Winston Churchill’s Suite in the Bahamas

bahamas barbados graycliff hotelsThe signature pool at Graycliff.

By Alexander Britell

“Mr Churchill is easily satisfied with the best,” Lord Birkenhead once said of his friend, Sir Winston Churchill.

The preceding quotation— sometimes wrongly attributed to Churchill himself, and perhaps itself apocryphal  — is one of my favorites — and a reminder that Churhill was not just one of the most impactful people of the 20th century — but also one of history’s greatest bon vivants.

Churchill’s love of fine food and drink — and cigars — is no secret — but while he was one of the leading connoisseurs of one of the region’s most famous exports — habanos — his connection with the region has long been largely tangential.

Yes, some has been written about Churchill’s trips to Cuba, first in 1895 as a 20-year-old, before finally returning in 1946.

And then, of course, the visit to Jamaica in 1953.

Lesser known? Several repeated visits to the heart of Nassau.

Long before New Providence’s Graycliff was a hotel, the 18th-century pirate mansion was a private villa compound — and, led by one Polly Leach, was a haven for Americans looking to escape prohibition.

The pool cottage where Churchill stayed.

It was during this period that Churchill was a repeat guest, along with his family, and “reputedly accomplished a good deal of smoking in what would later become the pool cottage,” according to the hotel.

Indeed, this historic stone building across from what just may be the Caribbean’s most beautiful pool, is where Churchill stayed, a large one-room suite hidden away in Graycliff’s gardens.

And you can still stay here today.

Today, the 20-room Graycliff is a perfect destination for those looking to honor Sir Winston’s legacy as a voluptuary; there’s an on-site cigar factory (with, yes, churchills among its vitolas), the world’s third largest private wine collection, a vast portfolio of rare cognacs and rums and a truly legendary restaurant.

In other words, the perfect place if you’re easily satisfied with the best.

For more, visit Graycliff.

— CJ