NASSAU, Bahamas -- Visitors to the Bahamas increased 13% to 2.2 million from January through June compared with the same period a year ago, according to figures released by the ministry of tourism.

Last year, the total number of visitors was 3.6 million.

With a record number of visitors expected, properties islandwide are sprucing up their offerings. A host of new hotels also are on the horizon.

Ocean Club added 10 suites and 40 rooms on Sept. 1 as part of a $100 million refurbishment.

Developments include:

  • Coral Sands Hotel on Harbour Island will add 12 new rooms in two buildings, bringing the total room count to 39.
  • Manager Judy Allen said the property will close Sept. 18 and reopen on Oct. 28.

    Eight rooms will be deluxe oceanfront and four will be one-bedroom apartments, at a cost of more than $1 million.

    Coral Sands Hotel
    Phone: (800) 468-2799

  • Construction began this spring on Harborside Resort at Atlantis, a 198-unit time-share property on Paradise Island.
  • The first phase will open early next year.

    Harborside Resort at Atlantis
    Phone: (800) VISTANA

  • The opening of the 235-room, $100 million Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay is scheduled for late next year.
  • Facilities will include a Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole golf course; a full-service spa and fitness facility; a marina; a casino, and meetings space.

  • Inn at Old Bahama, a 47-room boutique hotel, is set to open in October at the Old Bahama Bay complex in West End, Grand Bahama Island.
  • A 75-slip marina as well as a complex of 67 private homes are already open.

    Construction of 125 additional slips, a yacht club, a restaurant and lounge and 106 dockside villas is under way.

    Old Bahama Bay
    Phone: (800) 572-5711

  • The Lucayan, also on West End, will open 800 new rooms Dec. 1, bringing its total room count to 1,350. More than $350 million has been invested in the resort since its partial opening in 1999.
  • The Manor House, also set to open in December, will serve as the central check-in area.

    A championship golf course, a spa and fitness center, meetings space and a casino will follow.

    The Lucayan
    Phone: (800) 582-2926
    CRS: All major systems

  • Pelican Bay at Lucaya, a boutique hotel on Grand Bahama Island, completed the first phase of its expansion program with the addition of a $1.5 million, 21-room wing, bringing the room count total to 69.
  • Pelican Bay at Lucaya
    Phone: (800) 600-9192

  • The 58-room Ocean Club on Paradise Island opened 10 new suites and 40 rooms on Sept. 1. The Dune restaurant was unveiled at the same time.
  • The additions were part of a $100 million renovation project set for completion early next year.

    Still to be added are an 18-hole golf course, slated to open in December, and a full-service spa, opening next spring.

    Ocean Club
    Phone: (800) 321-3000
    CRS: Rack rates only via all major systems

  • Resort & Casino at Bahamia is the first dual-branded property in the Bahamas.
  • The property includes the 965-room Tower (opened as a Crowne Plaza); 100 time-share units at the Country Club (opened as a Holiday Inn SunSpree); two 18-hole golf courses, and a casino.

    A $42 million renovation program, which began this summer, includes refurbishing the guest rooms and casino; upgrading golf courses, and adding a spa and fitness center.

    Resort & Casino at Bahamia
    Phone: (800) 545-1300

  • The 340-room Sheraton Grand Resort Paradise Island reopened in February after a multimillion-dollar renovation that covered the guest rooms, dining facilities, meetings space and the pool and beach.
  • Sheraton Grand Resort Paradise Island
    Phone: (800) 782-9488
    CRS: All major systems

  • The 246-room Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, formerly the Fun Club on Paradise Island, reopened in May following a $9 million renovation.
  • Improvements included upgraded soft goods and bathrooms, a redone pool and hot tub, a second restaurant called Wahoo's Pool Bar, lobby renovations and resurfaced tennis courts.

    A children's program also was added.

    Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort
    Phone: (800) 331-6471
    CRS: All major systems

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