Speaking to any Nassuvian (the local term for a resident of Nassau, Bahamas) and before long you’ll hear them refer to some place or happening that occurred “Out East” or “Out West”, as if they’re a cowboy on the frontier.
Nassau is generally divided into these two distinct sections in the minds of most locals and long-term visitors: the East, once the place where the wealthy landed families settled and established grand waterfront homes, and the less densely-populated West, most famously home to the exclusive Lyford Cay and Old Fort Bay upscale communities, and more recently, the modern, fitness-focused Albany residential and resort development.
Eastern Road is a colorful winding road leading to Palm Cay & Port New Providence
Photo credit: marinas.com
The aptly-named Eastern Road winds around the eastern end of the island hugging the coastline, giving drivers a glittering glimpse of the seashore just beyond. It can be followed in one long line all the way from western Nassau, turning from Bay Street into Eastern Road at Montagu Beach next to the historic Sailing Club.
Classical grandeur is the watchword among many homes along the Eastern shore. With their mature gardens, private beachfront access and relatively quick access to downtown Nassau, Paradise Island and the business district, these homes can also provide a convenient living location and opportunity to tap into the delight of a Nassau of days past.
For many years dining options and new residential developments were thin on the ground in Eastern Nassau, however in recent years the East has benefited from a variety of new developments and amenities being added to its environs.
High on the list of many would be Palm Cay, located on Yamacraw Rd - a modern, pastel colour-infused gated development featuring an ample marina, club house and restaurant, bar, pool and beach. The site includes beachfront homes, ranging from condominiums to townhomes, houses and home sites.
Port New Providence, a well-maintained and secure gated community established over 30 years ago, now contains some of the eastern part of Nassau’s most attractive, spacious and well-appointed properties, a beach for residents use, as well as access to a wide and generous canal system that leads out to the ocean on the eastern end of the island and provides the opportunity for berthing your boat right at home. Both individual homes and canal and beachfront condominiums are available within.
Access to delicious and fresh international foods has been enhanced in the eastern side of the island thanks to the recently established Solomon’s Fresh Market, located less than a mile down the road. Without traffic, access to downtown Bay Street and Paradise Island, home to the Atlantis resort and its myriad of amenities, represent a variety of opportunities for dining and entertainment.
Meanwhile, for schooling, the private St. Andrew’s International School is located on Yamacraw Road, offering an internationally-oriented education only a couple minutes drive from Port New Providence.
While to some it might seem like the pace of change is, shall we say, “relaxed”, the island of New Providence has undergone significant change in recent years. Whereas in the past, western New Providence may have been the sleepy cousin of the east, today it is undoubtedly true that the West of Nassau has exploded with options for the discerning home buyer looking for a place to relax, eat well, or be active.
Whether it be in the form of restaurants, resorts, beaches, new luxury developments or even opportunities for art house cinema at The Island House, the west has become a haven for everyone from young professionals starting a family to more established retirees and permanent residents looking for waterfront property with the advantages of an array of nearby entertainment and dining opportunities.
Island House has brought a new level of luxury and exclusivity to western Nassau’s hotel offerings.
Photo credit: Island House
Among the new attractions for those living out west (and out east too, though with a further drive!) are The Island House, a boutique hotel with its accompanying restaurants – Mahogany House and Shima - are located just outside of Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay and Albany, and provide chic and delightful culinary experiences, fusing the international with the best of Bahamian, within thoughtfully-designed spaces.
On a slightly less luxurious but no less important level, The Old Fort Bay Shopping Centre, which includes a supermarket chock full of quality kitchen options, has added significantly to the options for homeowners in the western area looking for fresh, diverse food to cook at home. The centre is also home to several restaurants, such as the sushi restaurant, Sushi Rokkan, established by a former chef of the world famous Nobu restaurant in the Atlantis resort.
It was only in 2015 that the west added to its collection of schooling opportunities the Windsor Preparatory School, a noteworthy addition to an already significant list of local schooling options which include the Lyford Cay School, Tambearly and the the new Albany school.
But one of the major draws of the west is the extensive array of waterfront property that hugs the coastal road, West Bay Street. From older, more colonial homes to more modern and luxurious condo developments, the west has no shortage of options.