With a record increase in Canadian arrivals, a revitalized room inventory and an uptick in air capacity, travel to Nassau and Paradise Island is booming.
Fred Lounsberry, Chief Executive Officer for the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, notes that Canadian visits to the destination sky-rocketed by 88% over 2017.
“The Bahamas is a hot place to visit,” he says. “We have added a bit over 1,000 average seats a day since 2016 and most importantly to our airline partners, is the load factors are very, very strong. Nassau Paradise Island air arrivals are up 19.2% for 2018.”
Whether it’s a beach getaway or a multi-island Bahamas getaway, here are a few options for clients to spend the night in the destination ranging from luxury to affordable offerings and everything in between.
There’s a reason why The Ocean Club was chosen as a filming location for the 007 hit Casino Royale — it’s full of scenic backdrops like the Versailles-inspired lawns and gardens. For those who need a refresher, The Ocean Club is where Bond, James Bond purposely crashed a car as a distraction while arriving at a luxurious hotel and later wound up seducing Dimitrios’ girlfriend Solange in an ocean view villa.
Off-screen, the property is just as attractive featuring multiple pools and an 8-kilometre stretch of white sand beach on Paradise Island. Guests receive nightly chocolate covered strawberries with bubbly, while those with kids receive cookies and milk.
Accommodations range from the 450–475 sq.ft. garden view rooms of the Hartford Wing to the four-bedroom Hibiscus villa, which is more like a house at 4,801 sq.ft. The Ocean Club is a member of Virtuoso and offers 10% commission for travel agents.
You realize there’s a lot of history at Graycliff Hotel upon learning that the main building was built by a pirate in 1740. Today the unique property houses everything from an impressive wine cellar with 250,000+ bottles in a former prison, a chocolate and cigar factory, and arguably one of the most unique pools in Nassau.
In town from Lake Como for business in 1973, owner Enrico Garzaroli had no intention of buying the private home and turning it into a hotel until a conversation with the previous owner led the pair to discover his dad had saved her husband in the war.
Even those who don’t stay at the hotel would be remised not to come for a meal at its restaurant, where countless celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z and Bond legions like Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan have all wined and dined.
Graycliff is considered to have the 3rd largest collection of wines in the world, the most expensive one being a riesling valued at $200,000. The property is a short walk from the beach or clients can partake in a day trip to nearby Blue Lagoon Island.
Known as the best-kept secret that’s not a secret, Comfort Suites Paradise Island provides an affordable choice for families who want the benefits of Atlantis without the price tag. Guests of its 223 suites get complimentary access to the neighbouring 141-acres of water rides and pools at Aquaventure, the largest water park in the Caribbean. Kids under 11 also get to stay, play, and eat for free, while all guests receive a hot buffet breakfast.
Comfort Suites Paradise Island has undergone $11 million in upgrades and rejuvenation in recent years and offers 10% commission for agents.
The newest kid on the Baha Mar block is the Rosewood Baha Mar, which followed the opening of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and SLS Baha Mar. Upon arrival guests are greeted with a welcome drink called Sky Juice, a concoction made up of gin and coconut milk. Meanwhile, the signature drink to order at the Manor bar is the smoked old fashioned.
Notably, the lobby is referred to as the living room and the hotel has a signature scent. With a lounge at the airport, visitors can check in and receive their room keys before even arriving on site.
Maintaining a sense of place, Rosewood hotels strive to take on the attributes of the destination. This hotel features hand-painted murals depicting scenes from The Bahamas. The property features two pools exlusive to Rosewood guests.
As SLS stands for style, luxury and service, the SLS Baha Mar delivers exactly that, touting itself as a lifestyle brand. The property is home to The Bahamas’ only rooftop lounge, on the 20th floor. Reminiscent of Miami Beach and Vegas, its Privilege pool turns into an upscale adults-only pool and cabana party on the weekends, complete with DJ’s.
Dining options include restaurants like Fi’lia by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, and Carna, a contemporary Steakhouse by butcher Dario Cecchini.
There are only a handful of All-Inclusive properties in Nassau Paradise Island. What makes Meliá Nassau Beach stand out is it’s the only family-friendly one in the destination complete with a kids club.
All specialty restaurants are included with the price of a stay, aside from Black Angus. The resort offers Meliá’s Level offering, with a private check-in, lounge and beach area.
Meliá Nassau Beach is owned by Baha Mar, but managed by Meliá Hotels International. The property is investing in sustainability, having already banned straws and strives to be plastic free.