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“Ahh-may-zing!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rock House

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Rock House
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Harbour Island
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Ahh-may-zing!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

Rock House is an amazing boutique hotel that offers 1st class service and amenities. The hotel is in a great location - walking distance from the dock (where people arrive by boat); and a mere 10 minute stroll to the beach. No need for a golf cart, unless you want to enjoy the tradition of the island. I could walk to the shops (Sugar Mill, Dilly Dally and others) and to restaurants (Blu Bungalow, Sip Sip and Queen Conch). The best meal, hands down was dinner at the Rock House. Don spent time explaining each dish and detailing the local and exquisite ingredients. Eric stopped by to ensure everything was to my liking as did the waitstaff. The attention paid to each guest is impressive and quite lovely. Don and Eric, and Flo - all took time to get to know me and to make sure I was enjoying my stay. As a solo traveler, meals alone and stays at small hotels can be daunting at times, but not at Rock House; there it felt like staying with family.

I stayed in the Monkey Room; it was chic and beautifully appointed. There is noise from the bar area and kitchen - but like the others said, it magically disappears at 10pm.

If I could've moved in, I would have. I will definitely be back!

And P.S. the breakfast is perfect. Homemade coconut banana bread, muffins, cereal, fresh fruit, and delicious yogurt. The coffee was wonderful and the staff seemed more than happy to accommodate special requests.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lkwtraveler88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
donpurdy, Owner at Rock House, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at Rock House. We are happy that we were able to make your stay ahh-may-zing"! Besat regards, Don & Staff.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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286 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Rock House January 15-20 and the fond memories of our stay on Harbour Island are keeping us sane through this stormy winter in New England. Every review here is true, and we, too, share the same sentiments. We were there in the "slower" time of year and actually enjoyed the calm.

EVERYTHING about our stay was wonderful. Don, Eric, Flo, Michelle, Marva, Tina, Jenny and the rest of the staff were incredibly warm and welcoming. Every detail was just right: the style of decor, the quality of all the amenities and linens, but most of all the personal service. That Don upgraded our room for us before our arrival all contributed to our outstanding vacation experience. One of the surprising amenities was the beach bag we were offered when we went to the beach: two towels, two chair covers for the chairs on the part of the beautiful beach reserved for Rock House guests (complete with tables and umbrellas) AND two bottles of water. Every single thing was thoughtful and showed the love of hospitality that Don believes in and that his staff exhibits as well.

We ate at the restaurant twice and Jenny's food was the best on the island. Eric was quite an addition to our stay and was very knowledgeable about wine and we enjoyed chatting with him and Don after dinner in the bar. Yes, there was sound coming from the dining room when we sat on our harbor-side balcony in our room, but as another reviewer said, these were happy sounds of people dining and enjoying the company of friends while eating fabulous food. To that we say "Cheers!"

We travel often in the winter months and rarely have we said to one another within the first hour of being somewhere "Let's come back." We plan to return in mid-February next year to celebrate my birthday and to experience the island at a different time. We should probably make our reservations now!! :)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicole B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northville, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

We stayed at the Rock House for a week for the 2nd year in a row. Both Harbour Island and the Rock House are truly special places. Harbour Island has the benefit of being "remote" yet it offers high-end accomodations and dining. The Rock House is an exceptional hotel with outstanding service, food and ambiance. We have been to many of the well known luxury island resorts and the Rock House easily surpasses all of them. Many of these resorts are too expensive, are lacking in service and dining, and cater to groups and families with children. We plan on returning next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gary a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon, Vermont
Level Contributor
207 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013

We share the very positive comments posted by other reviewers. We would note the following:

1. We had never been to HI before ("Briland") and found it to be much as described, eminently walkable, fabulous beach, friendly (but not overly friendly) locals.

2. The HI crowd while we were there tended to be affluent, white middleaged and up visitors. (We did not see Mick, Elle, Michael Dell or any celebrity, not that we looked all that hard.)

3. The food on HI is very good but be prepared for $40-50 entrees. We ate at Rock House and two other restaurants and never had dinner for less than $200 for 2 people, with a decent, not flashy, bottle of wine.

4. Rock House is a great property, extremely well maintained, with a lot of personal attention from Don, Eric and the rest of the staff. Rock House is meticulously clean and well organized. We signed up for the Nautilus room and got upgraded to the Reef junior suite--- highly recommended. Interestingly, the gym at Rock House is quite good-- usually gyms at small hotels are a joke.

5. The food at Rock House is excellent. Dinner is very good, and in some ways, the free breakfast is better than dinner!

6. We did not rent a golf cart and just walked around. The beach is an easy 5-10 minute walk through town and actually is a very pleasant stroll. You can easily rent a golf cart should you be so inclined.

