If there is a perfect place for a beach bar like the Tiki Bikini Hut, the Nassau waterfront is it.
Located on a small but serviceable beachfront at the fringe of Junkanoo Beach, the Tiki Bikini Hut is a kind of a beach bar on steroids. It’s a sprawling, busy place with 40 plus employees. Its primary targets are the passengers getting off the ships at the Nassau cruise terminal, an easy 15-20-minute walk away.
It knows its customers and pulls out all the stops to cater to them. The Tiki Bikini Hut offers pretty much everything you would imagine in a beach bar (especially if you’ve never actually been to one) and more. From a kid-friendly menu and free Wi-Fi, to dance and hula-hoop contests, to bottle service and hookahs (?). They even sell packages that include beach chairs, umbrellas and drinks, etc.
It does all this in a surprisingly efficient and cheery manner. Staff are friendly and seem to take genuine pride in making their customers happy. The Brit expression ‘cheap and cheerful’ comes to mind, in the best possible way. There is plenty of seating, at the bar, outside and under various awnings and palapas. It’s also a kind of a tourist hub, with taxis, tour operators, vendors and the like hanging around.
Don’t expect a chilled “sun and the sand and a drink in my hand” Kenny Chesney-like vibe here (Editor’s note: there are a few decent local style bars a short walk further along the beach). But if you want easy access to a no hassle, family-friendly, affordable all-in-one beach bar “experience” with decent, clean washrooms, you could do much worse.
What will you have?
Beer: Kalik and Kalik Light are the cheapest and, therefore, most popular on offer. Although they do carry a few other bottled brands such as Corona and Red Stripe.
Rum/Cocktails: This is the type of place that offers an all-you-can-drink special for a set price. So judge the quality and alcohol content of the cocktails accordingly. Though they do offer the intriguingly titled trio of Slap Me, Stop Me and Kick My Ass. Rum selection is Bahamian basic – Bacardi and Ricardo based. Nothing to write home about.
Food: It’s basically a big Bahamian barbecue with local dishes like grilled fish, jerk chicken, pork and fried conch supported by hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese and the like. As with most Bahamian cooking, dishes are simple, well prepared and big.
Remember that most visitors come off the cruise ships. In Nassau that could mean as many as five or six big boats in port on any given day. And that means this place can get crazy busy, especially at lunch time.
I have to be honest; I prefer my beach bars to be of the smaller, quieter, laid back variety. The Tiki Bikini Hut does not fit this mold and doesn’t try to. It happily goes after its target without any prejudice – singles, groups of all ages and families are all welcome. And judging by Trip Advisor, etc., it’s obviously on the mark.