El Greco Hotel
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good Value for Nassau
"My girlfriend and I stayed for a week in El Greco. The location was perfect! Walking distance to FishFry (where we ate most evenings, the market (the only place you can get a bargain) and to the ferry to Paradise Island. It's also close to the banks to change money. There is a beach over the road, not the best, but still nice to swim in.
The best beach is on Paradise Island, but it's far to expensive to stay there or to eat there (unless you can afford it). Just take the ferry everyday ,$3 each way. Last boat leaves Paradise Island at 6:00 pm to come back to Nassau.
The hotel is nice enough, the pool is clean, the breakfast has toast, fruit, cake and yogurt. The room we stayed in was big and had a shared balcony. The carpet in the room is filthy, always keep you shoes on!
The manageress wasn't very friendly, she seemed to be ok with everyone else, but not with us. Maybe she didn't like lesbians!
We went on a trip with Stuart's Cove and swam with sharks, this was one of the most exciting things I've ever done in my life! It cost just $55 each and it was worth every penny. We did 3 stops and saw lots of beautiful fish, take a water camera!"
- Travel date: Tue 10th of July 2007
A lovely hideaway from busy downtown Nassau
"I just returned from a family vacation to the Bahamas. We spent 5 nights at the El Greco and found it to be all that other the other reviewers had promised - friendly, spacious, clean, a very good value.
Happily, the 2 bed regular room we booked wasn't available on arrival and we were upgraded to a lovely and spacious suite. Only downside was it was facing Bay Street and it took a couple of nights to get used to the noisy traffic. Our toddler enjoyed the pool every day of our visit. We appreciated starting each day around the pool with the hearty "continental" breakfast included with the room rate (cold cereals, yoguhrt, bread & rolls, coffee, milk & juice, fruit). After spending an average of $35-40 every day for breakfast in Eleuthera, this was a huge saving for us!
Terry, the manager, and her staff made us feel so very welcome. On returning to the hotel at the end of a day's adventures, we truly felt like we were coming home.
The beach across the street was clean, but the water wasn't (no surprise on a busy harbour like Nassau's.) Within an easy walking distance to the south were the Cricket Club (a great and very friendly restaurant) and the Arawak fish fry area (full of great local food options.) To the north, was the busy downtown with loads of shops and good food options.
Interesting family options for Nassau - surrey tour of downtown, Fort Charlotte, the zoo and the Pirates of Nassau museum. My husband also toured the Museum of Slavery and found it extremely interesting."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of May 2007
El Greco = good value
"Our group of 8 people took 4 rooms over 3 days and were all very pleased with the El Grecoâs value. We paid $120 per night.
The hotels best features include:
*Outstanding staff. Friendly, helpful, and dedicated to customer satisfaction.
*Sitting area in our nicely decorated, quiet hotel suite and 2 comfortable double sized beds. Our room included a small fridge; we understand our comrades didnât refrigerate as well as we did.
*100% toll free calling (from the special phone in the lobby) to the USA and Canada. Our group used this crystal clear connection extensively.
*Complimentary internet from the 2 PCs in the lobby.
*Inviting & functional pool and patio.
*Beautiful show of bougainvillea blossoms in the poolside courtyard.
*Complimentary light breakfast, poolside.
*Lovely secure outdoor semi-private patio.
*Great location in old Nassau, across from the beach and near downtown shopping, such as the Straw Market, Senior Frogs, bling centralâ¦
*It rained really hard one night and our room leaked in one spot (near the door) during the apex of the storm. When we reported this event to the front desk the next morning, they sent the maintenance staff to address the situation immediately.
The other half of our large group stayed at the Wyndham on Cable Beach where they paid $230 per night. They complained of rooms that didnât fit the bill for such a high priced joint. The El Greco offers excellent value for your hotel dollar."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of April 2007
Great Value and Friendly Service at El Greco
"I recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas over Spring Break, and my friends and I stayed at 3 different hotels over the course of the week. The El Greco hotel was the first hotel we stayed in and definitely offered the best value.
