Here is a lady who is one of the best advertisements for what will be The Bahamas’ biggest tourism venture, set to add 12.8 percent to the nation’s entire economy. She is riding the elevator that takes the gal up from the old (still working) casino to the Baha Mar executive offices, where officials efficiently plan the order and execution of putting together the largest tourism development outside of China, the $3.5 billion Baha Mar luxury resorts – funded, and largely constructed, by China. These officials, for the record, are extremely professional (casino boss Mike French is in the gym at 5.30 each morning). They are also stylish (Baha Mar President Tom Dunlap drinks his water from a cut-glass tumbler).
Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar will be one of the busiest of the five hotels as it is going to run the adjacent 200,000 sq ft convention centre and the 2,000-person performance arena. I love the corridors in this hotel, bold periwinkle blue with white scroll patterns. By contrast the 733 bedrooms are, as you can see, really soft and delicate.
Soft salmon highlights and a blown up coral etching hangs over the bed. A glass wall between the bed area and the bathroom can be given privacy by pulling the screen over. Bathrooms in all the Baha Mar hotels are a special feature, as is food. Many of the complex’s 36 restaurants have not been finalized. Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, run by former Hyatt GM of the year Greg Saunders, a one-time basketball and football coach, and special needs teacher from Cleveland OH, has a significant chef, Matias Martinez from Barcelona. Its Blue Note lounge will have a brass railing, in nautical style, and some of the staff uniforms will look maritime, too, with blazers and white shorts.
I did an awful lot of eating during my time at what will be the Baha Mar complex of luxury hotels. One night Royann Dean, a skilled marketing graduate who had her own representation company before being enticed to Baha Mar by its sheer scale, hosted a dinner to talk art. We sat outside in the compact garden of Café Matisse, right in the centre of old-town Nassau (Girlahead tip, try the beef carpaccio).