The Bahamas is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for a reason — this archipelago is packed with beautiful nature, especially the beaches.
It’s also one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. Here is your guide to where to stay in the Bahamas to make the most of your vacation.
Where to Stay in the Bahamas in 2022
The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for vacationers. This archipelago consists of over 3,000 islands (not all of them inhabited).
That means that there are plenty of beaches, coves, and secret inlets to explore, no matter your taste in vacations. One of the biggest draws of the Bahamas is its natural beauty.
Located in the north of the Caribbean Sea, only a short plane ride away from the United States, the island country has so many pristine sandy beaches, you could spend an entire lifetime exploring them without running out of places to see.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy water activities including swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and more. Besides the beaches, there are plenty of other beautiful natural wonders in the Bahamas.
Some of the most famous are the swimming pigs that populate some beaches and like to welcome visitors. Moving inland, you can check out gorgeous trails and wildlife preserves.
The beauty of the Bahamas doesn’t lie just in its nature, although the natural wonders of this archipelago are certainly considerable. This island nation is one of the best destinations for leisure and hedonism thanks to its many duty-free shops, clubs, and hopping all-inclusive resorts.
You can also check out Bahamian culture by exploring historic sites and dining on the wonderful local cuisine which is known for its fresh seafood.
The Bahamas has something for everyone. While many travelers stay in the all-inclusive resorts, there are also eco-resort retreats, private rentals, and affordable guesthouses and hostels ready to host all visitors.
The 5 Best Parts of the Bahamas
- Nassau: Best for budget travelers
- Paradise Island: Best for families
- Exuma Islands: Best for first-time visitors
- Grand Bahama: Best for partying
- Eleuthera: Best for nature
With over 7,000 islands, you can’t possibly see all that the Bahamas have to offer on just one trip. By staying in the right part of the country, you can get the most out of your experience.
Nassau is the Bahama’s capital city and the largest settlement, with about 70% of the country’s entire population. For many visitors to the Bahamas, Nassau is the first stop as it is the location of one of the international airports and a bustling cruise port.
Since the city is so lively, it has plenty of accommodations, including everything from luxury resorts to more budget-friendly options that are hard to find in more remote parts of the archipelago.
While many visitors treat Nassau as a jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the country, the city has more than enough to offer in its own right.
The capital is one of the best places to explore the history of the country because it has many historic sites, such as the Queen’s Staircase and Fort Charlotte, as well as funky museums such as the Pirates of Nassau Museum.
Nassau is also a great place to check out Bahamian culture. Dine at some of the many restaurants celebrating local cuisine, buy souvenirs at local markets, and rub elbows with the locals at dive bars and nightclubs.
You can even enjoy some of the amenities at the all-inclusive resorts that are open to non-guests. No trip to the Bahamas would be complete without a trip to the beach, and that includes a trip to Nassau.
Even the bustling capital city has pristine beaches, the most famous of which is Cable Beach where you can lie on the sand and splash around in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Nassau is a spirited city that has something for everyone, from travelers looking for luxury to backpackers on a budget.
However, it does not have much in the way of peace and quiet. It may not be as large as some of the world’s biggest metropolises, but it’s still lively! If you want a quieter vacation or long to spend your time in nature, check out one of the remoter islands.
Things to Do
- Go swimming at one of the beaches, such as Cable Beach
- Take a day trip to Blue Lagoon Island and hang out with the dolphins
- Learn more about Bahamian wildlife at the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Center
- Check out a fun bit of Nassau history at the Pirates of Nassau Museum
- Learn about the somber parts of history at the Heritage Museum
Where to Eat
- Try authentic local food at family-owned Bahamian Cookin’ Restaurant and Bar
- Try an authentic fish fry at any of the restaurants along Arawak Cay (we recommend Curly’s Restaurant and Bar)
- Taste chef Monica Hutchinson’s upscale, modernizing takes on traditional cuisine at Lukka Kairi
- See the mystery behind the sweetness at the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory
Nassau Budget Hotels
- Orange Hill Beach Inn. If you’re looking for low-key accommodations that are close to the beach and everything that Nassau has to offer, Orange Hill Beach Inn is the place for you. This brightly colored inn has air conditioning, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
- Ocean West Boutique Hotel. Nassau has plenty of affordable boutique hotels such as the Ocean West Boutique Hotel. Amenities include a shared lounge, pool, fitness center, and gorgeous rooms.
