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Bahamian capital and by far the country's busiest port, Nassau is busy with movement, sounds, colours and smells. Nassau has the lion's share of the Bahamian population, restaurants, shopping and this is also where you'll find some of the oldest Caribbean beach hotels. Some of these grand old dames still number on the list of the best places to stay in Nassau, but there are also a number of smaller, more stylish properties and the large, modern resorts just outside of Nassau.
Founded by the British in 1650, Nassau is probably better known, historically, for its connection with piracy, and especially Blackbeard, who challenged British rule here. These days it is the visitor hub for the Bahamas, what with the cruise port and airport and is known for its lively atmosphere and shopping as much as for its stunning beaches.
Nassau is also home to a cheesy, but fun, pirate museum, the National Art Gallery, a zoo, several beautiful botanical gardens, some excellent markets, several impressive forts and the Atlantis Waterscape (on Paradise Island) and a vast open-air aquarium. So there's plenty to do here. As well as every watersport you can imagine and every kind of place to eat and drink you might fancy.
If Nassau is tempting you then you may want to consider Cable Beach or Paradise Island, which have sort of become Nassau's glamorous, beachy suburbs.
What not to miss:
- Spend lazy days unwinding on the picture perfect white sand beaches.
- Try your hand at any number of water sports activities including ket skiing, kayaking, deep sea fishing or windsurfing.
- Make a trip to the private Blue Lagoon Island and snorkel through the brightly coloured coral reefs.
- Visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, home to the National Collection of Bahamian Art.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Nassau range from charming apartments on Paradise Island to a historic five star property in the centre of town.
For a beach break
- The Compass Point Hotel is a collection of 18 funky Caribbean-style apartments with direct beach access. The Compass point also has a great beach bar and a fantastic restaurant which offers both Bahamian and international cuisine.
- The Cove Atlantis is the ultimate family resort with its own cinema, casino, beach, water park and just about every kind of watersport or resort activity you can imagine. The Cove Atlantis is also big - so there's a huge range when it comes to restaurants and bars. There are also several kid's clubs.
For a low key holiday
- The Orange Hill Beach Inn is a relaxed, friendly, 33 room inn, converted in a very Caribbean style, from an orange plantation. There are rooms with small kitchens and there's also a restaurant.
- The Paradise Harbour Club is a collection of apartments with kitchens, just behind their own marina. There are beautiful views, a pool, hot tub and sun terraces, but no restaurant.
For a taste of island life
- The Graycliff Hotel is a characterful spot, right in the centre of town. Rooms are packed with antique opulence. There are two pools, beautiful gardens and sun terrace plus a gym, spa, Bahamian restaurant, wine cellar and a cigar factory.
For an apartment or villa
- If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.
- Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport is the largest airport in the Bahamas. Major U.S. airlines have flights to Nassau and there is also a limited service from Toronto and London.
- Best time to visit - The climate is best described as subtropical. With a climate identical to South Florida, the area usually experiences very warm, humid weather throughout the year, with cool nights during wintertime.
- If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Nassau
The Cove Atlantis 600 rooms from £445Paradise Island, Bahamas
Expansive resort on the beach. Elegant rooms are in creamy shades with sea view balconies and big bathrooms. Outdoor pool, beach access, tennis courts, gym, spa, water park, cinema and casino. Excellent International cuisine, both gourmet and light. With so much to do, perfect for families.Active Holiday - Think of the activity, and here you can probably do it: cinema, casino, tennis, yoga and all watersportsFamilies - A wide variety of activities for children, including age-relevant kids club, water park and Dolpin CayKids Club - Fully staffed.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Kiwi Collection
Paradise Harbour Club 23 rooms from £82Paradise Island, Bahamas
Charming apartments with marina. Rooms are colourful and bright, with tiled floors, large dining areas and full kitchens. Outdoor pool, sun terraces and hot tub. No restaurant, but groceries can be arranged by hotel. Superb views and good value for money.Beach Life - With its own marina, taking to the seas is effortless, as are watersports from nearby beaches and superb viewsSights nearby - Shopping in Bay Street in downtown NassauGreat walks - Through Bahamas National Trust gardensSailing - Hotel has its own marina
Graycliff Hotel 20 rooms from £250Nassau, Bahamas
Characterful 5* hotel in town centre. Rooms have antiques, opulent fabrics, chandeliers and four poster beds. Two outdoor pools, gym, spa treatments, gardens and sun terrace. Excellent Bahamian cuisine, extensive wine cellars and cigar factory. Unusual, luxurious and unique.Quirky - In this 200 plus year old mansion, find antiques, a cellar filled with thousands of bottles of wine, and a working cigar factorySights nearby - Hotel overlooks the Government House in the centre of Nassau.Great walks - Around town from Rawson SquareFull of character
Compass Point Hotel 18 rooms from £169Nassau, Bahamas
Colourful beach front apartments. Rooms are in colonial style with white shutters, large verandahs and small kitchens. Outdoor pool, hot tub and beach access with pier. Fantastic Bahamian and International cuisine, oceanfront bar. Low-key, superb location and good value.Beach Life - Colourful clapperboard suites, with an idllyic beach, activities within walking distanceFishing - Hotel can organise boat charter to trawl the deep seas for a prized marlinFull of characterOn the beach - In front of the hotel.
Orange Hill Beach Inn 33 rooms from £106Nassau, Bahamas
Beach front inn on former orange plantation. Rooms have pine furniture, tropical print fabrics and studios with small kitchens. Outdoor pool, sun terrace and lounge. Restaurant serves good Bahamian and continental food. Relaxed, secluded and family friendly.Families - Laid back atmosphere, large outdoor pool, beach access and small kitchens in studiosDiving - More than a dozen shipwrecks, underwater movie sites, beautiful coral reefsGreat walks - Through Nassau Botanical GardensSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Fodors