Doormen make such a difference to any luxury hotel, although funnily enough in Taiwan the image of the profession is below that of bellmen so doormen are trained as such, but called bellmen. Here at One&Only Ocean Club, on New Providence Island, Bahamas the gal found one of the cheeriest doormen for a long time. He looks as if he just cannot wait to open the door, to a paradise or haven of calm. None of those staying at the nearby noisy Atlantis can come here, to the Ocean Club’s beautiful lawns, gardens and quiet beach, even though, staying here, you can use, and sign at, all that Atlantis has to offer.
The new owner of One&Only Ocean Club is going to make some changes, however. The all-day, and evening, Dunes restaurant, which is overseen by Jean Georges Vongerichten, will be adding sushi, and a pizza oven, and the current inner-garden-set dinner-only restaurant will be relocated, possibly somewhere near the main pool. This will restore the inner garden to peace and calm, which is what those staying in the block around it want. Some of the bedrooms in this this block look straight into palm trees, barely a few feet away. These rooms will be extended, so the palm trees are barely inches away.
These rooms, also, will have windows extended to be all-wall. Luxury today, in design terms, does certainly imply having maximum light, say the all-wall windows of the fabulous Park Hyatt New York rather than, at opposite extreme, a last-resort hotel near Milan‘s Malpensa airport where the two foot-high window was set at ceiling height. (OK, why was I there? Last-resort because it was Italy’s Monza Formula One weekend and everything else was booked. OK, why was the window ceiling-set? Because the view was of a narrow alleyway and they did not want you to be put off…)
When I stayed here at One&Only Ocean Club, in the days of the former regime, I revelled in walking straight out, through my ground floor French windows, on to the manicured lawn, and thence across to the beach. Think a bit of Mauritius, and One&Only Le St-Geran, but this luxury hotel is on an island that is under three hours’ flying time from New York, Washington DC and much less from Miami, which makes it a hop, skip and a jump for the American market.