Construction Site Military Bahamas New Providence James Bond Casino Royale

On Derelict Duty

THE BAHAMAS – New Providence, Coral Harbor // Thunderball (1965), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) & Casino Royale (2006)

Bond loves the Bahamas and it’s beaches, casinos and dive sites. But there is more: A military training area is home to one of the classiest Bond movies – and to one of the most adrenaline infused action openers from the franchise.

Why Bond was here
The southern shore of Bahamian main island New Providence is not that touristic as the North. There are luxury resorts, but there are thrilling hotel ruins as well. And then there is this vast military site from the Royal Bahamas Defense Force – combining both lost hotels and its ruins as a large training area on its ground. Mr. Bond came to this forbidding place more than once.

Coral Harbor James Bond

Thunderball: Bond and Domino at the Coral Harbor Hotel

The oldest encounter was in Thunderball, when Bond (Sean Connery) stayed at the Coral Harbor Hotel, now a military office building, to investigate the sinister plans of Spectre’s number two, Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). Later on, in The Spy Who Loved Me, the military buildings were used for aerial shots on the swimming water hideout Atlantis from villain Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens). But the biggest fame came to the military site with 2006’s Casino Royale, that transformed the whole area into a Madagascan playground. James Bond (now played by Daniel Craig) hunts down bomb terrorist Molakka (played by the founder of free running Sébastien Foucan) in an intense parkour pursuit at a construction site, before the latter finds shelter in the embassy of fictional country Nambutu (that is to be found in downtown Nassau).

James Bond Casino Royale Bahamas construction site

Casino Royale: Madagascan hunt with Bahamian background

How you gonna get there
The construction site is actually an abandoned multistory hotel investment gone wrong – and nowadays used by the Bahamian navy for combat training. Productions prepped the concrete pillars for the parkour action and installed huts from a Madagascan shanty town nearby. The whole area of the Royal Bahamian Defense Force is situated on the western tip of Coral Harbor Beach in south New Providence.
The best way to reach the camp is to rent a scooter in downtown Nassau and head south. Vendors are based at the cruise ship terminal Prince George Wharf in downtown Nassau. A half-day trip should be around 30 US dollars. Either go from town down Carmichael Rd or ride along Bay Street – when on your way to the infamous Palmyra Estate or Love Beach – and then come over Frank Watson Blvd and Adelaide Rd. At a big roundabout the Coral Harbor Rd leads south till its dead end at the military base.

Good to know
From the entry the construction site from Casino Royale is easily visible. Hidden behind it is the Coral Harbor Hotel from Thunderball. What was then an up-to-date luxury hotel is now a lost-in-time hotel lobby barely used by the navy. But that means, the interior still looks like a swingin’ 1960s party had been thrown here just yesterday. Also the hotel pool, where Bond and Domino (Claudine Auger) nibbled conch chowder, is still untouched.
Bond aficionados, that want to enter, can either gamble and politely ask the navy guards – or look out for special movie tours, that come along with certificated access. The guys from Theme Party People are well organized when it comes to Bahamian Bond tours.

New Providence might look small on the map, but it can be endless when being explored on a scooter. We had one for four hours and tried to visit Coral Harbor after a big spin we took from Nassau along the western shore of New Providence. On the bright side – we already had our safety helmet with us, when the construction site finally came in sight.

© 2015 Huntingbond (1,4), © 1965 & 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2,3)