We got in on an incredible hotel suite deal, but food and beverage of the $4.2bn Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort are the true Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you are considering booking travel or signing up for a new credit card please click here. Both support LiveAndLetsFly.com.
If you haven’t followed us on Facebook or Instagram, add us today.
My Suite Deal Was Amazing
Here’s the part where everyone resounds that “beggars can’t be choosers” but I will get back to that in a moment. We got an incredible deal on our suite, a two-bedroom, two and a half bathroom ocean view which typically sells for about $1700/nt for just $300. I saw a post online and booked it more than a year in advance.
That said, management played games with the reservation much as they did for this blogger which would have cost me any elite status credit or points from the stay when they had no legal right to do so. I also booked a 2,049 sq ft suite and the unit I received was much smaller than that. Further, as a Globalist, I would have been entitled to an upgrade (they had availability at check-in all the way to villas) which would have compared closely in size. It was an amazing deal, as stated, but I would have received something almost as good anyway and paid less (the nightly rate was lower) without all of the hassle with the rate rules.
Prices Are Unreasonable, Value Poor
How much should a burger, fries and a can of coke cost from a beachside food truck? If you said $30 before any gratuity, you nailed it. A plain hot dog on the beach with a bag of chips? That’s a far more reasonable $16 with another $2 for the can of soda. Three servings of one-scoop of gelato? $24!
We found reasonable value the last time we visited but appears prices have gone up around the resort but food quality has not. A very average (though larger) burger at the poolside bar and grill was $22 with gratuity and taxes – it seemed like a much better deal but wasn’t.
My wife and I really don’t drink alcoholic beverages, our guests who were also staying at the resort do. Cocktails ran $20 for run-of-the-mill drinks (Absolut and water) and that’s just about anywhere on the property; a reasonable drink was a $17 daiquiri. We would have loved to try the Chinese restaurant that rang pretty authentic in my experience, but crossing the $20 mark for three xiaolong bao dumplings is insanity. At the Japanese restaurant, two pieces of Tuna shashimi were priced at $32 ($16/per.) The spot looked nice, but it wasn’t Nobu.
No Reservations, But That Table Is Reserved
Continuing the disrespect for their customer base, one of the most irritating things happened on Super Bowl Sunday. The Cigar Bar (T Squared) was very clear, they had a buffet available (price not disclosed) with a minimum of $100 spend per table. That’s totally reasonable and while it’s not ideal for a family like ours, sitting on the periphery outside would have been fine, almost no one that night was actually smoking cigars anyway. It’s clear that our party of five would have spent $200-$300 without a doubt.
“Would have” was the operative term.
The sign was clear that they were not accepting reservations, it would be first come, first serve. An hour prior to kickoff, staff wasn’t quite done setting up the tables and TVs, but they had time to mark tables as “reserved.”
I raised this to management and they understood my frustration, they also offered a credit for money we had spent on the resort the previous day, but my issue is that the practice likely wouldn’t be resolved in the future. I asked what qualified for a reserved table since they wouldn’t accept reservations in advance, it couldn’t have been status (I’m a Globalist) and it couldn’t have been solely by room type because we should have been at the top of the list in that case – no one had an answer and we found it absurd.
$100/person… for Pizza
Before our backup plan of T Squared came into view, we had checked out a pizzeria downstairs. It had a premium sports bar feel and a large pizza, which at least three of us could share, for about $28 before anything else was factored in.
The hostess was confused as to whether it was $100 per table or per person minimum for the Big Game. We asked the concierge when we got up to our room and they confirmed it was per table as it was with T Squared. A day later we were near the restaurant and came in to clarify and secure a table, and they stated it was $100/person including $100 for our six-year-old which was funny to me because even the two-star Michelin restaurant Gaggan didn’t charge us the minimum for Lucy. They explained this was because the restaurant wouldn’t have any turnover during the four-hour game.
When our backup plan T Squared failed us as well, I thought I would visit out of spite and just see how full they were. As you might imagine, the party was a miss and the only diners were finishing their meals. No one showed up for their ridiculous requirements.
I worked in the restaurant business for about a decade, part of which was for a pizza restaurant. On Super Bowl Sunday, our pizza shop was jam-packed with deliveries, however, the inside of the restaurant was a ghost town. At another restaurant I worked, our company Christmas party was held on Superbowl Sunday because staff work most of the holidays and the restaurant would be empty.
