A home-like lodging enchants Bahamas visitors.

With a max capacity of 22 guests, Bahama House never feels crowded. And you’ll always find a chair at the freshwater pool.

STORY: Jan Schroder

If I could design a spacious home in the Bahamas for entertaining friends and family, it would have the look, feel and amenities of Bahama House on Harbour Island. There would be a tiki bar, freshwater pool, chef-prepared meals and golf cart transportation for getting around the small island off of Eleuthera.

The picturesque, pastel-colored Bahama House resort has the intimate feel of a private estate with a unique Palm Beach-meets-the- Caribbean-style decor in each of its 11 rooms. The accommodations include two cottages and nine suites, three of which are in the 19th-century main villa. My room in Cottage East included a four-poster bed, shared living room with fully stocked minibar and a covered terrace overlooking the large pool.

Tucked behind a white picket fence in Dunmore Town on Harbour Island, which has 1,500 residents and is only a half-mile wide and 3 ½ miles long, Bahama House is within walking distance of numerous shops and restaurants. The list includes lifestyle guru India Hicks’ The Sugar Mill home goods store; The Landing Restaurant, where I enjoyed the delicious gingered lobster with lemongrass risotto cake; and Sip Sip, a popular oceanfront spot for lunch.

Located in the hotel’s historic main house, the Colebrook Suite offers a view overlooking the bay.

At Bahama House, guests greet the day with the complimentary chef-prepared breakfast (think lobster and avocado eggs Benedict) served alfresco on the main villa’s terrace. An in-house dinner can also be arranged. I recommend the Bahamian feast, consisting of heaping plates of chicken, lobster, peas and rice, and salad. Also included in the room rate is the minibar, all beverages and roundtrip boat and taxi transfers to Harbour Island from North Eleuthera Airport.

Executive chef Niki Lightbourne greets guests with a smile and a yummy breakfast each morning.

The property is part of Eleven Experience, an international collection of lodges, chalets and beach houses focused on experiential travel. Fittingly, guests at Bahama House can choose from a host of activities that include kayaking, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, surfing and yoga or picnicking on the island’s famous pink-sand beaches. We did the latter and enjoyed a lunch of plantain chips, chicken pasta, conch salad and local Kalik beer as we gazed out onto the Atlantic.

We also opted for a boat excursion that included an island tour and snorkeling.

At one stop, we wandered in the shallow water, spotting dozens of shells and starfish. At another, our guides took us to a secluded blue hole where we jumped off a cliff into the sapphire water far below. We also made a quick stop at Pig Island, where you can swim with the wild hogs that spend their days hanging out on the beach.

After returning from our adventure filled day, we were warmly greeted by the bartender, “Dr. Robert,” who stood at the ready to mix a cocktail of our choice. Another option for adult beverages is the fix-it-yourself Rum Bar in the main villa, which features close to 40 types of the island’s most popular spirit. We enjoyed our island drinks and reveled in the memories of our Bahamian journey from the second floor of the main building as we watched the sun lazily dip down below the horizon.

BAHAMA HOUSE

Note that the resort is closed July 31 to November 16 for storm season. Pets and children are allowed, and full property buyouts are available. For reservations and more information, visit elevenexperience.com/bahama-house-harbour-island.