In Transit Blog: Square-Foot Supersizing in the Tropics

Written By wartini cantika on Minggu, 03 Agustus 2014 | 17.35

Photo An early morning stroll on Paradise Beach on Paradise Island near the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, which is right next door to the Atlantis resort.Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

As two rival mega-resorts prepare to compete for tropics-loving travelers, one thing is clear: Nassau wants your business in a big way.

The capital of the Bahamas, Nassau is the gateway to the new Baha Mar resort set to open in December. The sprawling, five-resort Baha Mar will open on Cable Beach with a 1,000-room Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, featuring 100,000 square feet of gaming. Three more resorts are under construction, including the 200-room Rosewood at Baha Mar, 300-room SLS at Baha Mar and 707-room Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar. The fifth, the existing Melia Nassau Beach Hotel, will be renovated into the 694-room Melia at Baha Mar as an all-inclusive option.

The 1,000-acre Baha Mar development will also include an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a 30,000-square-foot spa from ESPA, a 2,000-seat performing arts center, over 30 restaurants and bars and a gallery devoted to Bahamian art. The $3.5-billion project encompasses 70 acres of wetlands for kayaking and birding.

But the region's biggest resort to date, Atlantis, hasn't conceded the fight. The 3,414-room resort on neighboring Paradise Island recently joined Marriott International's Autograph Collection of independent hotels. Under a franchise agreement, Atlantis's owners will gain access to the booking power of Marriott while maintaining management of the property, which is home to its own supersize spa and casino, a 14-acre dolphin habitat, 21 restaurants and bars, and a 141-acre water park popular with resortgoers as well as cruise ship passengers on day trips.

The growth of rooms in the destination portends competition for guests.

"Atlantis's decision to join Marriott's Autograph Collection is clearly a move designed to protect and boost Atlantis's appeal against the new Baha Mar resort," Henry H. Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research Group, wrote in an email.

The airport, at least, is ready for the influx. Last year, Lynden Pindling International Airport completed a three-phase, $410-million expansion to accommodate 50 percent more passengers, or more than five million.

A version of this article appears in print on 08/03/2014, on page TR3 of the SundayAdvance edition with the headline: Trending: Square-Foot Supersizing in the Tropics.


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