Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Area, Paradise Island

The Cloisters
A 5 minute walk off the PIBC property to the right is the famous 12th Century French cloisters. Once a monestary in France & now a beautiful backdrop in the Bahamas. I feel like its a secret garden just for me to explore. I felt sacred and one with nature when here. There was never anyone else there. 
                            
                            


Although there are signs now that say "Private Property," it seems to be owned by another resort, the One and Only. Nothing was ever enforced when I was spending time there. You must walk through the Cloistures to the other side so you can see the Harbor of Nassau and a wedding chapel down the hill. So pretty!

                                       
I think the Cloisters are a must walk to see attraction, no matter where on Paradise Island you are staying!


Small trivia fact,
The husband and I were actually to be wed here! 6 days before our wedding, Hurricane Irene struck & closed our resort, leaving us to transfer to a different Sandals. We chose to move to Sandals  in Jamaica & were wed on the beach there instead. Our friends joked that we should name our daughter Irene. Didn't happen! But it was fun to bring the girls back here and tell them the story. Maybe one of our daughters will pick this as their wedding location? How fun would that be?!


The Marina Village at Atlantis
I think we made our way here almost every evening. It was about a mile walk from PIBC, on a straight road, with a straight shot sidewalk that was lit well at night. There are many restaurants to choose from. Our favorite is Carmines, an AMAZING Italian spot that is a must if you have a little wiggle room in your budget. They serve family style plates and the flavors, oh I am already wishing to be back here. At the end of our meal, we ordered another meal to take home and eat the following day for lunch! We tried the Chicken Parmigean, Spaghetti Pomodoro and a side of broccoli.so delish! There is also a Carmines in NYC & Vegas!
We also enjoyed Bimini Road. They had so many options we were able to satisfy our picky eaters. We tried a little of everything. Peas & rice is similar to our Cajun rice & beans (think Popeyes.) It's not actually peas. We also tried the fried plantains, nachos, conch fritters & black bean soup. All was great! Our favorite part is when our server came over playing his drum and singing Christmas songs, Bahamian style, to our children! How fun!
There is also a Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, several high end clothing shops & swimwear shops, a jewelers, candy shop, several Atlantis souvenir shops & a Tortuga Rum cake shop that has free samples. 
The atmosphere at the Marina Village is amazing. It feels high end, safe, upbeat & always had live music. It was decorated very nicely for a Carribean Christmas. And all the shops are painted different beachy colors. This is also where the expensive yachts are. We researched several & found that they could be rented for $80,000 a week. Yes a week. 
In the background of the Marina with amazing yachts and colorful shops, is the stunningly large Atlantis resort. I have no doubt you will fall in love with this area as well. 
Our favorite souvenir was purchased from the Atlantis gift shop at the Marina. Ms. A had $20 to spend on herself, and picked out a pearl necklace kit. It was Atlantis branded. It was a do it yourself oyster kit. She had to crack open the oyster & find a colored pearl. Then place the pearl in the dolphin necklace. Each color represented something & you didn't know which color you got until you cracked open the oyster. I thought it was such a fun idea and at a reasonable price!! 



Paradise Island Shopping Center
Right across the street from the Marina Village was this strip mall, small shopping center. In it was a restaurant called Anthony's, a Dunkin Donut, several great priced souvenir shops & a duty free liquor store. 

A taxi ride from Atlantis (or Marina Village or PI Shopping Center) to PIBC was $15 for the 4 of us and a 5 minute ride.