SURE, WE WERE A BIT DISAPPOINTED when we found out our hotel accommodations during the recent Caribbean Marketplace in the Bahamas weren't at Atlantis, Paradise Island, where most of the Caribbean Hotel Association event was held.
But once we arrived at the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort and saw the new lobby, pool and everything else that came along with its renovation (about $145 million has been invested in the Sheraton and its neighboring sister property, Wyndham Nassau), we figured that taking the shuttle to and from Marketplace functions was a small price to pay.
We've been following the progression of Starwood Hotels and Resorts' makeover of the Sheraton Cable Beach, but this was the first time we visited—and we were pleased. It's recommended for families, particularly those who feel a little too crowded at the Atlantis (which is about 15-20 minutes away, about a $17 to $20 cab ride).
We stayed in an Ocean View Room with a balcony that offered partial pool and ocean views. The Ocean Breeze Suites, however, are among the best units to book at the resort. Each has a large wraparound terrace and comprises a bedroom, a separate parlor, a wet bar area and an additional bathroom. The suites can be expanded to two or three bedrooms via adjoining rooms.
Presidential Suites are the most requested premium accommodations at the Sheraton Cable Beach. Situated on the seventh floor, they are two-bedroom units with the same amenities as the Ocean Breeze Suites (a connecting bedroom can be added).
The room service during our stay at the Sheraton Cable Beach was incredible. The breaded salmon was delicious, as was the bottle of chardonnay we washed it down with. Food arrived very quickly, and room service is available until 11 p.m.
Together, the Sheraton and the Wyndham Nassau constitute the Cable Beach Resort and Crystal Palace Casino. Guests at one hotel are allowed to use the other, as key cards grant access to both properties.
The casino and shopping mall are located in the Wyndham, about a five-minute walk from the Sheraton. Here's a tip for your wagering clients: While we highly recommend the Atlantis, the Crystal Palace Casino was about half as crowded, and the table minimums were about half as expensive.
Agents should contact Vince Angelo, Sheraton Cable Beach's hotel manager, at [email protected] or 242-327-6000.
THE SLOT SPOT CARIBBEAN CASINO INSIDER
Whether they are high rollers or just casual gamers, most travelers find casinos appealing when on vacation because they serve as a standby for nighttime entertainment. After all, pressing your luck with the chances of winning back your vacation money is not a bad alternative.
With more and more islands opening casinos, Travel Agent has decided to devote a new column to Caribbean casino news and insider information to pass along to clients. For example, at January's Caribbean Marketplace in Nassau, the Bahamas, Sandals Resorts CEO Adam Stewart acknowledged that his company holds a gambling license in Turks and Caicos but has been reluctant to use it out of fear that it could diminish the luxury feel Sandals has spent decades cultivating.
"Casinos are fantastic," Stewart says, "but does it mix well with our product?" He noted that if Sandals ever decides to proceed with a casino in Turks and Caicos, it would be a stand-alone property.
On Antigua, the Grand Bay Casino is slated to open this month right next to Sandals Grande Antigua. Although there's no official partnership, Stewart told us the two entities have a verbal agreement to ensure that the new casino is consistent with the Sandals brand. "[The casino] must be top-notch, classy and well-maintained," says Stewart.
So, if all goes well, will this make up Stewart's mind about rolling the dice on expansion into casinos? "It very well could," he says. "How that property impacts our property will be a major factor in our decision to get into the casino business."
Are you an agent who would like to share casino news, thoughts or insider tips on selling Caribbean destinations with casinos? Write Joe Pike at [email protected].