The Bakers Bay Golf & Ocean Club, located along a stretch of private perfection on the Bahamian island of Great Guana Cay in the Abacos, is way more than just another private beach community. Sure, it boasts the requisites: fitness center, tennis and basketball courts, luxurious spa, amazing restaurants, and killer beach club stocked with every toy available. The community also has a deep-water marina where members can choose from a host of large, fast, and comfortable boats and, of course, the beaches and sunsets are amazing.
But Baker’s Bay is also an exclusive members-only residential community where Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and other incredibly successful and interesting people go when they want to escape to the Bahamas. And that’s no accident.
All of Discovery Land Company’s properties (including the newly opened Silo Ridge Field Club in upstate NY, Yellowstone Club in Montana, Makena on Maui, and others) have developed a loyal and high-profile following because the company builds exquisite homes and delivers unparalleled service in some the world’s most beautiful locations. Discovery’s philosophy—to make it easy for guests to enjoy outdoor pursuits, from golf with a pro at one of its award-winning Tom Fazio-designed courses, to skiing on their own members-only mountain—has been a huge success. The company’s stated desire to not only build homes but to help members build lasting memories for their families sounds almost too good to be true.
But then again, I had a feeling Baker’s was going to be special from the moment the lush, green fairways of the coastline-hugging golf course came into view. I could see everything through the windshield of the Tropic Ocean Airways seaplane which was bringing us in for a landing on the calm waters of the resort’s protected bay. And being picked up by golf cart on the dock, spirited through Baker’s own customs office, and transported to our spectacular villa overlooking the 18th green and the intoxicatingly blue water of the Atlantic confirmed it. Turns out, I hadn’t seen anything yet.
I enjoyed all the stuff (the pools, beaches, food, spa, boats, personalized golf carts, bikes, tennis, and even our waterfront villa) during my visit, but after navigating the golf course with Baker’s pro, Raquel, and then spending a day on a powerboat with Baker’s Bay legendary local “Papa Willie,” the simple truth is that the people are what make the place so special.
Raquel did more than just help me with my golf swing or make me feel at home—she made me feel like family. And spending a day on the water with Papa Willie was an experience: I don’t think I’ve laughed harder, or been more touched, while on a trip. He took us to see the Abacos’ famous swimming pigs and to hand feed a graceful school of stingrays. He also brought us to his home in tiny New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay, where he introduced us to everyone in town (including his parents) and fed us homemade egg sandwiches at New Plymouth’s “famous” Plymouth Rock Liquor Store. Nothing in the Bahamas is more exclusive than that!
Photo credits Baker’s Bay and Bill Springer
Sidebar: Newest Discovery Land Company Development
Silo Ridge Field Club is a private, gated community on 800 acres near the towns of Millbrook and Amenia, New York. The community features 245 residences, an18-hole Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course, a Family Barn and a Field House for sports, wellness and recreational programming for limitless family fun and adventure.
The residential resort is the ultimate convenience, comfort and community for city-dwellers in search of a “country gentleman” lifestyle. In the great tradition of creating golf courses that feature spectacular mountain views, the 18-hole golf course at Silo Ridge has been exquisitely designed by Tom Fazio, featuring dramatic views, challenging terrain and lush landscaping. The course features two of Discovery Land Company’s signature Comfort Stations so enthusiasts can satiate any craving and recharge throughout a round or the day.
Silo Ridge’s Outdoor Pursuits program, the lifestyle concierge service that is a signature of Discovery Land Company, gives you access to all the resources and local knowledge necessary for curatedfamilyoutdoor experiences. Located in the Family Barn, the Outdoor Pursuits team can assist with all your on-site lake recreation activities including: stand-up paddleboard, canoe and kayak, bike riding and mountain biking, kids’ camp campouts, challenge course, hiking and fishing at Silo and beyond, curling, paddle tennis, and archery, sporting clays and hunting outings.
The expansive food program, overseen by Chef Jonathan Wright, offers terrain-to-table dining using on-site, local, organic and seasonal ingredients and house-made delicacies such as charcuterie, cheeses, yogurts, breads and vinegars. Local wines, beer and spirits round out the robust menus. The ultimate members-only community is a 90-minute drive from Manhattan or a train ride away to adjacent Wassaic station.
Image Credits: Bill Springer.