Bahamas Travel Guide
Last Saturday, there was a fire in paradise at the One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. Ten of the resort's 104 have been shut down due to damage by the fire. (Those rooms were located in the Crescent Wing.)
The cause of the fire, according to hotel officials, is said to be under “investigation” but a local news source, Tribune 242, says the answer is very simple: an eyewitness told the publication the hotel’s “Big Bang” fireworks show is the culprit.
Apparently, every so often, the resort has a major fireworks extravaganza and that night the $16,000 display caused wooden shingles on a roof to catch fire. It was ablaze for about 25 minutes before staff noticed and attempted to extinguish it. Authorities eventually arrived at the hotel around 11:30 pm and took just minutes to put out the remaining flames.
See the online video of the fire, after the jump.
Bahamas Hotels / Beach Hotels / Atlantis Survival Guide / Family-Friendly Hotels / Kid-Friendly Hotels / HotelChatter Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
Bad-ass player pictured here can be found with his friends in the Atlantis Predator Lagoon
For those who have never been to Atlantis on Paradise Island, the sprawling megaresort can be daunting.
Like Disney World, there is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. And like DisneyWorld, Atlantis has the power to strike fear in the hearts and minds of parents who shudder the thought of wearing adult mouse ears almost as much as they dread hemorrhaging endless streams of cash.
To complicate matters, Atlantis is hard to describe as it's so many different things rolled into one: a gorgeous five-hotel Caribbean island resort, a 140-acre Aquaventure water park, the largest open-air marine exhibit in the world complete with dolphin and seal habitats, countless beaches and pools, a casino, a true culinary scene with restaurants from Bobby Flay and Nobu Matsuhisa, a seriously pimpin’ marina, and more.
All the confusion can make it hard to wrap your head around a visit. Where should you stay? How should you spend your day? What’s awesome and what’s overrated? How expensive will it be? Is there a shred of hope for some adult downtime or is it a kid bonanza all day all the time? You might be tempted to throw in the towel.
Just back from a recent visit, we thought it was time—at long last—to demystify the epic resort. The ins and outs, the highs and lows, and every reason why we’ll be back, slide wedgie and all; find it here in our Atlantis Survival Guide.
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Everyone knows the Bahamas' The Atlantis Resort likes to do things big. Start with a 2300-room resort (not counting the adults-only wing--Cove Atlantis and its 600 rooms) add an almost waterpark theme in the form of 141-acres, and don't forget the massive casino. Naturally an outfit this size doesn't slouch when it comes to dining, which is why their collection of dining options include restaurants from Nobu, Matsuhisa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Bobby Flay. But not one to rest on their laurels (which some were afraid was becoming the case lately), the Paradise Island resort announced that on June 1st, celebrity chef Todd English will finally open Olives Atlantis.
Expect his signature cuisine to take advantage of the island's seafood bounty and from what we've read, the three-meal-a-day menu will reflect and respect the location. Guests seated at the 268-seat restaurant will have views of an open kitchen where staff will prepare casual, Mediterranean-island cuisine that might battle for attention with the serious raw bar piled high with shellfish, clams, crab, oysters and the like. Carnivores and vegetarians will have plenty of options to choose from as well, from steaks to pastas and English's well-known thin-crust flat-bread pizzas courtesy of the restaurant's wood-burning oven. And for those who find themselves in the clutches of Lady Luck or the nightclub Aura, Olives will be open until 3 a.m.
The restaurant, which is said to have a 6,850 square-foot interior, was designed by architect Jeffrey Beers, who also had a hand in the Hard Rock and Fontainebleau resorts. Here you'll see drama that Atlantis is known for, gigantic candelabras, wall sconces, limestone floor tiles, and views of Atlantis' dramatic marina. Let's hope the food has lots of drama on the plates, too.
[Photo: Atlantis Resort]
There's no other way to say it: There's a huge freakin' project going down right now in the Bahamas.
Self-described as the “Bahamian Riviera,” the Baha Mar Resort will add 2,200 rooms across four resorts to the already existing Wyndham Nassau Resort's and the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort's combined 1,250 rooms.
In total after this new construction is finished in Decmber 2014, Baha Mar will have a total of 3,450 rooms compared to the 3,950 of the infamous Atlantis on Paradise Island.
It's Monday and just the right hour to take a minute and play Witty Wordsmith with us, whydontcha? That's right, it's time to Name.This.Caption!
There are no pigs in the pool at the Palm Bay Beach Club on Great Exuma in the Bahamas, but the staff will certainly point you in the right direction should you find yourself jaded by the traditional dip with dolphins. This is one of those moments where photography truly speaks louder than words.
But let's give it a go anyway.There's a pig in that there crystal-clear water, for chrissakes! But he doesn't seem to want to play with our guy here. So, what would you name this photo? Marco Pig Polo? Having A Hog Wild Time? Yeah, you probably can do better.
Have a humorous hunch about what's happening here? Let us know in comments below!
