Paradise Cove Beach Resort on Grand Bahama Island is one of my favorite places. Located on the western part of the island, it is a small, privately owned business with a beautiful beach and a stunning reef just a few hundred meters into the ocean. Just like the rest of the Bahamas, it got hit by Hurricane Dorian in September. But owner Barry Smith and his crew worked hard, and are now ready to welcome visitors again.
Turtles, stingrays, corals, fishes of all colors and sizes, even a reef shark or the barracudas with their cold watchful eyes – you can all see them up close and personal when you rent snorkel gear at Barry’s and swim the short distance to Deadman’s Reef. It is one of the most beautiful and stunning sights I have seen. Indeed, paradise.
Barry also takes you spear fishing if you like. Or you can just enjoy the beach and snacks the Paradise Cove crew serves.
The team at Paradise Cove had a lot of work to do after Hurricane Dorian hit last month. The resort lost a lot of beach. A lot of the palm trees you see in the pictures from 2011 and 2015, when I was there, were uprooted, too. The whole area, parking lot and all, was covered with sand, and there was no water for a while. The houses lost some shingles – but fortunately, there was no structural damage. And with the help of donations from previous guests from all over the world, Barry and his team, together with local workers and businesses, were able to get everything up and running again.
So you can still stay in one of the beach houses in Paradise Cove – far away from the hustle of Freeport, where the big cruise ships stop. There are two beach houses for rent, and once the business closes in the evening, it is as beautiful and romantic as it gets.
Just one advice, though: if the locals tell you, don’t go to the beach at dawn – follow their advice. I once thought, well, taking a bottle of wine to the beach and watching the sun set might be a good idea. Big mistake. The “no-see -ums” are out there to get you. They are tiny, you really barely can see them, but they are merciless, and their bites hurt. If you, on top of that, have a tendency for an allergic reaction to insect bites, better have some Benadryl handy.
But other that that, life is great, on Grand Bahama Island.
If you rent a car, you can explore the island. Yes, there is a lot of blight, but there are also beautiful places to visit and a lot to discover: The bat cave in Lucayan National Parc, for example, or Bishop’s Resort, on the other side of Freeport. Or the Bahamian Brewery.
This certainly is not your typical luxury vacation, but the people are just the nicest, and the sunsets are out of this world – every single evening.