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“Home away from home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Runaway Hill Club

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Runaway Hill Club
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Box EL 27031 | Dunmore Town, Harbour Island   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Harbour Island
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Home away from home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

I've been lucky to stay here several times. There is nothing quite like walking in the door and seeing the view of turquoise and pink of the beach below. It becomes a home away from home and hotel is small enough that i've met life long friends who were also guests. Small casual atmosphere around so much beauty makes it easy to deflate and relax. Really nice people. Best Caesar salad and fish always fresh local and yummy. Also breakfast is addictive.

Room Tip: All pretty good, have been lucky to stay here around 4 times. Favorite room is upstairs one, but not...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

If you want to stay in the best place in Harbour Island, go and stay at the Runaway Hill Club. You will feel like family in the quaint restaurant in side the hotel. The staff is wondeful, friendly and helpful. Paul and Jen Messier are amazing owners and take time to talk with all of their guests to make sure they are enjoying their experiences. The hotel sits directly on the most beautiful beach in the Bahamas- or in the world. We rented the Infinity House adjacent to the hotel for a week, and could not have been happier. The home was cleaned every day, the sand was swept out. The views were amazing, and we could not have had a better trip with our family. We were all SO sad to leave. We have stayed in Harbour Island before, and rented a home and stayed at another pricer hotel on the island. The pricer hotel was not worth the price compared to this gem of a hotel on the island. It has a great pool in front of the hotel, and our children enjoyed swimming when they were tired of swimming in the ocean. There are always fun volleyball games going on, fishing excusions, and more that the Messiers are helpful to set you up with.
We are unable to go this year, but when we return to Harbour Island, we will definitely stay at Runaway Hill.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Messierjen, Manager at Runaway Hill Club, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
The best part of Runaway Hill Inn is the guests. It makes our job so much fun.
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Nassau, New Providence Island
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

We looked forward to our dinner at this pretty resort overlooking the wonderful beach at Harbour Island. What a disappointment. The view is superb and staff very friendly but the food fails.
Overcooked mussels, bland chicken picatta, and even more disappointing a fish curry with almost no sauce! With prices over $40 for a main course one would expect a bit more than this mediocre meal.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Messierjen, Manager at Runaway Hill Club, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
We rarely get a critical review and I honestly do not know how to respond. I would like to think we are 100% all the time but this customer did not like her meal. Our prices are comparable with the other hotels on the island and the pricing reflects the necessity to freight all the food in refrigerated containers from either Nassau or the United States.

Like all out islands, the actual beauty and ambiance of the island is enhanced because it is under developed and hard to reach. What makes it the idyllic vacation spot also increases the cost of doing business.

Our chef typically gets rave reviews and I felt it was important to honor his effort with a response.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

Quaint, clean, fresh, amazing staff. Best vacation ever. Manicured grounds, incredible beaches, I'll never get enough of Briland and Runaway Hill.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belmar, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

From the moment we arrived, Jen Messier and the staff made us feel like the inn was our house, not a hotel! if you are looking for a pretenious, stuffy place, this may not be your spot but if you are looking for laid back graciousness and charm, a view you want to burn into your memory, and a place where you can forget all your stresses, this is definitely your place; whether you are hanging out on the beach or at the pool, there is no better place to chill...need a beer at 1 a.m? just stroll out to the honor bar and grab one- you may end up hanging out with some other guests who feel like doing the same thing. We met several great, fun couples here- in no small part due to the atmosphere. Great food, great service, and a ton of laughs. One of the best vacations we have had in many years!!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford upon Avon
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

OK so this is not the Ritz but part of the charm of this laid back slightly faded hotel is what makes Runaway Hill such a wonderful place to stay.Harbour Island is such a genial but expensive (Correction very expensive ) place to holiday but pays you back in bundles if you accept the casual and total friendly sincerity of the Islanders.The staff at this wonderfully located hotel overlooking one of the best beaches in the world typify the general atmosphere of a small boutique establishment where nothing is to much trouble and where the food is well above average.The small selection of larger hotels on the island although slightly 'grander' fell short in conveying the feel of this 'get away from it all' location.With only 11 rooms the hotel never seemed busy or hurried and the owners Paul and Jennifer Messier were always at hand to help with special requests.This hotel should not be classified in the normal 3,4,5 star catagories but as typical of a clean and friendly Bahamian retreat where the memories will last forever

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

As the tiny sea plane buffeted by geothermal drifts pops and drops and swoops to it's final destination, the lump in the throat grows and so does the anticipation. Returning to Harbour, how sweet! About three years ago I stayed at Runaway Hill Club and had a very nice stay and I'm happy to say I had another very nice stay but that's not to say nothing has changed.

