The paint box of colors that makes Compass Point so distinctive is a legacy from the days when the resort was owned by music producer Chris Blackwell and associated with his now-defunct Compass Point Studios, where such superstars as Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton recorded. The colors, inspired by the Bahamian carnival known as Junkanoo, were the idea of iconic designer Barbara Hulanicki, whose other projects for Blackwell have included the Pink Sands on Harbour Island and GoldenEye in Jamaica. Now, Compass Point is a more typically Bahamian counterpoint to the hotels of the Atlantis megaresort, on Paradise Island, and megaresort Baha Mar, opening in 2015 on Cable Beach, just a few miles away. The rooms of the stand-alone, many-colored huts are smallish, as is the beachfront, but all the rooms are air-conditioned, with a surround-sound music system (there’s a library of CDs by artists who recorded at Compass Point), and most have sea-view balconies. Some sit on stilts for better views, and some are so close to the water that the waves crash beneath them.
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Compass Point is 25 minutes to downtown Nassau and a bit farther to Paradise Island, so until Baha Mar opens in 2015, about the only thing the resort is close to is the airport, 10 minutes away. Take advantage of the “isolation,” either by hanging at the pool or on adjacent Love Beach, whose name alone makes it popular with the barefoot wedding crowd. Horse lovers can saddle up at the nearby Windsor Equestrian Center. And aquatic enthusiasts looking for something different might want to consider Pappa Surf’s guided nighttime paddleboard tours, based from Cable Beach.
Need to Know
Rooms: 18 rooms. From $220 low season, $245 high season, including breakfast. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:The oceanfront restaurant, with seating inside and out, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Because this is the Bahamas, some form of conch or lobster is available with every meal. For drinks, choose between an oceanside or poolside setting. Spa and gym details: The Windrose Spa has a couples’ suite and a nail salon. Or opt for a massage on the resort’s pier, which juts 120 feet into the ocean.
Who’s it for: People who appreciate the pace of the Bahamas as it used to be, and, to a lesser extent, anyone who considers the ground that Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton walked on sacred. Our favorite rooms: Oceanfront numbers 113-118, but only if the sound of crashing waves is considered a plus. Before you book: Unlike most hotels, Compass Point has a website photo on which its rooms are labeled, making it much easier for guests to decide where they’d like to stay.