Kamalame Cay - Guest Book

BNW was commissioned to create a new guest book as a guide to the island’s layout, facilities, activities, and services, as well as Kamalame’s unique history. This was an excellent opportunity to promote BNW's new visual identity for Kamalame Cay.


With the 1961 U.S. embargo on Cuba, Havana’s affluent American holidaymakers were rerouted to Nassau for sophisticated island holidays of Polo, gambling, nightlife, and cocktail parties. Looking to create a Bahamian Monte Carlo, Huntington Hartford purchased Hog Island, a two-mile cay just off Nassau, and renamed it Paradise Island. Handsome heir to the A&P supermarket fortune whose paramours included Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe, Hartford flew two thousand guests in on private jets for the opening night in 1962, his Ocean Club hotel set in gardens modeled on Versailles.

The following year, Lord Dudley, Third Earl of Staffordshire, purchased The Graycliff on Nassau, refashioned it in high English style, and welcomed Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Mountbatten and Sir Winston Churchill. Meanwhile, the posh seaside residences of Lyford Cay, a gated, 448-acre community on Nassau’s west coast that launched in the 1958, was now a winter roost for the international set. Home to the winter estates of Babe Paley, Princess Grace, the Ford automotive heirs, the Aga Khan, and their glittering, high season guest lists. Drawing an influx of famous visitors, Nassau’s reputation as a star-studded tropical getaway was secured in 1965. The Paradise Island Casino serving as a backdrop for Thunderball—Sean Connery stepping off a speedboat in a crisp dinner jacket—as the Beatles checked into The Balmoral Club to film scenes for Help!

Out in the Exumas, southwest of Nassau, the advent of the 80s cocaine boom saw The Bahamas hark back to its fabled outlaw past—this time as the era’s most notorious international smuggling hub. In cahoots with Pablo Escobar, Manuel Noriega, and Fidel Castro, Carlos Lehder bought half of Norman’s Cay and converted its yacht club, marina, and airstrip into an international drug trafficking outpost. Chasing off locals and unsuspecting visitors, Lehder assumed total control over his lawless fiefdom. Extending the tarmac and installing a compound renowned for its endless parties and good time girls.

Revolutionizing the global drug trade, Lehder replaced human “mules” with fleets of aircraft: 300 kilos of cocaine arriving daily via jet from Columbia, which was then flown out across America. His wealth ballooning well into the billions, Lehder offered to pay off Colombia’s external debt—twice—to get off criminal charges, before his escapades were brought to a halt with the DEA’s ‘Operation Caribe’.Lehder received a life sentence without parole in 1988 and a dash of immortality in the 2001 Johnny Depp- Penelope Cruz movie Blow, in which the character Diego Delgado is based on him.