MOVE OVER, ATLANTIS

Four years from now, Bahamian super-resort Atlantis is going to have some stiff competition. That's when the $1.6-billion Bahia Mar resort development opens near Nassau.

The project is so big it takes three mega-hospitality companies — Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Harrah's and Bahia Mar Ltd. — to create the resort complex in the Cable Beach area of the island. Under the joint venture agreement for the development, Bahia Mar's stake is 57 percent, Harrah's 33 percent and Starwood 10 percent.

The 1,000-acre property, which the developers are calling a “resort metropolis” in terms of setting, design, operation and services, will feature a full array of amenities, facilities and lodging types:

  • Water will be the dominant feature of the resort's entrance, with a “water boulevard” and 55-foot-high circular waterfall leading to an open-air porte cochere.

  • The hotel choices will be the first collection of four Starwood brands at a single location, including a 300-unit W, a 300-room St. Regis, a 700-room Westin and a 700-room Sheraton. The W and St. Regis will have Starwood's Bliss- and Remede-branded spas.

  • Harrah's will operate a 1,000-room Caesars Resort Hotel with a 95,000-square-foot casino.

  • An existing Wyndham hotel on the development site will be renovated. In all, the resort will have 3,550 guestrooms, plus a variety of residential units.

  • Recreation facilities will include the largest freestanding spa in the Caribbean; an eco-waterpark attraction with show lake for live performances and events; a Nicklaus Design 18-hole golf course with plans for a second 18 holes; and a 20-acre beach and pool area with 3,000 feet of continuous beachfront.

Construction on the project begins next year.

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