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“Club Grand Bahama-Our Lucaya-Excellent vacation”

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Grand Lucayan, Bahamas
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Freeport
Reviewed 2 January 2010

We considered our Christmas-New Year's week vacation options for a budget family getaway and with the high prices on Paradise Island, airfare and hotel, we looked into Grand Bahama Island, with two young teens and a 6 year old. The weather was good, mid and upper 70's, sunny every morning with some clouds rolling in/out, then clearing again in the afternoons and evenings. Booking thru Travelocity, we found a great package option by way of the Club Grand Bahama. What was previously the Westin and Sheraton, is now the Radisson and Reef Village, together called Our Lucaya. The Radisson is more upscale, a stately manor house lobby, more luxurious grounds, more rooms with a view of the Atlantic, but very, very quiet. Reef Village is the much better value and has more action, though still quiet.

We took two rooms at Reef Village--a king size (garden view) and a two double Ocean view across the hall. The beds are very comfortable, as is the rollaway ($20 day) which is a real bed. The amenities are good- shelves, cabinets, desk, easy chair, refrigerator, and free internet ethernet access. The bathroom is small, and they seemed to run low on the coffee for the room, but the staff is uniformally friendly and attentive. In fact, the moment we landed and entered the immigration area, we were greeted by ‘Willy” a Club Grand Bahama guide in a fancy Panama Jack hat, who walked us and our luggage to a van, and 10 minutes later we were warmly greeted at Our Lucaya. Punch and cookies were in the lobby, room adjustments were quickly made to accommodate us with views and close proximity, and a Club Grand Bahama concierge team who were eager for us to meet with them. We unloaded at the rooms and soon after settled in at the Club Grand Bahama (CGB) room adjacent to the Casino.

We were handed special CGB cards and materials with all the options and descriptions. At the base Silver level, which we had booked, there is breakfast and dinner included, plus one activity per day per person. At least 4 different places offered breakfast and we tried each; 5 are available for dinner. Included activities include snorkeling, biking, mopeds, glass bottom boat, trampoline boat at the beach, etc.

On Lucaya Beach, the sand is soft and there are plenty of areas to lounge, or at the many pools which run almost right up to the sand There really is no distinction between the grounds of the Radisson and Reef, and other than the rooms and two lobbies, it is really one resort. We loved the spa, which is on the Radisson side but an easy stroll thru their tropical grounds. On one level they have massages and other services, and upstairs overlooking the pools and beach is an excellent (free) gym. Treadmills, elipticals and stair machines with tvs, nautilus and free weights, dance and spinning rooms. Outside there are tennis courts, one for each of the 4 Grand Slam surfaces. Three were available for our stay, the French, Australian and US Open. It is a small charge to play and they lend you racquets at a reasonable cost.

Literally across from the Reef and Raddison, which are on the beach side, is the Port Lucaya Marketplace, a small shopping village, which hums with straw stands, boutiques, many bars and restaurants (many in the CGB plans) and music at night. It is safe, though just look left when you cross the street, its British style. The vehicles stop and let you cross, and there is very little traffic.

We were surprised at how quiet and relaxed the atmosphere is, there are just not that many tourists here. What we understand is that this is due to a combination of the economy and culture. What you can see quickly is that Lucaya is seeking to set itself apart from Freeport. The shops have pushed the Freeport t-shirts and trinkets to the back of the racks or into boxes, literally, and now go with "Lucaya" up front. They are hungry for business and yet not aggressive or offensive. There is a strong goodwill that you sense from the people here, sincere greetings and desire to make us feel this is a place to return to. This is particularly true with the CGB team. No time-share mention, just- `enjoy our little Lucaya and come back’. In fact, the only time-share we heard of is at the Ritz in Taino Beach, and there is only a small RCI sign inside the lobby there which alerted us. When the Carnival cruises come in some days, late morning, the Marketplace has some more buzz and this brings much needed revenue to the vendors.

The CGB Club concierges could not be any more gracious, coordinating with vendors, restaurants, and drivers to take us wherever we needed to go. Glass bottom boat activity? ok, the CGB concierges said that they will get us a van to take us to the marina, wait, then take you back...he did. (And we saw sharks and Grouper and a sunken boat). When one restaurant they had booked closed early, they quickly coordinated amongst each other by cel phones to get us to another place. What a team these CGB ladies! For our beach party, a stretch limo pulled up to Reef Village and we loaded in to head to the other side of the canal. The CGB team made sure that we arrived and returned well. Bike riding and mopeds were free thru the CGB and we picked them up right across the street at the Marketplace, next to Frank’s Ice Cream (good) and the Duty Free shop. You do have to be careful riding because of the British style driving, not like the USA. There are plenty of side and beach roads to wander down and we have felt safe. Locals often stopped to offer assistance and they let you cross at intersections.

