Tag: Nassau HotelsView All Tags
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.
Hurricane Hotels / Hurricane Sandy / Hotel Emergencies / Bahamas Hotels / Nassau Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Memorial Day Hotels / Hotel Deals / Kid-Friendly Hotels / Nassau Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / → All Tags
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.
The British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, where fun fact! James Bond movies Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983) were filmed, is in the process of undergoing a major makeover, ostensibly to spruce up in case a new Bond needs to roll through. The makeover kicked off at the end of '08 and is supposed to be finished by June of this year, and the hotel is dropping a hot $15 million on the upgrades.
All guestrooms will be given a contemporary new design with new bedding, HD LCD televisions, marble floors, "softer" furnishings and new lighting. Up in executive floor rooms and suites, bigger TV's than in the standard rooms (37" vs 32") and Nespresso coffee machines. 120 rooms will be all done by February, and the rest will be done by May.
The hotel is also adding a new executive lounge up on the top floor, offering killer views of Nassau harbor, computer work stations, WiFi, a self-service kitchenette with all day refreshments, big TV's. You can also expect a new bar, restaurant, and lounge concept, "due to debut before the summer."
Rates start around $179 for Deluxe Rooms.
Yesterday we ran a review of Compass Point Hotel, on New Providence Island in the Bahamas. There was a nice view of the colorful cabanas from the dock out in the water, but this gives you the view looking out at the sea.
This is a 360-degree video tour, so you can see a few chalets, the big hot tub, and the pool and restaurant in the distance past that. As you'll see, there's a splash of color at every turn. Enjoy!
Compass Point Beach Resort in the Bahamas is the antithesis of the vacation factories that make up most of the mass tourism infrastructure around Nassau. With just 18 cabanas and cottages spread around the grounds, it's more like something you would see on a laid-back, unknown island. Painted in bright festival colors, it's a picturesque place where people take their time and converse instead of rushing through buffet meals and shouting over jet-skis.
Part of Chris Blackwell's Island Outpost group, it reopened this past December after a top-to-bottom upgrade where the resort was closed during construction. Each hut or cottage has a deck or porch and despite the rustic look, inside these are some of the best-equipped rooms on the island. We're talking flat-screen TVs with DVD surround sound, kitchenettes, wi-fi (included) and air-conditioning that you can really control. Some are set up as suites, one with two bedrooms. The small beach directly in front of the resort disappears at high tide, but a walkway leads to the larger Love Beach and a dock extends out into the water. Meanwhile there's an attractive pool with cushioned wood lounge chairs and a hot tub for four.
Locals say the restaurant here is the best around, but they mostly keep it to themselves. The restaurant is not advertised in the tourist rags, so most of the dinner guests are those staying at the resort and people who live nearby. We can say from experience that the conch fritters, seafood pot pie, and "guava duff" dessert are heavenly.
Neighboring Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas are legendary and the client list is like a who's who of music history old and new: Rolling Stones, U2, B-52s, Diddy, Bob Marley, James Brown, Al Green, Lenny Kravitz, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, and on and on. And it's where AC/DC's Black in Black was recorded. So you never know who will be hanging at the bar. Last week it was Widespread Panic. Shakira and her crew were in the house New Year's Eve. Plus Sean Connery has a house nearby, so if the timing's right you might hear his booming voice in the bar.
Check back in tomorrow, when we'll have a short video tour of the grounds.
The Wyndham Nassau Resort in the Bahamas would be considered a large hotel if it weren't dwarfed by the mega-magnet Atlantis a few miles away. It has 850 rooms spread over several towers: intimate it is not. This is the real hub of activity on New Providence Island itself, mainly due to its hopping 24-hour casino. College kids psyched to be getting legal (and free) cocktails mix it up at the craps tables with grizzled commercial construction tycoons from New York and Miami.
