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“One of our best vacations ever”

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Laughing Bird Apartments
Reviewed March 27, 2009

My husband and I had a fantastic time at Jean's Laughing Bird Apartments - most all the people were friendly, but she went out of her way to make us feel as if we were friends staying at her home. A most gracious hostess. Our accommodations were wonderful, she had placed fresh fruit and flowers on the table for us and we overlooked a most beautiful garden that wound out to the beach. We spent (not nearly enough) time shelling and gathering sea glass, enjoying the view from our porch and occasionally feeding two of the local pups that adopted us. My husband had stayed with she and her husband the year before and knew it would be a special escape for us - he could not have chosen better. To those that are looking to be waited on hand and foot and want the silver spoon service, they are better off going elsewhere and not spoiling the prestine island. Obviously the woman with the nasty comments had not done enough research and should probably stay home and not inflict her ill humor on others. We love Eleuthera, Laughing Bird cottages and the island for what it is and would not change a thing! Looking forward to coming back at the end of the year!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank blessedb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 - 30 of 41 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2009

This was the most disgusting place I've ever stayed at! Don't stay here!

Our experience with Laughing Bird was terrible right from the start. We told the owner that we would be arriving around 10pm (via the ferry from Nassau) and she said that it would be fine. When we arrived in Governor's Harbour and found the place, there was no one there to let us in! Luckily there was a very nice woman that we met on the street that offered to call the owner with her cell phone to let us into our room. We couldn't find a single pay phone that worked (and we tried at least 3) in all of Governor's Harbour. After a long day of traveling, we had to wait at least 20 minutes before the owner finally arrived to give us a key. All I wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed, but the "check in" process took another 20 minutes because of this woman's rambling on. Unfortunately it was mandatory to pre-pay for both nights (at $110 per night), so we gave her the money and then tried to get settled into our room. Within the first 15 minutes or so we noticed a large dead bug in the hallway. It was late by then (after 11pm), so we didn't complain (we wouldn't have had a way to get in touch with the owner anyway!). By the next day, my husband discovered a HUGE cockroach in the bathroom. We managed to reach her to tell her that we wanted to check out early (and not stay the second night), but she refused to give us any of our money back. This place was so gross, we just couldn't stay another night, so we packed up and left (even though we lost out on the $110 we spent for the second night).

The other very disgusting things that we noticed were:
-terrible stench in the washroom (smelled like something was rotting?)
-many large stains on the sheets
-the shower was dirty (I had to wear my flip-flops in the shower, and I threw them in the garbage afterward because I was so grossed out!)

This place is very dingy!

Other annoyances:
-the large bed is just 2 single beds pushed together
-there was no hot water for my shower in the morning

I cannot believe that the other reviewers didn't seem to care about "cockroaches the size of a dog"...still giving this place a 5 out of 5! (I wish I had seen that review before booking this place.) I have stayed in many budget places, including hostels, and I have never been SO GROSSED OUT by a place in my life! We stayed at a hostel a few days later (on Eleuthera) for $25 per night that was far cleaner than this place. The Laughing Bird is a total rip-off!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jocelynrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2008

I have recently returned from a week at the Laughing Bird Apartments, and I just wanted to let you know how wonderful a place it was. From the start, the managers were very friendly, and made sure that our every need was taken care of. We were in a strange country, and they went out of their way to make us feel at ease and to show us where the local stores and entertainments were.

The grounds were the next attraction and they were carefully tended and very beautiful, with swaying palms and many flowers, but they were only a backdrop for the gorgeous aquamarine sea, just across from the Laughing Bird property.

The turquiose sea beats upon a narrow golden shelling beach that runs for more than a mile along the Laughing Bird property and is broken only by the Laughing Bird cabana and some coral rock at the ends. Also, the apartments were very clean and well tended, with full kitchens and stoves and cutlery with helpful staff always on call. In short, if you want to spend your vacation in Paradise, you can't do any better than Laughing Bird Apartments in Eleuthera, Bahamas

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank pbahamas007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

I was in Eleuthera for 10 days in November working on a house that my husband and I are renovating for our winter home. This was my first time on island by myself so there was no question that I would stay with Jean at the Laughing Bird. The apartments are always clean and functional, I always felt safe coming in after dark or leaving early in the morning. We have stayed at the Laughing Bird many times in the past while on vacation or while shopping for real estate. The gardens are beautiful and being in town is very convenient. A rental car is very useful any time you are on Eleuthera as the island is 110 miles long and there is much to explore. However, if you do not wish to rent a car, staying in Governor's Harbor is a must--you can walk to restaurants, grocery stores,beaches...The people of Eleuthera are charming and Jean is at the top of that list! I highly recommend this little inn.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled solo
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2  Thank lcaldwell45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2007

The other reviews are accurate. My girlfriend and I (mid-20s) stayed four nights at Laughing Bird in Eleuthera and had a mixed stay but an excellent vacation. Your rental decision should depend on what you value. Laughing Bird is great for budget-conscious travellers preferring immediate access to town and water. But this access comes at the expense of seclusion and tranquility.

In Governor's Harbour, you have a choice between Laughing Bird, Duck Inn and Cigatoo Quality Inn for low-cost accomodations near town. Laughing Bird's biggest asset is that it has a small, sandy-enough, west-facing beach across the "street" from it's backyard, which was perfect for capping a day off with a drink in front of the sunset and a swim. No, it is not literally beachfront, as few places are on the island due to hurricane threats. It's not a destination beach anyway, but rather is like a strip of sand and shells along a cay that resembles a lake. I still preferred it to a swimming pool (Cigatoo) or a deck view of water (Duck Inn.)

