The Bahamas Is Booming

Baha Mar may be the biggest addition, but there is plenty going on throughout the islands

Grand Hyatt BahaMar

The biggest news out of the Bahamas this year is the ongoing opening of the long-anticipated, $4.2 billion Baha Mar resort on Nassau. The first and largest part of Baha Mar, the 1,800-room Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, opened in April 2017, along with the 100,000-square-foot casino, a wide variety of restaurants and bars, 30,000-square-foot ESPA spa, luxury retail outlets, a variety of pools and water activities, and a half-mile of beachfront.  The Grand Hyatt also manages Baha Mar's 200,000-square-foot Convention, Art and Entertainment Center, and recently brought in U.S.-based Encore Event Technologies as its A/V partner. In November, the 299-room SLS Baha Mar opened its doors with 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space and three dining and lounge venues. The 233-room Rosewood Baha Mar is scheduled to open this spring with 20,600 square feet of meeting and event space.

Dining is on the move at the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort, which recently brought in a team that reworked the menus at Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Fontainebleau in Miami to overhaul the entire property's menus and dining concepts, with an eye towards healthier and more robust options. They will roll out at Atlantis' more than 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges throughout 2018. Several of the newest outlets are at The Cove, the 600-room tower that saw a new pool, art installation, and a pair of restaurants were unveiled one that opened in November. One of these is led by Bahamian Chef Julie Lightbourn and another opening in April by the famed Chef José Andrés. That's in addition to two new, locally focused eateries and a craft brewery at Marina Village.

In addition, the Coral's 609 rooms and public spaces have undergone a complete renovation and rebranding. Atlantis' Conference Center can accommodate groups of up to 4,000, with a pair of ballrooms measuring 50,000 and 25,000 square feet, 24 meeting rooms, and 21 outdoor event spaces.

In November, the 100-room One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island rebranded, becoming the Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas. The 107-room property has nearly 21,000 square feet of event space, including an 868-square-foot ballroom, as well as eight spa treatment villas, five restaurants and lounges, and white sand beaches. The property can host groups of up to 50 inside and 250 outdoors. The 379-room, all-inclusive Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island reopened as an adults-only resort late last year after a four-month renovation.

On Great Exuma, the new owners of the Peace & Plenty Hotel finished up a renovation and modernization earlier this month. The property has 32 waterfront rooms and a dock along Elizabeth Harbor, among other amenities.

Jack's Bay Developers are working with Tiger Woods' TGR Design on a luxury beachfront resort on Eleuthera's Rock Sound. The first stage, already underway, calls for a 10-hole golf course and The Pink House Beach Club with a pool, restaurant, and bar. An 18-hole golf course and oceanfront suites, cottages, and villas are planned.

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This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.