"... dowager queen that's been transformed into a beautiful princess!"
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In the following review, I have attempted to convey to the reader some of my thoughts and impressions about Breezes Bahamas. In keeping with my Breezes Curacao "Resort Review" this is not so much a "trip report" in the manner of most posted on the Internet. Instead, I have omitted most of our personal experiences in that these don't really affect other visitors and are not particularly germane to what browsers to this site are searching for.
As I indicated in my earlier Breezes Curacao Resort Review, the following isn't intended as a "whitewash" of SuperClubs, the resort, the management or the staff. I'm friends with a number of SuperClubs' management and staff personnel and this review is in no way an attempt to say anything for their benefit or to curry favor with them. Quite the contrary, I have here attempted to provide an honest review of the resort, from my own personal prospective. If anyone disagrees with what I've said below or feels that it disagrees with their experiences of the resort, I can only say that the following are my personal observations and I stand by them.
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Everybody dreams of warm breezes wafting across an azure sea, especially when the cold winds of winter pay their annual visit to North America. Who among us hasn't wanted to be where a tropical sun shines down on sugar white beaches and the trade winds bring balmy breezes to vacationers visiting an island paradise? At one time or another, all of us complain about winter. We've all said, "I hate freezing my buns off, shoveling snow, having to defrost the windshield before driving the car, and having to bundle up in layers of clothes, just to maintain a semblance of warmth - when I could go where it is warm!"
Well, that was my thinking, when Nina and I decided that we desperately needed an early winter getaway, and we decided that the islands were definitely calling to us. And, that's how we happened to be in the Bahamas, on New Providence Island in December 2002 for nine days. I'm here to tell you this trip was certainly "just what the doctor ordered!"
Now, we had been to Nassau a few years ago for a five-day stay. During that trip, we stayed at a somewhat "less than desirable" place (which for the purposes of this review will remain unnamed!). The only saving grace was that we were out and about every day, exploring what to us was a "new" island, one we hadn't visited before. We really used the accommodations for purposes of showering and sleeping only. The rest of our earlier stay, we spent "doing" the island in a rental car from stem to stern. We saw places most of the locals had never seen. This time we wanted to stay some place where we wouldn't have to do anything, a place where we could simply lay back and enjoy our stay.
Also, for this, our second visit to the Bahamas, we wanted to located be on Cable Beach, which is the recognized preferred hotel district of New Providence Island.
As an aside, Cable Beach got its name from the fact that the first telegraph cable linking New Providence Island and Nassau with Jupiter Beach, Florida on the US mainland was originally laid there in 1892.)We opted to stay at Breezes Bahamas, since we were already familiar with many of the SuperClubs resorts elsewhere in the Caribbean. Our choice was excellent - the resort provided exactly what we were looking for, for our winter trip.
Breezes Bahamas, located on the eastern end of Cable Beach, is the latest iteration of the venerable old Ambassador Beach Hotel, dating from sometime prior to 1980. By the early 1990s, it was under the management of Wyndham Hotels. Subsequently, it was renamed the Wyndham Ambassador Golf and Beach Resort. (Click here for a view of Breezes.)
In 1995, SuperClubs took over management of the property, and the resort underwent renovations to the tune of $1.3 million, before reopening under the Breezes banner in September 1995. Think of Breezes as having been a dowdy, dowager queen that was magically transformed into a beautiful princess!
Upon arrival at Nassau international Airport (a completely modern airport in almost every aspect -- except baggage retrieval and customs clearing!), when you clear (finally!) customs, you will exit into a lobby area. There you will see the Breezes check-in desk. Proceed there and the staff will check you in and arrange for your transportation to the resort. (Click here for a view of the chaos in Customs.)
When you reach the resort, let the bell staff worry with the luggage -- go directly to the front desk and present the travel documents you received from your travel agency, confirming your stay at Breezes. You'll fill out some papers, sign your name a few times and then you have really arrived! You can head directly to the Lobby Lounge Bar for a cooling drink after your travels. Enjoy!
As a truly all inclusive resort, at Breezes almost everything you could want is included - room accommodations, all meals, all snacks, unlimited wine or beer with lunch and dinner, as well as all alcoholic drinks - and the drinks are mixed from premium brand liquors at each of the four bars. Also, most of the water and land sports activities, as well as airport transfers, taxes, and gratuities, are included in the one, up front price. (It should be noted that at Breezes Bahamas, motorized water sports and scuba diving are excluded, but scuba diving lessons and a free resort course are offered as part of the all inclusive package). Oh, and as with all of the SuperClubs properties, at Breezes tipping is absolutely not allowed!
