Linda Raphel’s idea of a great beach holiday is pretty simple.
Give her a decent room overlooking the water, fresh seafood and a
quiet spot on the sand, and she’s happy. Throw in a nightclub show
and a few hands of casino blackjack and she’s practically
Raphel has found her slice of heaven at Cable Beach Resorts
& Crystal Palace Casino, a three-hotels-in-one property located
on an idyllic stretch of sugar-white sand in Nassau, Bahamas. It
was here that I ran into her in April, stretched out on a chaise
lounge below a palm tree. The Boston-area business owner is so
enamored of this mellow and adult-focused resort that she flies
down as often as four times a year.
Crystal Beach Resorts is located a few miles west of Atlantis,
Paradise Island, Kerzner International’s dramatic mega-resort,
famous for its marine habitat, soaring arches and busy lineup of
family fun. Raphel and her husband prefer the vibe at Cable Beach,
which they find more conducive to the kind of relaxation that suits
folks who are middle-aged and beyond.While Cable Beach offers
plenty of sports and entertainment there are kid’s clubs, miniature
golf, tennis and water-sports guests aren’t assaulted with a welter
of amusement choices.
The Cable Beach Resorts & Crystal Palace Casino brand was
born last year when Baha Mar Resorts Ltd. purchased three
side-by-side properties. The Wyndham and Crystal Palace Casino
(with 750 slot machines and 50 table games) hold down the center,
flanked by the 691-room Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort and
the 400-room Nassau Beach Hotel. The three hotels were looking long
in the tooth so Baha Mar Resorts has undertaken an $85 million
renovation that is still under way.
Baha Mar markets the Cable Beach properties as a single resort.
Guests at one hotel are free to use pools, sports facilities and
other amenities at sister properties. The Radisson’s shiny red,
all-inclusive bracelet entitles the wearer to dine at the Wyndham’s
swanky Sole Mare restaurant (but not the pricey Black Angus). An
indoor passageway links the Radisson and Wyndham, giving the hotels
the feel of a single property. A short walk separates the Wyndham
and the Nassau Beach Hotel, the oldest and least expensive of the
Baha Mar Resorts, led by young chairman and CEO, Sarkis
Izmirlian, is just getting warmed up with the recent renovation.
Over the next four years, the company plans to transform the site
into a Caribbean-flavored “resort metropolis” that will rival the
Atlantis, Paradise Island, in terms of hotel and gambling
offerings, amenities and overall wow-factor.
If all goes as planned, the Cable Beach and Crystal Palace
Casino will disappear as brand names in 2010, replaced by the
1,000-acre Baha Mar, a joint venture with Harrah’s Entertainment
and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Costing $1.6 billion
in its first phase, Baha Mar will feature the first Caesars Palace
Casino outside the United States, 3,500 guestrooms among them four
Starwood Hotel brands a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, an
upscale retail village and chef-branded restaurants. The developers
promise a seamless transition and minimal disruption from
“Nobody’s going to be knocking down walls” in the room next
door, said Bryan Guillot, who’s leading the sales and marketing
team for Baha Mar and Cable Beach Resorts.
Cable Beach Resorts
Commission: 10 percent
Educulture: Fun and informative island cultural tours,
specializing in Bahamian Junkanoo (email@example.com).
Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas: Snorkel excursions featuring
(friendly) sharks (800-879-9832; www.stuartcove.com).