The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort
Elegance in the tropics
Paradise Island Nassau (242) 363-2501 from the U.S.: (800) 321-3000 fourseasons.com
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At a Glance
This grand old property, formerly a private estate, brings reliable luxury and service to a pretty Bahamian beach near the madness of Atlantis but in its own serene spot.
- That this provides access to Atlantis but offers calm serenity
- The Versailles terraced gardens and 12th-century cloister, imported from France
- The beachfront villas
This storied property, managed by Four Seasons as of late 2017, was once the home of A&P Tea Company heir Huntington Hartford II, and more recently, appeared in the 2006 James Bond remake of Casino Royale. The 107-room hotel is therefore extremely popular with high-maintenance New Yorkers who want to escape for a few days of serenity without losing the heat. Perhaps surprisingly, the mastermind behind the Ocean Club is the same man who created Atlantis, the mass tourist attraction that sits on the other side of the island but feels miles away (though there are a fair amount of jet skis zipping back and forth along the beach here). South African Sol Kerzner made one of his fortunes building the gargantuan gambling oasis Sun City, and his Atlantis also manages to pack in a seemingly unending stream of gamblers and families with its casino and water amusements.
The Ocean Club, however, is where Sol finished an Ocean Club Residence for himself. In addition to the eighteen-hole golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf, the 35-acre property includes a restaurant overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, as well as a pretty white sand beach, six tennis courts, three pools and a spa. The main building has a wonderful great room where guests can sit surrounded by books and game tables with a view down the lawn to the sea. When I was last there, a family with three teenagers whiled away an afternoon playing gin as golfers and couples wandered in and out to get drinks from the bar. Couples and families can exist in their own spheres, because the beach is so large and one pool by the gardens is reserved for adults and children over the age of fourteen. The kids’ club runs activities throughout the day, from Ping-Pong and checkers to nature hunts. The best rooms are in the Crescent wing. Those in the Hartford wing are considerably smaller. The three beachfront three- and four-bedroom villas are among the hardest accommodations to reserve but are a great option for families.
Considering the Four Seasons’s friendly, white-glove service, we can only hope other hotels will recognize that if guests are treated with such hospitality, they will generate the kind of waiting-list-only popularity that the Ocean Club often enjoys. It sells out months in advance; so if you want to go this winter, book now.
Who Should Go
The resort caters to both couples and families looking for a refined and legendary haven in the Bahamas that is an easy flight from the US.