I used Tripadvisor extensively to plan my trip, so I feel it is the right thing for me to offer my review. We went fron June 27-30. Wish it could have been longer!! This is a review of our entire trip........ including our stay at the Grand Lucayan....... which I highly recommend.
The area around the airport (and allot of the Island) still show the damage of the Hurricanes from many years ago....... don't be discouraged........ the resort area will help you forget it. Grab any Taxi at the airport to the hotel, it's a fixed rate of $22 for 2 to the hotel. Our Taxi driver, Tyrone, was friendly..... informative.... and entertaining. He gave us his card and we called him to return us to the airport when we left. He was genuinely thankful we called him...... even on his day off (Sunday). I'm certain most drivers are like Tyrone. Don't expect a 5 star vehicle...... the taxis are a little worn.
From the minute you arive the bell staff is attentive and friendly. As we took in the beautiful lobby and the view we were offered a lemonade. We arrived around 11ish on a non-cruiseship day, so the lobby wasn't crowded at all. We waited in line for just a few minutes and were told we couldn't check in till around 3, which I expected. We were told we could check our bags and enjoys the beach until then........ which we gladly did. We changed in the restrooms and checked our bags. During this process we did hear a women arguing daily surcharges at the check-in desk, which I hear is common. The staff member she was arguing with was equally rude to the customer. This was the only rude Bahamian we encountered on the entire trip, and it was not directed towards us. We booked out trip trip through Expedia and no additional charges were incurred....... and I had emailed the Hotel prior to the visit to ensure I understood possible charges so I wouldn't be surprised and brought a copy of the response just in case....... I had no issues.
GORGEOUS! As you may read elsewhere, the resort is certainly running less than capacity...... which for us seemed like a bonus. 1/3 of the resort to the west is completely closed down being renovated into what I heard was going to be a timeshare. It will not impact your stay whatsoever. Another 1/3 of the Hotel buildings to the East appear not to be rented to vacationers, and the bar hut was only open on a cruise ship day, but the grounds, pools and beach are maintained......... and mostly vacant from other tourists. This was our go-to place in the resort. They even showed current movies outside there in the evenings....... with a very small crowd, if any. The center portion of the resort was the most used, but still did not feel crowded at all. You will not find a problem getting a chair anywhere in this resort. The pools were clean and the perfect temperature. Some of them do look greenish......... but I think it is the pool surface, not the water. No complaints. The bar area never had a wait. Service was great. If you opted to bypass the all-inclusive expect to pay around $14 for two drinks. We ate burgers one day and they were good and about $8. We ate in the small "Starbucks"-like shop in the main hotel, and the food was good and affordable. The Sundry shop there is also not too bad price-wise.
You will see the hotel gearing up for this, as bus loads of people are trucked in from the cruiselines. The lobby will fill up with people, and I'm sure check-in would be horrible. Didn't affect us at all of course. There are obviously more people in the resort....... but it still did not fell crowded. Our "secret" spot on the East Side was definitely discovered, but not terribly so. Actually felt like a bonus because they opened the drink / food hut by the pool for the day.
Breathtaking. Clean. The sand is like powder. The water is clear....... very little seaweed or grass washing in. Looked like it was raked fairly often. Plenty of chairs. Water temperature was perfect. Waves were gentle. We decided the beaches in the Bahamas surpassed the ones we visited in Hawaii. There are vendors for the water sports and hairbraiding / t-shirts that will bother you occasionally on the "main beach"... but not overly so. You will also see allot of jetskis, parasailing, etc on the main beach. If you don't enjoy that, go to the less busy East Beach and you'll avoid most of that. If you enjoy people watching...... stay on the Main Beach. To the West of the resort just off the property is Billy Joes. Good lunch, great view, nice atmosphere with a good mix of tourists and locals. It was here that we were asked if "we smoke the green" by a local entreprenuer, lol,...... when we said no we were not bothered again. It wasn't an issue worth keeping you from visiting.... just be aware. Glad we went and would do it again.
Had a 10th Floor Marina View in the middle of the hotel. Room and bathroom were great. Clean and comfortable updated room with comfortable bed, good TV and Fridge. View was decent, but AC noise made it unpleasant to sit on the lanai......... but we weren't there to sit on the lanai. I would say the Ocean side would obviously give you a better view... and the breeze off the ocean should not be overlooked........ virtually no breeze on Marina side. Just need to decide if you want to spend your vacation dollars on a view and breeze or save it for activities! The AC worked great and was not noisy. You could only hear the "business" AC's when you were outside. Would have loved an Ocean View......... but were happy with the Marina View and saving the $$. One surprising negative was being on the 10th floor........ waiting on elevators seemed to take forever, even though there are lots of them. Especially on departure day......... we got tired of waiting and carried our luggage down 10 flights of stairs! Also, Ice machine on 10th floor was broke our entire vacation and had to go to 9th floor to get ice. Minor inconvenience.
We went one day, on a non cruiseship day, and it was empty. It is decent size with lots of gaming options. It's not Vegas, but it is worth visiting. Right next to the hotel.
We went to the Market accross the street every evening about 6-7. It was hot for the first hour, but then the temperatures quickly turned pleasant. The main stores close around 4:30-5........ the vendors on the perimeter are open later and will do their best to get you in their booths. Most are friendly....... they all pretty much sell the same stuff. There is a timeshare booth in the center labelled "Tourist Information" that will chase you a little, but not too bad. Plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. The average restaurant will cost $20-30 per person including the automatic 15% tip applied everywhere on the island. Didn't have a bad meal anywhere. We did splurge one nght at the Flying Fish. $144 for two people, with no drinks and sharing a desert......... but, the absolute best meal we've ever ate. No regrets. Makes every other meal feel like you are just filling your belly. We are average people, but we could appreciate how good it was. Great service. The Square had nightly live music and shows that was entertaining for all ages. Beverages were moderately priced. Had a great time. Met allot of people, locals and vacationers. Recommend.
Rented a car ($78 including insurance) and braved driving on the left. Easier than I expected, but the turnabouts left us on the wrong exit numerous times. Driver error. Hertz at the airport offered free shuttle to from the Hotel to the airport rental location and return. We went to Gold Rock Beach (highly recommend....... bring drinks!) and then ventured past the park to High Point to eat lunch away from the crowd........ equally gorgeous beaches, great food ($40 for lunch and drinks), and extremely friendly people.
Also went to Paradise Cove........ opposite end of Island. You see more of the local landscape. The beach there was beautiful, but we got there late and the water was a tad rough due to incoming rain so we chose not to snorkel....... still worth the trip.
Trikk Pony Adventures
Horseback Riding on the beach and in the ocean!!! MUST DO!! Don't have to be an experienced rider. Look them up on Facebook. Operated by a wonderful young lady. Not typical trail horses........ these are her horses. Well trained, gentle....... beautiful. Highlight of our trip. Bucket List Item!!!!
Grand Lucayan is the best place to go on GBI in my opinion. Resort is gorgeous. Beaches / pools are breathtaking. People and service was great. Location is close to the market for numerous food / entertainment options. Fun fun fun!!! Highly recommend...... already planning our next trip!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Lucayan Bahamas is an elegant resort set on 7.5 tropical acres of sandy coastline and spectacular oceanfront. This 542-room hotel delivers the ambiance of the islands with all of the style and amenities you expect in a resort destination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Hotel Freeport
- Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort
- Radisson Freeport
- Lucaya Sheraton
- Sheraton Our Lucaya
- Sheraton Bahamas
- Grand Lucayan, Bahamas Freeport, Grand Bahama Island