The Baha Mar Resort on Nassau in the Bahamas officially opened today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by media and VIPs, including Bahamas prime minister Perry Christie and Baha Mar president Graeme Davis. The resort's first hotel to open, the 1,800-room Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, will begin taking reservations from the general public for stays beginning May 29.
Baha Mar officials and Prime Minister Christie are hoping the soft-opening ceremonies mark an end to more than two years of delays for the project, which broke ground here in Nassau's Cable Beach area in February 2011 and is the most expensive private project in the Bahamas' history, according to M&C's sister publication Travel Weekly.
The resort's convention center, which offers 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, debuted earlier this year; an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature Royal Blue golf course is slated to open this spring. The 100,000-square-foot casino, with 1,100 slot machines and 125 gaming tables, already is open. Future plans call for the development of a private island as a venue for group events, with an opening set for late 2018 or early 2019. The resort will have its own dedicated area at Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport, where guests can check in before being transported by shuttle to the property, a 10-minute drive from the airport.
Once fully opened next year, the resort will include the 300-room SLS Lux Baha Mar and the 200-room Rosewood Baha Mar. The 694-room Meliá Nassau Beach all-inclusive resort, which recently completed $19 million in renovations, will officially become part of Baha Mar at a later date.