Baha Mar: A Luxe Bahamian Retreat
The Bahamas has long been renowned for the clarity and warmth of its ocean waters, its movie-set-perfect tropical climate, and the immense friendliness of its people.
When you add luxury accommodations, memorable dining, the largest and most elegant casino in the region, a wildlife sanctuary, and world-class golf to the mix, you’ve got an unbeatable combination. And nowhere in The Bahamas do the stars align so perfectly as at Baha Mar.
The resort encompasses three iconic hotels, 45 different dining and nightlife options, a 30,000-square-foot spa, a 100,000-square-foot casino, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf, and its newest enticement, a 15-acre beachfront water park called Baha Bay that will thrill kids and adults alike with its many amenities. It even includes a wave-surfing pool. From a lodging standpoint, the choices are distinct — and distinctive. First built, in May 2017, was the Grand Hyatt. With 1,570 room, 230 suites, residences, and villas, six pools, and 200,000 square feet of meeting and event space, this stylish and modern hotel exudes grandeur from every pore, yet is family friendly from the get-go.
In November 2017, the SLS Baha Mar hotel debuted. With 190 rooms and 109 suites and residences, it has earned descriptions such as “playfully hip,” “swank,” and “ideal for the nightlife-minded set.” One reviewer labeled it “South Beach-meets-The-Bahamas,” hinting at the champagne-soaked pool parties that are a staple of SLS properties. Contrast that with the Rosewood Baha Mar, the most sumptuous of the three hotels, a richly refined property with only 137 room and 100 suites, residences, and villas that emphasizes privacy and tranquility, and opens onto the powder-white sands of Nassau’s Cable Beach.
Unique offerings are splashed throughout Baha Mar. At Dean’s Blue Hole Pool at the Grand Hyatt, the young and young at heart can jump from manmade rocks 15 feet high down into a pool — then make their way into a grotto which abuts The Sanctuary, a haven for marine life, where they can get up close and personal with green turtles, stingrays, and nurse sharks.
If tennis is your racket, you can play your own Grand Slam. Among the nine courts, six are hard courts, two are of Har-Tru clay and one is an actual grass surface.
Favor a cocktail or something to nosh on? There’s everything from the super-casual Drift, where you can feast poolside on Conch Fritters, to the sedate, at Rosewood’s dark-paneled Manor Bar— plus everything in between. For those looking to double down, the casino is a supreme draw. Think Las Vegas, only with walls studded with local art and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase ocean views.
ROYAL BLUE AWAITS
For golfers, the Jack Nicklaus Signature design at Royal Blue awaits. The golf course is so good, it’s an itch that must be scratched. Years in the making the course opened in 2017. It was worth the wait.
Two radically different environments greet the golfer at Royal Blue. The demanding front nine unfolds over mostly level terrain with rippled mounding, low-rising sand dunes, bold bunkering, and water hazards on eight of the nine holes, many in the form of salt-water ponds. Oh, and handsome views of the Atlantic Ocean come early and often.
The back nine is a completely different story. Roomier fairways, dramatic elevation changes, jungle-like foliage and holes that zigzag through what Nicklaus calls “moonscaping”—a lunar-like landscape of limestone rock outcroppings — spice up the play. All told, this environmental triumph incorporates as many as 15 species of native trees, more than 70 species of
birds and an actual bat cave in the trees
to the right of the 16th hole.
“THE FREEFORM TEE CONCEPT GIVES US LOTS OF FLEXIBILITY FOR THE WIND, THE WEATHER, AND THE PLAYERS, WE WANT PLAYERS TO WALK OFF THE COURSE SAYING, ‘MAN, THAT WAS FUN,’ NOT ‘MAN, THAT WAS A BEATDOWN.’”
— DIRECTOR OF GOLF, ANDY DEIRO
The 16th will drive you batty —with either glee, a big number on your scorecard, or both. Royal Blue’s signature hole is a par 3 of 165 yards that plays slightly downhill to a peninsula green that juts abruptly into the blue-green waters of Lake Cunningham. Flight your ball nicely and you’ll earn a stress-free par. Fail, and it’s re-load time.
Take the 165 yards at the 16th, and all of the scorecard yardages, as fluid. Royal Blue sets up only one set of tees daily and the staff changes the positions every day. This “Freeform” teeing concept ensures that guests see maximum variety during their stay, with a setup that will move play along and not hobble anyone with brutality. The single-tee setup sounds more restrictive than say, having five tees from which to choose, yet it’s precisely the opposite. Guests are free to play anywhere on the tee box they wish. Where the markers are set, however, is the recommended spot that day for maximum enjoyment for the vast majority of players — along with a conch shell set of forward markers.
“The Freeform tee concept gives us lots of flexibility for the wind, the weather, and the players,” said Director of Golf, Andy Deiro. “We want players to walk off the course saying, ‘Man, that was fun,’ not ‘Man, that was a beatdown.’”
Royal Blue can stretch to 7,100 yards-plus, but most days, you’ll play a course around 6,500 yards, par 72.
Another awesome differentiator is Royal Blue’s “Better Than Your Own” club rental program. If you’re traveling without clubs — or even if you have lugged your sticks — you can try out some of the finest through their exclusive partnership with PXG, which provides 100 sets of Gen4 PXGs in a variety of head designs and shaft flexes.
Whatever weapons you choose to take on the perfectly groomed paspalum grass, amid inland forest and seaside splendor, the grin won’t leave your face — especially knowing you’re headed back across the street for more fun at Baha Mar.
Chill doesn’t come any better.
VIEW TO A THRILL at BAHA BAY
INSPIRED BY the natural beauty of The Bahamas, Baha Bay is designed to perfectly fuse relaxing island chill with exhilarating fun for the entire family.
Here’s what you find at this unique new hotspot:
- UNLIMITED ACCESS FOR BAHA MAR GUESTS
- 15 LUSH BEACHFRONT TROPICAL ACRES
- 26,000-SQUARE-FOOT BEACHFRONT LOUNGE AREA
- 7,400-SQUARE-FOOT INFINITY POOLS
- 30 PRIVATE VIP CABANAS
- 8,500-SQUARE-FOOT BEACHFRONT PRIVATE EVENT SPACE
- OVER 30 ATTRACTIONS
- 24 TOTAL SLIDES
- 8 THRILL SLIDES
- 2 UPHILL WATERCOASTERS
- 500,000-GALLON WAVEPOOL
- FLOWCURL™ SURF SIMULATOR
- 1,400-FOOT ACTION RIVER TIPPING BUCKET AND WATER BATTLE ZONE
- KIDS’ ISLAND FOR YOUNGER GUESTS
- 9 ELEVATED FOOD & BEVERAGE OPTIONS
- 6 RETAIL OUTLETS
- PRIVATE LOCKER RENTALS
- TOWEL RENTALS
- EXCLUSIVE CASINO
- GAMING PAVILION
The Baha Bay Beach Club provides guests the best of both worlds. The two infinity pools offer dazzling views of turquoise waters in a luxe setting while you bask in the ample poolside lounge areas. Plus, located within the Baha Bay Beach Club, 25° North takes inspiration from seasonal Southern California coastal cuisine and features a signature beverage program that leverages only the freshest local ingredients.
AT-A-GLANCE: BAHA MAR