The hundreds of coral islands and cays that comprise the Bahamas’ Out Islands (all Bahamian islands excluding the main two, New Providence and Grand Bahama) are famous for their gorgeous, often-deserted beaches. Below, we’ve listed our favorite beach hotels in the archipelago.
This small boutique property is on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world -- Pink Sands Beach, a beautiful and unspoiled stretch of sand from which the resort takes its name. The three-and-a-half miles of soft pink sand is Harbour Island's top attraction, and guests can spread out for romantic beach walks and leisurely swims in the calm turquoise sea. The resort offers beachside service for food and drinks and free use of lounge chairs and palapas/umbrellas. A water-sports hut provides free snorkel gear, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as some children's toys.
With six villas and three beaches on 50-acre private island, Fowl Cay affords absolute seclusion and the sense of being in an untouched paradise. Personal boats for daily excursions, on-call service, spacious villas with fully stocked kitchens and wet bars, and a host of all-inclusive activities make Fowl Cay a standout gem in the Exumas. At the resort's South Beach, those activities include kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and windsurfing. A pavilion for special events is set up on the peaceful North Beach, while the hidden West Beach can be accessed via a hiking trail.
Set on a gorgeous, secluded beach with loungers, the mid-range Shannas Cove Resort is a quiet property on Cat Island. Its five bungalows are nothing fancy, but they feature private furnished porches with dazzling ocean views. The resort's highlight is the stunning beach with calm turquoise water, white sand, and a handful of loungers. Due to the small size of the resort, many guests report having the beach to themselves. There are also nature trails that lead to even more secluded beaches. But note that there's no pool. Shannas Cove’s on-site restaurant serves delicious albeit pricey food.
The show-stopping beach at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas is one of the most pristine, calm, and scenic stretches of sand in the Bahamas. The peaceful and scenic hotel is on Long Island, a short flight from Nassau, and offers two tiers of accommodations: Homey and basic Bungalows (a great option for those on a budget) and huge Villas, which have added luxuries like full kitchens, washer/dryers, and more upscale furnishings. Note that there is no pool, and the bungalows don’t have TVs or Wi-Fi.
Pigeon Cay Beach Club is an intimate budget property on Cat Island, 130 miles southeast of Nassau. The largely undeveloped 48-mile-long island is lush, hilly, and incredibly scenic. Located on the northern part of the island, Pigeon Cay has seven beachfront cottages; its small size translates to an atmosphere that is friendly and laid-back, but also private. The simple, rustic cottages have dated decor and no TVs or Wi-Fi, but they include fully-equipped kitchens and furnished outdoor spaces. The beach is the best part of Pigeon Cay -- it’s quiet, secluded, and gorgeous with turquoise blue water and powdery white sand.
You'd never guess that the two private, pink-sand beaches at this 40-acre boutique resort are man-made, as they were designed to fit in with the natural environment. (Both have beautiful views from the surrounding cliffs, especially at sunset.) Because this is the non-Atlantic side of Eleuthera Island, the water is mostly calm, and conditions are ideal for paddle-boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. There is free use of the cabanas, umbrellas, and sun loungers. 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.
This relaxed, family-friendly condo complex offers 32 units in central Eleuthera Island, close to the small village of Governor's Harbour. With a friendly owner rarely far away, the peaceful resort is as easygoing as the rest of the island, which is known for its naturally rugged and secluded beaches. There are so many to choose from, and each unit has a handbook with information about all the sandy locations and what they offer. The closest one is just across the road. Some areas are too rocky for swimming, but the front desk staff can point guests to the best swimming and snorkeling spots. Condos come equipped with beach chairs and towels, and snorkeling equipment and kayaks can be rented from a nearby outfitter. Scuba diving and deep sea fishing excursions can also be arranged.
The mid-range Small Hope Bay Lodge is an informal all-inclusive property on Andros Island. Guests looking to get lost in the secluded, quiet, rugged nature of the property can be found lounging in hammocks or on one of two beaches. In keeping with the property's rustic vibe, the beaches aren't pristine, so expect rocks and driftwood. There's also a large variety of excursions, including diving, fishing, snorkeling, and nature walks, that keep guests active and occupied. The 21 cabins are a little worn and lack Wi-Fi or TVs, but they all have porches overlooking the ocean. There's a friendly and communal atmosphere as guests gather together to share meals in the restaurant, sip drinks at the bar, or linger by the outdoor grill. Small Hope has one of the best rates on the island given its features.
Perched on a hill looking out over the bay, Rock House is a 10-room boutique hotel on Harbour Island. While the hillside location precludes it from having beachfront access, Pink Sands Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas, is a 10-minute walk or a five-minute drive across Harbour Island. The hotel provides free golf cart shuttles to and from Pink Sands Beach, where it has a private area set up with chairs and umbrellas. Guests are offered a beach bag with free bottles of water and beach towels. Rooms are modern and sharp, with many featuring a terrace overlooking the bay or a private cabana. Rock House has spectacular sunset views, especially from its on-site restaurant, which serves free poolside breakfast to guests.
The upscale, 14-room Tiamo Resort has an isolated beachside setting accessible only by boat or plane. No road access means there's nothing to do at this South Andros Island hotel other than what's on offer, so it's a good thing on-site amenities are excellent. They include an infinity pool with stunning ocean views, an open-air restaurant serving fresh seafood, and a private beach with kayaks, lounge chairs, and floating mattresses. Rooms are airy and rustic, with free nonalcoholic minibars, garden showers, and screened in porches -- some even have plunge pools. Keep in mind that the price tag matches the experience, and while all meals and soft drinks are included, alcohol, room service, and activities cost extra.
St Francis Resort is a remote getaway on Stocking Island, a ten-minute boat ride from Exuma (transportation from George Town is included in the room rate, as are free in-room breakfast and Wi-Fi). With only eight rooms, the property is small and intimate, and guests report they often have the two beaches -- one facing the harbor and one facing the ocean -- to themselves. The small harbor-facing beach has a shallow entry into its beautiful water, which is clear, calm, and turquoise blue. This is the docking area for the resort’s kayaks and hobicats, and a few straw umbrellas and beach chairs are set up. The oceanside beach stretches for miles on either side, but note that there are no chairs or umbrellas, and at certain times of year, the water is too rough for swimming. The resort offers beach chairs up by the rooms, but guests have to carry them down themselves. Guest can also borrow the resort's kayaks and hobicats or simply hike around the surrounding area with the owners' directions.
On a quiet gravel drive overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the seven-room Sky Beach Club has a laid-back contemporary charm. Rooms range in size from one-room Bungalows by the beach to modern, spacious four-bedroom Villas, some of which have private infinity pools. This three-and-a-half-pearl hotel has a poolside bar and open-air restaurant serving casual lunches and dinners, while the stunning infinity pool and hot tub overlook Sky Beach, whose pink sands guests can access via a two-minute walk down a hill from the hotel.
The scenic and upscale Grand Isle Resort & Spa on Great Exuma has a long, wide stretch of beach with white sand and calm, clear, piercing-blue water. The spacious beach is set up with loungers and umbrellas, and non-motorized water sports like kayaks, snorkeling, and paddle boards are free. It's in a secluded area, so there are no vendors and few other tourists. It's the star of the show, but there are also a gorgeous infinity pool, a large golf course, an on-site spa, and a poolside restaurant. All 79 villas are spacious and outfitted with high-end contemporary furnishings, fully-equipped kitchens, washer/dryers, flat-screen TVs, soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers, and private patios or balconies. The only real downside is the location -- it’s an expensive 20-minute taxi into Georgetown, the main town in Great Exuma.