Can we get Covid 19 tests on Spanish Wells?
Yes. Bahamas Wellness is a clinic in the Food Fair shopping center where you can get quick tests and PCR tests. Their phone number is 242-333-4869. Their email is email@example.com and their website is wellnessclinic.bs
And here is a link to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa website.
What is your property manager's contact info?
Here is a link to our property manager's contact info.
Is there internet access at the house?
Yes. There is a wireless network at the house (Amberjack). The internet download speed is usually very good, similar to most residential US download speeds (50-75 Mbps). We recntly added Eero range extenders so you can now get a good wireless signal throughout the house and on the deck.
How do you get to Spanish Wells?
Here is a link with directions to Spanish Wells and our house.
One tip: avoid Silver Airways if you can. They have a lot of cancellations and delays. In the fall, they are often the only airline that flies to ELH from the US, so you don't have much of a choice then.
Can you arrange our travel to and from the airport?
Sorry, no. We have around 50 sets of guests per year and just don't have the time to do this. And there's a chance we'll forget! Also, it's one of those things where you don't want too many cooks in the kitchen when you're passing on flight info through a third party and where flight times can change, etc. Here are the two things you can arrange in advance:
1. To arrange transportation from the airport to Spanish Wells, contact Pinder Taxi at 242-359-7135 the day before you are scheduled to arrive. They'll get you on their van and on their water taxi. Many guests don't do this which is absolutely fine. There are always a lot of taxis at the airport that can take you to the Spanish Wells water taxi and the water taxi runs every 15 minutes or so and it's never full.
2. To arrange a golf cart on Spanish Wells, contact Harboursider Rentals. You should definitely do this if you need a golf cart and are traveling during the busy season (Christmas through mid August). The water taxi will drop you off right by Harbourside Rentals. There email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
How far from the North Eleuthera (ELH) airport is the house?
It takes about 30 minutes to get from ELH to the house. Here is a link with details. Pinder Taxi charges $15 per person to get from the airport to Spanish Wells.
What is the ferry schedule?
The ferry / water taxi from Eleuthera to Spanish Wells runs every 15-30 minutes all day long. You'll have no problem getting the ferry when traveling to/from the airport.
Here is a link to the Bahamas ferry schedule that goes between Nassau, Habour Island, and Spanish Wells.
Are there any good restaurants in Spanish Wells?
Yes, our favorite restaurant is the Shipyard. It's located about 11 blocks east of the house at the end of the island. It has a nice bar, outdoor patio, and the food is excellent. Don't miss their 2 for 1 happy hour drink special! They are open for lunch and dinner and are closed on Tuesdays.
Wreckers at the Spanish Wells Yacht Haven is another favorite and is one of the few places on the island where you can get pasta and pizza. They also have a full bar and they serve breakfast several days per week.
The Anchor Snack Bar in the marina around 4th St is great for lunch and carryout. They are open Monday - Thursday 9-2 and Friday and Saturday 9-2 and 5-10 PM. Sunday 5-10 PM. Everything on their menu is excellent. They have the best fish fingers and rice on the island.
There are also several other great places to eat, all within walking distance of the house: the Gap, Budda's, and Eagle's Landing. We really like Budda's on 12th for take out. Budda's also has a liquor store and full bar so you can have a beer or drink with your meal. Gap has great deserts.
If you are up for a long golf cart ride, then check out the Sandbar on Russell Island. It's at the far end of Russell Island and is about a 15-20 minute golf cart ride from the house. It's open air dining right on the beach with a relaxing vibe. It's a good place to take kids. They can play on the beach while you eat and enjoy a few drinks. It can get a little buggy out there, though, so you might want to bring bug spray or head out there only if there is a breeze.
And if you are looking for desert, try the ice cream at Papa's Scoops. It's usually opens at 7:00 PM and is right off Main Street down by the grocery store.
There are several other tiny restaurants and snack bars on the island and there always seems to be a new one popping up. They are probably good too. We just haven't tried them yet.
