Three’s Company

Baha Mar offers clients three resorts for the price of one

By: Anne Burke

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 giddy.

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 three.

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 construction.

“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.

THE DETAILS

Cable Beach Resorts
800-222-7466
www.cablebeachresorts.com
Commission: 10 percent

Educulture: Fun and informative island cultural tours, specializing in Bahamian Junkanoo (educulture@coralwave.com).

Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas: Snorkel excursions featuring (friendly) sharks (800-879-9832; www.stuartcove.com).

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