If it has been a while since the two of you have been to the Bahamas, you’re in for some surprises! The islands, especially New Providence (Nassau and Paradise Island) and Grand Bahama Island are undergoing some big changes. Some are completed; some will be underway for the next several years.
• Atlantis Paradise Island has completed a major expansion including the addition of The Cove Atlantis, a 600-room luxury, all-suite hotel tower, a perfect choice for romantics. The resort has also added a new two-story water feature, 30,000-square-foot spa, and Dolphin Cay, an interactive dolphin area.
• Cable Beach is undergoing a $2 billion redevelopment called Baha Mar; the site will become a 3000+ room resort. Construction won’t stop until 2011 and will include a 1,000-room Caesars Resort Hotel and 100,000-square foot casino operated by Harrah’s Entertainment; a 300-room W at Baha Mar; a 300-room St. Regis at Baha Mar; a 700-room Westin at Baha Mar; and a 700-room Sheraton at Baha Mar (set to open in 2007). The project includes an extensive renovation of the current 550-room Wyndham Nassau Resort. Baha Mar will include a spa, an eco-waterpark, a shopping, dining and entertainment village and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
• Four miles from Nassau and accessible by ferry or helicopter, the 157-room Ritz-Carlton, Rose Island, Bahamas is scheduled for a 2009 opening. Along with a yacht marina, the resort plans a spa.
Grand Bahama Island
• Work is underway on the $4.9 billion resort community of Ginn sur Mer. The project will eventually include condominium and hotel units, a private airport, mega-yacht marina, spa, numerous restaurants, a casino, and two Signature golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
The Out Islands
• Plans call for the undeveloped Royal Island to be the site of a $500 million hotel and residential community. Located just off Eleuthera, the island will include a five-star hotel, spa, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, deep water marina, retail shops, and more.
• Scheduled to open in 2008 on the small island of Bimini, the Conrad Bimini Resort & Casino will include 250 guest rooms, a marina, spa, and casino.
• RockResorts will manage the new development on Rum Cay Island set to open in 2010. The facility is being built in three phases. Phase One includes an 80-slip marina; phase two will include the construction of the RockResort hotel and spa while phase three adds additional resort amenities. The hotel will feature restaurants, spa and fitness center, a golf training facility and tennis center.