The Wyndham has a symbiotic relationship with its two neighbors: the Cable Beach Hotel on one side and the Radisson Resort on the other(see yesterday's Good Rate--Bad Rate), with the three siblings sharing facilities and the beach. This works well for all concerned: the Wyndham has the best restaurants by far, but it has the worst beach by far. In fact there isn't much of a beach there at all--just a seawall and a tiny crescent of sand. Thankfully the Radisson has a great beach just a few steps away.
There are plenty of beach chairs all around, so no chair hog fears here. We were intrigued by this pictured roped-off area for Gold and Platinum members of Wyndham's frequent guest club though. Do these elite members feel all smug and superior when they're the only ones with a hammock? Or does it feel like being in a fishbowl, surrounded by curious onlookers? I guess we could have asked, but that would have meant getting up from our own comfy spot under a palapa and trying to converse over a white rope with someone on the other side.
When it comes time to book your room here, you will probably want to pony up the extra dough to get an ocean view room. Some listed as "island view" would definitely qualify as an "anti view" room. Go for the all-inclusive plan as well. Prices in the Bahamas are high all around and this hotel is no exception. Restaurant and bar prices are high, plus the 15 percent gratuity included on everything you order results in service that is wildly inconsistent. Paying as you go is going to cost you more unless you're a tea-totaler on a diet.
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were valid for the dates of March 15 to 19, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
In this week's Good Rate example, we scored four nights at the Radisson Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas for $215 a night, all-inclusive, through Hotwire. Had we just trusted the common hotel line that their sites have the best rates, we would have paid at least $736 per night (see screen shot here from the hotel's booking site). Who is crazy enough to pay that much for a hotel that is under renovation, where half of the pool area is closed and there is no beachfront bar or restaurant open?
Probably nobody, because when we used Kayak.com, we found two listings at around $335 a night all-inclusive, which is about half of what the hotel's own site had listed. Still, even compared to that, our Good Rate at Hotwire saved us $427, or 31 percent. The savings over the official rate at the Radisson's site was over 100 percent.
The lesson is an oldie but a goodie: shop around. Despite all the meta-search sites and the hotels' claims that booking direct is best, reality is that the best deals are lurking in different places on different days. In this case though, booking direct with the hotel would cost you dearly. For $736 a night, there are better places to stay in Nassau--including ones that aren't under construction.
· Good Rate: Hotwire's $215 All-Inclusive Rate for the Bahamas [HotelChatter]
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were valid from March 15 to 19, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
Hotel companies have a love/hate relationship with Hotwire and Priceline. The managers moan that they're practically giving away rooms and they instill in their staffs a "look down your nose" attitude toward people who have booked a room this way. Then again, they love the fact that Hotwire and Priceline are very good at efficiently and quickly raising the occupancy level when a hotel is nowhere close to full. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
Which brings us to the Radisson Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas. Two weeks ago we scored a cheap last-minute plane fare to the Bahamas, but didn't have a hotel booked. Our first choice was sold out (more on that one in another post) and prices at the ones still available were no bargain. It was Spring Break time after all. Enter Hotwire, which had an all-inclusive resort listed for the days we wanted, at only $215 per night with all taxes and fees.
Before hitting the buy button, we pulled up two stealth sites that keep you from being in the dark on what you're getting: BetterBidding.com and BiddingForTravel.com. After a little looking around, it was a pretty sure thing this listing was the Radisson Cable Beach Resort. So we read the TripAdvisor reviews and while they were mixed--a main complaint being ongoing renovations--overall they said, "You get what you expect." For $200 a night all-inclusive, we don't expect all that much, so we went ahead.
Sure enough, we got the Radisson. After a brief tussle at check-in (that "We love/hate Hotwire" thing again), all turned out fine. Beach, cocktails, decent food--that was all we needed and the Radisson Nassau delivered. A good rate indeed--as opposed to the Bad Rate we would have paid elsewhere.
With Hotwire, you've got to grab the deal when you find it though. When we tried again the day before departure just for kicks, our hotel was gone and there was only one choice listed for Nassau--from six the week before.