Dear Steemit friends:
Atlantis has long been the signature resort of the Bahamas, with it's fluid range of hotels that are able to accommodate guests at a wide range of budgets, all the while providing a consistent experience in it's shared amenities, it is no wonder that Atlantis has been a large draw to prospective visitors.
However, it is always healthy to have competition. Until recently, Atlantis was operating a near monopoly in terms of resorts and it was only the advent of Baha Mar that brought some competition to the area.
Today, we'll be having a look at Baha Mar, let's see whether this new development can poach some of the Atlantis customers over, or bring in a new wave of people to Bahamas and greatly help to revitalise the tourism industry in Bahamas.
Baha Mar positions itself as a luxury resort which is not as strongly themed as Atlantis. You won't be finding places like The Dig, Predator Lagoon, or any open air aquariums here. Instead, for frequent visitors to luxury hotels, the offering is actually pretty standard of what you would expect from a luxury resort.
In their own words..
Among discerning travellers, tastes differ but expectations don’t. Which is why Baha Mar offers a world-renowned collection of hotels uniquely designed to suit your personal style. More than a resort, its a choice of unparalleled experiences from the world’s leaders in hospitality.
The choices of hotels reflect what kind of experience you expect out of your stay. Indeed, if you wish to experience more than just a lovely room, then the SLS offers service and rooms that go above and beyond the standard luxury experience at the Grand Hyatt.
If you are looking for more of a Residential style experience, the Rosewood at Baha Mar would be more suitable.
For me, I opted for the Grand Hyatt. Having stayed in other hotels from this chain, I know what to expect from the room.
Arriving at the Baha Mar, we drive over a very long bridge that crosses a man made lake (or large pond) and arrive at the landing / drop off area of the hotel. Everything looks really new, and the styles of design has some hints of Asian influence. Especially the two tigers greeting me at the entrance.. this is something I would expect from a Chinese establishment given the tiger's superstitious back story.
Beside the entrance, we can already see the Casino which is actually the main draw of this resort. It seems to be very empty at this moment, a complete contrast to Atlantis, but then again at this point, the resort has only been open for a few weeks.
The main lobby is actually quite impressive, it's very large and maintains a consistent style of decor throughout. It feels like a middle Asian / far east Asian fusion of styles.
The ceiling isn't as high as the Royal Towers at Atlantis, but it still feels very spacious.
The check-in desk is well presented with floral designs to match the general design theme of the hotel. Behind the desk, there seems to be a fish tank embedded into the wall with some Lion Fish inside.
Here is another look at the Casino.
As you can see, it's very very empty at this point, and there are many bored looking croupiers just waiting for someone to join their table.
As a non-gambler, i'm just another one of the spectators on the sidelines with not very much to watch!
Despite the clear lack of custom at the Casino, I am very impressed with it's layout and size. I especially like these massive crystal chandeliers in the Casino. Usually, I believe Casino's are well decorated with fancy adornments because of the amount of money they make from their customers, but in this case, I'm pretty sure they haven't made any money yet!
A bit further a long the casino, we have a luxury retail shopping area with some familiar brands here like Tiffany, Bvlgari, Breitling etc. They are actually not all open yet, and this is one of the reasons I found it quite frustrating to stay here. The fact that it feels not quite complete.
This is the outside of The Swimming Pig restaurant which we've already visited.
There was also this wonderful live jazz bar. Usually, i'm used to the dark, murky and smokey underground style Jazz bar, a complete opposite to this one here which is bright, clean and very spacious.
I'm always amazed to see Chinese restaurants wherever I travel to in the world. Probably because i'm curious as to where Chinese people end up living in the world.
Although I saw no evidence of a Chinese person working here, or owning this restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to find dishes quite familiar to me and after a week of eating western food, it was really nice to eat something from back home.
This restaurant is called STIX and it is suppose to be a noodle bar.
Fried rice tasted a little Bahamian I must say, but it was still delicious.
Fried Sichuan Spicy Chicken
Beef Noodle Soup - This is a must have if you decide to visit. I think this dish alone warrants a visit to this restaurant!
The theme of Baha Mar isn't as distinct as Atlantis. Actually it does use a lot of marine and sea life themes in it's decor as well.
The long corridors leading to the rooms show some nice preserved corals on display.
