Junkanoo celebration

Model Alicia Herbeth dances with a local Bahamian Junkanoo group during our fall fashion shoot.

The Ocean Club: Meet the People
of Paradise Island

A behind-the-scenes look at the Four Seasons Magazine fall fashion shoot

The cheerful fashions, the tropical breezes. Not to mention the gorgeous backdrops. “Every time you turn a corner,” Resort team member Martysta Turnquest told us, “you are going to fall in love.” She was right. But she wasn’t just talking about the scenery: The best part of our fashion shoot at The Ocean Club, Bahamas, A Four Seasons Resort, was getting to know some of the amazing people who welcome guests to experience their Bahamian home. Says Concierge Bridgette Poitier, “This is not just my job; it’s my heart.”

Ocean Club entrance

Suit: Elie Saab. Top: Ralph Lauren. Jewellery: Janis by Janis Savitt. Bag: Myriam Schaefer. Boots: Tory Burch.

Grand Entrance

Concierge Bridgette Poitier, who’s been with the Resort for 11 years, has a favourite first recommendation for guests: “Head down to the beach, and just enjoy as lunch is served.” Poitier says she likes to watch guests’ faces when they first see the lobby and the mesmerizing view of the ocean beyond, and again when they are about to leave. “They have that look that says, ‘I will be back.’”

Ocean Club tennis lesson

Dress: Tory Burch. Sandals: Sacai.

Perfect Match

Tennis instructor Leo Rolle has shared his passion for the game for over 51 years at the Resort. From the moment he spotted a match in progress in Nassau at age 9, he was hooked. He fetched an errant ball that had flown over the club’s fence, was given a sixpence for his troubles, and was asked to come back the next day. He got a job as a ball boy, but as one of 10 children in a family of little means, “I couldn’t afford a racquet,” he says. “So I made one from a machete and some wood.” Likewise, he and friends crafted their own net from the fronds of local thatch trees. This early equipment served him well: He went on to play Davis Cup tennis for the Commonwealth Caribbean team, and has coached a number of eminent names at The Ocean Club. But, he says, “My favourite student is my next one – you.”

Ocean Club courtyard

Dress: Valentina Kova. Necklace: Perlu. Bag: Tory Burch.

Meet and Greet

Butler Valentine Ferguson, who greets our model in the Hartford Courtyard, has travelled all over the world, but loves that in his seven years at the Resort, the world has been coming to him, and he can share his native Bahamian culture in return. Especially with repeat guests: “There are families with children who I’ve watched grow up. It’s wonderful when they arrive and recognize me – ‘Here’s Valentine!’”

Ferguson particularly enjoys mornings at the Resort. “I love serving breakfast and having those first conversations with my guests about their prior evening, their day ahead. I understand that my attitude sets the tone for their entire day.”

Ocean Club Martini Bar

Dress: Miu Miu. Jewellery: Janis by Janis Savitt. Sandals: Jean Michel Cazabat.

In the Mix

Martini Bar bartender Keith Cash has made a lot of drinks in his 32 years at the Resort. And he’s made them well; he started as a bar-back and within three months had already been named employee of the year. His favourite concoctions to shake or stir? The signature Vesper Martini (a nod to the Resort’s James Bond film heritage, which Cash has enjoyed watching come to life) and a new creation: a chocolate martini made with vanilla vodka infused into white and dark chocolate. “I paint the rims of the glasses with dark chocolate and cocoa nibs and chill them in advance,” he says. Perfect for after dinner, and for Instagram.

Ocean Club Chef

Pants and bustier: Cushnie et Ochs. Jewellery: Janis by Janis Savitt.

Special Order

Our model fell for the fries, but Chef Lester Dean, in his fifth year at the Resort, says his favourite Dune menu item is the seared seven-spice rack of lamb. Besides local offerings like grouper, snapper or conch salad, he most loves to prepare special requests for guests – it gives him “the chance to show how we can manoeuvre at the spur of the moment.”

Dean has always loved the challenge of cooking: Besides learning from his grandmother and his father, he traces his culinary passion back to a home economics class at his secondary school, St. Augustine’s College. “We had a cooking competition, girls vs. boys. There were 16 girls and only 5 guys, but we won! I’ve been cooking ever since.”