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New Providence and Paradise Islands Hotels

British Colonial Hilton Nassau

  • 1 Bay St. Map It
  • $$$
  • Grande Dame

Pros

  • Right on Bay Street
  • Quiet but trendy beach and pool area
  • Centrally located

Cons

  • Busy with local meetings and events
  • Man-made beach
  • Hard to access at peak traffic times

Updated 07/12/2013

Fodor's Review

This landmark hotel is the social heart of Nassau, the setting for political meetings and the city's most important events. Guest rooms boast a sophisticated decor and offer unmatched views of the harbor or of old Nassau. The first Colonial Hotel, built by Standard Oil cofounder Henry Flagler in 1899, attracted socialites, royals, and industrialists at the turn of the 20th century and during the boom years of Prohibition. That building was destroyed by fire in 1921, and

the present Mediterranean-style British Colonial—an exact replica—opened a year later, featuring a lustrous saffron facade, gleaming marble floors, and soaring arched ceilings. Watch for brides descending the grand staircase in the lobby on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

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Hotel Information

Address:

1 Bay St., Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas

Map It

Phone:

242-322–3301

Hotel Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • 288 rooms, 23 suites
  • No meals

Updated 07/12/2013

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By mjw378

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Nov 30, 2006

Great Hotel - don't believe the nay-sayers!

We absolutely LOVED our stay at this hotel! I proposed to my fiancee at a nearby beach on Thanksgiving Day 2006 and the hotel delivered Dom Perignon to our room on schedule, even providing us with some lovely chocolate-covered strawberries for no additional cost. At check in, they also upgraded us to an ocean view room with a king size bed for no extra cost. Although the rooms are comparably-sized to those in Britain (on the smaller side), the

bathrooms were spacious and very clean. The grounds were very well-kept and the pool, beach, and food were excellent. I don't understand why some people rip harshly on this hotel. They must be snobby Americans who expect everything for practically nothing. No, it's not the Atlantis. Don't stay at the Hilton if you want Paradise or a resort. But if you want to stay at a very nice, safe, centrally-located hotel with all of the amenities for which one could ask for a nominal price, then stay at the British Colonial Hilton.

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By Lester

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  • Value

Feb 25, 2006

Hilton is OUT TOO LUNCH

Sorry we decided too stay and more so dine here. The hotel was devoid of management and service. The restaurant was truly a experience in horror. Do yourself a favor and don't spend your hard earned money here.

By Joe

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  • Value

Jun 2, 2005

Great Location, Great Attitude

Stayed here based on Fodors recommendation and I'm glad we did. The hotel is centrally located next to the wharf in Nassau. its a blast watching the cruise ships come in and out of the harbor during the day. The hotel looks great, has clean rooms, and a very very friendly staff. We were upgraded to an ocean view room and had a wonderful time. We would recommend it without hesitation. However, if its the beach you want, this may not be the place

for you. It is small and faces the harbor, not on the ocean. Although the water was clean, there is a suspicious looking sewer pipe near the property that poured out near the beach.

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By Terry

  • Service

  • Food

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Feb 9, 2005

Great Priceline value

I got this hotel from a $100 a night (in February!) bid on Priceline. Although they won't give you an ocean view at this price, you get great value. Beware the $3.50/person/night energy charge and $3/person/night extra 'service charge' though

By Karen

  • Service

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Jan 1, 2005

Atmosphere & Accessibility

Visited the week after Christmas with my 12 year old neice. Hotel and grounds are well maintained and beautifully appointed. Was pleased that my request for accesible ground floor room was honored (as I am handicapped and on crutches). Pool and beach are lovely. Was very windy and therefore since pool and beach have northern setting it was not comfortable to sit out because of wind. Too bad southern exposure for pool couldn't be worked out. Signing

towels in and out was burdensome. Food was delicious. We paid an upcharge for the buffet breakfast and enjoyed a hearty breakfast in a lovely atmosphere every morning. Was unhappy to see that I had been billed for the daily breakfast and had to request that the bill be revised. Had problem with the room key to pthe point that I finally requested different room. My request for new room was immediately addressed and we were given new room. New room was much better then first room even though it was obvious rooms were supposed to have been identical. Coffee maker in room was bonus. Best coffee on the island was the coffee in the room. Front desk people were very helpful. With the exception of one concierge in particular the concierge staff was not helpful to the point that I am thinking about asking for concierge service charge credited back to me in some form. On site Majestic Tours spokeswoman "C.J" was exceptional. C.J. was the most pleasant as well as helpful person we met at the hotel. Hotels location is terrific for accessibility to town.

