Nassau Bahamas – November 19, 2013 – (Hospitalitybusinessnews.com) Starwood Hotels and Resorts is pulling the Sheraton Brand from it’s Cable Beach hotel making this the third time that Sheraton has exited the Nassau / Paradise Island market.
Sheraton first came to the Bahamas when it put it’s name on the British Colonial Hotel, in downtown Nassau, in November 1962. According to a Wall Street Journal article on November 6, 1962, the British Colonial, which was managed by Gill Hotels Company, became the fourth hotel that Sheraton had ever franchised. The hotel, which was built in the early 1900’s was Nassau’s largest and oldest hotel. The property fell into disrepair and Sheraton pulled the brand. The hotel then became a Best Western until it was closed, renovated and subsequently reopened as a Hilton in November 1999.
Sheraton announced their return to the Bahamas with a deal to put their name on the Paradise Island Grand, a property on the beach next to Resorts International (now Atlantis) on Paradise Island. Sheraton ceased management of this hotel in May 2004.
Sheratons last return to the Bahamas came in February 2008 when they took over the management of the renovated “Radisson” on Cable Beach under a management agreement with Baha Mar, the developers of the new $3.5B Baha Mar resort on Cable Beach.
The initial deal was that, upon completion, Starwood would manage 3 of the four new hotels in the Baha Mar project which would then give them four hotels in total. That deal fell apart as the world financial situation worsened. Since then Sheraton has been struggling with the hotels infrastructure and low guest satisfaction scores.
Upon the exit of Sheraton, at the end of November, the hotel will be managed by Melia Hotels who will convert the property into an all inclusive resort.
Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies in the world and the largest hotel chain in Spain in both resort and city hotels. The company currently operates more than 350 hotels in 35 countries and 4 continents under its brands: Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, TRYP by Wyndham, Sol Hotels and Club Meliá.
The hotel will undergo upgrades which are due to be completed by December 2014. At that time the property will be renamed Melia at Baha Mar.
“Melia brings a wonderful, upscale name with global recognition and exceptional values to our brand portfolio at Baha Mar,” said Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar’s chairman and CEO.
This will be Melia’s first hotel in the English speaking Caribbean.
One has to wonder, with Baha Mar building 4 new hotels and renovating the new Melia, what will happen to the old and “tired” Wyndham which sits in between the properties and is also owned by Baha Mar?
We will wait and see!