The Sheraton flag was unfurled on Cable
Beach in Nassau, Bahamas, on June 12, a milestone event for Baha
"It's our first
step," said Bryan Guillot, Baha Mar's chief marketing officer. "We
have sunk a lot of pylons already, with many more to
The opening of the
Sheraton is the first phase of a project that calls for the
development of a megaresort on Cable Beach. Baha Mar's partners in
the joint venture are Harrah's Entertainment and Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Worldwide.
"This first phase
is critical because it is an indication of what the total product
will represent," Guillot said.
Sheraton Cable Beach Resort, formerly a Radisson, was "taken down
to the concrete in the renovations," according to Guillot. Each
guest room cost $100,000 to renovate.
All rooms have a
balcony or patio with ocean views, high-speed Internet access, LCD
flat-screen TVs, walk-in showers, large desks, ergonomic chairs and
signature Sheraton Sleeper beds.
The resort has
seven acres of gardens, three pools with waterfalls, a swim-up bar,
oversize Jacuzzis, four restaurants, two lounges, four tennis
courts, 25,000 square feet of meetings facilities, a business
center and a Kids Club.
The Sheraton joins
its neighbor, the 550-room Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal
Palace Casino, as part of the Cable Beach Resorts family. Both are
owned by Baha Mar Development Co.
resorts form one complex offering cross-property amenity privileges
to guests, including the Cable Beach Resorts Golf Club. Still to
come in Baha Mar's grand plan are a 1,000-room Caesars Palace, a
300-room W, a 300-room St. Regis and a 700-room Westin.
"We've tried to
cover all markets in this product development," Guillot said. "The
Sheraton and the Wyndham target the midrange price level. The W
aims for the hip-and-cool market, the Westin for the meetings
segment, the St. Regis for the high-end traveler and Caesars for
the gambling crowd."
The facilities of
each hotel will be available to guests at all the hotels with the
exception of the St. Regis, whose pool will be for the exclusive
use of its guests.
Starwood brands (St. Regis, Westin, W and Sheraton) will be a big
part of selling the resort, Guillot said.
"We want travelers
to think of Baha Mar as a destination where they will stay at one
of the properties there. We want them in the mind-set of, 'I'm
going to Baha Mar, I'm staying at W', for example," he
For travel agents,
selling Baha Mar will be an "educational challenge," Guillot
"Baha Mar is a
place to relax or to invigorate, depending upon how active a guest
chooses to be," he said. "The knowledgeable agents will help the
traveler sort out that decision."
Guillot said the
resort will sell all-inclusive stays. "Sheraton is offering an
all-inclusive option, and we are developing one for Wyndham guests,
as well," he said.
As for the
competition posed by nearby Atlantis Paradise Island, also a
behemoth in terms of size, scope and facilities, Guillot said that
Baha Mar "competes on a more global basis."
"In the end, we all
need to grow business to the destination, not to just one resort
project," he said.
Airlift is a
critical factor now and in the future, according to Guillot. He's
pleased that an airport upgrade will be taking place in
Guillot said Baha
Mar was "a big vision" and hinted that the project could be
replicated in other destinations.
There are a lot of
pylons to be sunk before that happens, however.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].