So many places and not enough time for my travel writing; that said, I have a few posts to catch up on. So, while it’s still fresh in my mind, I would love to share my recent trip this past February to the Bahamas.
Anyone who knows me knows this is one of my “happy places,” hands down. I discovered this little piece of paradise in 1983, a lot has changed over the years, but surprisingly, much has remained the same, which is good.
How to get to Harbour Island
There are multiple routes to the Bahamas from Vancouver; this time, I flew via Montreal to meet with my son, who would be my travel companion (lucky mom). It was a comfortable overnight at Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. Even better was not having to step outside in -20 C temperature.
The following day was a 3 1/2 hour direct flight to Nassau, then another 30-minute trip to North Eleuthera, and a 10-minute taxi ride to the ferry that ultimately got us to our final destination, VALENTINES RESORT, Harbour Island. Yes, it’s a long journey from the west coast to the Bahamas but seriously worth the trek; the Goombay Smash after check-in was the cherry on top.
Travelling this distance, I highly recommend staying eight nights instead of 7 to make up for that lost day of travel.
A Little Rock & Roll History and Where to Stay
Harbour Island became a hidden sanctuary for the rich and well-heeled when Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Records, opened the PINK SANDS RESORT in the early 1990s. Since then, the island has experienced a transformation from tired and old to beautifully preserved.
Other developers followed suit, turning old run-down properties into luxury boutique hotels like THE LANDING, owned by India Hicks and her husband. More significant properties like the CORAL SANDS HOTEL and THE DUNMORE HOTEL have taken on a more sophisticated vibe without feeling like a big box resort.
For obvious reasons, due to the smallness of Harbour Island, there will never be a Hilton, Sheraton, or Four Seasons, only one-of-a-kind “boutique” style resorts. But isn’t that why you travelled all this way?
I won’t lie; it’s expensive here. However, there are inexpensive options for the budget-minded traveller, which may mean travelling in the off-season. With only a small selection of hotels, 12 to be exact, and a generous supply of private homes to rent, both Harbour Island Realty and Dunmore Realty will find you your home away from home, one you can experience at any budget.
Harbourside vs Beachside? Honestly, you can’t go wrong. Harbour Island is approximately 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, famous for its beautiful powder pink sand beach and happening little town; it’s hard to choose which side to stay on. Ideally, decide on your favourite rental property or hotel. After that, the rest will fall into place. But, seriously, don’t overthink this. It’s ALL about the beach.
Delicious Places to Eat
A person can get very hungry lounging around doing nothing, so an occasional walk on the beach or a plunge in the ocean is required. But that’s about it, making me work up an appetite and craving a few favourite restaurants on the island.
If it’s beachside, the very lively SIP SIP is hands down the place to have lunch. Their famous lobster quesadilla is to die for! Drinks are crafted using fresh fruit, and lots and lots of rum, promising to bring a smile to your face or, at the very least, induce a delightful afternoon nap. Moreover, the Pink Sands, Coral Sands, and Dunmore resorts provide excellent lunch choices, best savoured on their beautiful patios with ocean views.
Harbour Island is tiny but worth taking a road trip in your golf cart for. The Romora Bay Resort, a five-minute ride from Dunmore town, is a perfect destination to enjoy the patio and watch the yachts come and go.
Do you want something quick and easy? Queen Conch is famous for its Conch salad and more; they offer takeaway, perfect for a beachside picnic. If you’re craving BBQ, Brian’s BBQ Ribs is no frills, a few picnic tables and cold beer… but seriously delicious.
If you want something extra special, reserve a table at the Clubhouse, which is located at the Dunmore Resort. Their menu offers delicious local cuisine and several classics, making your dinner selection all the more difficult. Enjoy live entertainment on the weekends; it’s sure to get your dance party on.
Dinner at The Landing is always a special occasion. Set in a beautifully restored manor, the food is second to none, and the views of the harbour are the main attraction.
Lastly, Valentines Resort hosts a beautiful dockside bar; it’s a lively spot, ideal for after the beach, and yes, the sunsets are SPECTACULAR! Try the rum punch, but I caution that it has a kick to keep you ordering more.
Wanting More to Do?
Have no fear; there’s no shortage of exciting water activities to experience at Valentine’s Dive Centre. They have everything you could possibly need to rent for fishing, snorkelling or scuba diving adventures. However, if you prefer to keep your feed on solid ground, fret not. This charming island offers a variety of options to keep you entertained; from shopping to horseback riding and even indulgent day spas. Despite its small size, this idyllic island has a lot to offer. Ensuring you’ll find something that suits your preferences and interests.
Planning this trip with my son months ago gave me something special to look forward to. It was another fantastic mother-son time together, great moments filling me with love. Harbour Island, my happy place, can be luxurious or as simple as you want.
I’m a true beach lover, and you’ll typically find me in my swimsuit and flip-flops, soaking up the sun on the stunning pink sand beach. Speaking of which, I highly recommend you experience it firsthand – it’s a slice of paradise you won’t want to miss. Share your thoughts with me after you’ve had the chance to explore! 😊🏖️