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“Amazing Small Boutique Hotel in Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rock House

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Rock House
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Corner of Hill and Bay Street, EL-27234, Harbour Island   |  
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Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Harbour Island
Atlanta, GA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Amazing Small Boutique Hotel in Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

This is an absolutely beautiful property on a one-of-a kind tropical island. We stayed in the Reef Room, which is large and comfortable and features a separate bedroom, living room, and walk in closet. Bedding, linens, and towels were 5-star quality. Housekeeping service twice a day was impeccable. Generally, the level of service exceeds any property including Ritz Carlton and others known for their service excellence. The owner, Don Purdy, is a highly-involved owner/manager. He is warm and goes out of his way to get to know each guest. The executive chef, Jenny, learns each guest's culinary preferences and prepares some of the absolute best cuisine on this island which is already full of amazing chefs. Daytime staff members Marva and Flo greet each guest by name each morning and have their breakfast of choice down by Day 2. General Manager Eric has an amazing memory of each guest's name, tastes, and special requests. My husband's single off-hand comment that he wanted a piece of Jenny's key lime pie resulted in Eric appearing at our room at 10:30pm to leave a piece of pie and a nice note for us. He also "rescued" us from the second half of our vacation when we moved to another resort and found it not to be as it was marketed (heavily!). One call to Eric and we were promptly back at the Rock House in our original room with a welcoming dinner at the best table in the house reserved for us. The remaining four days were as magical as the first thanks to the entire staff, especially Don, Eric, Flo, and Marva. If you are reading this review and are thinking about a stay at the Rock House, don't hesitate, book it. This hotel is really a home away from home.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Daniela & John,
Thank you for staying with us at Rock House and taking the time to write such a great review. I hope you had a great summer. We are back open in Harbour Island and sharing our reviews with our entire team. We appreciate the kind comments and hope you visit us again sometime soon for another piece of late night key lime pie, Happy Thanksgiving from the Rock House Team.
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218 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Pomona, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

My wife and I recently learned of the Rock House from one of her co-workers. Frankly neither of us had even heard of Harbor Island before this vacation. I am almost reluctant to write this review since I don't want this best kept secret to get out, but this vacation was truly paradise.

The hotel was extraordinary and exceeded every one of our expectations, and believe you me we are extremely picky New Yorkers! The staff was courteous and attentive and went above and beyond to ensure the success of our vacation. We no longer consider Don, Eric, Marva and Flo the Rock House personnel, but rather they are now our friends! The food was as good as, if not better, than some of the finest restaurants I have eaten at in New York and throughout the world. Our room as immaculate and every courtesy was provided even before we asked. And of course there is no beating the Pink Sands beach and the aqua marine waters of the Bahamas! Wow is the only word I can use to describe the experience.

The people on the island were just as friendly and my wife and I marveled at how often complete strangers waved hello or simply smiled and said "good day" without prompting; certainly not the streets of NYC.

Every aspect of this trip was impeccable and I would rate it 5 stars+ if I could. We will certainly be back and had a hard time leaving the island and our new found friends! So...stay away from my new favorite destination so I will still be able to make reservations in the future! :)

Room Tip: Not a bad room in the place, although some are larger than others.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Hi Robert,
Thank you for staying with us at Rock House! We are delighted your first Trip Advisor review was a positive one and we appreciate you took the time to provide such lovely comments. We will ensure to share them with our entire team. We have just opened for the season and hope to see you again hopefully sometime soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your from all of us at Rock House.
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Weatherford
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

