Far, far removed from the crowds of Nassau is this 40-acre boutique resort on Eleuthera Island. This property, which opened in 2013, is a hot spot for celebs seeking privacy, and features a jaw-dropping infinity pool and cliffside bar sitting between two man-made, pink-sand beaches. Chic, airy rooms have white decor, and enormous villas with private plunge pools and state-of-the-art kitchens are on offer. Non-villa guests without kitchens should plan on eating at the sophisticated restaurant often, since nearby options are limited. Luckily, the menu changes daily based on produce from the garden and the sushi chef spears his own fish. Cove Eleuthera is best suited for a four-day getaway -- anything longer and guests may get bored.
A chic retreat for celebs, wealthy families, and splurging honeymooners
This gorgeous 40-acre luxury resort was opened by young New Orleans hotelier Sidney Torres, a businessman and socialite who was first introduced to the Bahamas by good friend Lenny Kravitz (Torres was formerly his personal assistant). Torres and his dogs have become an important part of the property's branding and marketing. It's no wonder, given Torres' VIP connections and the incredible level of privacy here, that the resort has become a haven for celebrities; Justin Bieber and Hayden Panettiere are just a couple of the famous guests to stay here.
Those arriving to the property via taxi will be welcomed by a staff member (often the omnipresent General Manager) before getting shuttled (along with their luggage) to the lobby via a stone pathway. The lobby's streamlined, utterly sophisticated decor mixes modern white furniture with natural elements, like stools made from tree stumps. This white against wood theme is prevalent in the resort. Hundreds of colorful books showcasing art, design, fashion, and travel grace the coffee tables and bookshelves. There is a flat-screen TV featuring a video intro to the resort from the easy-on-the-eyes owner (many guests -- especially the ladies -- are interested in meeting him and his dogs!). A small shop is located off the lobby for designer clothes and accessories.
In the restaurant and bar, trendy lounge music plays in the background and the decor continues the minimalist theme, which allows the infinity pool and turquoise sea (viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows) to be the main attraction. During the day, the vibe is quiet and relaxed with diners, both indoors and out, having a leisurely breakfast or lunching on salads and sushi. The infinity pool can be accessed from the restaurant, and is flanked on either side by the two beaches. Guests can lounge in padded chairs under umbrellas, and kayaks, snorkel gear, and paddle-boards are provided free (but there is no motorized equipment, which would disrupt the tranquil vibe). The warm, clear, shallow water makes for excellent snorkeling conditions. It's not impossible to get the entire beach to yourself, or a celeb might have one entire part of the beach temporarily privatized.
When evening hits, guests in their finery walk along the grassy cliff towards the outdoor bar that opens for sunset cocktails. This is a chance to mingle with both guests and locals (this is the best sushi on the island, after all). This is a magical time, with dim mood lighting and flickering candles. Outside, the infinity pool glows, and each palm tree on the property is individually lit. The stars and moon appear bright thanks to Eleuthera's low population. After dinner, guests can take a glass of wine to one of several fire pits.
The north end of secluded Eleuthera Island with two private beaches
The Cove Eleuthera is (not surprisingly) situated on the secluded Bahamian "Out Island" of Eleuthera, about 50 miles east of on New Providence Island. (The "Out Islands" of the Bahamas include all of the islands in the archipelago excluding the main two, New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island.) While many beaches are public on Eleuthera, the two beaches at the resort are private and have beautiful views from the surrounding cliffs, especially at sunset. Eleuthera is known for pink-sand beaches, diving, snorkeling and kayaking, as well as surfing along beaches on the Atlantic side of the island. Guests can ride bicycles (for free) to nearby Glass Window -- a natural bridge that was destroyed by a hurricane and is now replaced by a man-made bridge. It is the narrowest part of the one-mile wide island.
Most guests fly into North Eleuthera Island from Nassau International Airport (there are several daily flights) and take a 15-minute taxi ride to the resort. Another option is to arrange in advance for airport pick-up via the resort's Range Rover (for an extra fee). For an even more exclusive experience, guests can use The Cove’s private plane to fly from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to North Eleuthera Airport. For day trips, the resort offers daily Jeep rentals.
Room decor is the same across the board -- minimalist and spotless white. Expect modern furnishings with white cushions on wooden platforms (watch out for those sharp corners), plush white bedding atop low-lying mattresses, and white walls with very little art (there may be one large wall hanging, a tall piece of glass sculpture or pottery, or a green plant to provide just a hint of contrast). Ceilings are of painted white wood. Some windows and glass doors have slatted white shutters and some have simple white drapes. A built-in wall cupboard hides an empty mini-fridge, bottled drinking water, and Nespresso machine (guests must pay per pod). There is a large flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a closet with organized wood shelves, bathrobes, and slippers.
Bathrooms have glass showers and rain showerheads with great water pressure. Molton Brown toiletries come in large eco-friendly containers. Some higher-end room types -- like the One Bedroom Beach Villas -- have enormous bathrooms with freestanding tubs, double vanity sinks, and indoor/outdoor showers. These larger units also have private front porches with a set of steps that lead down to the lawn with a hammock and views of the sea. The largest units on the property are the villas -- which is where the celebs usually stay -- and they have enviable state-of-the-art kitchens and private outdoor plunge pools.
Turndown service occurs while guests are at dinner: The air-conditioning is turned on for comfort, lighting is dimmed, and slippers and bathrobes are placed on the bed.
Two gorgeous, private beaches and free water sports
The two beaches are man-made, but you'd never guess it: They were designed to fit in with the natural environment. Because this is the non-Atlantic side of the island, the water is mostly calm here, and conditions are ideal for paddle-boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. Beach toys are also available for kids. There is free use of the cabanas, umbrellas, and sun loungers, and staff are there to help when getting settled on the beach.
There is a fitness center, which is open 24 hours a day, and spa treatments available by appointment only. The resort offers a list of suggested day trips (daily jeep rentals are available), as well as fun things to do with kids.
Plan on frequenting the excellent (and expensive) on-site restaurant.
Because the resort is located on a remote area of an already remote island, guests will be dining on the property often. Of major importance, then, is the quality of the food and beverage program, and Mr. Torres and his staff take it very seriously. The main restaurant, Freedom, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves high-quality menu options from around the world. Many items are created that day based on whichever fruits, vegetables, and garnishes that are found in the garden. The resort also offers an impressive cocktail and wine list for pairings.
Freedom restaurant overlooks the infinity pool and sea, and there are chic, streamlined tables and chairs both indoors and outdoors. At night, candles are lit, lounge music plays, and the setting is quite romantic. The breakfast menu includes items like chocolate waffles, egg white omelets, New Orleans style beignets, and house-made granola and oatmeal. Coffee and espresso can be ordered throughout the day at the Freedom Bar. The lunch menu has range of salads, skewers, flatbreads, burgers, and wraps, as well as sushi items. The dinner menu has a range of small plates, salads, and special main courses such as duck breast, lobster, linguine, and rib eye.
A standout feature of the resort is the sushi bar, manned by a talented full-time sushi chef who works both lunch and dinner. The sushi bar is the only one on Eleuthera and nearby islands, and the chef is enthusiastic about creating beautiful daily specials based on what he catches while spearfishing. There’s a communal table by the Freedom Bar that allows for guest interaction with the chef.
Gregory Town Grill is located on the terrace, close to one of the beaches, and opens for lunch with similar options to Freedom's lunch menu, with some kid-friendly choices as well.
Beachside and poolside dining are available, as is room service.
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