface level and help feed them. One nice feature which we loved. You can actually swim for free with the sharks and the rest of the fish at selected hours on a first come first serve basis, and the staff recommends signing up the day before. They are doing this to gradually get the fish accustomed to human presence so that they can have people swim with them more regularly. I’m not sure if there will be a future fee involved, so if you’re visiting soon, it’s something I highly recommend doing. Joe’s kids did it, and it was a great experience.
Throughout all the pools there are lots of individual restrooms, which I thought was very convenient. They were clean and had screens on the inside of the door to keep mosquitoes and other bugs out.
The feature that drew my attention most was not what we saw, but what we did NOT see. The hotel lacks any water slides. For such a large resort with so many pools, I think this was a huge oversight. Water slides are extremely popular at beach resorts, and this is something that nearby Atlantis, the only other large competing resort on the island clearly has perfected, with their water park that features several slides, including one passing through their shark tank. It is an area where I feel the hotel dropped the ball.
Another complaint I have about the pools is that they close at 7:00 p.m. and don’t reopen until 9:00 a.m. The staff seems to be misinformed, because some of them told us we had to be out of the water at 7:00 p.m., while others suggested we would be swimming at our own risk. Other staff told us the pools closed at dusk, which was really 8:00 p.m. at the time, but they consistently got everyone out of the water at 7pm, but some allowed guests to stay in the hot tubs. Lots of misinformation and staff not being on the same page, but regardless, closing the pools at 7pm when there is still plenty of sunlight out is not a good thing in my book. To their credit, the pools and waters have lots of lifeguards and they were very active and paying attention while they were on duty.
The beach is very nice, with lots of umbrellas and lounge chairs and a few water sports, which are all included in the resort fee.
Both the pools and beach have their own complimentary towel service. There are also free sunblock dispensers at the towel stations, SPF 30.
There are several large circular water platforms (maybe about 8 or so) that are anchored into the seabed, which I personally loved, because while you are lying down on them your body is mostly in the water, but you can rest your head on the edge, and also have cup holders. They comfortably fit 4 adults sitting down, or two people lying down. They are a great way to relax.
There are also sand areas near the pool if you just want to sit on a chair in the sand but don’t want to walk all the way to the beach. There are areas with and without shade, depending on whether you want to work on your tan or just read a book by the shade.
The resort also has a couple of small sail catamarans that fit 4 people and they are on a first come first serve basis. We took one out a few times and it was a lot of fun when the wind was really blowing. If you can’t sail it one of their guys will sail it with you, but if you know how to, the staff will simply let you take it out yourself, which we did. They usually tell you to keep it to about 30 minutes, but we were out there for about 45-50 minutes with no one else waiting. We didn’t spot any large fish, but we did spot a really large turtle swimming along. They also have glass bottom kayaks, which is a big draw, and standing paddle boards, and a snorkle device where you can lay facing down and look through to the seabed as you paddle with your hands.
We also found by accident a small infinity pool on top of the Palms Cafe. No one seemed to notice it was there because it is on the second floor, hidden from sight. This is a pool that is supposedly reserved for guests staying at the villas that are under construction. There is ongoing work on some high end cabanas by the pool. We may or may not have crashed that pool and used it during our stay.
There are also some areas that have hammocks, but they are few and far between, so once the hotel is full you are guaranteed not to find an empty one, unless they set up more of them.
The fitness center and spa are both between the East and West towers, on the 7th floor. The fitness center was spacious as expected for such a large hotel and had lots of equipment.
One final thing worth noting is that there is a fountain on the south side (main entrance) of the hotel, which features a water show loosely based on the Bellagio fountain. During our stay there it also featured fireworks with a 4th of July theme. The Grand Club is a great spot to watch them from if you have access during your stay.

Final thoughts:

I really enjoyed spending time at the pools and beach. I think the hotel going through the soft opening was key to having had a great time and lots of space to move around. As more rooms become available, I wonder how that is going to impact overall use of facilities and their enjoyment. For the time being and as I mentioned on our first installment review, I would make it to this hotel sooner rather than later if it’s on your radar.
This entry was posted in Hyatt, Travel Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar review – Part II, Amenities

  1. Ana says:

    Great Information. Thank you Michael

  2. Prudence Hanly says:

    Did you leave the resort at all? If you did what would you suggest we do with a family of 4 two teens. Also, do you have any suggestions for restaurants off site?

    Thank you for your help!

    • travelguys says:

      Hi. No, we didn’t leave. A friend took a ride using the free shuttle to a nearby local place to buy some beer, but I’ve personally been to the Bahamas tons of times and there’s quite a lot of things to do and restaurants by Atlantis and Senior Frogs by the cruise terminal. I would just use TripAdvisor or Yelp for restaurants that you may be interested in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *