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“The perfect something different”
Review of Rock House

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Rock House
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Harbour Island
Certificate of Excellence
Detroit, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The perfect something different”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My wife and I came to Rock House for our honeymoon. We had heard and read good things about RH and Harbour Island, and both exceeded our expectations. The trip was more than worth it. We had a direct flight from Detroit to Nassau, and then a short Southern Air flight to Eleuthra. It was 20 minutes. From there it was a 5 minute land cab and 5 minute water taxi to Harbour Island. First of all, the island itself is perfect. Small and friendly, and a bit off the beaten path. When we arrived, they knew us by name, and were genuinely happy to see us. The hotel is very nice, 10 or so rooms, each a bit different. Bed, flat screen, wifi, walk in closet, mini bar, awesome bathroom, and a generator (the power goes out on the island periodically, its no big deal, but at RH, you don't miss a beat).

We stayed in one of the garden view rooms (the Parrot room). Each room has its own private cabana right outside the room, but there are also individual cabanas and comfortable chaise lounges by the pool just a few steps away. The beds are extremely comfortable. There are no alarm clocks, and we literally would spend the first few minutes every few days debating the day of the week. It is simply fantastic. The complimentary breakfast is perfect, fresh fruit, coconut-banana bread (delicious), muffins, and amazing homemade yogurt. Flo and Marva are super pleasant and really get the day started off right. The hotel faces the bay--a great view from the dining room, and has a great heated pool, the pictures simply don't do it justice.

The beach is a 5 minute walk or 2 minute golf cart ride. Dunmore town is great. It is easy to navigate and people are very friendly. I went running each day, my arms were as tired as my legs from waving to locals sitting outside or riding in their golf carts. There are very few cars here, most everyone, tourists, locals, celebs, etc... use golf carts. There is the occasional work truck.

The food on the island is amazing, not cheap, but worth every penny. Rock House has the best food, Jenny, the chef, was inventive, but also focused on the details of each meal. The flavors were pretty much spot on for every meal. The Landing (right next door) was also very good, and Coral Sands on the beach had GREAT lunches. Runaway Hill was a great little dinner spot, and for a change of scenery, head to Aquapazzo, a delicious Italian restaurant 5 minutes from the center of town. Dunmore deli is an excellent lunch spot (in town, not on the beach), featuring delicious sandwiches and salads.

Each afternoon, we would return from the beach and lounge by the pool at Rock House, we would have a relaxer or goombay smash, both great drinks. Don (the owner) and his dog Rocky (awesome) were always around ensuring we were ok. Don is very hands on and not above doing "real work" himself - from delivering our apps at dinner to picking up the occasional wrapper on the floor.

The general manager, Eric, is fantastic. He is super helpful and very very friendly. We often would enjoy a chat by the pool discussing our day or what we were going to eat later. He had a genuine interest in the conversation and we felt that by the end of the trip, he was our friend rather than someone just doing his job.

The rest of the staff also hit it out of the park, Vanessa and Rosebud were great at the front desk each morning, and I cannot say enough about Flo and Marva, they really went the extra mile to ensure everyone was happy.

When we travel, no matter where we go, we do not eat in chain restaurants, and do not stay in chain hotels. Rock House was right in our wheel house! We purposely eschewed "typical" honeymoon spots in over-developed, huge resorts. At RH, we became friendly with the people staying at the hotel, and friendly with other people on the island. We found ourselves waving to people we snorkeled with or passed on the beach the day before.

We are sad to go, and will definitely be back. We had really high expectations - this was our honeymoon and we were spending a lot of money on the whole experience. Every expectation was exceeded beyond measure. It was a great experience we will always look back on.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My family and I have cruised the Bahamas every Christmas for the past four years. I have consistently been disappointed in the food I have eaten, but have gotten used to the fact that food is just not something to think about when traveling there. Well...no more!! We had Christmas dinner at the Rock House and it was not only the best meal I have ever eaten in the Bahamas, but one of the best meals I have had, period! Sadly, none of us had the Christmas special (turkey, stuffing, etc.) but everything from the stone crabs to the spinach salad was sublime. I had Junkanoo' Capellini. It was amazingly delicious, but didn't compare to the cider brined pork tenderloin served to my friend next to me. My boring family all got the crispy pan seared chicken which turned out to be anything but boring. We were really all too full for dessert, but knew we had to try it, so shared a chocolate pudding and frozen ice cream turtle pie. Both were some of the best desserts I have ever tasted! It isn't easy to get to Harbor Island, but if you go, you MUST splurge on dinner at the Rock House!!

