Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A large resort with tasteful but chain-like decor and a mix of guests
A modern nine-story semicircle structure hugging pools and the shoreline, the Melia is an imposing building. The guest rooms are laid out in a line arcing away from the lobby, restaurants, and other amenities at the center. An oversized, blue-topped gazebo provides a focal point around the free-form pools. As a former Sheraton (with some of the chain’s branding still in place), the Melia has a sprawling and generic resort feel, but it’s not unattractive.
The large, high-ceilinged lobby has honeycombed wall dividers with blue backlighting, purple area rugs, modish white armchairs, recessed lighting, and a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. But the resort’s size does translate to long check-in lines. The back of the lobby contains a bar and Estavida, the tapas restaurant. (Restaurants are located on multiple levels.) There’s a Starbucks downstairs and a long hallway with shops and the casino. Guests aren't given a map at check-in, and it can be tricky to navigate the massive resort. Also, thanks to the resort’s size, the walk from the elevator to some of the rooms can be quite long. Plus hallways aren't air-conditioned on some of the floors.
Guests are a mix of families with kids and teens, couples, retired folks, and young groups of friends. The main pool tends to be lively and crowded, with a rowdy swim-up bar, loud music, and pool games. The other two pools are much quieter with waterfalls and palm trees. All pools are near each other at the heart of the property, ideal for groups that want to meet up after enjoying different pool environments.
In an area with other mega hotels; not much in walking distance
Melia Nassau Beach is located along West Bay Street in a complex with other hotels, including the enormous Baha Mar and Wyndham Nassau Resort. It's located on Cable Beach, one of the calmest and most scenic beaches in Nassau, which derives its name from being the site of the first telegraph wire in the Bahamas. The area is safer than downtown Nassau but there’s not much in walking distance -- no restaurants of note and not many attractions.
It's a 15-minute drive from the airport and a 15-minute drive to downtown Nassau sites (depending on traffic), including the Pirates of Nassau Museum, the Government House, and Christchurch Cathedral. For those not renting a car, an inexpensive public bus also stops along the road; otherwise most off-site restaurants and attractions are at least a $20 cab ride away.
Bright and modern with tasteful but chain-like decor and furnished balconies
Melia's guest rooms are modern and tastefully decorated, if a bit generic. Walls and carpets are a neutral beige and beachy prints provide the backdrop. Dark wood furnishings and crisp white bedding is tasteful, but without much personality. But high-end design touches like campaign-style furniture, tripod floor lamps, and pedestal tables give it a layer of elegance. The rooms have one king bed or two double beds. All rooms face the back of the resort, toward the ocean, and many have beautiful views of the pool or sea, which can be enjoyed from the small private balcony or patio. Amenities include Starbucks coffee and coffee makers, safes, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, hairdryers, and irons and ironing boards. Bathrooms are equally upscale and contemporary with sky-blue walls, chrome vanities, sizable white-marble sinks, shower/tub combos, and toiletries. As expected suites are more spacious, with separate seating areas, and have a few little extras including loungers on the balconies, bathrobes, and Bose alarm clocks.
A gorgeous beach, three pools, a kids' club, and various activities
The beach at Melia is one of the nicest on Nassau with powdery white sand, turquoise-blue water, and a calm and placid surface. While the beach is long, it's not particularly wide. Blue-striped loungers are gathered in rows close together and it can feel congested. There are a small amount of straw umbrellas, but most beach chairs are fully exposed to the sun.
The resort also has three free-form pools, all situated close together in the middle of the hotel. The crowded, lively main pool has a swim-up bar as well as a large patio bar situated behind the pool. During the day, a DJ and an MC play music, facilitate pool games, and generally keep the fun going. As expected, this pool is popular with kids and families, and groups of friends gather around the bar. The wait for drinks can get long during prime afternoon hours, and they can run out of certain things.
The east pool is much quieter and more scenic, with lovely landscaping including waterfalls, a palm-tree island, and a footbridge. A few white loungers border the front and sides. Despite its attractive winding waterways, it's never crowded. The west pool is also quiet and secluded, with winding waterways, a waterfall, and a large shallow entry area (good for kids). There are also a number of loungers by this pool, but it's mostly deserted.
Melia offers a kids’ club that's open daily. The club has workshops, parties, games, and activities, plus a pool table, basketball hoops, and a TV. A modest fitness center is also on site. It's outfitted with a few treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, weight machines, and free weights, but it's not large enough to accommodate the sheer number of guests here, and it tends to stay crowded. There's also an on-site gift shop, Starbucks, casino, meeting rooms, an Internet corner, and free Wi-Fi in the lobby. Adult activities like dance classes and live music, take place regularly. And the staff can arrange water sports, massages and beauty treatments, babysitting, and airport shuttles.
For an additional cost, Melia offers upgraded rooms and amenities called The Level. These room have nightly turn-down service, a welcome beverage and towel, and other upgrades including access to the VIP lounge, private check-in, express check-out, continental breakfast, tea and coffee service, premium drinks, snacks all day, online newspaper access, a reserved beach area, and priority booking for the restaurants.
A large variety of good quality food, but not all is part of the all-inclusive plan
Melia has six restaurants and multiple bars. Many of the restaurants have better-than-expected food for a resort this size. And there's a broad range of cuisines. Located upstairs from the lobby, Black Angus is the hotel’s steakhouse. It has modern decor and plays contemporary jazz music. (Note: This restaurant is not included in the all-inclusive plan.) The upscale but casual Cilantro serves both basic and modern Mexican fare and features a table-side margarita trolley. Nikkei restaurant offers an infusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine with a sushi bar and teppanyaki tables.
Most guests eat breakfast and lunch (and sometimes dinner) at the Market Place's buffet. Dinner here requires no reservations, but other restaurants require advanced planning. The buffet has a variety of salads, side dishes, fruit, desserts, and meat and fish platters. Located across from The Market Place on the lowest floor, Aqua restaurant services rustic Italian food including pasta, pizzas, salads, and soup, with a selection of wine. Finally, the lobby's Estavida serves tapas-style light bites and drinks in a chic space with gray tufted banquettes and white leather chairs behind a decorative curtain of metal.
In addition to the restaurants, the hotel has numerous bars, including the lobby bar, pool bar, and the chic Wet Bar upstairs. The hotel has a Starbucks downstairs on the way to the pool. (Starbucks also is not included in the all-inclusive plan.)
All-inclusive plan provides a good value
Due to the variety of restaurants and bars, decent food, and the lack of many eateries nearby, the all-inclusive plan at Melia is popular among its guests, and it's a good deal. The front desk provides all-inclusive guests with a bracelet upon check-in. Note that the Black Angus restaurant and the on-site Starbucks are not included in the all-inclusive plan. Reservations are required for most of the dinner restaurants.
A variety of packages available
Melia offers a variety of wedding, honeymoon, and event packages that can include a ceremony on the beach or in the hotel gardens, a special room for the couple, special guest rates, and customized wedding themes.
An upscale, sprawling resort, Melia Nassau Beach is located on beautiful and serene Cable Beach. It's a 15-minute drive from the airport, but it's not in walking distance to other attractions. The 694 rooms and 32 suites are tastefully decorated, if a little generic, but they have wonderful views from private furnished balconies. A stylish lobby, three pools, daily activities, and entertainment add to the Melia's appeal. Six on-site restaurants serve better-than-expected food, and there's an on-site Starbucks. There are some tradeoffs for a resort this size: an impersonal feel, long waits for check-in, and long walks from the elevators to some rooms. Travelers may want to compare amenities and rates with Riu Palace Paradise Island.
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