The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas oozes elegance and laid-back luxury – with a dash of James Bond-style charm
Just picture the scene: green grass, white sand, a perfect turquoise ocean and a hammock slung invitingly between two palm trees. It is a vision of perfect comfort that has brought guests back to The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas, time and time again over the past six decades – including those who know that the sort of luxury provided by The Ocean Club is not easy to find.
Imbued with old-school charm and glamour, it is no wonder The Ocean Club provided the backdrop to the James Bond production of Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig (adding to the legacy of classic Bond scenes filmed in the Caribbean since the 1960s). The four-bedroom villa that appeared in the film has since been much sought-after by holidaymakers.
The Ocean Club opened in 1962, an intimate low-rise resort laid out over a vast slice of land – some 35 beachfront acres, to be exact. With 107 rooms and suites, the resort provides a rare combination of privacy, ocean access, exceptional views and impeccable facilities. Throw in the great weather, fine dining and natural Bahamian hospitality and it offers something close to heaven.
“I have worked in the Bahamas for 26 years and there’s nowhere else quite like this,” says John Conway, the General Manager, who has worked at The Ocean Club for ten years. “It’s an amazing place. The colour of the sea is so intense that you can see it from space. We are just over two hours from New York by jet and in the same time zone. Although we are only 150 miles from Florida, we are in a completely different country – yet one where English is spoken – and everything feels like a dream. The physical beauty of the resort never ceases to amaze me.”
This beauty includes the resort’s renowned Versailles gardens, a lush multi-terraced landscape that overlooks the waters of Nassau Harbour. Guests also have use of three large pools: the main one, which is right by the ocean with direct beach access nearby; the adults-only Versailles pool, and a family pool. The lush grounds are also home to the private Spa Villas – eight Balinese-style treatment rooms where guest can indulge in a variety of bathing rituals, therapies and treatments to nurture the body and soothe the senses.
The Ocean Club’s two restaurants are Dune by Jean-Georges, which serves favourite global dishes by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the more informal Ocean Blu, offering a Western Caribbean menu in a casual seafront setting. There is also the chic Martini Bar, known for its signature martini flights – shaken, not stirred.
The resort is kept up to date with constant improvements, such as the recently renovated Crescent Wing. And it excels at delighting family members of all ages. Those who may have first holidayed there as children are now bringing their grandchildren to enjoy the facilities. The guests may have also been served by the same members of staff, some of whom have worked there for decades and therefore intuitively understand guests’ tastes and preferences.
“We often have multi-generational celebrations, and we feel that celebration is an essential component of what we can offer guests,” says John. “You come to this resort for a celebration of life’s great moments. That is why we exist. We ensure that every guest feels that it is a special event, and it’s beautiful that we get to share that. It’s such a privilege.”