Yes, you read that right. I claim to know THE BEST family resort in The Bahamas. I welcome any challengers. I’m THAT confident in my choice.
Growing up in Northern Michigan broke Ben of enjoying winter weather, so we usually plan a beach vacation in early spring to give him something to look forward to (who am I kidding, I kind of like them, too!) We typically plan busy, backpacking-type trips to undiscovered locations, but this had been an exhausting year for us and I put my foot down; He could pick the location, but it had to include two words: ALL. INCLUSIVE.
Enter the Viva Wynham Fortuna Beach on Grand Bahama Island, or, as I refer to it now, Heaven on Earth.
The resort has been operational for years, and was only recently bought by Wyndham and re-vamped. It’s become the best of both worlds- traditional Bahamian friendliness and charming island cottages, with upgraded bedrooms and dining rooms.
We were greeted with fresh juices in the large, comfortable lounge, and invited to keep our bags in a locked room so we could immediately enjoy the amenities before our room was ready. Is was skeptical of the “locked” room, but I’m glad I took the chance. We had a few extra hours to enjoy the pool, and our belongings were kept perfectly safe!
pool and hot tub with giant lounge chairs
Oh boy. I could live here forever. A family-sized pool and separate hot tub boast incredible views of this secluded section of private beach and offer Queen bed-sized lounges with umbrellas. You could usually find me parked at one of the pool’s lounge “beds” or the buffet. All of the views with none of the sand? No shame over here! I love pool Bahamas!
viva kid’s club
The reason I was able to relax and unwind at The Bahamas was thanks to Veronika, one of the Kid’s Club directors. The resort offers Kid’s Club baby sitting for children upon request, and we requested the heck out of it. Every day. It was sparsely used, so Whit practically had Veronika all to himself. She was incredibly fun and sweet with him, and he whined for MONTHS after we left that he wants to go back and see her!
The Kid’s Club has it’s own building with games, art activities, and a playground. They would schedule play time, snack time at the beachfront snack bar, special kid’s competitions, and excursions to visit other areas of the resort. My two favorite kid’s activities were that they had a dedicated time to practice on the trapeze (more on that next), and dancing/ game time prior to each evening’s performance (more on that next next). In the words of Nacho Libre, “It’s the best!”
Yes. They have a trapeze. And they encourage guests to try it. Imagine looking at the crystal clear water and beautiful beaches of The Bahamas while flying in the sky!
The resort employs a group of foreign young adults to lead all of the activities. This includes a group of incredible gymnasts and dancers from around the world whose jobs are to lead water aerobics, dance parties, star in each evening’s performance, and teach guests how to use a trapeze. The full-sized trapeze is between the pool and guest rooms, so you can’t help but see it if staying in that portion of the resort (We were.) Ben was immediately curious, and spent each day getting fitted for a harness, walking up to the gangway (for lack of a better word), and being trained on how to get on, swing from, and flip off of the trapeze onto the net below. As in everything else, he was annoyingly amazing at this. Whit loved using it, too! At 4 years old, they said he’s the youngest they’ve ever trained on the trapeze! (Are young kids usually afraid of climbing a super tall ladder to swing, or something…?) I know I’m biased, but he was just the cutest thing ever on that thing. He was barely big enough to hang by his knees on the trapeze, and he tried so hard to flip off, but his body was just too small. I can’t wait to go back and see how he does now that he’s a little older!
The Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Bahamas Resort has a 500-person theater on site, and the international staff spends time every day practicing for the evenings performance. They are low-budget but incredible! We saw them perform excerpts from Broadway’s The Lion King, put on a “circus”, and an aerial gymnastics show. Wow. My jaw was literally open THE. WHOLE. TIME.
Before each performance begins Veronika and another employee would hype the crowd by asking all children to come to the stage for dancing and games. They would play an Italian hand clap game, musical chairs, etc. for the pleasure of the audience, and winners would receive a small resort-themed trinket. Whit never won anything, but watching him play musical chairs against larger, more competitive kids was so worth it! I was so proud of him for getting on stage in the first place, which says a lot for the staff and how much Whit loved them.
This Bahamas family resort features a limited beach front snack bar (pizzas, french fries, chips, drinks) that is open all day, an inside drink bar open all day, a buffet restaurant that is open for specific meal times, and three dressy restaurants that are reservation only. The buffet menu repeats every three days, but I wouldn’t mind that as the selection is large and most items were really good. We only ate at one of the extra restaurants, an Italian place, and it wasn’t amazing. We had to keep in mind that certain ingredients are hard to get and store on an island, which does impact the food. All in all, there’s no trouble finding delicious options, though!
We abstain from drinking alcohol and I still loved the drink selections! I would order virgin mint mojitos, daiquiris, etc. throughout the day, even bringing Whit with me while he was on a break from Kid’s Club. I’m sure the bartenders were teasing us a bit, but it never felt uncomfortable ordering a virgin drink!
bahamas water equipment
The resort has paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling gear, sunfish boats, etc. available to guests to reserve and use free of charge. We had a great time taking kayaks out and exploring the crystal-clear Bahamas water and beautiful fish around us, but Ben was disappointed that the weather never permitted a boating lesson with their staff. Still, I think they are awesome options!
Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach also offers a gym, beach volleyball, basketball court, archery stations (surprisingly fun), daily group competitions with prizes, nightly dance parties, etc. Seriously, there is SO. MUCH. TO DO!
Not only was Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach my favorite of three Bahamas locations, I think this may have been my favorite vacation to date! The staff were incredibly personable and kind, the rooms were luxurious, the views are spectacular….
This is what I’ll be dreaming about during winter this year.