Situated on the former site of the Gold Blossom Estate, a 1930s-era British colonial property, the oceanfront Goldwynn Resort definitely has the feel of old Nassau—with modern touches. Since the resort opened its doors on February 1, staff has welcomed guests drawn to this accessible paradise just off the Florida coastline. While not an adults-only property, it also doesn’t have a kids’ club or lots of activities, the Goldwynn is organically evolving to draw in anybody who’s looking for a laid-back beach vacay.
The short hop has always made the Bahamas a draw for East Coasters, but a new nonstop once-weekly Saturday flight on JetBlue from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Nassau’s Sir Lynden Pindling Airport (NAS) starting this fall will also open the tropical playground to a wider swath of beach lovers. No matter your origin, here are eight reasons to love this shiny new gem on Cable Beach.
The resort is in a private yet prime location
Some beachfront areas are so overbuilt with hotels and high rises that they feel cramped and crowded. But the Goldwynn, located on Goodman Bay, is flanked by just a few private homes and small inns on one end, and a hotel complex with the Baha Mar, Rosewood, and SLS Baha Mar resorts at the other end. The resort is also adjacent to the bay’s namesake park, with lots of trees and green space. It all translates to a serene vibe with minimal foot traffic or noise.
If you’re a beach person, you’ll be right in your element
The sand here is powdery and pristine, with few rocks or shells and none of the seaweed that constantly washes ashore and plagues other destinations. The color of the water is a mosaic of light turquoise and deep cerulean, since the developers decided to preserve the limestone and plant life rather than blast it away (making it easier to spot fish and turtles with your snorkeling gear).
Thanks to a reef located offshore, the water stays placid and wave-free, so it’s easy to navigate one of the free kayaks or SUPs at the watersports center for guests’ use. For a less active experience, lay back on one of the round tethered floats that dot the water; the centers are mesh, so you can stay cool, and half submerged while lounging.
But you might choose to while away the day by the pool
From your beach-facing balcony, you’ll notice that the freshwater infinity pool is shaped like an eye; from the poolscape, you’ll see that the resort’s floor-to-ceiling windows reflect the ever-changing hue of the water as the sun hits it throughout the day. There are ample pool chairs, an ice water dispenser, and a pool bar. You can also rent one of the six cabanas, which include butler service; though truth be told, they could use a bit of a tweak, as their surrounding striped sunshades don’t allow for enough airflow, so if you crave privacy you might sweat.
The soundtrack is somehow always what you’re in the mood to hear, from disco and soul, to 80s to ambient lounge vibes. And the beach is just a few steps away, so you can pop down for a walk, swim, or lounge, then sink back into your shady poolside lounger.
You’ll find Bahamian influences throughout the property
The photos of bathers in retro suits and swim caps on the hotel’s home page are a hint to the throwback feel and local touches you’ll encounter at Goldwynn. Just off the lobby is a collage of photos dating back to the mid-1900s and earlier. Throughout the hotel, you’ll find works by local artists, including a massive relief sculpture with pink flamingos—The Bahamas’ national bird—over the coffee bar at Atria.
High on the adjacent wall, a series of shells, flowers, and sea life is imagined in varying shades of blue to mimic the varying color of the sea. Rooms and floors are also decorated with pieces from Bahamian artists—and no two are alike. Next to Rhizophora Spa are plaques with dozens of native slang terms like “All Kerpunkle Up,” which is how you might be feeling after throwing back too many Bahama Mamas.
Speaking of the spa, it’s named for the indigenous mangrove trees called rhizophora that protect the Bahamas from storms and erosion and keep the ecosystem healthy. And the team partnered with the Nassau-based Titan Hospitality Group for its dining concepts, owned by Bahamians of Greek descent.
There’s not a bad room
Every one of the 81 energy-efficient studios and suites has refined interiors with muted shades of sand and teal, and balconies that face the ocean or the golf course. (The Goldwynn is the only resort in Nassau with golf course-facing accommodations.) Sprawling balconies in the larger one-, two- and three-bedroom suites are accessible from the living room and bedroom(s); oceanfront Edge suites are corner-facing and offer the best views of the water. (Remember to bring bug spray if you plan on hanging outside, as the mosquitos are rabid in the early morning and at dusk, especially after a rain shower.)
