Paradise Dreaming

Stunning beaches, colourful reefs, lush forests and a cosmopolitan capital; the islands of The Bahamas
make a dream destination for honeymoons and weddings

Stretching from Florida’s east coast far into the Atlantic Ocean, the 2,400 cays of The Bahamas make a spectacular getaway. Many of the palm and coral-fringed islands are uninhabited, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers, while those seeking bright lights and glamour won’t be disappointed by the high end restaurants, clubs and casinos on Paradise Island. Island hopping’s a wonderful way to explore the archipelagos and get a real flavour of its unique vibe.

Best beaches

What could be more romantic than a pink beach? Well, The Bahamas is world-famous for its pastel stretches of sand, with Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island topping the must-see list: three miles of pristine sand the colour of sunset, lapped by calm, warm water that’s safe for swimming and snorkelling. While nearby Eleuthera Island’s beaches, such as Ten Bay Beach and French Leave, are dazzling white and soft as talcum powder. 

Into the wild

You might think of The Bahamas as a five-star beach resort kinda escape, but there’s way more to these islands than cocktails and infinity pools. Take a ‘seafari’ to the famous blue hole and underwater canyons of Andros, where sharks and shipwrecks can be spotted. Explore underground caverns, like Josey Cave on Grand Bahama Island, reached via a nature trail through bush medicine vegetation such as sea grape, custard apples and coco plums. Spot manatees in the seagrass-filled waters around Bimini, come face-to-face with rock iguanas on Allen’s Cay, feed stingrays at Gun Cay and don’t miss The Exumas’ legendary swimming pigs (they’re Instagram gold). 

Bright lights

The Bahamas might be famous for its natural beauty, but there’s plenty of manmade fun to be had too. Capital Nassau lies on New Providence and its melting pot of cultures (English, African, French, Haitian), results in some fabulous dining options. Cafe Martinique, run by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, serves exquisite French food in a setting based on a restaurant in 1965 Bond film Thunderball (The Bahamas also featured in Daniel Craig’s 007 debut, Casino Royale). For a more local flavour head, to Arawak Cay in New Providence, where more than 30 seafood shacks serve up delicious delicacies like conch salad, fried grouper and fritters. Want to party on your ‘moon? SkyBar at SLS Baha Mar resort is THE place for sunset cocktails with a view, or hit Paradise Island to dance the night away to reggae and calypso at clubs like Fluid and Bambu. 

French Leave Resort, Eleuthera 

Lying by the spectacular infinity pool watching the sun set, drinks in hands, you’d be forgiven for never wanting to leave this super-stylish resort. However with kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkelling in the dreamy bay on offer and Governor’s Harbour, with its boutique shops and restaurants close by, there’s plenty to do if you can drag yourselves away. 1648 Bar & Grille serves up island favourites, like tuna and grits and pineapple island cakes with guava syrup, while the ocean view villas are decorated in hip and tasteful light greys with orange and blue colour pops. From £352 per night (frenchleaveresort.com).

Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma

Want to experience first hand one of the best beaches on the planet? Book a honeymoon at Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma island and you can stroll hand-in-hand on a mile of unspoilt, sunshine-warmed sand whenever you like, though you may find the three pools, 500 tropical acres and elegant suites and villas equally as alluring. Seven nights all-inclusive and including flights, £2,166 per person (britishairways.com).

The Other Side, Eleuthera 

For something completely different, spend your honeymoon at this divine tropics-meets-safari solar-powered beach camp, where days drift by doing sunrise yoga, snorkelling, taking dips in the picture perfect pool and exploring Eleuthera in the camp’s jeep. Tents and shacks are actually very luxurious; think rainfall showers, four-poster beds made from local polished wood and Berber-style rugs, while food is a set menu cooked to order, from lobster to jerk chicken and fries. Gwyneth Paltrow loves it and so will you. From £600 per night (ontheos.com). 

Kamalame Cay, Andros

Set on a 96-acre private island off the coast of Andros, this luxurious all-inclusive resort is reached by ferry, seaplane or helicopter. Miles of unspoilt beach, tidal creeks and coconut groves provide a paradise backdrop, while an over-water spa, tennis courts, dive shop, marina and helipad provide the fun and glamour. Oceanfront cottages are blissful: white walls and crisp white linen, ocean-inspired cushion patterns and hand-crafted furniture. Little touches, such as a picnic basket delivered to your door daily bursting with fruit, pastries and juices, are a delight. From £373 per night (kamalame.com). 

Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Paradise Island

The original romantic hideaway – it’s where supermodel Cindy Crawford tied the knot and honeymooned with Rande Gerber in the ’90s – improves with age, from glasses of Champagne and strawberries delivered to your room each evening at 6pm to the over-water spa with Balinese-style bungalows with private gardens. Plush rooms have balconies, egg baths and mahogany floors and dining is seriously gourmet and swish (think candle-light, jazz singers, fresh seafood). Steps from a glorious white sand beach, guests also have access to neighbouring Atlantis Hotels with its aquarium and waterparks. From £588 per night (fourseasons.com). 

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