Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Other Side

Style

Heaven tent

Setting

Palm-lined paradise

Though it’s technically a campsite, don’t be fooled by The Other Side, a series of luxury tents on Eleuthera in the Bahamas that are far fancier than s’mores and singalongs. This eco-conscious retreat consists of canopied rooms with hardwood floors, spacious ceilings and furniture that doesn’t flat-pack. It’s entirely solar-powered, the pool is filled with seawater and a kitchen garden grows whatever can’t be sourced locally. Watch out for turtles as you paddleboard on the secluded shore, seek shade under one of the many palm trees, or just eagerly await mealtimes, when you can enjoy the creative Caribbean-inspired cooking of the owner Ben.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of champagne and a hosted cruise around the harbour

Facilities

Photos The Other Side facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Six tricked-out tents.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Also

One of the series of tents that form the hotel contains a haven for gamers, with a pool table, table tennis and an elaborate array of board games, including Twister, Scrabble and Monopoly.

Hotel closed

The hotel is closed from 12 August to 15 November annually.

At the hotel

Private beach, laundry, parking, air-conditioning, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: beach bags to borrow, free bottled water, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Malin + Goetz bath products.

Our favourite rooms

There are three Tents and three Shacks. the Tents are so far from their cramped canvas cousins, they hardly deserve to share the name: these ones have hardwood floors, bright, breezy spaces and huge king-size beds. They’re also right on the beach – so if you’d rather look at the water than dip your toes in it, go for one of the hilltop Shacks, which have far-reaching views over the ocean.

Poolside

There’s a small, saltwater pool seemingly suspended above the ocean, which is also right on your doorstep – snorkels and paddleboards can be borrowed for free.

Spa

The hotel doesn’t have an official spa but in-room massages and beauty treatments are on offer, as well as yoga and personal trainers.

Packing tips

Bring boat shoes, smart shirts and red shorts for Mr Smith to match the snazzy Bahamians; Mrs Smith should pack as many colours, florals and patterns as a suitcase can squash to reflect the island’s upbeat vibe.

Also

The hotel is not suitable for wheelchair access.

Pet‐friendly

Dogs can come along for free; bowls will be provided. See more pet-friendly hotels in Eleuthera.

Children

All ages are welcome. Extra beds and baby cots can be added to rooms. Babysitting can be arranged with two days’ notice; the cost is BSD15 an hour (plus a potential additional charge for taxis home after midnight) and there’s a two-hour minimum.

Best for

All ages, especially water babies.

Recommended rooms

The Tents have more space so are more suited to families. The Shacks have high stairwells and are harder to reach, but prams and other baby-related paraphernalia can be transported via the site’s vehicles. Travel cots and foldaway beds can be added.

Activities

 There’s enough to keep even the hardest-to-please child amused here; activities on offer include snorkelling, scuba-diving, surfing, paddleboarding and trips to meet the island’s turtles.

Swimming pool

Armbands and other swimming-aids can be borrowed.

Meals

Children are welcome in both the restaurant and bar at all times, though there’s no special menu – but staff will be glad to heat up food and milk. Highchairs are available

Babysitting

Babysitting can be arranged with two days’ notice; the cost is BSD 15 an hour (plus a potential additional charge for taxis home after midnight) and there’s a two-hour minimum.

No need to pack

There are plenty of books, games and arts and crafts to keep kids entertained.

Eco‐friendly

The Other Side is powered entirely by the sun and each of the buildings are technically tents that tread lightly on the local environment. The pool is filled with water straight from the ocean in a H2O-conserving attempt.

Food and Drink

Photos The Other Side food and drink

Top Table

There’s a communal table to encourage sociable evenings, but if you’d prefer dinner in your tent or on the beach, just put the request in.

Dress Code

Footloose (literally – no one will blink if you show up with bare feet) and fancy free.

