Finding the Beach Moment in Nassau

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Above: Cable Beach (All photos by CJ)

By Alexander Britell

NASSAU — It was the same time each night.

The waves would slow, and the sky would turn bright orange to the west. The beach, lively during the afternoon, would fall to a whisper. A large cloud would stick around to chaperone.

And then the door would slide open and everything looked like a painting, one that would make Winslow Homer book a room.

This is the primary reason we all come to the tropics: for that light, for the palm trees, for the colour of the water at twilight.

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We were at Breezes in Nassau, a mainstay of the Caribbean hospitality industry for decades, long Nassau’s most famous all-inclusive property and one that recently underwent an extensive renovation project.

It’s a large hotel set on Nassau’s most famous strip of sand, Cable Beach.

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Our spacious room was perched high above that sand, meaning that every night we could enjoy that moment in time and gaze out at the beauty of the beach below.

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And it truly is beautiful — Nassau is so close to the US, so easy to reach, so well-known that many often forget just how spectacular its beaches are — pure, soft white sand and classic, calm Bahamian turquoise water.

And at this hotel, it’s all about the beach.

Sure there’s a spa and a large pool and thumping music, but the idea is to grab your rum punch or Goombay Smash and head right for the sand.

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Above: the beach at Breezes

Breezes isn’t a luxury property, but it’s a gateway: to simple, old-fashioned tropical fun, to a perfect beach, to a nearby corner of Nassau worth exploring.

The latter was a focal point — mornings on Cable Beach, a snack at Breezes’ very good pool barbecue, a return to the beach and then an afternoon excursion: the Nirvana Beach Bar, a bite at Compass Point.

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Above: the beach snack bar, home to tasty conch fritters, hot dogs and burgers

But each night, we’d return to the balcony and look out at the view, consistently crisp and brilliant, but somehow a bit original, too.

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It was a moment that felt surreal.

But that’s the measure of a great vacation — finding that moment, that restaurant, that beach where reality, even for a second, takes a break, too.

— CJ