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-   -   eleuthera, Harbour Island, or both in December (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/eleuthera-harbour-island-or-both-in-december-486607/)

travel3773 Nov 17th, 2004 08:22 PM

eleuthera, Harbour Island, or both in December
 
I am planning a last minute trip for 5-7 days around this Christmas and having some trouble deciding where to stay. We are considering dividing the stay between Cocodimama in Eleuthera and either Coral Sands or Romora Bay Club on Harbour Island so we could experience a stay on both islands, and could check out more than one resort. A few questions:
1) Are the islands different enough that a stay on both would be worthwhile, or does this sound like too much of a hassle? (We don't mind changing hotels during vacation, and often do this to get a taste of more than one place while we are away).
2) Would most restaurants, etc. be open over the Christmas holdiay on both islands? Would being in Eleuthera over the holiday weekend be any better/worse than staying in Harbour Island?
3) Which of the three hotels would you recommend? Cocodimama and Romora Bay seem to be comparable in price (Romora Bay also has an all inclusive option), with Coral Sands being a bit more expensive.
I really appreciate any feedback anyone has that might help me make a final decision on where to stay. Thanks.

wantsomesun Nov 18th, 2004 07:21 AM

Harbour Island will be in a Christmas mood over the holidays, and there should be a Junkanoo or two while you are there, it's kind of a parade, but louder, lol.

Eleuthera is a beautiful island and Cocodimama is very pretty, but staying on Eleuthera you have to have a car to get around. The island is 110 miles long so to do anything a car is necessary at around $60 a day and gas is very expensive.

If you are looking to veg out and just relax on the beach Cocodimama is a perfect place and the resort is right on the beach, leeward side of the island. There are just a few restaurants close by and lots of beautiful beach, and not much else.

Harbour Island is a smaller community and I would say if Romora Bay has availability I would suggest staying there for the week. Romora is very cute, the accomodations are villas that overlook the harbour. There's a terrific restaurant on site, some of the best food on island, and a bar right on the bay, for sunset watching.

If you want to see some of Eleuthera, you might take a water taxi over, rent a car and drive down the island, but remember that the water taxi drivers go off duty at sunset, so if don't get back in time, you will be stuck overnight on Eleuthera.

Harbour Island has about 2,000 year round residents and is small only 5 miles long by half a mile wide, if I remember correctly, with some beautiful homes and one of the oldest communities in the carribean (ok yes I know it's technically not in the carribean), It's the original capital of the Bahamas and has a rich history. One of the oldest churchs is the Anglican Church on Dunsmore St., dating back to the early 1700's.

Hope this helps, and if you need any other info please let me know.

travel3773 Nov 18th, 2004 08:30 AM

Thanks so much...that was very helpful! I think we will probably stay on Harbour Island. I just learned that The Landing also has availability during a portion of our stay....this was our first choice originally, but I had ruled it out because they did not have a room for the entire week. How does The Landing compare with Romora Bay in terms of location, food, etc? I am now thinking of splitting up the stay between The Landing and Romora or Coral Sands (Coral Sands would allow us to have a stay directly on the beach).

wantsomesun Nov 18th, 2004 11:23 AM

I would not bother changing hotels on island, the island is just too small and you can walk just about anywhere within a few minutes.

The Landing is quite nice but it is on the leeward side of the island, and although it has great views and an EXCELLENT restaurant, I think if you want peace and quite, I would suggest Romora.

Coral Sands is also VERY nice and you are right it is right on the beach. There are something like 50 rooms now at Coral Sands, with a cute beach bar, and a wide swatch of beach with huts or umbrellas on the sand. If beach is want you want, try Coral Sands, Romora is a bit of a hike to the beach.

Our favorite is Runaway Hill, but I don't know if it is open. The resort was being sold as of the spring, so I don't know if it is opening this season, there was some work that needed to be done.

If you want a laid back quite place right on the beach, and Runaway is open, I'd suggest staying there. Miss Rica is the best chef on the island, and is/was one of the partners at the resort. Try the www.runawayhill.com site for info and pictures and you can call or email for more info. There are only 10 rooms currently but I understand that there are plans for a couple of new villas there.

You will have such a great time on island and please let me know just when you are going to be there so I can make sure you are well taken care of.

johnb Nov 25th, 2004 09:26 AM

I understand that there is 3 hotels on the pink sand bech. Can you tell me their names please?

wantsomesun Nov 25th, 2004 10:11 AM

The hotels over looking the ocean are Pink Sands, Coral Sands, Dunsmore Beach Club and Runaway Hill. You can see more info and pictures at some websites

www.runawayhill.com
www.briland.com
www.myharbourisland.com

Have a wonderful trip.

travel3773 Feb 13th, 2005 09:53 AM

Hi,

I had posted this message several months ago, but we wound up not going around Christmas and hope to go this March instead. I have another question...my husband surfs and we read about Surfer's Beach in Eleuthera. It seems we can rent a place pretty inexpensively in Eleuthera, yet I would like to go into Harbour Island for dinner and read on here that water taxis do not run after sunset. If this is the case, would it make more sense to base ourselves in Harbour Island (this is what I would prefer) and my husband could take a water taxi to Eleuthera? Can he take a surfboard onto the water taxi?

travel3773 Feb 13th, 2005 10:13 AM

Ok, just found out he can rent a surfboard in Eleuthera which makes life easier. If we were to stay in Harbour Island and he were to water taxi to Eleuthera to surf, would it be easy enough for him to get to Surfer's Beach this way? Just trying to figure out where to base outselves.

wantsomesun Feb 13th, 2005 11:01 AM

Stay on Harbour Island, there is not much in the way of amenities on Eleuthera other than piece and quiet. If you decided to rent on Eleuthera you will have to have a car to get around, and alot of time will be spent driving from settlement to settlement. Things are VERY spread out on Eleuthera.

If he wants to surf, he will have to rent a car on Eleuthera and drive down, it's probably more than an hour to 2 hour drive to Surfer's beach on Eleuthera.

Yes the water taxis go off duty at sunset. The water is pretty shallow between HI and Eleuthera so most of the water taxis don't like to do the trip after dark.

If he does do Eleuthera, he needs to time it right to get back to the dock.

There are more restaurants on Harbour Island and 2 dive shops, a bit of shopping, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Have a GREAT time.

kfusto Feb 14th, 2005 07:11 AM

I love Harbour Island for a romantic vacation and have enjoyed my stays at Runaway Hill Club, Coral Sands and Romora Bay, in that order.

The beach is beautiful and the island small and friendly.


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