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“Peaceful and relaxing!”
Review of Little Arches

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Little Arches
Lexington, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Peaceful and relaxing!”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Just returned from a week at Little Arches on Harbour Island! Kim's house is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. My husband and I stayed upstairs in the suite and the kids stayed downstairs in the 2 bedroom section. It is not located exactly "on the beach" but across the street from the beach...just a 60 second or less walk to the beach! Unlike other reviews here, EVERYTHING worked including the internet! We had NO issues and would definitely recommend to our friends. Yes, we would rent again. If one is familiar with the out islands, they would absolutely love this place..We loved sitting on the deck in the mornings with our coffee...listening to the roosters. Thank you Kim for renting us your little piece of paradise.

Rob & Stacy

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank Stacy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

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English first
Harleysville, PA
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Our family of 4 rented Little Arches for 1 week in June 2013. I would rate Little Arches 3.5 stars if I could. The house is very much as advertised: Clean, comfortable, and close to the beach. However, there were “infrastructure issues” related to power/water/utilities (mostly beyond the owner’s control) which detracted from our vacation experience. For better and for worse I suspect that by renting a house on Harbour Island we had a more realistic view of true “out island life” than we would had we been staying at a resort (where they would have generators and backup systems when outages occur). That said, we also got much more space to relax and unwind, access to a near-private beach, and a relative “good value” for our vacation dollars compared to the pricier resorts on Harbour Island.

When researching Little Arches I found limited information online, so I will provide a detailed review to help others who might be considering renting this property.

This was our 2nd visit to the island; my husband and I vacationed here about 6 years ago (staying at the Coral Sands hotel then), and decided to return this year with our teenage children (ages 14 and 17). We loved Coral Sands, but the cost to book 2 rooms or a cottage at the hotel was prohibitive; Little Arches offered us all the room we needed at a more budget-friendly rate. I believe the price difference was over $2K, the savings was significant.

Kim is the owner of the property, and she is very good to work with. She offers many good tips/ideas for what to see and do on the island, and is readily available to chat or email about questions during the planning phases of the trip. She does not live on the island, but is very knowledgeable about the area and has local connections if issues arise.

We rented the 2 bedroom downstairs apartment and the upstairs 1 bedroom “Honeymoon suite” for our family of 4, which worked out perfectly for us space-wise. The 1-bedroom studio was unoccupied during our stay. Each unit has a separate entrance. The upstairs apartment is the more “premium” accommodations. We had a large wraparound patio (basically garden view, with lovely tropical plants and bougainvillea, and a near constant ocean breeze). It featured an outdoor dining area (seating for 6) and ample outdoor seating space. It was my favorite place to read over the course of the week.

Inside, the upstairs unit had a well-furnished modest sized living room with lots of natural light and a rather small cable TV/DVD. The utility closet in the hall had some beach chairs and other supplies. The eat-in kitchen was large and well equipped, though there were only 4 or 5 place settings. The kitchen includes a full size refrigerator and 4-burner stove/oven, a compact microwave, and a blender. One bottle of water, some dish detergent, and one roll of paper towels was supplied. There is no dishwasher.

The master bedroom was very large and comfortable, and the king-sized bed had luxurious linens and pillows. The adjoining master bathroom is immense, but there is NO privacy from the bedroom because of the bathroom’s French doors (with clear glass and no curtains). Honeymooners or not, there are times when everyone needs some privacy!

The air conditioning worked well upstairs, but the A/C unit in the downstairs living room was essentially non-functional all week, and it got hot down there. Fortunately the window units in the downstairs bedrooms worked fine.

There is a nice front porch and entryway for the downstairs 2-bedroom apartment. The main area is an “open concept” living room/dining room/kitchen. One bedroom had a queen (maybe king?) size bed; the other had 2 twin beds. There is 1 fairly small but sufficient bathroom in the hallway. This unit also had cable TV/DVD.

All guests have access to the yard, including a grill in the front, and a clothesline in the back. The grill was essentially useless to us since we literally could not find any place to buy hamburgers or hot dogs on the island as we’d planned to do for lunch (and we stopped in about 7 “grocery stores” – the Harbour Island stores are TINY and extremely limited in what they sell; most did not even have a refrigerated section). The clothesline was a very handy feature, as we hung our damp clothes out after beach time and let them dry naturally in the near constant breeze.

The house was immaculately clean when we arrived, and maid service is provided 1-time in the middle of the week (which we knew in advance). I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of making beds or doing dishes while on vacation, but it really was not a big deal.

