Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This sophisticated luxury resort draws attractive couples and well-behaved families.
This resort became One&Only Ocean Club in 2002, but it's history dates back further than that. Huntington Hartford II (the man responsible for Paradise Island's name change from Hog Island) bought the property in 1962 to create a 52-room hotel and golf course -- Ocean Club. The swanky property attracted members of royalty, and notable names like Zsa Zsa Gabor and William Randolph Hearst. Mr. Huntington is also the man behind the extraordinary Versailles-inspired garden; he even imported marble statues from Europe, including a 12th-century cloister, which had to be taken apart and shipped from France.
One&Only has evolved into modern-day luxury oasis. The One&Only brand is known by elite travelers, and has eight (and counting -- more are in the works) posh properties around the world. Still, certain areas of the property, especially the Hartford Wing, retain a traditional style -- a quiet reminder of days past and the old money that came with it. The hotel successfully blends these classic influences with modern, sophisticated decor; it's unsurprising the opening scenes of Casino Royale where shot here (James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, stayed here for a romantic interlude). This fun movie fact is a point of pride for Paradise Island.
Upon arrival, guests will pass through a well-guarded security gate before reaching a circular driveway for valet parking. Porters welcome guests and lead them towards the doors of the plantation-style home that serves as the lobby. Check-in takes place while sitting down with one of the receptionists. Modern art adds to a cheerful ambiance, and a seating area with books and a grand piano overlooks the ocean. There are refreshments on a table served all day, and the Library Bar comes alive in the afternoon for tea, cocktails and snacks.
From here, guests will walk to their room in either direction -- the Crescent and Hartford wings sit on either side of this hub (the Crescent Wing in five two-story buildings, and the Hartford Wing in a single building with an interior courtyard). With only 106 rooms, the property never feels crowded, and guests will find plenty of space at the beach, the two pools, and the golf course. There's definitely an elegant, monied air, but it's not an exclusive environment -– partly because guests at Atlantis and anyone from the public are able to drink and dine at Dune restaurant and bar, which receives a fun crowd at sunset, and at the cande-lit Courtyard Terrace.
Close to, but hidden away from, the Atlantis on Paradise Island
Paradise Island's One&Only Ocean Club is accessed via gated driveway. To get here, guests arrive from the airport either by private car hire, rental car, or taxi. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on time of day (traffic can get bad through downtown Nassau) and it costs a $1 to cross the bridge to this side. The Atlantis is in clear view while crossing this bridge, but One&Only is hidden away on the less crowded area of beach, though jet skis can still be heard in the distance. Cabbage Beach is open to the public, but rarely does anyone not staying at the resort make it down this far, which means it is easy to find seclusion on the white sand.
Golfers have quick access to the 18-hole golf course next to the property. There's also a free and regular shuttle service that delivers guests to the main areas of Atlantis for the casino, Aquaventure, and dining options. It's also not that far of a walk to get to Marina Village.
Classic Hartford Wing Rooms and stylish, contemporary Crescent Wing Rooms
The resort's current inventory of 106 rooms and suites are spread out over expansive grounds. The newer Crescent Wing Rooms are housed in five two-story buildings, and each has a balcony that faces the ocean. Decor is contemporary, with hardwood floors, dark wood furniture, rattan accents, and plenty of warm red fabrics. Spacious marble bathrooms have big jetted tubs and walk-in steam showers. Beachfront Suites have a separate living/dining room.
The Hartford Wing -- this is the original Ocean Club from 1962 -- is a single two-story, plantation-style building with an interior courtyard, located right next to the lobby. It offers both Ocean and Garden View Rooms, as well as two-level suites called Cottages. Hartford Wing Rooms also have king beds but the colonial-style decor is more classic and elegant than contemporary, with mahogany furnishings and marble baths. Some have shower/tub combos, unlike in the Crescent Wing. Suites have a separate living/dining areas.
All rooms have a selection of liquors, wines, and gourmet snacks that are available for purchase, as well as free mineral water that is stocked daily. Upon arrival, guests receive a welcome drink and fruit selection, and every afternoon, there's a delivery of champagne and strawberries. Other amenities included in the price are newspaper delivery, unpacking/packing luggage service, a pillow menu, and and turndown service. All rooms come with a beach tote and cap with the resort’s logo on it.
A range of healthy activities included in the price to balance out the good dining options
There are two outdoor pools: one for adults only that faces the beautiful Versailles-inspired gardens, and another that is family-friendly, with a small snack bar. The seemingly endless stretch of Cabbage Beach is easy to access from the resort. It is open to the public, but only guests are allowed to use the cushioned lounge chairs. Drinks and lunch are available to order from servers, though service can be inconsistent.
Active people will find plenty to do here. There are six Har-Tru tennis courts available for day and night use (with floodlights), seating areas to watch, and free use of tennis racquets. Private lessons are available for an extra fee. The fitness center is next to the main pool, and has and indoor and outdoor sections and rooms for stretching and Pilates, cardio and circuit training. There is a free yoga class every morning on the yoga deck that overlooks the ocean. Bicycles are free for use of guests, as well.
Golfers do not have to travel far to get to the adjacent 18-hole championship golf course, on a peninsula with great views of the ocean. This was designed by Tom Weiskopf, and there's a pro shop on-site.
A free and regular shuttle to Atlantis delivers guests to key areas of the resort for use of the casino, shops, restaurants, and bars. Families with kids can take advantage of Aquaventure highlights and the marine habitats, as well.
A celebrity chef restaurant, a romantic Mediterranean restaurant, a pool cafe, and a golf club restaurant
Besides the free bottled water, coffee, arrival fruit, and champagne and strawberries delivered to the rooms daily, guests can expect to pay big bucks for the quality food and beverage options while staying here. The most notable restaurant is Dune by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (his first venue in the Caribbean) with sensational views of the ocean and a French-Asian menu. There is a bright and spacious sunset-facing bar, and indoor and outdoor dining areas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Inside is an air-conditioned environment with an open kitchen.
The Courtyard Terrace restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and opens for dinner in the Hartford Wing. It doesn’t have the enviable ocean views of the Dune, but it’s a romantic scene with glowing candles, fire pits, and fountains.
The Pool Terrace Café is next to the main pool. It opens for drinks during the day (with a large rum selection) into the early evening, and there are tables for lunch service. The Library bar is in the lobby and offers afternoon tea, cocktails and views of the sea. The Clubhouse is is a part of the golf course and serves breakfast, lunch and drinks both indoors and outdoors.
This is called One&Only for good reason -- there’s nothing quite like it on Paradise Island, or anywhere in the Bahamas for that matter. The 106 rooms and suites, split into two sections, are luxurious, though those in the newer Crescent Wing are a bit more modern and stylish. Guests have access to the amenities at the Atlantis but the advantage of being removed from the crowds. Expansive manicured grounds have two outdoor pools, a romantic garden and statuary modeled after Versailles (a dream for weddings), and the endless stretch of white-sand beach and turquoise waves. Health and wellness nuts are spoilt for choice with daily yoga, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, an indoor/outdoor fitness center, and a Balinese-style spa with private villas. After a day in the sun, guests return to the room to find champagne and strawberries waiting, and many choose to begin their evening with sunset drinks at Jean-George's Dune restaurant.