When Christopher Columbus first made landfall on the American continent, it was the Bahamas where he landed. The tropical islands, which lie at the northeastern edge of the Caribbean islands, are home to some of its most picture-perfect beaches. It might come as a surprise to many that the laws of the country are actually discriminatory towards the LGBTQ set. That said, things on the ground are changing, with the people becoming more sensitive and gay-friendly as time goes by. This is evident in the rising number of gay hotels in the Bahamas, which have a very friendly and understanding staff. This is a far cry from the early 2000s when there were a few resorts that banned homosexual couples. Clearly, things are changing now, especially due to the groundswell of public support for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
As realists, there might be a lot of work to do, but as optimists, the scene is definitely changing. Additionally, there might be no gay clubs, bars, or events as much, but you can still have fun exploring the island and its beaches. In fact, some of the Top Things To Do In The Bahamas are just that – the best beaches and islands in the archipelago. Plus, don’t miss exploring the capital Nassau, which is a seaside haven of sorts. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in the Bahamas.
Sandals Emerald Bay
On the island of Exuma lies one of the most iconic gay hotels in the Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort is a tropical honeymoon favorite and sees couples return from time to time. The fact that the resort sits on a mile-long stretch of pristine white sand only helps. The colonial beachfront hotel is designed for couples, with swim-up pool bars and private poolside cabanas. After a languorous time with your significant other at the pool, head to the beach for Sandals signature and glorious couples beachside massage. If you don’t have butler service, fret not, for the concierges are there to help you out.
The most impressive bit is the whopping 11 different dining options that range from barefoot dining to dining with nightly entertainment. If you love wood-fired pizzas for breakfast, then you can do it here! Even entry-level rooms come with terraces or balconies with ocean or garden views. Besides being spacious, the rooms also come with huge bathrooms with bespoke products and a very generous minibar with full-sized bottles of spirits and wine.
Beachfront relaxing is the motto at Tiamo, one of the most laidback and serene gay friendly hotels in the Bahamas. LGBTQ travelers who love being close to nature, falling asleep on the beach, or reading in solitude will particularly love this place. Privacy doesn’t get any better than this place, which is accessible only by boat after flying into South Andros. The resort’s style is boho-chic, with all of its eco-friendly beachfront villas featured wraparound, screened-in wooden patios. The rooms are designed for canoodling and resting and have no televisions. But, they do have wraparound verandas and direct beach access! In fact, five of the villas even have pools!
Service is innately personable, as are the amenities. Bibliophiles will love the cozy library with the soft lighting. The spa, albeit small, is a divine place to unwind with a treatment or massage. The pool takes center stage and is a great place to swim and lounge. Right next to it sits the open-air restaurant. If that wasn’t enough, the beach offers a plethora of complimentary activities, non-motorized watersports, and even floating day beds.
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Paradise Island off Nassau’s northeastern coast happens to be Most Colorful Places On Earth! So, it’s only fitting that there be an adults-only gay-friendly paradise here. Tucked right on Cabbage Beach is Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island. This all-inclusive resort is the most value-for-money stay on Paradise Island. Quirky is the best way to describe this hotel’s style, which screams Spanish-Caribbean beach resort. Think color combinations of brown, silver, and purple and decor that comprises a mix of pop art, art deco, British-Colonial, and ultra-modern styles! Oversized accent pieces, ornate light fixtures, and high ceilings add to the kitsch, which somehow and miraculously, works. All the action is around the two pools, especially the oceanfront infinity pool with a swim-up bar. And, of course, the pristine white sand beach is right out front.
Aside from a beach volleyball court and a gym, there are two bars and five restaurants that keep hunger at bay. The best bit about the rooms is that they all have complete or partial views of the breathtaking Cabbage Beach. Moreover, all of them are full of mod-cons including well-stocked mini-fridges and even a dispenser with gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum bottles that are replenished every two days!
Warwick Paradise Island
Yet another all-inclusive adults-only stunner on Paradise Island is the Warwick, one of the best all-inclusive gay friendly hotels in the Bahamas. The Warwick is what puts the “paradise” in Paradise Island, especially since it’s adults-only. So, gay travelers looking for an all-inclusive yet excellent option can certainly consider the Warwick. The 250 rooms boast a modern island-chic design, complete with blonde wood floors. Black-and-white striped rugs and occasional bursts of color complement the soft and neutral furnishings. Plus, all of them come with tea/coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and swish bathrooms.
With five restaurants on the property, you will never be bored of eating here. There’s also a fitness center, nightly entertainment, and a private harbor on the island’s south side with a stunning sandy beach. Finally, one of the most noteworthy amenities here is the massive terrace, which looks over the marinas across the harbor. It’s no wonder that the gay friendly Warwick hotel is considered amongst the Best Hotels in The Bahamas.