CGB worked with Unexso for all of us to play with dolphins as part of the Club experience in a lagoon, a few miles from Lucaya. For an extra charge, some of us were also able to spend extensive additional time with these amazing and sensitive mammals. Unexso is next to the Marketplace and Pelican Bay, and is a very professional dive/swim operation. They ferry you over to the lagoon and back.

The food options were good. Breakfast at Zorbas is perfect, inside or along the terrace, and dinner is excellent. Its always the most crowded at Zorbas, well earned, and the owners are a lot of fun to hang with. Lunch or dinner at Agave is a latin fusion mix and very tasty. We loved the fritters and breakfast at Le Med, the Hamburgers and chicken at Prop (at the beach at Reef Village), and the Willy Broadleef large buffet breakfast in an African-Indian setting, that was very cool. As for the CGB arrangement, we had essentially pre-paid for most meals and its very smooth to just show the cards. Included with dinner is appetizer, entree, dessert, soda or juice (alcohol is extra but modest priced). Zorbas is the best because they do not switch their menu when they hear you have the Club cards, After Decks does and the Club menu is much more limited. Zorbas dinner was very good and large portion Greek. China Beach behind Prop right on the ocean had a great ambience with Thai-Malaysian-Japanese fare, and very good pad Thai. Our favorite dinner was at Iries, which is connected to the Radisson and across from the Cove/Casino side entrance, with outstanding gourmet caribbean, steak, ox, and seafood, in a colonial home, matching the manor house entrance. Luciano’s, overlooking the Port Lucaya marina served upscale French and was very good too. We got to see all the Sunday football action at Sparkys bar in the middle of the Marketplace (part of Agave), and listened to bands play at night outside in the center of the Marketplace at the Count Basie Theatre.

There is an option to upgrade to Gold and Platinum levels in the Club. Most of the top restaurants are included in Platinum and the activities at the level are too many to list. But it is very costly, upwards of $300 per day more for our family of 5. Upgrading for a day was made available and that was worth it. What we did hear and see is that the All Inclusive thru the resort hotel (not the Club Grand Bahama) is not worth it for more than a few days since the food options are quite limited. The transfer from Reef Village back to the airport was also smooth and efficient. CGB had a driver waiting for us and we were met again at the airport 15 minutes later by warm Willy, who escorted us to the ticket counter wished us a safe trip home. We plan to return.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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7  Thank DPSandDots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,791 - 2,797 of 3,023 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2009

Got a great deal for the two of us to join friends who were already going. They had spoken highly about Freeport and this resort (we stayed on the Reef side) and for a short 3 day trip it was ideal. Traveled with Westjet, and service was fantastic. Room for the knees, not cramped like SunWing at all. Short 3 1/2 hour trip, and welcome to The Bahamas. Weather was mixed, a little rain, warm and humid with nice breezes in the afternoon and evening. Check in was a pain as it seemed we were an inconvenience for the reception staff, we asked for a better room 3 times (thanks to my partner) and finally got a simple room, no balcony, garden side, with a small bathroom. Mattress was fantastic, and room and bathroom always clean. Did the all inclusive thing, but bring your credit card, they charge everything to your room, then the card, and reimburse you or "net it off" when you check out. A weird system, and our friends had to argue about their bills. No one was sympathetic at front desk or in a hurry to fix the bill. But the front desk was the only problem for an otherwise stellar trip. The Prop Club was the all inclusive lunch and dinner place, great ribs, wings, huge tasty salads, premium beers, including Sands and Kalik local beers. Good desserts so you can pack on the pounds, but we walked all over the resort and to the Market, so the damage was minimal. Pools were very clean, lots of infinity pools, very romantic, sun came out and made us a little lazy. Lots of lounge chairs beside the pools and on the beach. Beach was clean, surf great fun. Say Hello to Audley in the Hammerhead bar, great guy, lots of stories, yummy daquiris and cold beer, and food delivered right to your lounge chair. A little cold but a nice touch. Got to use the 5 star facilities as they are all connected, crashed the conference centre and played a little piano, no problem for the security guard. The 5 star lobby is gorgeous, and lots of beach to walk and see. Had breakfast at Wally something or others (the goofy name for the restaurant) it's alacarte with fabulous coconut french toast, you gotta try it. Only other small silly complaint was too much air con, coming back in to the resort felt like walking into a fridge, it was really uncomfortable, but the room air was OK. Walked to The Market, listened to bands at night, had a couple of good local beers and fries, visited The Pelican resort and used their hot tub and internet service as my partner had been there before. Kept walking which kept the pounds off too. Visited the Casino, didn't spend anything, but it seemed OK, lots of single guys hanging around if that's your fancy. Had a nice dinner at Ireni's restaurant where she advertises the best martinis in the Caribbean, and she ain't kidding, they were delicious! Food was good, had a steak that was well prepared and presented. Over all I would go back, a week would be heaven. There was all sorts of activities to do but because we were there for only 3 days we tried to crash and enjoy the pool. Westjet started and finished off a great holiday, and it was a pain to come back to snow. Enjoy your trip to The Bahamas.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ExBeachers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2009

