The Island House
What We Love
- A state-of-the-art fitness program, including an 82-foot lap pool and two squash courts
- The hotel houses the Bahamas’ only Bamford Spa
- A 48-seater theater, showcasing both blockbusters and indie Caribbean flicks
- The hotel’s own wine label
What To Know
- The hotel can arrange for a day trip to a private island in the Exumas
- For the best sunset views, book an Oceanview Room on the second floor
- All 30 rooms here are equipped with Apple TVs
- The artwork on display at Shima, the hotel’s Thai restaurant, is by local talents
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
When Bahamian entrepreneur Lauren Holowesko decided to channel the success of her family’s exclusive Lyford Cay restaurant, Mahogany House, into an intimate 30-room hotel, the mood she went for was “casual luxury.” That’s why guests here can wander the Champalimaud–designed property in flip-flops, the staff is clad in checked shirts and denims, and one of the cottages is tailor-made for those who prefer to shuttle directly from their bed to the pool. But this hideaway isn’t exactly for the sedentary. With a dynamic fitness program that offers everything from an anti-gravity yoga studio to ballet barre classes and a fully-stocked gym, its evident Holowesko and company want to get your endorphins going. Rest assured, there are enticing rewards. The Bamford Spa offers island-inspired treatments (like an aloe and rose quartz remedy that cools overheated skin) , a wholesome coffee bar that churns out tropical breakfasts, and a terrace restaurant, Shima, that showcases fiery Southeast Asian delicacies.
In the Area
The excursions here range from the bold, like shark diving and stingray feeding, to the beautiful: a cultural expedition with Islandz Tours will take you on a tour across several local galleries in historic downtown Nassau, in addition to stops at a few public art murals. For a bit of both, snorkel through an underwater coral reef sculpture garden, also home to “wrecks” that featured in movies like Jaws and Thunderball, in Clifton Heritage National Park, a coastal site that pays tribute to all the communities that make up the Bahamas’ diverse heritage, just a five-minute drive from the hotel.
How to Get There
The Island House is a small place (about 30 rooms?), but it is gorgeously appointed. During our weeklong stay during June 2019, the rooms and facilities seemed brand new. Everything is comfortable, with high-quality everything (from the bedding, the fixtures, the grounds, and the onsite amenities).
The service is impeccable - because this seems like a higher-end place on the island, it seems they've been able to draw from the best available folks to staff the place. The food is fresh and delicious, there is a movie theater onsite that plays first-run films, and the pool is immaculate and the perfect temperature.
There is a nice-sized gym and beautiful spa, both right off of the pool. This was a wonderful location to spend a relaxed week.
So many great things to say about this place. Small and quaint but all the details are perfect. From the onsite theater to the outstanding restaurants......all is perfect. Chef Dan is the best talent in the area. Lap pool and gym are nice but the hotel staff are the true highlight.
I’m just returning from my first trip to the Bahamas and couldn’t be more refreshed. The Island House was even more beautiful in person and the exact type of relaxing experience I was hoping for. The attention to detail in the design of the hotel did not go unnoticed - from the luxurious bathroom to the complimentary bug spray in the room, every need was accounted for. Khambrel & Kent at the front desk were so kind and attentive when giving local recommendations and the entire staff at Shima was amazing.
If you find some time to pop over to the spa, I HIGHLY recommend the Rose Upper Body treatment which includes a back scrub and face massage - Penny was so wonderful that I think I fell asleep at one point I was so relaxed.
Oh which reminds me - they use Bamford Spa products in the room and they smell amazzinnggg. 😍
A quick note that my AC did shut off in the middle of the night two of the nights that I was there, but it’s not really a true Caribbean experience if you don’t lose power at some point or experience a power surge so I’m not deducting stars for that, it was out of their hands and they were pretty swift to address it.
If you go to Shima, here were some of my fave things:
- spicy margarita
- Thai mojito
((They’ll make your drinks togo which was a nice option as well))
- spicy tuna crispy rice
- short ribs
- salmon ponzu sashimi
- chicken & crab salad
I can’t wait to come back soon!!
We had a wonderful overnight stay at the Island House. The room was fantastically well presented with lovely furnishing and the bed was really comfortable. It was also very quiet, especially considering it was an easy $25 taxi ride from the airport. There isn't much to do near the hotel - it is in a quiet part of the island - but the restaurant at the hotel was not too expensive, with good food and generous portions. Didnt have chance to try the cinema, but what a great idea!
Can't wait for our imminent return visit!
A nice secluded hotel on the west side of the island, love the fact that it is away from all the tourist traps. They even have a private cinema on the property! Amazing staff all around but I have to give a special shoutout to Demeko @ Shima. I don't know what he told the chef but I had one of the best burger I've ever had in my life. Definitely coming back for more!