Situated on a prime piece of beautiful beach front property along Nassau's Cable Beach (though the property actually fronts on Goodman Bay), Breezes attracts a mixed clientele of the young and old and all ages in between - though guests must be at least sixteen years old. We found the resort somewhat unpretentious compared to some of its near neighbors - and it also therefore tends to be more affordable that some others in the area, but not at all lacking in excellent amenities.
As with all the other SuperClubs, Breezes Bahamas provides complimentary weddings including flowers, champagne, music, wedding cake, and marriage license. And it's all included in the prepaid package price!
The resort itself forms the letter "U" with the western wing consisting of eight floors with one hundred and thirty-five rooms on each floor. The eastern wing has only four floors, with the same number of rooms per floor as its sister wing. A bank of modern elevators serves each wing. As an aside, we seldom had to wait for an elevator - they always arrived within seconds of the call button being pushed.
The accommodation wings are bridged on the southern side by a three-story building facing West Bay Street on the front and the large enclosed pool area on the rear. On the middle of the three levels are located the main lobby, a fitness center, the main entertainment stage and the Lobby Lounge Bar, a gift shop, a photo shop and rest room facilities. There are pool tables and a foosball table available off the lobby and a viewing area nearby with a large screen television. The open air lobby is bright and colorful, and there is a large, locally created chandelier and a multicolor patterned tile floor. On the lower level are the main buffet and other dining areas and the piano bar. Located on the third floor are a number of spacious conference room facilities.
The hotel rooms are attractively decorated in bright, pastel hues and contain a king size bed or two twin beds, a large chest of drawers, a table and two chairs and bedside tables. There is a large mirror, coffee maker, compact disk player, clock radio, and in-room safe (attached to the closet floor) with removable lock, and a direct dial telephone.
Each room contains a color TV set, with access to a limited number of satellite channels. The two rooms we had (we changed rooms due to a leak from the bath above us in our first room) had either a beautifully marble tiled floor or luxurious carpeting. And, it was our experience that while the air conditioning system is a central unit, it worked fine - in fact, if a guest isn't careful the unit can cool the room to the point that they could "hang meat" in it!
Each room has a gorgeous view of the ocean, the pool or the gardens. All rooms have sliding glass doors that open out on a French balcony - but the railings are just to keep guests from falling. The bathrooms were a comfortable size, equipped with a large vanity, tiled floors, a hair dryer and a shower / tub combination.
Most meals are served buffet style in the main Terrace dining room. At breakfast, lunch and dinner, the buffet menu items are augmented by grilled-to-order offerings - eggs any way you like them at breakfast, grilled fish, pork, lamb or beef at lunch and other choices at dinner. There is a complete salad bar with all the fixing's as well as an assortment of deserts that will tickle anybody's sweet tooth. There is even an ice cream machine - guests can concoct their own ice cream cones to suit!
Guests can dine on truly remarkable international fare at the Pastafari Restaurant, which serves Italian cuisine. It is located across the hall from the disco on the lower level, is by reservation only and seating is limited, so make your reservations early. The antipasto offerings were scrumptious and the service by the wait staff was impeccable.
The relatively new Garden of Eden Restaurant provided a delightful alternative to the buffet and Pastafari. Inside, it has booths for two, and the decor is quietly beautiful and romantic. For groups of more than two guests, it offers outside covered seating in the verdant surroundings of a true garden that rivals any in the world.
The Pool Grill, located by the main pool and handy to the beach, stays open till 8:00 o'clock nightly. It serves an assortment of sizzling hamburgers and hot dogs to order and French fries, and has the local delicacy conch fritters, hot off the griddle. This allows guests to stay right by the pool or the beach and have a super snack without ever having to leave to go to the dining area. Oh, and the Pool Grill has hot buttered popcorn all day long!
We found the food to be very good in the main Terrace dining room, and in both of the sit down restaurants and at the poolside grill. Being a big hamburger aficionado, I had my lunch at the grill by the pool most days, while Nina served her plate from the buffet - we then lunched by the pool under an umbrella. In the evening, I personally enjoyed the Pastafari Restaurant, where I had the filet three different nights! Also, the Garden of Eden restaurant was excellent and gave us a wonderful alternative to the regular buffet. (By the way, I was able to order escargots at both restaurants! Yummy!)
