Several people asked how we selected this resort, as there are so many great options on Nassau. We actually chose it because it was one of the only options! We were celebrating a big birthday for my husband, so we decided to travel with our best friends from California. We both are families of 4 people and we wanted to find a place that had either villas or suites where we had a shared common space so the grown ups could hang out after the kids went to bed. We decided to take this trip somewhat last minute and many places were already booked. My friend ended up finding adjoining rooms - a standard room + a suite - at this property, which was exactly what we needed. I'm so glad it worked out, because this resort is truly specular!
(a courtyard between rooms)
Credit: Four Seasons
Credit: Cailíní Coastal
The Ocean Club has a lot of cool history. Multiple James Bond movies were filmed there, including Casino Royale; it's where Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber were married; and, perhaps most exciting for me as a 90s kid, it's where they filmed My Father the Hero (Katherine Heigl's breakout film - if you've not seen it, I highly recommend, and if you have, you know!). The gorgeous lobby is full of silver framed photos of notable people who have visited, including Nelson Mandela and Sean Connery, to name a few.
Credit: Four Seasons
Formerly, The One & Only, the Four Seasons recently acquired the property. From what we heard, it used to not be a family friendly hotel, but now with FS owning it, it felt very family friendly. Some of the guests did not seem thrilled, but we saw a lot of young kids and the staff was incredible with our kiddos.
Our girls were greeted with lemonades and a children's book about the Bahamas. They had an incredible kids club (game changer!), and kids' menus everywhere they served food.
Although we did not use it at all (I honestly was a confused by the purpose of it!), they offer butler service. I'm told this is a "big perk" for many travelers.
The resort provides a private driver for pick up and drop off to the airport, which also made it incredibly easy for traveling with young kids. The resort is a bit further out from the airport than some other resorts, but it was well worth the 30-40 minute ride. Plus, most of the drive is near the coast and through the downtown, which is fun to see!
We did not venture into town. In fact, we only left once, to do the Dolphin Cay adventure at the Atlantis (aka - swim with the dolphins). The Atlantis is a short drive from The Ocean Club and they have cars and shuttles all day that can take you back and forth. Some of the other guests we met with kids said that they went to the aquarium (which is supposed to be amazing) and some dinners (they have a Nobu and other great restaurants) at the Atlantis. If we return, we would definitely go back to explore more; but we really enjoyed and appreciated the quiet vibes that The Ocean Club offered and a mellow week hanging on the property with our friends.
THE POOLS & BEACH
There are 3 pools: the family pool, the Versailles pool (adults only), and the infinity pool. All were great, but the infinity pool was our favorite - the view could not be beat - and where we went everyday. Lots of families were at this pool! Ironically the family pool was empty all week. The Versailles pool was stunning and had this incredible cloister garden beyond it full of statues, fountains and bougainvillea!
To celebrate my husband's and his friend's big birthdays, we surprised them with a private dinner on the beach. The hotel offers this regularly and all we had to do was preselect the menu. It was a 5 course dinner and we had an incredible waiter with us the whole night. It was extremely intimate. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience enjoying the company of our closest friends, great food and wine while watching the sunset over the Caribbean!
(the only still photos I have are with my husband and friends, and we're all a little private, BUT I will post a reel soon of the spread!)
Also, through the concierge we booked babysitters so we could enjoy this parents' night out and the sitters were amazing. Our sitter was a mother of 4 and a school teacher. She was warm, professional and instantly connected with our girls. I had some anxiety about leaving the kids (even though we were just 5 minutes away at the restaurants) but they both completely eased my nerves. If we return, we'll be requesting the same women!
- There are only two restaurants on property and without reservations made in advance it's nearly impossible to get in at prime time, even as a hotel guest, so make sure you book weeks before your trip. Book more nights at Dune!
- We stayed in a section of the hotel that was not yet renovated. We had some issues with the bathroom - the faucet hanging out of the wall, toilet paper holder fell off the wall, the hand held sprayer in the bathtub was broken. At the rates they charge, I was very surprised to see the bathroom in this condition. The property was so gorgeous that it made up for it, but we would request a renovated room the next time we go.
- This is one of the Four Seasons' top properties in their entire portfolio and they price it that way. It was a splurge-worthy trip to say the least, but for a special occasion, it was truly one of our best vacations ever!