As you drive through Eleuthera, one of the Bahamas’ Out Islands, you cross a narrow passage called Glass Window Bridge and do a double take: Is the water beneath the bridge clear, calm and turquoise? Or is it indigo with crashing waves?
Behold one of the island’s more charming mysteries. On this spot, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean converge to create this stunning juxtaposition. On one side of the bridge is the deep ocean whose waves crash on a rocky shoreline; on the other is a lagoon-like sea so clear you can practically see the grouper swimming.
That contrast is typical on this island, where on any day it is possible to alternate between rugged nature and pure luxury. Eleuthera is one of the Bahamas’ wildest, least developed islands, but it also has resort offerings that stand among the world’s best. Top among those is The Cove, a complex of seaside villas and cottages perched along a rocky promontory flanked by pink sand beaches.
New Orleans businessman Sidney Torres bought the 40-acre property, transforming it to the tune of $15 million and infusing it with a sense of urban chic and a young, infectious energy.
“Everybody thinks [Eleuthera] is a laid-back surfer’s haven,” Torres says. “You wouldn’t expect to have five-star service and a sense of wow here. But that’s what we wanted: to change the way people thought of the outer islands.”
Torres, 38 and usually dressed in top-to-toe black, looks more like a rocker than a hotelier; a product, perhaps, of his past life as a personal assistant to Lenny Kravitz. But his business savvy is uncanny. In New Orleans, he renovated historic buildings into boutique hotels, developed commercial and residential real estate, and built a sanitation company in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
He’s clearly brought the same vision to Eleuthera with big changes such as the addition of two three-bedroom villas, the construction of an ultracool bar at the edge of the point and the hiring of Bhutanese butlers with a top-notch service ethic.
One of those butlers, Kezang Dorji, is an absolute dream. He immediately puts villa guests at ease with his gentle manner, urging them to list their likes and dislikes and to leave the rest to him. And indeed, nothing escapes his keen eye for detail. It’s like traveling with your own staff.
The resort itself is a study in minimalist chic, with clean lines, natural surfaces and lots of cool white fabrics. The oceanfront cottages and villas are mere steps from those pink beaches. There are other accommodations on property—garden view rooms and bush cottages nestled in the thicket—but the oceanfront is definitely the way to go.
- Through October, The Cove offers private plane transportation from Ft. Lauderdale and two nights in one of the three-bedroom villas for $16,500. ?A small price to pay for paradise.
- For more information, call 888-776-3901 or visit thecoveeleuthera.com.