On the island of Eleuthera sits one of the most exclusive gay hotels in the Bahamas, The Cove. Discerning gay travelers will love this paradisical place, which boasts utter luxury and seclusion to the nth degree. Tucked in lush island foliage on a serene turquoise bay, this resort focuses on one objective: relaxation. A long, tree-lined entry brings you to this incredibly isolated resort that has two private beaches. You’ll love the service, which is unobtrusive and yet efficient and friendly. If you and your partner are active-minded, then grab the complimentary snorkels, kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles, and off you go exploring. After a long day, the spa with its body treatments and massages is perfect.
The on-site restaurants serve an interesting fusion of Asian, American, and Island fare, while the bar located on the promontory is the place for sundowners. That said, the infinity pool is the perfect place to lie on the loungers, cocktails in hand. Rooms are all minimalist in design and come with semi-private, cabana-style patios. The best of them all is the lavish oceanfront villas that come with private butlers!
Right in the heart of Nassau sits a Bahamian treasure that dates back to the 18th century, the Graycliff Hotel. What’s more, this exquisite boutique hotel is one of the chicest gay friendly hotels in the Bahamas. If that wasn’t enough, it boasts the third-largest wine cellar in the world! Of course, its main draw is the original 18th-century mansion, which was a hangout spot for the rich and famous during the Prohibition era. Visitors have ranged from Sir Winston Churchill to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Even today, intimate Colonial touches such as Victorian decor, chandeliers, wooden verandahs, and shuttered windows lend it an innate charm that’s hard to replicate.
For a small hotel, the Graycliff sure packs a punch with its amenities, such as a fitness center, gorgeous Italianate gardens, and even its own cigar factory. A gazebo patio is the very picture of serenity and the perfect place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. What’s more, the property has two elegant pools with gorgeous designs at the bottom. Four restaurants serve cuisines from different parts of the world, including traditional afternoon teas during weekdays. If that wasn’t enough, Graycliff even has a culinary academy and a chocolatier where you can see how their art is made.
If you thought the rest of the hotel was impressive, wait till you see the rooms. All of them are extremely spacious and feature individual personas. Nevertheless, they all have minibars, writing desks, area rugs, chaise lounges, Victorian wardrobes, and even four-poster beds. Bathrooms are particularly romantic with luxurious Bvlgari products, bathrobes, and whirlpool bathtubs. If you’re here to splurge, the huge Jasmine suite has a marbled bathroom, bar, and a huge lounge.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar features on many lists of the best gay hotels in the Bahamas. This massive resort is packed with amenities and brings a slice of Las Vegas to Nassau; think dancing fountains and a giant casino! All in all, this resort is perfect for those LGBTQ travelers who never want to be bored on holiday. Nothing at this spectacular self-contained seaside destination is done by half-measures. For instance, it’s full of Bahamian artwork and has shops from the world’s best luxury brands such as Hublot and Cartier. At the same time, it also features rehabilitated and rescued animals in its Exploration Center, including sea turtles and sharks. You have seven different pool areas to choose from, including an adults-only pool and a ‘Blue Hole’ with a 10ft cliff jump!
Furthermore, there are watersports at the beach out front, tennis courts, private gambling rooms, and a huge golf course. Do pamper yourself with the signature Seashell Massage treatment at the blissful ESPA spa. If that wasn’t enough, there are nine bars and lounges, of which Blue Note Bar with cocktails and jazz is unmissable. Even entry-level rooms are gorgeous, sleek, and spacious and come with minibars, Juliet balconies, and gleaming marble bathrooms.
British Colonial Hilton Nassau
Gay travelers who love their stays to have a wee bit of history will love the British Colonial Hilton Nassau. This gay friendly hotel is the oldest hotel in Nassau and has been a local fixture and a landmark since 1924. In fact, its captivating Colonial style has been used in James Bond movies! The hotel lies on the fringes of Nassau, away from the bustle, and yet close to all its attractions and sights. The hotel retains its 1920 interiors and period charm with remnants such as a grand staircase and barrel-vaulted ceilings. Mod cons such as a swish fitness center and a Starbucks blend beautifully with ceiling murals of Bahamian history and marbled floors.
The hotel has a long list of amenities, with much of its focus being the outdoors. The large pool and pool bar, for instance, are set amidst lush gardens just mere steps from the beach. Sun loungers under umbrellas line both the pool and the beach, where there’s also snorkeling, paddleboarding, and free kayaking. Gift shops, fishing activities, and table tennis are also on offer, as well as five dining choices. Don’t miss having a sundowner or a nightcap at the snazzy Bullion Bar. Rooms come with views of the harbor or city views and feature soft earth hues. Creature comforts aside; you’ll love the huge marbled bathrooms that have Peter Thomas Roth toiletries.
