SLS Baha Mar
What We Love
- Late-night swims at the "privilege pool"
- The casino is the biggest in the Caribbean
- The impeccably clean beach
What To Know
- There's a daily resort fee that includes airport transfers
- Bathrooms can be small
- Free WiFi
- If you want a hot tub, you'll have to use the ones at the Hyatt
Part of Nassau’s Baha Mar mega-resort, SLS is connected to the much-larger Grand Hyatt through a glittering casino, and guests can access the Hyatt’s restaurants and luxury shops, too, which is a nice bonus. The property draws a well-heeled crowd: book a room here if you’re a part of group of friends looking for a good time or a couple seeking a superbly relaxing beach vacay, but families should stay at the more kid-friendly Hyatt instead. Dining is one of the highlights here: the resort has three restaurants with top-notch pedigrees. James Beard Award-winner Michael Schwartz offers carefully homemade Italian food brimming with fresh herbs (chopped tableside); there’s flavorful, Greek-inspired seafood perfect for sharing at Cleo; and stellar sushi by Katsuya Uechi in a sleek, Philippe Starck–designed space. You’ll probably spend most of your time in the sea, on the sand, or lounging poolside with a cocktail, but the ESPA spa and the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course (not to mention the casino, which has glorious sea views) are all good for whiling away a few indulgent hours.
In the Area
Besides all the paddle-boarding, snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking that Nassau’s sparklingly clear water offers, downtown itself is a big draw. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the SLS, so it’s easy enough to head into town for dinner or an afternoon’s shopping and be back by the pool in just a few hours. The island’s dining options are getting better by the minute, with swish restaurants conceived by brand name chefs setting up shop in the island’s resorts. Try Café Martinique by Jean-Georges Vongerichten for an elegant meal of classic French food or hit up the atmospheric Nobu for a romantic dinner (note the iconic green glowing entrance). For a simpler meal, the cheery Café Matisse, just off the boutique-strewn Bay Street, has a welcoming courtyard and a menu of satisfying Italian-inspired seafood.
How to Get There
We just returned from a 7 night stay at the SLS Baha Mar - we were celebrating our daughter's 30th birthday. Baha Mar has three properties - SLS, Hyatt and Rosewood. There were 9 pools between the three properties - they provided towels and sunscreen at a stand near the pools. During the afternoon ...Our group mainly stayed at the H2O pool which had a swim up bar. All of the staff were nice and friendly. We really loved the layout of the property. Beautifully landscaped and well manicured grounds. We loved the food trucks which were located near/on the beach (you could charge it to your room)..there were plenty of options...Hot Dogs, Sliders, BBQ or Mexican. The food was excellent but pricey. A local beer was $11 after tax /gratuity. We did find a deal at one of the bars/restaurants near the beach where you could get a bucket of beers 5 beers for $30. Local Grocery Store: We were able to get a person / company (check with concierge) to go to the local grocery store and get beer, water bottles, Champagne, Orange Juice, etc... -- this was very economical. We met the person at the front of the hotel and we had the bellman take it up to our room.
We ate on the hotel property every night with the exception of once - every meal was GREAT! I would recommend making reservations well in advance of arriving - every restaurant fills up quickly. As an example...There was a restaurant in the SLS - Cleo's that our daughter wanted to eat at...we could not get a reservation until our last night...at 8:00 pm. We stayed in room 1043/1047 - which was an Ocean Front Suite - foyer, two bedrooms, sitting room w/TV, dining room, living room and Kitchen. This suite was very spacious. Our daughter had several girlfriends join us and we had plenty of room. There was a large balcony off the Living Room / Dining Room - facing the ocean. The bedrooms were each on a corner and each had a balcony. There was construction going on next door...they have recently torn down a property next door - so there was constant equipment sorting through the ruble and loading up dump trucks. Our daughter's room was on the side of the construction - so she kept her drapes pulled. The construction luckily did not disturb our group. We spent most every day at the pool. We enjoyed sitting out on the balcony in the evenings. We are not gamblers...but The Casino was very big and nice -- we walked through it to get to our restaurants. We would come back to SLS.
We had a great stay at the SLS Baha Mar back in February. The hotel is gorgeous and brand new. The room was clean and very modern, although the bathroom was a little small. The restaurants on Baha Mar are amazing! We loved Katsuya the most. However, keep in mind, things are not cheap! Prepare yourself to spend a lot on food and drinks. The casino is huge and I believe we were told it is the biggest casino in the Caribbean. This hotel is perfect for couples, but I don't think it is really the best for kids. We really enjoyed our stay, but I must say, the beach is just ok. It is a little small and tough to find chairs. Nothing compared to the beach in Aruba, but still gorgeous!
We are still here at the hotel and staying through Monday but so far I am extremely disappointed.
First the good. New property and clean. The staff is friendly and nice.
Now the bad.