Laughing Bird also was very much in the town, unlike Cigatoo. This granted us walks under five minutes for groceries, liquor and the rest. The drawback of this proximity was that we were more privy to the noises of construction work, barking dogs, and local roosters acting as alarm clocks. I imagine Duck Inn, also is in town, was equally exposed to these noises, but at least it was surrounded by a fence that I imagine kept the roosters away.

The more pricey Pineapple Fields and The Cove are secluded resorts on the Atlantic side of the island. They have more luxurious rooms and easy walking access to the real beaches, but if you're a budget-conscious and not likely to spend much time during the day in your room anyway, I'd recommend staying somewhere closer to town and using the savings to rent a car. The luxury places are not beachfront anyway, and a mile drive is hardly a burden for a half-day activity.

I also recommend staying in Governor's Harbour among points north and south because in addition to its access to the exceptional Club Med Beach, the town was charming and was in a great central location for daytrips. We easily fit in a one day trip to Harbour Island and Pink Sands Beach. (Both Club Med and Pink Sands are excellent, but Pink Sands fit the nature of the island in that it was more "developed" with more people, color-coded beach chairs for the hotels, and hotel employees walking the beach taking drink orders. The sand was pinker too, but there was a lot to be said for the privacy afforded by Club Med and the way the water there remained shallow and excellent for wading a remarkably long way in the water. Anyway, both beaches were excellent in their distinct ways, and I didn't feel like I was "missing out" spending the greater share of my time at the less-hyped Club Med.)

The Laughing Bird unit itself was no frills. Two of the stovetops and the electric can opener didn't work; there was a ripped towel, and hot water wasn't available until we eventually asked the owner to adjust a setting. Also, there was not the option of maid service like there was at Duck Inn, and our place became increasingly messy and sandy as time progressed. There was no tennis court or restaurant like Cigatoo had either, in case those things mattered.

In sum, I strongly recommend Governor's Harbour for romantic couple and retiree types looking to relax and explore a rustic, tropical setting. November was a great month for tolerably hot weather, although we managed to arrive a week after a hurricane. Laughing Bird is fine as long as you do not expect luxury or seclusion. We had a blast.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ermibr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2007

Well, the previous reviewers said it all really. I would just add that since I travel on my own and do not drive, staying at LB was perfect: the supermarket is a short walk away (and if you've got heavy bags, the local guys would give you a lift!), the library where one can get online or borrow a book is less than 5 min walk away also. It takes 30 min to walk to the other side of the island - to the Atlantic Ocean. I walked there and back every afternoon...

The apartment itself is basic but has all the necessary stuff in there. The little landscaped garden and the views are so relaxing! The only thing you need to do is always check if the glass door overlooking the garden and the road is locked properly (my lock wasn't very good). Although crime is very low on Eleuthera, being careful pays off.

It also helps if upon checking in, you would use an insect killer liquid. I always do it if I am renting a bungalow in the middle of the garden as you never know who might be hiding behind the cupboards (they get in just because they can!). In LB case, when I returned from a walk, I found a cockroach - he size of a dog - dead on the kitchen floor! Other than that, there were no other unpleasant creatures lurking in the dark corners.

Getting a few good mozzie repellents would be very useful too as they always come in the evening!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled solo
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2  Thank Anna_von_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2007

We just spent 10 days on beautiful Eleuthera and stayed at the laughing bird apartments. We had a blast. The apartment was clean and affordable. It was pretty much what we expected. A clean, basic apartment with a small kitchen that was reasonably priced. This place has not been updated in some time but it is just fine. The kitchen was small but acceptable as we made breakfast every morning, and made dinner for three nights during our stay. The bed was basic but comfortable. The grounds were landscaped nicely with lots of palm trees, flowering trees, and plants all over. There is outdoor furniture and hammocks. The apartments are situated about 80’ from the beach. This is not one of the greatest beaches although if you have water shoes, it is close by and just fine for swimming or wading, or shelling. You are also right in Governor’s Harbor which is nice but you will still need a car to get around. Everything is very spread out on this island and although my wife and I are pretty physically fit and don’t mind walking, in the Bahamas heat, no one wants to do a lot of walking. We had somewhat of an ocean view from our bed, and it was quite enjoyable to wake to the sounds of the small waves crashing. Jean the owner is very pleasant and accommodating; we really felt welcomed at LB and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. She used to own the apartments with her husband but he passed away in April 2007.

If you are looking for luxury, this is not the place for you, matter of fact; this might not be the right island for you. Everything is very rustic and this is very much a ‘do it yourself’ island. If you are looking for a decent place to stay close to a beach, stay in Governor’s Harbor, and stay with a gracious host, then I would recommend the LB apartments. You can email me if you have any other questions about LB or Eleuthera.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Snorkeler123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laughing Bird Apartments

Address: Governor's Harbour | PO Box EL-25076, Eleuthera
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Eleuthera
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Eleuthera
Price Range: $65 - $115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
LAUGHING BIRD APARTMENTSGet away from it all !! and enjoy the serenity of the Laughing Bird Apartments and Gardens located in Historical Governor's Harbour.It is a good spot from which to set off to explore Eleuthera.It is your home away from home where Tropical Dreams Do Come True!!The laughing Bird Apartments are 15 minutes from the Governor's Harbour Airport. 3-7 minutes from Grocery Stores,Banks,Churches,libraryGift Shops,and Anchor Bay Beach for the famous Friday night Fish Fry. The Laughing Bird Beach is well known as place to collect shells.The following facilities can be arranged rental cars, Scuba Diving Fishing ect. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Laughing Bird Apartments Hotel Eleuthera
Laughing Bird Apartments Eleuthera, Bahamas

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