As well as providing a corridor to the Caribbean, for eons the Bahamas have boasted great fishing and cruising. The most popular destination has usually been Grand Bahama, the westernmost island, which serves as the first point of entry. There, situated on the western tip of the island, just 56 miles from Palm Beach, is Grand Bahama's premier resort, residential and marina community-Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour.
After suffering through last year's Hurricane Frances, Old Bahama Bay reopened in March. The resort used the rebuilding period as an opportunity to improve and refurbish its facilities and add to guest activities. The charm of Old Bahama Bay is its balance of genuine island tranquility accompanied by first-class creature comforts. The resort offers tennis, fishing, snorkeling and boating as well as a 4,000-square-foot pool that overlooks the ocean. You can get a massage in either the fitness center or in the comfort of your room, one of 49 set on 150 acres along the beach. By remaining low key and relaxed in true Bahamian style, the Old Bahama charms and restores.
Aside from the views and amenities, Old Bahama Bay's marina is a particular point of pride. Not only does it boast 72 full-service slips equipped to accommodate yachts up to 120 feet, but its recent environmental achievements have earned international accolades. In February the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) presented Old Bahama Bay with its prestigious Blue Flag award. The FEE is an independent, nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands that runs the Blue Flag campaign in association with the United Nations Environment Program and the World Tourism Organization, as well as other partners.
Peter Watson, the resort dockmaster who led the yearlong environmental project, says, "The Blue Flag recognizes that Old Bahama Bay is doing everything it can to ensure that our beaches and marinas are kept environmentally safe. A great accomplishment for the resort, this is a milestone for the Bahamas, as Old Bahama Bay is the first marina there to meet the FEE's strict criteria for water quality and waste disposal-this despite last year's hurricane season.
Old Bahama Bay is conveniently located near the Grand Bahama Island International Airport, serviced by American, Continental and US Air as well as local carriers and charters. Arriving via yacht in this official port of entry is made easy with on-site customs and immigration at the marina. All guests of both the hotel and marina have access to all the resort's amenities and services. For those on board in the marina, fuel is available, as well as electricity at each slip and 24-hour security, laundry service, cable television and phone, fax and Internet access.
The resort offers a variety of dining for different occasions, including the casual Dockside Grille, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. For an elegant dining experience, the restaurant Aqua is open for dinner; for a more relaxed atmosphere, The Straw Bar or the Oceanside cafÈ and bar can satisfy those looking for a simple beer and bite on the beach.
Old Bahama Bay's oceanfront real estate has many beautiful homes and condominiums for those who don't just want to visit. Their Pine Island lots each have one acre of land flanked by 145 feet of water on both sides-perfect for a private slip. Smaller lots along the ocean also include private dockage on one-third or one-half acres. The resort's luxury condominiums are built directly on the beaches, with either one- or two-bedroom units available. All are decorated in British West Indies dÈcor and have views of the beach and ocean.
The Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour leads the way in delivering charm and authenticity while providing a model of environmental stewardship. With the Blue Flag award and its efforts to improve the resort after last year's hurricane season, the resort looks like a place where the Bahamas are going to keep looking like the Bahamas.
Contact: Old Bahama Bay, (954) 524-3007; www.oldbahamabay.com.