Free continental breakfast is underwhelming compared to a la carte option
Located along Queen’s Highway -- a popular tourist road -- this charming, three-pearl beachfront resort has 40 rooms consisting of villas and cottages. All are spacious and homey, with kitchenettes or full kitchens, and most sit directly on the beach. The on-site restaurant serves a free, simple continental breakfast for hotel guests, and is open to the public for diverse a la carte breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with Bahamian flair. With local entertainers and a host of extras -- including an outdoor pool, fitness room, conference room, concierge service, and a game room -- it’s a good place for families and is usually busy. For more action, the Exuma Beach Resort next door has livelier nightlife with a similar price tag.
Relaxed family-friendly beachfront hotel with a bustling pool and lively social scene
The Hideaways at Palm Bay packs plenty of Bahamian charm into a small package and there's a relaxed but busy vibe throughout the resort. With the white sand beach, outdoor pool, and the on-premise restaurant open to the public, the Hideaways is often bustling from day to night. Rooms are situated away from the main hub of the outdoor pool and restaurant, granting guests the option of more privacy and quiet. On the whole, everything here is bright and cheerful, with lots of vivid Caribbean decor -- including the Carnival outfits on display in the lobby -- and the hotel provides a decidedly humble, unpretentious place to kick back on the ocean. Expect to see lots of bold tropical art, some of it a bit kitschy, and homey island-style furniture throughout.
Splash! Bar and Grill is a popular destination for hotel guests and outsiders alike. With funky, rustic decor, a sports bar vibe, and live entertainment, the bar has a lively social scene. The open-air bar features a mix of wooden high top tables and regular dinner tables. In lieu of bar stools, there are wooden rope swings at the bar for customers (there are a handful of real stools for the uncoordinated). With six flat-screen TVs, a pool table for those who want to test their game, and an outside or inside dining option, it's easy enough to be part of the mix or separated from the crowd.
The outdoor pool is steps from the beach, and has a handful of lounge chairs on offer for guests. Despite having plenty of kid-friendly water toys, the pool is busy but rarely overrun with families -- who make up a large number of guests here. Between the thatched sun shades on the beach and the rope hammocks throughout common areas of the Hideaways, there are plenty of spaces to get away for some peace and quiet.
Beachfront resort, a 10-minute drive to Exuma International Airport
The Hideaways at Palm Bay has an enviable location, directly on a white sand beach and a 10-minute drive from the Exuma International Airport. It's only a five-minute drive or 15-minute walk into “city center” of George Town. Free daily shuttle services are available from the Hideaways into George Town, with vehicles running on a set schedule throughout the day. There are a couple shops and restaurants located in town. Local food shacks serving Bahamian cuisine and drinks overlooking the ocean are located along Queen’s Highway, within a seven-minute walk of the Hideaways. A few other hotels with restaurants and nightlife are also nearby, including neighboring Exuma Beach Resort. Travelers should note that Queen’s Highway doesn't have sidewalks or a shoulder, so walking at night is not recommended.
Homey cottages and villas, all with outdoor space, most right on the ocean
While there are a number of different rooms sizes available here, most are cottages or villas that sit directly on or near the beach in the main complex of The Hideaways at Palm Bay. These rooms all have daily maid service, and access to the hotel's other services. Hillside properties are also available, though these are more like vacation rentals and provide very few services.
Throughout the main complex of the resort, rooms have a homey look, with color schemes that include beige and blue. All cottages and villas in this part of the resort have dark reddish-brown furniture in wicker and wood along with light tile floors. Simple beachy art hangs on the walls, and some units have charming details like pitched or wood ceilings. Soft furnishings are done in bold tropical prints that -- while not chic -- at least create an upbeat, beachside vibe.
Ranging from studio to three-bedroom options, cottages have kitchenettes that include mini-fridges, microwaves, dishware, and coffeemakers, while villas all have spacious proper kitchens with full-size refrigerators, toaster ovens, coffeemakers, and stoves. Standard amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and safes. Wi-Fi is free, but doesn't work well in rooms. Outside sitting space is nice to have, and bathrooms are clean, pleasant, and basic, with linoleum tiling, decent counter space, toiletries, hairdryers, and shower/tub combos. Some rooms feature an “extra” bath which is small with only standing showers. Guests should note that for added security after a certain time of night, the gates are locked and only key cards can grant access to the room area.
The Hideaways Hillside units are a five-minute walk from the beach and have less amenities. These are similar to vacation rentals, and decor throughout is similar to the property's other rooms, with yellows, blues, and beiges plus reddish-brown wood and wicker furniture. Guests still have access to the restaurant, beach, and pool, but these rooms don't include daily housekeeping, front desk services, or concierge services.
White sand beach with water sports, open-air restaurant and bar plus free continental breakfast
The Hideaways at Palm Bay may be small, but it has a good number of features to keep everyone happy. Most of the rooms are steps away from the white sand beach where a handful of thatched sun shades are available for sunbathing and relaxing. Paddle boats, kayaks, and windsurfing boards are on offer for guests to use. Adjacent to the beach is the outdoor pool, which has plenty of brown lounge chairs and blue umbrellas to relax under. The pool includes a basketball hoop and ball for kids and families to play with while swimming.
Splash! Bar and Grill is an open-air restaurant with ample dining space inside and on the outside patio. Adorned in blues, Splash! has a lot of character with a funky decor of wooden rope swings at the bar, funny wall signs, and plenty of sports memorabilia. The painting of palm trees on the wall behind the bar adds an extra pop of color and character. Serving a diverse menu, guests can expect pizzas, wings, burgers, fresh seafood, and traditional Bahamian fare in the form of cracked conch and conch chowder. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the public, Splash! also serves a free continental breakfast for hotel guests of pastries, coffee, cereal, and fresh fruit. It's a bit underwhelming when compared to the better a la carte breakfast, and guests are given a discount if they would prefer that option. A thoughtful extra is the “paper bag” breakfast available for guests who have early morning flights and will miss breakfast time. With six flat-screen TVs, live music, and pool tables, Splash! has a lively social scene for hotel guests and locals, helped by live music and billiards.
There are plenty of thoughtful extras on offer at the Hideaways. The main lobby features a small business center with computers and a printer, a concierge desk to set up day trips, and a game room with books and ping-pong tables. Separate from the main lobby is a small conference room for private events and a small fitness center with a few modern machines and weights. There is plenty of free parking available at the Hideaways. Free Wi-Fi is available, though typical of Exuma, it is spotty in most areas of the resort.
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