Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Families on a budget flock to this minimal all-inclusive resort
Food and drink prices can add up fast for families in the Bahamas, and since this is one of the few all-inclusive resorts on the island, it does attract groups with little ones looking to save pennies. Because of this, no one should not have high expectations for the resort. It checks the necessary boxes, but lacks marks as far as luxury and service are concerned.
Guests will enter into a main lobby for check-in with some nice seating areas that are never crowded; this might be the quietest part of the resort and is a good place to work, since Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort. This area leads to a hallway where there are some shops selling clothing and essentials, and then on towards a clean, open-air lounge and bar with contemporary decor, which almost feels like an extension of the lobby. This is a good place to hang out and party during the day (or night) when it gets too hot in the sun; otherwise, guests can take drinks to sit on the terrace or by the rectangular pool, which sits adjacent to the snack bar that receives a lot of attention from seagulls. The pool is the spot if looking to partake in animation activities or watch the kids on the trapeze, but other guests may want to sit farther away on the beach to get some peace and quiet. A sea of blue (some in disrepair) lounge chairs are spread out over a long stretch of sand that collects seaweed. Vendors will walk along and offer a range or products -- some illegal -- so keep one eye open.
At night, there's an evening theatre performance, and then people either head back to the main lobby bar, which acts as the hub of the resort, or back to their rooms. Rooms closest to the lobby bar area might be disturbed by late night noise.
An all-inclusive property about 20 minutes from the airport
The resort is part of Churchill Beach on the southeastern coast of Grand Bahama near the hub of Freeport. This seaside location offers good swimming conditions for all ages, though guests should expect to see a lot of seaweed along the shore. Because the resort is all-inclusive, most guests are content to just remain on the property for the duration of their stay, and might be less inclined to rent a car for exploration. But renting a car would provide access to the town of Freeport and Port Lucaya Marketplace for a number of shops and restaurants, as well as more remote areas of the island for snorkeling, hiking, and fishing. Grand Bahama Island is 530 square miles and has just over 40,000 full-time residents, hence there's plenty to see and do. Or, simply ask the front desk to hire a taxi to get to and from the airport, which is about 20 minutes away.
Room types come in two styles of decor, but all have coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi.
There are 274 rooms that take up two-story, bungalow-style buildings along both sides of the main lobby. Rooms -- either with one king bed, two queen beds, or one murphy bed -- come with coffeemakers, free Wi-Fi, work desks, and True Blue toiletries in the bathrooms.
There are two distinctions as far as decor and view. The Vista rooms have new white bedding with bright green accents, modern furnishings, and sea views from the balconies. The Flora rooms have older flowered bedspreads and eye-sore color accents with garden views. Some rooms allow smoking and others are non-smoking, so make sure to specify this when booking. Connecting rooms and baby cribs are available upon request for families.
Free use of the trapeze, tennis courts, and fitness center add to the value here.
The food and beverage selection is not going to impress gourmands staying at Viva, but guests can choose between the main buffet called Junkanoo for all three meals (it does get a crowd, especially at breakfast and lunch) or two indoor a la carte restaurants: the Asian-themed Bamboo and Italian-themed Viva Cafe. There is an all-day snack bar serving basic hamburgers and hot dogs next to the beach (watch out for the seagulls that like this area) and also a late-night wood fire pizzeria for partiers/midnight snackers.
Bars and beverage selection are both pretty minimal; guests should expect one choice for beer, as well as non-premium liquors. Like at the restaurants, service at the bars can be slow, and it may take flagging down a staff member to get a drink.
Free amenities include the trapeze (with instructors), two tennis courts, a nice fitness center, and a water sports center (with kayaks, snorkel gear, and windsurfing) along the beach. An animation team is active by the pool area during the day, and then performs in the theater after dinner for about an hour each night.
Excursions for an extra cost are available and can be booked through guest services.
On the southeast shore of Grand Bahama near Freeport is one of the few all-inclusive resorts on the entire island with 274 rooms spread out over 26 acres. This Wyndham offers low prices for families on a budget. Rooms are divided into two types: the Vista rooms, which have a white modern color scheme and ocean views, and the Flora rooms, with fewer amenities and shockingly bright Caribbean decor. All rooms in the two-story bungalows have balconies, coffeemakers and free Wi-Fi, and are an easy walk to get to the three restaurants, the main lounge and bar, as well as the theater for nightly entertainment. A snack bar, pizza joint, trapeze, and water sports keep kids busy, but parents may want to invest in a good pair of headphones if looking for peace and quiet from the vendors and animation activities.
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