Posted by: yachtcrewsing | April 16, 2012

Places of Wealth in the Bahamas

White sand beaches overlooked by swaying palm trees; steel bands; colourful houses and cute hotels haphazardly scattered along the beach front… these are the clichés often associated with the Bahamas.

My present experience with the island is a very different one.

We are currently docked in Albany, a luxury gated community that bares an eerie resemblance to a tropical version of Pleasantville. White sand constitutes the base for an immaculate outdoor horse jumping arena; an open-air lap pool overlooks the impeccably managed greens of the 18 hole golf course; the compound borders on a white sand beach and the ocean which is seldom used due to the outrageously chic ‘adults only’ pool overlooking it (you know, the type of pool that they would use for a swimsuit photo-shoot, complete with breezy cabanas).

The vacation homes running along the beach are upscale and tasteful, but in my opinion do not warrant the 1 million dollar price tag attached to them (they have little to no land in between the buildings, and are beautiful but not outrageously fabulous).

This blatantly showy wealth of Albany is somewhat contrasted by the nearby Lyford Cay community. While Albany is the vacation spot of the marginally wealthy, Lyford is the gated community where the incredibly wealthy dwell, a place where Sean Connery can often be seen happily cycling down the road, and large company CEOs play amiable rounds of golf and matches of tennis with Wall Street bigwigs. The most amazing part about it is that average-income local Bahamians also have modest houses alongside the tropical manors; the roads are cracked and the bright pink bougainvilleas and palms spread themselves haphazardly around the large compound. Despite impeccably manicured croquet courses (an obvious indication of wealth’s presence), the place is not overtly, obnoxiously a display of rich superiority- it is merely a little tropical Eden which provides an escape for those whose name or face prohibits anonymity.

Whether Albany or Lyford, one thing is for sure: there is certainly a significant amount of international wealth on this small island.

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