Something new & extraordinary

Pharrell Williams and David Grutman hotel Somewhere Else is taking over The Beach at Atlantis

Something new and extraordinary will soon arrive in The Bahamas. In 2024, David Grutman, founder of Groot Hospitality, and American musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, will partner with Atlantis to open Somewhere Else, a new resort, with an intriguing name.

The property, which will take over the current site of The Beach, is set to offer a unique and immersive experience, blending Grutman’s ability to create memorable hospitality platforms with Williams’ dynamic, genre-spanning artistry.

Somewhere Else will feature over 400 guest rooms and suites alongside an array of vibrant, top-tier dining venues, lushly landscaped grounds, an oceanfront beach, multiple pools and recreation areas, luxury amenities and live entertainment.

“Somewhere Else is going to be a one-of-a-kind resort,” said Grutman in an Atlantis press release. “Not only will it offer a major extension of the unforgettable and high-energy experiences we deliver with Groot Hospitality but, also, a clear focus on nature and restorative elements. We’ll have something for everyone, yet Pharrell and I are making sure Somewhere Else is unlike anywhere else.”

Somewhere Else’s atmosphere is expected to be one of tropical modernism that will be seen and felt throughout the resort.

With a design team led by Shawn Sullivan, a partner at David Rockwell’s The Rockwell Group, Somewhere Else promises a languid and fluid visual line – from cascading pools that draw the eye seaward to polychrome room concepts with color accents found in dashes throughout the property, according to a joint Grutman/Williams interview with CNN.

Sullivan, the lead designer on the project, together with Grutman and Williams, is said to be creating an enthralling oasis in and of itself – yet Somewhere Else will also be within easy reach of Atlantis’ myriad dining and entertainment options.

Sullivan told CNN that when guests pull up, they will arrive through a densely landscaped garden – and that the garden sort of continues under and through the building.

And that Somewhere Else will be anchored by a flamingo pink-trimmed building, which, until now, has been known as The Beach. It was the first hotel built on Atlantis, Paradise Island and was designed by the late Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, home to the Grutman-owned nightclub LIV.

“What we’ve done as an approach is to strip away a lot of bulk from the architecture,” said Sullivan. “We’re opening up the structure to the landscape and to the sea. Warm-weather resorts also often have ample natural elements but they’re usually very controlled. We’re excited to let nature pervade the space.”

Somewhere Else is the third joint hospitality endeavor between 13-time Grammy winner Williams and Grutman, who is known for creating immersive experiential venues with distinct atmospheres, blending high-energy and transportive luxury across a one-of-a-kind portfolio of restaurants, hotels, bars, and nightclubs.

Williams and Grutman are also partners on the Miami-based restaurant Swan, and The Goodtime Hotel, which opened in 2021.

According to the CNN interview, as of now, the Somewhere Else project is the pair’s largest and most complex undertaking, to date. And it’s the first time the Atlantis megaresort, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, has broken from extending its branding to a hotel within its vicinity. The CNN report states William and Grutman will maintain 100 percent ownership of Somewhere Else’s intellectual property and have been given carte blanche on how to execute it.

“We want to do this one differently than what you’re used to from Pharrell and I,” Grutman told CNN. “We’re really going for an emphasis on the outdoors and experiences that you can have on the grounds of the property, whether in a fun-filled sense or in finding a quiet corner to relax. What we’re not going to have is a nightclub, for example.”

According to the CNN interview, Somewhere Else will not fall into the more affordable range of resort pricing but it will also not be priced in the highest luxury bracket. And that, according to Sullivan, the resort’s team is reconsidering what “luxury” really means today.

“The word luxury is evolving, and it’s an interesting expression because, from a development perspective, it used to mean you counted the number of fixtures, or the square footage, or the marble spaces,” said Sullivan. “We think the truest luxury now is in what one experiences. Both of these guys are so well-versed in design but, between David’s ability to create high-energy and memorable places and Pharrell’s focus on wellness and mindfulness, it’s a perfect balance. And, though I say this cautiously, I think we’re doing something that’s never been done.”

Audrey Oswell, president and marketing director, Atlantis, Paradise Island, said teaming up with Grutman and Williams to further evolve the resort is an endeavor they are incredibly proud to be embarking upon.

“We can’t wait to share the Somewhere Else experience with new and returning guests, which will be amplified by the culture and warm Bahamian hospitality that can only be found at Atlantis, Paradise Island,” said Oswell.

Atlantis is home to five properties, including the iconic towers of The Royal, the family-friendly accommodations at The Coral, residential-style studios and suites at The Reef, opulent suites at The Cove, and water-side villas at Harbourside Resort. Atlantis offers immersive programming connecting guests to the history, art, marine life, people, cuisine, and festivities of The Bahamas, while underscoring critical marine life and environmental sustainability efforts.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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