A little beauty whose only shortcoming, in some eyes, is that it does not sit on Pink Sands Beach, the Rock House Hotel & Restaurant was a labor of love of the late Wallace Tutt, a renovator and interior designer to the stars who was best known for designing Gianni Versace’s Miami mansion, Casa Casuarina. Beginning as a private home in the 1940s, the Rock House had evolved, at the time of Tutt’s death in 2010, into a boutique luxury hotel where no detail of design or service was too small to overlook. To the benefit of Rock House guests, Tutt’s partner, Don Purdy, has maintained that philosophy. Which is why, for instance, there is always a picnic basket at the ready in every room. The pool is heated. The restaurant, with its sunset views, gets high praise. And the intimacy of the setting makes it popular for destination weddings.
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Harbour Island and its community, Dunmore Town, are so small that the Rock House’s location doesn’t put it far from anything. So a lunchtime conch salad at Queen Conch and a bit of shopping at the startlingly fashionable Sugar Mill Trading Company could easily be followed by a goombay smash at Sip Sip, while still leaving plenty of time to make it back to the Rock House Restaurant for sunset. The North Eleuthera Airport, with daily direct flights from Nassau, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, is 15 minutes away, via two taxis and a boat ride.
Need to Know
Rooms: 10 rooms, including 4 suites. From $240 low season, $300 high season, including breakfast. Check-in: 11 a.m.; check-out: 2 p.m. Dining options:The Rock House Restaurant was made for diners whose evening meals are most pleasantly accompanied by a sunset across the water. Its fusion of tastes might begin with a key lime cosmopolitan from the martini menu, followed by Junkanoo capellini with local lobster. Spa and gym details:There’s no spa, but the gym, open only to guests, is the most fully equipped on the island.
Who’s it for: Travelers who appreciate attention to detail in every facet of their stay, and the conviviality that can result only from such a small number of guests. Our favorite rooms:Until 10:30 p.m. or so, the bar, in the main house, can be such a happy place that the early-to-bed will prefer the quieter rooms, at the back of the property. Among those, the Asian Room, a two-bedroom garden suite, has the most space. Walk to the beach:Although the Rock House is on the bay, not the ocean side of Harbour Island, it’s just a five-minute walk to Pink Sands Beach. There, umbrellas, lounge chairs, towels, and—because perfection is in the details—coolers and picnic baskets have been set aside for Rock House guests.