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Bahama House

Dunmore Town, Bahamas

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PROPERTY FEATURES

The Premises 

Get Wes Anderson on the coconut phone: Bahama House – a luxury hotel on petite Harbour Island – would make a charmingly sun-drenched setting for one of his quirky flicks. Set within white picket fence-ringed tropical gardens, the hotel’s main building is a coral-hued villa. Within, interiors hark back to Fifties Palm Beach, with retro cane furnishings, walls in the light pink of the island’s beaches or blue of the surf, and parrot and pineapple motifs. Add a cast of on-form staff, and you have a confection as sweet as the guava pastries served at breakfast.

Bahama House

Dunmore Street Harbour Island Dunmore Town, 0Bahamas

SMITH EXTRA

Compliments of the House 

A signature Bahamian cocktail each, the Goombay Smash (with pineapple, coconut and a generous helping of rum)

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Rates usually include the hotel’s generous Continental breakfast, plus a daily choice of one hot dish. Rates also include hire of beach loungers and parasols, bicycles and watersports equipment (snorkels, kayaks, paddle boards); and all soft drinks.

FACILITIES

Indoor-outdoor lounge with art-book-filled library, tropical gardens, a team of experience managers, laundry service and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, Crestron technology control system, Lutron lighting system, minibar, air-conditioning and Malin + Goetz bath products.

PACKING TIPS

Bring a credit card with an expansive limit; the reserve of celebs and billionaires, humble Harbour isle can be eye-wateringly pricey.

CHILDREN

Families seeking seclusion and space should book one of the two-bedroom Cottages. The hotel’s best suited for older kids who can confidently make use of the watersports equipment.

SPA

There’s no on-site spa, but your experience manager will contact you before arrival to enquire if you need the services of Bahama House’s coterie of resident masseurs. Beyond in-room pummeling, you can book sessions at the Dermalogica Spa, a five-minute walk away. Within its quaint powder-blue bungalow, the spa’s therapists carry out high-tech treatments such as face-mapping, BioActive skin peels and dermabrasion – but if you’re not in for the full MOT, lo-fi facials and beauty treatments are offered, too.

POOL

The freshwater outdoor pool at the centre of the hotel is roomy enough for laps, and there’s a tub with relaxing massage jets to soak in. Submerged speakers add a pool-party atmosphere underwater (choose from the hotel playlist or stream music from your phone) and coolers on the deck are filled with beer, water and sodas for guests to raid as needed. American design company Janus et Cie provided the fleet of stylish sunloungers and the hotel’s helpful staff can whip up cocktails on request.

ALSO

Want to sound like a local? Refer to the island by its native name, Briland.
Get acquainted with the island’s native artists while flicking through the tomes in the hotel’s living room. We love the collection of decorative cane mirrors (in floral and starburst patterns) covering one wall, and the statement pieces by tropical design maestro Paul Aronson. Take a close look at the 1800 Building, which dates back to the late 17th century: the kitchen has been partially built into what was once the hotel’s bread oven.

Rooms 

The Chapel Suite’s springlike look of conch pink and fresh palm-shoot green has made it one of our favourites. There’s a breathtaking aspect with a view of the colourful hotel complex, and the shared terrace begs to be used for idle fan-wafting or beach-read leafing.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

There’s no formal restaurant beyond the open-air terrace where breakfast is served, but dinner is available some nights of the week and you can summon a private chef for feasts of French-Bahamian tasting menus, barbecues or fish banquets. If you’ve had a successful fishing haul, you can order sides and sauces to accompany your catch. Breakfasts are bountiful. The Continental option features tropical fruit and smoothies, pastries (rum-and-raisin scones, guava braids, bagels of all kinds) and eggs any-way. The à la carte has lobster omelettes, mahi-mahi eggs Benedict and a fruit-and-chocolate-laced gamut of pancakes, waffles and French toast.

Liquid Bliss 

Practice your three Rs at the hotel’s two bars: rum, rum and more rum. Both the old-school Rum Bar and open-air Tiki Bar stock lashings of the Bahamas’ celebrated spirit. Whether you want a tot of rich, caramelly rum poured over ice or a mojito generously topped up with white rum, you’ll be as happily sozzled as the island’s most famous inebriate, one Ernest Hemingway. Wine and beer are kept on ice too.
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Experience the Extraordinary 

Harbour Island’s picturesque beaches run the length of the east coast, on the opposite side of the island. Don’t throw in the beach towel, sunseekers – the island is supermodel-slender, and its east coast is a mere 10-minute walk from the hotel. On arrival, toss away your rose-tinted shades; the famously blusher-coloured sands add a natural romantic hue to lazy beach days, and the hotel’s stellar team will set you up with loungers, parasols, watersports gear (boogie boards, snorkels and fins,, skim boards), toys for little Smiths and coolers full of drinks. Clear, calm waters make for excellent fish spotting and catching; reel in a feisty silver bonefish for bragging rights or a neon-flecked mahi-mahi to ensure a substantial meal later that day. Outlying reefs offer superlative snorkelling and scuba diving; staff can pack a gourmet lunchbox for full days by the shore. Dunmore town’s white picket fences and pastel villas make it feel like a blast from an imaginary Americana past, and Hill Steps and Titus Hole (allegedly a former prison) are the island’s remaining heritage features, both of which are blessed with bay views. Couples seeking some alone time can be castaway on Man Island – an undeveloped spot with beaches and peaceful coves, or seek out submerged treasures on a caving expedition.

Transportation 

The resort is centrally set in Dunmore Town, on the east coast of slender Harbour Isle, at the north west corner of Gaol and Dunmore Street. It’s not cuddling up to the coast, but you only need to take a 10-minute stroll to feel sand between your toes.

Planes 

North Eleuthera Airport is the closest hub, a 20-minute land and sea transfer from Harbour Island; there are direct flights from Miami, Atlanta and Florida (a journey of one to two hours), and Bahamian capital Nassau. Arrivals from Europe stop over in the US. On landing, jump in a taxi to reach Three Island Dock where water taxis depart. For an extra charge, the Smith24 Team can arrange transportation from A to B, including private charters from Nassau if you want to arrive in luxurious style.

Automobiles 

Car hire is possible on the island, but if you must move faster than ‘stroll along the beach’ speed, the de rigeur way to get around is to pootle about in a more eco-friendly golf cart; a daily rental fee applies. There’s parking at the hotel for carts and cars alike.

Other 

From the airport take a taxi to the boat dock; from there you can catch one of the frequent water taxis that ferry sunseekers to Harbour Island. The journey takes around 10 minutes and tickets are $5–$10 a guest. The Smith24 team can book these on request.

Location

Dunmore Street Harbour Island Dunmore Town, 0Bahamas

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