This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.
Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A business hotel with a storied past
The British Colonial Hilton is smack dab in the middle of downtown Nassau -- steps from the U.S. Embassy and around the corner from the bustling Straw Market and the crowded cruise ship terminal. It's on the site of the old Fort Nassau, where the infamous pirate Blackbeard was hanged, and is also descended from the first hotel in the Bahamas -- originally built in 1898, reconstructed in 1922 (after the original burned), and reopened as a Hilton in 1999. The grand yellow structure is now a stately landmark along the downtown waterfront.
Though known primarily as a business hotel, the 288-room Hilton has made significant efforts to add amenities for leisure travelers since its 2009 renovation. The pool area and beach facilities were renovated in 2012, introducing more stylish loungers and comfortable cabanas to the area. The hotel also added a basketball hoop, soccer and volleyball nets, kayaks, and scuba masks to its beachside amenities. The small beach, itself, is located on Nassau Harbor, which is frequently filled with cruise ships and other large boats.
The neighborhood can be sleepy after dark, when most of the cruise ship visitors have returned to their cabins. There are some bars and cafes that stay open along Woodes Rodgers Walk, such as Senor Frogs and Via Cafe, but many close early. And while the guest rooms are functional, and were renovated in 2009 along with the lobby and restaurants, nothing about them really feels tropical.
Service to meet the needs of business travelers
Extremely convenient to all of Nassau's best sights, but the immediate vicinity becomes a ghost town at night
The hotel is smack in the middle of downtown Nassau, surrounded by the cruise ship terminal, financial institutions, historical sites and museums. By day the neighborhood teems with the foot traffic of businessmen and cruise ship passengers, and vehicles zooming down Marlborough Street. At night, however, the neighborhood largely clears out as the cruise shippers return to their cabins. Even the row of restaurants across the street -- save for a duty-free liquor store and a McDonald's -- closes down at dinnertime. Some bars and cafes stay open late along Woodes Rodgers Park, such as Senor Frogs and Via Cafe, making this a lively stretch for guests to visit after nightfall. Largely, though, the area is quiet.
Not the best beach in Nassau
The Hilton is located not on the ocean, but on Nassau Harbor (shielded to the north by Paradise Island). The small beachfront has piers on either side -- the resort separates them with plain walls, and there is debris nearby. Due to the cruise ship terminal, the main view to the right is of giant cruise ships. To the left, there are shipping piers and the Paradise Island Lighthouse. Since 2009 renovations, the hotel has renovated its beach and pool areas, now providing scuba masks, kayaks, soccer and volleyball nets, and a basketball hoop for guests to enjoy. It has also received new loungers and Balinese beds that are quite comfortable for catching some rays.
Renovated in May 2009, rooms are clean and functional, but lack tropical touches like balconies.
Rooms at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau are clean and comfortable, if predictable. They live up to the Hilton brand, but lack tropical touches.
Business travelers will appreciate modern function facilities and a great gym, while others will enjoy the pool area and sports facilities.
Amenities at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau tend to accomadate business travelers most easily. The fully functional business center, grand ballroom and meeting spaces, and 240hour gym make it a popular choice among the suit-and-tie set. But the hotel has made efforts since its 2009 renovations to appeal more broadly to leisure travelers as well. The pool and beach facilities were modernized in 2012, introducing more comfortable loungers, cabanas, and Balinese beds to the resort. There are also more sports facilities, including a basketball hoop, soccer, and volleyball nets, kayaks, and scuba masks, available for use.
The neighborhood is convenient to the island's sights, and younger kids eat free, but it's primarily a place for business travelers.
Kids seem to enjoy the Hilton's pool and small beach, but most other hotels we covered in Nassau bested the Hilton on these fronts. Furthermore, the hotel's entrance is on a busy road in a congested part of town; not much space for kids to run free. The hotel does provide lots of discounts for kids, however.
One restaurant and two bars on-site, but nothing to write home about
Because the Hilton is a business hotel and there are lots of better restaurants in the area, food doesn't seem to be a huge focus. But it's expensive, and the food, perhaps no worse than at any other hotel, is mediocre nonetheless. Try Conch Fritters across the street, or you can always splurge on gourmet cuisine over at Atlantis.
A fine business hotel -- pleasant staff, convenient location, a snazzy lobby, guest rooms renovated in 2009 -- but leisure travelers will find several pleasant amenities, as well. Chief among those is an attractive pool area and sports activities. The beach is small, the rooms lack balconies (save for on the sixth floor), and though the hotel is close to the sights of downtown Nassau, the area is dead at night.
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