Conch Inn is the charter base for both Sunsail and The Moorings yacht charter firms in the Abacos. Along with two friends, I arrived a day early for a sailing trip and stayed at the Inn prior to boarding our boat.
I understand that the Abacos are far less touristy than other parts of the Bahamas, which suits me fine. Our taxis were met by hotel staff (largely Bahamian women) and guided past the block of rooms to the office -- she even carried one of my bags, although my male companions were on their own. Our rooms were not ready (we were early). Our luggage was piled in the reception area -- unsecured but in full view of the staff behind the desk. We retired to Curley Tails, the upstairs bar, for a welcome drink.
In addition to the bar, Curley Tails has a full service restaurant at ground level. The hotel complex also includes a swimming pool, laundry, and showers for marina guests. .
By the time we had walked to the liquor store (critical for a week of sailing) our rooms were ready. We carried our luggage the short distance to them.
The rooms have two queen beds, television, air conditioning, and roomy bathrooms. They're tidy and pleasantly decorated. Oddly, the mattresses make a crinkling noice when you sit on them, or move around -- as if a stiff plastic wrap was left on under the sheets. Although I slept well enough, I did not roll around as much as usual. One of my companions, who shared a room, said the other woke him several times by tossing and turning in his noisy bed.
Power in the Bahamas matches the US, including the outlets, so I was soon surfing the web with my laptop while watching US TV. Not how I want to spend my sailing vacation, but a good way to ease from New York life to island time.
I was awakened by what I thought was a long, loud, one-sided argument -- a monologue by a woman who I thought must be right outside my window. I staggered over to it and peeked out, but saw only the bright moring sun on tropical plants, the sailboat masts nearby, and the sea. A little later another companion who had stayed in the hotel across the street mentioned the yelling woman -- aparently she was loud enough to be heard that far away. We agreed that she had not, in fact, been arguing nor even yelling. Her speaking voice was just that loud, and her conversation just that strident.
As we prepared to take posession of our charter yachts, my friends from the other room revealed that they had had only hot water. They were unable to shower. My friend negotiated with the manager and received a discount on their room.
My friend from across the street and I went for a swim in the unheated pool. It was refreshing, if a little chilly, and we had it to ourselves. We lunched that day at Curly Tails. As with so many hotel restaurants where Americans are regulars, the menu was overly Americanized, with wraps and salads that I'm sure the locals don't usually eat. But the food was good.
The Conch Inn is not a bargain, but it does not position itself as such. Its biggest value for me was its location at the yacht charter base, but even if you aren't there to sail, this would be a suitable accommodation as a home base from which to explore the island.
- Also Known As:
- Conch Inn Hotel And Marina Abaco Islands/Marsh Harbour, Bahamas