The Bahamas are gorgeous, and they have a strong scene for all-inclusive resorts. There's something to be said for hoofing it on your own, for bouncing from island to island to see what all they have to offer. But there's also much to be said for making one reservation and not worrying about anything else. If you're looking for that second experience, we've found some places you might want to check out.
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Sandals has two resorts in the Bahamas, but unlike in Saint Lucia they aren't close enough to transfer back and forth. So if you want to try your hand at golfing, you'll probably want to hit up Sandals Emerald Bay. Otherwise, Royal Bahamian seems to be the resort with more options, offering ten restaurants, eight bars, seven pools, and unlimited scuba diving. There are other water sports included, from windsurfing to sailboats, as well as plenty to do on land, from billiards to tennis to a penthouse fitness center. If you want to be really luxurious, try the river pool suites, which include complimentary butler service, and which feature patios that lead right up to the Zen garden river pool.
Club Med Columbus Isle
Club Med's Columbus Isle location lies in relative seclusion, letting its beachgoers enjoy a measure of elbow room. Diving is an add-on to the all-inclusive package, but the package does include schools in tennis, sailing, and "fitness," with access to volleyball, kayaking, and group lessons in windsurfing, among others. Chef de Village Remy and the rest of the staff inspire almost manic devotion. Reviewers often gush about resorts, but you don't often hear things like "This was my 14th trip," or "I loved it so much I bought property nearby."
Small Hope Bay Lodge
Small Hope Bay Lodge is unique among resorts, particularly among all-inclusive ones. The complex is intended to be as close to "natural" as possible. The cabins are brightly decorated, but they have no TV, phone, or internet connection—this is a place to really be mindful and appreciative of where you are. That doesn't mean you'll be roughing it, though—not by a long shot. Your meals and drinks are included, and while there aren't a ton of themed restaurants, there is authentic local cuisine. Lunches are a buffet, and dinners are from a fixed menu, again, with a focus on local cuisine. Also included are the use of resort kayaks, bicycles, windsurfing boards, and a free "Discover Scuba" introductory course. This isn't a resort to have a horde of wait staff at your beck and call 24 hours a day, but it is a great resort that cares for the island and offers the closest you're likely to get to seeing the "real" Bahamas.
Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island
RIU Paradise Island offers all-inclusive dining at five restaurants and four bars (including a swim-up), in addition to snacks and room service 24 hours a day. All of the 379 rooms offer free Wi-Fi and a minibar, but you can certainly scale up to multi-room suites with balconies. They do have a slight dress code and a moratorium on "spring breakers" at any time of year, which seems to mean "no raucous parties in your room." Swimming, tennis, volleyball, and more are included, and you can chip in extra for scuba diving, golf, and deep sea fishing. The Atlantis Resort & Casino is located just steps away, if you feel like trying your luck.