The rate was $120 a night (including taxes) and included free unlimited calls to the US, free internet access (there were two phones to call the US and two computers with high speed internet access in the lobby) and free continental breakfast. The hotel is in a great location, and is within easy walking distance of downtown and the âFish Fryâ. The location again cuts down on cost because there is no need to ever take a cab to any of the most popular attractions on the island (although you may want to take a cheap cap ride to Atlantis if you choose to visit there).
The rooms were in line with what you would expect for less than $150 a night in the Bahamas. They were a little dark due to somewhat dim lamps, but the rooms were clean and the hotel had daily maid service. The TV in each room had full cable and all rooms had air conditioning (window unit above the door). My friends and I definitely felt safe at the hotel and walking to and from downtown and the fish fry. There is always hotel staff in the lobby watching the front door and at 10 pm they lock the doors and only open them for guests (there is only one entrance to the hotel and itâs through the lobby). The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, and the hotel offers soda and water for sale in the lobby which is great since you donât have to make convenience store runs. The hotel caters to a variety of budget conscious travelers, from retirees to younger families with kids to grad students like our group. Iâm not sure if more undergraduate students stay there during high spring break season since our spring break is so much earlier than other schools. When we were there we were some of the younger clientele (late twenties) and the hotel was very quiet.
I would definitely stay at El Greco again if I was making a trip to the Bahamas on a budget. Itâs by no means a luxury hotel but if youâre looking for a functional, clean room in a great location and a hotel that throws in a few freebies like internet access, El Greco is for you!"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of March 2007
Good Deal......for Nassau
"We stayed at the El Greco for one night earlier this month. The staff are nice. The room was nothing special. The courtyard is pretty cute. The pool was too cold to use at this time of year. The breakfast everyone talks about was disappointing (juice, milk, one type of cereal, one type of yogurt, coffee and toast).
Our biggest problem was the noise. El Greco is located on a main street and trucks rumble by at all hours of the night. We also had a shared balcony and our neighbours were loud.
Nassau is stupidly expensive, so staying here made sense. If this hotel was in any other city, they wouldn't be getting the ratings they do. Stayed at Atlantis the rest of the week ($159 US per night + taxes, got a deal via travelzoo). Much nicer, the pools were awesome but a VERY corporate crowd.
Did 2 excursions: Flying Cloud Snorkelling and Stuarts' Cove snorkelling. Both highly recommended.
All in all, I don't know if we'd return to the Bahamas. What other reviewers say about Bahamian treatment of tourists is true. We really felt gouged most the time and because15% gratuity is almost always included in everything, the service sucks. Seriously. I know I sound whiney but I truly am the average tourist; I don't have incredibly high standards and have travelled in the the developing world. If I had it do it all over again I would go back to Costa Rica or try Jamaica.
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of February 2007
Very cute and friendly.
"A friend and I just happened upon El Greco after having stayed at the British Colonial two blocks away (pretty but very expensive and eager to soak you for every last dime) and a horrid place (Comfort Suites) on Paradise Island. Feeling suspicious by this time, we asked to see a room before we committed to staying there. Well, the room was cute; the pool area was pretty; the staff was friendly. We booked the room and didn't regret it one bit.
This is not a four star hotel; it's a sweet, pretty, friendly little place. The price was great (compared to other hotels in Nassau), and it felt homey. There's a nice little lobby with free Internet access (two computers for the use of guests) AND free calls to the U.S. and Canada. Anyone familiar with the normal charges for use of the "business center" at a big hotel or the hassles of using phone cards will understand how lovely those amenities were.
The bathrooms don't provide a hair dryer and a basket of miniature bottles of lotions. They provide soap and clean towels. There is no turn down service (who, I wonder, uses THAT?). But for the price difference, you could go out and buy quarts of expensive shampoo and a hair dryer of your very own and just leave them all there when you left . . . and have money left over.
Soft drinks, juices, and beer are available in a refrigerated display thing in the lobby and are very reasonably priced. Ice is available. And it was lovely to have a small balcony. We just plain enjoyed the place. Oh, and by the way, there's a great Indian restaurant one block away--the Clay Oven or the Clay Pot, I can't remember exactly, but the first word is "Clay." Yummy!"
