Staying at the Baha Mar in The Bahamas, Explained

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Baha Mar, the luxury resort on Nassau’s fabled Cable Beach, was billions of dollars and almost a decade in the making — but well worth the wait. Interconnected hotels share amenities like the largest casino in the Caribbean, a huge convention center, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Royal Blue Golf Course, the Caribbean’s first and only flagship ESPA spa, extensive Bahamian arts programming and exhibits, and more than 30 luxury retail outlets.

A new, $200-million water park, sure to enhance Baha Mar’s appeal to families, is now under construction with a projected opening in 2021. The water rides are still under wraps, but the Baha Bay Beach Club is already taking shape with a pair of infinity pools, lounge areas, hammocks, daybeds, cabanas, and coastal California inspired food from the 25°N restaurant.

Three resorts are officially promoted under the Baha Mar banner — the Rosewood, SLS, and Grand Hyatt hotels. The neighboring, all-inclusive Melia Nassau Beach is expected to be integrated into the resort as well once ongoing renovations and upgrades are completed.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Baha Mar’s largest hotel is so big that it has two lobbies — one for guests checking into its East Tower (closer to the convention center) and another for West Tower guests. With 1,800 contemporary rooms, the Grand Hyatt offers the most direct access to the 100,000-square-foot casino floor, and a selection of suites makes it a good choice for groups traveling together as well as romantic couples. The Reserve, an upscale hotel-within-a-hotel, offers private check-in and butler service.

Hotel guests can lounge alongside their choice of six pools, grab a casual meal at one of the vintage food trucks scattered around the grounds, or dine in style at Shuang Ba for upscale Chinese cuisine, followed by dessert at Cafe Madeleine and perhaps a puff over brandy at the T2 Cigar Lounge (see if you can figure out who the two Ts are.)

The Rosewood at Baha Mar Seclusion, privacy, and sophistication are the calling cards at this 237-room hotel — the atmosphere changes noticeably more sedate when you enter the hotel’s lobby from the casino floor.

Every room, suite, and villa at the hotel has butler service, and the sense of serenity extends outdoors, where private living areas and pools for the exclusive use Rosewood guests are set amid manicured gardens. Cabanas are arrayed around the stepped main pool, the resort has its own Sense spa and fitness center, and dining options include the new Malam, which serves tandoori-style Indian cuisine, and Costa for Mexican-style seafood.

SLS Baha Mar For luxury with a youthful vibe, check out — and check into — the SLS Baha Mar, a five-star, 299-room hotel that includes 107 suites and residences. The Baha Mar property is SLS’s first hotel in the Caribbean (and fourth overall, after Beverly Hills and South Beach and Brickell in Miami, offering some insight into the resort’s demographics and atmosphere).

Hot spots include the only rooftop lounge in Nassau, Skybar, the high-energy Bond nightclub, and the playful Monkey Bar in the hotel lobby. The resort’s chef-centric dining choices include the excellent Carna steakhouse by famed butcher Dario Cecchini and master sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi epynomous Katsuya by Starck. Chef Danny Elmaleh brings his celebrated New York Mediterranean restaurant to the Caribbean at Cleo Mediterráneo.