All accommodations have either a kitchenette or a full kitchen with high-end stainless steel appliances and a separate ionized and filtered tap for drinking water (guests are gifted with reusable water bottles). Kitchens can be stocked with groceries before arrival, and the resort can arrange for an ensuite private chef. Bathrooms have rain showers, dual sinks, and full-size products (two suites have bathtubs), and all rooms have king-sized beds with luxury linens.
The food is fabulous
Like many other properties in Nassau, the restaurant concepts are spendy—but the food is definitely one of the highlights. OIA is the signature restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, with Mediterranean and Asian fusion and incredible sunset views. Standout starters include grilled shishitos in an umami-rich preparation that tosses them in miso gorgonzola, bonito flakes, shoyu, sesame seeds, and honey, and heirloom tomato and burrata salad smoked tableside and served with Thai basil air.
On the raw bar menu are well-executed surprises like a cracked conch roll and chilled local stone crab claws. Sweet soy-shellacked sea bass arrives with a “mosaic” of braised leek slices, and tender grilled lamb chops arrive atop yuzu tzatziki espuma. For lunch, you can either grab a table by the water at Amara, or have your food delivered right to your lounge chair on the pool deck. The lobster roll is drizzled with brown butter with just a slather of Japanese mayo, and the crispy grouper gyro is wrapped in pita bread made in the property’s Basement Bakery. Atria is an all-day grab-and-go spot for coffees, freshly pressed juices and smoothies, pastries, and power bowls.
While the culinary options are plentiful, since there is only one option for each meal, you might want to venture off-property and switch things up if you are staying for more than a few nights. The aforementioned resort complex is literally a 10-minute walk up the beach (or 15 minutes if you don’t want to get your feet sandy.)
One swank spot for an off-property dinner is Cafe Boulud at the Rosewood Baha Mar. Like chef Daniel Boulud’s other concepts, this one is heavy on dishes from his native France—but the most interesting ones also have a touch of Bahamian influence. Thin slices of snapper and conch crudo come with crunchy watermelon cubes, Fresno pepper slices and tapioca pearls that mimic caviar, and cassava dumplings are an unexpected accompaniment to scallop and prawn Caribbean curry. Food-friendly Loire Valley wines pair with everything, and the Caribbean Sour shakes cinnamon-infused rum with lemon juice and orange vanilla syrup.
The bars will keep you jonesing for a tasty libation
Right next to OIA, Bar Paul shakes and stirs craft sips with classic and modern ingredients and techniques. The Top Tier Negroni shares some DNA with the Martini, with Grey Goose Citron, Riesling, lavender bitters, and Italicus, a fragrant bergamot liqueur. The Bar Paul Exclusive is a Whisky Sour on steroids, with Matsui Totori Japanese Whiskey, cherry liqueur, coconut syrup, lemon, egg white, Port, and orange bitters. Staff at OIA is eager to pair your plates with global pours. And you can also savor a well-made drink from Amara’s menu after a dip.
The namesake sip is a spa in a glass, with Hendricks gin, peach liqueur, lemon, and cucumber, topped with Prosecco, Passion Project gets its mouthwatering tang from passion fruit liqueur and muddled passionfruit, and Pink Skies is in essence a watermelon Margarita with limoncello. And don’t even think about heading back home without trying Sky Juice, the Bahamas’ answer to the Pina Colada, with gin subbed in for rum.
Spa-aaahing here is serious business
Rhizophora Spa is the resort’s newest offering, just having opened June 1, with three treatment rooms (including a couple’s suite), a nail and hair salon, and an outdoor cabana for relaxation. Treatments use local botanicals as well as Biologique Recherche products and those from VOYA, made with hand-harvested seaweed from Ireland.
During several of the body treatments, a mud mask is painted on the body before being wrapped in long strips of that seaweed, lending long-lasting hydration and elasticity before being cocooned; they can be combined with a massage, facial, or both. The spa’s director is a local aesthetician who believes in a holistic approach and is working on wellness options that focus on women’s health issues including menopause, as well as dreams’ effect on the body and mind.