- Travel date: Sun 18th of February 2007
"Let's start off with the good things first. The hotel staff were very nice very friendly. Good location. And now the cons....it's not that clean at all. I dont know if this happens in every room.. my room was full of mosquitos. It was really hard for me to fall asleep with all the itching and scratching. I know the rooms are inexpensive but it's better to pay a little bit more for a mosquitoless room."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of February 2007
Sweet little inn
"We wanted to experience Nassau among the locals, near the action and for a reasonable price. El Greco satisfied our desires perfectly. Its location between the Fish Fry and downtown meant that so much to see and do, from the local hangouts to the touristy stuff, was within short walking distance. Short cab rides will take you to Cable Beach or Paradise Island if lots of tourists and glitzy hotels are what you want to see .
I was a little worried about El Greco's neighborhood after reading comments that perhaps it was less than desirable, especially after dark., but my concern was unfounded. It's true that downtown does seem to evacuate at night, and my female companion and I did not go poking through too many dark alleys, but we never once felt as if we were in danger. (On the contrary, the drug peddlers seemed eager to make friends!) Frankly, there's not much to do at night off Bay Street anyway, so there's little point in straying. Walking from El Greco, the Fish Fry is a great option, where a delightful stroll will take you to delightful food, drink and people. One night we even walked as far as Atlantis, a good long hike and excellent excercise, and not a soul was out to bother us. In any case, you'd be better off to leave your paranoia at home, but not your vigilance.
El Greco is a modest, family-owned property, so don't expect mega-resort service or accommodations. Our second-floor room was spacious, clean and confortable. It featured cable TV, a small sitting room, a small bathroom with a tub, and a large shared balcony with a slim view of the harbor across Bay Street. There is a courtyard swimming pool. Freash coats of brightly-colored paint were going up while we were there.The staff was always cheerful and helpful.
We did not have to deal with excess noise, bad odors, filth, bugs or anything else you may associate with a "cheap motel." El Greco is aging, but everything was clean and fresh. On the other hand, you don't get a mint on your pillow either, and your towels won't be folded to look like cute little animals. Free long distance calls and Internet access in the lobby were nice perks. To nitpick, though both the hot water and the free continental breakfast may be available most of the time, they may not be when you want them. Minor compromises are to be expected when staying at a property such as this. A nice finishing touch: No additional fees are tacked on to the quoted room rates.
Overall, El Greco is a charming little hotel, a good value, and an excellent choice for the budget traveler who may want to see Nassau from a more local perspective."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of January 2007
"My boyfriend and I stayed at El Greco from Dec 25-31st. We enjoyed our stay very much. The property is in good condition. It reminds me of a boutique hotel in Miami. I chose El Greco because of the price ($130/night due to Christmas) and due to the location. We spent one day at Cable Beach and were happy that we decided to stay closer to the action. The beach across from the street from el greco is great except for the fact that I was informed by other locals that one of locals who was known as a "pervert" liked to follow me around and stare in order to get his jollies. That was weird but the other locals were wonderful. I loved the hair braiding lady. I believe her name was "cairo" or something like that. But other than that, i enjoyed my stay and would stay at el greco again. Hopefully next time I go to Bahamas I'll stay at Atlantis which is amazing. The only thing that disappointed me about the trip was how expensive food is! Ot course that isn't El Greco's fault. I highly recommend going to eat at Atlantis because the price of food is not any more expensive than downtown and most of the restaurants are nicer...Some of the places we ate at were: Fathoms in Atlantis, Chez Willie (nice but expensive, slow service) Senor Frogs (great!) a Greek restaurant downtown that starts with an "a", Hard Rock (awful service) ...And Sun (on the other side of the island but very charming and delicious!) and the fish fry (wonderful)"
- Travel date: Mon 1st of January 2007
Always stay here
"I travel the Caribbean for my job in sales and this is my favorite hotel even when I am on vacation. That being said it is not for everyone. It is a family owned hotel and not everything is the newest but the price is 1/3 of the other hotels and you get free internet and phone calls in the lobby. The people are extremely nice, the location is great, and the rooms are very large. This is better than any of the places on Cable Beach in quality and lot less expensive. This is palce for someone who likes to get to know the locals. If the site of black people scares you, this is probably not the right place.
