When the winter chill starts to set in, it's time to think about warmer climes. Andria Mitsakos checks into everyone's favorite hotel secret getaway in the Bahamas, Pink Sands.
HARBOUR ISLAND, The Bahamas – Expect understated chic at Pink Sands, where the beach blushes the delicate color of rosé wine (which flows freely) and, if you're with the right company, so will you (read: I did).
Some call Harbour Island the Hamptons of Florida. I've been traveling here about eight years now, and a recent trip further fueled my love for being barefoot and living well.
The 25 pastel cottages may have a hot designer (Barbara Hulanicki, the 1960s style maven of Biba fame) and even hotter celebrity guest list (Kate Moss, Keith Richards), but this resort is all about being cool. Hulanicki's design mixes Indian, Moroccan, and Balinese elements into a giddy new cocktail where modern ethnic meets hippie luxe. (Your weekend wardrobe: caftans and bikinis.) A-listers have all been spotted among the mirrored throw cushions and teak lounging sofas, but Pink Sands maintains a relaxed air, far from the paparazzi, feverish fans, and nouveau snobbery.
The pastel retreat stands beside its namesake, the glamorous and legendary three-mile strip of pink sand on Harbour Island in The Bahamas. This is a place to lay in the sand, build a sand castle, dine on conch salad, and contemplate whatever it is you think about when you're barefoot.
We landed seamlessly on North Eleuthera from Miami and were met by Salomon, who greets all guests. A fun and quirky thing about Harbour Island, which is known as "Briland" by those in the know, is that whether you arrive via scheduled charter, commercial flight, or private jet, everyone takes a taxi to the boat landing and then a ferry to Briland. I love the story about a celebrity that I won't name, whose assistant called Pink Sands to arrange a Mercedes transfer from North Eleuthera to the ferry. The sales director said, "There aren't any Mercedes on North Eleuthera. With all due respect, madame, he can take a taxi like everyone else."
In other words, everyone is equal once they exit the airport, regardless of their bank statement.
Tucked into our cottages, one of my friends noted he felt like he was at the summer home of his parents' best friends. But that is what Pink Sands does to you. You do have this incredible sense of joie de vivre. You feel ageless. You have a bloody Mary with breakfast. Your life is a bohemian rhapsody.
Daily activities? Tooling around in my golf cart like I was choreographing Mr. Todd's Wild Ride. Digging a hole in the sand. Creating a mermaid tail around my lower half. Not so good for the bikini, totally great for the soul.
Pink Sands isn't the place to stargaze. It's a chance to enter the constellation and shine.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
Fly: North Eleuthera Airport (ELH) is served by direct flights from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, and Governor's Harbour on American, United, Silver Airways, Bahamasair, and Sky Bahamas.
Ferry: Bahama Ferries operates among various Bahamas ports.
Car: You probably won't need a rental car on the island, but if you do drive, don't forget to do so on the left side of the road. THe abide by British driving conventions in the Bahamas.