Just three miles long and half a mile wide, Harbour Island in the Bahamas has become the Caribbean destination for visitors looking for a laid-back atmosphere, delicious food and island-chic accommodations. Coral Sands Hotel has completed a major multi-million dollar renovation of its guest rooms and public spaces. Reimagined by Miami-based architect Anthony E. Tzamtzis and designer Guillermo De Yavorsky of Atelier De Yavorsky, the project replaced the former two-story hotel building with two separate buildings each with three guest rooms and added three oceanfront freestanding beachfront guest cottages. A 55-foot lap/infinity pool with a second level soaking pool and lobby, restaurant and bar enhancements has been added to create a contemporary reinterpretation of local aesthetic design cues. The updated 39-room family-owned oceanside resort, rich with lush tropical vegetation coupled with traditional Bahamian motifs, showcases Paola Navone white oak furniture, bright colors, natural jute rugs, black and white colonial style tiles and bold entrance doors.
“The neutral guest rooms feature breathtaking views and a luxurious but functional layout and feature special touches, such as a locally-made wooden bench, custom-built bar and hand-painted rugs to produce a Caribbean, Bohemian-chic eclecticism,” says Tom Sherman, who along with his wife Silma, owns the property. Gorgeous and empty pink sand beaches, getting around in golf carts and fresh conch—what else do you need from a warm-weather destination?
We spoke with the resort’s owner Silma Sherman about the property and what makes it so special.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
The spectacular Sea Oats Cottage is definitely one of the most requested rooms at Coral Sands.
What makes it so special?
The stand-alone beachfront house contains two master bedrooms, each master with its own spa-like bathroom, as well as plenty of room to relax in the stylishly appointed living and sitting rooms. It is a perfect place for families and friends traveling together. With its gorgeous ocean views and private beach access, it’s like having your own private beachfront getaway, but with all the amenities of a first-class resort. Guests can use the outdoor rain shower just down the path from our pink sand beach and then relax and watch the sunset from their private outdoor patio.
What is the nightly rate/rate range for this room?
$3,450 per night during high season.
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
The hotel has been a staple on the island since the 1950s–it was originally called The Royal Palm Hotel then later became Coral Sands in the 60s. It was founded by the King family, who played a major role in making Harbour Island a destination for iconic folks. There was one other owner for a short period between the Kings and us, and during that time the property got a bit run down. We took it over in 2004, and have completely restored and renovated the property since, ensuring it stays true to its roots, paying homage to the local Bahamian culture.
What’s your personal favorite room? Why?
The Beach House. It is so close to the water, and boasts beautiful pops of red decor, which couples so well with the endless turquoise waters you see while looking out at the beach.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
The overall design flow from our lobby to the beach is one of our favorite elements of the resort. The freshwater infinity swimming pool was designed to provide unobstructed views of the ocean from the moment you enter Coral Sands, so as soon as you walk into our open air lobby, you can see straight down onto the pink sand beach. It’s a one of a kind view on the island.
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
While we have a beautiful yoga studio upstairs in our two-floor fitness center, overlooking our tropical landscape, guests can also book private yoga classes to take directly on the beach.
One more fun fact about the property?
We always understood the importance of the property and its history on the Island and in that moment decided we wanted to be a part of continuing its legacy. What started as a casual conversation on a whim turned into our purchasing Coral Sands.