At night Breezes comes totally alive with scheduled theme parties and your choice of lounge venues - the Hurricane Disco, the Lobby Lounge Bar and the more quiet Pelican Piano Lounge. A resident live band performs each evening until midnight in the Lobby Lounge Bar.
The excellent piano bar is just off the main dining area on the lower level, and offers the old favorite sing-along around the piano. The bar features two popular local entertainers, a virtuoso guitar player who brings the Bahamian rhythms and sounds to the patrons and on alternate nights the piano player who provides the old familiar songs for sing-alongs.
Monday of each week is Comedy Night in the Hurricane Disco, which happened to be our first night. There were two comedians on the bill that night and they were terrific! "Naughty," a local stand up comic, was excellent, but the guest comedian that night, a fellow who wasn't local, was super hilarious!
There was a Toga night while we were there, and - as old timers accustomed to the Toga Nights at Hedonism II and Hedonism III in Jamaica - we decided to take part. Even though we had left our togas and all our toga paraphernalia at home, we definitely wanted to show the other, younger guests "how it's done!" (And Nina and I both won first place awards for our togas - hers as the "Most Beautiful Toga" and mine as "Most Roman Toga!")
Karaoke Night was a blast, with some guests who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and others who sang like songbirds. Other nights, there is a live band on the stand and most nights, and following the scheduled entertainment, the band plays dance music until the wee hours.
The main pool area consists of a number of interconnecting pools with a cascading waterfall that is visible from the main dining area, plus a very warm and very large hot tub. There are plenty of comfortable lounges scattered around the pools to use for catching rays. On opposite sides of the area by the beach are located the Towel Bar and a Pool Grill (which I christened the "Sea Gull Grill" in honor of the plethora of avian visitors which flock to the area). The large Pool Bar has swim-up seats in the pool and a huge gazebo above the bar, which offers some welcome shade. There are also rest room facilities near the beach, so when "nature calls" you don't have to retire to your room.
The north facing beach is wide and the sand is sugar soft. There are a multitude of comfortable lounges strung along the beach, with a few thatched palapas available to provide some relief from the rays of the tropical sun. The resort has sailboats available free for the guests. There is also a non-resort commercial venture at the edge of the property offering jet skis and parasailing for a fee.
While we felt that Breezes was somewhat mellow - or it was during our mid-December stay -it does have its moments. The entertainment coordinators did a great job of providing guests with plenty of activities, both by the beach and in the evenings at the main entertainment stage area.
And the bars offer a never-ending supply of drinks. Just think, for one up-front price, you can sip cocktails, work out, play tennis, swim, snorkel and take part in one of the organized activities. Each and every evening there is some kind of entertainment staged just off the lobby.
There is a daily schedule of various high-energy sports and leisure activities. At Breezes you can experience the Circus Workshop, play volleyball, take instruction on the flying trapeze, trampoline and even learn to juggle. Joggers can take a circuit around the small outdoor jogging track. And, for those whose activities tend toward taking it easy, there is Breezes' wide beach area for just plain relaxation.
Breezes also offers a first for the Caribbean - in August 2000, it became the first resort to install an ice-skating rink and a thirty foot high rock-climbing wall! The outdoor ice rink measures 1,600 sq. ft and is open 24 hours a day. Ice skates, ice hockey sticks and pucks are available to guests on a complimentary basis.
There are also a number of excellent tennis courts available for use by guests.
For explorations further afield, should you find a need to see some of the other places on the island, it's easy to catch a "Number 10" bus out front on West Bay Street and take a short ride into downtown Nassau. Just walk down the left driveway from the resort entrance porte cochere and wait on the benches at the bus stop sign. Make sure to look for the number "10" painted on the bus - the "10-A" bus takes the long way into town. Taxis are also readily available.
And, for those who enjoy a bit of gambling, the Crystal Palace Casino is a short walk from the hotel, either along the beach or by way of the street walkway on West Bay Street.
Would I return to Breezes
Bahamas? You bet!! But more important, would I recommend Breezes
Bahamas to the countless numbers of folks who regularly ask me to suggest
a place they can go? Again, you bet! SuperClubs' Breezes Bahamas
is by no means an overly fancy place, but it does provide a great getaway
from stress at a very nice tropical vacation destination where one price
Jamaica Jim JordanSuggestions, questions, and comments about the above resort review or this web site should be addressed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org - Thanks.
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