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
- 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
We chose the Island House specifically because it is a small hotel close to the airport. We were only there for a total of 15 hours, but made the most of it. We swam in the beautiful lap pool and enjoyed a movie at the onsite theater. We would definitely choose this hotel again when traveling to Nassau. I don't feel like I can give an excellent rating only because of our short stay.
Such a treat to find this hotel. Quiet, elegant with a fab cinema, gym, yoga studio and pool. Rooms are spacious and quiet, bathrooms are enormous and superbly appointed. Staff laid back and friendly. Food at Shima is fabulous. Location is excellent if you prefer a more sophisticated scene and don't want to be in the centre of Nassau.
If looking for a lovely hotel away from the Baha Mar/Atlantis type of mega resort, you will be so happy to find the Island House!
We were part of a group that was staying at the hotel for a two day event, and actually stayed at the Island House for 5 in total. We were in room 30, a suite adjacent to the pool. It had a fantastic lanai with table seating and floating seat that set the tone for the room. Inside we were pleasantly surprised with beautiful tiles, interesting artwork, calm colors, an outdoor shower, and all was well appointed with high quality linens and amenities.
The hotel has a great Thai restaurant and the bartenders at the upstairs bar were great! Special shoutout to Willis and his team as they shared some great Bahamian language phrases with us and really made us feel at home. They Mahogany House was nice too for dining, but I really thought the food at the Thai was a better choice. Plus the 360 degree mural in that restaurant was Instagram worthy as it was fabulous!
A couple of things to note: there is a great wine and snack bodega in front of the Mahogany House with a super selection of wines and libations to take away. But there is no wine opener in the room, nor is there a refrigerator if you need to keep cool. The hotel was hesitant to loan out a wine opener so we were a little bummed that we had to go through hoops just to enjoy a glass of wine on out lanai.
The hotel pretty much dropped the ball on our check-out and transfer to the airport. Not a lot of friendly helpfulness at the front desk.
Really loved the quality of fresh foods available at the breakfast and lunch salad bar that was in the coffee shop. I loved the Heath pottery dishware and the vibe, but the service was just OK. Don't have high expectations of a well operated machine.
Did not go to the theater but we got a peek inside and it looks like a great thing to do, especially if it is hot outside.
All in all, the Island House will be my go to for accomodations when I come back to Nassau. Will make sure to pack a wine opener though!
The Island House has a beautiful, comfortable air-conditioned cinema with about 20 - 40 seats. Choose from a sofa for two, a lounger with ottoman or a beanbag. Quality snack bar, including wine. Setting is intimate and the best way to see a movie in The Bahamas! Highly recommend it. AND there is parking and great restaurants on the property.
Still lovely in many ways, but breakfast now is semi self service with the fruit salad served in a plastic cup. Help yourself to coffee etc. More airline than luxury hotel. Prices still the same about $90 for 4.
As a regular it’s disappointing but I guess the tourists will keep coming.