Grand Lucayan Rating: 4.0 Pearls
It's the top lodging on Grand Bahama -- immaculate grounds; great beds; convenient, scenic location, and a fitness center and spa. Given that the entire complex has about 1,300 rooms -- it can take 20 minutes to walk from one end to the other -- there's a wide range of rooms, features, and dining options, but it can feel a bit impersonal.
Sunrise Beach Clubs and Villas Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Smack dab between Atlantis Resort, Riu, and the One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island, this hidden gem offers 26 units ranging in size from one-, two-, three-, four and even five-bedroom options. Decor varies depending on the owner's taste, but these spacious villas all have fully-equipped kitchens, coffeemakers, sofa beds, and patios at generally great prices. Guests can walk to the aforementioned neighboring resorts for restaurants and nightlife, or rent a car for more island freedom. Lounge chairs are never a problem at one of two pools, but do not miss out on having private access to Cabbage Beach; since the entire stretch of sand is completely public, guests can grab a beer from Archie's stand and choose the party vibe in front or walk further down for near isolation. Sunrise's on-site restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers occasional live entertainment (that can stay loud late).
Pineapple Fields Resort Rating: 3.0 Pearls
This relaxed, family-friendly condo complex offers 32 units in central Eleuthera Island, close to the small village of Governor's Harbour. With friendly Dave at the helm, an owner who is rarely far away, the peaceful grounds stay as easygoing as the rest of the island, which is known for its naturally rugged and secluded beaches. Guests requiring typical hotel amenities should probably look elsewhere, but units are bright, clean, and cheery, and come with fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, spacious bathrooms, pull-out sofa beds, and stackable washer/dryers. Guests can start the day with fresh chocolate croissants from the on-site deli, and then hit the beach across the street, or nap the afternoon away on a lounge chair at the pool. Guests tend to use the kitchens for dinner, or watch the sunset from Tippy's -- a popular restaurant with a fun mix of locals and tourists.
Island Seas Resort Rating: 2.5 Pearls
This 189-unit condo complex is located on a quiet stretch of beach called Silver Point, on the southern coast of Grand Bahama Island. Despite its aging exterior, most of the spacious one- and two-bedroom units have been spruced up with new appliances, mattresses, and fresh decor. Service is spotty and time-share pitches are the norm, but past that, the relaxed vibe gives those who want a simple vacation (think turquoise waves, an outdoor pool, and fully equipped kitchens) a chance for real peace and quiet, save for the occasional vendor. Two restaurants, an outdoor bar, excursions, and a shuttle to Port Lucaya are useful features, but a car is still recommended.