Haute Spots: One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas

Pristine white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters and complete privacy are just a part of the breathtaking allure of an escape to One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. Located less than a four-hour flight from Boston (JetBlue offers nonstop service), the luxury Paradise Island property has been a hideaway for celebrities since it opened more than 50 years ago.

One&Only Ocean ClubPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

The beachfront Hartford Wing of the 35-acre property has recently been renovated to increase guest room size by an additional 110 square feet complete with massive terraces overlooking the new infinity-edge pool. There are 107 different style rooms to choose from here, including three villas or two-bedroom 4,400 square foot garden cottages that come complete with a butler, private chef, your own infinity pool, hot tub and private grill.

One&Only Hartford Wing CourtyardPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

We recently visited the property for a quick two-night weekend getaway from Boston. On a walk around the lush grounds, you will discover beautifully terraced gardens and fountains along with the Cloisters, a collection of 12th century ruins that were rebuilt in 1962 with pieces shipped from different monasteries in France.

One&Only GardensPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

The entire property offers individual butler service catering to your every whim. Our friendly butler, Cornesha, greeted us in our room with a glass of champagne (delivered to your room daily along with a bowl of fresh fruit of your choosing). There is twice daily service (morning and turndown) and your butler will tailor your mini bar according to your individual preferences.

One&Only Hartford Wing RoomPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

Whether you are looking to do everything or just escape here for a weekend of relaxation, One&Only Ocean Club Bahamas seems to have it all. You can enroll in a culinary clinic, take a ride on one of the complimentary resort bikes, jog one of the trails, play a round of tennis on one of six tennis courts, relax in a garden hammock, shop for resort clothing at the Carlo Milano boutique, sign up for a daily oceanfront yoga class or head to the fitness center to work off some calories. The property offers everything you need from a large resort, but on a smaller more intimate scale.

One&Only Versailles PoolPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

When we arrived, we had lunch at the Ocean Pool Grill adjacent to the infinity pool where we enjoyed one of the most memorable dishes from our visit (scorched conch ceviche in a chilled citrus broth). For dinner, we headed to Dune, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s acclaimed French-Asian restaurant that serves daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. We recommend starting with the black plate appetizer and moving on to either a favorite Bahamian entrée of grouper, snapper or lobster made with herbs grown in Dune’s organic garden.

DunePhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

The next morning, we enjoyed some time at the beach. If you prefer to sit poolside, be sure to ask your butler to reserve some chairs there as they fill up by mid-morning. Later that afternoon, we decided to take a tour of the John Watling’s Distillery where the movie Casino Royale was filmed in 2006. The property was renovated in 2011 and now includes a tasting room that concludes the tour where you can sip on their Pale, Buena Vista and Amber rums.

John Watling's DistilleryPhoto Credit: John Watling’s Distillery

For dinner our second night, we took the resort shuttle for a quick drive over to Olives at Atlantis Resort. We were already familiar with Chef Todd English’s cooking as his first location opened in Charlestown, Massachusetts. The Bahamas property is English’s first Caribbean venture featuring Mediterranean cuisine. We recommend starting off with a sampling of chilled spiny lobster or crispy calamari fritti. For main events, don’t miss the rich rigatoni Bolognese or well marbled cowboy steak with mushrooms and whipped potatoes.

OlivesPhoto Credit: Olives

If you bring the kids, there are lots of things for them to do with the Kids Only program that includes optional day excursions for them to nearby Atlantis Resort. There is a family pool with toddler area that comes complete with complimentary suntan lotion, bottled water and popcorn for the kids.

One&Only PoolPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club

A visit to this unforgettable property would be remiss without experiencing a spa treatment. We enjoyed a 50-minute One&Only Ocean Club Massage that combined a variety of massage techniques, including Japanese Shiatsu, Thai, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Swedish and Balinese. The luxe spa features eight treatment rooms in an outdoor setting where we listened to the birds chirp while enjoying a tranquil Bahamian breeze as our massage therapists worked to remove all of our stress.

One&Only Ocean Club SpaPhoto Credit: One&Only Ocean Club