After financial difficulties impeded the opening of Baha Mar in the Bahamas, the development is finally welcoming guests. Andrew
Following more than two years of delays, the $4.2 billion Baha Mar development on Nassau Paradise Island is welcoming its first guests, after a cash injection from new investors. Two of three planned hotels are now open – Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and SLS Baha Mar – with Rosewood Baha Mar due to open this June. Together, the three resorts offer a grand total of 2,300 rooms, suites and villas, making Baha Mar one of the largest hospitality projects ever built in the Western Hemisphere. The new owner is Hong Kong-based development company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
There is an expectation that Baha Mar will help grow visitor numbers to the Bahamas. Karin Salinas, vice-president of marketing at Baha Mar, says: “Tourism in Nassau has already seen an increase with the opening of the development. Bookings from top source markets such as the UK, US, Canada, France and Germany are ahead by more than 15%. Baha Mar has partnered with the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board to generate an additional 250,000 air passenger seats by the close of 2018.”
Baha Mar commissioned the Wade Brothers, who have worked on Nike campaigns, to photograph and direct its first global advertising and marketing campaign, Life Spectacular, filmed around the resort and on Cable Beach.
Despite the resort’s size, Salinas says there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. She says: “The feel at Baha Mar is intimate and the spaces are carefully curated to create customised experiences that are personalised and real.”
It is designed to target clients who are familiar with the Bahamas as well as those who may not have considered the destination recently. “We’re looking to appeal to couples, families and multi-generational groups,” says Salinas. “The choice of accommodation and experiences that we offer guests allows us to cater to all types of travellers.”
Baha Mar comprises three hotel brands: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has 1,800 rooms and 230 suites. SLS Baha Mar has 299 rooms including 109 suites and is the first SLS property in the Caribbean. Rosewood Baha Mar has 185 ocean-view rooms and suites, as well as five butler-service beachfront villas. Each property is interconnected by Baha Mar’s guest experiences, as well as amenities such as the Baha Mar Casino, Royal Blue Golf Club and an Espa spa.
Guest can do all this and more:
- Relax in and around seven tropical pools.
- Eat and drink in more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, with choices ranging from laid-back to high-end, such as:
- El Jefe – Mexican favourites
- Katsuya by Starck – Japanese classics
- The Swimming Pig – an all-day, all-night eatery
- Cleo – Mediterranean-inspired cuisine
- Fi Lia – artisanal Italian food.
- Shop in more than 30luxury retail outlets, including Tiffany & Co, Rolex and Bulgari.
- View more than 2,500 pieces of Bahamian art in The Current art
gallery, from local artists who reflect a love for the region and learn new skills such as figure drawing, ceramics and photography.
- Tee off on the 18-hole par-72 Royal Blue golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, which offers a ‘Better Than Your Own’ club rental programme.
- Take advantage of the complimentary watersports programme on Cable Beach, with paddleboards, kayaks, zayaks (reef boards), sailboats and water hammocks available for rent.
- Play in Baha MarCasino, the largest casino in the Caribbean with over 100,000 sq ft of gaming space.
- Relax with a treatment at the first flagship Espa spa in the Caribbean.
- Get closer to wildlife including turtles, stingrays and nurse sharks at The Sanctuary, which promotes Baha Mar’s conservation efforts.
This article is from the latest edition of WTM Insights, the new quarterly magazine on global travel trends, analysis and updates from TTG Media and WTM.