Baha Mar Is Changing The Bahamas For Foodies

Baha Mar is a luxury destination that is less about waterslides and more about the welcoming flavors and paradise of the Bahamas.

At its center is the family-friendly Grand Hyatt, which also hosts the largest casino in the Bahamas. The landscape is bookended by the residential-style luxury resort Rosewood on one side and by the clean and chic SLS on the other. There is no shortage of places to sleep here, from luxe oceanfront suites with private verandas to two-bedroom villas with their own staff.  But even if you come for the beach and the beds, you may end up staying for the food.

The resort has over 20 eating and drinking options — from the island-inspired pierfront Conch Shack, which prepares  different versions of the Bahamian seafood staple, to upscale options including Katsuya and Shuang Ba.

Start the day at Cafe Madeleine, the resort's French patisserie shop, which boasts its own steam oven for fresh baked pan au chocolat. They brew New Zealand's finest Mojo coffee here for a truly unique morning cup and serve a selection of French teas to go along with fresh quiche, classic French sandwiches, and salads.

If you're into unicorn floats and seafood-inspired snacks, Drift is their poolside bistro serving up pan-Latin American cuisine. Unwind with local beers, frozen drinks, refreshing cocktails, and feast upon island flavors like conch fritters, empanadas, and fish ceviche.

As for more formal dining, there are endless options. Stix is an indoor but casual noodle joint serving updated classic dishes made using Chinese techniques with Bahamian ingredients. Authentic hand-pulled noodles and dim sum are perfect to eat at the noodle bar where the chefs' culinary skills are on display or order your selections to go in traditional Chinese takeout containers for an enjoyable night out. Also, be sure to try to the congee with sea conch —delicious! A soon-to-open modern Chinese restaurant, Shuang Ba, presents an amazing visual experience upon entering — the space is anchored by a hand-sculpted Chinese pillar weighing 11,000 pounds and is enveloped in hand-stitched tapestry. There are 88 dishes and 88 seats, and service here is centered around the most discerning guests' needs.

The recently opened Katsuya is the hottest reservation in Nassau. A pairing of master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi's fresh takes on Japanese classics with design icon Philippe Starck's sleek and sultry interiors come together for a truly unique sushi restaurant. There are a few dishes exclusive to this outpost of Katsuya, one being an off-menu crab rice served in a 350 degree bowl and cooked tableside. Another is a coconut cream-topped conch salad served in its own coconut shell.

Soon to come is also Deuce, the second location of Atlanta's award-winning steakhouse, Bone's; this will be the largest restaurant at Baha Mar, with 350 seats.

For more casual fare, 24-hour dining is available at The Swimming Pig — an all-day, all-night eatery offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night dining. There's also a full bar with a wide selection of local and international beers on tap.

Baha Mar nods to the islands' British history with Churchill's, a British-inspired pub with a wide selection of rums (over 40 on offer) and whiskeys and stellar hand-crafted cocktails. Guests enter through a walk-in humidor where a pro sits and hand rolls stogies and a flat screen provides entertainment while you smoke them. That is if you don't want to wander out to the lawn, where local live music and a flaming light show set the air on fire.

Street food fans will stay parked at El Jefe, Baha Mar's retro-styled, hot pink, aluminum Airstream eatery serving  a variety of freshly made fruit margaritas along with its signature Mexican sopes. Pro tip: Hit this place up for your second breakfast, because the morning burritos are the stuff of hangover dreams.

If you're sitting around any one of the seven (soon to be 11) pools, you can grab a drink from any number of cocktail lounges. Daqs is a shack that serves traditional Bahamian-style daiquiris, H2O is the swim-up bar serving frozen drinks, Out Island pays homage to the former Nassau Beach Resort of the 1950s. The Blue Note is about local jazz and  globally inspired classic drinks, such as the Negroni and old fashioned, along with local favorites like Bahamian Sky Juice, and Royal Blue is your post-golf cocktail spot. There are a handful more, each with its own character and flavor.

If you are here for Baha Mar's casino, enjoy hand-crafted martinis on the floor or, if you're feeling flush, request alfresco gambling at the high roller's cabana casino located above one of the main area pools.

Baha Mar really does have it all, and they are waiting for guests. Open just a few short months, the destination was forced to close recently for the series of hurricanes that passed through, but doors weren't completely closed. Staff showed up daily to cook and serve islanders affected by storms and to provide whatever relief they could.

It's a great time to show support, and stuff yourself, in the Bahamas, and Baha Mar is where to do it. The resort's restaurants are all nearly new, but some of the more ambitious offerings might hope to end up on our list of the 101 best restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean