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Editor’s Review of Compass Point Beach Resort
With Nassau as its capital city, New Providence Island is one of the Caribbean's most easily accessed destinations. The island's main tourist draw card is, of course, the behemoth Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. But for families looking for a different kind of Nassau vacation close to one of the island's best beaches -- and with a whole lot of real Bahamian character -- Compass Point Beach Resort is a true gem. The property was formerly owned by Chris Blackwell of Bob Marley/Island Records, and sits right across from the renowned recording studio where such greats as Jimmy Buffet and AC/DC have laid down tracks. Appropriately, each of the hotel's rooms pays homage to a famous musician with local ties. The musical theme even continues
with great speaker systems, iPod docking stations and CDs with eclectic music in the rooms.
You're far removed from the cruise ship hordes and Atlantis masses here in the western part of the island, yet only about 20 minutes from those sites by car or jitney (the public transport shuttle busses stop a few steps from the resort). The oceanfront property skirts a sea wall, with 18 very comfortable "huts" that are made from wood and painted in every color of the rainbow making for a cheery scene. There's a medium-sized pool perched right over the ocean, and a hot tub in a more secluded area near the pier -- this is particularly appealing on a cold winter night beneath the stars. The resort's fishing pier extends far enough into the clear Caribbean waters to toss out a fishing line and snag something (if you don't have your own rig, the general manager is happy to lend his out), and the hammock on the end is a prime spot to sink into at sunset. The resort markets itself to couples far more than families, and it's important to know that you won't find guardrails along the seawall here -- the property feels beautifully connected to the surrounding seascapes. If you're traveling with small children, you'll have to be on alert for sharp rocky corners and the like. For families with older children, however, Compass Point can strike a very appealing balance between family fun for the gang and Caribbean escapism for the adults.
The onsite restaurant and bar are one of the most popular settings for locals to gather -- both Bahamians and expats -- for sunset with a cold Sands beer. And local families occupy the large outdoor tables with booth style seating right at the water's edge.
While the ocean is right in front of you at the resort, you'll find the best beach access by walking through a gate lining the property's edge, past a neighboring residence along the water, to access the true sandy stretch of Love Beach. This is one of the nicest -- and longest -- stretches of sand on the entire island, and at the beach club called Nirvana, you can rent jet skis and kayaks. There is also ocean access near the pier on the resort property, but the steps leading down to the water become almost completely obscured at high tide. As far as things to do within walking distance of the resort, apart from the beach, there's not a whole lot. It's worth walking just east of the resort to the public boat ramp, across from which one of the island's best conch salad stalls sets up for business most nights.
The resort's elevated huts that are directly oceanfront are particularly nice as they have outdoor kitchenettes on the ground floor, with a shaded picnic table for meals al fresco. If your group is large, you can book several huts next to each other and have the feeling that you're staying in your own personal oceanfront resort.
If you're going to Nassau with the family, chances are, you're going to spend some time at Atlantis (there are day passes available to the water park). But spending a few days of your trip at Compass Point Resort might be just what you need to truly feel like you're in vacation mode and experiencing something of the Bahamas' more authentically Caribbean side. Spending your days snorkeling and swimming in the beautiful clear waters, splashing in the Compass Point pool and swaying in the hammock or rocking chair on your oceanfront terrace has all the makings for a family vacation in a little piece of paradise. less
- Outdoor oceanfront pool
- Beautiful white sands of Love Beach, a short stroll away
- Elevated oceanfront huts with shaded picnic tables and outdoor kitchenettes
- Water Sports
- Horseback Riding
- Water Parks
- Connecting Rooms
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids'/Theme Meals
- Laundry Service
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
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Most of the huts feel private and more along the lines of a beach house than a hotel (huts closer to the swimming pool may be subject to noise from the restaurant and pool). The studios are the smallest accommodations, set up in a row just back from the water's edge and behind the pool. Like all of the rooms onsite, the studios have in-room coffee and tea making facilities, a mini fridge, toaster and a microwave, as well as ceiling fans and in-wall air-conditioning units. The windows in the huts are traditional Bahamian wooden plantation-style shutters with slats that open, and screens to keep insects at bay. The elevated huts are roomier, with space for an aerobed for parents traveling with one or two children. And there's one elevated hut in the second row back from the ocean that's connected by a private staircase to a smaller ground level hut with a small daybed inside that could accommodate two young children (there's a separate outdoor shower adjoining the room, and an enclosed toilet on the ground floor, in addition to the full bathroom and shower facilities upstairs). A perk of booking one of the elevated huts versus one positioned at ground level is the open-air kitchenette and dining space (with a shaded picnic table) located just underneath. These kitchenettes have a two-burner stovetop and full sink, plus pots and pans so you can cook basic meals for everyone al fresco and dine right there in the shade with ocean views. Casual Caribbean decor is the theme in all the rooms, with wood and dark wicker furnishings and bright splashes of color on the beds. DVD players and iPod connectors for the in-room sound system are standard throughout, and there's a library of movies you can borrow that includes some kids programming. less