Found: the Ultimate, Bucket-List Resort for Anyone in Need of a Blissed-Out Beach Recharge

Photo: Stocksy/Javier Pardina
There are two types of vacations, IMHO. The first, which I have creatively classified as a “good vacation,” helps you press pause. It’s tons of fun, and usually comes right when you need it most because you’re feeling burnt out. But a good vacation doesn’t do much more than give you a break from your regularly scheduled programming (nor does it need to). The second variety of vacation—the elusive “great vacation”—however, transforms you in some way; it solves problems you didn’t even realize you had. You come home from a great vacation feeling like a fresher, more enlightened member of society.

If you want to find yourself on this second sort of getaway—one that will evoke the restorative sensation of exhaling for the first time in years—Rosewood Baha Mar in Nassau, the Bahamas is as a, well, great place to start.

I’d been hearing infinite buzz about the beauty of the Rosewood Baha Mar since the day it opened its ornate double doors in June of 2018. Seeing as it was an easy, two-hour jaunt from Manhattan, I quietly filed the locale away in my mind as an escape that I, a stretched-too-thin New Yorker with enough free-floating anxiety to keep a cruise afloat, could fantasize about when I needed to manifest something serene. Three years and a global pandemic later, I had the opportunity to learn firsthand just how relaxing and rejuvenating the Bahamian lifestyle’s approach to wellness could be when I visited the Rosewood Baha Mar myself.

Located within a private enclave on the northern shore of Nassau, the luxury resort is centered on 3,000 feet of pristine white sand along the Caribbean’s screensaver-stunning Cable Beach. And from the second you land at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, a 10-minute ride from the property, you’re greeted with extraordinary warmth—not just because of the Bahamas sub-tropical climate but because everyone I encountered was incredibly kind. (The resort’s staff knew me by name and memorized my beach cocktail of choice, just two examples of the type of service you can expect.)

Keep reading for more intel on the amenities that make the Rosewood Baha Mar a great vacation destination.

Photo: Rosewood Baha Mar

The accommodations

The Rosewood Baha Mar’s horseshoe design holds 237 guestrooms, suites, and beachfront villas (rates currently start at $795 per night), all buffered by a tropical forest of palm trees and lush bird of paradise plants. Each accommodation features a private balcony with a fully furnished outdoor living area to take advantage of the sounds of warm ocean waves and swaying palms, and each space is accessorized with Bahamian art and ornate coral sourced sustainably from the ocean outside. Rooms are washed in a serene coastal palette of sandy beige and sky blues, and strike a balance of contemporary and cozy. If this sounds like sheer bliss, that’s pretty much the point.

Lastly, I must quickly rant about the intoxicating aroma of the Rosewood Baha Mar. One whiff of the resort’s signature scent, a blend of eucalyptus, cedar, and sea water, was enough to make me feel like my cortisol levels had dropped several degrees.

Photo: Rosewood Baha Mar

The food

Rosewood Baha Mar’s culinary offerings truly give new meaning to the word “options,” especially for those with dietary restrictions and food allergies. As someone who has been living with type 1 diabetes for 20 years, I cannot tell you how game-changing it was to have staff at every Baha Mar dining establishment carefully help me curate meals based on my needs. Here are some of my highlights.

If you fancy impossibly fresh fish and seafood tossed with locally-sourced ingredients like coconut milk, crispy plantains, jicama, and perfectly-ripe avocado, you’ll be in heaven at the Rosewood Baha Mar. Don’t sleep on the aguachile de pulpo (octopus ceviche) and lobster tacos at Costa, the resort’s poolside, Mexican, seafood-centric restaurant that floats atop a quiet koi pond.

And what would a tropical Caribbean vacation be without at least a couple of fruity rum cocktails? Ordering the Goombay Smash—made with gold rum, coconut, pineapple, and lemon juice—is a power move for both your taste buds and your Instagram feed. Be prepared: The pineapple garnish is so ripe and juicy, it *will* drip down your chin. You can also opt to order from their poolside, fresh-made, seasonal juice menu, or visit the Rosewood’s library to sip some of their famous, local bush Bahamian teas come teatime.

As soon as you’re ready to pull yourself away from the pool area, there is an overwhelming number of enticing restaurant options to choose from for dinner on the property. Café Boulud, tucked conveniently under the Rosewood lobby, is not to be missed. Led by the renowned Chef Daniel Boulud, the menu fuses his characteristic, haute-French cuisine with the seasonality of local Caribbean ingredients. The Hamachi crudo with fennel and watermelon and the roasted duck with plum and swiss chard are two highlights that I’ll never forget. Same goes for the most basic part of the meal: the bread and butter (IYKYK).

Craving steak and oysters? Book yourself a table at Carna, the surf-and-turf-centric restaurant at the helm of master butcher, Dario Cecchini. And for the ultimate Bahamian seafood experience, take a breezy beach walk over to Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House. Here, Marcus Samuelsson’s legendary soul food-style cuisine merges harmoniously with Caribbean classics: Think conch salad, whole roasted snapper cooked in banana leaf, and rock shrimp and grits. His cocktail menu is bonkers too, BTW.

Photo: Rosewood Hotels

The wellness services

Speaking of feeling well, I would be remiss not to mention the spa offerings at the Rosewood Baha Mar. Sense, a Rosewood Spa, which offers time-honored healing practices customized with sustainable local ingredients. The treatments at Sense pay homage to the healing remedies of the Indian tribes and West African communities that first inhabited the islands of the Bahamas.

Massages start out a flower-infused foot soak using lignum vitae, aka the tree of life, which has been revered for hundreds of years in the islands for its properties to heal pain, relieve muscle and joint stiffness, and improve inflammation. When you come back to earth after your treatment, should you want to keep the relaxation going, book yourself a flamingo yoga class (like goat or puppy yoga, but with tropical birds), check out the resort’s 24-hour gym, or just keep napping—you deserve it.

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