Great Escapes: A Luxury Renaissance in the Bahamas

With the Delta variant on the rise, the Bahamas reinstated obligatory Covid screening for all people, no matter of vaccination position. All tourists to the Bahamas will have to implement for a Bahamas Travel Overall health Visa and add a adverse Covid-19 examination (possibly a rapid antigen examination or a PCR take a look at) taken no extra than five days prior to the day of arrival in the Bahamas. Unvaccinated tourists will have to also choose a speedy antigen take a look at on day 4 if remaining lengthier than 5 times, and fill out a health and fitness questionnaire each working day of their continue to be. 

All vacationers are needed to opt in to Covid-19 health insurance, which covers them for their remain in the Bahamas. The price of insurance policies is built into the Bahamas Travel Health Visa charge. 

The Bahamas were the moment synonymous with Atlantis, but new superior-end resorts and dining places have paved the way for a luxurious renaissance in the 700-island archipelago. 

The Versailles pool at the Ocean Club


Christian Horan

In 2017, the Four Seasons took over the storied Ocean Club and
Baha Mar,
a 1,000-acre complicated, initial opened its doors. Significant city convenience satisfies powdery white sand and turquoise, crystal water In Nassau and Paradise Island, in which restaurants helmed by superstar chefs like
Jean-Georges Vongerichten
and
Marcus Samuelsson
are just techniques away from the beach. Covid has not slowed down the development in the space, either: Margaritaville Seaside Vacation resort opened this summer time and Sandals Royal Bahamian is preparing a November reopening just after a US$37 million renovation.

Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport is a a few-hour flight from New York and an hour from Miami. A single of the to start with stops on many visitors’ itineraries is a fish fry—a mix of fried seafood with sides like rice and plantain—with sky juice, a area cocktail created of gin, coconut water and condensed milk.  

Remain

New Providence Island, the place the funds Nassau is positioned, and the considerably more compact Paradise Island are adjoined by two bridges a taxi journey from downtown Nassau to Paradise Island requires less than 10 minutes. 

For silent, intimate stays, very well-heeled tourists head to the Ocean Club, a Four Seasons vacation resort, on Paradise Island. Although it was greatly featured in 2006’s Bond film On line casino Royale, the resort has been the Bahamas’ hub of Hollywood glamour given that the 1960s, when it was a preferred haunt for
Zsa Zsa Gabor
and
William Randolph Hearst.
The intimate, oceanfront residence houses 107 rooms, suites, and villas, and provides tennis courts, an adjacent 18-gap golfing program intended by
Tom Weiskopf,
and 3 swimming pools, which includes an grown ups-only pool. 

For vacationers looking for a much more action-packed journey, specially all those with family members, Baha Mar is a playland for older people and youngsters alike. Right after a number of false begins, the a few-hotel sophisticated, a US$4.2 billion undertaking backed by Hong Kong-centered conglomerate and jewellery manufacturer Chow Tai Fook, opened in 2017 and has immediately develop into the area’s most popular new spot. The residence includes much more than 2,300 rooms throughout a few accommodations: the Grand Hyatt, the Rosewood and SLS. There is also a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Training course, tennis courts, a wildlife sanctuary with sea turtles, nurse sharks, and flamingos, an aviary, more than 10 swimming pools and more than 30 restaurants and bars. With its 100,000-sq.-foot on line casino, outposts of luxurious makes like Tiffany & Co. and Breitling, Baha Mar appears like a resort plucked from Las Vegas and put proper on Cable Beach front, well-known for its pristine sand and serene, azure drinking water. 

The Grand Hyatt is the greatest lodge, with 1,800 rooms and an special “hotel in just a hotel” known as The Reserve, which has its possess entrance, butler services, and private lounge. 

Youthful people with no little ones in tow who are seeking for adult pool functions and a nightclub will truly feel at dwelling at the sleek SLS boutique hotel, exactly where the bass thumps and the lobby doubles as 1 of Nassau’s most popular spots to see and be noticed. The hotel is swiftly turning into a favored spot for bachelor and bachelorette events for American site visitors. 

The Rosewood, the most luxurious of the a few lodges, is marginally detached from the other two houses and caters to company seeking for respite from the crowds, with swimming pools and sure amenities reserved solely for Rosewood guests. 

The blue gap pool at Baha Mar.


