Bahamas' Radisson Cable Beach covers all the bases

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NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Radisson Cable Beach Resort bills itself as "the complete vacation playground."

The Radisson Cable Beach Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. With 700 rooms, six restaurants, three pools, a golf course, a miniature golf course and a karaoke bar, there are plenty of places for guests to play.

This megaresort, a sprawling complex set on Nassau's Cable Beach, caters to leisure travelers as well as the group and meetings market. During my short stay, I found both crowds mixed together comfortably and easily.

For one thing, it is hard to keep your mind on business because temptation abounds. There are the endless stretch of beach; the pools with Jacuzzis and waterfalls; the lineup of activities; the 18-hole course, and the shopping arcade and casino, which are adjacent to the hotel.

But when guests need to get down to business, they will find the Radisson has more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space, breakout rooms and hospitality suites. Rooms are equipped with data ports and voice mail, and the hotel offers translation and fax services via the business center.

The Radisson Cable Beach has turned its attention to attracting a greater share of the meetings and incentives market. The Radisson has a group sales office in Miami, added staff to its on-site conference team and published a 30-page guide for planners.

The hotel also upgraded its accommodations this year with new furnishings, clock radios, irons and ironing boards and coffeemakers. The rooms also have minibars, in-room safes, cable television, hair dryers and balconies.

For 2000, the resort plans to add new carpeting, bedspreads and draperies. Rooms sport a tropical look, and one nice touch is pink or beige sheets rather than the standard white, which can be found in most chains.

However, most guests are likely to spend their time outside checking out the Radisson's offerings. Other recreation activities include four tennis courts, three racquetball courts and three squash courts; a fitness center; kayaking; snorkeling; scuba lessons, and Camp Junkanoo, a children's program for kids ages 4 to 11.

There are many options for guests but most seem content to lounge on the beach or by the pools, to hit the links or to try their luck at the casino.

In between, guests have the choice of dining at six restaurants (usually four or five are open each night and all six are open when there is a full house).

For dinner venues, there are Amici, which serves Italian fare, and Avocado's, which features a continental menu. Reservations are required for both.

Guests can choose to grill their own steak, chicken or seafood tableside at the Forge, which is open for dinner. Reservations are required, and the atmosphere is quite lively.

Also only open for dinner is Islands, where the menu has a Caribbean twist. This is where the karaoke bar is located.

Bimini Market Grill is an indoor/outdoor eatery that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Made-to-order items as well as typical buffet fare are on the menu for breakfast and lunch.

The Dolphin Grill has a poolside location with salads, sandwiches and light snacks on the lunch menu, and grilled items for dinner. Reservations are required.

After dinner, many guests head off to one of the resort's three bars, the casino or to the Jacuzzi for a dip.

One of the biggest draws at the Radisson is its pricing structure. Rates are either inclusive or European Plan. All meals, drinks, activities, nonmotorized water sports, greens fees and shuttle service to the course, the children's program, taxes and gratuities are covered under the inclusive plan. An inclusive meeting package also is available.

Inclusive, EP rates for 2000

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Radisson Cable Beach Resort set nightly rates for 2000.

Inclusive rack rates range from $250 to $275 per person, double, from Jan. 3 to Feb. 12. Rates under the European Plan range from $210 to $250 during the same period.

From Feb. 13 to May 3, inclusive prices range from $275 to $310. The EP rates range from $255 to $300.

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