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I just returned from an extensive stay at the Lucayan Beach Resort & Casino on Grand Bahama and had a great time at and away from the tables. My detailed report follows.

Grand Bahama is a great place for a short getaway or a long exploratory stay. Frequent shuttles from the States and well-organized tourist support facilities lead to a quick transition from the U.S. to resort life in the Bahamas and at the Lucayan.

The Lucayan Beach Resort & Casino is about ten minutes by taxi from the airport. Check-in is quick and courteous. Three stories of rooms overlook the beach area or the quiet bay. You'll find, however, that you spend very little time in your room.

The resort is located at the end of two miles of a narrow sandy beach. The beach area offers all sorts of watersports, like parasailing, jetskiing, and windsurfing. A large and active pool, bar, and snackbar overlook the beach. It's an ideal spot for sun and fun.

Another lodging possibility is the Lucayan Marina Hotel. The 142-room property is part of the Lucayan Beach Resort & Casino complex and is situated just across the bay. Complimentary ferry service is provided and guests have full privileges at the main resort.

Unlike some Caribbean properties, the Lucayan has several creative dining options. The Lucayan Room features excellent buffet dinners, which are often included in packages. The Hibiscus Brasserie offers cosmopolitan-style meals. The Casino Pizza Lounge features pizza in a casual atmosphere or they can deliver it to your room.

For a real treat, head to the Lucayan's premier restaurant, Les Oursins. This elegant dining secret features gourmet continental cuisine with a French flair. Quite simply, Les Oursins offers some of the best food and service on the island.

The Flamingo Showcase Theatre is popular with resort guests, visitors from other resorts, and locals. The acts are well-presented and make for an enjoyable evening before or after some time in the casino.

The lively casino is fun and friendly. Table games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Big Six, and the island's only Baccarat. There are lots of slot machines and they are often crowded with cruise ship visitors. The Casino Cabaret Bar is a great place to relax, while overlooking the action (nightly 2-for-1 drink specials).

The Lucayan complex is currently offering many special packages through December 12, 1992. Their popular "Stay and Play" package starts at just $123 per person at the Lucayan Beach Resort & Casino and $67 per person at the Lucayan Marina Hotel for a three-day/two-night stay. The packages include spacious accommodations, a welcome cocktail, $250 Vacation Value Voucher Booklet, a snorkeling trip, and unlimited tennis. Their packages are excellent values. Contact the Lucayan at 800/772-1227 or 305/591-2354.


One of the best reasons to stay at the Lucayan is that it's within a short walk of Port Lucaya, a new bustling marketplace for dining and shopping. Lucayan resort guests find themselves returning to Port Lucaya often during a Grand Bahama vacation.

The shopping possibilities are excellent. There are many shops filled with fine jewelry, fragrances, clothing, local wares, and souvenirs. Make sure to visit Lucaya Knits, Pusser's Company Store, Island Galleria, and Oasis. There is also a local straw market.

Port Lucaya features a variety of restaurants. British fare and friendly people are offered at Pusser's Company Pub (try the Courage beer). Creatively-prepared light meals are available at Picnics. For those who need a taste of America, Port Lucaya even has a Pizza Hut. It's a great place to head in the evening for food, folks, and fun.


Another great reason to stay at the Lucayan is that the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO) is right across the street. This legendary scuba diving center recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

UNEXSO is a great place for veteran divers and first-timers. "Having visited nearly every dive operation in the world, UNEXSO's commitment to excellence in scuba instruction is without equal," says Skin Diver magazine publisher Bill Gleason.

Their three-hour "Learn to Dive" program (currently just $79) provides the perfect introduction to diving. UNEXSO also features many world-famous excursions, including Shark Junction, Theo's Wreck, and a visit, snorkel, or dive with dolphins. The Brass Helmet, UNEXSO's restaurant and bar, is a great apres-dive spot.

UNEXSO offers packages with the Lucayan Beach Resort & Casino, starting at just $319 per person for a four-day/three-night package with five dives. The Lucayan Marina Hotel offers a similar package starting at just $197. Contact UNEXSO at 800/992-DIVE or 305/3590-0417.