There is a parrot to greet us in the tree opposite our cabana behind lush green foliage as we approach in our golf cart, which also bears a picture of a parrot, part of the logo of the tropical, luxurious Abaco Club.
One of the most charming properties in these islands, The Abaco Club is a private members’ club, but has also been developed as a community where club members, homeowners and visitors can relax. Cabanas, houses and executive homes can all be rented to give the visitor a taste of an exclusive but laid-back lifestyle with golf, beach, spa and sunshine all to hand.
The Abaco Club offers the Number 1 golf course in The Bahamas, a spa and fitness facility, water sports, tennis courts, gourmet dining and a beautiful, two-mile powder-soft beach, the gateway to the tranquil waters of Winding Bay. From here you can try deep-sea fishing or boating and sailing, rent kayaks or swim. Or simply relax in the sun with a cocktail from the friendly Flippers Beach Bar. The property is spacious, and the private club atmosphere is welcoming and friendly so that visitors staying for just a few nights immediately feel part of the community. This is barefoot luxury where elegant accommodation has a home from home appeal.
The cabanas at The Abaco Club are freestanding, octagonal one-bedroom units with plush four-poster beds and sofas. With high ceilings and colourful artwork, the rooms have a spacious comfortable feel. There are airy tiled bathrooms, large showers have rainfall fixtures, and the screened-in porches offer privacy to enjoy the tropical breeze. The cabanas are just steps from over two miles of secluded beach and are a quick stroll from Flippers Beach Bar, the tennis courts, the golf shop, and the first tee of the golf course. There are also 2, 3 and 4-bedroom cottage villas available with ocean or beach/bay views, decks and outdoor spaces. Estate homes are on the oceanfront offering the ultimate privacy and luxury with four or more bedrooms. All residences have modern kitchens, Wi-Fi and air conditioning.
There is a fine dining restaurant at the octagonal clubhouse, The Cliff, serving cocktails and dinner. Local specialities include lobster, grouper and conch chowder. This is a lovely spot to watch the sunset and enjoy drinks before and after dinner at the Cliff House Bar or on the poolside patio.
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at the pretty tiki-hut Flippers Beach Bar, serving fresh food cooked to order. On Wednesday night there is local music, beach barbeque and activities for children.
Because it operates as a private club, service is more attentive and personal than you might find in a large resort. Groceries can be pre-ordered, meals arranged, transport organised and excursions booked.
The main focus of the club is the 18-hole Golf course, considered to be among the best in the islands. But the 453-acre site also has an infinity pool, spa, all-weather tennis courts, water sports, children’s activities and play area, beach volleyball and deep sea and bone fishing charters on offer.
On site transport is provided by golf carts which allow you to explore the property from end to end. Rental cars and taxis are available for trips to Marsh Harbour and lively local spot Pete’s Pub, just a short drive from the entrance.
The Abaco Club, Cherokee Road on Winding Bay, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, The Islands Of The Bahamas
Tel: 00 1 (242) 367-0077
The Abaco Club is located on Great Abaco, the main island of a string of quiet Bahamian islands known as The Abacos that are located 186 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida and just to the northwest of Eleuthera. The Abaco Club is located 25 minutes south of Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) with direct regularly scheduled flights to and from Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Nassau, Orlando and West Palm Beach. British Airways has regular direct flights to Nassau from London Heathrow. The Marsh Harbour airport also has facilities for those wishing to fly to Abaco aboard private aircraft.
Type of Hotel: Luxury Golf Club and Members Club with residences to rent
Number of Rooms: Cabanas, cottages and executive homes.
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Wake up with the parrots and take an early morning stroll to the pool at the top of The Abaco Club before a morning round of golf.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Judith Baker is a London-based freelance travel writer.
Photographs courtesy of The Abaco Club