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In the hotel descriptions here, we've listed regular room prices, or "rack rates," but these are simply for ease of comparison. They are likely to be accurate for smaller properties, but you can almost always get a better price at the larger hotels and resorts.

If you do book your own reservations, always inquire about honeymoon specials, golf packages, summer weeks, and other potential discounts. In many cases, a travel agent can get you a package deal that would be cheaper than the official rates.

Hotels add a 12% tax to your rate. Sometimes this is quoted in advance as part of the net price; other times, it's added as an unexpected afterthought to your final bill. When you are quoted a rate, always ask if the tax is included. Many hotels also add a 15% service charge to your bill. Be sure to ask about these charges in advance so you won't be shocked when you receive the final tab.

Taxes and service charges are not included in the reviews, which cover a selection of hotels within the heart of Nassau, as well as accommodations in Cable Beach. Most visitors prefer to stay at Cable Beach since its resorts are right on the sand. But you can also stay in Nassau and commute to the beaches at Cable Beach or Paradise Island; it's less convenient but cheaper. Those who prefer the ambience of Old Nassau's historic district and convenience to the best shops may decide to stay in town.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach has always figured high in the consciousness of The Bahamas. Ever since Atlantis premiered on Paradise Island, Cable Beach has flourished, and occasionally suffered, in the shadow of its more dramatic counterpart.

Cable Beach derived its name from the underwater telephone and telegraph cable that brought electronic communications from the outside world. For years, it was a rural outpost of New Providence Island, flanked by private homes and a desirable shoreline that was a destination for local residents. Its first major tourist boost came with the construction of the Ambassador Beach Hotel, now the site of Breezes Bahamas. In the 1980s, a building boom added a string of condos, timeshares, and hotels, all designed to serve the needs of sun-seekers and casinogoers. The district now has a wide variety of restaurants and sports facilities, lots of glitz and glitter, and one of the country's two biggest casinos (in terms of square footage).

In 2005, a consortium of investors, coalescing under the name Baha Mar Resorts (tel. 242/677-9000; www.bahamar.com), pinpointed Cable Beach as the eventual site of one of the Atlantic's most far-reaching resort developments. (The project's investors also own and operate Cable Beach Resorts and Crystal Palace Casino.) In 2007, they inaugurated a plan that will radically alter the present landscape of Cable Beach, adding to the overall competitiveness of Nassau in general and its northern seafront in particular. By 2014, expect big changes that might make Cable Beach one of the world's most talked-about casino and resort destinations -- that is, if all phases of the redevelopment are completed as planned. Completed in 2010 was a radical upgrade of the beachfront, with the addition of sea-fronting boardwalks and gazebos along with a dance floor and a sophisticated sound system.

Major changes will include revising the layout of West Bay Street, one of New Providence's busiest arteries; dredging new lakes and marinas; creating water traps for a redesigned golf course; demolishing some older buildings within the Cable Beach compound; and enlarging the existing casino. The project also calls for constructing a new string of resort hotels, each catering to a different market. A W hotel, for example, will accent avant-garde design and, it's hoped, attract a youthful, trend-setting clientele. Another property will offer more conservative comforts geared to the haute bourgeoisie.

Even in its current form, Cable Beach has many loyal fans, some of whom find Paradise Island too expensive, too snobbish, too contrived, and too Disney-esque. Stay tuned for further developments -- and expect endless delays, with investment money tight in these bad economic times.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.