Let me say first, we started our vacation by being shafted from Southern Air. I'm not going to waste time here on raking them over the coals. I'll do that on another TripAdvisor report. But DON'T USE THEM IF YOU CAN AVOID IT!
So Erica, set me up with a charter so we could get to our lovely hotel the night we were suppose to. She didn't have to help me, but she called me back several times and proceeded to arrange everything without hesitation.
First of all Eric and Don the owners of the hotel were always around having first hand interaction with all facets of the property. We were introduced to Eric as we arrived, he showed us our room, then later at dinner Don was there at the dining room. Making themselves present and an active part of the operations is a great part of what makes this facility a success.
We stayed in the main house, first room, The Palm room. It's tight, no where to lay your bags out. Still, we loved it. We have a great view of the ocean and are right by the government dock. The hotel has been tastefully and eloquently decorated around the local Bahama flair. Bathrooms have high end amenities as well as the refrig mini bar
Beautiful courtyard area and lovely pool area. Very quaint and well maintained.On one side of the stairway going up to the hotel there are a couple of trees that are growing out of the side of the wall. The aerial roots coming down wall are amazing. The tree has gown a 'root over rock' style of growth that is breathtaking. All I think about when I see it is how old it must be. Beautiful.
One of the best things about this hotel is it has the BEST restaurant on the island, maybe all the Bahama islands. Incredibly delicious fish and daily catches. Great selection of items on both appetizers and main courses. Just perfect.
The staff, Eric and Don are all willing to do anything they can to make your stay peaceful, smooth and relaxing.
Everything on this island is very expensive, but I have come to realize if you worry about $$ while on vacation it will ruin your entire time. So, yes it is expensive. It is also one of the best places I've ever stayed.
Thanks Eric, Don and The Rock House staff.

Room Tip: The Palm room is located in the main house so it can get pretty noisy at supper time and stays that...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Thank you for staying with us at Rock House and taking the time to provide your feedback. We are delighted you enjoyed your experience and will ensure to share with our entire team. We hope you visit us again sometime soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us at Rock House!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

We've just returned from a belated anniversary trip to Harbour Island where we stayed at the Rock House. Without a doubt, this is the best service we've ever received at any hotel we've ever stayed with (they even beat The Ritz Carlton's standards) From the moment we arrived every single staff member was friendly, happy, and willing to do whatever they could to make us comfortable. It is THE BEST :)
I'll back up here to tell you more details of the trip. We flew into N. Eleuthera from Miami on American. The airport is tiny, so clearing customs and immigration takes less than 10 minutes, and that's with me having to fill out an immigration card (one per person here, not per family). There are plenty of taxi drivers waiting to take you to the dock (US$5/pp)-about a 5 minute ride. At the dock, you'll board a boat that will take you another 5 minute ride across to Harbour Island (US$7/pp). If you've got a load of luggage, get another taxi, otherwise, walk to the street from the dock, take a right, and go up the first large set on rounded (steep) stairs you see. The Rock House is right there - really no need for a taxi.
We stayed in the Parrot Room, which was towards the back of the property. The room was very clean, the closet was actually a walk in with a dresser, safe, and shelves, plus mini-fridge. The bathroom was tiled with a seamless glass shower panel (no bathtub, only shower) and very large. The bed was very comfortable and made up with sheets on top of the duvet, which I really like (because I know it's clean!) The wifi was dependable throughout the property, and the 2 internet phones in the business center was a thoughtful touch (free calls anywhere) - worked out very well for my husband who had some work to do while we were there.
The bath products are Aveda which always smell lovely. There is an umbrella and flashlight in the room, along with a cooler to take to the beach with you. By the front desk, there's a crate full of beach bags stocked with chair covers, towels, and bottles of water. They've really thought of everything!
The beach is a short walk (5 minutes!) from the hotel where they've got chairs and sun umbrellas set up for Rock House guests. The sand is truly pink, and the water is clear blue - heaven :)
Most folks get around the island via golf cart. We rented one on our last day (it was only a 4 day trip, not long enough!) to tootle around the island and do some shopping. I would suggest renting one for your entire stay if you're staying longer than 3-4 days so you can explore and go out to different restaurants.
Back at the hotel, you'd find no reason to eat anywhere else. We had 2 dinners on campus and they were both delicious. My only complaint is that the portions were enormous! We could've easily split an entree. My husband had a terrific steak on night, I had the pork tenderloin (I'm getting embarrassed to keep saying "the best", but it really was the best tenderloin I've ever had).
They do a mean pina colada at the bar too, it's, well, you know, "the best". ;)
The other guests were also charming. The friendly vibe that permeates the entire staff spills over to the guests as well, I don't think anyone could have a bad day if they tried, even in the rain :)
We ate at a few other places on the island, namely: Sip Sips (lunch), The Landing (dinner). I'll review those separately.
Normally, we don't repeat holidays since there is a great big world to see, but this place has made it's mark on us in 3 short nights and I can say with confidence that we will be back.
Thanks to all of the staff at the Rock House for making our visit so wonderful! - Ryan and Julianne

Room Tip: There doesn't seem to be a bad room at all!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, July 25, 2014
Hello Ryan and Julianne

Thank you very much for your comprehensive and detail review. It is guest like you that help thousands of other travelers to help with their vacation decisions. I am amazed with all the details you remember from your trip.

