British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review
My wife recently got back from a trip to the Bahamas. She stayed at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau for one night before moving over to the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar for a couple of nights.
We had stayed at the British Colonial Hilton a couple of years ago when the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar didn’t open in time and Hyatt gave me 40,000 points as an apology. The British Colonial Hilton in Nassau has improved some things since our last stay and I thought it would be beneficial to put together a review. Since I didn’t stay this time my review will be more picture heavy.
The hotel is a category 6 Hilton property, not that categories really matter to Hilton. The points price will be between 30-50,000 Hilton Honors points when a standard priced room is available. We had paid 40,000 points a night when we stayed there a few years ago.
When I went to book the hotel for my wife and her friend this time there were no standard rooms available. There was a suite available for 80,000 points and I decided to book that. The cash rate for regular rooms were around $300 including taxes and fees and the suite was around $400. So a pretty good redemption overall.
I started double checking the prices randomly over the next few months, since Hilton has more of a dynamic pricing set up prices can drop, and I struck gold a few weeks before the trip. A standard room had become available for 50,000 points per night which was great. The suite had also dropped down to 67,000 per night. I canceled the room and re-booked the suite for a 13,000 point savings!
The British Colonial Hilton is located on the outskirts of downtown. It is a short walk from the straw market as well as the other stores, bars and restaurants that downtown Nassau has to offer.
While the beach area is not as luxurious as the cable beach area this hotel is the most walk-able hotel that Nassau has to offer in my opinion.
The Lobby is old school beautiful. It has dark wood everywhere and reminds me of a old southern plantation house. Classy elegance while still being understated. Pretty rare these days with the move to flashy modernism.
The check in process has been pretty quick both times and they proactively mention your status, which is nice.
The rooms are nice, clean, but a little dated. They are still well kept but their age shows some, especially in the bathrooms. But, the old tile gives it some charm in my opinion.
The room they had was a one bedroom suite. When we stayed in the standard room last time it had a good size bedroom and bathroom. Both beds were very comfortable, according to my wife. The TV was a little small for the room but you are not in the Bahamas to watch TV :).
The room came with a good size living room that has a pull out couch. It also had a nice desk area and came with a mini fridge, which can come in handy on reducing costs.
All in all, I think the suite was worth the upgraded cost. The suites also come with lounge access, which she would not have had otherwise as a gold member. Now that I have Hilton Honors Diamond status, thanks to the most rewarding premium card on the market, I could get lounge access while staying in the standard room since all Diamond members get access.
As a Gold or Diamond Hilton member you get free continental breakfast in restaurant, Aqua, in the morning. Diamond members or people staying in an executive room or suite also get lounge access in the evenings. It is open during the day but there isn’t much offered until the evening (5-7pm). They have finger foods and drinks at night. The offering is not quite a meal, more a decent snack. It could be an adequate dinner substitution if you have a late late lunch.
I thought having draft beer was a nice touch you don’t see often in a lounge. Plus Kalik is a very solid beer. The lounge employee did complain about some people watching a sporting event while my wife was in the lounge, saying that it was a business lounge. Not sure if that is a policy or if it was just one employee on a power trip.
The lounge’s balcony is the best place to sip your cocktail anyways – look at that view!
There are only a few restaurants on site. They have a pool side restaurant with your normal bar food options. There is a bar/lounge right off of the lobby and there is Aqua, where you get your breakfast. Aqua also serves lunch and dinner but we have never had either so I can’t comment much on the food for those meals. It gets so so reviews on Tripadvisor.
If you have Gold or Diamond status you get the continental breakfast – bread, bagels, fruit and cereal etc. You can pay $7 extra to upgrade to the hot breakfast which came with eggs, sausage, and an omelette station etc. It is worth the upgrade cost!
If you don’t have status then the breakfast will run you $20 per person per day most likely. You would be better off hitting the McDonald’s across the street or Dunkin Donuts a little ways down the road for a quick breakfast.
The lobby bar is beautiful and has a decent menu for drinks. I remember them having a really good bar snack mix as well.
Remember that there are a ton of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel right downtown. And there is a liquor store across the street from the Hilton.
The Beach! That is why you came to the Bahamas right? It is a little bit on the smaller size but still a good size for the resort. It looks like they have actually extended it some since we were there last. You also get a nice view of the cruise ships coming and going, which could be a turn off for some.
Along with the beach they have a nice sized pool with some comfortable day beds.
They also have some hammocks for lying around on their grassy area. The Hilton has some games for the kids as well. There is a ping pong table and some life size chess sets.
And if you forgot something or want to do a little bit of shopping they have a nice little store off of the lobby.
I think the British Colonial Hilton Nassau is a solid choice for your trip to Nassau and it may be the most economical points choice on the island. Especially with the way American Express is giving away Hilton points these days!
It is actually our favorite location in the Bahamas because of it’s proximity to shopping, restaurants, and bars. There is no need to take a cab anywhere once you get there. If you enjoy having options this may be the place for you.
If you prefer a full blown resort, and like to lay at the beach most of the day, then the Grand Hyatt or Atlantis may be a better option for you. The hotel does have a decent beach area but it doesn’t compare to those two.
Which do you prefer? Do you like the mega resorts better or do you like to be immersed in the locale with plentiful options? Let me know in the comments section!