The Island House
At the western end of Nassau overlooking Old Fort Bay sits The Island House, one of the modern boutique gay hotels in the Bahamas. The inland resort lies away from the touristy places and slightly off-the-beaten-path. But, gay travelers who value privacy, seclusion, and serenity will love this place. So much so, that this hotel doesn’t lie on a beach, and is still so very popular! Coming off as a posh private mansion more than a hotel, Island House feels manicured and wild at the same time, what with handcrafted furniture, muted hues, and verdant landscaping. On the inside, the architecture is thoroughly Asian-inspired. What’s more, it boasts several amenities that are unique, such as a cinema where you enjoy wine and popcorn! Aside from the Antigravity fitness studio, the property even has a lap pool, a padel court, two indoor courts, and even an outdoor muscle gym.
After indulging in all that action, unwind at Bamford Spa that uses organic products. Finally, there are three outstanding food choices here, but the breakfast at The Coffee Bar is a heavenly affair. Think omelets, frittatas, French toast, pancakes, and waffles, along with bread, pastries, and freshly baked bagels. The rooms feel like an artist has designed them and come with all ultra-modern creature comforts. However, the bathrooms are very romantic, with open showers, freestanding soaker tubs, and bespoke bath products.
SLS Baha Mar
Sitting within the Bahamas’ largest resort complex in Nassau is the SLS Baha Mar, one of the grandest gay friendly hotels in the Bahamas. Occupying the sprawling beachfront overlooking Goodman Bay, the boutique hotel stands for “style, luxury, and service.” The décor is dramatic to the ‘T;’ think vibrant, oversized art, whimsically mismatched furniture, and cinematic lighting. If there’s a see-and-be-seen vibe in the Bahamas, it’s at the poolside of the SLS, where it’s all bottle service, stilettos, and swimsuits. A low, throbbing ambient soundtrack plays in the background as you laze at your perch while sipping on drinks from the pool bar. There’s another pool too, as well as five restaurants and lounges, including what is Nassau’s only rooftop bar. Nevertheless, you also have access to all of Baha Mar’s 40 restaurants and bars!
If that wasn’t enough, you also have access to an art gallery, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed, a palatial spa doling out the most divine massages, and Bahamas’ largest casino – phew! There might be just 300 rooms here, but they’re spread across 18 categories! Moreover, all of them feature floor-length drapes, trompe l’oeil wallpaper, and oversized pendant lamps. Swanky mod-cons aside, you’ll love the million-dollar views from the balconies. The best, or rather sexiest bit, is the minibar, which has alcohol, rum cake, and an “intimacy kit” with a feather tickler and condoms!
Pink Sands Resort
The top spot on this list of best gay hotels in the Bahamas unarguably belongs to the Pink Sands Resort. The resort lies in the charming town of Dunmore off the island of Eleuthera. Zen-like tranquility permeates this resort, which comprises just 23 white cottages sitting amidst lush foliage and looking out to the Caribbean Sea. LGBTQ travelers who want to truly get away from the bustle will love the intimacy and serenity that Pink Sands offers, and therein lies its biggest draw. A small bridge set over Asian-inspired koi ponds is what leads to the reception, setting the leisurely pace for the place. The main action here is the private beach with its clear turquoise waters with sunbeds and umbrellas sprinkled across the sand. What’s more, there’s even snorkeling equipment, boogie boards, and kayaks for you to take out and explore the waters.
A full French fine-dining restaurant and a beachside one take care of all your culinary whims and fancies. Even though there’s no spa, the resort can arrange for romantic massages in the privacy of your cottage. Coming to the cottages, all of them are rustic-luxurious and the epitome of elegant seclusion. The ultimate views are at the Abaco oceanfront cottage that has its own pathway to the beach. Nevertheless, all cottages are ensconced in tropical gardens and feature swanky creature comforts, wet bars, and terraces and patios. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the Bahamas’ most romantic gay friendly hotels.
Just So You Know:
- Bahamas’ LGBTQ organization announced the Pride Bahamas in June 2021.
Get Some Culture in Bahamas:
- Bahamas Pride 2020: The weeklong Pride Bahamas 2020 was a virtual celebration that saw a host of virtual events take place. They mainly focused on the sensitization and education of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues they face. It featured a series of live discussions and presentations with members of the LGBTQ community, professionals, and activists, with matters ranging from workplace to health.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Bahamas:
Although there are no gay bars in the Bahamas, these establishments are gay-friendly.
- The Daiquiri Shack: Dubbed “The Daq Shack,” this is a place where every drink is made from start to finish right in front of you! Nestled in the bustling Cable Beach, this friendly bar is very popular for its music, its gorgeous crowd, and, of course, its drinks.
- The Green Parrot Bar: Tucked right on Nassau’s harbor front, this thriving bar is highly loved by locals and tourists. Tasteful interior decor and a great outdoor patio with excellent harbor views are what make this place so popular. Do try their Grouper Sandwich paired with their signature drink, a Shot of Respect.
Best Gay Saunas in Bahamas:
Unfortunately, there’s no gay sauna in the Bahamas yet. However, we’re hoping that the scenario changes as time goes by!