Lucky in Love: Wyndham Nassau Resort

Photo Courtesy of Wyndham Resorts

Soaring past the past five million mark, arrivals to the Bahamas hit a high note in 2010 with this year looking just as rosy.  Whether it’s Nassau and Paradise Island, Abaco Islands, Exuma Islands or Harbour Island, a holiday is, indeed, better in the Bahamas. A quick forty-five minute flight from Miami or three hours from New York City, the Bahamas are the perennial favourite of eternal romantics who covet an evening under the stars or an active day on the water.  From Blackbeard and white beaches to glorious sunsets and spirited casinos, there is something for everyone on more than 700 islands and 2,000 cays.

Photo Courtesy of Wyndham Resorts

Sitting pretty in the heart of Cable Beach, Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino is one-stop shopping for an amorous getaway.  With the tallest tower on Cable Beach, the 559 rooms including thirty six penthouse suites marry island ambience with modern amenities. Wall-to-wall sliding glass doors welcome the ocean breeze while private balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean are ideal for a sunrise breakfast or an après dinner nightcap. “Weddings are an important niche market for us” says Joe Eustice, general manager, “our team of planners organize everything from the music, food and photos to a bonfire on the beach.”

Nine restaurants and lounges, a pool with humongous rock formations, seawater swimming lagoon, snorkelling, parasailing and kayaking tempt during the day while the Crystal Palace Casino with four hundred slot machines, forty table games and the area’s only sports book is inviting when the sun sets. “Lovebirds like to tempt Lady Luck with a pull at a slot machine or a good hand at a table,” smiles Arnold Cargill, casino shift manager as he teaches the fine art of blackjack to tourists from Miami.

Chew Love

Hovering over the kitchen like he’s cooking for royalty, executive Chef Stephen Quigg has more than a quarter century of experience under his white apron.  Fresh from a stint at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica, this gastronomic whirling dervish creates unique menus that blend Asian, Italian, French, Caribbean and American flavors. A graduate of Toronto’s George Brown College; Chef Stephen honed his culinary skills in Bermuda at The Reefs Resort and Wyndham Bermuda Resort.

Not for the faint of appetite, Black Angus Grille with its signature selection of steaks, prime rib and delectable sides are worth the splurge.  A treasure trove for the taste buds, blackened conch is big enough to share and too good to miss. Caesar salad made fresh at the table is not to be missed and for special occasions, ask for Chef Tiffany to whip up one of her sinfully sweet chocolate soufflés. “For the garlic in the salad, a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream is the perfect remedy,”  advises Chef Tiffany who recommends “honeymooners book a private dinner table right on the beach .”

For breakfast, the SeaSide buffet is flip-flop friendly and chock-a-block with American specialities and Bahamian dishes like Souse and Johnny cakes. For a light snack, Eat, Live Refresh is ideal for lighter appetites and the best coffee this side of Manhattan.

Photo Courtesy of M. Reffes

Conch in every shape and size is delectable at the sea view Tiki Hut and with a menu guaranteed to please; lunch is a fine affair with a burger to a grouper salad. For a fruity daiquiri, Da Daq Shaq is the must-try on the beach. Ask bartender Keith Farrington to shake (or stir) an extra potent daiquiri par excellence. At ‘22 Above’, aptly named for its locale high above the casino, a watermelon martini is heavenly while for those wanting to put a spring in their groovy gait, a local band entertains weekend nights at 9:30.  www.wyndhamnassauresort.com. 1-800-WYNDHAM

The Big Blue

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas

For a day on the open water, Stuart Cove’s is the go-to-spot for snorkelling tours, diving and waters skiing.  Experienced guides take guests on sunny excursions departing from the movie-famous dock that was built for the film Flipper which was filmed there in 1996. “Exploring the ocean is my passion,” instructor Ida Stjernstrom tells an eager boatload of tourists, “once you see the tropical fish and the sharks, you’ll be hooked just like I am. “

Sailing to the picturesque cays with stops to dive overboard, a day on the boat is what morphs a great vacation into a grand vacation. “My favorite reef is Little Elvis,” explains Ullin Saunders, instructor, “an amazing array of parrot fish, blue tangs  and  even fire coral are waiting for us to join them.” Sailing past swanky Lyford Cay where Sean Connery has a home, instructor Ida says she has seen romance bloom on the boats. “We’ve had couples who marry underwater; they wear a mask with a microphone so they can say their vows or they sit fifty feet down on the ocean floor on a wreck called the Ray of Hope.”  Stuart Cove’s has an office at the Wyndham Nassau to make booking weddings a breeze. www.stuartcove.com.

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3 Responses to Lucky in Love: Wyndham Nassau Resort

  1. MK says:

    Great story, wishing I was back in the Bahamas! We loved traveling with you and have shared the story with everyone at the Wyndham. I’m still talking about the guava souffle we had at Black Angus…possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had.

    We also love Keith and the entire Wyndham Nassau staff, but Ullin at Stuart Cove’s was my favorite! He led us through such amazing reefs, we crossed swimming with sharks off the bucket list and he let me drive the boat :)

  2. Cheryl Ambroise says:

    Good morning from Miami,

    I love the idea of getting married underwater and after seeing the photo in this story, I am going to suggest an underwater ceremony to my fiancee. We are both expert divers and a wedding underwater would be ideal for us. Our thank you for the suggestion.

    best regards,
    Cheryl Ambroise

  3. Marnie says:

    Your story was really informative, thanks!

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