This Island in the Bahamas Is the Easiest to Get to From the East Coast — and Has One of the Country's Best Hotels

Paradise is just a short plane ride away.

<p>yujie chen/Getty Images</p>

yujie chen/Getty Images

More often than not, luxurious Bahamian and Caribbean vacations involve multiple forms of transportation — most likely a regular commercial plane, followed by a puddle jumper, a ferry or boat, and then a taxi ride. Once you’ve made it to your destination, though, all of the effort to get there is worth it; you’ve arrived on a remote island with turquoise water in every direction.

But sometimes, that type of getaway doesn’t align with your schedule — or paid time off. While some islands are easier to get to than others, especially if you’re traveling from the East Coast, you’ll probably have to account for a full day of travel in both directions. There’s one not-so-secret island in the Bahamas, however, that combines the best of both worlds, thanks to one of the best resorts in the Caribbean, as voted by T+L readers in the 2023 World’s Best Awards.

Related: Travel + Leisure Readers' 25 Favorite Resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas of 2023

<p>majaiva/Getty Images</p>

majaiva/Getty Images

The chances you’ve heard of Paradise Island are high; it’s most commonly associated with the family-friendly, ocean-themed resort Atlantis Paradise Island. It’s also incredibly easy to get to. Most travelers fly directly into Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), the Bahamas’ largest airport, and it’s a short drive across a one-way bridge to Paradise Island. In total, the flight typically takes around about three hours from New York City, one hour from Miami, and a little over two hours from Charlotte, North Carolina. The drive from NAS to Paradise Island is just half an hour. Without spending your entire day in transit, you’ll quickly find yourself on the beach, cocktail in hand, feeling completely relaxed.

The convenience is key, but if you also want the aforementioned secluded, remote experience, you’ll want to book a stay at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort. It may be just down the road from the expansive Atlantis Paradise Island, but once you step foot on the property — and become entranced by the palm trees, history, and understated glamour — you’ll feel worlds away from any crowds, airports, or stresses of everyday life.

<p>Courtesy of Four Seasons</p>

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Part of that comes from its unrivaled location on Cabbage Beach. “The resort sits on a 36-acre estate with a prized beach position that is beyond breathtaking and looks out to a wide-open ocean,” says John Conway, the resort’s general manager. Spending the entire day on the beachfront chaise lounges or by the infinity pool is possible — and highly encouraged — but there’s plenty more to discover across the property. “What guests don’t expect on the estate is the Versailles Gardens that truly set us apart from other hotels in the Bahamas, and really anywhere else in the Caribbean,” says Conway. Stroll out of any of the 107 rooms and suites and find yourself among what Conway describes as a “visually striking” scene of 12th-century Augustinian cloisters and sculptures, all framed by bright, photo-ready bougainvillea.

<p>Courtesy of Four Seasons</p>

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Aside from The Ocean Club’s outdoor access and atmosphere, there’s an intoxicating mystique and association with Hollywood that envelops the common spaces — from the lobby, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the ocean through the open doors, to the Jean-Georges Vongerichten-affiliated Dune restaurant and sophisticated Martini Bar and Lounge, decorated with black and white images of well-known guests (The Beatles, Cindy Crawford, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, among them). At the latter, be sure to order a Vesper Martini in honor of the 2006 James Bond film "Casino Royale," which was filmed on the property.

Conway says the team aims to curate a “warm and casually elegant … and relaxed, yet refined, environment” at The Ocean Club. Through its unparalleled oceanfront position, its well-appointed, airy rooms, and its dedication to creating a tranquil, relaxing getaway, the bucket-list resort achieves just that — and it’s only a short plane ride away from most major East Coast cities.

<p>Durston Saylor/Courtesy of Rosewood Baha Mar</p>

Durston Saylor/Courtesy of Rosewood Baha Mar

More Places to Stay Nearby

Rosewood Baha Mar: Compared to The Ocean Club and Goldwynn Resort & Residences, Rosewood Baha Mar is better suited for families — or those traveling with children — looking for a quick getaway from the East Coast. With two pools, exclusive beach access, and 226 rooms, suites, and beachfront villas, there’s plenty of room to find some Bahamian relaxation.

Goldwynn Resort & Residences: Opened in early 2023, Goldwynn Resort & Residences is even closer to the Nassau airport; it’s just 10 minutes from door to door. The 81-room hotel ensures guests have plenty of privacy, whether they’re relaxing in one of the oceanfront studies, complete with a kitchenette, or in a personal cabana overlooking Cable Beach.

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