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“Bahamians love hospitality,” announced Obie Wilchcombe, Bahamas minister of tourism, at the start of a conference hosted by the Nassau Paradise Island International Travel Partners.
The truth behind that statement is evident in the upcoming changes and upgrades in the islands’ tourism and hotel landscape. At the June 12 conference, officials presented details on upcoming additions, leading with new prospects for travelers and agents that included analysis from Google and NPI Promotions Board.
With the final phase of the Lynden Pindling International Airport (formerly known as Nassau International Airport) completed last December, the capacity for airline passengers increases 50 percent, or to 5 million, according to NPI Promotion Board.
Following are more highlights of the presentation, including updates on key resorts and properties coming to the region.
Resorts World BiminiThe Marina hotel is scheduled to open this fall on North Bimini Island and will add more than 300 rooms to the 750-acre Resorts World Bimini property. The property will enhance the large fishing destination by adding a bait and tackle shop, a 230-slip marina and an open-air lounge. Guests will also have access to casinos on the property that offer panoramic views of the water.
Paraiso by WarwickSet to open in early 2015, the Paraiso by Warwick will be set on Nassau Harbor and Atlantic Ocean inlet. The all-inclusive, 245-room resort will offer four restaurants (one buffet dining option and three a la carte), complimentary Wi-Fi and two bars, including one that is poolside.
Atlantis Paradise IslandThe newest addition to the Atlantis Paradise Island’s massive property is Ocean’s Edge, an outdoor venue for special events. Ocean’s Edge is composed of an indoor pavilion, a beach deck and an event lawn surrounded by lush landscaping and tropical palms.
Graycliff HotelThe newest addition to the storied Graycliff Hotel is a chocolate factory called Graycliff Chocolatier. Guests have the option to learn how to make chocolate alongside a master chocolatier, or they can simply indulge in the sweets. The chocolate factory complements the hotel’s AAA 4-Diamond restaurant and extensive wine list, one of the largest in the western hemisphere.
Melia Nassau Beach HotelMelia Nassau Beach Hotel will be absorbed into the adjacent Baha Mar resort once the latter property opens in December. In the meantime, Melia's 694 rooms and 32 suites are undergoing a massive face-lift, which is expected to be completed by the end of October 2014. Also announced was Melia's plan to be an all-inclusive resort once it becomes Melia at Baha Mar.
Sandals Royal BahamianSandals renovated its Balmoral Tower last year, which included $17.5 million worth of upgrades on new floor tiles, mahogany furnishings, plasma TVs and bathroom redesigns. A penthouse gym and suites with oversized balconies were also added. More recently, Sandals introduced the Swim-Up Crystal Lagoon Suites that feature Whirlpool baths and private pools; and the relaxing Zen Garden with fire pit seating.
Comfort Suites Paradise IslandComfort Suites added $5.7 million worth of renovations to its 229 junior suites, three meeting rooms and business center. Guests can enjoy new bedding, artwork, draperies and granite countertops in the bathrooms, as well as a renovated pool deck and new landscaping. An added perk for all Comfort Suites guests is complimentary access to the nearby Atlantis Paradise Island's amenities.