The Caribbean isn’t exactly a hot spot for major rewards hotels like Marriott, Hilton, SPG, etc. So when a new hotel like the Grand Hyatt opens up down there, I consider it to be newsworthy. In this case, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is part of the Baha Mar development, an ambitious mixed-use development project on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas that poses a tremendous amount of potential, although it’s been through some tough times.
The billion dollar project, which will also include hotels by Rosewood and Morgans, was originally set to open back in March of 2015 but due to a series of issues, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy, construction was stalled. It was recently announced that it was expecting an opening in the spring of 2017, but now it looks like it will officially open its doors in April of 2016.
The Grand Hyatt sounds (and looks) like it’s going to be an impressive resort. There’s dancing fountains (with light show capabilities) and a 40 foot water wall that welcomes you to the property housing 1,800 guest rooms, including 227 suites. The hotel will also feature three restaurants, including a 200-seat main restaurant, a pool bar and grill and a jazz-themed lounge. In addition, it will feature an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Golf Course, a 30,000 square foot destination spa and tennis courts and other facilities. Oh, and don’t forget about the “20-acre beach and pool experience” that will be a part of the complex.
The press release states that “the Baha Mar Resort will open in phases, with initial operations at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar expected to begin in late April 2017.” The Baha Mar Resort is also going to be home to the Baha Mar Casino, which is to going to have 1,100 slot machines and 150 table games and the biggest and most state-of-the-art casino in the Caribbean. In addition, when the complex is completed, it will be the single largest resort in the Caribbean.
This is an exciting development but I won’t be visiting for a little while. I’ve learned that when it comes to large resorts, grand openings, or “soft openings,” often leave things to be desired. Forget the fact that there will always be issues to iron out with the staff and facilities, it’s often the case that large portions of a resort don’t immediately open and that’s exactly what’s going on here. In fact, it’s reported that only 200 rooms will open in late April and the remaining 1,600 rooms will open in phases through December 2017.
I’m sure this hotel will be a fantastic resort and probably one of the top properties in the entire Caribbean once it’s up and running but for now I’m going to sit back and wait for it to get a bit more running time and for the next phases to complete. This is definitely an exciting development for any Hyatt fan who loves the Caribbean, though, and it should surely give a much-needed boost to the declining tourism in the Bahamas.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.