Boutique Hotel with Oceanfront Dining and Beach Cove
When the American Revolution ended in 1783, British loyalists fled the country. Many sailed to the Bahamas, a British colony at the time, where they founded George Town, named in honor of King George III. Present-day George Town attracts plenty of newcomers, too, thanks to a position along the Tropic of Cancer that puts it comfortably between temperate and tropical zones. Just north of town, you’ll find the Augusta Bay resort, which Fodor’s says strikes “the perfect balance of luxury and casual chic” after a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Because the boutique hotel has only 16 guest rooms, its designers have the resources to fill each room with high-end touches, from down-feather comforters to bedframes woven from jute, a shiny fiber. Italian-stone tile, a marble double vanity, and a rain-shower-style showerhead accessorize the bathroom. Thanks to the property’s intimate layout, each room’s private balcony overlooks the pool deck and Elizabeth Harbour. You’re also steps away from a private beachfront, which curves around a scenic cove. Sunbathe on the beach during low tide, or rent a kayak or a catamaran during high tide to navigate the waves.
Each morning, the resort serves a continental breakfast spread that might include english muffins, cereals, and freshly chopped fruit salad. Those looking for a more traditional Bahamian breakfast can try stewed conch and chicken souse. To use your $100 dining credit, head to the onsite restaurant, where chefs serve pork, shrimp, and veal entrees, as well as several fresh seafood dishes, including blackened shrimp and broiled lobster tail.
Exuma, Bahamas: Snorkeling and Kayaking among Cays and Coral Reefs
George Town is the capital of Exuma, a district of the Bahamas formed from more than 360 tiny islands. Here, each shore seems like the perfect image of a tropical paradise, with bleached-white sand and translucent water. In fact, the seascapes here are so pretty that they served as the filming location for the James Bond movie Thunderball, as well as for much of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Hollywood connection does not end there. Many stars, including Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, and David Copperfield, own their own islands in the archipelago.
Most of the islands here are cays, which are low-lying landforms along the top of coral reefs. This kind of aquatic setting makes for the perfect conditions for marine life, which are waiting to be discovered beneath the waves. Charter a snorkeling cruise to hop from one bay to the next, or scuba dive within Exuma National Land and Sea Park to spot conch, lobsters, and sea turtles.