Let Freedom Ring
A 40-acre boutique resort, The Cove Eleuthera offers guests a secluded paradisical retreat with a luxurious yet friendly feel. Situated on the north end of quiet Eleuthera—one of the less-traversed Bahamian islands—The Cove is just 30 minutes south of North Eleuthera Airport, which is reachable via quick flights from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports.
Upon arrival, the resort’s personable staff greets you for check-in. Expect to be called by name and whisked away to one of the property’s 29 guest accommodations, which include one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, cottages, and beachfront villas. All guest rooms are luxe and well-appointed, however, you’ll find no flash or fussiness. Clean lines, natural wood elements, and neutral tones ensure there’s no distracting from the native beauty that abounds, including the near-hypnotic turquoise waters found on the resort’s two private beaches. Even the on-site Freedom Restaurant & Sushi Bar and Gregory Town Grill exude a sense of refreshing minimalism that’s fitting for this placid property.
Speaking of the culinary, The Cove offers guests an array of fresh fare. Island-inspired dishes and sushi creations can be found at the Freedom Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Eleuthera is known for its especially fertile soil, and the produce from the resort’s organic garden (available for guests to tour) is put to good use. As for breakfast, it’s difficult to rule out room service, especially when you can savor a morning acai bowl and cappuccino alfresco with Caribbean vistas from your room’s wraparound deck.
Eleuthera’s etymology derives from eleutheros, the Greek word meaning freedom. It’s a fitting name for this calm, entrancing haven where you’re uninhibited to while away hours relaxing beachside or by The Cove’s infinity pool, perhaps with a Freedom Style Mojito or Nojito in hand.
That said, if you’re after exploration or adventure, there’s plenty to be had, and the resort’s staff stands ready to assist. Paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling gear, and bicycles are available for use on property; the resort’s boat is also available for day excursions. Off-site—but still on the island—enjoy myriad sights and experiences, from seahorse watching at Sweetings Pond, to a soak in pools naturally formed by the Atlantic at Queen’s Bath, to a swim in the Sapphire Hole, an underwater sinkhole filled with azure water. There’s also historic Preacher’s Cave, where you can visit the site of an English shipwreck.
Sometimes, the most productive thing to do is relax—to slow down. Eleuthera and The Cove offer travelers a respite from life’s hustle and bustle. It’s the perfect paradise to refocus the mind and rekindle the spirit. —Jane E. Enos
After landing on the dusty airstrip at Congo Town and driving through a part of the Bahamas that time forgot, pulling into Caerula Mar Club feels like entering an oasis. Whitewashed cottages with wide porches sprout from the sand. Organic shapes and driftwood tones impart an immediate sense of serenity. Hammocks slung across palm trees sway in lazy breezes. And every path leads to the sea.
It wasn’t always like this. The Emerald Palms hotel, originally built in the 1960s, had been abandoned for some years and fallen victim to the whims of weather. While vacationing on South Andros Island in 2017, Sarah and Bryan Baeumler saw the derelict property and its 10 acres of waterfront and bought it on the spot. Their plan: to transform the place into Andros’ first true luxury resort. It didn’t hurt that they were an HGTV Canada power couple—he a contractor, she a design wiz—with several renovations under their belts.
The Baeumlers’ journey, which they turned into a “huge family adventure” by moving to the island with their four young children, was chronicled on the HGTV show Renovation Island. For three seasons, viewers were riveted as the couple found solutions for issues ranging from bad plumbing to a major hurricane.
Sarah’s plan was to create a tropical idyll with all the island feels and none of the pretense. The Signature Collection private villas, available in one- or two-bedroom configurations, blend traditional Bahamian architecture with mid-century modern style for a sophisticated take on island living. Bleached oak floors and materials like aged marble, natural woods, and rush have an organic sensibility. Light-suffused rooms are decorated simply—a white bisque vase here, a stylized branch there—in a sand-toned palette that lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere. French doors open to wood-planked porches for lounging, entertaining, or contemplative moments in nature. Step down and find yourself on the sand, mere paces from the Bahamas’ famous turquoise surf.
Every detail is an immersion in island living, down to the smallest accessory. “We love supporting Androsian entrepreneurs,” Sarah says. “From homemade coconut soaps by Sharon to woven grass baskets by Flossy, we have tried to incorporate local materials and artisan goods as much as possible.”
Design’s purpose is to set a tone for living, and here the tone is conducive to languid beach days under the shade of palms, strolls along the shoreline, and biking The Queen’s Highway, South Andros’ only road. It ignites the desire to swim in blue holes, which are plentiful around the island, or take a boat to a deserted beach for coral-reef snorkeling (we saw nurse sharks, stingrays, and a sea turtle), with a chef’s picnic to round out the day. Or the ambition to hook a bonefish, which will make you earn your stripes as an angler. Whatever your passion, Caerula Mar is both the backdrop and the inspiration for an authentic Bahamian holiday. —Daphne Nikolopoulos
Up and Away
Traveling off the beaten path requires some expert assistance to make everything seamless. In the case of Congo Town, there are daily flights on Makers Air out of the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, but if you want to fly on your own schedule (and in luxury), Ascend via Makers Air is the better choice. The Ascend charter team handles every detail while you relax at a posh lounge before departure on your private aircraft, so vacation starts before you leave the ground. (charterflightsflorida.com) —D.N.