The water sparkled like blue zircon sapphires as I stood speechless, taking it all in. As a child I have faint memories of sailing around the Bahamas with my dad, but now, seeing the intense and mesmerizing crystal clear blues of the water was enough to leave me breathless all over again. “Somebody pinch me,” I thought.
This trip to the Bahamas was going to be very different than any of my previous visits with my father. For one I was not with family, and secondly, I was finally going to have a chance to explore more of Nassau Paradise Island. My stay in Nassau would be split between two of the largest and most popular resort properties on the island, Atlantis Paradise Island and The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar; and while in town I was also going to get the chance to explore many other smaller hotel properties and talk to locals in hopes of finding out where the most Instagram-worthy spots on the island are! So, are you ready for them?
One of the smaller properties I visited was the Sunrise Beach Clubs and Villas, located on Cabbage Beach. It was here, while standing on the back porch of one of their three bedroom villas that I saw the water sparkle like blue zircon sapphires for the first time. Cabbage Beach is known for being one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the Bahamas and spans approximately 8 km. Along the beach you will find countless resorts, bars, and restaurants lining the shores. The beach itself has the most beautiful clean, white sand, and although the water is shallow and perfect for beach walks, swimming, and sunbathing, I have heard the rip currents can also be very strong. Since there are no lifeguards on duty I would suggest being mindful of this when going in the water. Cabbage beach starts at the Atlantis property and the further west you go the quieter the beach gets. By the time you hit Sunrise Beach Clubs and Villas or the famous Four Seasons Ocean Club (more on that later), the beach becomes less busy and in my personal opinion much more enjoyable. Since there are many restaurants and bars along the beach, beach chairs can easily be rented wherever you decide to settle down, making this the perfect place to post up, do a little ‘liming’, snap some Instagram worthy photos and enjoy a gorgeous beach day in Nassau.
The second place I recommend you check out while in Nassau is the Graycliff Hotel and surrounding Graycliff Heritage Village. Not only does the hotel have great historical significance, but it also has an amazing restaurant – the first 5-star restaurant on the island and the best food I had while in Nassau – and an expansive wine cellar that boasts over 200,000 bottles of wine at an estimated value of $20 million! The hotel itself is located near downtown Nassau and was originally a mansion built in 1740 by Captain John Howard Graysmith, a famous pirate known for looting treasure ships along the Spanish Main (Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea). If you have a chance to visit the hotel I would recommend snapping some photos by their gorgeous mosaic pool in the back which is like a little tucked away oasis and unlike anything else you will see in Nassau. If you continue through the Heritage Village you will also find the Graycliff Cigar Company, Graycliff Chocolatier and Bahama Barrels (Bahamas’s first winery) – all of which are great places to pick up some souvenirs.
Anyone who loves James Bond movies would recognize the famous Four Seasons Ocean Club from the Daniel Craig-starring Casino Royal. Not only is the Ocean Club an extremely exclusive property but the grounds are absolutely stunning. On the property you will find beautiful ocean views, tranquil spots in which to relax, a beautiful restaurant overlooking the water, and a racket club. For me, what made this property so Instagram-worthy was the 35 acres of Versailles-inspired tiered manicured lawns and gardens. If you can snag a dinner or lunch reservation at the hotel restaurant (Dune Restaurant) make sure to take a walk around the property to find the gardens. You are guaranteed some beautiful, fairytale like pictures here!
If you have kids or are just a big kid at heart, the waterpark at Atlantis Paradise Island is an amazing place to check out and snap photos while in Nassau. Aquaventure, Atlantis’ waterpark, is a remarkable 141-acre with Atlantean-themed towers that house high speed water slides. Numerous swimming pools, a water playground/fort, a mile long not-so-lazy river with rolling rapids and wave surges, and twenty additional swimming areas can also be found scattered throughout the property. The good news is you don’t necessarily need to be staying at Atlantis to access the park as day passes can be purchased at The Atlantis Adventures Tour centre located outside The Coral. Space is limited so best to arrive early and anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an Adult (18 years or older) to access the water park. While on Atlantis grounds, make sure to also check out the numerous aquariums on the property for a glimpse at majestic stingrays and schools of tropical fish.
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I was recently in Nassau Bahamas on a press trip and for the first three days I was there I stayed at the iconic Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. The Cove at Atlantis is one of Atlantis's luxury, more adult-focused hotel offerings which they recently redesigned. It is here that you will be able to find the only adult-only pool on the entire Atlantis property.
Last, but definitely not least, the Baha Mar Campus offers numerous amazing photo opportunities. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, where I stayed, is the largest hotel on the Baha Mar campus and has 6 gorgeous pools to choose from – one of which even has a grotto! Colourful cabanas along with cute little Airstream trailer food trucks can also be found scattered throughout the property, both of which make incredibly cute backdrops for photos. Besides the beautiful casino (where you aren’t really allowed to take photos of/in) the Baha Mar campus is incredibly photogenic and all three hotels that make up the campus – SLS, Grand Hyatt and Rosewood – offer unique experiences. The SLS (the party hotel) and the Rosewood (Nassau’s ultimate private, luxury hotel escape) provide guests with further exclusive access to parts of the property that Hyatt guests do not have including smaller, private pools (SLS has one and Rosewood has two) as well as a private beach (reserved for Rosewood guests only). No matter which hotel you end up stay at though, you are bound to get some great shots for your IG no matter what!
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I was recently in Nassau, Bahamas on a press trip and for the last two days that I was there I stayed at the new Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. It was my first time in the Baha Mar and I absolutely loved it. Not only are the rooms lovely but the Hyatt has 6 pools, numerous restaurants, has great boutique shopping and is home to the largest casino in the Caribbean.
This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg for Instagram worthy spots in Nassau, let alone the Bahamas! One place that should for sure be on this list, but I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to really visit, is downtown Nassau. Known for its bright colourful buildings and Straw Market, downtown Nassau is super close to the cruise ship port making it an easy place to visit if you are coming in via boat. Other than that, Nassau is a beautiful island with so much to offer and I am sure anyone who visits will find unique spots of their own to add to this list. If you know of or find a spot that you think I should add to this list, feel free to leave me a note in the comments below!
Until then safe travels and happy photo taking!