Graycliff played a role in the American Civil War.
In 1844, Graycliff became Nassau’s first inn, welcoming travelers with Caribbean hospitality and charm. During the years of the American Civil War, however, Graycliff was commandeered as an officer’s mess for the West Indian Regiment, and guests were replaced with soldiers within the mansion’s halls. Graycliff was closed to the public for decades during and following the war.
Graycliff was a popular Prohibition party spot.
In the 1920s, Prohibition was in full effect in the US, and while many wealthy club owners were successfully smuggling in alcohol from outside the country – including The Bahamas – some revellers were willing to travel internationally in search of a good time. With its close proximity to the southeastern United States, The Bahamas became a popular destination for the party crowd, and Graycliff once again opened its doors to the public as an inn. The hotel was known for being a glamorous spot to eat, drink, and be merry among the rich and famous. Not much has changed – with a five-star restaurant and one of the largest wine cellars in the world onsite, the Graycliff is still a wonderful place to wine and dine in The Bahamas.
Graycliff was home to royalty.
During the 1940s, a wealthy Canadian couple, the Waltons, lived at Graycliff during the winters. They renovated the mansion and constructed the intricately-tiled swimming pool, which is still intact today, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. In the 1960s, Lord and Lady Dudley, Third Earl of Staffordshire, purchased Graycliff. During their ownership, the mansion played host to royalty and famous figures, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII), Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Mountbatten, Sir Winston Churchill, Aristotle Onassis, and The Beatles. Lady Dudley added a very distinctive English style to the décor and furnishings at Graycliff, and many of her antiques are still used to decorate guestrooms and common areas today.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and modern amenities of Graycliff during your next vacation in The Bahamas. Browse special offers and packages at Graycliff, and get set to make history in Nassau Paradise Island!