Paradise Island (Bahamas) has total area approx 1 mi2 (2,8 km2, or 277 hectares / 685 acres) and is located close to Nassau (just offshore New Providence Island's northern tip). Paradise Island is privately-owned (resort and residential property). It is best known for the Atlantis Resort - a huge leisure complex with Aquaventure (water park), exclusive beach, several premium hotels, restaurants, shops, casinos. Both islands (New Providence and Paradise) are connected via two bridges over Nassau Harbour. Passenger ferries provide regularly scheduled service from Nassau to the surrounding islands, and mainly to Paradise Island.
Until 1999, Paradise Island had its own airport that served the carriers (now defunct) Paradise Island Airlines and Chalk's International Airlines, as well as US Airways Express (linking to Fort Lauderdale's Hollywood Airport). Today, the airport's area is occupied by the 18-hole Paradise Island Golf Course. The top-luxury golf course is surrounded by the "Ocean Club" - one of The Bahamas wealthiest residential areas, with the top-properties priced from ~USD 40 million.
Initially named Hog Island, the isle's development started in 1959 following the island's purchase by George Huntington Hartford II (owner of A&P - US chain of grocery stores, 1859-founded, 2015-bankrupted). Hog Island was previously owned by Axel Wenner-Gren (Swedish entrepreneur, one of the world's wealthiest men during the 1930s). Paradise Island was officially opened in 1962. In 1984, Paradise Island was purchased by Merv Griffin (US TV show host). Island's current market value (2020) is ~USD 2 billion.
Royal Beach Club Bahamas (RCCL-Royal Caribbean's property on Paradise Island)
In mid-March 2020, RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd announced plans to build a second (after St Johns Antigua) Royal Beach Club (private resort property) at Paradise Island's western end. The complex will be exclusive (for RCI-Royal Caribbean International cruise ship tourists only) and visited as a "beach day" shore excursion option (via private tours) from Nassau.
Royal Beach Club Bahamas will be developed with premium beaches and RCI's signature beachside resort amenities and service. In February 2020, RCCL purchased land ("multiple real estate parcels") on Paradise Island's western coast, at the cost of ~USD 54 million (~EUR 50 million).
Paradise Island Atlantis Resort
The world-famous resort was officially opened in 1968 (as Paradise Island Hotel & Casino) and renamed (to Atlantis Paradise Island) in 1998. The property was initially owned by Resorts International (one of Merv Griffin's companies). In 1994, the resort was purchased by Kerzner International Ltd (a company of Solomon Kerzner - the founder of South Africa's largest hotel chains - Southern Sun Hotel Group, and Sun International). In 2007 were two large, top-luxury hotels - The Cove (600-room) and The Reef (497-room). Today, the Atlantis Resort is owned and operated by Brookfield Property Partners LP (2013-founded real estate company, subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management). In 2014, the Resort became a member of Autograph Collection Hotels (independent premium hotels within Marriott International Inc's brands).
Besides The Cove and The Reef hotels, the Atlantis Resort also includes The Beach Tower (casual hotel), The Coral Tower (600-room, with resort pools and swim-up bar), The Royal Tower (one of the world's most expensive), Harborside Resort (392 villas, seafront restaurant, swimming pool area), The Marina (yacht/boat berthing facility where can dock even world's largest superyachts), Marina Village (shopping centre).
The Aquaventure waterpark's signature attractions include Mayan Temple Slides (6-stories high structure with water rides, including a near-drop slide plunging into a shark-filled lagoon / via transparent submerged tunnel), Rapid River (1 mi / 1,6 km long artificial river with waterfalls, waves, rapids, steam and lighting effects), Power Tower (height 120 ft / 37 m, with 4x waterslides), The Dig (Atlantis-themed complex with 14x artificial lagoons and 50,000+ marine animals / 250+ different species), Ocean Club Golf (18-hole golf course sized ~63900 ft2 / 6000 m2, with restaurant and clubhouse bar).
Atlantis Resort guests can charter boats for exclusive tours to nearby islands (including Rose Island). Resort-owned luxury tour boats also do scenic cruising around Paradise Island and in Nassau Harbour.