A Tropical Resort Mecca
If the Bahamas had a Cinderella story it would be Paradise Island, home of the world famous Disney-esque Atlantis, Resort. Once upon a time, there was Hog Island. It was an island of stunning white beaches that sloped down to water so turquoise it took your breath away. Nassuvians picnicked on its shores, casuarinas waving gently overhead, offering shade to children. One day a prince – okay, so more like an American millionaire – wandered onto Hog Island and was entranced. He saw its beauty and wanted to make Hog Island his own. His dream was grand: Casinos, sprawling world class resorts, a 14th-century French Augustinian monastery, today known as The Cloisters, one of several landmarks of Hog Island. He renamed the island Paradise Island and hired Palm Beach, Florida architect John Volk to build the Ocean Club, Cafe Martinique, Hurricane Hole, and the Golf Course, bringing in celebrity golf and tennis pros. Paradise Island remains a tropical resort mecca for visitors from all over the world.
Today, the story continues. Atlantis, built in the late 1990s by South African Sol Kerzner, towers strikingly over the island like the new world vision it is. Mythical architecture conjures ancient legends of lost cities and spectacular beings found in Greek mythology. The Marina Village, built by the late Jackson Burnside, a visionary Bahamian architect, brings to life the elegant charm of early Bahamian settlements: stone paved pathways and New England style buildings in pastel blues and yellows and pinks, bordered in white picket fences, each one home to stores and restaurants, making shopping and dining here a soulfully Bahamian experience.
Paradise Island is connected to Nassau by two bridges, one going, one coming, and is part of Nassau’s nervous system. Visitors staying in Nassau find their way easily to Paradise Island by bus, land-taxi, or a water taxi from Prince George Wharf. Paradise Island is a pulsing nexus, at once laid back and teeming with things to see and do. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary sights is the indoor and outdoor seawater aquarium at the Atlantis. Explore outdoor lagoons where you can wade into waters with stingrays, snorkel with over 20,000 fish and lobster in a setting that invokes the ruins of the lost city of Atlantis, or adventure through indoor cave-like tunnels where you come face to face with fantastic sea creatures of every kind, from sharks to piranhas to iridescent jelly fish, all at a safe distance behind glass.
And once you make it out into the sunshine, and down to the water, you’ll understand why this is the place to be. Paradise Island’s beaches are stunning. You’ll join a long tradition of locals and sun and sea worshippers from all over the world who have made Cabbage Beach a pilgrimage. Play in the waves or on jet skis or take a boat powered parachute ride and see it all from a bird’s eye view; or, just lay back on the warm sand and ponder the purpose of life.