On Harbour Island, near the northern end of Eleuthera, the Coral Sands is one of the fortunate few hotels to sit directly on Pink Sands Beach, declared one of the prettiest beaches in the Bahamas, if not the world. Opened in 1968, the hotel has just completed a major upgrade, including the addition of 12 guest rooms and suites, a revamping of public areas, a restaurant expansion, and an interior makeover by designer Barbara Hulanicki (founder of the famed '70s clothing store Biba). New touches give the rooms, with their open, lofty layouts and high-vaulted ceilings, a modern, island style. Because Pink Sands Beach is protected by a barrier reef, its surf is hardly ever more than ankle high, but, never mind, the hotel has a heated freshwater pool, too, and kayaks, paddleboards, sand toys, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
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Like just about everything on Harbour Island, the Coral Sands is in Dunmore Town, whose restaurants and shops are no farther than a few minutes' walk, or golf cart ride. Look for the golf carts parked in front of Arthur’s Bakery, where people come for the key lime tarts. The lobster quesadillas at Sip Sip draw a crowd. The North Eleuthera Airport is a taxi, boat ride, and second taxi away, all taking a total of 15 minutes, with daily direct flights to Nassau, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.
Need to Know
Rooms: 39 rooms, including 15 suites and 5 cottages. From $295 low season, $370 high season. Closed mid-August to mid-November. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Breakfast and dinner are served at the “Latitude 25” restaurant, whose executive chef, French-born Ludovic Jarland, is an island icon and justly famous for his French-Caribbean bouillabaisse. For lunch, the Beach Bar has a menu many people pay scant attention to as they go straight for the lobster roll. Spa and gym details: The Coral Sands does not have a spa or fitness center, but in-room massages can be arranged.
Who’s it for: Couples and families who like to return year after year to a place where, sooner rather than later, everybody knows their name. Our favorite rooms:The two oceanfront cottages, Sandpiper and Sunrise, are closest to the Pink Sand Beach and have spa-size showers. Keep the recipe:Chef Ludo has been kind enough to put the recipe for his renowned bouillabaisse on the Coral Sands website. Be warned, though, that no matter how carefully the recipe is followed, the dish will not taste quite the same as it does when pink sands and turquoise waters are a few feet away.