"Do I have to go back to work?" I asked my boyfriend who looked equally upset about saying goodbye to the One & Only Ocean Club. Leaving the resort made me feel like I was waving goodbye to a lover I had spent years trying to reconnect with.
I spent one unforgettable night with an amazing companion at one of the best luxury resorts in The Bahamas, and it couldn't have been more perfect. After a hectic few months at work, we both needed this.
Usually, when we choose to do something romantic, it's a quiet dinner and movie, or a night spent talking with candles flickering in the background as we lose sense of time. Other couples might venture out on sunset cruises or dinners on the beach after touring the historic city of Nassau, but this was a new adventure—one that forced us to admit that we were doing the whole quality time thing wrong.
There is no way we could have planned for the unspoiled moments and the magic of the memories made while staying at the One & Only Ocean Club, and I doubt we could ever recreate this experience.
One & Only Ocean Club is a natural hideaway for couples, families, and celebrities, and is located on a well-manicured 35-acre property on Paradise Island. For visitors, getting there requires a plane ticket and a scenic ride provided by the resort's private chauffeur (fancy) across the island. For locals, a simple car ride will lead you to the front of the property where you will be greeted by eager staff members inquiring, "Are you staying with us or are you dining?'
Once we were greeted, and answered that we would be staying, our luggage and car were secured, and we were whisked away to the lobby for our grand tour.
A grand tour seems fancy and it is when you're setting eyes on the luxurious property for the first time in your life. I had only been there to dine at Dune by Jean-Georges Vongerichten once but it was dark and I had barely remembered anything, so it was as if I was viewing it for the first time. "Would you like some lemonade?" a question that caused me to snap out of my dreams of plunging into the beautiful infinity pool brought me back to the realization that here I was and I had no idea what to expect.
Being a local, it must come as a total surprise that I had never stayed at the Ocean Club but I'm probably one in a thousand people who has never experienced it. When you live on an island that is considered paradise you get used to everything being the same, including service and overall experiences. The only thing Ocean Club had in common with the others was the fact it was located on Nassau/Paradise island.
After having a short tour, we were ushered to our room where we were instructed that our butler would be by shortly to give us a tour of our room. Never one to wait, I wandered aimlessly into the bathroom staring at the massive modern bathrooms and the walk-in shower that I knew if time permitted I'd be spending an unexplainable amount of time in. As I obsessed over the shower, my boyfriend was fascinated with something else, the toilet. "Would you notice if I pressed all the buttons and tried everything on the toilet?" he asked while staring intently at the computerized toilet. Not fully getting the excitement, he quickly explained it had a removable remote control, a "lady wash" control, a "rear wash" control and other features, I could care less about but he was thrilled about. But I knew one thing for sure, with all I had to explore I absolutely would not miss him if he disappeared for a few hours.
Apart from the awesome toilets, and in-room check in, we received a complimentary beach bag, and there was complimentary yoga, Lady Primrose toiletries, and complimentary SUV transfers to Atlantis and the One and Only Golf Course.
I had yet to notice our butler wasn't there until he knocked on the door to remind us that we weren’t allowed to do anything ourselves because he would do it all. He took us on a brief tour and explained that he would be in and out to ensure that we were always comfortable. Bonus, he would be returning to deliver champagne and strawberries (daily from 5pm-7pm).
After he left, I took the liberty of exploring the luxurious property as I had spotted a hammock that I absolutely wanted to spend a few hours in. As one who almost never notices the beauty that surrounds me, I was forced to embrace the view that stood before me. From our room, I could see the 125-foot long infinity edge pool, the views of the lush resort gardens and the ocean beneath it all - one word: astonishing. The architecture is pre-colonial European, and the ambiance is very pleasantly tranquil because you're separated from everything. It makes you feel like you are the one and only (hence the name, I guess).
As I laid in the hammock, I suddenly realized there was a reason I had yet to experience the One & Only Ocean Club. It was because I considered everything in Nassau to be the same. I wasn't ready to experience something that reminded me that it truly is better in The Bahamas. This is a place few people believe existed and others knew belonged solely in a place where unforgettable memories lingered.
Of course time ran away from me as I adopted the island time mantra. It was only until our butler returned to ask if we had anything that had to be ironed that I remembered we had dinner reservations.
Dinner reservations were made for Dune and like everything at the hotel, it was remarkable. It was easy to see why the restaurant was packed with a wait of an hour, but the view even at night managed to be one of the most stunning views I had ever come across. Dune literally sits a few feet away from one of the most heart-stirring views you will ever see in your lifetime.
There's a rumour that the hospitality in The Bahamas is unmatched but no one ever quite mentions how friendly people who vacation in The Bahamas are. Because it was so busy, we were arms, length away from another couple who hurriedly shared details of their stay and day with us. To say they were pleased would be an understatement, they were enjoying every bit of their vacation and was happy to even share their appetizers with us while we waited on our drinks. Dinner was every bit of satisfying as we imagined to be, we promised we would return if only for the drinks.
To say our stay at Ocean Club was amazing would be a mere understatement but it’s an experience that is better experienced in person. There’s no amount of words or videos that can capture the bliss of staying at the One and Only Ocean Club other than an invitation to experience it.