The idea of Harbour Island appealed to me from the start. Maybe the British spelling of the word harbor made it seem exotic. And then, there were those enviable Instagram posts of British expat India Hicks pitching her lifestyle brand beachside and Rebecca de Ravenel posing in flowing caftans and ballsy earrings beneath the palms. Understandably, before ever stepping foot on the pink Bahamian sand, I envisioned it being lovely – white picket fences, pastel cottages, turquoise waters – and it is all those things. Postcard pretty without high rises and nary a Starbucks in sight. What I didn’t realize is that Harbour Island is also fun – even a bit thrilling.
I was invited to join a group of travel advisors for a short stay at Bahama House, a pretty 11-room retreat owned by the adventure travel company, Eleven Experience. Eleven has seven unique properties (one is a fishing boat called The Mother Ship) scattered round the globe. It turns out that when you travel the Bahamas with Eleven, you do not, as I typically do, plop yourself in a beach chair with a book. You swim, you snorkel, you stretch, you jump, you paddle, you climb…you suck the very marrow out of that tropical island bone, all under the capable direction of the Bahama House “experience manager” Richard along with his sidekick skipper, Captain Kris. What an experience it is.
At the end of the day, you’re tired (a good kind of tired). Once you’ve showered and shed your sand-and-salt-encrusted swim suit in favor of chic island evening wear, you settle in at the Bahama House tiki bar for your well-earned apres snack and cocktail du jour. Sam the barman is a master at concocting tropical libations as delicious as they are colorful. And then, it’s off to dinner at any one of the island’s many fine restaurants (Rock House, The Landing, The Dunmore, Acquapazza) followed by – for the truly brave – Gutsy’s night club for goombay smashes and dancing the night away. After a good night’s sleep in the Bahama House luxe bedding, you get up and do it all again the next day.
In my book, Harbour Island is a perfect ten. Oops, I mean eleven.
Caroline Travels the World…And So Can You