This month marks Baha Mar’s second anniversary since opening its doors on April 21, 2017. Over the last two years, Baha Mar has celebrated grand successes and accomplishments, having introduced three global hotel brands to Nassau, debuted new dining and entertainment concepts, created extensive opportunities for associates, increased its influence within the arts and cultural scenes and firmly established the resort destination on the global hospitality scene. Recognized globally today as the leading integrated resort destination in The Bahamas, Baha Mar continues to redefine the Caribbean vacation experience for contemporary travelers.
“The success of Baha Mar today is because of the tireless hard work and determination of over 5,000 dedicated associates,” said Graeme Davis, President, Baha Mar. “We celebrate two years of Baha Mar today by honoring all of our associates and continue to create a forward-thinking culture where everyone is given the opportunity to succeed and grow. In turn, our guests are able to experience the very best in service and hospitality in the Caribbean.”
Baha Mar is committed to the growth and development of both entry-level and highly-experienced associates. As such, the Baha Mar Academy has graduated more than 450 associates across Security, Housekeeping, Hospitality, Culinary and Lifeguard Academies, providing first-hand, personalized instruction to expand knowledge and increase skills. Alongside the Academy, Baha Mar has also implemented long-term leadership development programs, with several hundred participants, including iLEAD (Innovate, Lead, Engage, Act, Deliver) and iLead+, specifically designed for the Manager and Director levels.
With a focus on the Baha Mar community of more than 5,000 associates, the resort destination has introduced significant initiatives to promote associate wellbeing and healthful lifestyle options. Over the last two years, Baha Mar has launched Azul, an associates-only spa operated by ESPA, opened a dedicated full-service branch of FirstCaribbean International Bank on property, and expanded medical services for associates and their families with an on-site clinic in partnership with the Family Medicine Center. These programs join Baha Mar’s longtime offerings including full-coverage medical benefits for all associates and Bluetique, a convenient general store providing groceries and family necessities at a competitive, often discounted rate.
The next generation of leaders is already making their mark on Baha Mar. Associate Rayne Heastie began her career at Baha Mar as a Recruitment Coordinator in Human Resources, assisting the outreach team in recruiting young talent from universities and colleges. While in this role, Rayne learned new skills including payroll and finance. Her dedication and keen ambition have led to her current position as Director of Payroll, where she now oversees the payroll process. Another young leader, Jessica Knowles, joined the Baha Mar team as Restaurant Manager at Cleo before being tapped to manage the opening of Bungalow Pool and oversee in-room dining at SLS Baha Mar. Most recently, Jessica has been promoted to Assistant General Manager of Cleo and Monkey Bar.
Beyond its commitment to the internal community, Baha Mar has been recognized globally with an extensive record of industry accolades since its arrival. In 2017, Baha Mar’s marketing and advertising campaigns were recognized by HSMAI and Travel Weekly. SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar have landed on the coveted Travel + Leisure’s It List and Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List. Baha Mar was recently recognized as the 2019 Wedding Property of the Year for The Americas by The Destination Wedding Planner Congress.
Since 2017, Baha Mar has been featured on primetime television including The Bachelorette, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The TODAY Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In summer 2019, Baha Mar will host Engage! 2019, the most prominent luxury wedding and event business summit in the industry, as well as ‘The Baha Mar Showdown,’ the annual celebrity golf showcase between leading NFL and NBA players, hosted by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul.
In response to this international attention and accolades, travelers are choosing Baha Mar as their vacation destination more than ever. Occupancy levels at Baha Mar for the first quarter of 2019 were at record highs, simultaneous with record-breaking numbers in international arrivals and overall room revenue in The Bahamas, thanks to successful marketing and advertising efforts from The Bahamas Tourism Board and Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board. Looking ahead to the second quarter of 2019, advanced bookings have already outpaced projected numbers.
Throughout the rest of 2019 and into 2020, Baha Mar will continue to grow local talent, expand guest offerings and contribute to the community, culture and conservation of The Bahamas, while establishing itself as a pioneer property leading the way for the next generation of destination resorts in global travel and luxury hospitality.