To Infinity Pools And Beyond At The Grand Lucayan – Bahamas
By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Gay.net 12/2/2011 as a part of the web site’s “Gay Getaway” series of articles highlighting vacation destinations for LGBT travelers.
A history of widespread homophobia has deterred more than a few gays from vacationing in the Caribbean, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was invited to review the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
However, after experiencing a surprising level of acceptance for the LGBT community on a recent trip to Aruba I was hoping my latest Caribbean voyage would offer more of the same.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Over a four-day period I discovered several reasons why the Grand Lucayan is considered a destination unto itself—and one gay travelers shouldn’t overlook.
Located only 55 miles east of the Florida coast, Grand Bahama Island enjoys sub-tropical weather that is generally pleasant year round. The Grand Lucayan resort rests along a 7.5-acre white-sand sprawl that is a step above other vacation destinations, offering a serving of sun, sand and sea. The beach is a stunning sight that instantly invokes a calming spirit, and a walk along the powdery perfection of this shoreline is a sensation akin to strolling along a bed of silk. Crystal waves continually caress the coastline, submerging your senses in pure serenity. But if you prefer soaking up the sun without feeling the sand between your toes, the resort offers 4 separate pools, including a gorgeous infinity pool that offers an elegant eye-enveloping view.
Each of the 519 guestrooms—including 27 suites and a Presidential Suite—face the breathtaking beach, the marina, or lush tropical gardens, and is equipped with high-speed internet access for those who need to stay plugged in on their getaway. Superior bedding will beckon you to sink between plush pillows for a relaxing rest and 24-hour room service gives you the option to have breakfast in bed or enjoy a midnight snack under the stars on your guestroom’s spacious balcony.
More than Good Eats
From fine dining to casual cuisine, the Grand Lucayan boasts a diverse array of restaurants. Relish in the laidback environment of Iries Bar as you savor island-favorite creations like the Conch Salad Pizza or experience a taste of the local cuisine with a buffet-style dinner featuring fresh seafood and delightful deserts like the Bahamian Bread Pudding at Willy Broadleaf. Indulge in a culinary tour of the Pacific Rim with menu items inspired by the exotic flavors of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia at the chic China Beach restaurant, which seems to float above the resort’s serpentine swimming pool. Whatever your taste—or mood—something for every palate can be found here.
Recreation and Relaxation
For the adventurous soul there are plenty of activities. Snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, kite-boarding, kayaking, and boating are merely a fraction of the impressive water sports that can be found only a few feet from your doorstep. However, the Dolphin Experience at the Underwater Explorers Society—located in Port Lucaya Marina, across from the resort—is the most amazing adventure I had on the entire island. A variety of interactions are available that will allow you to swim, race and dive with live dolphins.
For those who prefer a more relaxed approach, the Senses Spa & Fitness Center offers an extensive selection of treatments and therapies. Hydrate and exfoliate your skin with a customized body wrap, or relax while two massage therapists work out your tension for 50 minutes with a Total Senses Massage. (I personally recommend the Pure Sense Facial, which is customized to each individual.)
While the Grand Bahama Island doesn’t offer much in the way of gay nightlife or businesses that specifically target the LGBT community, the Grand Lucayan resort is a perfect getaway for gay travelers looking for a destination where they can relax and recharge.
Though other areas of the island may not be as welcoming to queer vacationers, the resort and its surrounding areas were certainly friendly toward me, and offered enough activities to keep me entertained over a four-day trip.
If you’re a single guy looking for a gay getaway, this may not be an ideal island vacation, but for a group or couple the Grand Lucayan has a lot to offer.