Room Tip: Did not stay here, just ate here, so leaving most of the ratings blank.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hilstar211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We stayed at Rock House over Christmas and I can't remember a better holiday. I won't repeat every other glowing review, but it is all true. The hotel is pristine and gorgeous, the food is delicious, and the staff is amazing. We felt comfortable asking for assistance with anything. Sadly, I got sick Christmas day when all stores were closed. Eric, the manager, produced two bags of cold medicine and then chose the ones he thought would be most helpful based on my symptoms. From that point on, every staff member inquired of my health until we left and made sure I had whatever I needed. We especially loved talking with Flo every morning at breakfast. Don, the owner, directed us to the best snorkeling. If you like big impersonal hotels, go elsewhere. We checked out other hotels directly on the beach and were very happy we had chosen Rock House. Plus, everyone we met who found out we were staying there was envious - always a good sign.

We stayed in the Pineapple room which is right beside the restaurant. Our door was adjacent to the restroom. The first night I was worried that I had chosen poorly, because I had wanted this room with a huge balcony overlooking the bay. It IS loud at night, so if all you want to do is sleep between about 8-11pm, choose another room. On the other hand, if you love hearing amusing bits of other people's conversations while enjoying a very private balcony this is the place for you. I checked out the rooms beyond the pool that are not part of the main building, and in retrospect I liked the Pineapple room better. We were able to watch the huge yachts traverse the harbour, see the ferry from Nassau each day, and generally watch the activities on Bay Street. If you want more privacy, stay in a room further back in the hotel.

The prices on the island will blow you away. It's a small island, so everything is expensive except conch shells. Aside from Rock House we ate at Wade Higgs Seaside Takeaway, Dunmore Deli, and Arthur's Bakery (all delicious and relatively inexpensive). We didn't care for the Blue Bar at Pink Sands, but the Beach Bar at Coral Sands was great for lunch. Sip Sip was excellent! It sits right above the beach area reserved for Rock House, too, so it is convenient. The lobster quesadilla is huge.

Room Tip: Pineapple if you want a view of the harbour and don't mind noise during the evening.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yellowstoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed here for 3 days in early December. The owner Don was the first to greet us by name. The staff then came by and introduced themselves too. Needless to say, you feel special the moment you walk through the door. The room was very comfortable with all the amenities you would need. Most visitors rent a golf cart, but since we are avid walkers we opted to walk our way around the island. The beach was a 5-10 minute walk which was not a problem for us as we ended up walking the length of the beach every day anyway (1 hr. 45 minutes round trip). The hotel's guest beach chairs and umbrellas were a plus as we could leave our towels and other gear safely there while we walked. Complimentary breakfast included coffee, juices, bananas, a variety of breads/muffins, cereal and yogurt. Staff offered to soak a conch shell overnight in bleach for us. Yes, they go out of their way to provide excellent service.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Susan2350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto Alegre, RS
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

I really enjoyed this place. Friendly owners and staff, and that nothing was too much trouble for them. It is truly a home away from home.
really Excellent service, rooms, pool, food tasty tan y amable.
and we were originally reserved for the bedroom but Nautilus days before leaving for home, we were transferred to the Reef Room jajaj

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Otavio g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

We have been searching for a place to call our own and feel like we've found it at the Rock House.

There are countless things right with this place, and I will review a few. I'll say we were a bit hesitant because of the price, but it was honestly worth every penny and then some.

- the room was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in Citrus and it was amazing. We had a private cabana, beautiful linens, a spacious room, etc. I am even going home and ordering the bedding because it was the best sleep I've had in ages.

- the staff was the absolute highlight. They treat you like Their own. They are wonderful bartenders, house cleaners, chefs, etc. They played every role. I honestly leave and feel like they are my family.

- the environment is gorgeous. The design is impeccable and you feel like you are in total luxury but feel at home. Everything is so comfortable

- the dining is fantastic. Honestly is is the best meal we have had in ages... And we dine out often. The fish was the best I have ever had.

Don and his staff are tremendous. I can't wait to come back... We are already planning our next stay. If you are thinking of any other island or any other hotel... Contact me because this is the best there is. I leave a little part of me at rock house... But can't wait to go back and get it.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Metcamk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Really enjoyed this place. Friendly owners and staff, and nothing was too much trouble for them. It really was a home from home. Location was great and the beach bags and private beach were excellent. We ate in the restaurant once and although the quality was first class, it was the sort of fine dining we can get at home so went for local Bahamian places after that.

Room Tip: We were given an upgrade so can't really comment.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank HeartsGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rock House

Property: Rock House
Address: Corner of Hill and Bay Street, EL-27234, Harbour Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Harbour Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 9 Hotels in Harbour Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rock House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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 
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Also Known As:
Rock House Hotel Harbour Island
Rock Hotel Harbor Island
Rock House Bahamas/Harbour Island

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