Well, we made it through one night at Island Seas Resort. We moved to Grand Lucayan Resort after that one night. It is a world apart from Island Seas.
The fourth staff warning on our first afternoon, from the night-shift beach security guard, that we should not accept any activity offers from locals that will be soliciting on the public beach the resort is located on, because they may not come back with the jet ski they'll ask to be paid for in advance, or they won't be licensed or have any insurance, did the place in for me....not a place I really want my daughter wandering around (I did appreciate the warnings though). The gym room, that had two inoperable tread mills along with free weights that looked like they were scavenged from a ship wreck, and a mirror wall that looked like it had a sugary drink splashed on it a few days ago, pretty much did it in for my daughter. She wasn't too pleased with her black bottom white socks from walking shoeless on the tile floor of our room, the floors were actually sticky. Waking up the first morning not being able to breath through her nose for the mold or mildew in the room, that smelled like it had been closed up for a couple years before we walked in, finished the place off for my wife. I wasn't too happy either with the bone fragments that were in my pulled pork sandwich I had for dinner the first night either, although the fries were really good. Our server was concerned enough to say she would inform the kitchen and apologized but offered no solution.
I have to say that the staff were very friendly and helpful, including being sure to provide the beach warnings. They came to the room without delay the first night to spray it to try to freshen it up but no help for my wife's sinuses. I feel bad complaining because they did give us quite a nice room floor plan and location with a view of the main courtyard with the ocean beyond.
The timeshare sales staff was low pressure (yes, Island Seas is a timeshare resort), which was welcome, and we did sign up for the free lunch the second day to listen to their presentation, but after our experience I truly wonder how they think they'll be able to sell ownership to the facility. When we arrived I noticed there wasn't a single smiling face amongst the crowd in the lobby trying to get to the front desk, don't know if they were checking in, out, or there to complain.
We've talked to a few locals we've met at places we've visited, like an outdoor restaurant we went to for dinner after changing hotels. An American women who lives here winters mentioned that Island Seas is known here to be a struggling facility that was grand a long time ago but has really struggled the last few years. A family friend of one of her friends stayed at Island Seas and she was asked to look after them. The friend attended the timeshare sales pitch meeting and complained to her that the staff would just not leave them alone after the meeting. I'm glad we didn't fall into that trap. Our Taxi driver from the airport acted actually surprised that that was where he was taking us, which was our first worry, and it just went downhill from there.
Staff mentioned to me that ownership recently changed and a lot of work was going on to improve things but there wasn't much visible evidence of that. It seemed about 30 years old and not looked after the past 20!
We've actually run into two families here at Grand Lucayan that we saw at Island Seas on our first night. They also moved, at considerable expense by the way.
The grounds are well kept, again kudos to the friendly helpful staff, but the public beach with public access right next door is not the secluded beach their web site promises. There is NO free internet, it costs $70 a week for one device. But if you attend the timeshare sales pitch, you can get free wifi for 2 devices if you don't take any of the free activities they offer. Do you get the catch??? It's just hearsay, by the way, but we were told the pressure from the sales people after the pitch was intense.
To be fair, I realize it's monumentally challenging and costly to keep ahead of the impact of constant salt air exposure, even Grand Lucayan visibly struggles with this issue. But it does go well beyond that at Island Seas.
If you're ok with fourth rate hotels and all the stuff we found unacceptable, maybe you'll be ok, especially if you have no allergies to mold, or mildew, or whatever it was in our room that clogged our sinuses. Good Luck...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This fully furnished one and two bedroom condominium resort with full living/dining areas and private beach is set between the shopping and dining centers of Port Lucaya Marketplace, 2 miles away, and Freeport's International Bazaar, 3 miles away. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Island Seas Hotel Freeport
- Island Seas Freeport
- Island Seas Resort Freeport Bahamas
- Island Seas Resort Bahamas/Freeport, Grand Bahama Island