Nassau Mid-Range Hotels
- Margaritaville Beach Resort. Nassau has plenty of affordable resorts like the Margaritaville Beach Resort. Amenities include nightly entertainment, a hot tub, and amenities for families such as a playground.
- Sandyport Beach Resort. Located right on the Old Town Marina, the Sandyport Beach Resort features pastel villas for all guests, several restaurants, shops, and a spa for a surprisingly affordable rate.
Nassau Luxury Hotels
- Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Many of the luxury resorts in Nassau are actually located on Baha Mar, and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is no different. Amenities at this excellent resort include several pools, a spa, and private beach access.
- SLS at Baha Mar. Another resort in the Baha Mar complex, the SLS at Baha Mar has several pools, restaurants, sports facilities, and even a casino.
2. Paradise Island
Paradise Island is technically located within Nassau itself, but it might as well be a world apart. This island, connected to the Nassau “mainland” with two bridges, is a popular destination for families thanks to its amazing beaches and resorts.
Paradise Island has some of the best beaches for little swimmers in the Bahamas thanks to the clean white sand and gentle waters.
The two main beaches are Cove Beach and Cabbage Beach. However, the biggest draw that sets Paradise Island apart from other parts of the Bahamas is the resort culture.
This island is home to Atlantis Paradise Island, one of the biggest and most famous resorts in the country. Even non-guests can enjoy the world-famous waterpark or Marine Adventures experience.
Paradise Island has all of the amenities you would expect from a resort town, including several casinos, nightclubs at the many resorts, outdoor shops, and spas. The one thing Paradise Island doesn’t really offer is accommodations for travelers on a budget.
Even the less expensive resorts here are far more pricey than accommodations elsewhere in the country. If you’re traveling on a strict budget, you’re better off staying in Nassau and making the trip over for a day to explore the resort culture.
Things to Do
- Get your adrenaline on at the rides at the Atlantis Paradise Island waterpark
- Swim and tan at Cabbage Beach (or one of the many private resort beaches)
- Take a break from the hustle and bustle at the Versailles Gardens
- Go shopping at the Marina Village outdoor marketplace
Where to Eat
- Grab a quick poolside bite to eat at PITA, Atlantis’s Middle Eastern café
- Try an authentic Bahamian fish fry at Frankie Gone Bananas, nestled in the Marina Village shopping center
- Try recipes from a Master Chef at Fish by Jose Andres
- Have a date night at Seafire Steakhouse
Paradise Island Budget Hotels
- Comfort Suites Paradise Island. Comfort Suites Paradise Island is one of the affordable resorts in this area. It still has plenty of amenities, including access to all of the amenities at Atlantis, an outdoor pool, and eco-friendly rooms.
- Bay View Suites Paradise Island. The Bay View Suites Paradise Island features a pool, calming gardens, fitness center, and a great location.
Paradise Island Mid-Range Hotels
- Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas. Paradise Island may be a great family-friendly destination, but the adults-only Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas is great for couples. Amenities include a private beach, massive terraces with a marina view, and included meals and beverages.
- Harborside Atlantis. The Harborside Atlantis is one of the more affordable hotels within the Atlantis resort complex. Guests get their own colorful private villas and easy access to the Dolphin Experience.
Paradise Island Luxury Hotels
- The Royal at Atlantis. The Royal at Atlantis may be Paradise Island’s most iconic hotel thanks to its tower silhouette, luxurious lobby, massive gym, and easy access to the waterpark.
- The Cove at Atlantis. The Cove at Atlantis stands out for its luxury even in the luxurious Atlantis complex. Enjoy suites with private balconies and marble baths, private beaches, an outdoor pool with a gaming area, and restaurants from celebrity chefs.
3. Exuma Islands
The Exumas are an island chain within the larger archipelago of the Bahamas. Many travel bloggers and guests say that this is one of the most beautiful parts of the Bahamas.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your vacation and see some of the most iconic beaches in the country, island-hopping through the Exuma Cays is one of the best places to use as your base.
