Grand Bahama

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Club Fortuna Beach Resort, Freeport, Exceptionally Average

Sep 27, 1999
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Beautiful beach, private, quiet, all-inclusive

Cons:Dull and lifeless

Club Fortuna Beach is an all-inclusive beach resort near Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The resort is fairly secluded, located about 5 or 10 miles from the town. There are no other resorts of any consequence nearby, making it at once more private than many other beach vacation spots, but also more boring.

The resort is quite attractive, and when the taxis and shuttle buses show up at the registration desk, newcomers are greeted by staff members bearing glasses of punch. After checking in, your bags are taken to your room for you. The rooms are comfortable and clean with polished saltillo tile floors and a balcony looking out over either the ocean or the central garden and pool area.

The beach is the main reason to come to Club Fortuna Beach, and if that's why you're there, you won't be disappointed. Besides swimming in the clear bluish green waters and sunbathing on the sandy beach, the resort offers windsurfers and kayaks for a little fun in the surf. Waterskiing and scuba diving are available at extra cost. Outside the bounds of the resort, you can walk for quite a long way without encountering anyone (other than an occasional fellow beach walker). In one direction there is a beachside bar, maybe a half mile away from the resort. On the other side there's not much of anything.

The swimming pool is also very nice with a comfortable bar area to sit and enjoy a drink, although drinks cost extra (paid for with beads purchased from the front desk). The resort also offers mopeds or bicycles if you want to explore the island a little bit.

Meals are served buffet style for each meal and the food is plentiful. While everything was decent enough, not one dish stood out as being exceptionally creamy, exceptionally spicy, exceptionally rich, exceptionally authentic. In fact, nothing was exceptional at all, save perhaps the amazingly consistent averageness of everything. There was also nothing that I couldn't find back home in better quality. Nothing stood out as being particularly Bahamian or caribbean. Heck, the only thing I remember getting at the resort that seemed like it belonged there was the Kalik beer served at the bar.

The resort is italian owned and operated, and it caters to a mostly european clientele. The staff too seemed mostly european, not bahamian, and far less friendly or open than you would typically find in the Bahamas. The service was efficient enough, just not casual or friendly.

The remote location makes the resort inconvenient if you want to visit the clubs, restuarants, markets, casinos, or other attractions of Freeport. You'll need to take a taxi into town. Having visited Nassau only a few months earlier, I was quite disappointed by Freeport. Nassau offers FAR more (and more interesting) clubs and restaurants. The Freeport marketplace had more junk than things I consider bahamian. And Freeport generally lacks historical or cultural attractions other than the UNEXSO dive place and the opportunity to dive with dolphins. We did enjoy stopping by a perfume shop that offered locally made fragrances.

While rates at Club Fortuna Beach are generally quite high if you just book airfare and hotel accommodations, you can cut those costs down dramatically by booking a package deal through a travel agent. While sitting by the pool one afternoon, I was chatting with a guy who was happily filling my ear with stories of the great rates he was getting: only $200 a day, all-inclusive; his whole costs for a week including airfare would only be about $2,000...what a bargain! I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was paying $479 per person for 3 nights/4 days -- including airfare from Baltimore. (Of course prices vary depending on the tour operator and the time of year you go.)

Overall, this was just a relaxing quick trip for me. It was the first time I'd gone to Freeport, and now, having experienced it, I think I'll avoid it in the future. Too dull and lackluster. The town of Freeport lacks character and the Club Fortuna Beach resort was dull, sterile, and lifeless though everything they offered was of acceptably good quality. The resorts at Nassau are much livelier, larger, more exciting, the town is more vibrant and alive, and the opportunities more varied and exciting. Paradise Island and Cable Beach are also far nicer beaches --- but I'll save that for another trip report.

Recommend this product? Yes

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