Paradise and Sandy Toes in the Bahamas

Lizzie Adamson-Brown on 11 September 2016
One of the biggest perks of running my own travel business is getting to see the destinations first hand. I have just returned from a fabulous trip to the Bahamas, courtesy of AMG.

Upon arrival in the Bahamas, we transferred to the spectacular Atlantis Paradise Island hotel, where we stayed in the Royal Towers. The hotel boasts the amazing Aquaventure water park, as well as a huge choice of restaurants and bars, multiple swimming pools and leisure facilities and even a casino. You certainly won’t get bored here! There’s something for everyone and then some!

After a site inspection of the Atlantis, we had the afternoon to take advantage of Aquaventure and experience more of the hotels’ facilities. The questions is, did I dare to take on the legendary Leap of Faith slide, with its near vertical drop?

What I loved was swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Cay. I was very interested to hear how a number of the dolphins had been rescued from New Orleans and lovingly cared for in the resort here. The experience was superb and the trainers had a great manner with these beautiful creatures. You can’t help but smile from ear to ear at the antics!

That evening, we had dinner at the British Colonial Hilton; a striking building in downtown Nassau with direct beach access and a great view of the busy cruise port.

I was so excited for our next trip. We visited Rose Island on the famous Sandy Toes excursion. This is one of the most popular and best loved day trips in the Bahamas and I can see why. A short boat trip took us to this beautiful island with the most amazing beaches. If you're looking for a taste of the ‘real’ Caribbean, this is for you.

This was the perfect antidote to my sore feet from all the walking yesterday. I covered myself in sun cream and just bobbed around in the warm Caribbean Sea, glass of beer/cocktail/water in hand and relaxed! I wonder if we could persuade the NHS to prescribe this.

After the most wonderful, peaceful, relaxed day, we checked into the Melia Hotel, Nassau Beach. I really liked this hotel. It’s modern, fresh and contemporary, situated on the lovely Cable Beach.

The next day we visited some fabulous hotels:

Firstly, the Graycliff – a legendary mansion built by the feared pirate, Captain John Howard Graysmith, who was master of the notorious schooner Graywolf. As soon as you walk in the door, the history hits you – you feel as though you’ve gone back in time.

We transferred to the Warwick Hotel. Newly renovated, there were no guests, but it’s going to be popular with the young, trendy set as it’s adults only and very contemporary, set right on the beach.

I could not wait for our next visit, to the ‘One and Only’ Ocean Club – it took my breath away. You know a hotel is going to be good, when it was the backdrop to a James Bond movie, as this was for Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. We enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea.

I have to say, our Junkanoo Educulture tour next day was great fun. Junkanoo is a street parade with music, dance, and costumes of Igbo origin in many towns across the Bahamas every Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year's Day. We made our own seashells and cowbells covered in coloured paper and ornaments before putting together our own band. We played drums, whistles, cowbells and just laughed and laughed. The experience is led by Arlene, who is so passionate and proud of her heritage. I really would recommend this as a morning out when visiting Nassau.

In the afternoon, we had a Bahamian Food tour. We walked around Nassau visiting restaurants and places of interesting, testing and sampling traditional Bahamian food, whilst learning of the islands past and its multi-cultural heritage.

Our final day was a day for chilling and relaxing. I love going on these trips as I get to meet some really interesting people who become friends. We share photos and experiences, as well as business cards.

The Bahamas is often referred to as a ‘bucket list’ destination and is renowned for white sand beaches and sunny climate. This is definitely true, but there’s so much more to the Bahamas than chilling on a beach. Explore a little and you’ll find some hidden gems in the form of friendly, welcoming locals, a fabulous cultural heritage and some stunning architecture; alongside all the mod cons of new resorts such as the Atlantis with its waterparks and jam packed programme of entertainment.

Bahamas – I’ll be back!