BREEZES IN THE SIZZLING BAHAMAS
Imagine swaying palm trees, geckos and a cornucopia of scintillating cuisine. Azure waters meet rose-hued skies and stunning sunsets as you sip your Bahama Mama or Kalik beer. Welcome to the easy pace, shoe-optional slice of heaven known as the Bahamas. Yes, even with economic blues you can afford a deluxe trip to Paradise, a collection of 700 islands not far from home. Far from the glitz and glitter of Paradise Island lie The Out Islands (the “Family Isles”) bountiful in Mother Nature and nurture. And Breezes is the destination for beauty, tranquility, divine cuisine and impeccable service with all the amenities. Breezes Resort and Spa offers a rainbow parfait of super-inclusive amenities, impeccable service, divine cuisine in your choice of five gourmet restaurants and an authentic Bahamian ambiance you’ll long treasure.
Located on the white sands of Cable Beach, the resorts’ idyllic location oozes with pampering suited for royalty. Rooms and suites all share Caribbean luxurious accents and Bahamian hospitality galore. This slice of paradise has an abundant choice of activities from tennis to sea kayaking, sailing or yoga. I cherished their spa with holistic world-class treatments. When it comes to gastronomy, Breezes has it all! Five distinctive restaurants showcase the finest ingredients and dishes you’ll love. Munasan is Asian-fusion. Eden (yes, like the Garden of Eden) offers a lush outdoor dining option. For Italian fare, Martino’s has the best pasta I’ve had in years. For all kinds of jerk, and conch fritters, don’t miss the Reggae Café. And when I decided on the buffet and checked out the Banana Boat Restaurant, what a glittering surprise it was! Don’t miss the ceviche or flan. But my favorite is Eden, with old world Bahamian ambiance. If you can’t fall in love here, you can’t fall in love! Executive Chef Nigel Clarke is a culinary wizard.
After a scrumptious meal there’s endless entertainment from high-octane limbo, junkanoo and dancing to nurturing jazz. For weddings and honeymoons this is a stunning, romantic setting with top professional help on hand for every detail. There’s a variety of special events throughout the year, including a wellness fair in late April. It will feature meditation, Zumba, mind-body lectures on nutrition, and overall nature and nurture. I’m already planning a return visit here or to a SuperClub sister property in Negril and Ocho Rios.
Making it even sweeter is a Saturday non-stop flight on American from DFW/Dallas. From Houston, BahamasAir offers similar service… Breakfast at home and lunch on the beach.
If you want to get up close and personal, ask guest services about the People-to-People opportunities, where you visit Bahamian government facilities for tea or get to know more about Bahamian culture in a variety of programs. A special “Repeaters Week” offers returning guests additional perks and incentives. The agenda for September 1-10 includes tours, events in town and honors those who are part of the loyal “Breezes Family”.
The earliest settlers on Grand Bahama Island were possibly Siboney Indians, a Stone Age culture which arrived in the Caribbean about 4,000 years ago, but subsequently disappeared. The next to settle were the Lucayans, of whom there were an estimated 4,000 living on Grand Bahama Island at the time of Christopher Columbus’ sighting of San Salvador. Great Britain claimed The Islands of the Bahamas in 1670, after British colonists left Bermuda for the island of Eleuthera, where they sought religious independence. The island experienced an economic boom during the Civil War, as smugglers profited from the Union blockade on the Confederate states, and again during prohibition. The island changed forever in the 1950’s with the dawn of tourism, largely initiated by Wallace Groves, an American financier living on the island. He approached the Bahamian government in 1955 with the idea to build a town that catered to both industry and tourists. The result was economic success and a community now ideal for tourism and vacationing. Variety oozes from every aspect of the culture, watersports, history and walking tours to showcase a rich tapestry of memory insurance for years to come.
DAY ONE: Go shopping for a divine escape. I cherished the Straw Market, and meandering through stalls jam-packed with spices, unique foods, ceramics and local handicraft. Nassau boasts stylish boutiques on Bay Street, as well as dynamite fruit and vegetable vendors, and fresh catch of the day.
DAY TWO: Imbibe and enjoy some of the local cuisine. The most enchanting new opportunity is the Rum Festival in Ft. Charlotte … the revelry, parties and sizzling sensory extravaganza of colors, sounds, sights and tastes make a rich rainbow parfait you’ll never forget. This is certain to be a continuing legendary custom and a Festival to be remembered!
DAY THREE: Take a walking tour. I recommend some of the star attractions as listed below (don’t forget your camera and binoculars!):
Junkanoo Expo: Junkanoo parades, similar to those that take place during Mardis Gras, are held in the early morning hours on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Eve. At the entrance to the wharf are exhibits of the fantastic costumes revelers wear during these annual Bahamian Junkanoo celebrations.
Queen’s Staircase: During the late 18th century slaves carved 65 steps (originally 66) into a solid limestone cliff in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign. Queen’s Staircase is located at the top of Elizabeth Avenue Hill, off Shirley Street.
Pirates of Nassau Museum: This museum (located in the Lofthouse building on Marlborough Street) offers a world-class interactive and educational experience into the 18th century era when pirates dominated the Bahamian waters.
You’ll long treasure your sizzling Bahamas holiday with memory insurance for years to come.
Jody Reed is formerly a writer at the White House and TV Consumer Reporter. A 17-year veteran travel writer, she is published regionally and nationally and is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.