Posted: 14/04/2012 in Worldwide accommodations

Hotels in Bahamas

Gift buying in The Bahamas

There are at least three reasons why The Bahamas is one of the best places in the world to buy a present for your significant other. First of all there is an absolute avalanche of quality goods at unbeatable prices here. They include china, crystal fine wines and liquors fashion clothing and accessories, collectibles, linens, luxury leather, perfumes and fragrances, fine art, crafts, expert straw work, wall hangings, watches and much more. And it doesn’t hurt that there is no sales tax in The Bahamas – the price on the tag is the price you pay.

Secondly, Nassau, Paradise Island and Cable Beach have an impressive lineup of superb stores with attentive, knowledgeable staff to serve you. Many stores offer strong after sales service.

Thirdly, there’s ease of shopping. Even you though everything you buy is probably duty free and 20 to 35 percent lower than stateside prices, there are no forms to fill out and no waiting to receive your purchases. You can take them with you right away. Many stores will deliver them to your hotel room or, indeed, to your door back home.

All of this makes Nassau, Paradise Island and Cable beach among the best places in the world to track down duty-free gifts, whether you want to spend a few dollars or a fortune.

Lots for $100 or less – It’s not difficult to find a gift for that special man or woman for under $100. Almost every store will have lots of quality items in that range. Consider a distinctively Bahamian gift such as a tropical heat from Nassau’s famous straw market (there are also markets at Cable Beach and on Paradise Island). For something different, look over the colorful Bahamian art prints at any one of dozens of little shops in the side streets, plazas and courtyards off Bay Street. If he or she is a rock and roll fan, stop in at the Hard Rock Cafe on Charlotte Street, just off Bay. Have a light lunch, see the memorabilia in the mini-museum and pick up one of the cafe’s famous pins, commemorating his or her favorite rock band.

If he’s a cigar smoker, he’ll be thrilled to receive a gift of his favorite brand, or a $100 selection of cigars from several Caribbean countries. You’ll find them at Havana Humidor, just to the left of the entrance to John Bull on Bay Street. Or you can stroll the long block up Cumberland Street from the British Colonial and find the upscale Graycliff hotel, which also includes a busy little factory that produces award-winning cigars right here in Nassau.


For her? There’s rally no end to the number of gifts under $100. Perfume is a great choice if you know your lady’s taste. A brand new scent or an old favorite will always please, and the duty-free prices make your purchase even sweeter. For example, you can pick up a 100 ml bottle of the famous Chanel No5 toilette spray (one of the most expensive fragrances you can buy in Nassau) for about $64, compared to $80 in new York, not including sales tax.  You’ll find the newest scents and all the old favorites at Solomon’s Mines, John Bull, Cartier, Chopard, The Colombian, Fendi Gucci, Pipe of Peace, and Royal Palm Trading Company, all on Bay Street. Another distinctive Bahamian gift for her would be a straw beach bag from the market or a sexy swimsuit from Mucka-Mucks in the K S Moses Building on Bay Street, located right beside the Diamonds Forever jewellery shop, another spot to hunt down bargains under $100.

Many Bahamian women have at least one item of clothing from Bahama Hand prints, a local firm that produces a distinctive line of fabrics and island designs that really are hand printed. Colourful patterns are made from drawings of shells, hibiscus, sea grape leaves, pineapples and palm fronds.  A classy writing instrument always makes a handsome gift – a constant reminder of your thoughtfulness and generosity. You can’t go wrong with a Cross pen, and they’re affordable, ranging from $20 up to $155 for the attractive Verve model at John Bull.

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