I couldn’t have imagined back in 2019, as a member of Brides Club planning my own Jewish wedding, that one day I would be a part of the incredible team here at Smashing the Glass. As luck would have it, I joined the team back in 2020, and these last three years as a Features Writer have been such a blast. This July, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to take part in the Kosher Fam weekend, sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas with other amazing Jewish influencers and to see what it was like to spend a proper Shabbat in the Caribbean.
The First Kosher Restaurant in the Caribbean
What makes a stay at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar so unique is that it boasts the first 100% certified kosher restaurant in all of the Caribbean as well as a fully kosher food truck and other kosher options throughout the resort. Cinko, their Asian Latino fusion inspired restaurant, is not only kosher, but each dish is so unique and delicious that you could have a new item on the menu for every meal in a week and still not run out of tasty options to try. One evening for dinner, I ordered the Korean beef kimchi tacos, the salmon ceviche, and for my main course a stunning red snapper in an aji amarillo and coconut Thai sauce with succulent bites of yuca.
Shabbat Accommodations at a 5 Star Hotel
Whenever I’ve traveled and need to account for Shabbat or kosher meals, it’s usually whatever pre-packaged options I have on hand. I’ve never seen the luxury of a 5-star hotel take into consideration its kosher guests with such preparation and care. Cinko closes its doors to general hotel guests every Friday night through Saturday unless you make special reservations for Shabbat dinner and takeaway lunch, securing your kosher meals ahead of time.
From Cinko’s candle lighting setup and hand washing station, to the beautiful Shabbat table with challah and wine the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar thinks of everything in making sure all you need is accounted for and you can just enjoy the beautiful Shabbat feast that’s been pre-prepared. Shabbat lunch is just as thoughtful with takeaway boxes filled with scrumptious food, and your own personal challah roll and grape juice for kiddush. The local Chabad Rabbi also has wonderful resources online and does his best to gather a minyan for Shabbat every week.
Breakfast and Lunch at the Kosher Food Truck
Located just steps from the crystal blue beach is Knosh, a kosher dairy food truck with breakfast and lunch options for everyone. From flatbread pizzas, to the classic lox and cream cheese on a bagel. There are also pre-packaged options at the hotel’s French themed cafe Madeline if you’re looking for something to take with you to lounge by the pool.
Photo by Naomi Nachman
Amenities and Fun for the Whole Family
With 7 swimming pools, 4 hot tubs, a huge water park, spa, golf course, tennis courts, fitness center, spa, water sports, a wildlife sanctuary, and a casino, there’s never a shortage of activities to do. I spent a lot of my time at the Elixir pool, one of the hotel’s adult only pools, hanging in the cabanas and enjoying some fresh fruit brought to us from Cinko.
One afternoon I took a walk to the water park and went on some of the most fantastic slides, the lazy river and even splashed around in the wave pool. I felt like a kid again. The best afternoon was unwinding at the gorgeous spa. I got a standard Swedish massage and felt like royalty walking through the gorgeous relaxation room, saunas, and really leaned into relaxation. Something I wish I had thought to do after my wedding day.
The Destination Wedding of My Dreams
When I got married, a destination wedding didn’t even cross my mind. With many family members keeping strict kosher, I didn’t want to put myself in a position where only half of my guests felt taken care of and could enjoy all my wedding had to offer. However, after seeing how easy the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar makes it, I wish I could do my whole wedding over again.
From 5 to 5,000 guests, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is no stranger to beautiful wedding affairs of any size complete with kosher catering from Cinko and indoor and outdoor spaces to really customize the look and feel of whatever kind of wedding you’re hoping to have. Want to really add an extra special touch? You can even rent some of the flamingo flock they have on site to take part in your special day.
A Fantastic Flock for Your Special Day
Your guests can enjoy a Flamingo Parade through the hotel property every day by the Flamingo Cay, but why not deliver something they’ll never forget? The Flamingos at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar are friendly and really great around people. You can hire them for a meet and greet at your cocktail hour, or even have them walk you down the aisle! Talk about pretty in pink! I got to experience a meet and greet with the flock during my visit and it was such an unforgettable moment. I loved every second and will really miss my new feathery friends.
Kosher Paradise Found!
I feel so lucky to have been a guest at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar’s first Kosher Fam Press Trip. I didn’t know kosher accommodations could be so luxurious and also just thoughtful and considerate. Living in the secular world, you don’t meet a lot of people outside of the Jewish community who understand kashrut needs and have the answers to many questions one would have about keeping Shabbat abroad. The staff at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar takes the thinking out of all of that and really just leaves you to relax and enjoy everything it has to offer! I spent my last morning enjoying a coffee on my balcony, taking a walk along the beautiful beach, and really just enjoying the tranquility of such a stunning resort.