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By Jack

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Jun 25, 2004

Shaken & Stirred

Had a great time at the British Colonial Hilton... The James Bond Hotel. The elegance of the property had a 007 feel to it. It's a great place if you want to catch some local color on your vacation. Local staw market is right nearby. Didn't really eat there. We ate out most of the time... to catch some island cuisine. Beach is good for just laying out and catching some rays. Take a boat and hit some of the nearby cays for some Robinson Crusoe action.

It's also a good launch point for scuba diving and snorkeling excursions. All the historic points of interest are within a short walk when your at the British Colonial.

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By Jim

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Apr 27, 2004

central localle

easy access to cable beach or paridise isle on the jitney (for $1). Great downtown location for checking out the local scene and restaurants. Great staff and fun hotel.

By Laurie

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  • Value

Apr 11, 2004

If you like a little grit in your vacation

I stayed at the BCH in November of 2003, and I loved it. I saw some comments from people who didn't like the proximity to the port and downtown, but that's exactly what I loved about it. The hotel is a safe haven with a pleasant and accommodating staff, just at a slower pace, as it is any time you leave the NYC metro area. I liked being near the grittiness of Nassau--an early morning walk through the historical district to the Queen's Staircase

really puts you in the flavor of the town. You also get to see the Bahamians going about their daily business--kids walking home from school, businesspeople, etc. Notes of reality are visible--stray dogs and the American Embassy guarded by US military personnel with some heavy weaponry reminds you that life is not paradise. The water isn't great at this hotel--too close to the port, but I enjoy seeing the ships come and go. Not so many of people who get off them--too many are embarrassingly rude to the Bahamian people. The Palm Court lounge is a great place for when you want to stay in--good live-in entertainer. I will definitely return to Nassau and stay here.

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By Paulo

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Oct 3, 2002

average

The beach and pool were terrible. The food uninspiring. Service as all over the Bahamas was slow and not friendly. the builiding was nice.

By Kyle

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  • Value

Apr 11, 2002

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Our stay at the Nassau Hilton March 21 -24, 2002, was a mixed experience. The Good: The hotel staff was friendly and polite, which is a major plus for me. A special tip of the hat should go to the Front Desk Mgr. Our room was not ready when we arrived, which did not surprised me as we did have an early arrival (11:30 AM). She immediately got on the phone with house keeping and had them expedite the room preparation for us. The room and property

were clean. The hotel is conveniently located near to the downtown shopping district and walking distance to most major attractions. The Bad: All three night that we stayed at the Hilton house keeping left us one (1) shower towel in the room. Even after I left notes to the house keeping staff, I still had to chase down the people and request additional towels. Getting a drink at the on site bar was a challenge. The serving staff is on "Island Time". The Ugly: The "Ocean View" is a borderline fraudulent claim. You might see the ocean from the roof, but from our room on the 4th floor, the view is of the port and cruise ships . The "Beach" was nice to sit on and watch the sun go down, but was good for little else. I would never swim in a "Port". Don't let the picture on the net fool you. If you are coming to the Hilton for the beach look elsewhere.

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By Michael

  • Service

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  • Value

Nov 21, 2001

Great for Business

This is a great luxury hotel, but it's not a vacation spot. Come here if you're doing business or like the person above, need to be pampered for sure. (Only the Ocean Club can top it here, although the British Colonial is certainly impersonal in comparison). A walk around the lobby will tell you all you eed to know: polished, serious. But again, not for honeymooners, not for people looking for relaxing Bahamas.

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