Influencer Interview: Sam Nazarian

sbe Founder, Chairman and CEO talks about his latest resort development in the Bahamas

I had the opportunity of connecting with an old friend and colleague Sam Nazarian, who I have watched build an incredible empire – starting sbe with some legendary nightclubs, lounges and restaurants in LA to building an incredible hotel empire, including SLS Hotel & Residence properties from Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, to Miami and now the Bahamas.

Sam Nazarian

Why Bahamas? What inspired this project? What do you love about the Bahamas?

The Bahamas is one of the most beautiful and culturally enriching destinations in the Caribbean. We were thrilled to be invited by Baha Mar President Graeme Davis to join this exclusive resort destination, and we were inspired to bring the SLS brand to its first international location and showcase an array of culinary offerings, and day and nightlife experiences from the sbe collection.  Baha Mar is a $4.2 billion-dollar project in the Bahamas, which includes ten sbe outlets including Fi’lia, Katsuya by Chef Katsuya Uechi, Carna by Chief Dario Cecchini, Cleo, Umami Burger, Bungalow, Bond, Privilege, SkyBar and Monkey Bar.

What’s your favorite thing about this property?

My favorite thing about SLS Baha Mar is the opportunity for resort guests to explore the various sbe experiences, as well as the largest casino in the Caribbean, flagship ESPA Spa, The Beach Sanctuary, Royal Blue Golf Club, featuring an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus designed Signature Golf Course, and dynamic programming and activities, all set along the brilliant turquoise blue waters surrounding The Bahamas. An incredible beachfront resort destination in Nassau, which is set along 3,000 feet of sparkling white sand beach and crystal-clear waters.

SLS Baha Mar has it all

What inspired the design?

The design is contemporary, sleek, glamourous with a nod to the Bahamian colors, culture and traditions. Specifically, The Iconic French designer Philippe Starck designed Katsuya to showcase the sleek and sultry interiors of our unique sushi restaurant. While Carna by Dario Cecchini steakhouse showcases modern design elements with a bold, earthy color scheme by James Beard Award Winning design firm Meyer Davis.

The lobby is elegantly welcoming.

sbe is known for their food and beverage and nightlife. Tell me about how you did that for Baha Mar.

The culinary and nightlife offerings are the heart of sbe. We brought the signature experiences including Fi’lia, Katsuya, Cleo, Bungalow, Bond, Privilege pool, Monkey Bar, and Umami Burger. Most recently, sbe launched a brand-new modern steakhouse concept, Carna by Dario Cecchini, the famous Tuscan butcher and introduced the legendary Skybar, the only rooftop lounge in The Bahamas. You never need to leave the property which give you a full circle lifestyle experience.

What is your typical day there (so you can hit all the spots on property)?

I love starting my day walking on the beach with my wife Emina and my two beautiful daughters Mia and Ella. Breakfast at Cleo. And then I check-in with our wonderful associates who are working hard to create the best resort experience in the Caribbean for our guests. In the evening I check out the cuisines at one of signature sbe restaurants, have a night cap at Skybar, or occasionally let loose and dance with my wife and friends at BOND nightclub located at Baha Mar.

Any Bahamas travel tips?

Relax. Walk on the beach. And don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular moments under the sun and experience all that Baha Mar resort destination has to offer.

Other SLS locations?

SLS is an integral part of sbe’s global expansion, with plans for twenty-five new locations nationally and internationally in cities including Washington D.C, Atlanta, Cancun, Bangkok, Doha, Milan and more.

Currently the SLS brand includes:

SLS Beverly Hills

SLS Brickell

SLS Lux Brickell

SLS South Beach

SLS Las Vegas

SLS Baha Mar

Current passion project?

I am passionate about every single of our projects from the opening of Umami Burger’s first beachfront venue at Baha Mar as well as opening the first ever restaurant by award winning Dario Cecchini, Carna. And we love bringing the iconic Skybar from Los Angeles to the Bahamas.