This was our first visit to Bimini. Since I found very little information regarding the island, I thought I would post my trip report, hoping to help others. First we are empty nesters, in our mid-sixties, and love to travel. How this trip came about: My husband is an avid golfer, and his ticket was drawn at a golf tournament, and he won a three night stay at the Hilton on Bimini. Included were 1) seaplane transportation from Miami to Bimini, 2) Sapona Shipwreck excursion, 3) couples spa treatment, 4) dinner for two at Luna Beach, and 5) personal golf cart during stay. Since we had never been there, we decided to stay one additional night at our expense, since most of the first and last days were for travel.
We flew American to Miami, ate a quick lunch at airport, and then grabbed a cab to the Miami Seaplane Base which is about 16 minutes away. The cab driver was not familiar with this location but thank goodness for GPS. There is some construction going on in the area, so the entrance to the Seaplane terminal is "temporary", and a little hard to locate, so keep your eyes open for signs. We flew Tropic Air to Bimini (north side). I highly recommend this short 35 minute flight and a lot of fun. The seaplane terminal was comfortable, but they did not have a grill with food (a previous poster said they did). We were offered coffee and water.
Once we landed at the seaplane port at 4:30 PM at Resorts World/Fisherman's Village Marina, the Hilton shuttle bus was there waiting. Customs at the small port was quick and easy. The Hilton is a nice facility, rooms were nice, and bathrooms were nice. You have a small refrigerator, coffeemaker, and safe. There is a $25 daily resort fee. We arrived on Tuesday, and only two restaurants were open: Hemingways in the casino and the Sushi bar in the lobby. We are not sushi fans. After we checked in and unpacked some, we walked a mile to the south to see what was around us. We realize you really need that golf cart, and knew we would get ours the next day. Nothing was open in the way of restaurants during our walk. We did go into a small little grocery store, but it was so hot in there, we could not stay very long. After we got back to the Hilton, we went to the Casino bar and had a couple of Sands beers. We paid for two beers each and the bartender gave us a free one to carry around the casino. Bartender was fun and we enjoyed talking to him. He remembered us each night we walked by, and called out "Texas" each time he saw us. We decided to eat dinner there at the bar and it was fine. I had fish tacos and I think my hubby had a hamburger. I personally do not remember anyone smoking there at all (as a previous poster mentioned). The bar had three other couples there, and the restaurant got busy as the evening went on. We walked around the casino a little, and quickly lost $40. It's a very small casino, but clean and we actually enjoyed it.
The next morning we decided to hang out at a pool. There was only one pool towel in our hotel room, so we took one of the bath towels with us also. I asked the front desk where we could get another pool towel, and she bluntly said they didn't keep them at the front desk! I said I am aware of that, but no pools have any. She said she would call someone, but she wasn't much help. We left a note and $2 on the bed for the housekeeper asking for two pool towels. After that, we had two clean pool towels everyday! There was no one at either hotel pool, so we walked towards the Infinity Pool next to the beach in the Villa area. The guard at the guard gate said it was private for villa renters only. However, after we visited with him awhile, he told us a back way to get there. The pool was lovely, and had a great ocean view. We were the only ones there. We went back to our room after a couple of hours, got cleaned up, and decided to get our golf cart.
The Concierge told us to ride the Hilton shuttle bus to Fisherman's Village and they would get our golf cart. After we got there, we were informed that the golf cart we would be provided could not leave the Resorts World property! Don't know why we would even need one, because you can take the shuttle bus anywhere on the property free. Husband was not happy, but didn't want to make a big deal about it. We decided to rent a cart from Elite Golf Carts (nearby) for one day. We wanted to see the rest of the island and it was going to be the only way we could. It was $90 plus $10 for fuel charge. We didn't want to shop around for a better deal.....we were there.....and hot......
Getting a golf cart is the only way to see all the island and it was fun. We drove all over. We saw that there are several restaurants, but many do not open until Thursdays or Fridays. We saw a lot of people at Capt. Bob's eating lunch, so we stopped there. The waitress seated us, and then basically forgot about us for about 15-20 minutes. Couldn't even get her attention. Finally she came over and admitted she forgot about us! There wasn't even 8 people in there by then! We ordered and asked for our drinks early, as it was quite warm in there. Well, we had to ask again for our drinks, as she forgot! The refrigerator was in a hallway that we could see from our table, and when she opens it, the door comes off its hinges and they have to lift the door back up and get it back on hinges. Then the cook comes out to the hallway, opens a cooler door, takes out a container, takes off the lid, smells it, and then puts in back inside. By this time we are laughing and wondering what we got ourselves into. The cook hasn't started on our meals yet, as she can only cook one thing at a time. There was a table of four that ordered some breakfast items, and each of their meals came out five minutes apart! They ate and left, and we were the only ones in there. Waited another 15 minutes for my shrimp po-boy sandwich, and my husband's sandwich. It was decent; but just watching everyone was good entertainment. Don't think I would recommend.
