JC Stays: Albany, Bahamas

Discover this under-the-radar resort and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the stars


Think of the Bahamas and you might call to mind the super-resorts of Atlantis and recently opened, 1,000-acre Baha Mar, which brings a Las Vegas vibe to the Bahamian islands.

But those searching for something a little more discreet in the sun, should head instead to Albany, a private resort-community with starry connections, tucked away on the south-western tip of New Providence island.

Owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis and his private investment organization, Tavistock Group, along with big names from Tiger Woods and Ernie Els to Justin Timberlake, Albany is making waves with those in the know — attracting an A-list, jet-setting crowd eager to be part of its laid-back luxury offering.

With its urban-style apartments and beach mansions available to buy or rent, this is no ordinary resort. Not least, thanks to the impressive line-up of architects behind some of the contemporary buildings dotted across its 600 acres.

The Honeycomb, for instance, has been designed by the award-winning Danish design firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), responsible for the Two World Trade Center in New York.

And with its avant-garde hexagon design, complete with transparent infinity pools set into terraces, it’s more akin to something you’d see in Tokyo or Toronto than the Bahamas. Inside, the glamour is ramped up further with apartments, from coastal chic to downtown boho designs.

Meanwhile, The Orchid — clad in pretty sheets of metal lattice-work cut in the shape of flowers — has been conceived by Morris Adjmi Architects, the New York-based company behind Brookyln’s Wythe Hotel. All nine sprawling apartments have the wow-factor in spades, featuring bespoke Italian furnishings.

And with four major projects planned for the next few years, the accommodation and facilities are set to get even more extensive. How about houses in the sky with the Tetris building, launching in 2020, its apartments designed in a modular block, like the computer game, with ocean views.

Those without a few million dollars to spare can still get a taste of the Albany for less by renting via Albany’s Hotel Programme.

Whether you opt for an-all white villa or super-slick condo, you can tap into all the benefits available to residents too — including a round-the-clock concierge and porter service.

Along with two pools and a championship golf course — designed by owner Ernie Els, of course — there’s The Sanctuary, a recording studio which attracts international musicians. At the heart of the resort is Albany House, a pink Bahamian lodge, which Bond fans will recognise as the backdrop to Daniel Craig’s infamous beach walk from the water in Casino Royal.

It’s here you’ll find the cluster of restaurants too — from Vesper Bar’s cocktails and sushi to the casual Footprints, with a sand floor and family-friendly menus, plus gourmet Caribbean food at Aviva and seasonal pop-ups at Wave.

The emphasis on wellness — expect to work out next to professional athletes at the state-of-the-art fitness centre — includes a revamped spa, with anything from holistic retreatsto non-surgical procedure and cryotherapy.

If you’re in danger of forgetting this is the Bahamas, with its impossibly azure waters and chain of 700 islands, hop on a yacht to discover it from Albany’s marina. Swim with turtles off Bird Cay or walk along the famously unspoilt Tropic of Cancer beach.

And with a local Kallik Gold beer and plate pumpkin fritters from one of the beach shacks, you’ll never be short of simple luxuries here too.


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