Many of Nassau's major stores also have outlets on Paradise Island. For serious shopping, however, cross over the Paradise Island Bridge into downtown Nassau.
The Shops at Atlantis (tel. 242/363-3000; www.atlantis.com) is the largest concentration of shopping and boutiques on Paradise Island, rivaling anything else in The Bahamas in terms of size, selection, and style. The boutiques are subdivided into two different sections: The well-appointed Crystal Court Shops corridor meanders between the Royal Towers and the Coral Towers, encompassing 3,252 sq. m (35,004 sq. ft.) of prime high-traffic retail space. The waterfront Marina Village Shops are newer. Another handful of emporiums is scattered randomly throughout other parts of the resort. It's all about flagrantly conspicuous consumption that's sometimes fueled by the gaming frenzy in the nearby casino.
The resort contains two branches of Colombian Emeralds (one in the Marina Village, another in Atlantis's Beach Tower), where the colored gemstones far outnumber the relatively limited selection of diamonds. Other boutiques include Lalique, the French purveyor of fine crystal and accessories for men and women; Versace, which has not only clothing but also a charming home division; Façonnable, a sporty French label; Bulgari, producer of some of the world's most enviable jewels, as well as watches, gifts, and perfumes; and Gucci and Ferragamo, in case you forgot your best dancing shoes. For bathing suits, Cole's of Nassau sells swimwear by Gottex, Pucci, and Fernando Sanchez. Finally, pioneer watch seller John Bull, known for its Bay Street store in Nassau, has an interesting assortment of timepieces, jewelry, and designer accessories.
If you've had your fill of upscale gems and fashion, stop by one of our favorite shops, Doongalik Studios, Marina Village (tel. 242/394-1886). At press time, it's still the complex's only art gallery. Owned and operated by Jackson Burnside, the architect and art connoisseur who designed Marina Village, it's a bastion of authentic Bahamian culture within the glittering row of shops otherwise devoted to luxury goods. Come here for insight into who is creating contemporary art in The Bahamas. Oil paintings by locally famous artists (including John Cox, John Paul, Jessica Colebrooke, and Eddie Minnis) range from $800 to $2,500. Prints -- sometimes of works by the same artists -- are priced between $15 and $100. Sculptures can be especially interesting, with some crafted from gnarled driftwood.