Eco-Hotel Openings, Major Resort Plans and Niche Excursions Heighten the Vacation Experience
NASSAU, The Bahamas – December 16, 2010 – Sapphire waters, endless beaches and ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere’ – you’ve heard it all before, right? Wrong. While beautiful beaches and Bahama Mamas are staples of any visit to The Islands Of The Bahamas, consumers looking for more personalized itineraries are in for a surprise as the destination transforms travel to the tropics. From a slew of newly opened eco-resorts to the current development of a 1,000 acre resort metropolis featuring luxury properties, visitors of The Bahamas are seizing the ability to vacation in style without compromising their lifestyle.
Baha Mar Resort – Morgans Hotel Group recently signed on to operate and manage the planned 300-room luxury lifestyle hotel at the new Baha Mar Resort currently in development on Nassau’s Cable Beach, and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will manage and operate the resort’s planned 200-room luxury hotel. Construction on the 1,000-acre destination resort complex is set to break ground in late 2010, resulting in a property with approximately 3,500 rooms, a 100,000-square-foot casino, three world-class spas and an 18-hole championship Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The resort is scheduled to open its doors in 2013..
One & Only Ocean Club – Big changes are underway for Nassau/Paradise Island’s famed One & Only Ocean Club, providing the classic resort with a new modern edge. As part of a six-month renovation that began in June 2010, all 10 beachfront suites and 40 beachfront guestrooms in the property’s Crescent Wing are undergoing a complete transformation, with new bedding, art work, case goods and the latest in cutting-edge technology including Jacuzzi bathtubs with TV.
Bimini Big Game Club – The legendary Bimini Big Game Club recently celebrated a public grand re-opening as a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort property in Alice Town, North Bimini. The resort just introduced Neal Watson’s Dive Bimini, a Guy Harvey Outpost Dive Center, offering diving experiences with amenities ranging from a 60-foot, glass bottom dive boat to all-new tanks and rental gear and even frequent chances to dive with Neal or Guy. Closed for two years, the Club’s recent renovations include updated guest rooms, the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, the Outfitter Shop – a retail experience featuring Guy Harvey sportswear and gifts, and a new marina, pool bar and patio. Rates start at $149 per night. For reservations, call 800-867-4764
Hut Pointe – A family owned, historical resort located near Governors Harbour on Eleuthera, Hut Pointe re-opened this past spring after spending a year completing renovations. Built in 1944, this small piece of history features seven, two-bedroom suites and has been upgraded with modern amenities, including eco-friendly initiatives wherever possible. With water provided by rainwater harvesting, solar water heating and a large organic garden, the resort is making use of cutting-edge, eco-friendly technology and maintaining its quaint and quiet personality. Rate starts at $255 per night.
Walker’s Cay – Plans to revive Walker’s Cay fishing and diving resort in the The Abaco Islands have been approved by The Bahamas Investment Authority. The resort, once known around the globe as a premier deep-sea fishing hotspot closed in 2004. Initial plans include the development of two hotels offering 100 rooms, a five-diamond resort spa, 18 half-acre beachfront properties, 28 condominiums just steps from 60,000-square-feet of retail boardwalk, yacht club featuring alfresco dining and a 2,800 foot runway capable of accommodating twin-engine planes.
East End Lodge – A hospitality establishment that will primarily operate as a bonefishing lodge is in development for McLean’s Town situated on the East End of Grand Bahama Island. Work on the five-room lodge has already commenced with plans to include a nature trail and lodge room with a dining-room, bar and other amenities. The whole operation is expected to be in full swing by March 2011 and hopes to draw bonefishing enthusiasts to the East End, as the area already boasts some of the best bonefishing guides in the country.
Pelican Bay at Lucaya – One of Grand Bahama Island’s boutique hotels, Pelican Bay at Lucaya, recently completed and opened the Canal House, the newest meeting and conference space on the island with over 40,000-square-feet. The facility is comprised of a breakfast/special function restaurant, a salon and four separate meeting rooms with the capability of combining any two into one room. Catering to small meetings, conferences and weddings, the Canal House offers all-inclusive half and full-day meeting rates.
Nonstop Continental service to Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and The Abaco Islands – Continental Airlines now offers daily, nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour, Abaco (MHH), and seasonal daily nonstop service from West Palm Beach to both Nassau and Freeport.
Landing on The Exuma Islands and The Abaco Islands – Beginning Nov. 18, 2010, American Airlines will offer daily nonstop jet service from Miami to George Town, Great Exuma (GGT) as well as additional jet service on Fridays and Saturdays. Increased airlift to The Exuma Islands is a direct result of growing tourism in the region. Also beginning Nov. 18, American Eagle Airlines will resume daily, nonstop, seasonal service between Miami and Treasure Cay, Abaco (TCB). The carrier will run one Miami-Treasure Cay flight per day on a 64-seat aircraft.
Nonstop Delta service from Atlanta – Delta now offers nonstop service from Atlanta to George Town, Great Exuma (GGT) on Wednesdays and Sundays, making it possible to escape the southern city”s gridlocked highways for The Exuma Islands’ uncrowded beaches in roughly two hours. Fares start at just $129 each way.
Arriving on Nassau – AirTran Airways now offers nonstop flights from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, and Orlando, Fla., and connecting service from more than 40 other cities. The low-fare carrier, and only major airline with Wi-Fi on every flight, flies from Atlanta to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS), daily, and offers multiple nonstop flights weekly from Orlando, Fla. and Baltimore/Washington.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas – Debuting December 2010, Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world’s largest cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. Allure will sail into Nassau for the very first time on Dec. 13 and will continue to call on Nassau year round as part of her seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary.
NEW PROGRAMS AND ADVENTURES
Island Routes – For a truly authentic adventure in The Bahamas, try an expedition with Island Routes, a new tour operator in The Exuma Islands. Tours range from bonefishing or kayaking trips to the 007 Thunderball Tour, where participants cruise in and out of 150 little islands and cays, snorkel at Thunderball Grotto, swim with sharks and feed wild iguanas. Call 877-768-8370
‘Crush’ Teen Club at Atlantis – This December will mark the unveiling of an $11 million cutting-edge teen club, ‘Crush,’ at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Designed by renowned architect and interior designer, Jeffrey Beers, the 14,000-square-foot space boasts an interactive internet lounge complete with multi-touch computers and surface tables with photo editing and publishing interfaced to Facebook, a game room stocked with state-of-the-art technology, a floor-to-ceiling gaming tower with 24 gaming consoles, 10 private gaming cabanas, iPads for internet browsing and more.
Atlantis Stingray Experience -The Atlantis resort has introduced a new marine interaction program, the Stingray Experience. This new program offers a hands-on encounter and snorkel experience with hundreds of stingrays and tropical fish in the water of Atlantis’ Water Edge. The educational experience also includes an aquarist demonstration of the proper way to feed rays.
Atlantis Kids Adventures – The Atlantis resort recently inaugurated its Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA), an 8,000-square-foot club for 3- to 12-year-olds, complete with a culinary center for hands-on cooking classes, a 13-iMac computer lab, an amplified performance stage and the world’s first-ever LEGO Atlantis Fantasy Camp, where children have a chance to work side-by-side with a LEGO Master Builder in group building events. Entrance to AKA ranges from $40 to $65.
Life in the Islands Of The Bahamas just keeps getting better. And it’s easy to see why. With world-class diving and fishing, miles of picture perfect beaches, and gorgeous turquoise water, visitors have the opportunity to do everything or nothing at all. From Exuma, Eleuthera and Abaco to exciting Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, this tropical paradise is as culturally diverse as it is vibrantly beautiful. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com.
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