The Bahamas comprises 5,000 square miles of the bluest of blue waters; 700 islands; and 2,400 cays. The pink-sand beaches, private islands and endless sunshine are the stuff of dreams. It’s not surprising this year nearly 5 million passengers are expected to cross the new gateway of Nassau Cruise Port, part of a $300 million redevelopment project. With this year’s passenger numbers slated to surpass the 2019 port record of 3.8 million, Nassau remains one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations.
The Bahamas’ 16 major islands prove ideal not only for vacation but also for business. When it comes to meetings, trade shows and conventions, The Bahamas doesn’t disappoint.
As for where to host your meeting, Nassau and Paradise Island are top contenders. Where else should be on your list? Grand Lucayan Resort on Grand Bahama Island offers a variety of indoor
and outdoor meeting spaces including a conference center, ballrooms, boardrooms and a beachfront amphitheater. Consider Resorts World Bimini, with its Marina Pavilion’s 5,000-square-foot meeting and convention area. Ramp up the fun factor for your group with stingray feeding, snorkeling and diving the SS Sapona shipwreck.
For smaller, signature corporate events, you’ll find off-the-beaten-path destinations like The Island Retreat, a private, completely renovated boutique hotel in Hopetown, Elbow Cay, in the Abaco Islands.
To book that perfect meeting, look to Paradise Island, where Atlantis Paradise Island reigns as the “it spot.” The resort boasts 300,000 square feet of outdoor event venue space that includes beach and marine habitats and more. Planning a big event? The 50,000 square feet of ballroom space can accommodate groups of up to 4,000. Take advantage of five executive boardrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering garden or Caribbean Sea views. Keep the buzz going with events at Aquaventure Water Park.
More than 20,000 square feet of event space beckons at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort. The wow factor is Versailles Gardens — beyond lush, and no ordinary setting for a cocktail reception or dinner gala. Host a dinner at DUNE, headed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who whips up French-Asian cuisine…with a Bahamian touch, of course.
If Nassau is where you want to be, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar makes an excellent choice with its 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor
event space including ballrooms, lawns, patios and pool areas. One of The Bahamas’ biggest meeting facilities — the 82,000-square-foot Baha Mar Convention, Arts & Entertainment Center — sits amid the property’s backdrop of ocean, gardens and Bahamian art. The business center, 30-plus meeting rooms and exhibit space all come equipped with the latest technology.
For that exclusive meeting, go private island. Fowl Cay Resort features über-luxe oceanfront villas. If you like, reserve the entire island for your event. Each villa comes with its own powerboat. Another private island option for your corporate retreat, Kamalame Cay, boasts an array of cottages and villas. Host meetings at Tiki Bar, and get to know one another better during a deep-sea fishing trip.
Awash in greenery, Utopia Gardens in Nassau hosts private events in lush surroundings. It sits on a lake, so attendees can take a short walk to enjoy the beach.
Nassau’s Graycliff Hotel, a historic colonial mansion, offers an experience your meeting attendees will talk about long after they’ve gone home. Think elegant, intimate boardrooms; a charming courtyard; and more. The infamous wine cellar can host a party of 18, and the main dining room and terraces more than 300. For team-building fun there’s a gallery, culinary academy with cooking classes, and cigar-rolling demonstrations at the on-site cigar factory.
The Bahamas is all about rum. John Watlings Distillery in Nassau sits on Buena Vista Estate, founded in 1789, and overlooks the harbor. Visitors can take a production and museum- like tour. Or host a party here. The Exterior Courtyard has a large water well and can accommodate 150 seated or 500 standing. Its Red Tavern includes a front patio deck and seats 60, or 100 standing. For big events, the Front Lawn is the spot, seating up to 500.
If you’re in Grand Bahama, visit Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, a national park with boardwalks, trails, bird-watching and more. Check out Hermitage Plantation ruins and venture into Fireball Grotto, an underwater cavern you might recognize from being featured in James Bond movies. Your group might also want to host an event in Garden of the Groves, beloved for its cascading waterfalls, fountains, trails, birds and butterflies.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:
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