Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour

The on-site marina"Dead, but beautiful." I wrote this in my notebook upon arrival at Old Bahama Bay. The resort is on the site of the old Jack Tar Resort, which catered to wealthy fishing enthusiasts in the 1950s and '60s. Bobby Ginn, a Florida real estate developer, purchased the property in the early 2000's with plans to build a 4, 400-room resort and casino that would rival Atlantis. But given the stale economic climate and pending environmental approval, the land, and its construction vehicles, sits empty for the indefinite future.

Map of Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht HarbourFor now, Old Bahama Bay's quiet village of 13 colorful cottages and its adjacent marina feel classier and more relaxed than the jumble of hotel towers in Freeport and Lucaya. It's also emptier. Unlike many other resorts in the Bahamas, the only drinking you're likely to see here is someone sipping a beer at the beach bar (which closes at 8 p.m.). For entertainment, there's only the occassional, very tame, live music.

In front, the main building houses a small reception area, as well as a resort shop and a real estate office.The Junior Suite Ocean View room Old Bahama Bay allows people to purchase individual units for a required minimum stay each year, and then take a cut of revenues when guests rent out their unit. All of the other resort guests present during my stay were owners. And since the resort is anchored by its marina (people who dock their yachts there have full access to the resort's facilities), most guests come back to the property year after year. The management seems to know these guests by name, making the experience of staying at the resort feel a bit like visiting a private yacht club.

Luxury-level efforts; inconsistent follow through

Unlike the typical time-share-style hotel, Old Bahama Bay makes every effort to rival a more traditional luxury resort by offering a welcome cocktail upon check-in, an evening turndown service, and a staff driver to pick guests up at the airport (for an extra $20). But despite these efforts, the hotel doesn't exactly maintain a true luxury level of service - my welcome drink never materialized and I was routinely left waiting for service in the restaurants.

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  • Categories: US State & Town Views,Florida,Venice
  • Type: Chrome
  • Size: 3.5 x 5.5 (9 x 14 cm)
  • Publisher: H. S. Crocker Co

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