There is a public beach right accross the street which is very popular with the locals. You are a short walk from downtown and where all the cruise ships come in. You can take a long walk to the Fish Fry which is an area with 20 or so local restaruants. The Hilton about a block a way does a great lunch buffett at a reasonable price (at least for the Bahamas). There is a coffee shop right across the street but it is locally owned which means the hours vary. People in the Bahamas do not have the same idea of work as Americans but that is part of what makes it so fun to ahng out with them.
Nassau is not very pretty but ask the ladies in the lobby and they will explain how the mail boats work. For a small fee, $10 - $50, you can hop on a mail boat to any of the smaller and VERY nice islands.
You have to be honest with yourself and what you want. Several people have posted this is a bad neighborhood. it si a very good neighborhood. There is an outdoor bar down the street that we call the dog bar becuase there are always stray dogs around becuase the patrons feed them. It is very popular with the locals and it is an outdoor bar so there will be 4 - 6 black guys drinking bears two buildings down. If you are the kind of person that has no problem going to the bar and sitting down with the locals you will find the cheapest beer on the island and friendly people. If the site of 5 - 6 black guys outside drinking is lotering and scares you, go to Atlantis."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of December 2006
Liked the hotel & the lifeguard (Andrew) was lovely! Bora Bora amazing!
"Hotel El Greco, Portinatx Ibiza. Was loveley, Definatley a family resort, would recommend San Antonio or Playa D'en Bossa if you want a family free holiday!
The beach was nice, the water park was good fun if you like water slides! oh and the lifeguards! they were nice too....
The food....Well, was very nice and lots of variety, beautiful views from balcony's.
The pool was a fraction too small for the amount of people at the hotel but hey there was the water park over the other side!
If you like to party, try and escape from the kids and go to Bora Bora..Amazing place, one to remember.
So overall i had a great time there and recommend definatley for a FAMILY holiday......Was not for me as i have no children!
Holly-marie Matthews, 23
- Travel date: Wed 26th of July 2006
A Pleasant Anti-Resort Alternative in Nassau
Great location (within walking distance of downtown restaurants/shopping, a short bus ride to Cable Beach or cab ride to Paradise Island), inexpensive (no hidden taxes & fees), family run hotel, generally friendly staff, quiet & cozy, public beach across the street, neat little pool in surrounding Mediterranean style courtyard, free breakfast, decent sized rooms, free internet and U.S./Canada phone calls in lobby, value, value, value.
Not for those who want luxury, some wear & tear, beach across the street is small and not as nice as Cable & Cabbage Beaches, lacking some of the "perks" of resort hotels, room decor a bit outdated, may be difficult to confirm or make reservations, no website, don't expect to make long phone calls with free phones.
My wife and I stayed at the El Greco in late March for 4 nights and had a pleasant time staying there. If you are someone who wants the resort experience, or has high standards of luxury you are bound to feel negatively about it. However, if you are on a budget and looking for a good place to stay in the Nassau area, and want to be near the happenings in town this is the place to stay.
I did a great deal of research trying to find a good place to stay in New Providence. I looked at Orange Hill, which has a great rating here, but found that it was A) far from downtown and other areas of interest, B) cab rides are not cheap and C) it still cost more than one night at the El Greco, which with taxes and fees cost me exactly $110 for a room for 2 with a King size bed. Otherwise the other less expensive hotels in the Nassau area, as many learn/know, have several hidden fees and taxes that raise the price of ones stay significantly. Secondly, as it turns out, we were in Nassau during the Spring Break period and one of the other inexpensive hotels Nassau Palms Resort, which is nearby on Bay St., looked like a meat market for American college students on a low budget. I thought it looked very sleazy and was glad I did not decide to stay there.
