For well over a decade, Derek Jeter has hosted a star-studded golf tournament to benefit his foundation, Turn 2, which promotes healthy lifestyles in young people.
After several years in Tampa, and then a few more in Vegas, Jeter’s sister and Turn 2 President Sharlee Jeter decided to raise the stakes and take their talents (or, more accurately, according to Derek, lack thereof) international. This year’s tournament, officially known as the Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational, was held for the first time at the five-year-old, 1,000-acre resort complex Baha Mar on the island of New Providence.
“We thought it would be nice to have [the tournament] at a destination where you could bring your family, and it’s vacation too, ”she tells InsideHook. “Derek used to come and vacation in The Bahamas, often at Albany. I came here on a vacation, it was like, ‘this is a perfect place to do it.’ ”
“I love it [here], ”Derek adds. “I really do.”
Fast forward to the weekend of the tournament, and a handful of his former teammates (Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez and CC Sabathia), former NSYNC members (Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick) as well as Anthony Anderson and Tyler Cameron, among others, are out for an inaugural rip on Baha Mar’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Royal Blue golf course.
“You always hear athletes and entertainers talk about how good they are at golf, and then you actually see how bad they are,” Derek laughs. But talent level aside, the event has already raised more than a million dollars for Turn 2.
Baha Mar, while a relatively new property, is no stranger to high-profile events like the DJCI. Since its inception back in April 2017, it’s actually been a hotbed for such events. The weekend of the tournament alone, Baha Mar is simultaneously hosting a crypto conference – the attendees of which included both Katy Perry, Steve Aoki, Liam Payne and Bill Clinton – as well as TikTok star Charli D’Amelio’s 18th birthday party.
According to Baha Mar’s Chief Marketing Officer Bryan Guillot, events like the DJCI create an energy that reverberates through operations. The good news is, you don’t have to be a guest of the DJCI to feel it. After spending a few days at Baha Mar to take stock of their offerings, we can confirm that energy is palpable, and felt at virtually every level of the guest experience… regardless of what else is happening on the property.
The island of New Providence in the Bahamas is less than a three-hour flight from New York City and only about a half hour from Miami. From Lynden Pindling International Airport, the resort is just a ten-minute drive away. This level of accessibility alone could account for its sharp rise in popularity.
But Baha Mar is far more than its proximity to its largest US market. In fact, it’s home to three major (and diverse) hotel brands – Grand Hyatt, SLS Hotels and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts – for a total of 2,330 rooms (1,800 at Grand Hyatt, 300 at SLS and 230 at Rosewood), 30 luxury retailers , 12 pools, a brand new, $ 200 million waterpark, a 30,000-square-foot ESPA and the largest casino in the entire Caribbean. In addition to its half-mile of private beachfront, Baha Mar also counts its own private island, Long Cay, among its amenities (although it isn’t in use at present). In total, the resort employs over 5,000 associates.
It’s a behemoth of a property, and you could easily spend an entire week at the Baha Mar and not visit the same restaurant, or even pool, twice. The adult offerings are plentiful, but there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities, either – an important factor for the Jeters when choosing the property. If Atlantis – the only other property in Nassau of similar scale – is for kids, Baha Mar is for parents with kids. Even Baha Bay, the all-new water park set on 15 acres of beachfront, is more luxurious than juvenile, with the full-service, reservation-only Baha Bay Beach Club located just on the park’s waterfront edge.
Thanks to the 45 bar and restaurant concepts on the property – from beachside food trucks to al fresco fine dining options – there’s a little something for everyone where food is involved, too. Baha Mar prides itself on being a one-of-a-kind food destination in the Caribbean. It’s garnered the attention of several celebrity chefs, most notably James Beard Award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud Café Boulud and Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi, who now helm Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House, Rosewood Baha Mar and Katsuya, respectively. There are ample opportunities for fresh seafood, of course, but also for things like craft Italian, world class butchery and authentic Chinese.
Further, Baha Mar has implemented some of the most generous COVID policies we’ve seen thus far. New within the last year, they’ve introduced the “Travel With Confidence” program, which pledges that they’ll extend a free stay to any guest who tests positive for COVID prior to departure from the resort or courtesy private jet service back to the US Should the guest choose the former, Baha Mar will “facilitate their quarantine with courtesy accommodations and a daily in-room dining credit of $ 150 per person per day, for up to 14 days or until the guest receives a negative COVID-19 result. ” Testing facilities are open 24/7 and at all three hotels.
I can think of far worse places to be stuck in quarantine.
For more travel news, tips and inspo, sign up for InsideHook‘s weekly travel newsletter, The Journey.