First, out ocean view room is really a construction site room. They have recently torn down a property next door and there is a big pile of rubble that they are sorting through with jackhammers, bulldozers and dump trucks. You can hear it in the room the entire day (see picture). Don’t even think about going out on the balcony. Hopefully they don’t work on weekends. Fingers crossed.
Second, the walls are paper thin. I understand noise in a hotel but this has to be some design flaw. There is a group of ladies in the room next to us and I could seriously hear their entire conversation last night. It wasn’t really their fault - I really don’t think they were talking that loudly. But I am not overstating it when I say that I honestly thought they were sitting in our room!
Finally, prices. Local beer - $11 after vat and gratuity. Cup of regular coffee over $7. Large bottle of bottled water - $13. Miso soup and tiger roll and large bottle of water for 1 at Catsuya $ 56. Daiquiri - $16.
That’s it for now - I will update as the trip goes on.
Pics are from Baha Mar.
We just completed a family trip where we stayed at both the Atlantis (Royal East Tower) and the Baha Mar (SLS Tower). Ill start with...both places are amazing....However, there are very clear differences...with the Baha Mar winning hands down.
Overall condition: First, the Baha Mar is brand new and pristine. It’s impeccably designed down to the last detail with each area well thought out and a different concept from the next.
Overall feel is very Miami chic, from the SLS lobby to the cascading, distinctly separate pool areas...each with different focal points and design. And again, it’s brand new!....We felt like we were the first people to stay there as every aspect of the hotel seems to be in mint condition.
Atlantis is an amazing facility and we really only recognized it has tired after we moved to the Baha Mar. The Atlantis outdoors is sprawling and in comparison makes the Baha Mar feel more quaint...which was a welcome change.
At the Atlantis, you have this consistent feeling that you are unabashedly being ripped off and are surprised by each charge. Example. More than $100 for 2 pizzas and a few Gatorade’s.
Baha Mar is expensive as well...but they are in marketing mode as they build awareness and things there are a discount from the Atlantis.
For example, a poolside cabana at Baha Mar was 10x better than at the Atlantis and was significantly less expensive (about half the cost). I don’t expect this to be the case as occupancy goes up at Baha Mar
-Tons of kids. Lots to do during day...where water slides might keep your kids occupied for hours (if they are old enough to let roam way out of sight).
-Kids club is ridiculously overpriced (as is everything there)
-Dolphin cay I’m sure is a difference maker but not something we have done
-At night there is a Teen dance club and Movie theater which our kids are too young for the former and weren’t interested in the latter
-The vibe we felt when we first walked in is very high end, exclusive and adult-oriented. That was heightened when we walked out into the first pool area...which felt like a Miami boutique pool scene. However we walked through a couple of additional pool areas to one with “the rock” which was close to the beach and there were a bunch of kids and a mini-cliff jump and poolside aquarium that kept the kids busy.
-Also the beach is so close that we enjoyed going back and forth from pool area with the kids. at Atlantis it’s work to get to the beach.
-At night we took kids to see the water show (mini-Bellagio style) and fire show.
SLS Baha mar room, while stylish was much less functional than Atlantis. It felt tight with 2 adults, 2 children...with less storage (no bureau) and poorly designed bathrooms which would be cool for 2 adults but not family friendly. For example, there were shades that covered a full window view into the shower which could be open/closed from outside the bathroom so one could see the person showering in full view.
SLS suite was super nice!!! b” with 2BR, spacious living room, kitchen area and table a washer/dryer. Bathrooms still odd.
Atlantis room...boring but functional. Definitely worth the ocean view as it’s an amazing ocean/pool area view.
Baha Mar. more quaint, more beach accessible, less for kids to do but still plenty. Cabanas were great. I imagine tough getting seating if it gets busier.
Atlantis. Enormous, Disney-Like feel. Plenty of seating. Long walks between pools and attractions.
Atlantis. So-so...a bit tired. Especially compared to a place like Mexico, for example.
Baha Mar. Much better...for now. there is an energy tied to the newness of the facility. Folks still “in-training” and processes still being perfected with plenty of latitude for workers to over-compensate in correcting for any mistakes or issues.
My husband and I stayed at the SLS FOR 4 nights, and overall, the trip was fantastic! My husband had called and said it was my birthday, so they upgraded our ride to the hotel to a private Mercedes and gave us champagne at the airport - very classy touch! When we arrived at the hotel, we had to wait almost 20 minutes to check in since they always only had one person at the desk - they definitely need more! Our room was not ready for another 3 hours - almost 5pm, and we ended up not being able to even get something to eat outside since everything was room charge.
The restaurants were fabulous, the pools are very nice, and the beach is beautiful. We’ve stayed at Atlantis many times, and this is definitely more relaxing - and a much shorter ride. Prices are high but what you would expect. Also not much to do for entertainment besides gambling and piano bar.
Overall, great vacation and hope to go back soon!