TORONTO — The Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Dionisio James D’Aguilar, is excited about the ‘hot’ destination of The Bahamas, which remained opened for business during the 2017 hurricanes and now has several highly anticipated hotel developments in the works – as well as an eye on strong growth from the Canadian market.
“The Bahamas is expecting an extremely robust 2018. In short, the Bahamas is hot right now,” said D’Aguilar yesterday at an industry event in Toronto. “We all know that The Bahamas is a warm weather destination, but with the introduction of new brands in Nassau, such as The Grand Hyatt, SLS, Rosewood, The Four Seasons, Courtyard by Marriott […] the travelling public can refocus on The Bahamas with renewed interest.”
December air arrivals from Canada were up 25% on the pervious year, after a slow start to 2017. Arrivals for 2018 are also trending upwards, with bookings from key markets for January up 23%, February 17% and March 23%. These buoyant trends should continue as seat capacity from February to July 2018 has been increased by approximately 27% out of both Toronto and Montreal.
Travellers should continue to be attracted to the Bahamas by the plethora of new hotels opening and developments at existing hotels across the archipelago.
Here’s a look at some of the hotel highlights:
- The highly anticipated Baha Mar mega resort is now hosting guests with the SLS opening in November 2017 and the Grand Hyatt in April 2017, while Rosewood Baha Mar is slated to open this coming spring. The upscale Rosewood Baha Mar features 300 rooms, including 107 residences, and a range of dining and nightlife experiences. The three hotel brands will share amenities including the Caribbean’s largest casino, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, ESPA flagship 30,000-square-foot spa, the largest convention centre in the Caribbean, and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges.
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville brand recently announced plans for a US$250 million, six-acre development in the heart of downtown Nassau. The property will feature 150 hotel rooms, 150 luxury residences, a marina, water park, entertainment centre and signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts. Construction has begun and phased opening will begin mid-2019.
- The iconic Atlantis Paradise Island Resort has undergone several renovations and upgrades, with the intention of introducing more Bahamian culture and traditions to the resort. These include new restaurant concepts, renovated rooms in The Coral tower, a new Marina Village, ocean-inspired educational experiences and new efforts to support marine conservation.
- Meliá Nassau Beach All-Inclusive’s three-year renovation is now complete. The 694-guest room resort now features 102 rooms as part of ‘THE LEVEL’, Meliá Hotels & Resorts’ elevated service concept.
- Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island has been renovated and reopened as an all-inclusive for adults-only. The resort boasts 350-plus rooms on Cabbage Beach, two swimming pools and one swim-up bar.
- Tiger Wood’s TGR Design is teaming up with Jack’s Bay Developers to develop a beachfront luxury resort and private club at Rock Sound on Eleuthera Island. The first phase of development is currently underway for a Woods-designed 10-hole golf course called ‘The Playgrounds’, as well as The Pink House Beach Club with a pool restaurant and bar, slated to debut in 2018.
- The Resort on Eleuthera is the first hotel to make special provision for plus-size travellers who look for furniture and facilities which will suit their physical needs, such as reinforced sun loungers, dining furniture, bedroom and bathroom suites.