Little Arches is located in a quiet part of the island, and it is an easy 2-minute walk to the ocean. The path from the street to the ocean was steep and there was no handrail – our teenagers barely noticed, but I was concerned I might lose my balance (thankfully I didn’t). This could be an issue for older travelers…

The nearby beach is spectacular… Ultra soft faintly pink sand, nice wide beach, and warm clear blue azure waters of the Bahamas… Lovely!!! I’m not sure if it was due to the topography of this particular location, or due to weather conditions at sea, but there were way more waves here than we’ve seen in any of our many other visits to the Bahamas. It certainly wasn’t rough waves like we see in NJ and DE; it was fine for swimming and wading, but they were enough to rule out snorkeling.

We nearly had the beach to ourselves… at the most we saw maybe 10 people (including the 4 of us), and many times it was just the 4 of us in sight. Loved that!!! The water is so clear – you can be up to your shoulders and still see your toes. There are some rocks in the water straight ahead of the beach access, but if you go slightly to your left or right you can get to areas that are rock-free and great for swimming.

The weather was perfect - sunny and clear blue skies with air temps in the high 80s and a nice ocean breeze. It got slightly humid towards the end of our stay, but not bad. The water temp was about 85 all week. We had about 5 minutes of rain during the daylight hours, and one heavy rainstorm during our last night there.

Harbour Island is only about 1 mile wide by 3 miles long, there are no traffic lights on the entire island, and our mode of transportation was a rented golf cart that seated 4. Every time we drove past someone on the island they waved, it is a very friendly place!

We dined out for most lunches and all dinners, and were pleased with the quality of the food and service nearly everywhere. One exception was the restaurant at Valentine’s, where the food was just OK (yet plenty expensive), and the server was indifferent with very, very slow “service”. Our favorite finds of the week included Aquapazza (close by, right on the water, very good Italian fare); the Romora Bay Sunset Grill (very convenient to Little Arches, moderate price, great sunset views, live music); Rock House (upscale and expensive, but very, very good); Ma Ruby’s (casual and inexpensive for Harbour Island, delightful staff, good burgers, also very close to the house), and my personal favorite the restaurant at the Coral Sands hotel (lovely ocean view, good service, and fantastic food – admittedly very expensive, but well worth it!). Arthur’s Bakery on Dunmore Street is a great choice for breakfast items and baked goods/coffee.

We spent most of our time at the beach, and also booked several SCUBA dives with Valentine’s Dive Shop. We were really pleased with the dive shop’s staff, service, boats, and equipment. Very well run! We’d hoped to also dive with Ocean Fox, but were unable to reach them when we were on the island.

We had planned to go horseback riding on the beach, but unfortunately it turns out that is no longer available (very disappointing for my daughter who had been looking forward to that forever). According to the woman we spoke with, the horses had been taken off the island for “treatment”, and she was not sure if/when they would return.

In terms of the infrastructure issues, we experienced 2 extended power outages and water outages, the VOIP phone did not work until 4 days into our trip (though I later discovered a note taped to the wall with instructions for how we might have been able to fix that), and the cable/WiFi service was spotty at best. I honestly could have cared less about the cable/WiFi, and I could deal with having no power at times, but the water outages were distressing – not being able to flush a toilet or take a shower for any amount of time is a problem! To her credit, Kim does provide an ample supply of flashlights/batteries/candles/matches etc. for the power outage situations.

All in all I’d give top marks to the island as a destination – it is a very charming and friendly place with fantastic beaches and beautiful ocean water. I’d give strong marks to the house and its owner, but with the caveat that it may not be smooth sailing depending on how lucky or unlucky you may be with getting power and water during your stay. I would suggest that installing a generator would be a wise investment for the owner, if at all possible. Also, that downstairs A/C unit needs to be fixed.

Overall we certainly enjoyed a very relaxing week on a lovely island. This vacation gave our family a much needed chance to unplug and get away from it all, and this house gave us the room we were seeking for everyone in our family of 4 to be comfortable during our stay, without breaking the bank.

Love the Bahamas!!!

Room Tip: A nearby rooster starts crowing at first light... You might want to bring ear plugs! WiFi is slow...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Luv2Travel_19438
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 January 2012

I am just back from a fantastic holiday trip to Little Arches with my family, and really recommend it. We knew Harbour Island was expensive, and found Kim's home to be a great alternative to renting a beachfront home. The house has separate units that gave us the privacy we needed going in and out at all hours (I have teenagers!) and it was really clean and comfortable. The beach is only steps away, and the island is really easy to get around by golf cart. Thank you Kim, for staying in touch, you are a great hostess!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank anneashmun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2011

