Baha Mar: Life’s spectacular in the Bahamas

When most people think of a tropical island paradise, more often than not, the Bahamas is the location which springs to mind. The stunning shoreline of this island nation has been enchanting many of the world’s most high-profile individuals for decades. Famous Bahamas homeowners include Mariah Carey, Johnny Depp and even Bill Gates.

 

Luxury is a byword in the Bahamas, as reflected by the range of world class hotels. There is no better example of this than Baha Mar in Nassau, the first of the region’s great destination resorts. Its roll-out to visitors over the course of 2017 and 2018 has led to many recognizing Bahamas as the natural treasure that it has always been.

 

Featuring three hotel brands in one development (Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood), a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, the largest casino and convention centre in the Caribbean and world-class shopping and restaurants, the resort is actually a kind of paradise of all of its own. We decided to take a closer look at what makes Baha Mar so special.

 

Paradise: Found

While the group of hotels behind Baha Mar speaks for itself in terms of the luxury that the project brings, the scale of the ambition of the resort is also clear from several other statistics. Baha Mar is a leading employer in the Bahamas, employing over 4,000 people. Over the next few years, it is projected that it will contribute 12% of the Bahamas’ GDP.

 

Visitor numbers are also on the rise; an airlift to the destination has also increased substantially throughout the last year, as top airlines add additional direct flight markets, seat count and frequency of flights from the United States and Canada. Since the opening of Baha Mar resorts, Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, the Bahamas has reported the highest number of passenger arrivals in the last decade.

 

There’s also far more to Baha Mar than just being a popular destination resort, however. The team behind its concept were more concerned with providing its guests with an experience than anything currently available in the area. By adding a cultural program to what it offers visitors, it has the added bonus of involving local communities.

 

The resort destination is so much more than “Las Vegas at the beach”. Baha Mar is home to The Current, an unparalleled arts program, gallery and studio space, designed to support local artists and promote Bahamian arts on a global scale. Overseen by Bahamian Artist John Cox, the arts program features 2,500 pieces of Bahamian art, showcased throughout the property.

 

And even children are welcome at the resort - not always the case with luxury hotels.  Baha Mar has developed a series of educational activities for kids, a marine science program (including an extensive coral restoration project), and the resort’s BEACH Sanctuary, a natural animal sanctuary for indigenous marine life.

 

A massive contribution to Bahamas life

A part of the experience that Baha Mar creates for its guests is to educate them about the importance of wildlife and the environment in the area. It invests significant resources to this. With so many visitors expected to pass through the resort and its three hotels in the years ahead, it’s important that the whole hospitality cycle is as sustainable as possible.

 

An example of Baha Mar’s commitment to sustainability can be seen in its joining the Reef Rescue Network earlier this year, a network of organizations and businesses in the Bahamas committed to the creation and management of coral restoration.

 

Elsewhere, that Baha Mar has also partnered with Bahamas National Trust, the authority on wildlife protection and wetland conservation throughout the Bahamas, on significant long-term initiatives and programs and joined the leading conservationists in the nation to host the 2018 Bahamas Natural History Conference at Baha Mar.

 

And given that it employs over 4,000 people - indirectly creating several more thousand jobs in the process - it’s not difficult to understand why the management team behind Baha Mar are keen to look after the extended community, involving them in as many activities as possible.

 

Baha Mar dedicates resources towards ensuring a strong future for The Bahamas, focusing specifically on conservation, community and cultural initiatives. Throughout 2017 and 2018, Baha Mar sponsored the National Men’s Basketball Team; Fourteen Clubs, the youth golf organization in Nassau, and The Valley Boys, one of the leading Junkanoo bands in The Bahamas.

 

The Current at Baha Mar has evolved into Nassau’s leading arts and culture hub, sponsoring five Artists in Residence to create original works of art in the Baha Mar studios for guests to view and enjoy. And in addition to improving the guest experience, this has the added benefit of creating a new whole new market for the artists’ work that didn’t exist before Baha Mar.

 

Partners and Suppliers

Although tens of thousands of visitors are expected to pass through Baha Mar every year, the goal of its management is to ensure that the same standard of luxury applies to the 10,000th guest as the very first. Baha Mar has received considerable support in maintaining this level of service from a range of partners and suppliers.

 

Baha Mar is the largest hospitality project on the Bahamas and the largest of its kind in the Caribbean ever. The daily operations of the firm rely not just on Baha Mar’s valued team, comprised of everything from chefs to masseurs, but also on a band of local firms that bring their own expertise to proceedings.

 

The Future

With its contributions to the local community, local artists and local NGOs, the impact Baha Mar is already making is quite remarkable. Baha Mar has achieved luxury and elegance while involving all sides of the community into its day-to-day operations, as employees, suppliers and contractors, and even of course, artists and entertainers. Little wonder that its rooms have been sold out, performing well above expectations.

 

Baha Mar is projected to generate an additional 315,000 air passenger seats annually (new markets and larger planes from the existing markets), an increase of 19% over 2015 record of arrivals and signaling in the marketplace the revitalization of the Bahamas tourism brand. Thanks to the luxury brought by Baha Mar, life truly is spectacular.

 

Researched By Wisner Gomes

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