It will be 10 years in November since the One&Only Ocean Club enjoyed international fame when it was prominently featured in the James Bond film "Casino Royale."
A villa, library and its strip of one of Nassau's best beaches all played starring roles in the popular movie, which showcased the resort's classic Caribbean elegance.
Since then, much has changed at the Paradise Island resort, most recently due to a multimillion-dollar, five-month renovation that was finished in December and completely overhauled the resort's Hartford Wing and added its first oceanfront pool.
Despite this major undertaking, the resort's longtime staff will tell you that the feeling the property evokes remains the same. Not only from 2006 but from 1962, when it first opened.
The 105-room Ocean Club, which has been part of Kerzner International's One&Only collection since 2002, is often referred to as Nassau's most luxurious property. Formerly the private estate of A&P heir Huntington Hartford II, it retains much of the grandeur he created; the property's defining feature is the 35-acre, terraced Versailles Gardens that leads to a 12th-century cloister, which serves as the backdrop for wedding ceremonies year-round. Its two wings, with guestrooms and suites as well as its three villas, still bear a colonial Caribbean look that must have attracted the Bond filmmakers.
A popular new addition to the resort is the 125-foot oceanfront infinity pool.
Inside the refurbished Hartford Wing, however, the rooms feel far from old.
The Ocean Club sought to maintain the original hotel building's character while bringing its accommodations up to the highest modern standards and design. To do that, the rooms were essentially rebuilt while retaining the wing's outward appearance.
Every room was enlarged by 110 square feet and given terraces or balconies facing either the ocean or the gardens.
Each room also received new furnishings, fabrics and a blue-and-white color scheme meant to evoke the Bahamas. Bathrooms were reconfigured with separate tubs, rainfall showerheads and double vanities. The wing's original, open-air courtyard was given lounge areas around its pools and palm trees.
A very popular new addition to the resort is that oceanfront pool, which spans a 125-foot length of the lawn overlooking Cabbage Beach.
Guests lounging by the infinity pool are treated to complimentary items such as spritzers and house-made lollipops. The new Ocean Pool Grill features sharing plates and local seafood. Live music is offered Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Prior to the new pool, guests would set up on the beach or at the classic, and much larger, Versailles Pool, situated at the end of the gardens.
And impressively for a resort of its size, One&Only also has a separate family pool with a waterfall.