If The Bahamas is on your travel list this year (perhaps again), more specifically Nassau, allow me to provide detour or itinerary addition that is a getaway from the getaway. Just three hours via a ferry is Harbour Island, a small and tranquil oasis for those looking to leave it all behind; that means the computer and cell phone and anything that keeps our minds so busy.
To plan your trip, be sure to check out the schedule for the Bahamas Ferries for departure and arrival times. The ferry also stops at neighboring islands along the way such as Spanish Wells so be sure to get off on the right stop.
Once on, my favorite place is always at the very top so you take in all of the views, after all, for the next three hours, you will be one with the ferry and the water so be sure to bring a book, magazines and some music. There is some food for purchase, but having a few snacks in your bags is always a great idea.
If you are going for just the day, you’ll have to make the best of your trip in under five hours because once the ferry leaves, you are there until the next one comes in the morning. But given the experience you’ll be in store for, at least one overnight stay factored into your trip.
Welcome to the Comfort Zone
Harbour Island has been rated numerous times as one of the “Best Bahamas Beaches.” With pink sand and some of the best restaurants that the country as to offer, you’ll see why Tiger Woods, Elle McPherson and Johnny Depp are regulars.
While modern luxury is perfectly intertwined with simplicity, enjoy getting around the island on one of the golf carts that are readily available upon arrival and the primary vehicle choice of while on the island. May not be fancy but it is a welcomed departure from a car, bus or other transportation reminders of everyday life.
There are a variety of accommodations from basic to luxurious, resorts and hotels to vacation home rentals, house, villas and cottages. Although my visit didn’t entail an overnight stay, three properties that I did get to visit all have my vote for next time. The problem is deciding which one.
The Landing – This historic boutique hotel dates back to the 1800s. Guests are housed in 12 rooms that offer lush accommodations in a tranquil setting. Stained mahogany, crisp Ralph Lauren linen and waxed hardwood floors say “welcome home.” A pool was recently added for relaxing and as well as the library that offers additional quiet time. Grab dinner in the property’s restaurant that dazzles diners’ taste buds with fresh local produce and seafood. The wine list received the Wine Spectator award of excellence which alone is a reason to go.
The hotel’s signature logo is the Afro Head which is also the name of the rum and wine. Be sure to pick up both as well as additional Afro Head merchandise. Accommodations start as low as $250 a night.
Coral Sands – On this property, choose between rooms and suites, cottages, a beach house and private house. This is your true heaven on earth with pink sand, first class service, a lighted tennis court and a host of amenities and one of the island best dining experiences. Walk out of your room and directly until the beach for a day of absolutely nothing. Or spend a day scuba diving or snorkeling or get an in-room massage before going into town. There is a library and game room and a heated freshwater swimming pool for a quick dip at night. Accommodations start as low as $250 a night.
Pink Sands Resorts – Called the ultimate Caribbean getaway, the resorts consists of 25 pastel-colored cottages that are housed through the lush tropical grounds. This celebrity haven and honeymoon favorite offers culinary cooking classes and recently debuted its Kids Club to make this more of a destination for families. Hang out on the beach or grab cocktails at the bar while you pinch yourself and say “this is too good to be true.” Accommodations start as low as $495 a night.
DINE WITH US
Between the fine dining restaurants available at the hotels and resorts, a walk into town will have you trying a new spot every day and night. My favorite is Sip Sip. This fun restaurant only serves lunch but has a priceless view of the ocean that keeps the patio packed. In the mood for conch? Be sure to check out Queen Conch. Avery’s and Harry O’s serve native Bahamian dishes daily. Pizza, barbeque and quaint breakfast spots are waiting and there definitely is no shortage of choices.
Weather on the island has been noted as “exceptional” with high temperatures in the 80s and 70s and lows in the 70s and 60s. Translated, this means paradise all year round.
No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to enjoy water activities, beach picnics, tennis or just catch up on your next novel. Harbour Island is not, in my opinion, meant to keep you busy doing something everything. You can do that in Nassau. Instead, just plan leave your watch behind and do what you feel at that moment. If you truly have to think about it, you doing too much.
Whether it is just for the day or one night, one thing is for sure, don’t plan to visit Nassau without going to Harbour Island. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you afterward.
To plan, click on the links in the article or visit www.harbourislandguide.com.
For more adventure in The Bahamas, enjoy these articles in Cuisine Noir:
Photo credit: V. Sheree Publishing