We greatly enjoyed our visit to HI and would love to return. If you have a chance to visit Rock House, do it-- you will be happy there and it will be a memorable trip.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ordinarymind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2013

You have never seen anything like it. It is truly a unique hotel. Private and most charming. You feel as if you are at your friends. Don, what can we say truly a wonderful human being, Eric wow and Fluffy well you are incredible, Jenny the food is outstanding wish you lived in our city. Don and his entire staff pride themselves on making your stay one in a million. You will not be disapponted. And if its a wedding or party you are planning they are also the ones. We had our wedding reception there last year and back again a year later. Consistentently amazing.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Briland13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

My wife and I spent five days at Rock House and were pleased from the moment we stepped on the property. Don, Eric and the local staff are welcoming and sincere. The property is not large, ten rooms total, which allows for a wonderfully intimate experience. Service, cleanliness, attention to detail, quality of food and availability of staff are all fantastic attributes of this wonderful property.

Although the beach is, "three New York City blocks" from the property, the short walk, or even shorter golf cart ride if you rent, gives you a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the local culture. The locals are unbelievable friendly, with many addressing us before we could address them.The beach is absolutely beautiful and well worth the short journey to get there.

Rock House is well deserving of all awards and accolades we reviewed before traveling and exceeded all our expectations. Congratulations to Don, Eric and the entire crew on a unique and beautiful property and for sharing that property in truly exquisite fashion.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brent B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cotswolds
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Rock House for 9 nights. We wanted somewhere special and unique to celebrate my 50th birthday. After researching scores of destinations and hotels, we finally chose Harbour Island and the RH – what a wise decision that turned out to be. Everything good that you read about the RH is true – it is not hype. You don’t have to be an A-list celebrity to stay there, but you are certainly treated like one – from the minute you arrive.

It’s almost as if John T (I Jan 2013) has already written my review for me – I couldn’t agree more. You really do feel that you are a friend of ALL the staff, rather than just a mere guest. This is infectious, because this also makes it easy to chat and makes friends with fellow guests (if you want to, that is).

It takes a lot for me to give a 5/5 or 10/10 rating, or to say that somewhere is ‘Excellent’ – but in this case I am struggling to find fault. The RH definitely is excellent – in all categories.

Service – We’ve never experienced anything like it. Your every need is met. The phrase ‘service with a smile’ is an understatement at RH - everyone really goes that extra mile (and beyond) to ensure that your stay is perfect. They also achieve that fine balance between giving you privacy and full attentiveness. If you want to doze by the pool and be left alone in peace that’s fine, but if you want something to eat or drink, then just ask – it will be with you promptly.

Cleanliness – Top-class. Rooms are serviced twice per day (at least), and standards are so high that staff can even be seen cleaning door tops/frames and ceiling fans on a daily basis. How’s that for attention to detail? If you find a speck of dust I’m sure the management will be mortified.

Design and décor – Elegant and classy. Well, what would you expect? (We have taken a few design ideas back home with us…)

Atmosphere – It really is a home from home. Welcoming, tranquil, peaceful, relaxing.

Food – Delicious and fresh. A mixture of Bahamian and international influences.

Drinks – Superb cocktails. If you are still standing after 3 Goombay Smashes, then you must be super-human.

Rooms – Good size, airy, and very comfortable beds. (This is just my personal preference, but I found that the luxurious pillows were a little soft for me. I had to have at least 3 – my pillow at home is more like a brick!). Some reviewers on Trip Advisor have said that when in their rooms they could hear noise from the restaurant or bar. This may occasionally be the case in some rooms, but bear this in mind: Like you, other like-minded people have also come to the RH to have a good time, relax and enjoy themselves. The ‘noise’ is just chatter, laughter, and good background music – not rowdiness. This is the Bahamas, so try to be tolerant and relax. The management ensure that non-residents vacate the premises (or at least keep the noise to an absolute minimum) by 10pm, so one’s sleep should not be disturbed. We never found it problem, but if other readers are still concerned, then the solution would be to either book one of the rooms that are away from the main building, or go and join in with the people in the restaurant or bar.

Value for money – You’ll need a healthy budget, but it’s worth it. Spoil yourself!

Location – Beautiful. Harbour island is a feast for the eyes – pink sands, turquoise seas, pastel-coloured houses…!

Rocky (the resident dog) – Even he’s got a smiley face and wants to be your friend!

The downside – Having to leave. 9 nights just isn’t enough. It means that we’ll have to come back (damn!)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
donpurdy, Owner at Rock House, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Simon, just wanted to say thanks so much for taking the time to review us. We are so glad we could make your first experience on our island special and we look forward to your next visit! Wishing you all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2013. Best, Don, Eric, Jenny, Flo and the entire Rock House Staff....and of course "Rocky"!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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