Little Arches is not bad. Not great but not bad. Poor to fair furniture, NO INTERNET as she claims, (it just doesn't work so plan accordingly). It's an average fair home, no thrills, not fancy but clean and its main attraction is it is literally a 2 min walk to a gorgeous beach. It is very moldy and smells like mildew though so beware if you have allergies. One thing I HIGHLY recommend if renting at Little Arches is to BARGAIN the price down. EVERYTHING here is horrifically over priced, Im talking 5 star prices but 1 to 2 star food and 1 to 2 star accommodations. And I am from LA and NYC so I am used to paying a lot, but here we have been paying more then we would pay in Los Angeles for crap food. (Tonight we went to a local bar and had two tapas and one glass of wine, our bill was $50 US dollars and the tapas were literally store bought pita chips and hummus and tomatoes). At Little Arches we rented the studio villa for $1200 for a week from December 17 to December 26th after doing some bargaining. It is very strange though because I called around to a lot of the other hotels and they all claimed to be fully fully booked and either had no accommidations or did for astronomical amounts, yet the island is completely a ghost town. There are very few other people around, which makes for a lovely secluded vacation if that what you are looking for that, but a super boring if you are not. Harbour Island restaurant's are very very pricy so unless you don't mind or plan to not eat at them I would recommend going else where or bringing your own food. The average price point is $30-50 per plate. My boyfriend and I average meals are about $100 a night and we are vegetarians and light eaters and not big drinkers so $100 a meal for two is on the lower end due to the way we eat. The people here are very friendly and approachable. They are very nice to tourist. It is kind of sad though because there is very little info-structure here and the locals are very poor. The grocery stores have no produce and only out dated boxed or canned foods so if you plan to eat in it will be tuff if you like fresh non expired food. My over all assessment of Harbour Island it that it is just too expensive for what you get. Though the people are lovely and the beach is gorgeous but for the money they charge tourist here there are many other places you can go to and get way more for your buck. I assume its a ghost town because tourist have found out and refuse to pay these prices for what they are getting. Anyway rethink coming here.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sonny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pinkdollarMass, Owner at Little Arches, responded to this review, 29 March 2017
Soooooo many happy and satisfied wonderful guests since 2005!!!
I guess there's always ONE.......
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
annapolis maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2010

Little Arches, our home away from home, was fine and financially friendly! Our quarters was an efficiency within a three apartment building. There was a wall seperating our sleeping area from the living room. That's great when you don't want to bother your snoozing spouse.

The living room, kitchen and bedroom were comfortable. The furniture could be better and clothing storage needed improvement. The lawn was great. Chairs for comfort and a grill for fresh fish. Air conditioning was more then adequate.

We did take a tour of the one bedroom positioned above our efficiency. The apt. is beautiful, spacious and very nicely furnished. The living room is large and comfortable. The bedroom was large,with a king size bed. Bathrooms are drop dead gorgeous and the kitchen is very large and well stocked for cooking . Many windows keep all sections of the house light and airy , and air conditioning has been installed. There's a large, private , comfortable porch. We would rate the apartment an A+. I can't begin to imagine how lovely the very spacious 3 bedroom (?) must be.

How close to the water? About one block . What a nice location. The path led us to a rocky shore line. We took a left turn, walked about 100 feet where the rocks fed onto a magnificent pink powered beach. It's really pink powder! This vantage point is perfect for long beach walks, swimming, fishing or watching the ocean pound against the reefs several hundred yards offshore. On a windy or stormy day watch the waves spray a hundred feet into the air along the southern cliffs. Imagine the site during a full moon. We didn't have to. It's a site we'll never forget.

Thomasa took care of our efficiency during our stay. She also fielded a whole bunch of questions about the history of Harbour Island and offered a lot more information on the side. This hard working lady also runs a business. So don't forget Harry O on the main drag for fine carry out local cuisine.

You MUST visit the home of " Cheeseburger in paradise " fame. It's for real. Great burgers ( and other fine meals ) cooked by Mike. There's a story behind the makings and Jimmy Buffet may be involved.
Ma Ruby will regale you with stories of her visits with royalty. Again, true stories backed with photographs. Ma Ruby and her beautifully stylish hats will make you want to run to a store and be fitted for a covering that will make you look like this grand dame. Ma Ruby's family is a hat from the same tree. Juanita has her share of beauty contests and not a member of the family is without personality, business expertise or environmental activities. You will feel welcome!
Ma Ruby's restaurant is located just shy of the intersection of Colebrook St. and Alicia St. at Ting-um Village. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. A must visit!

If you like dinner overlooking the water then Acquapazza will take your fancy. This fine outdoor restaurant overlooks the waters surrounding Eleuthera. The servers are friendly and ready to take time in answering questions or otherwise just being personable. There's nothing more romantic and comforting then watching the sun go down to meet the ocean! The sunset is magnificent!
Acquapazza is less then one mile from Little Arches.

