With an atmosphere that still exudes a luxurious bygone era, Graycliff Hotel dates back to 1700, the year it was built by privateer John Howard Graysmith. And since its establishment in 1844 as Nassau’s first inn, the Graycliff has welcomed through its doors everyone from international royalty to The Beatles, Jay Z and Beyonce and even the notorious gangster Al Capone.
It was in the mid-1900s that Graycliff became the private seasonal home of one of the wealthiest men in Canada, Izaak Walton Killam and his wife Dorothy. During this time, the mansion was completely renovated and the first swimming pool in The Bahamas was constructed. After Mr. Killam’s death in 1955, Mrs. Killam stayed on until her death in 1964, and two years later, Graycliff was purchased by the British Lord and Lady Dudley. During their ownership, Graycliff hosted such nobility as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten. Finally in 1973, current owners Enrico and Anna Maria Garzaroli purchased Graycliff, and turned the private home into the elegant hotel that it is today.
Now listed as a landmark in the National Register of Historic Places, Graycliff Hotel not only houses a vibrant past, but it’s also home to Graycliff Restaurant, the first five-star restaurant in the Caribbean, and the world-renowned Graycliff Wine Cellar, featuring over 250,000 bottles from over 400 vintners. There’s even Graycliff Cigar Company—producing exceptional handcrafted cigars, available for purchase on-site or from top tobacconists around the world—and Graycliff Chocolatier, the on-site chocolate factory offering a variety of handcrafted chocolates of varied cocoa strengths. Considering Graycliff’s storied history, you could say, “What a difference a few centuries make!”