The Caribbean Islands consist of thousands of islands, all of which border or are enveloped by the Caribbean Sea, yet they are divided as Island countries, some as a sprinkling of land belonging to a larger country, some remnants of past Grand Empires, British, French, Dutch and more, some small, often stunning pieces of paradise, surrounded by lapping, turquoise water, lush vegetation and mere extensions of their nearby mainland.
Paradise Island is aptly named. It is a beauty to behold, located just off the shore of Nassau, Bahamas and is connected to the northern edge of the island of New Providence, by two bridges that cross Nassau.
Before World War II the island was known as Hog Island, and was the private estate of the Swedish billionaire, Axel Wenner-Gren. It had a small airstrip, with a seaplane base equipped with a ramp for aircraft. In 1989 a 3,00 foot runway was added to the airport, which closed 10 years later without leaving a trace. The heir of A&P supermarkets bought Hog Island from Axel Wenner-Gren, promptly changing it’s name to Paradise island, and began installing landmarks designed by Palm Beach architect John Volk. First the Ocean Club Hurricane hole the Golf Course and the Cloisters, a 14th century monastery which was originally bought and dismantled by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. He hired the greatest celebrities, such as Gary Player to be his golf pro and Pancho Gonzales, the tennis pro.
When Paradise Island opened to the public in 1962, it was an event so big that Newsweek and the Times covered it with great hoopla. The staff was hired from the best hotels, such as Eden Rock to work at the Ocean Club. The fireworks for the opening party were flown in from the South of France. The island got its own flag and Paradise Beach was featured on the 3 dollar notes in 1966, which was equal to the Bahamian Pound, ($3=£21).
The island began to develop as a major resort, sold to Merv Griffin in the 80s for $400 million, and finally to it’s current owner, Sol Kerzner. It’s estimated value is around 2 billion currently.
The Atlantis Hotel and Resort was built as a resort and water park, opening first in 1998, when South African hotel magnate Kerzner dreamt up the height of luxury in a beach resort. The Royal Towers were built, followed by the refurbished Coral and Beach towers, all part of the magnificent, extravagantly beautiful Royal Towers. The theme of the hotel is the mystical Atlantis, with Mayan influenced attractions, such as the four major slides, Leap of Faith, the Challenger, the Jungle slide and The Serpent Slide.
When the Cove Atlantis, a 600 suite luxury hotel opened in 2007 and another tower opened the same year, the 497 room Reef Atlantis. The Royal Towers contain the very famous “Bridge Suite” ranked by Forbes as one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world, at 25,000 per night. All of Atlantis hotel and resort are considered one of the most exclusive, luxurious and expensive hotels in the world.
The other extensions of the resort, though just as lovely, are far more affordable to mere mortals and families with children plus couples wanting to luxuriate in the magnificent resort, flock here, partaking of the world’s largest open air marine habitat, The Dig, which provides guests with the thrill of tasting the life in the legendary sunken city of Atlantis, with aquariums scattered about the bottom with wreckage and debris of an ancient metropolis, surrounded by hundreds of species of aquatic life form.
Love is the most powerful way to create profoundly tangible transformation in everyone who crosses our path. Yet we must be mindful to endow the self with pure, unconditional love and acceptance, which will result in an infinite fountain of empathy and joy, readily available to give others.