In 2013, after sitting derelict for many years and undergoing a major restoration, the Buena Vista Estate opened as the home to John Watling’s Distillery which was named for a 17th century buccaneer who landed on San Salvador Island and re-named it after himself. San Salvador was the island of Guanahani where Christopher Columbus first landed in 1492. The name was officially changed from Watling Island back to San Salvador Island in 1925.

At his namesake distillery Bahamians hand-craft JOHN WATLING’S rums which are aged for upwards of five years. Sisal plaits are hand woven and brought over from Cat Island and Andros to adorn the bottle and pink sand is brought over from Eleuthera and San Salvador, formerly known as Watling Island, to filter the rainwater used in all John Watling’s Distillery products. At the visitor experience renowned Mixologist Wilfred Sands serves his famous JOHN WATLING’S Rum Dum cocktail. The site is also complete with a 200 year old well measuring 7 feet in diameter and 74 feet deep and other historical artifacts.

On the 10th day of February 2014, the Buena Vista Estate, home to John Watling’s Distillery, celebrated its 225th Anniversary. The Islander Magazine published in 1974 that; “The Buena Vista could hardly be termed as “the modern in spot” where everyone and his granddad hang-out. As a matter of fact, it is an aged building furnished with the grandeur of Lords and Governors. Its ground marks the history of a nation, times of battle, slaves and the building of old forts.”

Restoration of Buena Vista Estate

Restoration of Buena Vista Estate

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