But the most important fact is that we have not disappointed YOU with your decision to stay with us at the Rock House. I saw you have traveled pretty much around the world couple times. I myself love to travel and love to check what other people say about my future destinations. After seeing all the amazing places you have already been to, and all the detail reviews, we feel that much more honored that you are considering a repeat at the Rock House :)

Thank you very much

Happy traveling

Eric Franz
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

I was recently reading reviews for an upcoming trip to Rome and fell in love with one hotel about which a guest wrote, "if you're able to stay here, stay here." If you're visiting the Bahamas, and able to stay in Harbour Island, do it. And if you're able to stay at Rock House, you have my emphatic endorsement; absolutely stay at Rock House. You'll be welcomed by a friendly and hospitable staff that prides itself on seamlessly integrating local flavor with luxurious accommodations that make your stay exceed all reasonable expectations. There is no area in which you're left saying, "this was good, but..." Everything is executed meticulously, which is important for a destination. Dining is fresh and creative, in a lovely and intimate atmosphere, overlooking the bay. The guest rooms are clean, comfortable, and well-maintained. Beach bags are prepared daily, well-stocked, and easily accessible. I came to Rock House because I wanted to bring a loved one to a special place and I couldn't have made a better choice. Leaving was more bitter than sweet.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Hi Samantha,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review for Rock House. Hope you visit us again sometime soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us at Rock House.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

The team at the Rock House could not have been either friendlier or more accommodating! My wife is an early morning coffee drinker. When realizing her first cup would be later than norm if waiting until the restaurant opened, they delivered a coffee maker with high quality Italian coffee within five minutes of asking. This is just one example. Any detail which could make our stay more enjoyable was done. The amenities at the Rock House are wonderful, however the staff is the real gem!

Room Tip: Our room was directly next to the bar (Pineapple Room). It would get fairly noisy from 9-11 at night...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

The food is incredible, however the ambiance is something to write about. I have been here multiple times, and every time I want to pinch myself to see if it is all real. The staff is very friendly. The bar area and poolside cabana dining are breathtaking. One of my favorite places for ambiance. I always look forward to going back. The entire island is special, but this is a must for a romantic dinner if you are traveling with a special someone. At the very least - you must visit for a cocktail.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Eric F, General Manager at Rock House, responded to this review, July 25, 2014
Hello Mandy
Thank you for your review and visiting our dream:)
We are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed your time at the Rock House.
Looking forward to see you back.
Eric
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rock House

Address: Corner of Hill and Bay Street, EL-27234, Harbour Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Harbour Island
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Harbour Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rock House is a luxury 10 room boutique hotel on Harbour Island, Bahamas. Our fine dining restaurant has one of the best sunset views of the bay. Personal service and unmatched attention to every detail.Rock House has been a vibrant and colourful feature of the Harbour Island landscape since the early 1940's. Originally a private home, then a Bed and Breakfast and for many years a rental property, Rock House today has evolved to become the standard for elegance, island sophistication and superior service. Fodor's Choice, Condé Nast, Travel & Leisure and Tripadvisor award winner.In July 2002, Rock House caught the interest of the well-known South Florida builder J. Wallace Tutt III. Tutt and business partner Don Purdy, who had already created the successful Hotel Impala in South Beach and worked on commissions for Cher and the late Gianni Versace, had a vision of transforming the property into a luxury boutique hotel. The bar and dining experience at Rock House warrant special and distinct mention offering fine dining under the stars on the pool patio, at our select Chef's Table or on the Terrace overlooking the bay - you can be assured of the perfect cocktail, a superb wine list and delectable menu choices, all served by an attentive yet unobtrusive staff. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rock House Hotel Harbour Island
Rock Hotel Harbor Island
Rock House Bahamas/Harbour Island

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