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
I booked a room on the SLS Baha Mar website on 8/25/19 and had to cancel the reservation 2 weeks later. I was told that since I booked a room for 5 nights I had also gotten a $250 credit towards hotel services and because of that $250 credit my rate was considered "special" and therefore nonrefundable in its entirety. Under no circumstances would I have made the reservation if I had not confirmed that it would be fully cancellable. I had NOT selected to get the $250 credit when I booked the 5 nights, that was added on by the hotel. I went back in my browser history and have found my reservation confirmation page that states "Reservations must be cancelled by 12PM hotel time 14 days prior to arrival to avoid the first night's charge plus taxes and fees." No where did it mention that my rate was now "special" due to the $250 credit. SLS Baha Mar is now charging me the full cost of the trip plus fees and taxes totally $2,901 !!! The hotel representative and the supervisor I asked to speak to refused to provide any additional information as why my Flexible Superior Queen rate would become special due to $250 credit i never asked for nor would provide me with any resolution except to pay the $2901. Luckily I was able to find proof of my confirmation on my browser history which I will provide to my credit card issuer in dispute of this egregious charge. I obviously do not recommend making a reservation with this hotel.
I stayed at SLS twice within 7 weeks. The first time I was in a regular room with one queen bed. The storage space is tight for 2 people and impossible for 4 people with 2 beds. The bathroom is funky. No door and shutters are the only thing that separate you and your room on one side. So privacy is MINIMAL. Staff is attentive EXCEPT for housekeeping which was VERY disappointing. Pools are nice and they have an adult pool (really 16 and over) called Privilege which will host celebrities as DJ's every so often. Thursday - Sunday the pool's music is LOUD all day! You can hear it all the way in the ocean. Also, Baha Mar is building a water park (small - maybe 5 acres) and so you will hear the construction early in the AM next door if your room is on the left of the hotel. If you have the direct ocean view, you are above the party pool. So that leaves the right side of the hotel - if you can get a room. Construction will be going on until about 2021. 7 weeks later I was in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite with living room and kitchenette. This was very spacious, but no drawer space in the 2nd bedroom (with 2 queens) and minimal counter space for the bathroom sink. There is a stacked washer and dryer which is a plus. No bathroom door in the "master", so again ZERO privacy. Food is great anywhere you go except for the food trucks. I found them to be overpriced and not great. The cheese on the nachos at El Jefe was unappetizing and looked like it came from a can. You can go to any of the pools on property except for Rosewood which also has its own section on the beach. SLS also provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport but you have to reserve your spot.
The hotel rooms look like they cut corners to save money, definitely doesn’t live up to SLS standards, the casinos is nice and there are great restaurants inside, just plan on spending Vegas prices at the restaurants. The pools are nice as well, but you have to twist an arm to get service at a pool. It’s crazy they could triple their sales if they would staff correctly around the pools. All in all it was a pretty good stay, but I would probably stay at one of the other hotels on property in the future.