Well, what can I say, I had expectation which I'm sorry to say were not met.
I stayed overnight at Graycliff as I reintegrated myself back into the world (I was in Bimini for 6 days, and it is a world unto itself). I chose Graycliff based on the reviews I read here - an old world hotel set away from the hustle and bustle of Nassau proper. That part is true. A short walk down the street takes you to the main shopping strip in Nassau - at this time of year make sure you take an umbrella, I got caught in a downpour and came back to the hotel soaked (it was cooling at least).
I was lead on a circuitous route through the gardens to my room (Corona) above the Brazilian restaurant. A lovely suite with a couch, bar fridge (sans price list so I couldn't gasp at the prices for all the goodies), large king bed (someone else posted the bed sloped in the middle - alone in it I was fine). The room itself had that musty, old house smell which seemed present in most of the hotel. This is something that comes with the territory and is pretty much unavoidable in a building of this age, and in the tropics no less. The bathroom was marble, with jacuzzi tub, shower and a bidet. Yet the functionality of the room should have been thought out a wee bit more. The lovely pedestal sink had a wee little shelf above and THAT WAS IT. I don't have lots of creams, lotions and potions in my toiletry bag and I was hard pressed to find a place for things (around the rim of the tub perhaps??) The shower was tiled in marble as was the rest of the bathroom, but it was rather small, and SERIOUSLY - a room that is priced at $340 for the night (and I got a special deal) should have a REAL shower curtain made of fabric that can be washed to prevent mold and completes the elegant look I can tell they were going for. The cheap vinyl curtain with the dollar store hooks just doesn't cut it in my books. And there had to be a better option for a shower caddy than the wire thing that was there (again looked like it came from the dollar store). The A/C did work great and drowned out the car and street noise.
The grounds and property are in need of more love and attention than the sparce crew that I could see were able to give. Leaves on walkways needed sweeping, chairs around the smaller pool needed fixing/replacing, buildings needed attending to. I get that the warm, moist sea air is extremely hard on buildings, but if you bill yourself as a 5 star hotel with all the ambiance and bells and whistles that go with it, then you had best provide a 5 star setting.
As my room did not have a balcony, it would have been nice to have some COVERED outdoor spots to sit and read a book. I suppose I could have sat in the bar area adjacent to the cigar factory but it seemed rather desolate. Umbrellas are needed to walk from the far end of the property to the restaurant if it is raining (there was one in the room).
I ate at 2 of the 3 restaurants. A pizza for lunch - I'm afraid was not up to snuff (I had a better pizza at Compass Point the week before), and I received a discount on the price due some issues I had with it. Hoping to give the hotel a chance to redeem itself, I chose to stay in and have dinner in the "fancy" restaurant. I knew in advance that it was going to be a pricey dinner. The attention from the staff certainly wasn't lacking - I was served by at least 5 waiters (I lost count). I will say it was tasty, but it didn't "knock my socks off" and after having a Kir Royale, a steak, 3 side dishes (the steak is ALONE on the plate), and a souffle my meal was $138 with tip. I packed up the left over steak (I was not about to attempt to eat 14 oz in one sitting) and added it to a takeway caesar salad for my lunch the next day. I had to laugh at the supplies I was given (no fault of the wait staff) - Wendy's has sturdier forks than the plastic fork I was given.
So, in a nut shell. It is secluded, has an amazing liquor cabinet (1888 was on a bottle I saw), and the staff are attentive. HOWEVER, the i's aren't dotted and the t's aren't crossed. If you are billing yourself as a 5 star hotel, you had better come with your A game. I'm afraid B+ isn't enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated next door to Government House and only a few minutes away from white sand beaches, Graycliff Hotel offers an enticing world tucked away from the casinos and glitter Nassau is known for. This AAA Four-Diamond hotel boasts twenty elegant guest chambers and spacious pool cottage suites. The ambiance at Graycliff is to make each guest feel as if they’ve returned home. Upon arrival, guests are invited to sit and relax in comfort of the lounge while checking in.The rooms are all individually decorated in various styles with names that evoke all the charm and romance of the tropics. Graycliff’s decor features an alluring blend of the old and the new. To experience the old there is the Pool Cottage where Winston Churchill used to stay or the Baillou, the original master bedroom in the main house. To experience the new, there is the Mandarino Cottage with its extra large bathroom with whirlpool. All rooms are air-conditioned with private bath. Breakfast is served to hotel guests only. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Graycliff Hotel Nassau
- Graycliff Hotel Bahamas/Nassau