Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

It Hasn’t Even Opened Yet, but Baha Mar Is Already Transforming the Bahamas

Wendy Perrin | February 20, 2015

Americans seeking a quick escape to a sunny tropical island will soon have a new option at their fingertips: A long-awaited $3.5 billion luxury resort development called Baha Mar is opening March 27 in Nassau, in the Bahamas. Nassau is just a three-hour flight from J.F.K.—and the resorts, on Cable Beach, are just a five-minute drive from the airport—so it will be an easy getaway for many in the Northeast. As I’m one of the only journalists who’s seen Baha Mar—I just happened to be passing through Nassau yesterday and went to take a look—I figured I’d share what I learned.

Baha Mar will have four swank hotels— the Baha Mar Hotel & Casino, a Grand Hyatt, a Rosewood, and a SLS LUX—as well as a 30,000-square foot ESPA, a 200,000-square-foot conference center, and more than 40 restaurants, bars, and shops. There will be 3,000 feet of white-sand beach, a Beachfront Sanctuary filled with sea creatures, and a reef you can swim to and snorkel at.

The development has already transformed Nassau—to build it, they had to move the prime minister’s office and two banks and reroute a road—but that’s nothing compared to the transformation to come. Nassau recently spent $410 million renovating its airport and building a gleaming new terminal, as it plans to grow airline service to the Bahamas by 400,000 passengers within the next year. There are even plans for flights from China.

Big developments on small islands usually make me cringe, but my tour guide—Baha Mar’s director of public relations Paul Turnquest, who was born and raised in the Bahamas and ran The Tribune newspaper there for years, says the locals are happy about Baha Mar because it’s bringing 12,000 jobs and a ton of economic opportunity to the island. “If you’re someone who makes straw bags, your bags could be chosen for one of the hotel gift shops,” says Turnquest. “Imagine the impact that this property will have on the lives of the people here. For many, this is the opportunity for them to be on a world stage.”

Will travelers come? Will they like it? We’ll find out after March 27. Meanwhile, here’s a first glimpse. (I was not allowed to photograph the areas still under construction—which is pretty much everything except the golf course and golf clubhouse.)

 

Have you been to the Bahamas? What’s your favorite resort there?

Travel Tips

The 3 Most Sanity-Saving Travel Tips You’ll Ever Hear

Billie Cohen | September 12, 2015

Travel Tips

Why I Still Think Human Beings Can Make the Best Travel Planners

Wendy Perrin | September 15, 2015

Travel Tips

Vote to See My Session at SXSW 2015!

Wendy Perrin | August 13, 2014

Travel Tips

6 Things You Need to Know About Renewing Your Passport

Billie Cohen | November 22, 2015

Plan a Trip

Where to Go in February: The Best Places to Travel

Brook Wilkinson | February 7, 2017

Travel Tips

Watch: How to Protect Yourself From Zika Virus and Mosquito Bites

Wendy Perrin | August 23, 2016

Destination

Larger-Than-Life Hotel Pools

Yahoo! Travel | March 25, 2015

Hotels

5 Surprising Reasons to Visit a Guest Ranch in Winter (Instead of Summer)

Billie Cohen | November 14, 2014

Destination

Elephant Orphanage to Open in Tanzania

Yahoo! Travel | April 28, 2015

Travel Tips

Is 2015 the Year to Travel to China?

Wendy Perrin | March 16, 2015

2 Comments

  1. Brian Booker

    It looks nice, but I’ve read about China’s overhanded and unethical method of getting control of the property. As long as the Cheng family has an ownership stake, I doubt I’ll visit. There are plenty of other Bahamian resorts, and Caribbean resorts for that matter.

  2. Nancy A Jerdan

    I’m not a fan of these huge hotels. They overshadow the natural beauty of the beach. This is just my preference but than I’m a gal who went to Grenada in 1969 and St. Lucia in 1973 when their airports didn’t take jet planes., Also, enjoy the out islands of the Bahamas.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>