There are also many examples of Bahamian art here. If you remember our visit to the 3 Tides restaurant in Baha Mar, you might find some resemblance in styles.
I thought these collection of paintings were really beautiful but more importantly, they instantly reminded me of @Stellabelle !
What do you guys think, see the resemblance?
Now, let's move on and have a look at some more shots of the outside.
Much like the Royal Towers at Atlantis, Baha Mar consists of two main towers which are in this case exact mirrors of each other, and then a central building which is much smaller where the main lobby and Casino are.
At the front of the building, there is a very large diameter cylinder which functions as a formidable entrance, as well as a roundabout for coming in and out of the hotel in cars.
Below this roundabout is another below ground level of restaurants / shops. None of which are open!
Behind the Hotel and Night time views
The front of the hotel shows almost perfect symmetry but behind it, we see some varied size and shape buildings all used for different shops / restaurants / bars.
I love how colourful they each are. It seems to be a rule of thumb here to building houses and buildings in different shapes and colours, from one to the next.
Let's take a look inside the Hotel
This is the lift lobby, suddenly it is a very distinct white and blue colour theme. Quite different from the red carpets and red wall paper in the casino level.
I always like to see how hotels design their lifts. Because it can often be a indicator of whether they pay attention to details or not. If they do, the lifts will not be a standard metal cage, but rather a functional work of art, just like this one!
@goldmatters would love this.
Along the corridor, the theme changes to an aquatic one with fishes on the carpet showing the direction to my room.
It kind of reminds me of the Titanic actually.
Inside, the corridor smells like fresh paint. Probably everything has only just been painted for the very first time not so long ago.
Finally, this is my room. On the outside, the door has some very Chinese looking grooves. We're beginning to see alot of Chinese influence in the design. It's not surprising that the developers were the Chinese.
A narrow entrance that was barely wide enough for me to pull my large luggage in.
If you're much bigger than 5'2" (which I suspect most of you are) then making it past the landing area of the room will be a little difficult. But assuming you made it, this is the bedroom / living room area.
Moderately sized, and very simple in design. Continuing the blue and white theme, even with the hanging picture. I think the room could be a little larger. It feels quite congested, even though I'm not too big, it felt quite small, with very little floor space to move around.
The bed is certainly adequate, but I would have liked to see some silk. Especially with how hot it is!
Facing the bathroom, on the other side of the bed is this little seating area. Not sure why this is needed as it just takes up more room. I used this as another storage area.
The width of the room is nearly entirely occupied by the bed!
A small part of the room is reserved for the TV and desk.
Personally, I would have liked to have the TV infront of the bed, instead of to the side.
One of the redeeming factors of the room is the semi-spacious sitting area with the view of the front water fountains.
At night time, the water fountains are lit up with a myriad of lights and a water show is put on every 30 minutes.
From the view of my window and balcony, this was very ideal!
As you can see, the desk in front of the TV is very small and made smaller by the mini bar and coffee machine which occupies more than 1/3rd of the space.
Anyone who wishes to use the desk for work will struggle, especially with the radiant TV in front!
The bathroom was actually a little more spacious than the rest of the room. As you can see,e there is both a bath tub, and a separate shower facility.
A large mirror in front of the wash basin is very ideal, especially for two people given that there are actually two wash basins.
The shower and toilet is separated by some glass dividers. Of course, each have opaque glass to preserve modesty.
The wardrobe and cupboard provides a daily laundry bag for laundry services, some free Baha Mar sandals, and a safety deposit box to store valuables.
Some hangars are provided as well as some bathrobes.
Balcony. The balcony is probably my favourite part of the room even though it's technically not inside the room. Not only do we have a beautiful view of the water fountains, but we also have a fabulous view of the two towers.
Owing to their slight curvature, you can actually see the two towers without having to lean too far out of the balcony.
At sunset, the lights turn on and make for a beautiful view.
Because the hotel has yet to open all of it's amenities and restaurants, you might find yourself wanting some food / drinks / snacks late at night and no where to go for them!
The room service actually covers most of your needs in that case, and you can order from a pretty complete menu of cooked foods as well as a nice selection of drinks / desserts.
I decided to give the room service a try since it was my birthday, and I ordered a Strawberry and Mango Sago Rice pudding.
The chocolates were complimentary because it was my birthday!
I see Steemit, do you??
