You may already be familiar with our wonderful Harbour Island but, if not, the following little gems might be useful
HOW TO FIND US WHEN YOU ARRIVE
On arrival at Eleuthera Airport walk straight through and out to the front. Taxi drivers will appear from the woodwork. Choose one and he will show you to turn left to the iron gates at the end of the building. This is the point to which your baggage will be delivered. It is a 5-minute road taxi ride to Three Island Dock. At the dock there is a water taxi service across to Harbour Island. This is a ten minute ride and should cost about $5 per person. When you arrive at the Dunmore Town dock, the Sunset Harbour Estate is a 5-minute road taxi. The entrance to the house is on the main road (Colebrook Street). Look for a white gate with a stainless steel sign “The White House – Private”. Alternatively you can ask the water taxi to take you to what we now call “Dempsey Dock” in Island speak. You can walk up to The White House via the gate up along the full length of the concrete path up the stairs on the right 101 feet from the waters edge.
ARRIVING BY PRIVATE BOAT
You will enter the waters between Eleuthera and Harbour Island following the deep water channel, carefully bi-passing the sandbank known as “Girls Bank”. You will notice on your left a large square pink building on the end of a dock. This is Government Dock. Further on, by some 500 metres, is Valentines Marina with its large boats and colourful buildings. Keep going around the bay and you will pass several private docks. Sunset Harbour dock (also known as “Dempsey” dock) will now be straight ahead of you. It’s the largest dock between Valentines and Romora Bay. Shabba will be around to show you which slip you have been allocated.
TRANSPORT ON THE ISLAND
The preferred mode of transportation on Harbour Island is via golf cart. Here is a list of rental companies and their phone numbers:
Johnson Rentals, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (242) 333-2376
Dunmore Rentals, email@example.com, Tel: (242) 333-2372
Ross Rentals, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (242) 333-2122
Sugar Apple Rentals, email@example.com, Tel: (242) 333-2750
Sunshine Rentals, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (242) 333-2509
Ross Rentals is located outside the back of the house (100 yards to the right) – ask for “Cookie” – mention you are staying at Lawrence Dawson’s house.
If you should need a doctor during your holiday there is a government clinic located on the corner of South and Colebrook Streets as well as a doctor and several nurse practitioners who are employed at the government clinic.
The Harbour Island Medical Clinic’s number is (242) 333-2250.
The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
During out of hours the on-call medical practitioner’s name and cell phone number will be posted on the Clinic’s door.
YOGA – PILATES
There are several instructors on the Island. The following have been recommended:
Rachel Kelly (massage) – Tel: (242) 470-7104
Comfort Zone (massage) – Tel: (242) 551-3628
Anna (Yoga and Pilates) – Tel: (242) 551-0061
YOGA – PILATES
For Massage Therapy Bob is your man – he’s been certified & established since 1998. He can be contacted on (242) 551-3171. He works as Front Desk Manager part of the day at Dunmore Beach but I know he is free between the hours of 10am & 4pm. He lives just across the street and will bring all his equipment to the house so you can have your treatments in the privacy of our home.
Lawrence recommends Portia Curry (former chef at Oceanview) and Adell Farquharson-Headley if you need a private chef. Let me give you their direct contact details:
Adell’s website is: http://www.brilandsoulcatering.com/
It will give you an insight into her menus too. She is young, enthusiastic and will cater to your requirements. Alternatively, the top Hotels will supply you with “carry outs”. Their menus are extensive and the cuisine is excellent, albeit a little pricey. I suggest you give Adell a call and ask for a menu then compare hers with the likes of The Landing, Dunmore Beach, Pink Sands, Coral Sands or even The Rock House. the privacy of our home.
GROCERIES & SUPPLIES
Piggly Wiggly King Street, Tel: (242) 333-2120
Johnson’s Grocery Dunmore Street, Tel: (242) 333-2279
Sawyer’s Dunmore Street, Tel: (242) 333-2358
Tip Top King Street, Tel: (242) 333-2251
Capt. Bob’s Meats & Seafood Bay Street, Tel: (242) 333-3628, Cell: (242) 359-7725
Pineapple Fruit & Vegetable Bay Street
Anthony’s Vegetables & Fruit Queen’s Highway & Old Norse Plac
Patricia’s Fruit & Vegetables Pitt Street, Tel: (242) 333-2289
Dunmore Deli & Gourmet Shop King & Princess, Tel: (242) 333-2644
- Fresh Fish
Fisherman’s Dock – Bay Street & Pitt
Valentine’s Marina – Daddy D or Randell
Capt. Bob’s – Bay Street, Tel: (242) 333-2628
Local Frozen Seafood
Capt. Bob’s – Bay Street, Tel: (242) 333-2628
Piggly Wiggly – King Street, Tel: (242) 333-2120
- Liquor Stores
Bayside Liquor Bay Street, Tel: (242) 333-2470 (Good selection of Wine & Liquor)
Bristol Wine & Spirits King Street, Tel: (242) 333-2645 (Good Selection of Wine & Liquor)
Grant’s Liquor Dunmore & Clarence (Open Late)
Beverage Depot Bay Street, Tel: (242) 333-2373 (Cheapest case of Beer & Good Wine selection)
Cash’s Liquor Dunmore Street, Tel: (242) 333-2084 (Open Late)
Arthur’s Bakery Crown & Dunmore, Tel: (242) 333-2285
Sybil’s Bakery Duke & Dunmore, Tel: (242) 333-3024
The Suger Rush Pitt Street, Tel: (242) 333-2451
Flo’s Bakery Clarence Street
CATERING FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
The White House is a family home and great for children. We can hire in cots/cribs for babies and young children. Just let us know in advance though if this will be a requirement.