One more place of interest. Mr. Johnson's grocery. At some point you will need to buy something at the store. This impeccably kept shop is owned by Mr. Johnson. A kind, gracious and good man worth meeting. He and all of the folks I've mentioned ,and too many I havn't mentioned , embody the spirit of Harbour Island residents.
A cab driver on Nassau described Harbour Island admirably when he stated " Ah, you've been to the real Bahamas ".

We visited Harbour Island from Sept. 18 to the 25. Wow, was it off season. when we visit the island again we'll go in the middle of October. We found many restaurants and businesses closed. A number of establishments were getting ready to open on the day we left. No matter. We were their to relax.

Travel to Harbour Island is not as difficult as it may seem. From the east coast you fly into Nasssau and take a fifteen minute flight to Eleuthera. Grab your bag and take a five minute cab ride to one of many oats that will get you to Harbour Island in ten minutes. There was no waiting between Eleuthera and Harbour Island.
If you're leaving from Florida you can take a direct flight to Eleuthera. I bet you could be on harbour Island by noon.
We rented a golf cart for transportation. I was worried about driving on the left, but the slow speed of the cart made the lane change effortless. You MUST take your time with driving around cars and trucks on the island.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank bittybetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2010

Overall we found Little Arches to be a 3-4.5 star type accommodation. We had the privilege of staying in the honeymoon suite for the last three nights as an upgrade provided by the owner to make way for another group needing the studio suite. The honeymoon suite is a 4.5 star and the studio a solid 3.

The service provided by the owner, Kim, is excellent. She provides accurate and timely information, easy reserving and contracting, checkpoints during the stay, and follow-up on our return. Although Kim does not live on the island, the local staffs provide very good cleaning with politeness and professionalism.

The studio suite (5 nights) came across a bit rustic and I would say it is just fine other than the every so slight odour in the tap water and the hot water taking a little long to come through, but when it does come through it is fine. I think the odour is faintly salty. With a fresh coat of paint I think the unit will surpass a 3 star rating. A nice perk would be access to the upstairs balcony, but in reality that would take away from the opulence and privacy of the honeymoon suite. Because this is our first HI trip and because we did not check out other accommodations – it is hard to judge value for money but we feel good about choosing Little Arches. Another close by vacation rental, Sugar Apple, just does not compare – I would not stay there.

The honeymoon suite (3 nights) is truly opulent, and for the going rates on Harbour Island it is value for money – it’s a huge suite, very contemporary, and absolutely romantic. The second level is bright and the white window coverings give you the island paradise feeling. We did not experience the same hot water or salt odour in the honeymoon suite.

In both cases the units are well supplied, clean, comfortable, and made to feel very much like home with décor, art, books. Everything works well – like a well oiled machine. We cooked in the kitchen and used the gas BBQ several times.

Little Arches is located on the ocean-side towards the south end of the island; as a result it is secluded, quiet, and peaceful. This however does mean that you will need a golf cart to get around – no doubt about it. It just makes things easier; i.e., beer run, market stops for grocery, late night dancing, and lazy cruising on the island. We thought we did not need one and avoided booking one due to the cost ($55 a day), but by day two we rented a two-seater for $40/day. We did jog a few times from the house to the town – an easy 10-15 minutes bout. The beach is less than a one-minute walk away, and on most days there were may 2-3 other couples in the vicinity. It’s a gorgeous beach true to the write-ups you find about the famous Pink Sands Beach. You can watch the moon rise on one side, and the sun set on the other!

The location of Little Arches is perfect for couple or families with young or grown children. The privacy, ample room in the yard and beach is second to none in our experience.

The high speed wireless internet and free IP phone is a nice amenity – we used it a lot.

Bottom line message: we recommend Little Arches to a friend and we would return. This is our first vacation rental experience – two thumbs up!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Chili-Bite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lockport, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2010

Our family went on a paradise vacation to Harbour Island from Feb. 20 thru March 1,2010. We rented the most fantastic home-Little Arches- who's owner Kim has provided everything you could want!(including maid service) The house was complete with wonderful amenities. The beach is so close & so beautiful. We went every day! Kim makes sure to call when you arrive & make sure everything is ok. We enjoyed Little Arches as one of the best vacation we have been on & will be back ! Jay & Lisa Ridgeway

Helpful?
2 Thank lridge1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Little Arches

Property: Little Arches
Address: Dunmore Town, Harbour Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Harbour Island
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Harbour Island
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Little Arches Harbour Island, Bahamas

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