Full service experience
Grand Bahama Island is a “complete vacation destination,” full of history and charm, and offering something for everyone. It blends historical appeal, modern attractions, and ecological wonders – including one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems and three national parks.
Castaways Resorts & Suites is one of the leading full service hotels on the island, and the one located closest to the Grand Bahama Shipyard and Grand Bahama International Airport. They offer 118 rooms and suites decorated in modern Caribbean flair, a pool and playground, and are within walking distance of restaurants, shopping, movie theatres, golf courses, and so much more.
The hotel also offers a top-notch “customer experience at great rates,” according to DeCarlo Deveaux, Sales and Marketing Manager at Castaways Resorts & Suites.
“First and foremost we have to provide customer service,” he said. “And that’s what we do.”
“That starts with cleanliness – our grounds are well-kept and manicured, and we take a lot of pride in our rooms being clean,” he explained. “We also have a great staff. Everyone is friendly and hospitable and goes the extra mile when it comes to making sure everyone feels welcome and has a pleasant stay.”
Castaways Resorts & Suites – which is majority-owned by natives of the island – offers a true cultural experience. One of their main points of difference, in fact, is a central location where guests have premium access to all sorts of cultural experiences. In addition to being located roughly two miles away from the airport, the hotel is also the closest of its kind to Vopak Oil Storage Facility and the Freeport Harbour. Freeport Town Center and the Rand Memorial Hospital are also within one mile.
The hotel is also located only two and half miles from Rand Nature Centre, which comprises 100 acres of natural beauty with a 2000-foot trail, and only five miles from “the Dolphin Experience,” where visitors have the opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins.
Castaways also offers courtesy bus services back and forth from the nearby beaches, and tours can booked at their tour desk.
The rooms at Castaways Resorts & Suites are also modern and offer all the amenities a traveller could need – including private balconies or terraces, complete air-conditioning, cable TV, free wireless internet, direct dial telephones, irons and ironing boards, blow dryers, clock radios with MP3 attachments, in-room safes, coffee makers, and refrigerators.
Other amenities include the Flamingo Restaurant, which Deveaux said offers “mouth-watering Bahamian and American dishes.” Sandwiches and drinks are also served at the Flamingo Pool Bar. Then there’s the Poinciana Boardroom, which is great for small meetings and can accommodate up to 50 persons theatre-style and 35 people classroom-style.
According to Deveaux, roughly 50 employees keep the operation going. He described the workplace culture as being “like an extended family.”
“A lot of people say that because it sounds good, but in this case it’s true,” he said. “Working here, you get a warm feeling. Everybody is easy to talk to, everybody listens, and everyone is treated equally. You win games with teamwork, and that’s we want to foster. We all want to provide really strong service to our guests and work well together.”
At Castaways Resorts & Suites, they aim to form strong and long-lasting relationships with all stakeholders. That includes companies and platforms such as Expedia, which posts their rates and provides them with many bookings, and Carnival Cruise Lines, which is one of the hotel’s major sources of guests.
Castaways Resorts & Suites also have a close relationship with Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), a local company in the shipping and international trade industry. Their workers and employees often stay at Castaways.
“Our working relationship with all those companies is very good,” he says. “Communication is open and free. We’re able to meet their needs, and if we’re not, we let them know right away.”
The hotel also fosters strong relationships with other local hotels. When they are booked to capacity, Deveaux said they don’t mind making referrals to hotels on other parts of the island, and those other hotels will do the same thing.
“It’s one country and one island, and what’s good for the island is good for everybody,” he said.
Currently, the majority of guests are drawn to Castaways Resorts & Suites by positive word-of-mouth and pre-existing relationships with companies such as ISS. According to Deveaux, Grand Bahama Island is relatively small, and a good reputation goes a long way. He described Castaways’ reputation as “people-friendly.”
“We’re also united with the local tourist board, and we will pursue some more marketing avenues in the future,” he reported.
On that note, Castaways Resorts & Suites is also upgrading their website to make it more user-friendly and more reflective of the enviable lifestyle that the Grand Bahama Island offers.
Moving forward, Deveaux said the hotel is furthermore in the planning stages of renovations, which are meant to improve both the aesthetics and durability of their rooms. They plan to replace the beams within the structure with stronger, termite-resistant ones, for example, as well as liquidate their furniture to make room for more modern alternatives.
The hotel has been around – in one form or another – for more than 50 years to date. Deveaux said they expect to be around for the next 50 years as well.
“A company can’t last as long as we have without having something good to offer,” he said. “Our longevity speaks for itself. We’re veterans of the industry. We know what we’re doing.”