[Photo: Hotel Chatter]
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Hurricane Sandy, which has waltzed her way in at the tail end of the Caribbean's traditional june-November "Hurricane Season" for hotels is causing vacationers to make phone calls and emails to their various resorts in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Florida, and Bermuda--the location of the storm's path. This news that at least 20 people have died from hurricane damage hasn't helped and neither have reports of various flight delays for the upcoming weekend and predictions that things will get hectic for at least the first few days next week.
"Frankenstorm", as Sandy has been appropriately nicknamed by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is currently hovering over The Bahamas. One hotel already taking precautions is the 250-room, all-inclusive Paradise Island Harbour Resort in Nassau. Not only have they closed all the east-facing rooms with balconies as the hurricane blows in from that direction, they've also brought in outdoor furniture and anything not nailed to the ground. The staff has also gathered ample quantities of fresh water.
“We’ve been waiting for this all season,” said Lex Hollender, regional director of operations of the resort, who says the hotel is operating at 50% capacity since they've closed down the other half. And they're still checking in guests who refuse to deter their plans.
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It's still not clear whether the mega-resort, uh, Resorts World Miami will get its casino or not. Developers, the Malaysian firm Genting Malaysia Berhad, certainly hope so. Florida lawmakers, not so much.
But that doesn't mean Genting is sitting around wringing its hands over the ultimate decision. The company is moving right along--just across the water to Bimini Bay in the Bahamas.
That's right; if you can't get a casino opened in Miami, just open one in Miami's backyard. Genting has partnered with RAV Bahamas, developers of Bimini Bay Resort and Marina and the soon-to-come Rockwell Island Beach Estates to launch a casino called... surprise, Resorts World Bimini Bay.
The fancy new gaming facility is scheduled to open in mid-December, joining Bimini Bay Resort's existing marina, expansive grounds and two large pool decks. We can expect table games, slots and of course all the splashy entertainment and dining that is synonymous with a casino.
Healthy Hotels / Bahamas Hotels / The Cove Atlantis / One & Only Hotels / Hotel Beverages / Hotel Fitness / → All Tags
A room at One & Only Ocean Club.
Health-conscious hotels are trending. But it's not just entire hotel brands dedicated to healthy living that are popping up--existing hotels, including those known for spoiling their guests, are getting in shape, too.
Next month, two Paradise Island hotels, The Cove Atlantis and One & Only Ocean Club, will be jumping on the juice craze thanks to a partnership with New York-based superfood beverage company Body&Eden. According to the hotels, the elixirs promise to "ease the sometimes challenging transition from daily life to the pure pleasure of vacation."
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If you happened to be in Miami Beach a couple of weekends ago, you might have seen what you thought was a mirage: a beach volleyball tournament played by the most beautiful, bronzed people on earth. And if you missed out on this walking daydream--the Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament--you get another chance to watch the pretty people jump and spike this weekend.
That is if you can hitch a ride over to Bimini in the Bahamas. That's where the finalist teams--of models (it bears repeating)--will stage a rematch of the SoBe Tournament, to break in the Sakara Beach Club.
A luxury beach resort launching a new beach club--the European kind with sexy day beds, live DJs and tons of delicious things to eat and drink--is cause for celebration, no? Well, Bimini Bay Resort and Marina certainly thinks so--which is why they're flying in a slew of models to celebrate the launch of their new Sakara Beach Club.
While wandering around The Cove Atlantis recently, we noticed a wonderful sign--one we wish we could clap eyes on at hotels around the world. Yep, we're talking about The Transit Lounge.
Like its more affordable pal, The Atlantis Resort, The Cove Atlantis has one of these glorious rooms where guests who have time to kill before hitting the airport can retreat post check-out. (Or, pre–check-in.)
Since we've turned many a hotel pool/lobby/lobby bathroom into our personal transit lounge in the past, we find this amenity a shining example of dignity. Especially at a place where there's so many ways to suck every last drop out of your stay. Just take a look at the view of the Atlantis Water Park from our room...
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The Love Your Family package includes guaranteed connecting rooms or a suite, a $50 resort credit and a bunch of planned family bonding time for $249 a night.
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All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen will be taking us on a guided tour of the globe’s most exclusive, luxurious, over-the-top vacation retreats in our new Private Islands Series. We’ll venture from the Bahamas to Fiji, from Africa’s crystalline Lake Tanganyika to the emerald waters of Cambodia, and everywhere in between. That is, everywhere you can be ruler of your own little island.
Obviously we’re hotel folk at heart. We love checking out everything from the latest trends to how they’re stocking the minibars to the most fashionable uniforms, but even we have our antisocial moments…and in those moments, our minds drift to the various paradises of sumptuous solitude that we’ve come across in our reading: private vacation islands you can have to yourself. So come along with us as we sail from cays to atolls, and jet from secluded sandbars to isolated islets in our week-long series on Private Islands.
We begin our week with one of the most fabulous private islands in the world, and it’s actually close to home in the sandy atolls of the Bahamas on the private playground of no less an illustrious illusionist than David Copperfield! It’s called Musha Cay, and is in the secluded Exuma chain of islands, about 85 miles southeast of Nassau.