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
Is a great hotel beautiful location and facilities
Standard of service very low staff not well trained on basics of food and beverages services
Lack of knowledge in coffee production specially espresso cappuccino etc
Poor breakfast for the level of this hotel
Hostess services reach just typical standards for an every day middle class restaurant
They have to understand that the goal of each hotel no matter stars is hospitality and not just to execute a service action
The only star on this review is for the beach, which was spectacular. If I could give negative stars for the abhorrent service and nonsensical room design, I would. This will be lengthy with specific examples. So, if you're up for a laugh at my expense, please buckle in.
Upon arrival in the Bahamas, we discovered the airline left my friend's bag in Orlando. (Not quite sure how one bag -- of two, for people who check their luggage in together 2.5 hours in advance of a one-hour, non-stop flight from Orlando -- doesn't make it. But, that's a Bahamas Air issue.)
Upon arrival to the hotel, we immediately alerted the front desk to please keep an eye out for a bag that would be arriving delayed for my friend. She gave them her name.They assured her they'd keep an eye out for it.
Upon entry to our room, I took the ice bucket to go looking for the ice machine. When I asked a gentleman with a vacuum where I can find the ice machine, he said, "Oh, we don't have them on the floors. You can go down to the bar to get it." A) Why do I have an ice bucket in my room when there is no ice on the floor? B) I can go get it? For a place that charges >$500 per night, I don't think so. He must have read the confused expression on my face and then said, "Or, you can call in-room dining." So, I did. I asked them to send up ice and to have the contents of the mini bar removed so I can use it for personal purposes. They sent someone up to remove the minibar contents. She left the cart outside and proceeded to walk each item, 2 by 2, to the cart until I suggested that she just take the cart in and load it. "Oh, I guess that makes sense. OK." (WTH) We inquired about our ice. She said she was not told to bring any but that she would go get it for us. It took an hour.
Later on, my friend and I decided to go explore the property. We happened upon some coworkers and joined them in exploring. We came upon the waterfall pool and began a conversation, fully clothed, just standing around. Mind you, the pool was lighted and there was music playing. A gentleman whom I can only imagine must have been some kind of security (based on his uniform) started shouting at us, "Hello! HELLO! THE POOL IS CLOSED!" When I said, "So sorry. We're not going swimming (i.e. we're fully clothed, hello), we're just having a conversation," he rebutted, "You can't be here. You need to leave." Well alrighty then!
The next day, my friend called the front desk, introduced herself by name, and reminded them that her bag should be arriving today (Wednesday). She continued to check in, throughout the day, each time introducing herself by name and inquiring about her bag. Repeatedly, she was told it hadn't yet arrived. She had to borrow a dress from another friend for a dinner we had to attend that night.
Each time we asked for ice, it took well over an hour. The television did not work. We left almost 2 hours after that call and finally it was fixed by the time we returned to our room later that night, with only 2 channels functioning. Each time a staff person arrived at the room, they simply acted like they were bothered to even be there. We were somehow a burden and not welcome.
Two colleagues in separate rooms requested refrigerators for medical purposes. Each of them did not work.
Fast forward to Thursday afternoon. My friend called the front desk again and, once again, was told her bag hadn't arrived. She spent an hour and a half on the phone with Bahamas Air, finally with someone helpful, who was able to confirm the bag had indeed been delivered on WEDNESDAY. She called the front desk, again gave her name, described the bag again and then had to beg the woman on the phone to physically go see if her bag was there. Sure enough, the woman said, "Yes, it's here. You can come get it." WHAT?! They held onto her bag for 24 hours and then had the nerve to tell her to come and get it? They said the bag didn't have her name on it. Ummm, THE NAME IS ON THE LUGGAGE TAG!
Our room design was trifling, with windows looking into the shower and (and toilet) and a clear door that shuts in front of the toilet. The "access bar" that you need to hold onto to get in/out of the narrow tub, through a narrow section that is blocked off by some clear plexiglass half-wall is just a suction bar that does not hold onto the glass. I slipped and damn near broke my neck. There was no counter space for the vanity at all. So there was no place to host our toiletries. Additionally, there is no seating on the patio outside. And half of the light switches didn't work.
Drinks at the pool took forever.
The "Privilege Pool," which our room overlooked, was like a giant Real World Las Vegas on Ecstasy orgy. Our room was only a couple of floors up. We could see multiple people blatantly having sex in the pool, clearly drunk and high out of their minds. It appeared encouraged. (Good for them. I just didn't expect to have to witness it from my patio.) The only redeeming quality about that pool was the DJ. They require a $150 food and bev minimum for use of one lounge chair. Sun beds were $500. Cabanas are $1500. The water in that pool was so gross from the activity, it looked like they needed two big ol buckets of shock in it. Literally over 100 people in the pool, not counting the tons of people on the deck.
My last night there, I bought a drink at the Monkey Bar. The woman sitting next to me as I ordered was very friendly. I bought her a glass of wine. I signed the tab (which has your name, bldg and room number -- which is all you need to charge on your room). I turned to my phone and I saw her ask the bartender to show her my signed tab. He showed it to her! So, at that point, she had all she needed to charge anything on the property to my room! The bartender walked away. So, I immediately went over to a manager and relayed the incident and that it was a matter of security concern. He gave me his card and said he would address the matter with the bartender and follow up with me. I told him I wasn't trying to have the guy lose his job, just that maybe he needed some education or training on privacy laws or security issues. I sent a follow up email to him to inquire, and ... you guessed it. Nothing. No response. I emailed corporate. They did nothing either. Mind you, the folio that they delivered to my room at the crack of dawn (the day of checkout) was $40 less than what they actually charged to my card after I'd already departed the property.
There were maybe 5 service staff that were actually great. One was our waiter at Katsuya (where the only good thing we ordered was the corn crunch roll; everything else was crap). Three were banquet servers for the two corporate dinners we had, and the DJ. They were absolutely lovely and it would be a disservice to discredit them. The lifeguards were also great. Other than that, everything from housekeeping to bar/restaurant staff and front desk staff were just horrible.
I'll stay at the Rosewood the next time.
Worst customer service I have ever experienced. Front desk lost my luggage for 24 hours, it took 30 min each time ice was ordered and everything closed by 830pm to force you into the casino.
The only positive was the view from our room.
My adult daughters were at the SLS Baha Mar for their sister-in-law's bachelorette weekend in February. My daughters have travelled extensively with my husband and I and have had the good fortune of staying at some magnificent resorts/hotels around the world; all 4-5 stars. This hotel did not come close to that level. Apparently, there is still a great deal of work to be done with the staff and accommodating the needs of their patrons. It seems the service was terrible! My husband and I paid for the weekend for both girls and were surprised at the extent to which the hotel "nickel and dimed" them. There were "room charges", 2 different levy's: VAT fees, resort fees, resort VAT's and service charges for each night of stay. Aside from the room charges (which I understand) there was greater than $200/day in resort fees!! My husband and I would have paid the fees with no issue had the weekend been worthwhile. It was not. All of this for bad service and a mediocre experience.
I genuinely enjoyed every second at the SLS Bahamar. I must say however, that if I did not book with a travel agent, who happened to be on the property at the same time as me, I would not have had the same review.
The staff seem entirely clueless. We had issues with billing. We had issues with booking meals, basically everything was an ordeal, even checking in!
It all worked out in the end, but, I don’t think it would have if my travel agent wasn’t there. Beautiful hotel, beautiful rooms, lots to do. Weird service.
Also the food and drinks are a FORTUNE