From Junkanoo to the Blue Lagoon in The Bahamas

Grand-Hyatt-Baha-Mar-East-West-Towers-view-from-poolsMay saw the opening of the long-awaited Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, the first property to open in the long anticipated Baha Mar Resort, which also includes The Baha Mar Convention, Art and Entertainment Center, a 200,000-sf indoor and outdoor convention facility.

The Grand Hyatt has 1,800 rooms, including 230 suites, direct access to its own beach sanctuary, seven pools and 20 dining outlets, including Flamingo Deck, which overlooks a pink flamingo habitat. Baha Mar Resort includes a 30,000-sf ESPA spa and the largest casino in the Caribbean (at 100,000 sf), as well as its own 18-hole TPC course designed by Jack Nicklaus, with the front nine offering dramatic ocean views and water features and back nine winding its way through a nature preserve.

But this isn’t all that groups can look forward to in The Bahamas. Here are a few more ideas:

The Blue Lagoon

Groups visiting The Bahamas can enjoy a beach day on Blue Lagoon Island (also known as Salt Cay). Located just three miles from Nassau, it’s accessible by boat from Nassau’s historic harbor. Customized packages with special menus and beach activities can be created for groups of 20 or more. Attendees can participate in dolphin and sea lion encounters and even swim with the dolphins; group discounts are available.

Junkanoo to John Watling’s Rum

On Grand Bahama, The Grand Lucayan, which reopened soon after Hurricane Matthew hit last fall, has come up with several ways to infuse the flavor of the island into meetings. Especially popular is a Junkanoo parade, complete with professional dancers and musicians dressed in costume. The Grand Lucayan features 198 rooms at Lighthouse Pointe and meeting space in both its intimate Manor House and a standalone conference center that includes a ballroom accommodating 1,000 for a banquet. Groups with less time can do a post-meeting rum tasting or arrange a visit to downtown Nassua’s John Watling’s Distillery, home to John Watling’s Rum, a boutique rum distillery named after a notorious 18th century British buccaneer. Located on the 1789 Buena Vista Estate, it uses traditional English rum-making methods to turn out three styles of rum: pale, amber and buena vista.

Much Ado at the Bimini Islands

Hilton at Resorts World Bimini completed its second-phase opening last summer and now has 300 guest rooms, six dining options, a Serenity Spa and a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the island. It includes 10,000 sf of meeting space in 23 rooms and there are 15,000 sf of additional meeting space across the Resorts World Bimini complex.

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Barbara Scofidio
Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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