FREEPORT, Bahamas -- When West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Driftwood
Hospitality Management purchased the Bahamas Princess Resort &
Casino here in May of 2000 for $25.5 million, the company saw great
Consisting of the 100-unit Country Club time-share and the
965-room Tower hotel, the Driftwood property said it seeks to
attract a wide range of guests, from couples and families to
singles and retirees.
The two-property resort has since been renamed the Resort &
Casino at Bahamia and is ready to be rebranded as the first
dual-brand property in the Bahamas this winter.
Following extensive renovations, which began almost immediately
after the purchase, the Tower will become a Crowne Plaza, while the
Country Club is poised to become a Holiday Inn SunSpree.
The Crowne Plaza at Bahamia is being touted as a four-star hotel
offering a "quiet retreat for mature adults, honeymoon couples and
The Holiday Inn SunSpree at Bahamia will offer a "more casual,
fun-filled environment for families, young adults and travelers
"Our goal is to unify the property, both physically and
operationally, and create a new destination on Grand Bahama
Island," said David Buddemeyer, president of Driftwood.
"Bahamia will offer two distinct hotel products; numerous sports
and leisure activities, and a park-like setting for family
activities, couples seeking romance and energetic singles looking
for a fun-filled getaway," he added.
Noting that the property will boast two distinct hotel products
which will be marketed separately, Buddemeyer stressed there will
be enough activities to satisfy all types of clientele.
Rooms in the Tower are designated as superior or deluxe, while
rooms in the Country Club are offered in standard or medium
Rates vary from $98 to $128 per room, double, through Dec.
The $42 million renovation plan, due to be completed in time for
the rebranding of the properties, includes the refurbishing of
guest rooms and the casino; updating the restaurants and all public
spaces, and upgrading the grounds and golf courses.
To date, renovations consist of:Guest rooms. Six floors of the Tower hotel have been completed
and are back in service.
By Aug. 15, four buildings at the Country Club will be
refurbished inside and out.
The remainder of the rooms in both properties will be finished
by the end of the year. All accommodations received new furniture,
soft goods and fixtures.Pool areas. The Tower's pool has been resurfaced and new
foliage added, while work on the Country Club pool should be
completed by the end of the month.
A sand-bottom pool, which will link the properties, was started
in April and should be completed by Nov. 1.Casino. The casino is located in the Tower building and a $12
million renovation project is under way.
The refit includes 700 new slot machines, enhancements to the
sports betting area, the replacement of soft goods in the main
gaming area and the addition of the Tonic lounge. Further
enhancements are scheduled to be in place by November.Golf. The 18-hole Ruby golf course was redesigned by the Fazio
Design Group and will reopen Aug. 15.
The 18-hole Emerald course will close next spring for extensive
renovations. The total cost for both courses is about $6
million.Restaurants. All of the property's restaurants are being
redesigned with new themes, menus and, in some cases, new
The Calypso Cafe reopened for buffet meals on July 16; the Palm
Grille, with a similar menu, will open Labor Day weekend.
Also, to open in September is the Coconut Bar, while the Rib
Room and Paradiso will be completed by November.