Small wooden cribs suitable for babies (42 inches long) for $8/per day
Large wooden cribs suitable for infants (56 inches long) for $14/per day
Folding cot beds suitable for up to 5 years are $12/per day
There are loungers and chairs around the pool area but we no longer have beach chairs I’m afraid. In the past guests have taken chairs to the beach and left them there; we replaced them 4 times last year! Between Coral Sands and the Blue Bar you can hire beach loungers for the day. Tell “TJ” that Lawrence sent you – $25 a day for two loungers and parasol; or alternatively they can be purchased relatively cheaply from Chacara Lumber.
WALKING THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE BEACH
(you have to touch the stones at either end!)
The best time to walk is two hours either side of low tideLumber.
SNOKERLING AND SCUBA DIVING
Yes, the Bahamian waters are famous for its aquatic life and coral reefs. We recommend the following:
Valentine’s Dive Centre – Tel: (242) 333-2080
Pedro Davis – Tel: (242) 470-8177
Ocean Fox – Tel: (242) 333-2323
The waters in and around Harbour Island are known for some of best deep sea fishing in all of the Caribbean. We’ve included below contact numbers for charter boat captains:
Ocean Fox, Jeff Fox – Tel: (242) 333-2323
Pedro Davis – Tel: (242) 470-8177
Devon “Daddy D” Sawyer – Tel: (242) 359-7006
The shallows around the island are great for catching the elusive bonefish – we are told that pound for pound it is the most difficult fish to catch in the world.
We can recommend the following guides:
Stuart Cleare – Tel: (242) 464-0148
Patrick – Tel: (242) 422-9029
Of course Harbour Island is not only about the beach but the selection of boutique restaurants. We have our favourites…
Breakfast & Lunch:
- For Breakfast There is no doubt that The Landing offers a great breakfast experience and is open to non-residents as does The Dunmore.
Arthur’s Bakery or The Deli are cheaper and attractive alternatives.
- For Lunch The Dunmore is a fantastic new addition for lunch. It is both reasonably priced and has mouthwatering Caribbean-style dishes. Try the fish tacos in breadfruit.
It is situated between Sip Sip and Coral Sands.
- No visit to Harbour Island is complete without a visit to Sip Sip (local speak for Gossip). It is located on the beach side south of the hotels and can be recognized from the beach by its bright lime and dark blue exterior. It is a great spot and owner/chef Julie has a basic menu supplemented by daily specials. The lobster quesadilla is to die for but can easily be shared between two or three. On Sundays, and only Sundays, Julie has “Boil Fish” which is a fabulous Bahamian Specialty – do not be put off by the name of the dish! Do save space for the carrot cake for desert – we often share one portion among four!
- Coral Sands also does a good lunch with the Mixed Plate being ideal for two to share.
- The Blue Bar on the beach has a great view of the beach. It is part of the Pink Sands Hotel and parking is right next to Coral Sands Hotel.
- The bar at Ramora Bay – good food – less expensive and very pleasant for lunch and happy hour. These are also accessible from the beach.
- For cheaper alternatives, and in the event of a windy beach side we would recommend:
Take-out or eat-in Government Dock just at the bottom of the dock. It might be the British in us but “fish and chips” Bahamian style is great value and usually excellent for a mere $10.
Ask for a “Plain Fish Snack” otherwise it comes smothered in ketchup – and in reality are grouper fingers with fries. One portion is usually enough for two.
- For those who are into conch, Queen Conch, along the Bay front to the right of Murray Street is rightly regarded as the best place to try the Bahamian conch salad. It has now expanded and is doing wraps, grilled fish and chicken. Very well worth a visit for an excellent low price lunch or dinner.
- The Deli in the heart of the town has just introduced some hot specials but its sandwiches are very special. Certainly we would recommend “The Emperor” an unusual mix of medium rare sliced beef and goat’s cheese. Unless you have a large appetite – sufficient for two.
- Although it only opened in 2013, Bahamas Coffee Roasters is now an Island institution – the coffee is seriously good!
