If you need a quick carefree getaway that is not too stressful on the budget, the Bahamas is worth looking into. I was fortunate enough in January to take such a trip that started with a direct flight to the Grand Bahama Island, now offered by Vision Airlines. The Vision Airlines crew was extremely friendly and the whole plane atmosphere was very upbeat. Leaving straight from the Louisville airport was a major plus; it seemed like we were touching down in no time at all (I hate those trips where you spend a third of the time traveling).
Luggage retrieval, going through customs and getting bused to the Grand Lucayan Resort Hotel was quick as well; it seems clear that Vision Air and the Bahamas Tourism Department put a lot of thought into this to ensure that the process is as fast and painless as possible. As soon as we arrived at the Grand Lucayan Resort Hotel, we were greeted by an enthusiastic staff all lined up offering gracious hellos and island drinks with live Bahamian music in the air. It was the perfect welcome.
The three main things I look for in a beach resort are: quality, fun, and food. This resort had them all.
Quality: The beach was pristine, secluded with aqua green clear water straight out of a magazine. Overall the Grand Lucayan Resort was very clean, well staffed and well maintained. The main lobby is an impressive grand setting with employees standing by ready and eager to assist you. Our concierge was exceptional and seemed ready to go out of her way to ensure that our stay was enjoyable.
Fun: The resort in itself had everything needed for a fun stay. Great beach, nice pool with swim-up bar, grass tennis courts, nice workout facility with a top-notch spa. The resort is conveniently located within short walking distance to local authentic Bahamian shops as well as restaurants and bars. The locals are courteous and seem sincerely appreciative of the tourists. The Grand Bahama Island offers something for everyone: great snorkeling spots, horseback riding along the beach, swimming with the dolphins, Jeep Safari tours, bike tours, kayaking tours through a mango forest, ocean-edge golf courses and much more. I took an exceptional snorkeling tour. I was surrounded by a vast variety of tropical fish. I had to stop counting at 53 different types of fish in a picture-perfect backdrop of colorful coral reef. The guides threw bread near me, giving me an in-the-fishtank experience. One of the fish swarming me nipped my hand but I got revenge at lunch.
Food: I’m a big breakfast person so I was glad to wake up to an impressive spread that included an omelet bar accompanied by a fresh-fruit smoothie bar. For lunch I walked to Junkanoo Sports Bar and Grill and eat on the outside patio that overlooked a relaxing cove. They offered a pretty wide variety of mainland fish that had been caught that morning (doesn’t get much fresher). The Grand Lucayan Resort Hotel also offers exceptional dining that includes: Pacific Rim, Pan-Asian and Bahamian dishes served in the resorts stylish China Beach Restaurant as well as West Indian cuisine offered at the resorts Iries Restaurant.
The Bahamas offers 14 islands to explore. Grand Bahama Island is only one of them; I hope to return soon to experience some of the other islands that I am sure offer something uniquely special. As the saying goes, “It’s Better In The Bahamas”.
I encourage you to visit the official website of the Bahama islands – http://www.bahamas.com. This is a great source and tool for planning your trip to this restful fun getaway.
By John Brokamp, Publisher