I stayed at this hotel for just 1 night and didn't get a chance to see all that it can offer but from what i could see, it is a great place! Very clean, big lobbies. Friendly staff. Spacious rooms and nice views of ocean or garden.
I rated the "value" 4 and not 5 because it was a bit expensive, but i booked upon arrival.

It has an amazing pool area with a water slide, waterfalls and also a jacuzzi, all right by the beach.

It's only 2 minutes away from the main Freeport square and the marina.

Go for it!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Vera P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2009

This was our 5th visit in 7 years to Our Lucaya, we stayed in the Breakers Cay building. Despite the change of ownership, the hotel was as flawless as usual. Clean, well kept, the staff helpful and smiling as always..I recommend this hotel to anyone who visits Grand Bahama!

Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank FNM6669
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2009

We had yet another great stay on Grand Bahama. This was our first visit since the hotel became the Radisson. I didn't notice many changes, which is good because we loved the hotel before. The grounds are really amazing and so is the beach. Beautiful, clear, warm aqua water with soft, white sand. There was one disappointment...the Prop Club. We had always found the food and service good but we only at there once this trip. The only time any of the staff smiled there was when our waiter brought the bill, and it felt like he was trying to get a tip on top of the already added gratuity. Didn't work.
We ate all our other meals, except one, at the Marketplace across the street. There is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from including a Domino's pizza. We did have Thanksgiving Dinner at Willy Broadleaf's. They had a fantastic buffet.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank SunshinePerri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2009

This was my worst hotel stay EVER. The rooms are not "renovated" as they claim. We stayed at the Reef Village for 6 days. First room we received had a broken bathroom faucet, peeling paint in the tub and tile, a moldy stench, a defective safe, and the power button on the TV was sunken in. Both properties were at 10% capacity so a room change should not have been an issue. We were moved to the 5flr to a room with water streaks on the walls, a different smell, broken remote control and wet carpets. The property opened on Sat 10/31, it seems they put everyone in our traveling group in the rooms that were not finished. There was drilling at odd hours of the morning, the food was horrible and the drinks worse. Drinks were $10 with the mandatory 15% gratuity and not worth $2. Since they were at such low capacity 3 pools were closed. They turned off the water falls and slides in the pool at any given time during the day. There was no worthwhile entertainment pool side, no umbrellas on the beach and the cabana chairs were being rented for $30 a day! The property also caters to cruise ships so the beach and pool would get crowded and noisy by outsiders. We are a multiracial group and many were treated with disrespect by the staff and security on the property. For a Radisson/Carlson company that advertises a YES I CAN guest policy, this location failed in all aspects. Our group and us as individuals will not set foot on this property AGAIN! The beach and marketplace are full of timeshare pushers and they are rude in intruding on visitors. I will not visit Freeport AGAIN. Food, drinks, nightlife, shopping, nothing was impressive or memorable enough for a second visit.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled on business
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7  Thank MrsMacMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2009

I was with a group of 15 for a all-inclusive for 4 nights. Only one restaurant was all inclusive. Hotel was pretty vacant and they scattered us all around with renovation going on around us. The front desk staff seemed to be unaware of what was or wasn't all inclusive. The only shinning star of the stay was the Prop Club Staff and the house keeping staff. There was not hot water and not entertainment. In the future complete All-Inclusive information should be put on the website.I loved the island, but unless changes are made I won't stay here again !!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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5  Thank Sheila3211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Lucayan, Bahamas

Address: 1 Sea Horse Lane | Lucaya, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Grand Bahama Island > Freeport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Freeport
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Freeport
Price Range: £249 - £449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Lucayan, Bahamas 4*
Number of rooms: 542
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

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