The Best All-Inclusive in the Bahamas
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
One dreary winter day, my boyfriend & I were scrolling the internet and stumbled upon an all-inclusive package to the Bahamas. We were excited about the idea of sunny beach days and tropical drinks in our hands, so we instantly booked the trip! We couldn't say no to aqua blue waters, soft sandy beaches, and unlimited drinks... especially during winter in New England. It was definitely worth the splurge and I still find myself reminiscing the Bahamian sunshine.
We arrived at the airport in Nassau early afternoon and took a cab to our resort, The Melia Nassau Beach All Inclusive. Like most airports, it wasn’t hard to find taxis once you leave customs. The cab company we used had a fixed rate of $40, so we weren’t able to negotiate the price. Once we got dropped off, we went to go check-in and were excited to find out that our room had been upgraded with a better view! We were given a bracelet to wear for our stay. This bracelet served as a pass so that we can have access to all the amenities, drinks, and food the resort had to offer.
When we opened the door to our room, my jaw dropped! The room was spacious and the view was GORGEOUS. From our balcony, we had views of the pool, the beach, and beautiful palm trees. This view definitely blew my expectations away and I knew I was in for a great, relaxing vacation!
The Melia offers many activities for free and they also have travel agents that can organize excursion trips outside of the resort for a fee. My boyfriend and I opted for the free activities, because well... they’re FREE (of extra charge anyways)! However, we did spend money on a couple of activities that we felt we HAD to do when in the Bahamas (ex. Meeting Ken the dolphin!). Now, I know what you might be thinking… “the free activities are probably boring and uneventful”. That’s what I thought too before I got to the resort, but I was wrong. For starters, they had a huge outdoor heated pool area, 2 hot tubs, and a swim-up bar. They also had water activities such as kayaks, paddleboards, floating mats, etc. There were also other bars near the pool area to quench your thirst! Getting drinks wasn't hard, just know what you want and they’ll make it for you right then and there! The bartenders are great and they're even better to you if you tip them.
Travel tip - Make sure you have a dollar or two to tip the bartenders. Even though the resort is all-inclusive, the workers don’t make a lot of money working there. Also, the bartenders will probably remember you because you gave them a tip and might give you better, stronger drinks from then on ;)
You can also sit by the beach and enjoy the water & sunshine while sipping on a Bahama
Mama. The resort sets up beach chairs and cabanas that you can claim. No need for reservations, but some people do wake up early in the morning to “claim” their spot at the beach. The hotel also provides a VIP lounge (called the Level) and they have a separate area on the beach. TBH, there’s really no difference between the Level lounge beach area and the regular beach area so don’t feel like you need to upgrade to get the utmost relaxing experience.
For all those gymaholics out there, I didn’t forget about you! You won’t miss a day of your squat challenge or cardio day. The resort offers a 24-hour gym fully equipped with machines and weights. They also offer gym classes, Zumba, yoga, pool aerobics, and much more. Again, all of these activities are free of extra charge!! Every day there will be a daily schedule that lists the activities going on in the resort. In the mood for some volleyball? Join the beach volleyball competition. Not in the mood for extraneous activities? Kick back, relax, and sip on your tequila sunrise.
If you need a change of surroundings, hop on over to Balmoral Island! Balmoral Island is a tiny little island off of the resort (you can see the island from the resort’s beach). The island offers swimming/encounters with dolphins and sting-rays, lounge chairs, stores, bars, and restaurants. The food and drinks on this island are pretty expensive so make sure to eat before you go on the island. As a guest from the Melia resort, you will have access to the VIP Balmoral Beachside. All this entails is that you will have guaranteed seating on one of the lounge chairs/hammocks and 1 free bottled water per person. We took advantage of encounters with dolphins because it was cheaper to do it on this island rather than through an excursion or Atlantis. The dolphin we had the pleasure of interacting with was Ken and he was an absolute cutie pie! Unfortunately, no personal cameras were allowed during the interaction as they have their own photographer that takes the pictures. We paid over $100 for the pictures that were given to us on a USB stick... One hundred dollars is definitely steep, especially for 20 or so pictures, so definitely think it over before buying them. While enjoying this little island, make sure to pay attention to the time. The boat that brings you back to the resort will return at various times to drop off and pick up passengers.
Do they have a nightlife at the resort? You certainly bet they do!! They have live music and entertainment that usually lasts until 10/11pm. While we were there, the resort held karaoke nights, themed DJ nights, dancers, etc. If you still want to live up the night after quiet hours, then walk on over (or take the shuttle) to the Baha Mar Casino! The Baha Mar is a newly built resort & casino and it is BEAUTIFUL! However, it is NOT all-inclusive and it’s NOT a part of the Melia. If you’re planning a visit there, be prepared to spend $$$$. My boyfriend and I explored the Baha Mar at night and we were in awe with how big the resort was- it really felt like it was its own little town. Their pool area is about 5x bigger than the Melia and they have lots of restaurants within the resort. The Baha Mar is definitely worth seeing when you’re in the area!
Similar to other all-inclusive resorts, the Melia offers a buffet dining area and specialty dining areas. Let’s talk about the buffet… When I was there, they had an okay selection of food. For breakfast, they served the typical continental breakfast and an omelet bar. During lunch and dinner, they would have salads, different kinds of pasta, sometimes Caribbean food, burgers, fries, etc. There was no dish that struck out to me other than their corned beef hash... We had better luck at the specialty dining places.
They offer 6 specialty dining areas, all but 1 restaurant (Black Angus) is included in the all-inclusive package. My boyfriend and I made sure to make reservations for these restaurants as soon as we got to the resort because they do fill up quickly. You can only reserve for 2 days’ worth at a time, so make sure to plan accordingly. My favorite meal was from Aqua. I had their veal ravioli and it was great! The ravioli had the perfect al dente texture, the sauce was nice and sweet, and the veal added another delicious savory element to the meal. Pair that with a nice big glass of red wine and you have yourself a wonderful night. The specialty restaurants have different culinary themes (Asian, Mexican, Italian), but they also try to incorporate Bahamian flavors into all their dishes. There is also a tapas only specialty restaurant (EstaVida) which serves decent bar snacks and appetizers. All in all, the food wasn’t spectacular but it WASN’T NOT good either. They have a good selection to tailor those with intricate palates and those with a chicken tenders & fries diet. Either way, you will never be hungry when staying at this resort!
I hope this helps & can serve as a reference for those of you who are looking into vacationing in the Bahamas when all of this Corona Virus stresses end! There are probably other details about the resort I forgot to bring up, so if you have a question please feel free to comment! This vacation was definitely one to remember! The customer service was great- everyone was friendly and plenty of smiles. If you’re looking to book a stay in the Bahamas I 100% recommend The Melia. This resort is one of the few resorts in the Bahamas that offers an all-inclusive at a DECENT price! Rather than paying a la carte at other resorts (ex. Atlantis, Baha Mar, etc.), why not save $$$ and opt for an all-inclusive! Happy Travels ~