Amid all the hoopla surrounding the soft opening of Baha Mar in Nassau's Cable Beach area, I've been wondering about the neighboring Melia Nassau Beach All-Inclusive resort, located on the Baha Mar site and owned by the same Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises company as the other hotels.
Melia Hotels International took over the former Sheraton Nassau Beach Hotel in December 2013 and began the renovation project in 2014 to rebrand the property as a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort under the Melia Hotels & Resorts brand.
"We're doing very well," said LaToya Moxey, senior sales and marketing manager. "Once we opened in 2014, we never closed. We've completed a $19 million renovation project and all that remains now is just the finishing touches to our upgrades of our 102 Level rooms with new flooring, contemporary Caribbean decor, installation of wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, ergonomic chairs at the desk and Bluetooth [capability]," Moxey said.
"We will be adding an outdoor playground for kids and new kid-friendly amenities," she added.
Additional renovations included a refurbished, 24-hour fitness center, a stage for live entertainment next to the adults-only pool and revamped food and beverage concepts resulting in a total of seven dining venues and four bars.
Each of the hotel's 694 rooms have balconies, and more than 85% offer an ocean view.
At this time, the Melia Nassau Beach is not marketed as part of Baha Mar, although it is under the same owner as the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar; SLS Luxe, opening this fall; and Rosewood, opening next year.
"Our hotel is managed by Melia. We are our own entity and act as our own promotion and marketing arm," Moxey said.
Melia guests will have access to certain services and preferred rates at Baha Mar, including the Royal Blue golf course, the casino, five or six of the 40-plus restaurants and the ESPA Spa. Free shuttle service is available to the Baha Mar casino and the golf course.
"We're getting updates daily as more services are added, and we are working out details," Moxey said. "I think our guests will like the added attraction of Baha Mar, although we are not marketing our resort as such."
Although Melia is an all-inclusive resort (one of six in Nassau), Baha Mar guests who want to dine at Melia will be welcome and will pay the menu rate. Day passes also will be available for the use of Melia's three pools and the beach.
"We are focused on our property," Moxey said. "We are not trying to compete or tag along. Our collateral material is synonymous with Melia Nassau Beach. We are focused on our services and our guest experience."
Although there was talk early on that Melia would be renamed Melia at Baha Mar, Moxey said this was no longer the case.
"Our guests know us as the Melia Nassau Beach All Inclusive, and we are keeping that name," she said.
First-quarter bookings were very strong, especially from the U.S. market, according to Moxey.
"More than 70% of our business is leisure, and close to 50% of that comes in through agents. We sell only packages, no room-only rates," she said.
Melia offers its Melia Pro award program for agents.