I sandwiched my stay at Atlantis three weeks ago with hotel stays at Sheraton Nassau Cable Beach Resort. I stayed on Cash & Points for $60 and 4,000 points per night. That worked out to US$110 per night after tax and after adding the $40 daily resort fee. Starwood charges resort fees on award stays. Hyatt does not.
Published rates for my stay dates were $239 per night prepaid, nonrefundable or $269 AAA. 15% tax and $40 resort fee on top of that. At 4,000 points per night I was getting redemption value over $60 per 1,000 points.
The day I arrived was unseasonably cold with the temperature in the low 60s and windy. It was Monterey-like fine weather. The locals were wrapped in sweatshirts and jackets. Pool sun bathers were layered in pool towels and other wraps.
Snowbirds were still swimming in the pools in trunks and bikinis.
Cable Beach is the casino competition to Atlantis at Paradise Island. Cable Beach is on New Providence Island, home to Nassau and midway between airport and Nassau/Paradise Island, Bahamas. A toll bridge crosses the harbor from Nassau to the smaller Paradise Island.
Cable Beach is undergoing major development to build Baha Mar convention center project with plans for Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Rosewood Baha Mar luxury brand hotel, and a Morgans Group hotel. 20 acres of pools are planned along 3,000 feet of uninterrupted beachfront adjacent to the existing Sheraton and Wyndham beach resorts with Crystal Palace casino between them.
Sheraton Nassau Cable Beach sand frontage.
The taxi is a set rate of USD$18 to Cable Beach from the airport. I arrived at 1pm and I was told I had an upgraded room with #915 on the top floor, however the room would not be ready until 3pm. I was checked in and able to use the resort facilities using my 915 room number and name.
I logged onto the internet at the Sheraton Kiosk with four terminals in the downstairs lobby.
I hadn’t eaten since the night before and lunch sounded good. The café had $17 pizzas. The buffet was $25 + tax from 12pm to 2pm daily. I checked the time to see it was 1:40pm. I skipped lunch at the hotel.
I snapped photos before heading into town looking for other food options.
Sheraton Nassau Cable Beach main pool with Edgewater pool bar.
Sheraton Nassau Cable Beach main pool with Dolphin Grill pool cafe. Most food items are $8.00 to $14.00 for hot dog, hamburger, chicken and fish sandwiches.
The hotel food is less expensive here than Atlantis on Paradise Island and the adjacent Wyndham Nassau Resort is even slightly less for food than the Sheraton.
Beach chairs facing away from ocean to maximize afternoon sun exposure to the southwest.
The outdoor activity area has two ping pong tables, checkers and foosball table free for guest play. The inflated tower is some kind of slide ride that I never quite figured out. It is deflated daily in the afternoon and inflated in the morning.
Telegraph Bar in Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort lobby.
Aside from the buffet at Bimini Market with breakfast, lunch and dinner seatings, the Caribe Café in the downstairs lobby is the main food outlet inside the hotel.
- Breakfast = $21.75 ($19 + 15% tax)
- Lunch = $28.75 after tax.
- Dinner = $32.20 after tax.
Amici a Trattoria is the evening fine dining restaurant at the Sheraton.
There is a small shop with liquor and food snacks in the hallway between the Sheraton hotel and Crystal Palace Casino.
I walked around the hotel and beach and then I headed west into the small town where I had seen fast food and restaurants.
At 4pm I arrived back at the hotel to be told #915 was still not ready and my room had been changed to #415. Same room, but with a completely different type of view since the 4th floor is quite a bit lower than the 9th floor. After 36 hours without sleep I was not willing to wait any longer for a room.
Room #415 Sheraton Nassau Cable Beach Resort
The junior suite was a large room with interesting angles at the juncture where the hotel wing changes direction. The room offered plenty of seating. TV reception was poor with the picture breaking up regularly.
There was a large patio balcony with comfortable chairs.
The bathroom was standard.
The room had a coffee maker and a couple of bottles of water.
The ice machine was just outside my door.
One of my main issues with the hotel was the difficulty of reaching anyone by phone. Several times when I tried the phone there was no answer and there were no clear directions how to dial any of the hotel services.
During my first stay at the hotel I complained about the wireless internet not maintaining a connection in my room. Turns out that on my second stay there was a slip of paper stating that the rooms are wired internet and wireless internet is available in the hotel lobby. None of the staff members mentioned that fact despite my complaints to several staff during my first hotel stay.
The main difference I noticed between the Sheraton Beach Resort and Atlantis is the proactive service at Atlantis. My experience between the two hotels was night and day in terms of service levels. I felt like I was staying at a resort during my time at Atlantis, whereas, the Sheraton had a very laid back attitude.
That being said, I found many aspects of the Cable Beach area preferable to Atlantis. There were no crowds at Cable Beach and guests can swim in the pools even when lifeguards are not around. Both hotels have blaring music with dj banter during the day. The Sheraton pool offered daytime activities for fun and prizes.
Room 415 at the Sheraton was definitely a nicer place to vacation. I loved the space.
At checkout I received my folio and another folio for a couple who must have left a day early. I paid $110 + 4,000 points per night. The other couple who had been booked in the room for six nights paid $399 per night for six nights. The published BAR rate for the room category of #415 was listed as a 545 sq. ft. suite at $519 per night at the time I made my reservation.
My second stay at the hotel had the identical room type located on the top floor on the opposite wing of the hotel.
The interesting thing about my second stay is the day before at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Global Conference I had attended a Club Carlson loyalty workshop. They ran a film of frequent guests who participated in a focus group. A top tier Club Concierge member stated that 9 out of 10 times she was not told at check-in that she was upgraded, even though she had been upgraded by the hotel to a higher category room. As I thought about my experiences, SPG came to mind as being great about telling me I had an upgrade.
My first stay at the Sheraton Nassau I was told I was upgraded and then I felt downgraded when my room floor dropped from top floor 9 to the 4th floor, even though the room was the same the view was different. And I kind of felt downgraded after arrival.
Then on my second stay the desk clerk never mentioned that room #965 was a room upgrade.
There were only slight differences in the junior suite room labeled as a suite on the hotel’s website.
The room view #965 overlooks the pools and offers far better views of the ocean compared to the 4th floor room.
Wyndham Nassau Resort
One important benefit to point out is the shared use policy of the beach facilities between Sheraton and Wyndham. Guests of either hotel may use the pools and facilities of the other hotel.
Tiki Bar at the Wyndham.
Cruise ships are a regular sighting from Cable Beach.
There was a Canadian man feeding the beach cats. He and his wife were heading home after a week. He recruited a young woman to take over feeding duties. Every night he saved some of his meat dinner to feed the cats in the morning. He reminded me of why I needed to get back home to my own beach town to be together again with my wife and cats family.
All in all I think the Sheraton Nassau is a great deal on category 4 Cash & Point reward nights. This hotel was listed as dropping to category 3 for 2012, but the Sheraton Nassau SPG award category remained unchanged. I suspect this hotel may even rise in category once the Baha Mar resort complex is completed in 2014.
Leaving Nassau, Bahamas.
Dispatch from Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas (Feb 14, 2012)
Dispatch from Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas (Feb 16, 2012)
Photo: Rest day on Paradise Island (Feb 18, 2012)
Nassau Bahamas Resort Traveler: 5 things to know (Feb 22, 2012)
Atlantis Resort Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas (Feb 25, 2012)
Aquaventure Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas (Feb 26, 2012)
Atlantis Bahamas Marine Habitats (Feb 29, 2012)