Nassau Paradise Island: meet the sun-drenched Bahamian holiday spot that’s top of our travel wish list

In partnership with Nassau Paradise Island.

Nassau Paradise Island

In partnership with Nassau Paradise Island.

We could all use – scrap that, we all deserve – a holiday. Sun, sangria and seafood may seem like a distant memory at this point, but we have good news for you globetrotters: holidays are finally back on the cards. 

Yep, we missed everything about them – the in-flight magazines, the first blaze of hot air when the plane hits the tarmac, swimming in sea so clear it could be glass. So safe to say we’ve had a fair amount of time to mull over where we’re going to go, and what we’re going to do, on our next big adventure. 

First port of call? Nassau Paradise Island.

The Bahamian capital is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines; drawing influence from pirates (more on that in a moment) and modern digital nomads alike. Combining crystal clear waters with the vibrancy and excitement of a big city, here’s why Nassau is a stamp you’ll want to have on your passport. 

Nassau Paradise Island

Credit: Nassau Paradise Island

Why go

Located less than 200 miles from Miami, Nassau may be a thoroughly modern destination, but it wears its rich history proudly. 

From the moment Christopher Columbus first discovered The Bahamas, its capital city has welcomed all cultures and creeds – yes, even pirates – and now boasts some of the most exciting nightlife, eateries, art galleries and museums the commonwealth has to offer.

Plus, with British Airways now flying directly to Nassau from Heathrow six times per week, it’s never been easier to sample a slice of what this sun-drenched new world spot has to offer. 

Where to stay

From luxury ocean front stays, to more budget-friendly, all-inclusive options perfect for families, accommodation choices abound on the island. 

For couples, both honeymooning and rekindling, one of our destinations of choice is the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Offshore Island - Nassau, an all-inclusive (yes, that does mean all the cocktails you can drink), adult-only haven on the powdery white shores of Cable Beach – one of Nassau’s most picturesque stretches of sea and sand. (Oh, and it's reopening at the end of January after major renovations, so book in now to become one of the first to stay in this reimagined paradise.) 

The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort overlooking the tranquil waters of Nassau harbour, is similarly stunning, and will make for a secluded escape neither you or your other half will forget anytime soon.

Nassau Paradise Island

Credit: Nassau Paradise Island

For a girls’ trip, try the vibrant SLS Baha Mar just a stone’s throw away. Modern, dynamic and relaxed, this elegant oceanfront retreat combines oh-so-Instagrammable interiors with a rooftop bar and a plethora of different restaurants. 

If it’s a family affair you’re after, though, The Reef at Atlantis is a lovely choice, boasting great self-catering facilities, fun organised activities for kids, and a 141-acre Aquaventure water park that’s sure to prove as much fun for the grown-ups.

If it's all of the above you're looking for, meanwhile, Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau comes complete with a luxury spa, 12 varied restaurants to choose from, and an on-site water park. (It even has a kids' club on the way for mini guests.)

Where to dine

One of the best things about Nassau is its *incredible* cuisine. From special occasion fine dining, to its specialty fuss-free fish fries on the beach, it’s no wonder that this Bahamian enclave is famous for its food.

If it’s a fine dining experience like no other you’re after, head to Café Boulud at Rosewood Baha Mar. Featuring a French-influenced menu that puts local seafood and Nassau-grown fresh vegetables front and centre, this glamorous spot, complete with Parisian interiors and comfortable booth seating, is the perfect way to pass an evening. 

Nassau Paradise Island

Credit: Nassau Paradise Island

Other hot spots for upscale dining include Cleo Mediterráneo at SLS Baha Mar, a lively setting boasting a sharing-friendly menu crafted by award-winning chef Danny Elmaleh (think Mediterranean-infused sharing plates, mezzes and flatbreads); Nobu, the celeb-loved fine dining sushi hot spot transported to the hot sands of Nassau's Atlantis Paradise Island resort; and Shuang Ba at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, an ultra-luxe authentic Chinese restaurant offering traditional Chinese dishes with a contemporary twist. (See? We weren’t lying when we told you Nassau was a cultural melting pot.)

It’s not all chandeliers and polished silver, though. 

For a more relaxed affair, head to The Pointe Market at Margaritaville Beach Resort – a downtown gem offering handcrafted pizzas, chilled beers and cooling ice pops. Or, for a little southern Californian charm, try 25 North at the Baha Bay Beach Club for a seasonal menu offering the freshest of ingredients, and the most delicious of cocktails. 

What to do

Aside from the art of doing nothing – which, with some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches on hand, Nassau makes it very easy to do – the island offers everything from must-see museums to art galleries. 

Tours are a fantastic way to explore The Bahamian capital, with Harbour Safaris (swimming with pigs!), historical walking tours and unique kid-friendly excursions all at your disposal. If you want to while away an afternoon sampling some of the island’s best cuisine, meanwhile, food tours are a brilliant way to take in some of Nassau’s rich culinary history. 

Nassau Paradise Island

Credit: Nassau Paradise Island

And then, there’s the shopping. Shopping in Nassau is tax free, meaning it’s the perfect place to splurge on that watch or jewellery treat you’ve always wanted. If you’re game for a bit of haggling, head to the world famous Straw Market – home to handmade Bahamian crafts, gifts, souvenirs, and, of course, unique hand-woven straw hats, bags, and rugs. (It's temporarily closed, but will no doubt be up and running again by the time you plan your holiday.)

If you're wanting to take home a little piece of designer luxury, though, head to Baha Mar for big name brands and one-of-a-kind artisan island finds alike. Taking the kids with you? Head to Atlantis Paradise Island for souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes.

Convinced yet?

Whether you’re combining a trip to The Bahamas with a stay in the US or Canada, or coming solely to take in the sights of this has-it-all island, a trip to Nassau is one you’ll treasure for many years to come. 

Head to the Nassau Paradise Island website to find out more.

Sun hats at the ready… 

Kate McCusker

Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.