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"5 Memorable trips to the Bahamas"

SkyBlue
Submitted by: SkyBlue Length of trip: Seven to 10 days
Trip taken: April 2007 No. of people on trip: 4 people

Locations visited:

Caribbean: Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas

Trip Features:
Sport and Adventure: Scuba/Snorkeling, Golf
Culture: Dancing, Shopping, Landmarks/sightseeing
Well-being: Spa
Beach and Nature: Beach, Garden

SkyBlue took this trip with her Immediate family and also recommends this trip for those traveling with their:
> Grandkids
> Guy Friends
> Girlfriends
> Parents/Elderly relatives
> Alone
> Extended, large family
> Significant other/Spouse
> Immediate Family
> Group of friends

The cost category of this trip was: moderate

TRIP DESCRIPTION

I've traveled to the Bahamas five times, each during a different stage of my life. First with my husband, then with our best friends, later with our children, again when they were teens, and the last time with our teen daughter and her friend. The constants are the beautiful weather and beaches, the relatively quick trip and reasonable price of getting there and the local Bahamian flavor. Depending on where you stay, you can be close to a wonderful beach, fantastic restaurants, a thriving seaport or one of the world's finest resorts.

The first time my husband and I went was with another couple, our best friends. The weather was unseasonably cold; I still laugh when I see the pictures of us bundled up on the beach. We stayed in a little, forgettable hotel on Cable Beach, which I'm sure was demolished long ago, but the memories of that trip will be with us forever... taking the jitney into town, dancing at the disco, gambling at one of the few casinos on the island. There was no Atlantis then... Merv Griffin still ruled Paradise Island.

Years later my husband and I returned with our teenage son and pre-teen daughter to stay at Atlantis. Due to a mechanical problem on our plane we were delayed and missed our connection, resulting in losing our reserved room. What could have been a disaster turned into an unexpected windfall. The sympathetic Atlantis staff not only arranged for accommodations, they upgraded us to an unbelievable suite. Atlantis is truly remarkable. The aquariums and ponds teaming with sea life, the spectacular view of the ocean, and of course the slides and water park made the trip an indelible memory for our kids. We all enjoyed the sun, the clean, exquisite surroundings, the first rate restaurants and the endless beach. My daughter got her hair braided, my son slept until noon and my husband read the paper on our balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean every morning. My best memory was getting up at sunrise with my daughter and going down to the vacant ocean-front shuffleboard court and ping-pong tables. With no one else around we discovered how much fun it could be to enjoy this quiet, beautiful time together. And every night we played cards as a family. It seems you have to get away to spend the simplest, most rewarding times together.

Among the things not to miss: The straw market in downtown Nassau is truly an experience. My daughter had the time of her life picking out inexpensive gifts for friends, and even negotiating the prices. My favorite restaurant is Cafe Matisse in picturesque Nassau, with a beautiful outdoor garden twinkling with lights in the trees. The homemade pasta, seafood, grilled pizzas and a wide selection of homemade desserts tempted us back time and again. For a casual lunch or dinner check out the Poop Deck in the Nassau Yacht Haven, close to the bridge to Paradise Island. You can watch the boats come in while dining on the freshest seafood in Nassau.

The last time we visited the Bahamas our son was in college and could not join us. We invited a friend of our daughter to come along. I found out that the Comfort Suites adjacent to Atlantis has full access to the Atlantis beach, pools and water park, at a much lower price. We were able to book two rooms, one for my husband and me, and a connecting room for my daughter and her friend for less than one room at Atlantis. It turned out to be a great idea. The rooms were large, with sitting areas, and came with a complimentary continental breakfast buffet. The girls met up with friends who were staying at Atlantis during the same school break and had the time of their lives. In fact, they still enjoy long-distance relationships with the friends they met during the trip. We were amazed to see the development on Paradise Island - The Marina Village offers a short stroll through picturesque shops and upscale restaurants, just steps from Atlantis and The Comfort Suites. Hurricane Hole is a small strip of shops and restaurants also within easy walking distance. Zio Gigi's at Hurricane Hole was one of our favorite Paradise Island restaurants. We ate here three times, totally enjoying their relaxed, friendly atmosphere and the homemade classic Italian pasta dishes, thin-crust pizza and seafood entres. Also, The News Cafe at Hurricane Hole Plaza is a great place to have a breakfast or a casual meal anytime of day, inside or out, from 7:30 am until 10pm.

One last thought - if you want to turn a trip to Paradise Island into a luxurious, romantic getaway, and price is no object, check out the One and Only Club. We got a sneak peak at this exclusive, very private resort. It overlooks one of the most beautiful ocean vistas imaginable, with a open air restaurant that makes dining a whole new experience. There is a magnificent garden inspired by the famed gardens of Versailles, that is the perfect setting for a wedding or to renew your vows. The club has a championship golf course, six tennis courts and private butler service. The spa includes eight private villas with day beds in open-air gardens, waterfall showers, beautiful teak massage tables and flowers everywhere. Other spa facilities include oceanfront cabanas and private hair salons and manicure and pedicure stations.

Whatever you are looking for, at any stage of life, and in any price range, we have found the Bahamas and Paradise Island to be a welcoming, rewarding vacation destination.


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