When thinking of where my next venture to the Caribbean would be, I never really considered the Bahamas; maybe because it’s a bit further south and a lesser known destination than the bigger islands, such as Barbados and Antigua, or maybe because it isn’t promoted as much in the UK.
However, after recently come back from a familiarisation trip I can honestly say this island will neither be forgotten nor be standing at the bottom of my ‘to-go-to’ list ever again!
The Bahamas is the only place I have visited in the Caribbean that I could genuinely use the word ‘paradise’ to describe. The sands are pristine white, the Caribbean Sea is actually turquoise and the weather was glorious for the whole five days I was there (even though it was hurricane season!). Top that off with the Bahamians, who are great fun and a real burst of energy, and you have the perfect luxury holiday destination.
The trip started with a three-night stay at The Cove Atlantis. Perfect for families and couples, this place has got it all. There are some five hotels within the resort and I would strongly recommend The Cove and The Reef, as the higher standard of accommodation here is well suited to couples, while the higher room categories at the Royal Towers is ideal for families. The Royal Tower is an extravagant hotel that looks similar in design to that of The Atlantis in Dubai and offers some spectacular views across the island. The resort offers a casino, nightclub, Aquaventure waterpark, Dolphin Cay experience, CRUSH – the ultimate teen night club - children’s clubs, and you can also discover the digs of the Lost City and the reef fish in an underwater marine habitat! The place is a one stop shop for all your holiday requirements and the staff are very friendly and forthcoming.
Day four came and I woke up very excited because this was the day I was checking into the One&Only Ocean Club. A hotel well known as the famous beach setting where Daniel Craig came out of the sea in his skimpy 007 trunks in Casino Royale! Although there was no sight of him this time, the resort didn’t disappoint with its first class reputation of luxury and style.
But before checked-in, I hopped onto a speed boat for a 20 minute ride across the Caribbean Sea to Rose Island (locally known as Sandy Toes). A private island with stunning beaches, coral reefs, lazy day hammocks and a beach bar. It’s the perfect place for a bit of alone time with your loved ones and a great way to experience some snorkelling action around the reefs too. It has been known to be a hiding place of well-known celebrities and their families for some years now, meaning you can enjoy a bit of celeb spotting en route too! Our guide showed us properties belonging to the rich and famous, including Jay Z and Beyonce, Elvis Presley and a private island that Eddie Murphy has recently sold!
So four relaxing and lazy hours later and I turned up at One&Only Ocean Club utterly drenched (warning; speedboats can cause major soaking!) to receive VIP check-in and be escorted to my beachfront suite, complete with butler and stunning beach/ocean views. After checking out all the gadgets and mod cons in my room and eyeing up the deep sinking bathtub I decided to get ready and go to the beach. One&Only Ocean Club is only next door to the Atlantis but when you sit on the beach you would never know. The resort has been designed to give privacy and comfort and boasts one of the best stretches of coast on the island, along with fantastic and efficient beachside service.
Night time fell and we were treated to in-villa dining in one of the top villas which was simply stunning. Not only did it have extensive ocean views but it also had the most luxurious fittings and décor fit for royalty, and talking of royalty, there have been one or two regal guests to this villa over the years. The dinner was delicious and the company was great too.
The next day I had been booked in for a 50 minute Bali massage. Not knowing what this entailed exactly I can only describe it as an all over body massage. It was the best massage I had ever experienced and it left me feeling relaxed and revived.
Sadly it was time to check out for my journey back home but before that I had to take advantage of my late check out with a soak in the tub whilst listening to my iPod over the speakers and enjoying a glass of Champagne and strawberries that are complimentary in the evenings…bliss!
Check out was in great style with a fond farewell from John Conway the General Manager and another glass of Champagne and then a ride to the airport in the hotel’s stretch limousine. I would strongly recommend that if you like your accommodation to be spacious you book into a beachfront suite rather than the pool/garden view rooms but I would also strongly suggest that you visit One&Only Ocean Club as it is quite simply the best hotel I’ve ever visited. The usual style and sophistication of a One&Only resort but with that typical Bahamian character – a perfect combination for a perfect holiday!;