This island chain consists of three main regions: Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and Exuma Cays. The main town in the district is George Town, which is also where most of the accommodations are located.
The main draw for this part of the country is the beautiful nature. The Exuma Islands are home to the Bahamas’ famous swimming pigs on Big Major Cay. If you like your beaches to be pig-free, you can always go to one of the hundreds of other beaches such as Little Exuma.
The best thing to do when visiting Exuma is to swim all day, but there are plenty of other options if you’re looking for some more adrenaline. Go diving in the sinkholes or explore the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park for untouched nature.
When you’re looking for some creature comforts, relax in one of the beach towns along with the locals. The Exuma Islands are gorgeous.
But keep in mind that most of the accommodations here are on the expensive side since the area consists of eco-friendly resorts and luxury hotels. If you’re looking for a budget experience or plenty of nightlife, stay elsewhere.
Things to Do
- Swim with the pigs at Big Major Cay
- Relax in the sand at Tropic of Cancer Beach
- See where James Bond movies were filmed at Thunderball Grotto
- Go swimming and snorkeling—don’t skip Dean’s Blue Hole, a very deep sinkhole
Where to Eat
- Check out the Sunday Pig Roast at local favorite beach bar Chat & Chill
- Have local specialties, especially conch shell, at Big D’s Conch Spot
- Enjoy an upscale meal at Stanley Cay Yacht Club Restaurant & Bar
Exuma Islands Budget Hotels
- Turtle’s Nest Bahamas. Your best option for affordable accommodation on the Exuma Islands is a B&B such as the Turtle’s Nest Bahamas. Guests rave about the comfortable rooms, great location, and wonderful service, including organized excursions.
- Hideaways Exuma. Charming Hideaways Exuma is nestled in the hills near George Town with amenities including an outdoor pool, free kayaks, and gorgeous private apartments.
Exuma Islands Mid-Range Hotels
- Sapphire Garden Townhouses. Rent your own villa at the surprisingly affordable Sapphire Garden Townhouses, located only a short walk from the beach.
- Augusta Bay Bahamas. The lovely Augusta Bay Bahamas hotel features an on-site restaurant, bar, and pool along with charming décor.
Exuma Islands Luxury Hotels
- St. Francis Resort. St. Francis Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts on the Exuma Islands, featuring a private beach, watersports rentals, and even the option to rent family rooms.
- Kahari Resort. The beachfront Kahari Resort has organized activities for guests and the option to lounge on the sun terrace or by the pool.
4. Grand Bahama
While nature is one of the biggest draws of the Bahamas, many people also come for the creature comforts, such as the vibrant nightlife and resort culture.
Grand Bahama, the closest island to the United States and home to Freeport, the second-largest settlement in the country, is one of the biggest destinations in the country for going out.
Freeport is one of the centers of Bahamian arts and culture. The town is home to festivals, special exhibitions, and concerts all year round.
Highlights include the vibrant Junkanoo street parade around Christmas and New Year’s, weekly Bonfire Beach parties, and plenty of live music. When you want to take a break from drinking and dancing all night, Grand Bahama also has plenty of natural wonders to explore.
Highlights include Lucayan National Park with its underwater caves and horseback riding through mangrove swamps. Grand Bahama has more options in terms of accommodations than some of the smaller islands, so you’re more likely to find affordable options here.
However, if you’re looking for a quiet vacation, you’re better off staying somewhere else. This lively island can get pretty loud, especially when the day-trippers roll through.
Things to Do
- Get out of the city and explore beautiful Lucayan National Park
- Visit Port Lucaya Marketplace with its charming boutiques and lively bars
- Visit Smith’s Point Beach on Tuesday for Bonfire Beach
- Enjoy live music at Tony Macaroni’s Conch Experience
Where to Eat
- Grab a bite while at Lucayan National Park at Bishop’s Place
- Try a modern take on traditional Bahamian seafood at Flying Fish Modern Seafood
- Enjoy an upscale steak at Churchill’s
- Enjoy tropical cocktails at Manta Ray Beach Club
Grand Bahama Budget Hotels
- Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort. Guests at the affordable Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort can enjoy outdoor pools, a fitness center, and easy access to the beach.