Baha Mar

DINE

Although numerous of Nassau and Paradise Island’s good eating selections are hooked up to
buzzy
international cooks, the historic Graycliff hotel and restaurant differentiates alone by leaning into its heritage with colonial decor, are living piano, and bow-tied servers. The mansion was reportedly developed by the pirate captain
John Howard Graysmith
in the 1740s, and has considering that switched fingers various instances, both of those as a hotel and non-public home, web hosting British royals and
Winston Churchill
when upon a time. 

But the previous-fashioned ambience does not truly feel stuffy listed here, with knowledgeable servers who exude Bahamian simplicity and heat as they support diners navigate the menu. Classic French fare like escargots, duck à l’orange, and souffles arrive jointly with island specialties, like chilled stone crab claws, conch chowder, and lionfish. The mansion’s most amazing attribute is its wine cellar, which properties extra than 250,000 bottles of wine, including a 1727 Rudesheimer Apostelwein from Bremen Ratskeller in the Rheingau location. You can indulge in an just after-evening meal cigar, hand rolled in the manufacturing facility on website.

Baha Mar’s fantastic dining selections consist of Mediterranean cafe
Cleo,

Philippe
Starck-developed sushi restaurant
Katsuya,
and recently opened Marcus at
Baha Mar Fish
+ Chop Household by Marcus Samuelsson. But nowhere is Baha Mar’s Chinese influence felt more than in
Shuang Ba,
exactly where a 15-ton marble pillar of two intertwined dragons sits at the middle of the luxurious dining home, outfitted in silk and wood-paneled partitions and crimson home furniture. Cooks from China lend their expertise to ensure a beautifully crispy pores and skin on juicy Peking duck, while adding Chinese taste to local substances, like wok-fried spiny lobster with ginger and scallions or conch salad with sesame oil and very hot chilis. 

For an authentic Bahamian experience, head to Arawak Cay for fish fry, conch fritters and conch salad. Among the dozens of stands and places to eat in this article, Twin Brothers is most likely the most very well-identified, but each Bahamian appears to be to have their individual impression on the very best fish fry in city. Even though you are at Arawak Cay, be absolutely sure to consider sky juice at It Is What It Is—and do not check with for the solution recipe, which encouraged the cryptic name of the stand.

Consume

John Watling’s
Distillery has some of the most effective
piña
coladas in city. The Buena Vista Estate, started in 1789, was in drop and underwent a significant restoration before reopening in 2013 as a craft rum distillery. Site visitors can just take a temporary tour and find out about the distillery’s namesake pirate, John Watling (who has no relationship to Buena Vista Estate), as properly as the distinct tiny-batch rums aged in bourbon barrels on website. The bar on the assets also has flights of rum as nicely as
pina
coladas.

With its deep eco-friendly monkey motif wallpaper and mid-century rattan household furniture, Bon Vivants seems like a Brooklynite’s interpretation of a tropical bar, but the inviting out of doors place and pleasant regional staff make it very clear that you are firmly in the Bahamas. Coffee store by day and cocktail bar by night, Bon Vivants does strike Brooklyn notes with oat milk lattes in flavors like beet and pea flower, but at evening time, it embraces tropical kitsch with Scorpion Bowls and a blue consume identified as the Smurfette.

If you really don’t intellect a tiny humidity, acquire the SLS elevator up to what could possibly be Nassau and Paradise Island’s only rooftop bar, Skybar. Teak home furnishings and an ocean perspective present a attractive alternative to skyscrapers and city lights.

View from the Ocean Club


Christian Horan

EXPLORE 

The crystal clear and quiet waters of Nassau and Paradise Island make the area suitable for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Stuart
Cove’s is the most dependable dive shop in the place, and it provides shark diving adventure trips, PADI programs and certifications, and snorkeling journeys to underwater movie sets and shipwrecks. 

In July, the Baha Mar opened its new US$200 million beachfront h2o park. The 15-acre
Baha Bay
is currently open up to Baha Mar guests only, at no supplemental demand, and incorporates h2o coasters, a FlowCurl Surf simulator and sky-high slides. You don’t have to be a child to love the lazy river, and the h2o park is property to the Baha Mar’s only infinity swimming pools that are genuinely beachfront at Baha Bay Seaside Club, where by there is a minimum devote on foods and drink for a poolfront lounger. 

The author was a visitor of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board.

Linda W. Davis

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