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Latest Resort Developments in the BahamasAugust 18, 2014 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
A 700-room Grand Hyatt will be part of the new Baha Mar resort complex.
As if the spring 2015 grand opening of mega-resort Baha Mar wasn’t enough to keep the industry abuzz about The Bahamas, one of the destination’s most luxurious hotels has changed hands and a major all-inclusive is planning an extensive makeover. Here are some details.
Club Med Columbus Isle Facelift
Travel Agent recently spoke with Patrick Mitchell, vice president of sales for Club Med, and learned of the company’s plans for an expansion of its Club Med Columbus Isle on San Salvador Island. While Mitchell says that the expansion project is still in the design phase, he did tell us that it will add roughly 60 rooms to the resort’s total room count of about 266. These new accommodations, he says, will be deluxe rooms that will be built and open for business by April of next year.
“Once we finish the new rooms, then we will start on a project to renovate all existing rooms,” says Mitchell, noting that the entire project will be complete by December next year.
Mitchell also says that the resort will be closed a little longer than usual this year for some additional renovations. It usually shuts down for about six weeks from September to October, but that closure will extend to about eight weeks this year and will begin in late August. During that time, there will be a full makeover of the property’s common area, its restaurant, and pool and deck areas. When it reopens, it will also have a spa. In fact, it will be only the third Club Med resort to have a Spa by L’Occitane.
Mitchell also says there is a potential plan to add a second phase to the overall project that would include the addition of 60 new rooms, bringing the total number of new rooms to 120. The first 60, which will be completed by April, are confirmed while the plan to build the next 60 is still in discussions.
“This will be a big game changer for us in terms of operational scale,” he says. Agents looking to arrange anything special during their clients’ stay should contact Club Med’s Special Services Department at [email protected].
Rosewood at Baha Mar accommodations will range from deluxe rooms to suites to beachfront villas.
Baha Mar Springing to Life
The new $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega-resort will begin to preview hotels in December with a grand opening slated for spring 2015. The new resort will have 2,000 hotel rooms in four branded hotels: one from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, one from Mondrian, one from Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the resort’s centerpiece.
An existing property, The Meliá, is undergoing renovations, and will be renamed Meliá at Baha Mar when it debuts simultaneously with the rest of the resort. It will be the only all-inclusive at the resort.
Baha Mar will also have a 100,000- square-foot casino and 200,000 square feet of retail and entertainment experiences, including upscale boutiques, Bahamian art and craft galleries, chef-branded restaurants and nightclubs. The resort is also planning an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
Baha Mar will offer more than 40 restaurants and bars throughout the resort, ranging from fine dining to more casual options that provide a global feel with a local touch. Shoppers with a taste for inspired design will delight in the luxury resort’s designer retail boutiques with their bespoke selection of fine contemporary local apparel, accessories and home decor. This collection represents the global sophistication of the “New Riviera,” inspired by the white-sand beaches and turquoise seas of The Bahamas.
Among other amenities are 200,000 square feet of convention facilities, including a 2,000-seat performing arts center and an art gallery with the largest curated collection of Bahamian art in The Bahamas; two spas, one of which will be the 30,000-square-foot Espa at Baha Mar; and 20 acres of landscaped beach and pool experiences, including a beachfront sanctuary with native Bahamian flora and fauna, as well as a water eco-park.
Agents should reach out to William Tervo ([email protected], 242-677-9748), director of leisure sales, with any queries.
One&Only Ocean Club Sold
In early June, Access Industries, a privately held industrial group with long-term holdings worldwide, announced that it acquired the popular One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island from Brookfield Asset Management and its institutional partners. As part of the transaction, Access also acquired additional beachfront property for future development. Kerzner International, an international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels, will continue to manage the property under the One&Only brand.
“Our long-term commitment to The Bahamas continues,” said Kerzner International CEO Alan Leibman in a statement. “We are extremely excited to begin working with Access at One&Only Ocean Club. They are a world-class organization with a shared vision for the continued excellence of the property.”
The resort hotel, which sits high on a 36-acre beachfront site overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, currently has 105 units, including luxury suites and villas.
|The makeover at Club Med Columbus Isle will include a more modern look for Christopher’s Restaurant.|