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“nice....but far” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Bahama Bay

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Old Bahama Bay
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West End
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
563 reviews
176 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 306 helpful votes
“nice....but far”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2009

The bahamas is like that: of well you saty in a crowdy area like in cancun of well you are ffar from everything. It's the case of old bahamas bay.
The hotel is great but don't exspect a local architecture: it's a nice US hotel. The rooms are great, nice and large, idem for the bathroom. Nothing is missing. The deco are nice, without any fun but nice.
The dinning room: maybe a problem: the hotel promise with his internet website that the "good"restaurant is open the week around: during ou 5 days of stay : never. You have then to stay in 2 sd restaurant like a motel restaurant: not bad,....but no more, and a small list. We say it but without any answer. There's an other restaurant on the beach for the lunch, nice.
The area is beautifull for one side (the other side is under conctruction). The private beach is attractive, the swimming pool (heated not a luxe) is great.
All together: a nice place.....without a special touch, we wait a little bit more for the price , the 5 star's and the area

  • Liked — easy
  • Disliked — no sepcial touch
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank HDLBruxelles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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406 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, GA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2009

I had an incredible stay at Old Bahama Bay on Grand Bahama Island. The entire staff from the restaurants to the housekeeping were extremely genuine and accommodating. The experience was above and beyond what I had expected coming in to this trip. The rooms were large and clean. Appliances were new. The views were spectacular. The resort grounds were very well manicured, and had a serene and secluded feel. I was traveling for business, but everyone on staff made it a pleasure to be there. I definitely look forward to returning for a personal vacation.

  • Liked — The friendliness of the staff and also the beauty of the resort grounds.
  • Disliked — I had a little trouble with high speed internet access inside of my room, but did have a good connection on my balcony. I was in the building furthest away from the wireless router.
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank lotusbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2009

My boyfriend and I visited Old Bahama Bay from September 11-15th of 2008.
He had just returned home after a year in the middle east.
This trip was meant to be a perfect relaxing getaway and thats exactly what it was.
Because of possible impending bad weather (aka a hurricane) and the dodgy economy it turned out that the two of us and another couple were the only guests at the resort for the first three days of our stay.
The room we were given at first arrival was exactly like it looks online.
Unfortunately we had bathroom issues. Within about 90 minutes we were moved to the room next door which was even better because it had more windows than the first and an even better ocean view.

The food at the fancy restaurant was very disappointing and overpriced.On our last two days they ran out of whipped cream for my parfaits.
The staff was lovely and curteous.
The water crystal clear.

  • Liked — the solitude, the views and the bed
  • Disliked — the food at the higher priced restaurant, the lack of food ingredients
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Auryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2008

Let me start by saying, we are "picky" travelers. I read another review that likened the hotel to a Four Seasons - NO WAY! We changed rooms three times - safe broken in first two rooms and rooms were "old" - not at all like the internet. Finally, we were moved to Phase 3 room which did look like internet pictures. You have to request Phase 3 room to get full size kitchenette, washer/dryer and updated bathroom. Beds were VERY firm in all three rooms - could not get comfortable.

Staff was very nice throughout the resort. Our three year old loved the pool, beach and playground equipment. I believe the pool drains need to be brought to US code since the property is owned by an American. The no see-ums are bad but the hotel provides Skin So Soft in your room - use it.

We departed early due to TS Fay - I was happy to go home. Would not return due in most part to the uncomfortable beds.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank mamalevine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level Contributor
57 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2008

My husband and I just returned from a 5 night stay at Old Bahama Bay. Had we payed the regular price I would have been extremely disappointed. But as we paid for an auction through luxury link, I feel that we paid for what we got. The service is very mixed. We arrived at the hotel via the complementary airport taxi only to have the receptionist not know that we had already paid for our trip via luxurylink. I had to log onto her computer to print out the receipt. While I should have brought the confirmation number with me, I felt it was a small enough hotel they should have remembered that I had booked through a travel agent.