What makes El Greco a good place to stay for the budget traveler is the price, as I already mentioned, but also the value you get as a result. Of course if you visit the Bahamas you probably want togo to the beach. Well, right across the street is an accessible public beach (Western Esplanade) where you don't have to sneak through some hotel to enter like Cable Beach. That being said, the beach is not as well kept as Cable and Cabbage beaches, most likely because there are are no resorts attached to it. It's also somewhat narrow, but it still has a nice view into the harbor/bay and is fine for sunbathing and swimming. There are also a few volleyball nets there and places to buy food and drink.
The fact that you can walk from the El Greco to nearby restaurants (like a decent, inexpensive -- by Nassau standards -- AUTHENTIC Indian restaurant towards downtown, which I recommend if you get tired of all of the fried foods like cracked conch, grouper fingers and burgers) as well as the duty-free shopping downtown is a huge bonus. My wife and I pretty much walked each time when we were going anywhere downtown including to one of the nicest and most properly priced restaurants in town CafÃ© Matisse, although it was a bit far.
I'm from NYC, so I'm used to walking, but I also wasn't worried at all to walk at night most places in the downtown area, especially if you are walking down Bay St. The streets may get empty at night but that doesn't mean they are't safe for two people to walk together on. Just use common sense, and you should be fine. During the day you can also take the 10 bus on Bay St. for $1 (pay when you get off but first make sure you wave it down, there are few actual bus stops) to Cable Beach, which takes all of 10-15 minutes, or less than 5 minutes to Downtown . For Paradise Island/Atlantis/Cabbage Beach it's a $9 cab ride from anywhere downtown (including the El Greco).
As I said, the rooms are not exactly the most luxurious that one can find, but I don't necessarily think that some of the big so-called "luxury" resorts are that luxurious anyway. When I walked through Atlantis I thought of the big Las Vegas hotels, which in my view are somewhat overrated and rather cheesily decorated. If you are comfortable with spending huge amounts of money to spend time on a crowded compound with a lot of things for kids to do, then Atlantis will probably make more sense for you.
In terms of size, our room at the El Greco had plenty of space and an area with a coffee table and 4 chairs. I did notice some erosion on the tub drain (if that's a problem for you), but the shower water pressure was fine and the temperature hot. The decor and bedding is rather tacky, (which seems rampant in Nassau, based on what I've seen in photos) but in terms of the bed's comfort and size we had no complaints. There's no ice machine, but instead a huge cooler filled with ice for guests. Our room also had a medium sized TV with cable which was also fine.
Sure, if you stay at El Greco you won't get one of the million brightly colored wrist bands that you see people wearing around Nassau that grants you "access" to supposedly public beaches and chairs. However, we never encountered a problem going into resort hotels or beaches, other than having to cross some private property at Cable Beach, and even laid down on some chairs as well. Cabbage Beach has easier to access and find public entrances, which were also away from the crowds in front of Atlantis allowing us a more intimate, relaxing beach experience anyway.
I did experience some confusion while making reservations at El Greco, but it worked out fine in the end. The only other problem I had was I had to conduct an important interview on the phone to the U.S. with the lobby phone and the hotel kept asking me to get off of it while I was talking because they needed it, eventually threatening to charge me. As it turns out a member of the family that owns the hotel also needed to make an important call, but that was a tense situation. When they advertised "Free calls to the U.S. & Canada" I mistakenly assumed that this was from ones room. Just be advised that the phone calls to the U.S. & Canada are from public phones that use the Internet (i.e. Vonage) in the lobby, so I wouldn't plan on making any lengthy calls, despite the fact that it probably costs them nothing (other than the monthly fee for unlimited calls with phone service like Vonage). To be fair, other than that mixup the staff was quite friendly to my wife and I, and later the grandmother (I think that's who she is) who often sits in the lobby repeated said to me that I could use the phone as long as I liked whenever I saw her.
Other than those minor issues our experience there was quite positive, and we feel like we made a good choice, considering the other options in Nassau, and our budget. Since things like food on the island are overpriced, it helps to find other ways to cut costs In that regard the El Greco and its good value make it a wise choice for the budget conscious traveller who is looking for a decent place to stay in New Providence."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of April 2006