As the eldest daughter of reggae superstar Bob Marley, Cedella Marley grew up in Jamaica. But her second home was along the sandy shores of Cable Beach, Nassau, in the Bahamas. This is where the family had an eight-bedroom vacation home, located in a former governor’s mansion on the northern side of the island. “We just fell in love with the place,” says Cedella. “It had lush gardens, oceanfront views, and it was where you could get your balance back and find renewed energy.” Some of Cedella’s fondest memories of her father—who passed away in 1981 at the age of 36 from cancer—can be traced back to the family’s times there, where they savored the laid-back Bahamian lifestyle. “Daddy really loved it,” she says. “You got to know all your neighbors, and I remember him jogging on the beach, enjoying the fresh fruit and the people.”
But after two decades of good times at the house, Cedella’s mother, Rita, realized that her six children were all grown up, with families of their own, and had little time to zip down to the Bahamas to hang out. “My mom was like, What am I going to do with this much space?” says Cedella. In the spirit of wanting others to enjoy the property and build memories there as her family had, her mother decided to turn the cherished compound into a resort and spa.
Five months of renovations later, the 1.5-acre property opened this summer, and still retains the Rasta charm and personal touches of the Marley-family way of life. The bedrooms have names that riff on lyrics (“Three Little Birds”), island life (“Mellow Mood”), and family nicknames (“My old bedroom is called ‘Nice Time,’ which is what my dad called me,” says Cedella), while the interior evokes a groovy island vibe with a mix of global-chic furnishings handpicked by Cedella and her younger sister Stephanie. “When you go there, you don’t feel you’re at a ‘resort’ but like you’re staying over a friend’s house,” says Cedella. For authentic, home-cooked meals, the Simmer Down Restaurant melds Caribbean, Jamaican, and Bahamian flavors and influences, with dishes that include coconut shrimp, conch fritters, and lots of jerk chicken. Fresh, hand-poured cocktails are served at the Stir It Up Bar, on the terrace, while two curving pools overlook the blue-green bay—all of which pretty much confirm that, yes, you are in #nofilter paradise.
Still, the heart of the property could be considered the Mystical Natural Spa, a personal love of Cedella’s mother, who often concocted natural, holistic remedies. “My mother has a passion for mind, body, and soul,” she says. “That’s always been her thing.” Slated to open next month, the spa will offer tailor-made treatments that blend Afro-Caribbean techniques and locally sourced, skin-nourishing ingredients. The Hot Stone Massage relaxes tense muscles with cinnamon, sweet orange, vanilla, and patchouli essential oils, while the Caribbean Mocha Rum Wrap and One Love Herbal Bath revitalize your body.