Service was sometimes good and at other times, we felt like we were imposing on the staff. Of the 5 nights we stayed, we only received turndown service 3 nights. The hotel presents you with a calendar of the weekly events. We signed up for for the junkanoo festival and just a couple hours prior, they informed us it had been cancelled because not enough people signed up. We signed up for the cocktail cruise and the same thing happened - only this time it was less than an hour prior to departure. My advice to the hotel is not advertise them as they may not even happen. To add to the disjointed service, we were told that because lobster season started while we were there, the restaurants would have special lobster entrees. As it turned out, they were saving all the lobster they caught for a big "lobster fest" which unfortunately happened the day after we left! Again, not a problem if they hadn't gotten us all excited with the false advertising.

The room is great. The view isn't really ocean view. They told us if we wanted a better view we would have to pay an extra $40/night. We felt that a true 5 star resort that advertises ocean view wouldn't have said that so bluntly but would have tried to make sure we were happy. In the end we decided all the palm trees blocking the view provided nice shade from the sun and were happy. My husband & I are not complainers by the way. Oh, which leads me to the funniest thing. They have a big sign at their activities desk meant for the employees. "90% of the customer never complain, they just don't come back." Well, we fit in that 90%.

We liked the remoteness of the resort. We enjoyed watching all the multi-million mega yachts pull in. The restaurant service is slow as several mentioned, but that didn't bother us too much. The food value is strange. Some salads are large and reasonably priced. Other things are small and way overpriced. We were overcharged for something but the receptionist did correct it at check out.

As for the beach, tons of people got stung by jelly fish (we got lucky). There was a stingray, which was cool. We also saw a nurse shark and a reef shark. As for the don't see ums were lucky until the last night. But several people we met had been bitten every night.

Overall, we would not return as the service is just too unpredictable and defiitely not 5 star.

  • Liked — large room
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank SailAwaySanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manhattan
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2008

On June 24th, my wife and I returned from a ten night stay on the West End of Grand Bahama Island at the Old Bahama Bay Ginn Sur Mer Resort. I am writing this on June 28th so everything is still fresh in my mind. This trip has been an absolutely unbelievable experience. We both rate the Old Bahama Bay with an unequivocal Five Stars and by far the most important factor that determines our rating is the people who work at the resort.

We booked our trip though an online service and purchased two back to back five night packages that included an ocean view room, airport transfers, a dinner at Bone Fish Folley's, and complimentary champagne delivered to our room. Since we had two packages we were entitled to two of all the amenities.

We flew into Grand Bahama using miles and arrived on the non stop New York to Free Port US Airways flight effortlessly. In fact, we took off late and arrived half an hour early. We were greeted at the airport by Freddie who drove us for forty five minutes to the resort. Freddie was an absolute pleasure and recommended that we stop at the City Market in Eight Mile Rock for any provisions that we might need. The City Market is a Winn Dixie. We were in and out in 30 minutes and the people who staffed the market were full of warmth and smiles despite the overall poor economic situation on the island. A great start.

One of the problems with the Old Bahama Bay is getting information about what you can do before you get there. The Internet is full of conflicting information and I had spent many hours trying to make contact with various tour operators to investigate diving and snorkeling out of the West End. I found someone who was willing to do snorkeling and diving on a private boat but the prices seemed ridiculously high and he wouldn't take credit cards. Since Freddie lived on the West End I asked him about this person by name and his reaction was that we would be much better off talking to the people at the Water Sports Activities desk at the resort. More about this later...but generally, I would not try to book anything in advance at all--you are much better off getting to know some locals personally and then getting hooked up.

