Welcome to the best little secret on Harbour Island…
After two nights at The Other Side we moved over to Harbour Island itself and settled into the fairly new and very beautiful Bahama House. I’d heard about this place again from Conde Nast Traveller (my travel bible) but it still seems like a little secret for those in the know for the most part. Part of the Eleven Experience group who mostly have amazing ski lodges and ranches, this place had some of the best service I’ve ever experienced, not to mention interiors to die for. Nestled right in the thick of Harbour Island’s ‘action’ on a quiet street opposite the big, pink church, this place is just pale pink walls and white shutters from the outside, only the simplest of bougainvillea-covered doorways would let you know anything hid inside here. No massive signs, no grand entrance, just one little doorway to heaven… This is one of the oldest houses on Harbour Island that’s been revamped and extended to create this gorgeous hotel (and I don’t say gorgeous for nothing). I know I say this about so many of my favourite small hotels, but this really does feel like staying at an incredible friend’s house rather than a hotel with beautifully designed communal living rooms, open rum bars just eleven rooms for guests. The interiors are somewhere between elegant, modern Hamptons and 1970s Palm Beach with lots of shell-encrusted accessories, bamboo chairs and pastel-coloured textiles. Our room opened out onto a huge sunny deck and had the dreamiest dressing room I ever did see and the bathroom felt super luxurious and spoiling compared to the lovely but rustic one at The Other Side.
The sorbet-coloured building wraps around a perfect pool with a tiki bar that gets going around 6 for pre-dinner drinks and maybe a game of scrabble or a chat with some of the other guests. The house isn’t on the beach like lots of the other hotels on the island but it actually really didn’t bother me. I’m a real beach bum so that was my only reservation about Bahama House but I actually loved being where we were. You’re 5 minutes from the beach on a golf buggy and Bahama House have their very own beach area complete with loungers and cooler bags filled with icy water, beers, La Croix (if you know you know) and wine, and bags of games and toys to keep you occupied. I actually really liked being able to walk to restaurants and shops in town and love that feeling of heading home to your cool, serene oasis after a hot and sandy day on the beach. It kind of reminded me if childhood summer holidays in that way, albeit a million time more luxurious and tropical than my summers in the Welsh sand dunes. The staff at Bahamas House are incredible, from the barman who whips up a mean spicy margarita or goombay smash to the super smiley chef who’s daily breakfast special is insanely good and she got up super early to give us a packed breakfast of omelette and fresh fruit for our onward journey.
They really think of everything here and manage to toe the line between slotting right into Harbour Island’s old school vibe while offering every mod con and little extra you could possibly want. Guests tend to migrate to the hotel’s Tiki bar after the beach for a game of scrabble or a chat over cocktails but often you feel like you have the whole place to yourselves which is kind of dreamy on a romantic trip. I love discovering beautiful, tiny little spots like this and if you’ve got a honeymoon or just a lovely weekend away (if you’re in the U.S) on the horizon, I couldn’t recommend this place more for the ultimate base for discovering Harbour Island.