There was another memorable meal out while the gal was studying what will be the Baha Mar complex of luxury hotels in The Bahamas. With my new friends Gena Conroy, who sells the Baha Mar residences and villas, and Royann Dean, who was looking after me, we headed for Mahogany House, a Napa-like complex reached by a walk-through wine shop with sensational underground cellar filled with Extremely Desirable Labels (apparently Mahogany House’s owner, financier Mark Holowesko, is building a 30-room hotel on adjacent land next to the restaurant, and I wait to hear more – there are, incidentally, 270 banks plus other financial institutions registered in this nation of islands).
Next on the agenda was a visit to what will be the most expensive hotel here, Rosewood at Baha Mar. Like the rest of Baha Mar, the 100-room hotel is by the complex’s lead designers Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Dianna Wong, but here Canadian Munge Leung has also had some input. There is a sleekness to bedroom interiors, with lots of hardwood, and white chairs and polysyllabic books. There will be butlers among the total-400 staff, who do also have to run a separate small spa for Rosewood guests only. They will also service ultra-exclusive villas for sale, and a massive 20,000 sq ft Villa Roxie, designed by Lenny Kravitz and called after his mother (the villa is for high-rollers at the casino).
Rooms here have stylish terraces, for looking out to sea and down to those villas. Corridors at Rosewood at Baha Mar are somewhat subdued, with shades of darker blue forming the carpeting, but the paintings on the walls will be outstanding, with a different artist featured on each of the eight floors, says Luis Fernandes, the Portuguese internationalist who heads Rosewood Baha Mar (he opened Las Ventanas al Paraiso, and several other Rosewood properties).
Rosewood Baha Mar will have The Commonwealth restaurant, with best fish and chips ever, and Bar Riva will serve the definitive Camparis, invented in Italy in 1860 but long associated with the Bahamas because this is where the concoction’s cascarilla bark comes from. More locale, therefore, at this luxury hotel, as throughout Baha Mar when it opens, all at once, ostensibly April 2015.