Romance in the Bahamas

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Romance in the Bahamas
The Bahamas will tug at your heartstrings. Whether you’re after a romantic sunset stroll on the beach, a candlelit dinner at an exclusive restaurant, or the glitz and glam of some of the world’s biggest casinos, the Bahamas has you covered.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board
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    Gamble for Love and Money
    Tens of thousands of gamers come to the Bahamas every year to test their luck and their mettle at some of the world’s most lavish casinos. The most famous of these is Atlantis, a fairytale of glittering game stations. The Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino attracts lovebirds with a number of accessible games and tables, not to mention slots that service every denomination of coin and currency. The Wyndham is also home to the Bahamas’ main sports book room. Other big casinos include Bahamia in Freeport and Isle of Capri in Lucaya. Both feature roulette, baccarat, craps, and more.
    Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board
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    Spots for Sunseekers
    Whether you’re an early bird or a sundowner, the Bahamian sun will call you and your loved one. If you’re after sunset scenes, look no further than Tahiti Beach on Elbow Cay in Abacos. Accessible only by walking or riding a bike from Hope Town, the white sands here are lesser known, which means they're all yours come evening. Stocking Island in the Exumas is a wonderful place to take in the rising sun. It's also one of the best places in the Bahamas to snorkel and dive, so pack your underwater camera for a sunrise dip unlike any you’ve experienced. Stella Maris Beach is often overlooked due to its coarse sand and rocky shoreline, but at sunset, these imperfections become blessings for photos.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Couples-Only Spas
    A number of Bahamian resorts offer couples-only spa packages designed to wash away your worries. The spa at the One and Only Ocean Club is influenced by Bali and features eight beautifully-appointed treatment rooms set against a backdrop of one of the most picturesque beaches in the Bahamas. The Sandals Royal Bahamian resort can arrange a ferry ride to a private island where a thatched hut with ocean views and a world-class masseuse is waiting for you. The Mandara Spa at Atlantis is one of the most over-the-top spas in the world, and the couple’s suite offers a number of luxury treatments for whatever condition ails you. Make something up if you just want to sit in the sauna.
    Photo by Remedios Valls López/age fotostock
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    Celebrate your Love in the Bahamas
    The Bahamian wedding scene isn’t quite as commercialized as that of Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, which means that your marriage can often be a more intimate, relaxed affair. Sandals Royal Bahamian resort offers all-inclusive wedding packages for lovebirds and their families and friends for a stay at one of the most gorgeous resorts on the islands. If you’re not quite ready to tie the knot, you should at least consider popping the question when you visit the Versailles Gardens and French Cloister, a collection of blissfully quiet gardens on Paradise Island.
    Photo by Jean-Pierre Degas/age fotostock
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    Dance Date Night
    A dance class hosted by the Breezes resort will have you swinging your hips in no time. Classes are high-energy, low-pressure, and primed for a night out at Bambu, where the house music is loud and the energy is electric. Hammerheads Bar and Grill features local bands every Friday night, and the music is usually lively and inviting. The extensive cocktail menu doesn't hurt either. All of your dance experiences are a warm-up for a night out at the legendary Jeffrey Beers-designed Aura Nightclub at Atlantis, the port of call for some of the best DJs in the world.
    Photo by Sam Edwards/age fotostock
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    Couples' Horseback Riding and Sailing
    Vacationers have a few active options when visiting the Bahamas. Windsor Equestrian Centre (known locally as Happy Trails Stables) offers horseback riding excursions for novices and experienced riders to explore the picturesque Coral Harbour Beach and other sandy haunts. Each trip is limited to six riders, ensuring an intimate adventure with your loved one. Let the wind fill your lungs as you learn to sail with Fair Wind Sailing School, an upmarket outfitter that caters to couples. Become a knot master by noon, and enjoy a spectacular sunset cruise as the day wanes.
    Photo by Andrew Edwards
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    Fine Bahamian Fare
    Subsisting on conch for a week may not sound romantic. Fortunately, the Bahamas is home to a number of fine dining establishments that make fabulous use of the abundant island seafood. Chef Vincent Vitlock of the Landing Hotel on Harbour Island dazzles visitors with such Bahamian-inspired dishes as lobster with lemongrass risotto and spicy coconut lime chicken. The courtyard at Café Matisse is perhaps the most romantic venue in Nassau. Roll up your sleeves with Bahamas Food Adventures for a private cooking class that explores the history of Bahamian cuisine.
    Photo by Natalie Pecht/age fotostock
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    Sunset Champagne Cruises
    A sunset cruise on a private yacht with a secluded cay at your back and a bottle of bubbly between you and your partner may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it's not nearly as out of reach as you may think. The Barefoot Sailing Sunset Champagne Cruise can make your romantic fantasy a reality, while the Seahorse Sailing Sunset Dinner Cruise brings fine dining offshore. The Bahama Mama Sunset Dinner Cruise is geared toward the convivial couple who wants to meet other lovebirds bent on experiencing the best of the open ocean. Barefoot Sailing and Seahorse cruises depart from Nassau, and Bahama Mama sets sail from Freeport.
    Photo by Neil Emmerson/age fotostock
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    Rum Memories
    Bahamian rum is a potent tropical elixir, and there are plenty of blends for you to sample from island to island. A tour of the John Watling’s Distillery in Nassau is as much about the views as it is about the booze; the facility is housed in the beautiful Buena Vista Estate, which overlooks the harbor. The Graycliff Cigar and Rum Tour will have you rolling cigars in no time. The historic Graycliff Hotel is worth a wander in its own right; don’t forget to visit the chocolatier. You can arrange a number of private rum and wine tours from Nassau. Just keep in mind that the most authentic experiences involve getting your hands dirty.
    Photo by Fred Telegdy