When we arrived at the resort around 1 we were greeted with a too sweet Virgin Bahama Mama served in a plastic cup. Not impressive at all. My wife was dealing with the front desk and they were fairly pleasant but not really warm and smiling. In fact when my wife requested the second voucher for our second complimentary dinner, they doubted we were entitled to it and made us feel like they were doing us a favor to check it. Sure enough, there it was in the records and they gave us the voucher and off we went with our bellman, Drexell, to find our room. This was the beginning of our trying to figure out exactly what made this resort tick. In essence, there seems to be the Ginn Company on one side and the People on the other. It was almost as if there was a good cop coaching most of the workers and a bad cop coaching the rest. Any time there was any attitude displayed by any employee it seemed to revolve around satisfying the Ginn Company fiscal objectives which took us a long time to figure out. More later...

After a short golf cart drive we arrived at our room. We were having a nice conversation with Drexell about the island and I mentioned I hadn't been on the West End since the mid sixties when the Old Bahama Bay was the Jack Tarr resort. He opened the door and we found that the room was stunning. It was about as close to Four Seasons level as you can get without being a Four Seasons. Then he opened the drapes and we were treated to a view of the pool, the immaculate gardens, and when the palm trees parted in the wind, a sliver of the ocean. I looked at my wife and she looked at me. We let Drexell know that this was unacceptable. We were paying for ocean view, not sliver ocean view, and if Ginn and Company wanted more money for a real ocean view they should have made it clear and we would have paid in advance instead of being embarrassed. To make a long story short, and with many reassurances from Drexell, we were given a “complimentary upgrade” to what they call an ocean front room. So there we were, in a beautiful room with an ocean view, and to be fair, we were given the room before check-in time. Given the surroundings, we were never tempted to leave the resort the entire time we were there!

We went to check out the activities hut and met Norman. Norman turned out, by far, to be the highlight of our trip. What a kind and wise young man! We ended up going out with him four times for snorkeling and a picnic to Wood Cay. Here's the scoop: There is a 17 foot outboard that will take up to a party of four out for a snorkeling trip. The cost is 40 per person and they do not put you in with other people staying at the resort. If you sign up for two people you go out with two people. The trip is an hour of snorkeling and the clock starts when you get there. You can also pay 60 per person for a trip further out, but you are best off doing the snorkeling at Wood Cay which is a 40 dollar trip. We are both qualified divers, but I have never in all my experience seen the abundance of healthy corals and schools of fish that we saw on three separate excursions to this fabulous snorkeling spot! I also want to mention that Jarreth and Annika were absolutely outstanding at the activities desk and were always warm and helpful, from snorkeling advice from the beach, to bicycles. They were wonderful, and so were the bicycles and the snorkeling from the beach. The water is shallow, but you can put on fins sitting down and be swimming ten feet out from the beach. Once we tried this we did it every day and enjoyed it immensely.

The food at the resort was wonderful once we figured out what to order. Anything made from Conch and everything fresh from the sea is the way to go. The red snapper was amazing, as was the Mahi Mahi and Grouper. Outstanding! I can still taste it! The Conch was also amazing, from the Conch burger and Conch salad at the Straw Bar (also know as Conch Heaven) to the Cracked Conch main course from Folley's...just unbelievable! As far as service goes, Godfrey in Folley's was a pleasure. Often we walked over to give him our order and he delivered it to us in our room himself. It was a pleasure chatting with him and learning about the island. We only ate sitting in the restaurant once and we were in and out in an hour for a full three course meal. Keesha (Norman's wife!) was our server and she was wonderful—you can never eat too much rice and peas! Finally, the Straw Bar service was also wonderful with only one exception. They say there is a happy hour with half priced drinks specials, but they don't list the specials and they may try to serve you your drink in a smaller cup! Ridiculous! We ordered consistently from the bar instead of from a room stash of duty free liquor which other guests told us they were doing. Happy hour should be happy hour. If you are going to make half priced drinks, don't be chintzy! Thanks go to Lucretia, Mary, Sarah, Maya, and Ruth, all of whom worked very hard to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. I hope I haven't left anyone out!

