Something special has been brewing in the Bahamas. In talking to prospective Sailors many told us they craved a bit of sand between their toes. An escape from their escape - a grounded respite within all the seabound excitement. Since then we’ve been working on a Beach Club concept, set for the gorgeous beaches of Bimini; a place known as a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway who described it as, “like the end of the world.”
“We knew it was important to have a day on the beach and create a great beach club environment for Sailors to relax, sunbathe, swim and just have a great place to party.” said Dee Cooper, the Senior Vice President of Design for Virgin Voyages. “Since the Modern Romance of Sailing has been our ethos in building the Virgin Voyages brand overall, we consider this where the Modern Romance of Sailing meets island life.”
Once in Bimini, on a cruise from Miami to the Bahamas, sailors will find no shortage of ways to spend their day. When you cruise to Caribbean island, you'll immediately notice it is rife with activity like active, ocean based water sports or even historic shipwreck diving. Of course, Sailors may just choose to spend the day reveling or relaxing, at The Beach Club at Bimini, Bahamas itself, which takes inspiration from gems of the mediterranean like Mallorca, while retaining a grounded Holbox Beach feeling, (Tulum’s charming, rising hotspot, neighbor).
The beachfront vista style entryway and welcome area overlooks the ocean and cascades down to the sea providing views of the entire experience so Sailors can immediately view the choices before them. An expansive, lagoon-like pool centers the Beach Club. To the right, a sports shack for water rentals like kayaks with an area nearby for sand sports like volleyball. On the left, a quiet zone for meditation and relaxation, for Sailors who choose to be away from all the action.
“We really want the Beach Club to be a place that allows Sailors a chance to reconnect with themselves. To have time for contemplation, introspection, and just remembering they are connected to something bigger than themselves,” said Michael Brindley, Senior Director of Product & Experience.
In the spirit of Vitamin Sea, the brand’s ethos of well-being, there will be moments of retox and detox with areas of high energy and quiet spots for complete relaxation. Morning at The Beach Club is whatever a Sailor decides, but might begin with yoga and meditation or some sea (or people) view gazing over cocktails with friends.
Two food groves will corner the edges of The Beach Club, where Sailors can order afternoon bites from a menu featuring local favorites like Conch & Mango Salad or Lechon Asado on the island’s famous, Bimini bread. Six bars are featured throughout, and Sailors can sip comfortably from sea cabanas, comfy couches, terrace seating, or pull up for a cocktail while dangling their toes in the pool, from the hanging wicker bar chairs.
Unpretentious yet luxurious, the entire environment retains an organic style, embracing sustainable elements like naturally sourced fibers and materials. “We wanted the beach club to be very natural and honest to its surroundings,” adds Cooper. “That’s why we’ve used materials like local limestone and created landscapes out of the natural plant life on the island, to complement the existing ecology.”
The energy will gradually amplify as the day progresses. An array of mid-day affairs might include soundtrack driven barbeques, re-hydrating (or not so much) drink concoctions, cabana cuddles, and good old fun in the sun beach time, culminating in a DJ-led pool party. Virgin Voyages DJ program will be selectively curated with the first resident being five time Grammy award winning record producer, songwriter and DJ, Mark Ronson, best known for his collaborations with artists like Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Adele and Bruno Mars.
Besides the central pool party, RockStar Quarters Sailors can carve out their own slice of paradise, in a dedicated terrace section with sun loungers complete with an exclusive DJ, a separate bar, RockStar only food delivery and a private beach view with cabanas.
For those on the 5 night itineraries, as the sun sets and the main DJ winds down, a signature “fireball” ritual performance event ensues, before Sailors retire back to the ship to continue their cruise. “The idea is that when people share special moments together, like an end of the day fireball ritual, that they begin to feel more free,” adds Brindley. “It’s about being in the moment and at one with the surrounding nature. Feeling centered, remembering what’s important, and we hope that as a take away, our Sailors will find more purpose and intent to do good.” We know we will.