Also, the restaurants that serve alcohool on the island are Shipyard, Wreckers, Budda's, and Sand Bar.
Do we need make reservations when we dine out?
During Christmas, New Year's, Spring Break, and June through July, you'll want to make dinner reservations at Shipyard and Wreckers.
You might also want to get lunch and dinner reservations at the Sandbar. It can get really busy there during the busy season, especially for lunch,
Where is the house located on Spanish Wells?
It's on the northside beach at 11th Street. From the water taxi, go west on the island's main street (Pinder) and turn right on 11th. It's the lime green house at the end of 11th on the left. It's a two minute golf cart ride from the water taxi drop off, about 1/4 mile.
Note that there is a cemetery on Pinder St from 10th to 11th. The cemetery is behind the house opposite the beach. It's a very pretty, very old little cemetery. It's quiet and provides extra privacy for the house. The shrubs in the back of our house completely block the view of the cemetery from our house.
The island is about 30 blocks long (2 miles) so the house is fairly close to just about everything on the island.
How close to the beach is the house?
Our house is a beach front house that is right on the beach. It is one of about 30 beach houses on Northside Beach. The house itself sits about 90' from the edge of the beach. We have a beach deck that is literally right on the edge of the beach with a private boardwalk that goes from our house deck down to our beach deck. To access the beach, you'll use our private boardwalk.
Is the beach kid friendly?
Yes, it's really, really kid friendly. The most kid friendly beach we've ever been on. We have kids and they are able to play on the beach with minimal supervision. The bay our house sits on is well protected by reefs about a mile offshore so we usually get very little surf (the pictures on this website of the water is what it's like most of the time). And the bay is very shallow. At low tide, it's knee deep for several hundred yards off shore. At high tide, it rarely gets above waste deep. Also, we have never seen a shark from our beach.
If you are looking for body surfing and big waves, our beach will definitely disappoint you.
Is there a grocery store on Spanish Wells?
Yes. The Food Fair grocery store is on 19th St and Main, eight blocks west from the house. They are open from 9-5 Monday through Saturday. It's a full blown, average sized grocery store and has an excellent pharmacy.
A piece of advice: the Food Fair gets low on certain items like milk and fresh produce by Tuesday. The grocery boat gets into Spanish Wells on Wednesday and the shelves get restocked by Thurday evening. Friday and Saturday are the best days to do your heavy duty grocery shopping.
And a heads up: groveries in the Bahamas are very expensive. They are typically 50-100% more than US grocery prices.
Note: if you are arriving on Sunday, the convenience store near our house is open on Sundays for basics like milk, bread, pasta, etc. If you go to the end of our driveway, turn left and go a block or two. It's on the right.
Here is a photo of the product section of the Food Fair grocery store:
Just a heads up: you must bring your own tote bags or buy them at Food Fair. They don't use plastic or paper bags. There are usually about a half dozen tote bags in the laundry room that you can use.
Are there places to shop on the island?
The Food Fair on 19th is the best for groceries. Kathy's Bakery is across the street from the Food Fair and is nice. For fresh seafood, try Ronald's Seafood in the marina on 3rd. Pinder's Grocery is in the marina near 6th. Harbourside Rentals has a really good gift shop and a great selection of t-shirts. There is a good hardware store around 3rd and Main by the lumberyard. There is a convenient store on 10th that is open Sundays.
For anything electronic, there's Electric City on 13th. If you encounter computer or cell phone problems, you might also check with Darrin Sands at Sotheby's Realty. He has a side business called Computers and Tings.
And there are several small shops up and down Main Street for beach supplies and gifts.
Do we need to bring towels?
No. There are dozens of bath towels and beach towels at the house.
Do you provide kayaks?
Yes. We provide two sit on top, single person kayaks. We also provide a paddleboard for guests.
Do you provide a golf cart or boat or bikes?
