Destination: Harbour Island
In a multimillion-dollar renovation, designer Wallace Tutt transformed this former private house on a coral bluff into a breezy boutique hotel, with nine guest rooms, a gym, and cabanas encircling the pool. Meals are taken at the dining room’s massive wooden table, which seats sixteen guests and is formally laid with a candelabra and silver, or on the covered terrace offering prime harbor vistas. For those who prefer to be on the beach, a special oceanfront cottage, La Samana, can also be rented through Rock House. And within three years, Rock House guests will have access to a Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course on nearby Rock Island. Rooms from $380 during high season; a minimum three-night stay is required.
Who it’s right for: Couples who yearn to inhabit the pages of design magazines; every aspect has been considered.
Who it’s wrong for: Families (children under the age of 18 are not allowed) and those who crave instant access to the sea. The hotel is on the harbor side of the island, so getting to the beach entails a ten-minute walk or a golf-cart ride.
Owned by Australian Toby Tyler and his gorgeous Bahamian wife, Tracy Barry, the hotel—with its enormous dark wood bar, hardwood floors and ceiling fans—evokes Rick’s Café Casablanca. But the place may seem familiar for another reason—it’s been featured in lots of magazine spreads. Though India Hicks, the British aristocrat and former Ralph Lauren model (is no longer a minority owner) the Landings retains the Lauren influence: expect black-and-white family portraits and well-chosen books scattered about to give a lived-in feeling. Seven guest rooms overlooking the harbor and garden feature huge four-poster beds with mosquito netting and starched white linens. A pool has just been carved into the hill out back, and a wine and liquor boutique has been added, offering excellent wines under the house label. The restaurant has long been one of the island’s best, with tables in the house and in the garden. Rooms from $275 during high season.
Who it’s right for: Those who love the homey intimacy of guesthouse living and who don’t mind being a distance from the beach. The Landing is an informal gathering place, so guests who enjoy that atmosphere will be most comfortable.
Who it’s wrong for: Anyone who prefers the full-on hotel experience, as here it’s like staying at a friend’s upscale house along with other guests.
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