Back outside to the Gardens, Pools and Seaside
The back of the hotel is where most of the guests will spend their time.
Here you'll find the gardens, the swimming pools, the outside bars, and the seaside.
There seemed to be some kind of wedding event being held here that day. There were many guests in the main garden, enjoying some live music and canapes.
Bolstering the Asian feel, we have several ponds with some very large and beautiful Koi fish!
In resorts like Atlantis, swimming pools represent the main places guests will stay for most of the day so a lot of emphasis has to be put into making the swimming pools attractive to guests.
At Baha Mar, I think they've done quite a good job of making the swimming pools appealing for lounging in the water. Not so much if you want to actually swim. All of the pools have been designed in a very classy and elegant way.
Take for instance, the pool below which has arching water shoots on either side, perfectly in symmetry.
This is my favourite pool, and also the pool where you are invited to take a jump off the rocky cliffs you can see in the background.
There you can see one of the ledges to jump from. It's about 10ft above the water.
Aside from the cliff jumping area of the pool, everywhere else, the pool is very shallow and comes up to about my waist. It's very relaxing just paddling around in the mild temperature water.
Aside from the paddling pools, you also have access to a private beach. Those of you who can't live a day without "proper" swimming will enjoy the freedom to swim at full pelt in the calm waters of the sea.
A beautiful long pier stretching out into the sea marks the boundary for where the private beach begins for Baha Mar.
You can take a walk along it to see Cable beach in its entirety, as well as some of the other hotels and restaurants further along the beach.
The pier is also a great place to watch the sunset as it eclipses over the buildings.
I decided to sit on the pier in one of the evenings to enjoy the sunset.
Even though i'm not an avid swimmer, I do enjoy taking a dip into the sea and enjoy the natural currents of the sea as it pulls me in and out, up and down.
The sunset is beautiful. I love how it blends the colours in the sky from blue to turquoise and then to orange, red and yellow.
There are so many places that I would consider to be paradise like in Bahamas. Watching the sunset along the pier above the calm ocean made me feel that this place deserves to be called paradise too.
How often do you get the opportunity to visit a pier and watch the sunset and be undisturbed by anybody else?
I guess this is one of the best things about visiting somewhere that not many other people know about just yet!
Please Check out my video!
And that wraps up my review of Baha Mar resort, and also the conclusion to my series on Bahamas.
As a guest to both Atlantis and Baha Mar, I have a better point of reference to compare each one. And I would say that they offer quite a different experience overall. I don't believe that one would necessarily take custom from the other, rather they both offer something quite unique.
Atlantis has a strong lost city theme with rich marine aquatic life and Baha Mar wants to make your stay feel exclusive and enjoy the Bahamas beautiful natural beaches and ocean.
The only drawbacks that I can say about Baha Mar is that the majority of restaurants and shops have yet to open. Many people who visit resorts like this would expect to stay at the resort and not have to leave. Things like a wide selection of places to eat, and shop at would be considered part of the basic offering. Without them being open, I found myself with less things to explore and a few reasons to leave the hotel and go exploring else where.
This is one of the consequences of being one of the earliest guests at the resort, but a reality that must be noted!
It has been an absolute pleasure to share my experiences of my dream holiday in Bahamas, and I hope you guys enjoyed my series every bit as much as I did telling you my stories of it over Steemit.
You might have noticed that I've been fairly inactive recently, and that is because I've been travelling around somewhere new. With how hectic the travelling has been, I've only had the time to write a little bit each day!
Here's a little sneak preview of my new travels which I'll be blogging about starting from my next post!
If you liked my post, I appreciate the upvote very much, and do follow me to stay up to date with my adventures, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!
See you all in the next post!
今天我想带大家看看巴哈马首都拿骚新开的巴哈·马君悦酒店。这家开业不到2年的酒店目前还没有完工, 因为巴哈·马将成为岛上超越亚特兰蒂斯的度假村群，在2018年还会有rosewood at Ba Ha Mar即将开业。这个获得中国35亿美元投资的加勒比海地区超大型度假村酒店，汇集了五大酒店，除去有700间客房的君悦大酒店，也是目前唯一开业的一家，还有SLX LUX，Rosewood，1,000個房間及284套私人住宅的Baha Mar Casino & Hotel和Meliá at Baha Mar。