“We have three guys who have learned how to sneak up on the bonefish and get them to come onto the lures, so you really have an experience,” says Antoine Brown, Bahama House’s general manager and resident cigar aficionado. He’s talking about the feisty game fish that lurk among the mangrove trees in the nearby inlets, accounting for one of the hotel’s main attractions. But it’s not the only experience at Bahama House on historic Harbour Island.
Add to that a slew of such watersports as Jet Skiing, wake boarding, tubing, scuba, snorkeling and sailing Hobie Cats, plus the pool. Less adventurous visitors can simply take a ride on the 35-foot Scorpion power boat that speeds along the Grand Bahama Bank to a strip of white sand that emerges on the horizon like a mirage. The huge sandbar is perfect for leisurely strolls.
The Bahama House is the sole tropical outpost in the Eleven Experience vacation portfolio. Eleven’s properties are distinguished by a taste for adventure, hence the name, which is a wink at the famous Spinal Tap quote, “These go to 11.” An experience manager organizes it all for you—from lining up your bonefishing guide or boat tour to a picnic on Bahama House’s pristine stretch of private pink sand beach. End the day with a Goombay Smash (a mélange of fruit juice and various rums) on the upstairs 1800 deck or at the poolside bar.
While Eleven’s accomodations are often geared for full-property buyouts, you can book individual rooms here starting from $410 or gather up to 22 friends and family for a private buyout starting at $8,190 a night. The 11 rooms and suites are housed in a compound at the center of town, just a short walk from the ferry dock.
A cozy rum bar offers tastings, and Brown has developed a pairing program of rums and cigars from the humidor. “People think of cigars and Cognacs, but rum, typically made with sugar cane, enhances the flavor of a cigar,” he says.