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A Guide to Paradise Island, Bahamas

Photo Credit: Mariakraynova/Shutterstock.com

From white sandy beaches to pristine turquoise waters, the Bahamas remain one of the world’s top destinations. Nestled off the coast of Florida, this tropical paradise is a charming refuge for people seeking a slower pace of life. Venture downtown to Nassau where small-scale pink, blue and yellow British colonial buildings line the streets to create a warm environment to shop for crafts and search the local boutiques for treasures. The island is a boater’s parasite with plenty of options for sea adventures too or just spending the day relaxing along the water’s edge, golfing or heading into town to shop and mingle. It’s a low key hideaway for the jet-set crowd.

paradise island
Photo Credit: Victor Maschek/Shutterstock.com

Once a refuge for loyalists who fled the colonies after the Revolutionary War, today, the British influence has shaped every aspect of the island’s development. With the arrival of Atlantis in 1998, the mega resort became a new anchor for the island. Despite the glam of Atlantis, Paradise Island continues to protect and maintain the charm of its small enclaves. There’s a level of privacy and discretion here that’s hard to find anywhere else in the world. There’s a balance between the laid-back restful atmosphere you expect from beach life and a more pampered experience.

paradise island

Paradise Island has developed a selection of celebrity chef-driven restaurants and five-star options. Todd English, Jean-Georges Vungerichten and Nobu Matsuhisa are all familiar names here. The James Bond inspired, Café Martinique, elegant Bahamian Club and not-to-be-missed Dune in the One&Only Ocean Club are a few of the island’s highlights. If you want to take it down the notch or are just looking for a place to grab a sandwich after coming off the boat, there are a number of no frills cafés along the water as well.

paradise island
Photo Credit: Bahama Hand Prints

Along the quaint streets of downtown Nassau, you will find haute boutiques tucked inside the brightly-painted colonial style buildings, a world-famous straw market, genuine Havana cigars and locally-designed crafts, jewelry and clothing. Inside Atlantis, Gucci, Cartier, Versace, David Yurman and more are among the resort’s boutiques. In Nassau, the Painted Lady sells local crafts and designs while Bay Street you’ll find Bahama Hand Prints, voted number one by Travel+Leisure. The shop sells unique brightly-colored printed kaftans, scarves and other unique accessories. Throughout the island, there are unique stores where you can find unusual items and art.

One&Only Ocean Club
Photo Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

Huntington Hartford developed much of the island for his friends to enjoy as a winter retreat. His legacy influenced much of the island’s development including creating the One&Only Ocean Club. This 1950s playboy transformed the striking estate into a resort for his affluent friends. He also built the legendary Kilkee House, which became a notorious party house attracting royals, politicians and celebrities such as The Beatles over the years. At One&Only, like much of the island, well-heeled visitors expect discreet service and tranquility. Whether you stay at the hotel or look to purchase one of the island’s historic homes or newly-built luxury villas, beyond Atlantis, the island offers many ideal places to stay, rent or buy.

paradise island
Photo Credit: Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat

If you are looking to spend some time getting back into balance, practicing yoga or reflecting, it’s also home to the famous Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat. Here you can practice yoga in the morning, get some time in meditating or sign up for a session with one of the world famous teachers that visit the Ashram each year.

The warm island climate and culture support a low-stress, relaxed lifestyle embraced by the many visitors and residents who come to Paradise Island. From a pleasant evening dinner in one of the famed restaurants to scouring the the outdoor market for locally-made crafts and boating, there are few places that match the tranquility of Paradise Island.

Michelle Farber Ross

Michelle Farber Ross founded MMD Realty LLC in 2011. A dynamic force in the South Florida real estate community, she joined forces with NFL legend Dan Marino to create MMD Realty, focusing on luxury residential and commercial properties in South Florida. The company earmarks up to five percent of company profits for the Dan Marino Foundation. ...(Read More)

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