Harbour Island in the Bahamas is a color lover’s paradise. Just 3 1/2 miles long, 1/2 mile wide, the island is a parenthetical sliver of blush pink sands stretched across aquamarine waters. For here, whether it’s pigment or personalities, the island is enthusiastically colorful. And along a section of Harbour Island’s most scenic stretch of shoreline awaits Coral Sands.
Yes, a large flatscreen television, iPhone dock, and your very own wi-fi network await if so desired, but you’re best forgetting these amenities for the truly hi-def sights outside.
Decorated by designer Guillermo de Yavorsky, an understated contemporary interpretation of Caribbean style frames the natural beauty surrounding the hotel’s lush eight acre grounds. Recognizing the polychromatic tropical landscape deserves the greatest attention, the decor at Coral Sands is soothingly monochromatic and unintrusive – warm greys, natural fibers and woods, all against a canvas of whites, only occasionally enlivened with tasteful application of coral reds and muted aquamarines. Outside the resort grounds a community of pastel painted colonial residences characterize the island’s quaint avenues, furthering Harbour Island’s reputation as the Nantucket of the Caribbean.
Large sliding doors allow guests to invite the sounds and sight of the beach inside, with several beachside cottages offered with their own private deck and outdoor shower.
Ranging in size, style, and most importantly, proximity to the beach, Coral Sands’s best rooms are its contemporary and charming one- and two-bed oceanfront cottages (our recommendation: The Sea Breeze, Star Fish, or Sea Glass cottages), presenting an ideal balance between an ocean view and a level of privacy discerning guests tend to seek. The bathrooms are particularly memorable for their rather accommodating bathtubs, with peek-a-boo views visible through strategically placed shutters, alongside separate quarters for showering illuminated by sunlight.
With a plethora of activities to choose from during the day, the Terrace in the main building tends to be a quiet refuge from the pool and sun during the afternoon. In the morning and evenings, the hum of guests socializing just barely registers above the sound of waves and lulling rustle of palm trees.
From the early evening on, guests can be found congregating at the lobby bar before dining at Latitude 25, the hotel’s restaurant featuring the Caribbean-French menu of Executive Chef Ludovic Jarland.
An accent of coral red plays prominent inside guest rooms and across the lounge, main building, and lobby – a playful nod to the colorful coral beachcombers may discover while investigating the shoreline.
And with just 38 rooms, those who rate privacy paramount will find Coral Sands delivers an intimate and luxurious experience wrapped in castaway fantasies – one we discovered worth the three flights, one boat ride, and two taxis we took to get there from Los Angeles.
What: Coral Sands Hotel
Where: Chapel Street, Harbour Island, Bahamas
How much? Rooms start at approximately $395 per night.
Highlights: The achingly beautiful views, with a walk to the beach measured in only a few footsteps. The size of the island offers a surprisingly quiet and isolated experience when desired, and a vibrant and welcoming local scene deserving exploration. The staff’s warm service exemplifies an island hospitality and friendliness found across every corner of the island.
Design draw: Comfortable and contemporary, Coral Sand’s selection of cottages overlooking the water are our favorites, exhibiting the island’s characteristic British colonial style with relaxed and inviting modernity.
Book it: Visit Coral Sands Hotel