Grand Bahama Island,
Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - The cheap airfares and direct routes
from many U.S. Cities help make the Bahamas, just 55 miles off the east
coast of Florida, a highly attractive destination for Americans looking
for a quick respite from the rigors of everyday life.
The newest development, Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort on Grand
Bahama Island, is finishing up a $450 million project, making it among the
most expensive in the Caribbean.
Its wealth of amenities, including 14 restaurants, two championship
golf courses, spa and treatment center and a chic cigar bar, provide ample
activities for guests content to remain on the beachfront property.
Gambling will soon become available as the resort is opening a new casino
sometime this spring.
For accommodations, Our Lucaya offers three distinct alternatives
housing 1,350 rooms and suites. Lighthouse Pointe, the most exclusive
option for couples, offers romantic views of the water and
personalized service; Breakers Cay, a 10-story tower in the center of the
resort attracts many budget-conscious vacationers; and family-minded Reef
Village, overlooks the Sugar Mill waterslide.
Reef Village is an attractive option for guests traveling with
children. The waterslide is a showcase for kids, along with Camp Lucaya, a
playground center. The camp is run at no extra cost and keeps children
busy with a host of activities, including theme parties and storytelling.
The camp is open daily and allows parents an opportunity to relax
poolside, or in the water at one of the swim-up bars, enjoy water sports
or play a round or two at the on-site home of the Butch Harmon Schools of
If the shopping mood strikes you, across the street from the resort is
Port Lucaya Marketplace, featuring 80 duty-free shops and restaurants (the
Bahamian dollar and U.S. currency are used interchangeably, so there’s
no need or incentive to change money). Most restaurants here serve conch
(pronounced “konk”) fish, a national dish of the Bahamas, along with
pigeon peas and rice, which is a staple throughout the entire Caribbean.
Conch is a chewy type of ocean mollusk that can be steam-cooked or
deep-fried. It also tastes good raw, with a sprinkling of lime juice and
hot sauce. Locals who run Billy Joe’s Conch Shack, marvel that conch is
a hotly desired delicacy for those looking to spice up their sex life.
For the adventurous types, Grand Bahama Island, originally settled by
the Lucayan Indians more than a thousand years ago, is a haven for nature
lovers. The Lucayan National Park is home to one of the longest underwater
cave systems in the world. It is also a magnate for avid divers, though
diving in the caves requires a special permit.
One way to take in the Park’s natural beauty and abundant ecosystems
is to go on a kayaking tour, traveling up the narrow and winding Gold Rock
Creek. The journey through dense mangroves will leave you feeling tired
and winded, but also exhilarated. There is plenty of time to recoup
with a picnic and an outing to Gold Rock Beach, considered one of the
best-secluded beaches in the Bahamas.
Another popular destination on the south shore of the island is
Sanctuary Bay, a 9-and-a-half-acre lagoon that features the Dolphin
Experience. A favorite among children, the experience gives you an
up-close look at Flipper, as visitors can interact with the Atlantic
bottlenose Dolphins, or even swim alongside them.
Island tours and transportation to the various sites can be arranged by
your hotel. Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort offers a variety of
accommodations for convention and wedding destinations, as well as
all-inclusive golf and spa packages. For more information, call
877-687-5822 or visit www.ourlucaya.com.
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is a freelance food, wine, and travel writer whose day job is that of a
contract attorney in New York City. Gibbons has a Master's Degree in
Journalism from Ohio State University, and has worked as a reporter for
newspapers and television news departments. (More
about this writer.)