I want to end this report by mentioning the Ginn Company “vision” for the West End. They are planning to build the largest resort in the world here and it is a hot subject for everyone whether they are for it or against it. Some love it and some think it is a nightmare. Personally, I don't think the West End can support this kind of development. I would much prefer to see a larger version of the existing Old Bahama Bay. Which brings me to what I think I have figured out about the whole development and its relation to Ginn. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the real estate salespeople after he had a few drinks and he pretty much confirmed what I had been suspecting. The Ginn company moved its headquarters to Palm Bay in Florida where they have an existing successful development and they put up potential (minimum million plus) investors there prior to flying them in to the Old Bahama Bay on the private plane to get a feel for what is being developed. He also confirmed that they are after investments from the very large yacht owners who fill the 72 slip marina every weekend. It is like they are pre-qualified buyers. They are not very interested in the smaller sail boats since “they tend to use the bathrooms in the marina to shower.” He also said that once the market turns again the investors who were “circling above” like vultures were going to come in and swoop up property in the hope of reselling for ten million what they bought for a million...To make a long story short, the time to visit is now, while the shells in the shell game are in still in motion. The Ginn company is spending millions to get billions and in the short term the beneficiaries are the residents of the West End and any visitor lucky enough to come to the Old Bahama Bay on a vacation. Personally, I hope there is someone circling above who may be contemplating swooping in to buy the Old Bahama Bay to continue running it as a resort just in case Bobby Ginn's plans fall through.The people of the West End deserve it!

  • Liked — Room size and appointments
  • Disliked — Having to complain to get an ocan view
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Hapless_Bystander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2008

This is a 5 star, beautiful resort on the West End of Grand Bahama Island. My husband and I went there for a romantic getaway for 5 nights in April. The pictures on the website are EXACTLY what the property looks like--from the rooms to the views! The staff is very friendly and accomodating. It was quiet, relaxing and romantic. There are only 76 suites and the rooms are gorgeous, clean and comfortable.

Pool is really nice with a view of the ocean; food was good; beach was beautiful; water was very shallow (when we were there); excellent service. The resort is also a port that welcomes privatly owned yachts daily. Those are fun to see.

There are 3 places to eat-- the Sandbar near the pool and beach which closed at 5 pm. It was OK--sandwiches, burgers, etc. The Bonefish Folleys which is over by the dock which had a more diverse menu and it was good. The bartenders poored good drinks, too. We didn't go to the fancy restaurant, Aqua, next door to Bonefish b/c I didn't see too much of a menu difference and just didn't want to pay twice as much.

The one negative: it is really SECLUDED. Nothing else is out there but the resort. the property is not that big. It is a 30 minute drive from Freeport and Port Lucaya were all the nightlife, casino and clubs are. We rented a car through the resort which was $80 for the day (a crappy car but it worked) and spent the day at Port Lucaya in the Sheraton/Westin areas. Ginn sur Mer recently bought the Old Bahama Bay and 4,000 acres in the West End and are building an ENORMOUS resort that will have 2 golf courses, condos, hotels and a casino. That will definitely change the atmosphere of the area and you won't need to travel for nightlife.

I would recommend this resort to couples who don't need much entertaining and want a quiet, relaxed place. There were a few families there with kids when we were there but not sure it's the best place for kids since there's not much else to do (no banana boats, no jet skis, no parasailing--no motorized sports are at this resort). There is volleyball, kayaking, and a Hobie sailboat to take out.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
6 Thank SDVacationLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Old Bahama Bay

Property: Old Bahama Bay
Address: Bayshore Road, West End, Grand Bahama Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Grand Bahama Island > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in West End
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Bahama Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 73
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour is the ultimate getaway for tranquility and relaxation - set on the westernmost tip of Grand Bahama Island. Combining Bahamian charm and barefoot elegance, the resort features 73 spacious beachfront suites, full-service marina, fishing, snorkeling, eco-tours and other excursions. Resort amenities include 2 restaurants and bars, tennis courts, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel equipment and much more. West End Airport is open for private planes and charters. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Old Bahama Bay Hotel Grand Bahama Island
Old Bahama Bay Resort

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