This massive resort is one of the country's largest -- and without a doubt it's the finest, most appealing, and best-accessorized property on Grand Bahama Island. The resort is set beside Lucayan Beach, one of the top white strands in The Bahamas. Although the area had been losing tourist business to Paradise Island, it got a big boost with the opening of this sprawling metropolis.
The first of the resort's three subdivisions, completed in 1998, is the Radisson at Our Lucaya Resort. With a vague South Beach Art Deco design, it's laid out in a massive open-sided, stone-trimmed hexagon. About half of the rooms face the beach and the pool; the other half look toward the gardens. The 513-room resort is contemporary but relaxed, with a young vibe that draws many families. Bedrooms are whimsical and fun, thanks to fabric designs you'd expect on a loud, Elvis-era Hawaiian shirt and maple-veneered furniture, all put together with artful simplicity.
In 2000, two newer, more upscale subdivisions opened immediately next door. The smaller and somewhat more private of the two buildings is Radisson Pointe, a 322-unit low-rise condo and timeshare complex that focuses on an adult clientele. Its larger counterpart -- and the one we find more appealing -- is the 536-unit Breakers Cay. This grand 10-story, white-sided tower has edges that bend in a postmodern S-curve beside the beach. There's also the Lanai Suites in a small two-story compound flanking the sea, with just 23 sprawling two-bedroom suites that meld colonial Caribbean style with 21st-century amenities.
The complex's various subsections stretch like pearls in a necklace along a narrow beach strip, allowing guests to drop in to any of the bars, restaurants, and gardens that flank its edges. A resort this big contains an impressive array of dining options, each with a different theme and ambience. The most intriguing are reviewed under "Where to Eat," below. Each of the subdivisions also has an unconventional pool: The Sheraton's seems to flow around a replica of a 19th-century sugar mill and ancient Roman aqueduct, while the Radisson's is separated from the powder-white sands of Lucayan Beach by a trio of lap pools, each 15m (49 ft.) long and 1.2m (4 ft.) deep, with edges replicating the hotel's sinuous "S" shape. The pools culminate in a watery crescent whose infinity edge seems to merge directly into the Atlantic. The swim-up bar and hot tubs add more watery appeal.
Recent years have seen the addition of a spa, a convention center, and an upscale shopping mall. Kids 2 to 12 can be entertained during daylight hours at the country's best-run children's venue, Camp Lucaya. There's an increasing emphasis on golf here, thanks to the opening of the spectacular Reef Golf Course. And tennis players will enjoy the innovative Ace Tennis Center, which features replicas of the world's best-known court surfaces -- like the red clay of the French Open, the manicured grass of Wimbledon, the Rebound Ace of the Australian Open, and the DecoTurf of the U.S. Open.