Last week I attended the Out Island Promotion Board meeting, a round table discussion between member hotels and leaders in aviation. Inspiring as always, I look to this meeting as a time to jot-down travel trends, note just-introduced experiences to the tourism industry and network with hoteliers stretching from Acklins to Grand Bahama Island, all of whom are scattered throughout the archipelago that makes up the 700 islands of The Bahamas. Naturally I am struck with inspiration to take flight, leave New Providence – my capital outpost – and island hop. Next year already holds the promise of experiences that will forever be ingrained in my memory, especially as my own Island “I Do” wedding takes place in April; however, I can’t help but plan out-island travel that really begs the question, whenever will I buy my wedding dress or go on your honeymoon? Here are my 14 highly anticipated travel experiences of 2014.
EAT + PLAY + STAY
An Eco-Resort accessible only by boat, where quaint cottages dot rope lined pathways. On the island itinerary: complimentary paddle boarding and beach yoga, neither of course with the resort’s famous Saltwater Margarita in hand, but both most certainly followed by a much-deserved tuck in to the island burger.
EAT + PLAY + STAY
A honeymoon contender. On the itinerary: pamper session in the only over-water spa in The Bahamas, kayaking through mangroves, and dinner for two on the beach with freshly caught fish dominating our plates.
Hatchet Bay Cave
Forever on the Experience List but never am I appropriately dressed. Sounds familiar to my first introduction to nearby Queen’s Bath. Except for this experience I’ll need to arrive with a flashlight in hand and mind the bats along the way.
STAY The Gregory Town ‘Dome’
The place I long for when I crave a simpler way of life. Although I have yet to step foot in this unique solar-powered vacation rental located on a 150 feet hillock overlooking Surfer’s Beach – one of Eleuthera’s finest stretches of sand. The theme of the weekend, from sea and farm to table. The fish will be freshly caught, the lobster just speared, and the vegetables grown in the rich peculiar red soil that attracted the colonial merchants who exported pineapples as far as England in the 19th century. Although these pineapples and vegetables of course will be purchased from the Island Farm.
Exuma Water Sports Waverunner Tour
I regularly recount the thrill of kissing the footprint-free beaches of the Exumas on the 007 Tour. If you are familiar with the many passageways of conflicting depths that define the Exuma shallows than you understand the reason, not to mention the need for a salty sea dog at the helm. So imagine experiencing the baja mar of The Bahamas on a wave runner, thumb pressed hard on the throttle, darting in and out of honeycomb limestone with far less anxiety over skimming a reef or becoming victim to a sand back.
A new-to-the-island boutique hotel. Here the naked eye cannot easily distinguish where the infinity pool begins and ends as it melds seamlessly with the turquoise sea. I plan to lounge with stereotypical cocktail in hand, of fruity nature, on their hammock bed propelled just above the ocean – because where else in The Bahamas can I do such?
EATFlying Fish Modern Seafood
A place that would surely be my official go-to spot if I called this island home. Executive Chef and owner, Tim Tibbitts, serves up beautifully plated dishes of fresh sustainable seafood, not to mention a 64-degree-75-minute egg at brunch. No such brunch exists anywhere else in the Bahamas, at least that I am aware of.
STAY + PLAY
Gems at Paradise
At this Bahamian gem I’ll be greeted by wild flamingoes and encouraged to take one of the resort’s complimentary kayaks to nearby Salt Cay to collect raw sea salt.
Tell me, is there a Bahama island experience you are looking forward to in 2014?
P.S. Photo Credits
Lubbers’ Landing – left + right | Andros – left + right | Hatchet Bay Cave – here | Eleuthera Dome – right | Frangipani Italian Restaurant – Property of The 700 Experience | Exuma Water Sports – here | Turquoise Cay – here | Flying Fish Modern Seafood – here | Gems At Paradise – left + right
P.P.S. Map Via Pinterest