Note: this post is a compilation of previous posts on the Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino. 2018 Update Below.
The Bahamas Princess Tower
Photo by B.J. (Chris) Lothian
Ernie’s Studio & Camera Center, Ltd., Freeport, Grand Bahama, W.I.
So, here’s the backstory on this one. Mom and Dad went to the Bahama Princess (and stayed in the Country Club) when my sister and I were quite young (pre-1980?). Years later, they took us there on vacation (we stayed at the Tower). The Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino was a phenomenal place, sitting on 1,000 acres with pools and a casino. It was right next to the International Bazaar.
The Princess resort was built sometime in the 1970s and was a pretty big deal. Sometime after our visit in the early 90s, the Princess Towers became Bahamia Royal Oasis Resort, owned by Driftwood Properties (it seems the country club became the Sunspree Holiday Inn around that same time). As late as the year 2000, the Resorts at Bahamia was still in business. But things changed, and several tropical storms/hurricanes hit the Bahamas. The business closed down.
In 2007, the Royal Oasis Resort was purchased by Harcourt Development Group for $33 million. They had plans to transform the site into the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis. Then the financial meltdown of 2008 happened. The Crowne didn’t open.
Closed and abandoned for so many years, on September 23, 2010 a fire broke out at the Towers on the 7th floor:
I sent an email to Harcourt Development Group, inquiring as to the status of this lovely resort, but didn’t get a response.
I dug up some family photos from maybe 1991, for your viewing pleasure. I skipped the one where I was having my hair beaded and braided.
View from our room in the Princess Tower:
The International Bazaar:
This article in the Freeport News (autumn 2013) discusses the International Bazaar, which is currently up for sale. The location has 85 retail stalls.
As of November 2013, Harcourt Developments was still listing the Royal Oasis like it’s a fully functioning, open business. I again emailed them to see if they can provide an update on the development, and again I did not hear back.
Looking around in January 2014, I found another link for the Royal Oasis Resort Hotel, Casino and Convention Center, this one from AECOM Capital. From their website:
The Royal Oasis is a well-established resort hotel located about 10 minutes from the airport, adjacent to the International Bazaar. While not located on the beach, the hotel complex is renowned for the tropical settings of its pool areas, which offer respite for guests after nights in the casino or out on Grand Bahama Island.
AECOM provided masterplanning and full design services for the existing 300,000 square foot, 400-room hotel, as well as for the 45,000 square foot casino and 55,000 square foot convention facility. In addition, a new 350,000 square foot hotel tower was added that includes 250 rooms as well as a new lobby, spa and fitness center. New residential 1, 2, and 3 bedroom 650 timeshare units were also part of the project scope.
I contacted both the company and one of the principal architects and once again haven’t heard anything at all. The Freeport News notes in this article that the International Bazaar is still for sale.
Apparently The Freeport News likes to steal photos. This article about the West Sunrise Highway reopening uses my photo above, the view from our room in the Princess Tower and they credit themselves with the image. You can see they cropped the photo, but my watermark still partially shows on the top of the ‘b’ on catobear.com. I have the original print, which was scanned in.
Here’s their website:
Here’s my original scanned photo with watermark:
I appreciate the reporting on the Bahama Princess, but I’d like to be credited for my own photos in other articles, and linked back to my website.
Anyhow, on to the update article, which I have linked and included the text as sometimes things disappear on the internet.
This article (link here, text below in case the link eventually fails, by Denise Maycock, Tribune Freeport Report, firstname.lastname@example.org) tells a more recent update of the Bahama Princess after another hurricane and a more uncertain fate:
If you like international hotels, you might like these: