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Bahamas Hotel, Resort & Villa Reviews

Holiday Inn Sunspree Paradise Island 07/08/03
Reviewers Rating: Great
08/8/03 - Have just returned from a lovely holiday to the Bahamas, staying in the Sunspree, Paradise Island. Many of the tourists at the resort were expecting an hotel situated on a huge beach facing the sea. If they had read the brochures and many web sites about the hotel, they would have found, that the man-made beach is a bit on the small side, and the hotel is actually situated at the edge of the harbour and not on the sea front. The massive Cabbage beach is only a ten minute walk away though, but take your own water as there are no nearby shops and the beach vendors ask for $3 per bottle!

The windows of all bedrooms at the hotel are sealed, which can be a problem for smokers without a balcony! They charge anything up to $75 a night for rooms with balconies which can add a considerable amount to the price of your holiday. On the plus side, all rooms have fridges and coffee makers, irons, hairdryers, beach towel exchange and every part of the hotel is kept extremely clean. There is an excellent laundry room on the 3rd floor where you can wash and dry your laundry for just over $2 in less than an hour!

The main restaurant serves themed meals every night e.g. Mexican on Monday, Chinese on Tuesday etc. The only problem is that they offer no alternatives, so if you do not like Chinese food for example, you have to settle for the Wahoo Grill! Service there is painfully slow,so expect to wait for at least half an hour to get your burger or whatever you have ordered. The a la carte restaurant is good though and is free to residents, but has to be booked 24hrs in advance. Entertainment, by day and night, is almost non existent, but after experiencing some dismal entertainment on previous Caribbean holidays, perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing! Drink was plentiful and the self service cocktail, soft drink and ice-cream machines were a great idea!

Outside the hotel, a visit to the Blue Lagoon Island is a must. We also chartered a speed boat that took us to Rose Island for the day. Just by coincidence we went on a Monday, and found out from the caretaker of the island that it closed to tourists on Mondays! Our boat had already left, but he said that we could stay for $5 each! Well that was the best money we have ever spent, as we had the island to ourselves for 6 glorious hours. Rose Island is just like you would imagine the Bahamas to be, with white sands, crystal clear sea, hammocks and even fresh coconuts from the caretaker! Pure bliss!!!

The awesome Atlantis resort was only a ten minute walk away, and is not so much a hotel as a tourist attraction. The sharks, rays and other fish in their lagoons had to be seen to be believed. By night the casino comes alive, and it is just as much fun to watch the action as to play! Drinks there are very expensive, so be prepared!

All in all we really enjoyed our two week holiday at the Sunspree. Unlike the majority of the other guests, we were not expecting 5* luxury, so weren't disappointed!

I don't think that we would go back to the Bahamas again though, as everything is very expensive there. There is a lot more to do in Cancun at much cheaper prices.

One thing that cannot be matched however is the friendliness of the Bahamian people. They are absolutely second to none, and much nicer than the Mexicans at Cancun!

Jean Moss

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