British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review, Best Location in Nassau?

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British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

Overview

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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!

Location

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

You are also within walking distance of the Fish Fry, Queen’s Staircase, Fort Charlotte and the ferry to Paradise Island and the Atlantis.

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.

Check In

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

Room

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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 :).

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

Lounge

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

The lounge’s balcony is the best place to sip your cocktail anyways – look at that view!

Restaurants

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

That is what makes this hotel’s location so great in my opinion.  You don’t have to spend and arm and a leg on food and drinks like you would at the Atlantis or Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.

Amentities

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel ReviewBritish Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

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.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

And if you forgot something or want to do a little bit of shopping they have a nice little store off of the lobby.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review British Colonial Hilton Nassau Bahamas Hotel Review

Conclusion

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!

 


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12 COMMENTS

  1. I’m considering a day pass here during our Disney cruise in December. I’m torn between the day pass or just a quick stroll through town and heading back to the ship. We have a 5 and 3 year old. Thoughts?

    • With a 3 and a 5 year old it is a good option. Downtown and the straw market will only take a few hours tops.

      I think it comes with a dining credit and wifi access too which is usually pricey on the ships.

    • No problem. Another option to consider is look at the room rate at Comfort Suites (use Choice points if you have them) and that will get you into the Atlantis. The room rates for 4 people are usually cheaper than paying the cruise ship day rate for there. Something to consider.

  2. Although I’m not a big Nassau fan, the British Colonial’s location is superb. It’s really good to know about breakfast and the club lounge. Good review. Thanks.

  3. When I was there years ago, I was given at least three small boxes of what I believe is Bahamian rum cake. Does this hotel property not do that anymore?

    I was treated very well here. I even had a corner room with plenty of windows; and the room was comfortable. As you point out, Mark, do not hope to use the lounge offerings to supplement a meal. Only finger foods are offered.

    Just be aware that at night, the pool and beach areas outside are overrun by rats — lots of rates — and they are not inconspicuous by any means…

    • Wow I am surprised by that. I didn’t see any 2 years ago and we swam in the pool a couple of times at night. Was it a while ago? Maybe the corrected the issue or I just got lucky?

      • Perhaps the issue was corrected, as I was there greater than seven years ago — but the rats came out late at night when the pool and beach areas were deserted.

        Although the windows in my corner room afforded me plenty of views of the water and the ships in the harbor — as well as of Atlantis off in the distance — I also got to see the scurrying of rats at night; but I first got to see them while I was wandering around the pool area late at night.

        Needless to say, I did not wander around the pool or beach areas late at night for the remainder of my visit.

        I might post an article with a retroactive trip report of my experience at this hotel property…

        • I think it may have been corrected. I did a quick search of it and it seems like most mentions of it were from a while ago, 2011 was the last time I saw it mentioned in reviews. My wife also said she didn’t see anything this trip when they were there.

  4. I’ve visited Nassau with a caribbean cruise. Among two other locations on the cruise – St.Maarten and St.Thomas – found Nassau least comfortable.
    Cruise ship offboards passengers to some chaotic/aggressive market, where you feel as subject to taking advantage by local people. Uncomfortable.
    Further solo walk along the downtown to the queen staircase, felt borderline unsafe.
    So this longer text above is to give MY impression of the environment the hotel is located in. Very next to the cruise lines port. Can’t associate it with comfortable relaxing vacation.
    BTW super cruise liners like Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas could bring about 6,000 people to the port at once. More than one ship was in port at time of my visit.
    I’d consider next time visiting some more remote locations/islands in Bahamas.

    • If you are looking for strictly a beach vacation then the Hyatt at baha mar is probably a better choice.

      Being near downtown has it’s pluses and minuses.

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