Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
As an actor and the founder of the Bahamas International Film Festival, Leslie Vanderpool has had a lifelong love affair with the arts and film. While Bahamas’ capital, Nassau, has lots to offer, she says visitors should explore the country’s many other islands.
1. Best Sushi Restaurant
“Da Vine Wine Merchants on Harbour Island is the best sushi I’ve had in the Bahamas. It’s a wine shop with a sushi bar inside and it’s very relaxed. It’s small so you get that personal attention. And you’re getting the highest quality of fish.”
2. Wellness Retreat
“I’m big into yoga, so I go to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat on Paradise Island. The ashram has the most beautiful setting right on the water, and it is where I go to disconnect, meditate, eat clean and feel like I’ve been rejuvenated.”
3. Day Trip
“When I want to take a vacation within the Bahamas, one of my new favourite places to go is [the settlement of] Hope Town [on Elbow Cay]. It’s a small, easy-going spot, where all you need is a sarong, bathing suit and flip-flops and you’ll still feel overdressed.”
4. Best Place to See a Movie
“The Globe Princess Theatre in Governor’s Harbour [on Eleuthera] has been run by the same local man for more than 36 years—it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you’re inside you feel like you’re in a special place.”
5. For Cocktails
“One of my favourite places to enjoy a cocktail [in Nassau] is Monkey Bar in the SLS [Baha Mar] hotel. I feel like it’s a great blend of island chic and sophistication.”
6. Local Dining
“For conch salad on Harbour Island, go to Queen Conch. It’s just this shack on the water, but it has excellent service and delicious conch.”
7. Favourite Museum
“I love what the National Art Gallery [of The Bahamas] is doing for the community. It highlights local artists, has a film series going on, and puts on workshops and talks. You can see the founding artists of the Bahamas there like Max Taylor and Brent Malone.”
The Bahamas International Film Festival takes place November 28 through December 6.
[This story appears in the November issue of WestJet Magazine]