Traveling with a baby – it’s all about your perspective. As first time parents we thought it sounded like a good-ish idea! Once the ball got rolling we could see some pain was worth the gain. We made the best memories in The Bahamas. If you are thinking of traveling here with a baby… I’ve got an honest review for you!
As we were planning, The Bahamas seemed like a great spot being a 3 hour flight from Toronto and we ended up choosing The Grand Hyatt Bahamar due to its extensive resort activities, proximity to airport, pools and weather.
We flew Westjet- huge shout out to the crew who did everything they could on both flights to make sure we had a row with an empty seat! It was so nice of them especially as the plane was almost full. That made a huge difference for us as I nursed on the plane and Emma was able to sleep. I was reading that some airlines will allow you to bring the carseat on the plane if there is a free seat for the baby – however after asking it seems like this is more of an American standard and not so much a Canadian one. We just put our car seat in a garbage bag right before we boarded and it kept it perfectly clean as it was stowed away. Our stroller was also checked underneath the plane and we had access to it up until boarding. Bonus- baby checks all their gear for free!
On this trip I learned that when a baby is in a transport vehicle ( cab, uber etc) you are allowed to hold them on your lap. This rule stands in Ontario and most destinations. So in the end we did not need to bring the carseat with us, however it was nice to have for some naps at the airport and the extra safety in the transport vehicles.
We had a very smooth and quick experience at the airport. The staff at Lynden Pindling were very organized and efficient. We were out in less than an hour. The transport from the airport to Grand Hyatt was 10 minutes! Really great as we wanted to get moving with Emma.
When we arrived at the hotel we discovered our room did not have a full balcony. This was disappointing for us as we paid over $1000 to upgrade the room so we could have an oceanview room. We thought with Emma’s naps and early bedtime it would be a nicer spot to relax and still enjoy the vacation. This was a surprise to us as I never expected a step out balcony only. Thankfully the front desk team pulled some strings and after a few hours we were able to switch rooms. It was not as nice of a room but there was a balcony. If you are booking and hoping to have an oceanview balcony be aware as the descriptions are deceiving.
Overall the room was comfortable with a baby. I read a few travel strategies on having the baby sleep in the washroom in order to create a dark space and have better use of your sound machine. This worked at the Grand Hyatt. We did not have a bathtub, instead, a big shower. The crib fit well into the shower. Overall, our sleeping plan was a success. If you are hoping to keep your same sleep plan the best room would be one without a bathtub as you would then have a full shower to store the crib in. We bathed Emma in the sink or shower instead. We could still use the washroom at night even with her sleeping inside! Luckily it was big enough and she was tired!
This hotel missed the mark on a couple room aspects. We had a broken mini bar the entire week. I had to rent a fridge in order to keep breastmilk cold. Thankfully the hotel did remove the $50 charge for the fridge rental. There were other small things that made for some challenges like broken hair dryer, very slow to no housekeeping, no robes, no highchair for first 2 days. I’ll give the hotel the benefit of the doubt and assume with covid shutdowns they are still getting back on their feet. The lines at the front desk were also really long and calling down also had us waiting on the phone. Bottomline if you need something- be prepared to wait.
One of our biggest challenges at this hotel was the dining. The restaurants for dinner only opened for reservations at 6 PM and for us this is a little late with our baby. We often just ate at Drift (the pool cafe) however, they close at 5, but usually accommodated us. We wanted to enjoy more of the higher end restaurants but it didnt fall well into our schedule. I wish there was more casual dining between 5-6 pm inside the hotel. You could go to a noodle bar, which was fine for one or two dinners.
The cost of food and drink was extremely expensive at this resort. I think the highest we have ever paid on vacation. A small perk, the hotel offers free kids meals for children under 5. This usually included hambugers and mac and cheese. But some other spots had chicken and rice or fish. Expect to pay $16-18 for every cocktail, $11 for a can of beer and $20-50 for every casual entree and $50+ at the nicer dinner resturants. The fine dining locations do offer highchairs and kids menus. On Father’s day we did dine at Carna, the steakhouse. The service was great and the food was really delicious! Even Emma’s kids meal looked high end!
One of the best things about the hotel is the pools. They were absolutely incredible! Plus a fullsized waterpark to enjoy. Waterpark entry is included with your stay- that was an awesome addition!
If you are traveling with a baby/kids the swimming will not disappoint. The beach was also kept very tidy and it looked gorgeous. Never too crowded either.
The kids pool included a cave you could swim into that featured aquariums filled with fish, sharks and turtles. The cave also created a perfect spot to swim in the shade. Be aware that getting to the pools will take about 10-15 minutes from your hotel room- so dont forget the sunscreen. There are accessible paths and elevators for strollers.
We traveled into downtown Nassau for an afternoon. We arrived while 2 or 3 cruise ships were docked so it was busy. It was also really hot which made it a little uncomfortable for Emma. It was a bit chaotic trying to find a spot to eat but in the end we went to a local patio, no highchair available. We did the Pirates of Nassau tour- it was not exactly baby friendly but Emma managed fine in her stroller as we walked through for half an hour.
From the Hyatt the cab ride was $20 each way. However, if you have more than 2 adults expect to pay more.
Overall, I loved the trip and the memories with our family. Emma experienced so much and grew a ton over the week! However, I do not think the Grand Hyatt is the perfect spot for travel with a baby. Something smaller with more frequent dinner dining would have fit out needs a little better.
Also, the cost of this trip was roughly $9000 (7 night stay). The poor service within the hotel did not reflect a luxury destination. This was disappointing and did not meet my expectations for a Hyatt hotel.
As a new mom I learned alot about traveling with kids! You can plan all you want but the trip is guaranteed to throw you some curveballs. Looking ahead I think I will turn towards an all inclusive resort as it will likely be easier for dining. I will certainly consider flying Westjet again due to their great service! And I will look for another resort with extensive pools.
I’m so glad we were able to take this trip, bond as a family and watch our baby grow! If you have any questions about staying at The Hyatt with a baby feel free to email me: email@example.com. When I was researching ahead of time it was hard to find baby specific experiences.