Peaceful waterfront location with attractive coastal views
Pool with loungers facing the waterfront
rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and AC
All rooms have balconies
or patios with pretty water views
Popular restaurant and bar open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
lounge area and free Wi-Fi throughout
reception, activities desk, and dive shop
dive boat offering easy access to nearby dive sites
Free on-site parking
Decor throughout is dated
Some bathrooms have rusty fixtures and dingy tile
Not all rooms have coffeemakers
A 20-minute walk to the touristy hub of the area
The family-run Bell
Channel Inn is a lower-middle-range hotel with a tranquil waterfront location that’s a bit of a stroll to the bustling Port Lucaya marketplace. Features here add to the hotel's appeal including a dive shop (with on-site dive boat) and a nautical-themed restaurant that’s popular with the locals. But the 32 rooms suffer from dated decor, and bathrooms are in need of a revamp. Still, every unit includes a balcony or patio with water views, and in-room amenities include flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. While it's far from stylish, this property provides a peaceful, affordable, less-touristy alternative to the sprawling resort-style hotels in the area. Travelers seeking more amenities, such as a fitness center,
larger pool, and beachfront could try the Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, which has similar rates.
Quaint, homey and colorful with
plenty of nautical retro character
It's impossible to miss the Bell Channel Inn's bold Caribbean-pink and white-trimmed exterior -- a retro-style facade that points to its dated but cheery interior. The little lobby, with its
wide-striped yellow walls, island artwork, and white rattan furniture, has a quaint and homey coastal cottage look. The view here also reveals the Inn’s waterfront location perched right over a tranquil channel inlet -- a view that's also visible from every room. The Inn’s dive shop feels like a cross between a photo shop and a maritime museum, with fading snapshots of creatures below the surface, old-school waterproof
cameras, and glass display cases full of sand, shells, and starfish. The aptly named restaurant and bar, Upstairs on the Bay, echoes the dive theme with nautical
chairs and marine-inspired embellishments. A sign overhead
declares the space “The No Stress Zone,” a nickname coined by locals who unwind in this ultra casual spot. At night, dimmer lighting and cloth napkins add a bit more elegance. But the star attraction here could be the sprawling deck scattered with sun loungers, tables, and chairs surrounding the small but inviting pool set right next to the channel.
On a quiet street, overlooking a water channel, a long stroll to Lucaya Marketplace
Quietly nestled between a dead-end street (with virtually no passing traffic), and Smith’s Point channel, the Bell Channel Inn feels somewhat isolated, and it’s a 22-minute walk (or seven-minute drive) to Port Lucaya Marina & Marketplace -- a vibrant, touristy hub of restaurants, bars, shops and local artisans. Many of the areas biggest resorts are located near the marketplace, which is handy for guests seeking a change of scenery, or more bustling action than on offer at the Bell Channel Inn. Diving enthusiasts can walk a minute to the Inn’s channel edge to board its privately owned dive boat. It's eight minutes or less by car to the Reef Course & Country Club and the Lucayan Golf Course & Country Club. Treasure Bay Casino and the Memories Grand Casino Bahama are 20 minutes walk away (or six minutes by car). Grand Bahama International Airport is a 12-minute drive away. Taxis can be arranged by the Inn, and the local bus service offers another cheaper way to get around.
Dated yet colorful rooms with a balcony or patio and water views
The Bell Channel's retro vibe
continues into guest rooms, which are undeniably dated in terms of decor, but they’re all bright and spacious as well. Vibrant tropical colors -- such as purple-and-green bedspreads or walls in key-lime green, cobalt blue, or pale yellow -- add warmth. Cute window murals bring a little decorative flair to white rattan furniture and white tile or green carpeted floors, which look rather drab. The star feature could be the balcony or patio in each room with outdoor seating
overlooking the channel. Other in-room furnishing includes dining settings, loveseats or reading chairs, and large drawers. Beds are soft but lumpy and have probably seen better days. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, powerful
air-conditioning units, and digital alarm clocks. All rooms are also equipped with mini-fridges, and coffeemakers are provided in some rooms, but not in others, so coffee-drinkers should specify their need for a coffeemaker at check-in. Bathrooms, with dingy beige tiles, old-fashioned granite countertops, and some rusty fixtures, could use updating. They're all equipped
with shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and soaps. Spacious vanity sinks are located
just outside the bathroom.
Pleasant pool, restaurant and bar, dive center with private dive boat, and free Wi-Fi
For a budget property, Bell Channel Inn offers a fair amount of appealing features, especially when it comes to activities and dining. A pool and sundeck out the back gives a spot to take in waterfront views from several white plastic loungers. Meals are available in the on-site restaurant, Upstairs on the Bay, a big favorite with locals who populate the bar. It's open for breakfast (not included in room rates), lunch, and dinner, and there’s a daily happy hour, a full bar, specialty cocktails, and live music on Friday nights. The menu serves up a range of Bahamian and American specialties that include seafood, burgers, salads and plenty of conch variations. Kids are also catered to with their own menu. The lobby features a computer workstation, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The hotel-owned dive boat transports guests direct from the hotel to dive sites. Self-serve laundry facilities are available as is free outside car parking.