While it is certainly different at a resort less than 200 miles from where this year’s game was played, and everyone wants to watch the game in a loud, exciting environment, their extortionate rates were insulting and the market let them know by not showing up.
I get it, the Bahamas are expensive. Fine. But there is a difference between elevated prices and premium products and taking every possible opportunity to rob your customers blind. In many cases, it didn’t work. We utilized the lounge due to status (though buying up to a Club room is advisable for those without access) to offset a lot of our food costs. We also left the property to eat for half of our dinners. Our friends that were drinking on-site would limit themselves to maybe just one and commented that if they were priced even at $12-13/per, they would probably have ordered several, instead, they had just one or none. Frankly, as lovely as the resort was, even if we were able to get the same deal on a room again, we probably won’t be back.
What do you think? Are these policies fair? Is Management acting in bad faith, or is it naivete? Should we just expect $30 burgers in the Bahamas and $20 drinks?
Man, I’m sorry but you are a complainer. I did the same deal two weeks ago. I had a great time and did not ruin my vacation by complaining about everything.
Where did you guys find the deal? I see prices of $400+ for a simple room, after taxes and all their crazy fees its over $1200 for 2 nights!
My wife and I have gone to Baha Mar 3 or 4 times – and even got married there. We live in DC, so resort pricing is less of a shock. It’s definitely a place where we always make reservations. Sounds like they thought the Super Bowl would be a bigger deal than what it was. No one travels for vacation that weekend that really want to see the game. Guess they over estimated demand.
You sound like a whiny complainer.
The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar did not cost $4 billion dollars to build.
I’ve never understood the appeal of the Bahamas.
Been to Bahamas a few times. Why complain about the prices of food when it’s a well-known fact that you pay a lot for questionable quality food? It’s the reality, and you shouldn’t go if that’s a problem for you. Plenty of other places to get quality and value.
Oh, I forgot you went because you snagged a severely below market rate on a room that should have cost 2 or 3 times more. So, suck it up, buttercup.
Man, and people think Hawaii is expensive?! I really don’t understand management’s thinking in this. Why charge such high prices when you have the ability to leave the property? That’d make more sense if you were in the Maldives or French Polynesia, but in this case you’re just asking people to go elsewhere.
Having VALID complaints and voicing them does not make one a “complainer”. Ignore the haters Kyle.
This whole property is very tacky, down to the casino in the lobby that they don’t tell you about. And the prices do add insult to injury. But this post does remind me of the Woody Allen line: “The food is so bad, and the portions are so small!”
Just don’t go there next time
Couldn’t agree more. The last line of the post said just that, we won’t likely be back.
A huge discount doesn’t make a tacky and vulgar place any less so.
Hahahaha u got ripped off. Probably booked via a US site.
Rooms retail for about $200 and suites for $400. Property is positioned as middle class, not top class. You had no special deal, just regular rate you can find on any OTA, looking for 3&4 star hotels.
Anyway regardless of price, highly unlikely I would ever book something like that for myself. I dislike those monstrous properties. No style, no class.
I think your on to something and it’s not limited to the Bahama’s. Charging outrageous prices for food and drinks actually ends up hurting the properties bottom line.
Because when I see them I take my business elsewhere. Or I don’t spend money I was prepared to spend.
Case in point. We are at a resort in Mexico and we decide to eat on property our first night there. I’m looking at the wine list an notice a bottle of local white wine that’s around 13$. That’s probably around a 50 to 80% markup over what the bottle sells for locally but we would all like some wine with dinner. Then I realize that I’m looking at the by the glass section and their cheapest bottle is around 50$. Yeah no. So instead of making a sale and generating additional profit we drank water.
I see this so frequently in my work. Often by the time I get to a layover hotel I’m tired and would be happy to just eat in the hotel. But many times their outrageous prices run me out the door. It’s money being left on the table.
Thank you for warning fellow travellers about what’s going on there. Of course it doesn’t mean that all reservations will be like this, but it’s good to be warned.
Is Grand Hyatt Baha Mar all inclusive?
It is not.
Hawaii is much much more beautiful , far more besiege to explore and far far cheaper food .