Regional Adventures: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Paradise Island is an island in the Bahamas that was formerly know as Hog Island. The island is just off the shore of the city of Nassau and is only a mere 1.1 square miles in area. It is also best known for the Atlantis resort with its sprawling property filled with water park rides, pools, beach, restaurants, walk-in aquarium, and casinos. It’s quite the attraction for tourists and locals alike. The Bridge Suite at Atlantis, located in the span that connects the Royal Towers together, is among the most expensive accommodations in the world at $25,000 a night.
Paradise Island is connected to the island of New Providence by two bridges that cross Nassau Harbour. The first was built in 1966 by Resorts International, and the second in the late 1990s. Before World War II the island, then known as Hog Island, was the private estate of the Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren.
Paradise Island was purchased in the 1980s for $79 million, then sold to Merv Griffin for $400 million. It was last sold for $125 million to the current owner, Sol Kerzner. The current estimated value of the island is about US$2 billion.
There are many things to do on Paradise Island should you decide to leave the pool and beach and explore. If you’re looking for authentic Bahamian food then head to Arawak Cay (or as the locals call it “The Fish Fry”) where you’ll find an array of local restaurants, bars, and local entertainment to delight you.
Other things to do are visiting the Bahama’s Historical Society Museum, Christ Church Cathedral, Government House, or any of a number of historical forts and sights such as The Cloisters.
The Cloisters was created by Augustinian monks in France where they built the original monastery; William Randolph Hearst bought it and had it shipped to the US. After that, Huntington Hartford, the A&P supermarket heir and developer of the former Hog Island into Paradise Island, bought the stones and had the Cloisters reassembled on its present site.
So as you can see Paradise Island really is a paradise worth seeing and experiencing.