Harbour Island Trip Report


Jul 12th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Harbour Island Trip Report

My husband and I just returned from 9 days on Harbour Island. The pink sand beaches are stunning and the food, while very good, is also very expensive. And the weather was hot.

We dined at:
Harbour Lounge. Nice casual. Men in nice shorts or slacks. Food was good. Prices were around $25-35 for entree. Reservations not necessary unless holiday weekend.

Rock House. Dressy casual. Men in nice slacks and women in summer dresses. Very snobbish atmosphere but food is excellent. Also, expensive. Dinner with $89 bottle of wine (cheaper bottles)was $260. View of harbour or around the stylish pool setting.
Reservations necessary.

The Landings. Dressy Casual. Great bar. Very nice host, Toby. Food was excellent. Same price range as Rock House. $15-20 appetizers and $25-40 for entrees. Drinks are expensive as well. Reservations suggested -- especially during holidays.

Angela's Starfish. VERY casual. Fried everything. Best conch burger I ever had. Got it to go and sat on a pier and watched the sun set and then the high school band was practicing for their independence day parade. Best night we had there. We had 2 sandwiches, fritters and 2 sodas and was $23.

Ma Ruby's. Very casual. Had the "Cheeseburger in Paradise". Delicious. Only $6!! One of the cheaper meals on the island.

Pink Sands Blue Bar. Lunch. Beautiful setting -- on the beach. Food good but not great. Lunch with 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 2 daiquiris and water was $90. Cover-ups are fine. Dinner is served by the main building and it is dressy casual (pants, etc)

Sip Sip. On the beach. Very expensive casual lunch spot. Most expensive drinks on the island. $13 for a 4oz Mango Margharita. 2 entrees 3 drinks and 1 dessert was $89. Cover-ups and shorts. Cute spot but that was really expensive for a curried chicken salad lunch. I felt like we were missing the proverbial "kiss".

We stayed at Runaway Hill. Simple rooms. Fantastick location on the beach away from the big crowds at Pink Sands. I don't think we would go back again. Too much was going on with the owners selling the place and they weren't there for their guests. Carol left after a couple of days to get away after the negotiations and we were left with Roger, whom I'm sure 20 years ago was very nice, but he was tired and grumpy and was actually a poor host. Yelling at people about the honor bar and not wanting to make dinner reservations for other restaurants -- saying "he wasn't worried about them. What's wrong with eating here tonight!" The incident with the honor bar almost pushed us to leave early. Someone had been drinking a wine that was bottle only and was drinking it by the glass and not writing it down and when I went to get my opened bottle of wine and found someone else had emptied my wine he blew up at us and started slaming things around. We were VERY uncomfortable. He needs to get out of the business. I know those of you who are loyal customers from years past are surprised. We were asked by several locals about how they were treating us there and ALL said the same -- he needs to retire. There are more stories but I've made my point. I hope the new owner doesn't change the property but brings in someone that hasn't lost their zest for hospitality.
Drinks and cokes are expensive -- $3 for a diet coke. And $15 for a tuna sandwich -- no chips and anything extra.

Highlights. Beach. Charted airplane for an air tour of Exumas. That was THE most beautiful chain of cays and islands I have ever seen. Lunch on Staniel Cay.

Took a boat tour for a few hours and saw Spanish Wells, Preacher's Cove and lots of private beaches.

Great little town. Lots of money there. Serious money. And land is going quickly and at high prices that are rising daily as we were told by a real estate agent.

Loved getting around on the golf carts.

BeachGirl247 is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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I'm glad you had a nice time on island. It certainly is beautiful there, even though it is hot this time of year.

I had not heard Runaway was for sale, but it does not surprise me. Carol and Roger are really busy all year round and don't get to take much vacation until Runaway is closed in September through the begining of November, then it's back to being hosts full time for another season.

Thanks for the nice trip report.
wantsomesun is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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BeachGirl: Thank you for that report. We're going there in October (staying at Pink Sands). I love the idea of an air tour of Exumas. May I ask what company you used? Was it a half a day tour or longer? We are unfortunately not staying as long as you (just for a long weekend) so we don't want to plan a lot of excursions (maybe just one). Thanks.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 08:24 PM
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The pilot is Rosemary "Rosie" Mitchell, (242)333-2582. She was referred to us by the guys at the airport. She's known by many in the Bahamas. She grew up in the Exumas and has over 5,000 hours in a sea plane alone. She flew us in a single engine Cessna 206 Stationair (not a seaplane unfortunately -- my husband loves them--he's a pilot too and I'm a student pilot). She took us out when we wanted and it was all planned around what we wanted to do and see. She does this on the side so not an 8-5 job for her.
What made it so nice was her knowledge of all the area -- where to see sharks, where to see turtles and the pink iguanas.

I don't remember what her hourly rate was but we left at 11:30ish and returned at 3 something which included a stop for lunch for an hour and it was $550. (Fuel alone is about $180/hour.) For what we experienced we would gladly pay that again. It was the best part of our trip. Take your best camera -- the scenery looks like its from the best of National Geographic.

Have a great trip. Its a fun place to visit.
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Jul 13th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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Thank you BeachGirl.
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