Passion Points: Escape
Nandana, the new private resort destination in the Bahamas has been blessed—literally. The owners Patrick and Gigi Salisbury originally created Nandana as their private home, taking design inspiration from Asia, particularly Thailand. When they completed the 18,000-square-foot property, they invited a Hindu priest to bestow his blessing, enhancing the spirituality and serenity of the place. Nandana (the name translates as “paradise” in Sanskrit) sits at a secluded tip of Grand Bahama Island, only a 30-minute plane ride from Fort Lauderdale.
While it’s not the only resort in the area, the waterfront Nandana has an isolated location, so guests are blissfully removed from the rest of the busy island. In many ways, Nandana still feels like the private home it was originally intended to be. Guests must take over the entire property, which encompasses five lavish guests suites (including a tented, safari-style room), as well as a variety of common indoor and outdoor lounging space. Spectacular water views figure throughout as do Asian-inspired furnishings and details. The massive wooden entrance door hails from a temple in Bali, teak pillars were brought in from Burma and the stylish yet comfortable furniture comes from Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali and Thailand. The Caribbean setting and understated Asian design are a perfect blend of East meets West.
The guest suites are spread out across the property and are housed in freestanding units connected by palm-tree-lined pathways. Each room is spacious, with high ceilings and a minimalist-chic vibe. The large bathrooms come with tubs and walk-in showers, framed by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, as well as an outdoor shower. I loved the closet space, the large beds. There’s no clutter: just sleek furniture and a few well-chosen objets, so the grand natural setting cast through floor-to-ceiling windows becomes the star.
The staff at Nandana does its best to make guests feel cosseted. The chef customizes all meals, working with the freshest of ingredients, especially seafood. During my trip, we caught a large fish while deep-sea fishing, which the chef promptly transmformed into a fantastic appetizer of homemade ceviche. A sizeable wine cellar is on hand for food-wine pairings, and the staff can adjust the menu to dietary needs, taking into consideration everything from food allergies to kosher. After dinner, guests can enjoy the sea breeze on the terrace or watch movies in the seriously equipped media room, including a large-screen television, a huge DVD selection and comfortable couches. Those more interested in Nandana’s setting can star-gaze through the telescope.
Daytime Nandana is also organized around relaxation. Guests can opt to have a treatment in the massage room, sip fresh Pina Coladas and swim in the sizeable pool or unwind in the warm Jacuzzi during sunset. A variety of special off-property activities are available, albeit at a steep extra cost. But if money is no object, the list includes everything from deep-sea fishing excursions and picnics on a remote island to beachside riding and swimming with dolphins.
Taking over the entire property ranges from $6500 per night to $12,000 per night (the latter during the holidays). Food and off-property excursion are extra.
WHO SHOULD STAY:
Those coming with a family or group of friends who want to escape from the crowds and unwind in a tropical hideaway that’s relatively easy for U.S.-, especially East Coast, -based, travelers.
WHO SHOULD NOT STAY:
People with young children who need constant entertainment and a kid’s club, or those who want a bustling nightlife.
Click here to read about Harbour Island, a different type of Bahamas experience.
Read a review of David Copperfield’s Musha Cay.
Read about the One & Only Ocean Club.
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