Photos: Bahamas Speed Week/The Cove AtlantisThe second annual Bahamas Speed Week Revival, which took place recently on Nassau Paradise Island, was a smashing success, ensuring a glorious future for the glamorous event. Legendary British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss presided over the week-long series of competitions, festivities and scenic drives for which $100 million worth of Ferraris, Jaguars, Aston Martins and more were shipped in.
Moss himself raced in a rare Italian-made O.S.C.A. FS372 DS racecar from 1956. At the inaugural event, Wal-Mart Chairman Rob Walton won the 'Best Car in Show' trophy with a 1958 Maserati 450S worth $7 million. This year, Bayford Oil Group Chief Executive Jonathan Turner carried off the prize with his equally alluring 1952 Jaguar C-Type, worth a small fortune.
For pure speed it was hard to beat the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven by American Simon Arscott, however. Appropriately enough, that’s the same model favored by James Bond. There’s a longstanding connection between the famed secret agent and Nassau Paradise Island. Many scenes from 1965’s Thunderball were filmed there, as were parts of The Spy Who Loved Me and Never Say Never Again. More recently, much of 2006’s Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig was set in the idyllic locale. It’s no surprise then that Sir Sean Connery, the most famous Bond of all, lives in the neighborhood at exclusive Lyford Cay, a stop on this year’s 007 Island Tour of locations used in the famed films.
Nassau Paradise Island is well suited to host such a prestigious event. Kerzner International’s eye-popping Atlantis resort is home to a spa, casino, waterpark, marine habitat and more, in addition to one of the world’s most expensive hotel rooms: the $25,000-per night Bridge Suite. You don’t have to spend quite that much to enjoy a luxurious oasis amidst all the property’s amenities, though. The five-star, all-suite The Cove Atlantis offers ocean views from every room as well as a private pool and beach club on one of the world’s most scenic stretches of white sand. Having flown in a classic Ferrari for Speed Week is not a requirement, but don’t be surprised if your next door neighbor turns up on the winner’s podium.
Since The Cove opened in 2007, the likes of Lindsay Lohan, John Travolta and Cindy Crawford have been among the resort’s A-list guests. Golfing enthusiasts can get their fix at nearby sister property Once&Only Ocean Club’s 18-hole, par 72 championship course designed by Tom Weiskopf. A branch of Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay’s famed Mesa Grill, the only one outside of New York and Las Vegas, is located at The Cove, with an outpost of Nobu and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Café Martinique within easy walking distance. Yet another celebrity chef is set to grace The Cover soon when Todd English opens Olives.
The chic resort-within-a-resort is great for those who wish to enjoy a luxurious getaway without the distraction of noisy children. Cain is an adults-only pool exclusive to Cove guests complete with a bar, live DJ, outdoor gaming tables and private cabanas. High rollers can indulge themselves in the ultra-luxe Penthouse Suite, which features floor-to-ceiling window walls on three sides, wrap-around ocean views, two master bedrooms with their own en-suite baths, living room, dining room, full-service kitchen, media room and office. There’s also The Club, The Cove's special level of suites featuring a dedicated concierge for restaurant, golf, spa and cabana reservations among other amenities.
The Cove is also home to the aptly-named Escape, a carefully curated designer boutique in keeping with the property’s contemporary flair. The Atlantis complex also hosts The Crystal Court Shops featuring standalone stores from luxury labels like Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace. Want to arrive by yacht? Not a problem. Atlantis’ Marina can accommodate vessels up to 240 feet, making it the Bahamas’s premier luxury yacht facility. Competition for berths can be fierce, so we suggest you book now for Speed Week Revival 2013.