First off Chef Kent is gone. Those of you who provided earlier reviews undoubtedly know what a nice touch Chef Kent had. In his place Chef Luc, in my opinion not as exciting. The food is still very nice and the Grouper Curry spot on but like the big Steak, the food had a mild repetitive feel to it: almost like really good Cruise Ship cooking. Still spot on though, executed perfectly and the deserts are really good; nice straight up cheesecake and a chocolate fondant that worked but a bit passionless. I'm a food geek on these trips so keep that in mind.

Runaway has the best breakfast on the island... pancakes with real maple syrup, tons of bacon when you ask for a rasher, eggs done jut right. AND Runaway has the best hamburger on the Island for lunch... fresh meat grilled to perfection on home fresh bread and huge... So I'm madly appreciative of these positives... Besides, for dinner on Harbour Island there are many choices.

A bigger issue is the fact that Ryan the Bartender is gone. The new bartender is nice enough and makes a decent drink but compared to Ryan he is extremely sedate. If you read through all the old reviews of Runaway you'll read shout out after shout out to Ryan for making so and so's trip so special. When I met Ryan the first time I couldn't believe what an open and welcoming person he was and in a non want something sort of way. Over the years it's easy to become too comfortable in a situation and no doubt Ryan pushed the limits of easy going in the eyes of the owners; it's a family at Runaway Hill and Ryan will always be a part of the family, the memories of Runaway. There is every chance in the future that the two will be rejoined for there is no man I know who so truly loves meeting people and introducing them to his home. For now Ryan is buying a fishing boat and he can be found easily on island. Check Mae Ruby's place, Ryan's aunt.

This trip I stayed in one of the separate cottages at Runaway rather than tucked into the main house and what a nice set up. Out one sliding door the morning beckons over the water and out the back later the sun sets. Bathroom is big. I read adventurefamilies review and think some people just don't take well to laid back; the greeting at Runaway has always been ' What are you doing here? Go to the beach and we'll figure out where to put your bags later! '

Jenn Messier is just a super lady and we'll always take care of you, this hotel has guests that have been returning constantly for twenty and thirty years! Reading the guest book is like reading the Titanic log.

There is a beautiful tension of kid friendly / not kid friendly at Runaway... those of us with a child who still like small boutique hotels and wouldn't ever be caught dead at Atlantis are so lucky hotels exist like Runaway... that some family of 3 kids might of tore through there and then written a bad review just hurts the progression.

A small hotel is as good as it's guests for surely you will meet them. The first time I went to Runaway it was a silver bearded southern rich guy, who was a Public radio DJ in Malfa Texas with his pretty wife and kids... this time my boy hooked up with another 8 year old and made what I hope will be a real friendship. My wife and I ate with his parents twice, these are the moments that make a great vacation...

Back to the food. It used to be Rock House & The Landing went back N' forth as best place to eat on island, now the winner is clearly Rock House. It ain't cheap but man they deliver the goods from beginning to end. You simply can't go wrong with the Rock House menu. For Lunch it's always been about SIP SIP and nothing has changed in that regard... The people watching at Sip Sip is a sport onto itself. Jerk Pork burger anyone? Fresh Ginger Margarita? Yea that works at 12:30 make it two... Tucked into Sip Sip is a little shopping area that has some of the better goods on the island. You'll want to check that out. Avery's is the best local food experience, breakfast is 'The Caribbean Sandwich ' which used every condiment under the sun... it' beyond good and recommended as a hangover cure. The ' Hole In The Wall ' that's the other one. Coffee is good here and help yourself. Dinner can be had cheap at Avery's and after dining out a few night on Harbour you'll appreciate that! Chicken pea's n rice.

Driving around in the golf carts is part of the Harbour Island experience, it's really fun and at those speeds almost impossible to get hurt. One can drink hard on Harbour.

From New York City it is but 3 hrs direct to Nassau and then another thirty or so by sea plane to Harbour Island. One leaves NY at 8:30 in the morning and with some luck is on the beach by 2:00 in the afternoon.. that day, that first travel day becomes your base tan day! You'll never find a better place to stay than Runaway Hill Club. It's like having your own room on standby in the Caribbean, it's a feeling of home not visiting. I shall return! -largeman

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Runaway Hill Club

Address: Box EL 27031 | Dunmore Town, Harbour Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Harbour Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Harbour Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beach front 11 room Inn and four bedroom beach house located on the pink sand beach of Harbour Island. Beachside pool and restaurant nestled on 13 tropical acres. A variety of rooms including a one bedroom owners cottage makes this the perfect location for intimate weddings, birthday celebrations or family reunions. Our Chef, Krishna Higgs, has a wonderful menu which features daily local fresh fish options. The Four Bedroom Infinity House has sliding glass doors in each bedroom and endless deck. Newly renovated it offers everything you could wish for in a rental home and offers all the amenities of a hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Runaway Hill Club Hotel Harbour Island
Runaway Hill Club Bahamas/Harbour Island

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