Simple Pleasures: Harbour Island, Bahamas

Simple Pleasures: Harbour Island, Bahamas

first time I touched down at North Eleuthera Airport, I was
picked up by hotelier Ben Simmons who arrived in a slick Axopar
motorboat. Cutting through the turquoise blue waters, we headed for
the secluded The Other Side hotel.

Calling The Other Side a resort feels like an insult. It has
been referred to as “glamping”, “a luxury shack” and the like, but
not one of these monikers come close to conveying the charm of this
beach camp on Eleuthera’s northern coast.

It’s easy to recalibrate from worldly excesses here; there’s no
TV, no distractions, no pointless high-tech toys, no drama. To stay
at The Other Side feels like being on a private island. A handful
of solar-powered beach tents and hillside shacks are interspersed
among swaying palms and an organic vegetable garden. It’s just you,
barefoot walks from grass to sand, and endless relaxation.

From The Other Side Ben took me across the bay to Harbour
Island, known among locals as Briland, where he and his partner
Charlotte Phelan own The Ocean View Club. Days here were spent
embracing Harbour Island life. We enjoyed breakfast at The Landing
restaurant, driving golf carts like pros, devouring lobster
quesadillas at Sip Sip and spending time on Dunmore beach watching
blue-and-white striped parasols dancing in the breeze.

I am not quite sure how to describe my love affair with Harbour
Island. It’s a mix of gratitude, awe and a sensation as if entering
a parallel universe. Somehow you fall into the life of others, and
your heart beats in tandem with the slow pace of Bahamian life.

Since my first visit to Harbour Island I have been back three
times – and each time I return it feels as if I never left. As I
snorkel with turtles and dance the Junkanoo, I realise that this
island has become both something of an addiction and a second home.
Simple pleasures such as riding a golf cart by bougainvillea bushes
or passing beneath coconut-laden palms satisfy the soul. Life is
good in the Bahamas.

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A View From Above: Photographer Gray Malin