Baha Mar – Nassau, Bahamas
The Baha Mar Resort and Casino in Nassau opens in May 2015, 9 years after ground was broken at the start of the $3.5 billion project to build the ultimate holiday resort in the Bahamas. Just 10 minutes from Nassau airport, with 5 direct flights to London every week, Baha Mar works in synergy with the other two major resorts in Nassau; Sandals Resort for couples just a mile to the north, and the family oriented Atlantis of Paradise Island 5 miles to the south. Comprised of five glamourous and unique hotels, the resort has plenty of accommodation to choose from, alongside a spa, golf course, animal sanctuary and casino to keep you entertained. With the exception of the Melia Hotel, which has a family focus, the resort is aimed at an adult market. There is a village feel with everything within a few minutes walk and almost all the facilities available to all resort guests.
Accommodation Baha Mar Casino & Hotel – Bringing you Vegas on the beach, this hotel offers world-class casino excitement against a stunning tropical back drop. The dazzling Baha Mar Casino & Hotel is the flagship of the resort, boasting 1000 rooms. The resort’s 100,000 sq ft casino sits below the hotel and enjoys natural light and sea views – something even the top Las Vegas resorts can’t rival. A 30ft glass wall looks out across an infinity pool to the Atlantic Ocean beyond, reminding guests of their idyllic Bahamian setting. With 150 table games and 1,140 slot machines, the casino is the Caribbean’s largest casino.
Grand Hyatt – The Grand Hyatt, whose check-in area shares the 40ft high feature wall of water with the BahaMar Resort Hotel, is aimed more towards business and conference guests and has a wave-shaped walkway leading directly into the huge conference and business centre.
SLS Lux – Bringing guests exceptional luxury, legendary service and creative charm – the 300 designer rooms are full of quirky touches such as shabby chic wallpaper and colourful stools. SLS Lux is the only hotel in the SLS brand to be given the Lux suffix. Close to the beach and with it own private pools, it has a more relaxed feel than the Rosewood. The entrance lobby is light and bright with natural sunlight, white-washed clapboard and canvassed walls. The Bahamian outdoor-inspired theme continues through the guest rooms with white louvred shutters and hand painted stools, by local artists. 8000 sq ft of gardens and pools lead to the ocean and there is a swim-up bungalow bar with a DJ on the roof in the evenings.
Rosewood – The Rosewood, whose sister hotel in London has recently won awards as the top hotel in the world, is aimed at the super luxury market with very attentive white glove service, a SenSpa, private pools and a private beach area.
Meliá Nassau Beach Resort – Melia Hotel is a more family-oriented hotel than the others within the resort and is the the only one to offer all inclusive options in addition to a la carte. Previously a Sheraton Hotel it has been completely re-branded and re-furbished in 2014 to fit the Melia brand.
Dining There are numerous dining options at Baha Mar with over 74,000 square feet of 40 restaurant, bars and lounges. The owner of Baha Mar has steered away from celebrity chefs, instead inviting his favourite restaurants from around the world to join his project. In addition to the obligatory Starbucks there is “Brasserie des Arts” from St Tropez, an English themed “Pub 24”, “Sticks” noodle bar where dishes on the menu range from $12-$500, the rooftop lounge “Fly”, and many many others ensuring that you never need to leave the resort.
Weddings and Events Baha Mar contains a convention centre – 200,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. With three nautical-inspired ballrooms and 16 breakout rooms, there is huge variety to choose from. With luscious lawns, breathtaking ocean views, a wedding reception circle and private roof top terraces – outdoor choice for your perfect wedding is endless. SLS Lux have been quick to establish themselves as the obvious destination for weddings at Baha Mar; they can arrange cigar and rum tasting for the groom and his friends, and they work closely with a specialist Champagne importer who offer Champagne tastings in their showroom for the bride and her friends. Local chocolatiers “Bootleg Chocolates” can help the bridal couple to create their own signature chocolates with a delicately flavoured ganache for the the wedding reception. A popular option is the Kaftan Party – the hotel staff liaise with you in advance to create bespoke locally crafted kaftans for you and your guests to relax in for a champagne reception in a poolside cabana or on the lawns. When it comes to the actual wedding ceremony, the beach is an obvious option, as is the 16th floor terrace overlooking the Atlantic, the gardens or the pool area. For larger weddings the hotel also boasts a ballroom. A dedicated wedding planner will look after all the arrangements, from hairdressers to the photographer, and will help you arrange the marriage licence which can be picked up in Nassau 48 hours after you arrive.
TPC at Baha Mar – The resort is justifiably proud of its Jack Nicklaus designed TPC Championship Golf Course where the manicured greens can be enjoyed by players of all levels. The golf buggies are state of the art with GPS systems and the club house boasts stunning views over the entire resort area. The club house has a colonial feel with dark bamboo and leather inside, and Bahamian wooden loungers on the patio overlooking the course.
ESPA – The SPA at Baha Mar is the first ESPA in the Caribbean and the only ESPA in The Bahamas. Offering 30,000 square foot of ultimate pampering, the ESPA boasts stunning sea and white-sand views.
The best time to visit Whether you prefer the cool balmy air of the Bahama’s Winter or the hot crystal clear waters in the Summer – there is never a wrong time to visit the Bahamas. High season is mid November to late April, with year round sunshine and warm seas. Visitors from the UK are often nervous about visiting during hurricane season; May to October, however prices are more competitive and statistically Florida and Mexico are more likely to be hit by a hurricane than Nassau. If the worst was to happen the resort is well equipped; they have their own water and electricity supply and all the training is in place to return operations to normal with minimal interruptions to guests. Summer months can be very hot and humid, particularly in August.