Bahamas

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The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort

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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.

Indagare Loves

  • That this provides access to Atlantis but offers calm serenity
  • The Versailles terraced gardens and 12th-century cloister, imported from France
  • The beachfront villas

Review

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.

Comments (3) OpenClose

3 Comments

  1. Indagare
    5:24 pm | April 21, 2015

    From Indagare member J.H.: “We loved the Ocean club, and it is so easy to get to from New York. One drawback was that our room was located next to the restaurant, which was smelly at times. The room was very nice, but when you looked a little closer, it was a little tired (the sliding glass doors were old and almost rusty, the outdoor lighting was dated).

    We had a butler who was wonderful and very helpful. While the staff could at times be a little slow, almost every single staff member was polite. It gave the hotel a really nice vibe.

    We played a lot of golf and I had tennis lessons. The golf course was gorgeous and so easy to get set up and get the logistics down. We rented clubs and tee times were pretty easy to come by. The tennis pro had been there for 48 years and was a total hoot, we all had enjoyed our time with him.

    The pools, gardens and beach were beautiful. The only thing that I really couldn’t stand was the beach chair situation. It sounds silly but when you are paying to stay here, you would expect to be able to get a chair and umbrella on the beach. I went down one day and was told there were no more umbrellas even though there were numerous sets of chairs with umbrellas that no one had been down to use yet. I think its the situation of people generously tipping the beach staff to save them chairs and umbrellas and I find it so annoying! On our first day, we went without an umbrella for two hours while other umbrellas were being “saved” for people that hadn’t even shown up to the beach at all yet! The beach is pretty noisy with lots of jet skis and banana boats coming from Atlantis which is just down the beach.

    We went over to Atlantis one night and ate at Nobu which was really fun and the rest of the time we stayed at the hotel where the food was good, but not great. The scene at the Dune bar was great every evening with lots of guests coming for cocktails and live music.

    The Ocean club was a great option for a 3-day beach getaway. The golf was perfect, the staff fun and relaxed and the grounds and beach truly beautiful! We would definitely go back for a long weekend anytime.”

  2. Indagare
    9:31 pm | May 27, 2015

    Indagare member T. M. reports: The Ocean Club’s accommodations were beautiful. That said, service was not so great. For example, we had a butler assigned to the suite and we only saw him once during our stay, when we checked in. We also asked for a late check-out for Monday when we arrived on Saturday. They said they would let us know, but no one ever got back to me. I had to keep checking in with them and finally on Monday at 11am, they said they couldn’t do it. They also couldn’t verify a few charges on my credit card and said they weren’t sure what they were, which I found strange. So it was just the small details that were a little annoying. But I guess that’s the nature of Caribbean service. Also, the food wasn’t the best, although breakfast was good. We ate in town at the local fish fry and it was delicious—that’s the way to go. We were talking with other guests and they said they had the same experience. I understand ownership changed over the past year so perhaps this is the reason.

  3. Indagare
    5:59 pm | April 4, 2016

    From an Indagare member: “The Ocean Club is a beautiful property with fantastic rooms. However, the service is lacking, and takes away from the overall experience. Many staff members were not hospitable and seemed to be only interested in tips. Examples include ignoring Do Not Disturb signs, attitude issues and poor dining service. While the property is quite beautiful, we would not return because of the poor service during our stay.

    Notes on restaurants and activities:
    Dune – we would not recommend.
    ABC Cocina was fine, we enjoyed.
    Nobu had good food with great service – we went twice.
    The Bahama Diver Tour was our favorite activity; we chartered a private boat and had two fun, energetic guides. The snorkeling was amazing.
    The Atlantis resort is pretty sparse, (not as ‘Disneyland’ as one may think, and kids love it).”

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