Its vibe is so chill, it attracted a luxury boutique hotel group focused on deep travel experiences.
On Harbour Island in the Bahamas, authentic Brilander culture anchors a unique Caribbean island vibe. Located 55 miles from Nassau and just three miles long by half a mile wide, the island boasts everything from historic churches to billionaires’ beachside mansions to boutiques selling Bahamian clothes and trinkets. Best of all, it’s an under-the-radar retreat compared to the Bahamas’ bigger destinations.
This casual-chic lifestyle is what drew founder of luxury adventure brand Eleven Experience, Chad Pike, to the island. Continually on the hunt for off-the-grid hideaways, Pike and his local Harbour Island team fuse a stylish setting with the local culture at the brand-new Bahama House. Expect exquisite, vintage-meets-modern design by No. 12 Interiors (helmed by Chad’s wife, designer Blake Pike), with artwork pulled from the Pikes’ personal collection and vintage bamboo pieces from Paul Aronson.
With just 11 guest rooms (accommodating 22 people max), high-tech touches include Lutron lighting and Crestron sound systems that beat to Eleven’s groovy playlists.
“We wanted a natural yet comfortably chic feel to the property, and no two rooms are alike,” says Blake Pike. “The 1800 rooms reflect the British colonial tradition while the annex and cottages have a more laid-back ’70s vibe. The intimate rum bar is a favorite spot for a late-night hang, and the sunset terrace has beautiful views of the bay.”
What sets Bahama House apart from Harbour Island resorts is a tricked-out Scorpion powerboat and Eleven’s incredible service—but most notably, chef Nikoya Lightbourne’s cuisine. Island staples are given a modern twist: crab benedict for breakfast, grilled catch of the day for lunch, and pork barbecue and lobster for dinner.
Of course, there’s much to do outside the hotel property, too. If you’re planning on booking a trip to Bahama House, here are some must-dos for the perfect trip to Harbour Island.
1. Sugar Mill Trading Co.
One of Harbour Island’s most famous locals is model-turned-designer India Hicks. Godchild to Princess Diana and daughter of 1960s British design star David Hicks, she co-owns this island basecamp, which sells coveted items such as Star Mela cover-ups, signature tassel key chains, chic beachwear, chunky, island-inspired jewelry, and Hicks’s eponymous label.
2. Ocean Tally
On neighboring Eleuthera Island, this seaside bed-and-breakfast—owned by Nassau native Annette Young, wife of artist Scott Young—is a tucked-away treasure. Its one-room restaurant, located in a lighthouse, offers sea-to-table cuisine (the stone crab claws are divine) and a carefully vetted wine list alongside its scenic ocean views.
3. The Blue Hole
The Bahamas are known for underground cave systems and surreal ocean holes. This gem isn’t found among airport kiosk collateral, so ask Eleven’s local staff to take you to this remote natural playground. Located on Eleuthera on Rock Sound, the 20-foot jump is worth the jitters and gives visitors local street cred.
4. Sip Sip
This local seaside outpost lives up to its reputation as the most touted lunch spot on the island. The can’t-miss, neon-green exterior houses an inspired margarita menu and a cheeky staff (“sip sip” is slang for “gossip”). Book a patio table and stay a while—the people watching is as good as the lobster quesadilla.
5. Man Island
After a morning snorkel around Cistern Rock, Eleven’s aforementioned Scorpion powerboat whisks guests to this tiny pristine isle. Explore the beach while Eleven’s staff preps a gourmet island meal on oversized blankets. It’s unplugged, rugged, and unforgettable.
Eleven Experience’s Bahama House can booked as a full experience buyout or as a catered lodge via individual rooms. +1.970.349.7761 (USA);
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