Hotel restaurant

The owner doubles up as the chef, and he has some serious skills (in addition to his hotel-building talents): the farm-to-table fare on offer includes grilled snapper with mojito oil and coconut rice ’n’ peas; lemongrass and lobster curry; and filet mignon with truffle fries and tomato salad. Save room for dessert, but don’t read this if you’re hungry: blueberry frangipane with orange sherbert; passionfruit cheesecake; and lime tart with papaya sorbet. The menu changes with the seasons and with what’s available from the kitchen garden and local suppliers.

Hotel bar

There’s an honesty bar within its own tent that’s decked out with decorative coconuts, antique mirrors and old brass candlesticks. Mixology novices needn’t worry, since a range of cocktail books are there to help you self-medicate in style. If you insist on leaving it to the experts, summon a bartender and request a Rum Dum: a smooth mix of aged rum with young, coconut-infused rum, lemon juice, bitters and egg white.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am until the last guest wants it. The dining tent is open all day from 7.30am until 8.30pm. If you missed the boat, desserts, breads and other snacks are laid out for guests to delve into.

Location

Photos The Other Side location
Address
The Other Side
Queen's Hwy
Upper Bogue
Upper Bogue
Bahamas

Planes

Most international travellers will arrive on Eleuthera via Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, but other stopover options include Fort Lauderdale and Miami in Florida, and Atlanta. From each of these hubs (except Atlanta), airlines operate onward connections to North Eleuthera Airport, a 15-minute drive from the Other Side, and Governor’s Harbour Airport (40 minutes away by car). The Smith24 Team can book flights on request; call anytime on 03334 143 546. Water taxis from North Eleuthera should cost about BSD40.

Automobiles

Hire cars can be collected at the airports, but it’s important to note that some of the roads are more suited to four-wheel drive vehicles.

Other

The Other Side is a short boat trip from nearby Harbour Island (seven minutes), and ferry services run back and forth across the ocean between the archipelago’s ports.

Worth getting out of bed for

The nearest town is Harbour Island, just over five minutes away in the hotel’s boat tender, and it’s worth a visit to explore the buzzy bars and boutiques. There’s some interesting erosion around: head to the narrowest point on Earth, also known as the Glass Window Bridge, which separates the north and south of the island. The perfectly crescent-shaped Ben’s Beach is a 25-minute drive from the hotel. Swim in the unique natural formation that is the Blue Hole, a jungle-surrounded pool that you can jump into and climb out of with rope ladders.

Local restaurants

On the Queen’s Highway and close to the Glass Window Bridge, Daddy Joe’s serves up grilled seafood, totally tropical cocktails and conch bites; there’s live music on Sundays, but note it’s closed on Wednesdays (+ 242 335 5688). Across the other side of the ‘bridge’, you’ll find its namesake Glass Window Bar & Grill, which has great views and an even better breeze. The food is Bahamian, with some American options. Visit The Cove hotel to sample its beachfront restaurants, which include the Gregory Town Grill and the place to find the best sushi on the island.

Reviews

Photos The Other Side reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachfront hotel in the Bahamas and unpacked their bikinis and board shorts, a full account of their eco-friendly break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Other Side on Eleuthera

Brian Wilson may have roamed around Nassau town but, as anyone who harbours Beach Boys lyrics will know, he ended up wanting to go home. They should’ve sent the Sloop John B to Eleuthera, the Bahamian capital’s rugged easterly neighbour, where days are spent disporting on deserted beaches, paddleboarding with turtles and jumping into jungle pools. At eco-friendly stay the Other Side, a series of tents in the quiet south of the island, guests can help out in the kitchen garden, practise yoga by the pool or hang out in the glamorous campsite, which includes a dining tent, a bar tent and a games tent. There are only six rooms, so you’ll hardly see another soul – though if you’re feeling sociable, evening meals can be communal, when guests gather amid the golden onion-shaped vases and leafy green plants to enjoy whatever has taken chef-proprietor Ben’s fancy that night. Come check-out, you’ll feel so broke up about going home.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Other Side’s Guestbook below.
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