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Travel

Celebrity traveler: A Raven in Paradise

Baltimore Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones just isn't going to stop running anytime soon. Certainly not while adding to his single-season career highs in tackles and sacks. And definitely not while keeping up with his younger brothers: Jon "Bones" Jones, who holds the light-heavyweight Ultimate Fighting Championship crown; and Chandler Jones, a rookie defensive end for the New England Patriots.

To broaden his athletic prowess, Jones, who also wrestled in high school, spends part of his off-season alongside brother Jon, training in martial arts. As if anticipating the question his fans are wondering, Jones' Twitter page declares, "People always ask me why I run so fast. … I tell them I'm chasing my dreams." Witnessing that impressive balance of determination and focused energy these past few weeks got us wondering if Jones ever unwinds.

As a Ravens player, you travel a great deal with the team. So when you finally have time off, where do you like to go?

I try to make an annual trip, with my brother [Jon] or by myself, to the Bahamas. Its just so beautiful there, so peaceful … and great weather. It's easy, just a short flight.

Where do you stay?

Nassau, at The Cove — right at Atlantis [resort] … so beautiful, right on the beach.

What time of year do you like to visit?

Earlier in the off-season, like February-March. I try to go to Disney World first with my son and afterwards I go to the Bahamas.

How did you discover this getaway spot?

The first time I went with my brother and a whole bunch of UFC fighters. I had such a good time that now I try to go back and make it a yearly thing.

What do you like to do there?

Swim with the dolphins, parasailing, fishing. … I try to do a little bit of everything. They have a lazy river and waterslides. When I'm there, I'm just a big kid, I just want to enjoy myself as much as possible and get away from it all. I am a beach person and I like to be out there all day.

Can you describe your favorite day?

It was my first day there. When I first arrived, it was raining, and I thought, "Oh man, my trip's going to be ruined," but then it became beautiful and I got outside and saw the view, ate dinner and loved doing absolutely nothing.

Where do you eat?

I like to get off the resort, venture out and find little restaurants where I can have a cocktail and just enjoy eating dinner.

Do you have a favorite cocktail there?

A pina colada; you can't go wrong.

Do you have to do anything to stay in shape when you are on vacation?

No, I do a lot of nothing! Absolutely nothing … eating and drinking. This is my little farewell to the season, before I have to get in shape for the training season.

Do you have one item you will not travel without?

I take my camera — just my Android phone. You never know what you're going to see or what's going to happen. I bring an iPad; it helps me keep in touch with my friends and family. I also bring an iPod, download my favorite music.

You get to see a lot of this country while on the road with the Ravens. Which is your favorite city to visit?

I would say Pittsburgh. It's always exciting there. [On the last trip,] we had little kids [flipping] us off, their parents throwing beer cans and eggs at our bus. It will remind you of an intense high school rivalry. Good time!

Where would you like to go next?

I really want to see Spain.

If you goGetting there

Located on New Providence Island, Nassau is the Bahamas' capital and its largest city. AirTran Airways flies from BWI to Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport nonstop in just 2 hours and 35 minutes, starting at about $111 each way.

Lodging

Arthur Jones stays at The Cove, a posh sanctuary at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, which is connected to Nassau by two bridges. Often called the "Disneyland of the Caribbean," Atlantis is a tropical fantasyland of theme parks, island environments and extravagant entertainment complexes. The Cove aims to be a quieter, more sophisticated respite from the buzz surrounding the rest of the property. There, every guest room is an ocean-view suite with sunken living rooms, flat-screen TVs, Jacuzzi tubs and custom-stocked bars. Nightly rates begin at $800. Go to thecoveatlantis.com

Other options include Atlantis' Beach Tower, where rates begin at $460 per night, or The Coral Tower, from $510. The resort often offers packages with discounted rates and airfare rebates.

Dining

There's almost no getting around it: Food is expensive practically everywhere in the Bahamas, but especially so at the resorts. Atlantis offers a two-tiered dining plan for $75 or $130 per day. Go to atlantis.com/dining/diningplan.aspx.

Van Breugel's Bistro, Charlotte Street South, 242-322-2484, vanbreugels.com. Jones often chooses to venture out for meals. In downtown Nassau, folks can dine al fresco and people-watch while chowing down on coconut curried conch chowder at this European-flavored eatery and pub. Entrees from $14.50.

Twin Brothers, Arawak Cay, 242-328-5033, twinbrothersbahamas.com. Authentic Bahamian fare featuring local fish served fried, grilled or steamed, and washed down with mango lemonade. Entrees from $19.

Don't miss

Although there is plenty to see and do around the island, most guests don't feel the need to seek activities outside the resort. And why would they? Atlantis has one of the world's largest outdoor marine habitats and aquariums, as well as waterparks, beaches and a variety of swimming pools — all free for resort guests. Guests can also book the onsite close-encounter adventures with sea lions, sharks, rays and dolphins, as well as scuba, snorkel, fish and enjoy traditional resort activities like golf and tennis. There are casinos in every lodging tower, and theaters and comedy shows. For details, go to atlantis.com/thingstodo.aspx

Information

Go to bahamas.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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