As I write this column, it is a balmy three degrees in New York City. This winter has been one of the coldest on record for most of the country, and spring couldn’t come soon enough. Cabin fever has set in, and we are about to see a huge surge in travel, as the need to vacation continues to rise. Also rising, at a record pace, is the number of new luxury hotels. During the recession many developments came to a standstill, and now that we are in our fourth year of an economic upswing, these developments have come to life and are opening with much fanfare. The two that I visited couldn’t be more polar opposites, The Knickerbocker in Times Square, New York, and Baha Mar in Nassau, The Bahamas.
First, let’s talk about The Knickerbocker hotel. The restored landmark opened its doors in 1906 and has many claims to fame. The one that resonates with me is that the martini was created at the hotel’s bar in 1912. However, for most of our lifetimes, The Knickerbocker was an office building. Now, it is the only true five-star hotel in the heart of Times Square and just steps from Bryant Park, which we hear is Editorial Director Ruthanne Terrero’s favorite destination in New York.
On the warmer side, Baha Mar resort’s $3.5 billion mega-complex is now open for guests. The blue carpet, which matches the crystal blue waters, is ready to welcome (and wow) all types of affluent personalities. With five separate but connecting resorts, guests can choose their flavor — from an independent casino resort, to Rosewood, Grand Hyatt or SLS; and for those all-inclusive clients, Meliá Nassau Beach Resort. The luxury here is that guests can stay at one and play in all. Find out more about this in our cover story, featuring Baha Mar’s COO Paul Pusateri, the flavor master who orchestrated the grand opening.
So here’s to booking new hotels and most importantly, heating up the temperature. Here’s to a prosperous spring for all of you.