- Bajamar Bed & Breakfast. The charming Bajamar Bed & Breakfast is one of the most popular accommodations in Freeport. Guests enjoy continental breakfasts, a barbecue, and friendly hosts who add a local touch.
Grand Bahama Mid-Range Hotels
- Pelican Bay Hotel. The lush Pelican Bay Hotel, located minutes from the beach, has private balconies for each gorgeous colonial-style room, several pools, and a great restaurant.
- Dolphin Cove. The boutique adults-only Dolphin Cove offers two pools, a private marina, and easy access to the nightlife of Freeport.
Grand Bahama Luxury Hotels
- Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach All Inclusive. Get everything you could want on vacation at Viva Wyndham. Amenities include a private beach, several tasty restaurants, nightly entertainment, and more.
- Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan Resort. Lighthouse Pointe is one of the most luxurious hotels in Freeport, featuring golfing, a year-round outdoor pool, and even an on-site hairdresser.
Eleuthera is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Bahamas, a country full of natural wonders. Confusingly, the name refers to both Eleuthera, a single island, and Eleuthera, an archipelago that consists of Eleuthera, Harbour Island, and other islets and cays.
The main draw when visiting Eleuthera is the pristine beaches. The famous pink sand beaches of the Bahamas are located here. The best thing to do in this part of the country is to explore the hidden beaches, take a break from the rat race, and count the waves.
Eleuthera is also surprisingly packed with history and culture for such a small place. This was one of the first places settled in the Bahamas and the Bahamian constitution was first written by settlers on Eleuthera, whose name means “freedom.”
You have a few options for accommodations when you stay here. You can stay at the high-end hotels on Harbour Island and rub elbows with celebrities or at one of the quiet B&Bs on the island of Eleuthera.
While Eleuthera has plenty of natural beauty, it doesn’t have much in the way of nightlife, shopping, and other creature comforts. If you want a more lively vacation, stay in Nassau or Grand Bahama.
Things to Do
- Explore the pink sand beaches along the archipelago
- Check out the colorful houses on Harbour Island
- Visit one of the pineapple farms on Eleuthera (Time your visit to coincide with June’s Pineapple Festival.)
- Rent a charter boat to island-hop to some of the smaller islands
Where to Eat
- Have fresh seafood at Tippy’s, an iconic beachside shack
- Try the seasonal specialties at Sip Sip’s ever-changing menu
- Have a luxurious romantic dinner at The Garden Terrace at Pink Sands
Eleuthera Budget Hotels
- Royal Palm Hotel. The Royal Palm Hotel is one of the few affordable options on Harbour Island, with a great location, gorgeous garden, and golf carts for exploring the island.
- The Sunset Cove & Rainbow Room. The surprisingly affordable Sunset Cove & Rainbow Room features nightly entertainment, a garden, and a great location.
Eleuthera Mid-Range Hotels
- Villa Allamanda. The gorgeous Villa Allamanda hotel with its rustic architecture, oceanfront views on all sides, and activities to help you get into nature is the perfect relaxing destination.
- Valentine’s Resort & Marina. The Valentine’s Resort & Marina is one of the more affordable luxury resorts in this area, featuring a pool, on-site restaurant, and gift shop.
Eleuthera Luxury Hotels
- Pink Sands Resort. The all-inclusive Pink Sands Resort is one of the most iconic hotels on Harbour Island, featuring a pool, private cottages, and of course, the iconic pink sands beach.
- French Leave Resort, Autograph Collection. The luxurious French Leave Resort comes with lavishly designed rooms, an on-site restaurant, and an amazing pool.
Where Should You Stay in the Bahamas?
The Bahamas are the perfect Caribbean destination for pristine beaches, great nature, and lively local culture. In fact, it’s one of the best island vacation destinations in the world.
Stay in vibrant Nassau or Grand Bahama for nightlife and entertainment or choose a more low-key stay in the more remote islands such as Eleuthera or the Exuma Islands.