There are a couple of new properties in the Bahamas that aren't your stereotypical Caribbean-style resort. Instead, these two are more high end and aim to provide a unique experience for visitors who are looking for something completely different, indulgent, private, or all of the above.
The Cove Atlantis (tel. 877/COVE-VIP; www.thecoveatlantis.com) recently opened, offering adults another Bahamanian getaway, with 600 luxurious, all-suite rooms with access to the facilities of The Atlantis, located nearby on Paradise Island. The Cove even has an adults-only area within the property called Cain at the Cove, with 20 private cabanas, four pools, a bar, DJ, freestanding daybeds and a gaming pavillion. Like many upscale properties, design is of the utmost importance and becomes an attraction itself, so the lobby, open-air walkways, pool area, cabanas and villas were designed by Jeffrey Beers -- if you've seen the Wynn Las Vegas or Daniel Boulud's Brasserie you've seen his work. The hotel features a Mesa Grill designed by David Rockwell group and is Bobby Flay's first location outside the United States. Unique offerings include something called "flying room service," perfect if you're looking for breakfast quickly or a nightcap; your order arrives from elevator-based food stations in 15 minutes. Several boutiques and other restaurants populate the space, along with The Mandara Spa, and Aura, a 9,000 square foot nightclub brought to you by the same group that created Tangerine, PURE and Coyote Ugly in Las Vegas. The place is so upscale it even has its own scent -- a combination of water lily beach grass and fresh coconut.
Ocean suites and deluxe ocean suites, which range 670-760 square feet, have a separate sitting area and a full balcony and prices start at $575-$595 for May 28-June 27 for the entry-level ocean suite; rates through May 23 start at $660. If you like to be on a higher floor and want more space, the 1,200 square-foot Azure Suites occupy the top six floors and come with two balconies, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The Penthouse suite covers the 14th and 15th floors and starts at $15,000 per night for the two-bedroom option. With 4,070 square feet, you can do some serious partying, entertaining, or something here. It features a full kitchen, an office, master bedroom and a nearly 360-degree view of the ocean. Many holiday weekends come with minimum-stay restrictions, so read the fine print carefully.
If you're looking for a spectacular honeymoon and money is no object, The Cove is running a special called the $100,000 honeymoon, which entitles you to private jet service, a 24-hour butler, seven days in the Penthouse Suite (which has full home theater, flat-screen televisions, two person rain showers), daily use of your own private cabana, a spa therapist at your command, private dinners, personal shoppers, and other private excursions during your stay. The rate is good for travel through December 19 but your stay must be booked by November 30.
The Bahamas tourism website (tel. 800/BAHAMAS; www.bahamas.com) offers links to deals, including one offered through Expedia, with rates starting from $575 per night for stays through June 12. If you book a minimum four-night stay and use an American Express card, you are eligible to receive that fourth night free as long as the travel is through June 14 and you book by April 30. It's valid for stays at either the deluxe ocean suite or ocean suite. This introductory, fourth-night-free offer is available on the Cove's web site.
For something completely different but also on Nassau, the Marley Resort and Spa (tel. 242/327-1662; www.marleyresort.com) will open in June, located on a less-traveled part of Cable Beach. Rita Marley purchased the property and they used it for many years as a summer home. Stephanie Marley, Bob's daughter, says in a news release that because so many people still love his father's music and "keep his spirit alive" that the family was inspired to "share our piece of paradise here in a place we once called home." The entire property, which has been in the family for 25 years, is original, but it has just been reconfigured.
It's hard to miss the musical legacy, though. The on-site music gallery is like a small museum, with records, photographs, history and a listening station, too. The resort offers an intimate island experience, with 16 themed suites that reflect different Marley song titles, and the décor throughout includes hand-carved doors, mosaic tiles, stonework and sandstone walls. The rooms have whirlpool tubs, flat-screen televisions, high speed Internet, Bose entertainment systems. The property offers 24-hour room service, a staff to guest ratio of more than two-to-one, two swimming pools, and of course, the beach. The onsite spa uses treatments inspired by Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and Rita's own herbal bath rituals. The onsite restaurant promises gourmet Caribbean cuisines, fresh seafood and organic produce, and some family favorite recipes. If you want to upgrade your room, there are three royal suites, including the One Love honeymoon suite. In fact, the royal suites used to be Bob and Rita's rooms.
Right now, the special introductory rate starts at $450 per room based on double occupancy valid for the summer season, through December 14. There's also a pre-opening special on the resort's website that gives you the fourth night free if you stay for three nights and book before June 1. The offer is valid for arrivals June 1 through October 31.
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