Editor's Note: This property as formerly Radisson Cable Beach.
Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
by Jose Kevo
November 5, 2001
Other walking vendors sell all kinds of hand-crafted items, weed, and tourist junk...or, the "Perfect 10" look for those looking to get a Bo Derek braid job. The jewellery items, made from broken conch and other shells, come in a large assortment of styles, necklaces/bracelets/earrings/etc. and are not only dirt cheap but durable as we've still got some 5+-years later. Actually, the long shards of shell will break off before the stringing ever does.
Other than George, my favorite vendor is a dread-locked guy who pulls a surfboard in ankle-deep water along the coast with conch shells and other marine life for sale including some of the largest starfish and sea urchins I've ever seen in my life! Items are priced at $10 each, but he's given me a deal of three for $25.
Inside the Radisson on a lower hallway are the hotel's galleries and shops with some interesting finds that are definitely more upscale and pricey as you'd expect from their levels of clientele. Aside from a lot of clothing, they've some really nice forms of local art that's obviously original works and not mass-produced to look that way. If you've still time and looking for the good buys, head across from the Hotel to the "can't miss" typical Caribbean market. You'll basically find what you expect...including aggressive vendors applying pressure in desperation to make a sale. (If "only looking" would ever be acceptable in these places!)
Clearing customs when leaving the country is somewhat interesting...like "I've only been here for the day" isn't enough to get their attention. They've always checked my/our bags though they never really look and I know there was once I was over the legal liquor export level. I also question about the legalities of the shells and such? Took a chapter from one of my Bermudan friend's travels back to her homelands and this advice - 'Any time you don't want them looking, wrap the stuff inside your wet beach clothes, towels, socks and dirty underwear!' It worked for her and it worked for me...including when reentering the country and customs check again at JFK.
From journal Working the "Day Shift" on Cable Beach
Water activities include wave runners, rides on water wienees, parasailing, snorkeling or fishing runs and glass-bottomed boat rides. As you might expect, prices vary based on the rep you're dealing with and you're willingness to play the bargaining game. Sales pitches I heard included 30-minute wave runner rentals for $30 up to $125 larger-scale boating trips which also included lunch and drinks.
On the trip when I went with four other friends, three of us decided to try parasailing and we got a "group rate discount" of $50 each for the 15-minute or so ride. (Actually, I couldn't tell you how long we stayed up, but I wish it never would have ended!) You're shuttled from the beach to a floating dock somewhere out in the bay where you harness up and take off. For this, my first and only attempt at trying the sport, I can't imagine a better place to have done it than in the Bahamas! The beautiful shallow turquoise waters and random white sand bars were beyond description...kind of like that Bahamas Tourism TV commercial where the water plane lands out in the middle of no where and all the bikini-clad honies are just waiting...unfortunately, of which I found/saw none this adventure.
This is/was an experience I'm not sure you could put a $-value on no matter what they're asking...cause it'll be worth more! And if there's such thing as advice from a first/one-timer, try to relax in the harness or the muscle tenseness from soaring like a bird will net soreness later. Your mouth will also likely be wide open, but don't gasp for air. There's something about the thick salty air coupled with the experience and constrictiveness of your confines that can all but take your breath away.
Calmy back at the beach, snorkeling is readily available though you're really not going to see a lot close by. Unless you plan on taking one of the larger excursions which takes you further out to deeper waters, leave the flippers at home. You can walk forever in the shallow waters needing nothing more than your mask and tube. Just be aware that all of that "bent over" exposure to your back can get you roasted fairly quickly.
AS A PRECAUTION - Especially if traveling alone, never take an excursion or venture too far on land or water and leave your things "unguarded" on the beach. There's a lot of foot traffic...and it's not like this place owes you any security or duty of monitoring your things since you're NOT an offcial guest.
I was somewhat confused but with beach bag thrown over my shoulder, I was greeted like any other guest when entering the lobby and from there made my way through the main floor complex to the outer courtyard with terraced gardens, multi-swimming pools, outdoor bars/cafes, and a pristine strip of beach that obviously prompted my lack of need to ever look any further!
The spoof of acting like a guest was not necessary with the Bahamian staff treating me/us like everyone else with no questions asked. Their hospitality was most gracious and their generous servings of food and drink readily came whether beach or poolside or when making a conscious effort to head for the bar and grill. They usually, too refused to accept pay...likely assuming we were more "all-inclusive" guests who'd removed our tacky wrist bands which leave the white ring from lack of sun exposure. Let's just say they were generously tipped.
The beach has what you'd expect from a resort-type facility - towel service, plenty of lounge chairs, thatched-palm umbrellas for shady refuge, and a host of eager locals offering goods and services discussed in other activity and shopping entries. There's also a poolside cabana with locker rooms great for showering and washing off the salt and sand before heading back to the airport.
Beach waters are shallow allowing you to walk/snorkel well beyond the roped-off beach area without any problem. To the right of the facility are other large resorts you can pass through; which also seemed to have more of a Spring Break crowd/atmosphere going than the upscale and laid back ambiance of the Radisson.
To the left of here was what I considered the best bonus...like spending the day here wasn't already enough! During my last visit here, the Radisson was still the last hotel on the strip. Walking to the left along the sugary sands was certainly more "authentic" with the natural vegetations and walls sealing off back yards of beach villas. For those looking to get away and enjoy a private moment, this is definitely worth the effort of getting up from your chair with the walk surpassed only by the vistas back out across the sea.
by Jim Rosenberg
January 6, 2005
From journal Breezes Bahamas: No-Hassle, Mid-Range Escape
January 23, 2007
From journal Weekend in the Bahamas