Owner Kirk Aulin sources his beans from 36 different farms around the world and then roasts them himself (he is the only roaster in the Bahamas). Spend the morning in his shop and you will see a steady flow of regulars, along with the occasional celebrity. Newcomers to the island love Kirk because he knows everyone, will happily share his tips on the top fishing guides or best restaurants, and will remember your name the next time you come in. You’ll feel like an old friend in no time. Stick around for lunch and order one of the gourmet sandwiches. Top pick: the organic chicken served on grilled ciabatta with roasted garlic mayo, Brie, sliced pear, fig jam and a pile of fresh arugula. It’s sublime.
The iced latte – with an extra shot – is simply divine too!
- Dinner All our guests who visit say the great thing about Harbour Island is that you never get a bad meal. We are certainly blessed with the number of good quality restaurants … but they are much pricier than their American cousins.
- Both The Landing and The Rock House vie for the accolade of being the island’s top eatery. Both are good, if not excellent. A visit to both is really a must in a week’s vacation. Reservations are strongly recommended
A useful tip is to visit The Landing for an appetizer at the bar, which is undoubtedly the best bar on the island – if somewhat – no definitely – expensive for cocktails! Amongst the appetizers, go for the Crab Capellini or Goat’s Cheese.
The Rock House can be a bit dressier and some of their specials are divine but be warned don’t expect to spend less than $100 each, including wine.
- Aqua Pazza is another great Bayside restaurant, that is Italian Bahamian. It is a cart ride away down south just off the Queens Highway and is situated at Harbour Island Marina. It is cheaper than the two upscale restaurants, but only just, but the food is great and try their signature Grouper Broth. It’s also open for lunch so good if the beach side is too windy.
- The two prime hotels, Coral Sands and Pink Sands both do dinner. We have not eaten for a long time at Pink Sands but the French chef Ludo at Coral Sands does a great European style menu – the bouillabaisse and coq au vin – are particular favourites. Just make sure Ludo is cooking and not his night off, if you book.
- Runaway Hill is a nice alternative situated on the beach side with good local fish.
- The Dunmore is trying to knock the Bayside restaurants off their perch! It has a beautiful bar and dining area, and the food comes from its new executive chef, Cindy Hutson, who owns the restaurant Ortanique on the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.
- Last but not least is Valentines, yet again the biggest resort/hotel on the island is in the midst of change and we have not eaten there for some time.
- The island does not have any stand-alone bars, save for a few local haunts. Certainly you need to visit JJ’s Cocktail Lounge where you will mingle with the locals and enjoy the erudite JJ’s company!
- And new to the Island is “beyond the reef” (next to queen conch) on the right night It’s buzzin!!! Watch the sun go down while drinking and perhaps eating from the take out next door… cool little place.
- A popular sunset bar is Acqua Pazza where there is a real Happy Hour between 4 and 6pm; you can watch the sun set over Eleuthera – just magical!
- The Sunsets Bar at Romora is always popular and affords the best sunset view for a Sundowner (except of course your very own veranda and Widows Walk!). There are three late night/early hours’ bars.
- Most popular is Gustys which is a safe haven for teenagers. It has a sand dance floor and warms up around 10.30 pm – the views of the night skies over to Spanish Wells are truly wondrous. After Gustys about 12.30 to 1.00 am many seek out Daddy D’s in the centre of the town or, for the more adventurous, the Vic Hum offers a different, if somewhat more edgy, alternative… enough said.
Once someone asked us where the mall was on Harbour Island! You guessed – there’s no mall and very few shops. Guys I’m afraid the island is a shopping desert – no electronics or clothes stores! For the girls there are high end boutiques at Miss Mae and Sugar Mill. They sell some unique island style clothing. The more affordable Blue Rooster has a good range of ladies’ clothing and the Dive Shop at Valentines is always worth a visit for an extra bikini or logo T. Of course, any vacation needs some souvenirs and Dilly Dallys just up the street on the right or Princess Street Gallery offer a range of local and not so local crafts, art and jewelry and well worth a visit. You will soon notice where the clocks came from! Food shopping is both expensive and limited. We tend to use Pigly Wigly for our day to day stuff supplemented by the Deli for higher end treats like hummus, Italian cheese, parma ham and smoked salmon. Captain Bob has a supermarket at Nesbit Street – just a bit out of town above the park and ball field. He has great fresh steaks and is the best for seafood. If you are a little more adventurous try buying fish from the docks. Valentines is a good place – ask if they have any hog snapper – It’s by far and away the best of the local fish.
RENTING A BOAT
There are many islands and deserted beaches that are accessible via a short boat ride. We recommend the following boat rental establishments:
Duke – Tel: (242) 359-7952
Michael’s Cycles – Tel: (242) 333-2384 (also rents bicycles)
GREAT DAYS OUT
We can recommend two great half day trips with Ryan Neilly of Spanish Wells Fishing. He’s a several generations Bahamian and lives on Spanish Wells. Ask him about Man Island for snorkeling and a picnic or alternatively go see the star fish and sea turtles – the kids will love this one!
Ryan’s contact details:
Tel: (242) 333-4721
cell: (242) 359-7894
Choose a question from the list, please