Next door to Capt. Bobs, is a liquor store. They sold us Kalik beer 3 for $6, which we thought was good, because beer was $6-$7 each at the hotel. Then we drove around, went to the "end" of the north island. The water is absolutely gorgeous. We stopped and just took in the view. We wanted to check out both Big John's and Big Game Club, and see which one we wanted to do for dinner that night. Big Game Club had a big menu, but we felt like Big John's was a little cleaner. We decided on Big John's for later that evening. It started raining a little, but nothing bad. We went to Roberts Grocery to check it out and maybe get something for breakfast and some soft drinks. It was the better of the two grocery stores we saw. Picked up a couple of muffins and some Cokes for our hotel refrigerator. They told us that the supply ship comes in on Thursdays, so Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there is not much to choose from. Went back to hotel to drop off our purchases, and decided to drive up to Luna Beach, since our dinner there was for Friday night. We wanted to check it out. Sat at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks. My husbands Bahama Mama was better than my Pina Colada, $12 each. The view of the ocean was fantastic! Restaurant was fairly busy (late lunches) and the bar was also.
Went back to Hilton and cleaned up for dinner. Decided to check out the top floor pool and just see if anyone showed up. Surprised that they were a handful of people and the bar was even open. We drove to Big John's and really enjoyed it. Loved the atmosphere, location on the water, service was good, food was good. We saw many sting-rays in the water next to the restaurant. It was an enjoyable evening. Manager (owner?) came out and showed me the special of the night, Hog Fish. Next table ordered and said it was great! However I didn't want to mess with the bones, so I ordered blackened grouper. Hubby is not a big fan of seafood, so the spaghetti was recommended to him by manager, and hubby said it was great! The only problem with our meals is all the flies!! The waitress brings out a can of Sterno with hot sauce around it, which helps somewhat, but still doesn't prevent the flies from dive-bombing your meal. Just be prepared to swat away flies with each meal.
The next day we had our snorkel boat excursion. We dropped off our golf cart, and the Bimini Underseas place was next door. They put us on a small boat with another couple that were going to SNUBA. I didn't think much of it at the time, but the boat wasn't anything like I had seen on the advertisement for the Sapona Shipwreck Excursion. We stopped at a reef some place southwest of the island. The other couple tried their hand at SNUBA with the guide, my hubby did a little snorkeling, but I wanted to wait and snorkel at the Sapona, which I figured was the next stop. The sea was a little rough. My hubby got back onboard after some time in ocean, said he saw some fish, but wasn't feeling well (he can get seasick, even though he took medication). The other couple got onboard, and the man didn't feel so well himself. The guide asked if we were ready to go to other site, but I felt so bad for the men, and hated for them to have to put up with more rough sailing, so I said we could go back I guess. So we never made it to the shipwreck.....if that even was our next spot. ??
Hubby and I went to the pool at the marina, and it was very nice. Clean, but the bar was not open. We enjoyed our time there. Could see all the nice yachts docked. Then we cleaned up to have a late lunch at Luna Beach. Had a fish sandwich, do not recall what hubby had. Nice servings; we really like this place. Lots of young people, maybe college age, on the beach.....several having too many drinks. Entertainment for us.
Hotel is getting more crowded. Casino also. Long lines in lobby with people checking in.
Friday (last full day), we decided to eat the buffet breakfast at the Hilton. It's $24 a head, $30 after tax and automatic tip. It was good however. We had our couple's massage at noon and it was great; especially for free. Yes, we tipped them. Spa area was small, but nice and clean. We went back to the marina pool, and the pool bar was open, and there were lots more people there. People were asking where we got our pool towels, and I explained that our hotel maid left them for us each day. We walked around the marina. Saw a couple of locals gutting freshly caught fish, and throwing scraps into the water. Five bull sharks were swimming around and loved the scraps. Fun to watch! Back at the hotel, the lobby elevator was down. There is another bank of elevators further down, so it wasn't a problem.....even though the hotel was getting busier. That evening was our complimentary dinner at Luna Beach. Lovely setting, white tablecloths on tables now. Hubby had steak and I had fish. First I ordered conch fritters, as I wanted to try them. They were okay. Dinner was great however. I grabbed an extra cloth napkin and covered my plate while eating. Funny that the flies love the fish entrees but steak not so much!
Last morning we had the breakfast buffet. After we checked out, we hung out on the second floor above the lobby, read our books, printed our boarding passes. Then the shuttle took us to the seaplane base around 1:20. As we were flying back to Miami, the sky over Miami was getting really dark and storms were on their way. We landed and grabbed Uber to the airport before it started raining hard. Our flight home was two hours late, due to bad weather.
Even though we had a good time enjoying a place we had never been, I will say we will never go back. To the poster that is considering a wedding there......hmmmm....if it were me, I wouldn't do it. There are much better places for weddings. The beaches and ocean are the best. Someone said to watch for mosquitoes. We never saw any, but by Friday we had a lot of itchy bites on our legs! And still today, I'm finding more bites! Geez.....take insect repellent; wish we had. Anyone with questions, fire away.......