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We just returned from a four-night trip to the relatively new Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and while we had a great time, there is one thing to know about this resort — it is not cheap. While my kids loved the beach and the pool, it is always important to find other activities for them to do throughout the day so they aren’t too sun-kissed.
At various other beach resorts, the included kids club was often the perfect way to fill a few hours out of the sun (you can find free kids clubs at resorts such as: Andaz Costa Rica, Andaz Wailea, Park Hyatt St. Kitts and Hyatt Ziva Cancun). At these clubs, kids can play with other kids, do arts and crafts projects, play games and run around. However, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, the Kids Club costs a whopping $55 per three-hour session for just one kid.
Add in the mandatory VAT and service charges and you are looking at more than $60 per kid for just a few hours. You also cannot just drop in at your leisure as they have set programs, 9am–noon or 1–4pm. Because of the fixed times and the high costs, we opted against the kids club on this trip. This is not to mention that my 2 year old isn’t old enough, and he would have been disappointed if his older sister got to go and he didn’t.
However, I did sneak a peek into the kid club, and it didn’t appear to be as robust as other clubs I’ve visited in the past. Because there wasn’t going to be any club time for our kids on this trip, we had to dig for other kid-friendly activities at the resort. We were pleasantly surprised to see that (unlike the kids club itself) many of the kid-friendly activities at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar were absolutely free.
Note that you can book rooms at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar using 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night for standard rooms (one king or two queens) or 27,000 points for Club Level rooms (and you want club access, one way or another to keep food costs down). You can earn 50,000 Hyatt points with the bonus from The World of Hyatt Credit Card. Or, you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio via the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
1. Walk With Flamingos
Watching flamingos in their “habitat” is super cute, and twice a day you can actually go on a walk with them. At 9:30am and 3:30pm, they take the baby flamingos on a walk around the resort and all guests are welcome. It was really cool to follow the flamingos around and learn a little bit more about the babies. Did you know that it’s difficult to know if a flamingo is male or female until about 2 years of age?
2. Do Some Bird-Watching
The aviary will allow you to observe colorful birds flying right above your head. It is open 10–11:30am and 2–3:30pm. It’s entirely free; however, if you want to feed the birds, you can purchase two feeding sticks for $11.28 (while not free, it is inexpensive for the area). Since two sticks came with the feeding program, I was able to give one to each of my kids, and the birds would fly right onto their hands. This was a highlight of our trip, and we made it a point to visit every day.
3. Watch the Sea Animals at Feeding Time
At the marine sanctuary, you can watch sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and more than 50 other varieties of reef fish get fed twice a day, once at 10:30am and again at 1:30pm. This is the same wildlife you’ll see swimming around in the grotto portion of the Dean’s Blue Hole pool (though behind glass as shown below).
There is also a touch tank, where you can get up close to the baby stingrays and starfish. Of course, there are other opportunities to get into the sanctuary and experience other hands-on wildlife encounters, but that was an additional charge and not suitable for younger kids.
4. Kayak, Standup Paddle-Board or Snorkel
All nonmotorized beach activities are absolutely free to guests. There were plenty of kayaks, standup paddle-boards and snorkeling equipment available during our stay and there was never a wait to use the gear. With young kids, kayaking was the best option, and we spent a good hour paddling around the ocean. The water at Cable Beach, where the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is located, is calm so it is a perfect area for these water activities.
5. Play Games Throughout the Resort
Throughout the resort you’ll find life-size games, such as Connect Four, Jenga, chess, cornhole and bocce ball. These games are perfect for kids of all ages — younger kids will “pretend” to play, while older kids can show their competitive side against their parents. Teens and tweens could probably run their own mini-tournaments!
6. Watch the Water Show
The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has a water show similar to the one you’ll see at the Bellagio (just perhaps a bit smaller). The dancing water fountains sync to music and perform every half-hour throughout the day on the front side of the resort. We typically would watch the show from the club lounge as you get a great view from the outside balcony. This kept my kids occupied during our time in the lounge, and it would allow my husband and I to sit down and enjoy our food and drinks.
These free activities at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar gave us something else to do besides just swim at the beach and pool, and my kids loved them. Don’t get me wrong though, we had our fair share of beach and pool time — there are six heated pools and crystal-clear calm waters ideal for families. Going into this vacation, I heard that the resort was not really that kid-friendly (think massive casino, adult-oriented restaurants, etc.), but these activities, combined with the awesome pools and beautiful beaches swayed my opinion. Once the resort’s proposed adjacent waterpark is built (hopefully in the coming years, but there’s no set date), it will add one more activity that kids will absolutely love.
TPG has comprehensive coverage of Baha Mar and the Bahamas. Here are some other stories you may like:
- Review of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Pools and Beach
- Review of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Grand Club Lounge
- Which is Better: Westin Grand Cayman or Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
- Inside Two Ocean View Rooms at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas
- The Hotel That Exceeded My Expectations: A Review of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
- Exploring Baha Mar and the Bahamas
Know before you go.
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- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening - free nights start at 5,000 points
- Receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships