More about Coral Sands Hotel
Top of the Line
Coral Sands is probably the nicest hotel on Harbour Island~ great service, ocean views, and 5 star treatment. Situated on a bluff overlooking Pink Sand Beach, the view is pristine. Opt for "The Beach House" for the best view and privacy, or "The Loft" for an edgier feel.
The water is so blue, the sand looks like a soft pink buttercream frosting. The beaches are cleaned regularly, and the waves are small...perfect for kids or not-so-confident swimmers. ~ ocean views.
~library on site.
~The Terrace Restaurant.
Enchanted with the Coral Sands
Just returned from a wonderful stay at the Coral Sands. Having
had the good fortune to have stayed at many of the Caribbeans's
highest rated resorts (Ritz St. Thomas, Caneel Bay, La Samanna,
etc.), I can say that a stay at the Coral Sands compares favorably
with any of them.
It fits perfectly in its setting...the veranda and public areas of
the main building are enchanting..breezy and beautifully
decorated in a style that is perfect for a Bahaman setting. The
pool is adequate, but it is the beach that is MAGNIFICENT!
I certainly agree with the Travel Channel's assessment that it
ranks among the world's Top Ten!
We stayed in a Junior Suite in the Lacaya Building, which I
would highly recommend. If at all possible, I would book
a room in this building as it is recently built, and as such, has
the freshest and most updated rooms.
The grounds are lovely..full of tropical foliage and flowers..we were
charmed by the hundreds of butterflies flittering about the gardens. The
staff was lovely.
Finally, I was charmed by the beauty and simplicity of Harbour
Island. The people were the friendliest of any of the Caribbean
islands I have visted. This is not an island for people who need
lots of things to do...but it is perfect for anyone who seeks an
island of great beauty on one of the planet's most stunning
Coral Sands stay April 17-22, 2005
Just back from 5 nights at the Coral Sands (followed by 2 at the Atlantis on Paradise Island...what a come down!) and am happy to report that this is a great little hotel on a fabulous beach! Week of April 18 and the weather was lovely (I'm a New Englander!)....we swam in the ocean and pool every day, though the first few days were windy and cool (high 70's) for normal April in the Bahamas.
We stayed in a "master suite" in the Lucaya building and it was comfortable and spacious for me, my husband and three boys. We had never been to Harbour Island and were drawn to it by the "perfect" beach. I had considered staying at either Pink Sands or Dunmore Beach Club, but found that both were too expensive for a family of 5. I was relieved to discover that we made the absolutely right hotel choice. I walked the premises of those hotels and was really pleased with the Coral Sands.
Coral Sands sits adjacent to both of these lovely hotel properties and shares the same stretch of sand. (I did like the DBC beach cabanas though...nice wind protection on our windy days!) I think Coral Sands is a far better choice for families and a better value. The rooms are great....new furniture, mattresses and flooring. We had a great view of the ocean. The public rooms (bar, main restaurant, game room) are stylish, newly decorated and furnished and very inviting. The "beach bar" and breakfast and lunch restaurant sit perched above the beach and offer very good food. I do think they should offer a children's menu at breakfast ($15 for my 5 yr. old to eat one pancake???).
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the restaurant...really outstanding cuisine, but I would have loved a casual, less expensive option for other nights with my family too.....maybe a BBQ night at the Beach Bar or buffet dinner option. We also had dinners at Barracudas, Valentine's Marina and Angela's Starfish. Also, my husband and I ate at the Pink Sands one night....outstanding food. Walked down the beach to Sip Sip for lunch one day...just great.
We loved the polite, friendly employees --- especially the guys at the beach who lend the toys, boogie boards etc, chambermaids and waitresses at the beach restaurants and bartenders at the main bar. Bartender (female) at Beach Bar had a little bit of attitude and a more friendly 'tude would have had more guests hanging around that ideal spot in the afternoons. How about live music an afternoon or two a week? Would've have loved beach and pool drink service : ) Instead of walking back and forth ourselves.
The resort is obviously under solid and devoted management....though we didn't introduce ourselves, they were visible and available. There is constant updating and improving going on....new landscaping was being planted, new painting being done, a new rock wall being installed---these folks are investing in this property and I for one, hope that all the improvements do not result in huge room rate increases cause we'd love to return!
My final reco for this great little hotel would be to add a gym and spa! (Can you tell I'm a business consultant?) Find the space somewhere...how about that hill behind Lucaya? There was no public place to exercise on the island (we walked/ran the beach) and no spa services run by the hotel. I think C. Sands could differentiate themselves by building a decent gym and spa facility. I would've absolutely paid for a massage or facial and have enjoyed lifting some weights to make up for the food and drinks!
We had a wonderful time at the Coral Sands...now back in chilly Boston, we are recalling the warm days hanging out at the beach and the pool at Coral Sands and wishing we were there!
Lynne from Boston
we spent a marvelous week at the newly revamped coral sands hotel, thoroughly enjoying the hotel and the island atmosphere. harbour island is a casual, unpretentious spot that begs tourists to fit right in and smile. coral sands reflects this friendly attitude and there isn't a corner of the hotel that doesn't invite its guest to kick off shoes and relax. the ambience of the hotel is wonderful and the redesign is astounding.
the website accurately reflects this makeover. every room in the hotel, public or private, is visually appealing and comfortable. whether in our rooms, the dining room, the beach bar, the lobby, or at the pool, we felt welcome and relaxed. the managers are hands-on and readily available; we saw them at work every day, all day. with its unbeatable long stretch of pink sand beach, the coral sands hotel made for a perfect vacation.
We spent four nights at Coral Sands and had an amazing time. The hotel has been refurbished in a colonial style which really suits the building and the bar/restaurant area is fantastic. Our room, in the Caribe building had stunning views from the terrace out over the ocean. We found the level of service was perfect, the staff were warm and friendly but not imposing and Big Red the barman can make fantastic cocktails!
The food in the restaurant was fantastic, we were on Harbour Island for three nights and ate twice at Coral Sands. We had a meal at the Landing and it was not nearly as good as the food at Coral Sands.
The beach is simply stunning and the water is amazing. There is a pool at the hotel with some fantastic sunbeds but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the beach to use it and we made plety of use of the kayaks provided down on the beach.
I would thoroughly recommend a stay at Coral Sands and we will definitely be returning!
We will be back next summer (and the summer after that)!
We stayed at Coral Sands during the week of June 5th 2005 and had an amazing time. The hotel is beautiful and comfortable (lots of spots to just lounge around), the beach is incredible and the best surprise was the food at the hotel (which was delicious - to put it lightly!).
Our hotel room was in the Caribe building on the 2nd floor. The room was very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable and the view was fantastic from the balcony.
We met many nice families (the hotel attracts a nice upscale group) and can't say that we have even one complaint.
We did eat every night at the hotel and as mentioned above, the food was out of this world. Even my seven year old son gave his "compliments to the chef". The staff was gracious, helpful and attentive.
The island itself is very small and I found it to be very safe. There isn't much to do on the island, but we did rent a golf cart and went into town a few times in the late afternoon. Everyone is friendly (you have to wave from your golf cart at everyone you pass!). But truly, the hotel has enough to keep you busy and also has a very, very nice bar next to the library/game room. While my husband and I had a drink, our little one went into the game room to watch TV or play pool with some of the other children staying at the hotel.
We were so sorry when we had to leave and were actually running late to get to the airport on our return (we were dragging our feet!). Well, the manager called the airport for us to let them know that we were on our way. Those are the small details that make Coral Sands Hotel such a special place.
We will be back next summer (and the summer after that)!
My wife and I stayed at the Coral Sands the last week in May into June. I found the previous posts on this board to be right on the mark. This is a very nice, above average hotel on an unbelievable stretch of beach. The whole property has a "casual elegance" about it--very peacefull. The hotel is freshly renovated-dark hardwoods, light airy rooms with stunning views of the beach, and very clean. Even the grounds (which are still a work in progress) are very well maintained and tastefully done. Compared to the nearby, more expensive hotels (Pink Sands and Dunmore), this one is the best value. The owners were very helpful and attentive-we had NO problems with the room, grounds or bills.
We ate at several restaurants on the island and found them all to be above average----but VERY expensive. We knew from previous posts that this was the case and were not shocked. It will cost $75-150 to go almost anywhere for dinner. The best dinner we had was at the Coral Sands itself. The desserts there were outstanding. The Landing seemed to be the priciest and was good but not as good as the Coral Sands. The Friday barbeque at the Rock House was a great value with outstanding food but in season get there early as it fills up.
The island is nice, fairly clean and feels safe. Some areas are residential in the middle of the island and need some updating. There are few cars-mostly golf carts. The main part of the island is very small and the whole island is easily walkable or rideable on a bike--but in the afternoon it is VERY hot. If you are not interested in breaking a bit of a sweat then get a golf cart. If you don't mind a little exercise or adventure then walk or bike.
The few problems I saw are minor. Some of the staff (especially lunch at the beach bar)are exceedingly slow---even allowing for the fact that you are relaxing on a vacation. Alcoholic beverages and bottled water are super expensive-it would serve you well to go to one of the local stores in "town" and buy some rum/beer/and bottled water as it is much cheaper there. The only bikes available to rent were servicable at best. They could cleanup some of the area on the Northwest side of the town---near Bay st and the "lone tree".
Overall Harbour Island and Pink Sands Beach is a wonderful and relaxing place. The beach is everthing as advertised--pink, clean, gorgeous, soft--the nicest beach I've ever been to (and I live in Florida). If the Bahamian Govt and/or the island Hotel owners would invest some capital into renovating and sprucing up the residential areas of the island they could really make this place into an exclusive beach paradise.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
A Hotel Resurrected
In under 18 months, new ownership and new management have overhauled Coral Sands into the gem of Harbour Island. even bypassing its pricier adjacent neighbor, Pink Sands, in comfort, atmosphere, value and service. No improvement can be made to a mesmerizing beach which has few equals anywhere in the world, but nearly every other area of the hotel and its operation has been refined into the ideal place to escape and relax. This elegant small hotel and its friendly staff will make you feel right at home. Have lunch and a drink at the new Beach Bar (pictured), shoot pool on the new table in the game room, catch up on your email using the lobby's wireless connection, have a swim in the pool, play some tennis, or just lounge on your private patio with a book and listen to the ocean. You will not want to leave. General Managers Pam and Jacques Brouchier have recreated Coral Sandsl with their personal touch, in faithful keeping with the distinctive and casual comfort for which Harbour Island is well known. Just go: you will not be disappointed.
Just Returned for 6days
My wife and I just made our first trip to Harbour Isl. and it was fantastic. Weather was perfect, beach and water was more amazing than we could ever imagine (saw a guy painting a picture of the water/sand and we both honestly thought it is impossible to recreate the beauty on canvas). We spent 6 days at Coral Sands and would say it was definitely above average-close to excellent. The decor is perfect (dark wood, new furniture, hurricane candles, etc) and the setting is more than perfect. Thought the food was ok/good until we ate at Sip Sip (lunch), the Landing (dinner), the Rock House (dinner), and Valentine's (dinner...lower end, but good and relatively cheap). We saw all the other hotels and decided we stayed at the right one for us. Pink Sands looked like a Moroccan nightmare in pink/red...very creepy; Dunmore Beach Club was nice/cozy but needs re-decorating badly; The Rock House is absolutely beautiful but not on the beach; Runaway Hill was just like the Dunmore B. Club, cozy but needing update.
The Coral Sands was great, but could do the following:
Service - Average -to- Poor. Staff at the front desk, bar, and lunch time need to be more attentive and less put-out when asked for something....especially the female bartender at the beach/lunch area. God forbid if you request food/drink even 10 minutes prior to closing. Nobody really would go above/beyond a "yes or no" to do something or provide normal, $300+ night type service. Houskeepers would only make beds/clean bathrooms but would leave clothes on floor, empty coke/juice cans would not be thrown out. The owner, lady named Pamela was very attentive, helpful. Beach manager was very nice, helpful.
Internet - Dont charge $1 per minute...Dunmore B Club doesnt.
Beach - I know the horse riding isnt the hotels, but put a leash on that guy. He is going to kill someone riding those horses full speed through the hotel beach area.
Besides the constructive criticism, we will definitely go back next year.
Very nice but needs more work to be great
My husband and I just got back from 2 weeks at Coral Sands, and overall had a very good time. First the positives. The beach is absolutely beautiful and exactly as amazing as everyone has been saying. The hotel has the best beach area of all, with very nice umbrellas and a great beach restaurant/bar. We liked it a lot more than both Sip Sip and Pink Sands. The hotel grounds are very nice - the landscaping is nice, there are constantly updates going on, and the common area in the main building is very cozy and welcoming.
Now the negatives. We stayed in the garden view room in the Caribe building. While the room was fine (very comfy bed), it was very spartan and not having a view definitely takes away from the experience. If we come back, we will get an ocean view room next time. Room service was so-so - 2 times we ran out of soap and the staff didn't put it in until I called the front desk about it. I also wish they'd change the bedding at least once a week as opposed to just turning it over day after day, without my requesting for it specifically. The staff in the hotel is very nice but SO SLOW!!! I realize the idea is for us to relax, but not starve or dehydrate in the process! We also didn't like the idea of just getting 15% on top of every bill, even when the service was bad - however, that's the case all over the island. Also, staff in restaurants CONSTANTLY forgets things you ask for and needs to be reminded.
The island in general is VERY expensive. There aren't that many choices for meals, and almost all of them are really expensive. I wish the hotel would put mini-fridges in the rooms so we could at least buy some food and drinks - at least have breakfast at a reasonable price! The food in the hotel restaurants is fine, definitely on par with the other restaurants. We also liked the Landing and Rock House restaurants for dinner - Rock House is the only restaurant on the island where service is great, everywhere else we wish we didn't automatically pay the 15% gratuity, maybe if the staff knew they had to deserve the tips they'd work better.