A sliver of land five miles long and only a mile wide, Paradise Island is widely viewed as the most spectacular island in all of The Bahamas. When Swedish industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren first anchored his yacht off its pristine shores in 1939, he was enthralled by the unspoiled beauty of a place that locals called Hog Island. For more than two decades, he nurtured his private paradise, building a magnificent estate with intricately landscaped gardens inspired by those at the Chateau de Versailles. He christened it Shangri-La.
In 1962, Wenner-Gren sold his estate to Huntington Hartford II, heir to the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company fortune. Envisioning an exclusive resort destination, Hartford petitioned the Bahamaian government to rename the island Paradise. He built the original Ocean Club, a luxurious 52-room hotel with an 18-hole golf course. The guest list at the glittering "Bal du Paradis" opening celebration in 1962 included William Randolph Hearst, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Benny Goodman, Burl Ives and a host of dukes, earls and ambassadors. A legend was born.
Hartford invested nearly $10 million in Ocean Club, gracing the property with terraced gardens, fountains, bronze and marble statuary imported from Europe, and a magnificent 12th-century Augustian cloister, shipped piece-by-piece from France.
The renowned estate was sold to Kerzner International in 1994 and renamed One&Only Ocean Club in 2002.
For more information, download our resort map