No. But you can rent them from Harbourside Rentals which is located right at the water taxi drop off. You can also rent boats from them. They have a 22' Sea Hunt, 21' Wellcraft, and 17' Boston Whaler for rent. They also have paddle boards, snorkeling gear, bikes, and fishing poles for rent. We have a mooring line right in front of the house where you can keep a boat if you rent one.
Golf carts are usually around $250 per week and boats are around $200 to $250 per day.
Where can we buy or rent fishing gear?
Island Custom Rod and Tackle on 28th St is the place to go for renting and buying fishing gear on the island. Here is a link to their Facebook page.
Should we rent a car?
No. You definitely do not want to rent a car and the airport doesn't have a rental car agency anyway. A golf cart is the preferred way to get around the island.
If you would like to do some exploring on Eleuthera and need a rental car, contact Bain's car rental at 242-551-1726 or 242-448-1989. They are several miles from the North Eleuthera airport and can meet you at the Spanish Wells water taxi drop off in Eleuthera.
Where can we buy alcohol?
Buddha's Liquor Store on 12th Street and Value Liquor Store on Pinder St and 12th are the two liquor stores on the island. They sell liquor, wine, and beer. Buddha's also has a restaurant and full bar.
Is there a bank on the island? Should we bring cash?
There is a Commonwealth Bank on the island in the same shopping center as the grocery store, but its ATM only takes Commonwealth Bank ATM cards. There is an ATM at the Island Mart store on 10th and Main St, just down the street from the house. It's open every day. The exchange rate between USD and the Bahamas dollar is 1:1.
Almost all of the restaurants (except Budda's) on the island take credit cards, but not American Express. The grocery store also takes credit cards and most of the shops do too. The taxi services and fishing and snorkeling guides are cash only. We always bring a decent amount of cash with us on vacation.
So yes, bring some cash with you.
How is the fishing in Spanish Wells?
Really good. There are a number of fishing guides on the island. We've had great luck with Bruno Underwood. He's a very experienced fisherman and just a really nice guy. He can take you fishing, snorkeling, spearing for fish, lobstering, and/or sight seeing. He's the most experienced guide on the island. You can reach him at 242-470-8671 and email@example.com.
We've also had good luck with Ryan Neilly. You can reach him at 242-359-7894.
Just a heads up: the beach fishing isn't very good. You won't see many people fishing from the beach anywhere on the island. If you really want to fish from the beach, one of the best places to fish is actually very close to our house. At low tide, there is a spit of sand that extends out into the bay just east of our house towards the Shipyard. Walk out to the end of that and cast towards the south into the deeper water.
Also, the reef fishing is much, much better than the deep sea fishing here. You have to go pretty far out to deep sea fish and it's very hit or miss. I rarely have a bad day reef fishing here.
Should we visit Harbour Island?
Harbour Island is about 45 minutes from Spanish Wells via ferry. It has restaurants, shops, several resorts, and some really expensive, high end beach homes. We've been there once and don't plan to go back. If you aren't staying at one of its resorts, there's not much reason to visit.
What activities can you recommend?
When we stay at the house, we typically hang out on the beach, sleep, read, fish, snorkel, and go out to eat. Here are some activities we can recommend:
Is the shark cage fun?
Most definitely! Fun, cool, awesome, you name it. It's very kid friendly and the two guys who run it do an excellent job. They are both lobster fisherman and are very experienced with being on the water. Here is a link to their website. The vidoes on it are exactly what we experienced.
Activities to keep young children occupied?
We have two young boys (5 and 6) so keeping them busy for a week can sometimes be a challenge while on vacation. Here are some tips:
Is there anywhere from the beach in Spanish Wells or Russell Island where we can find great snorkeling?
Not really. You pretty much need to use a boat to get to the good snorkeling and diving spots around the island. But there are two places that you might like.
The first is a beach at the far end of Russell Island. About 100' before the turnaround at the end of the road, there is turn off to the right. Stay towards the right and there's a nice turnaround by the beach. It's a pretty cool little beach. We recommend heading out there on calm days. If the water is calm in front of our house, it should be pretty calm out there too. Here's a map of the far tip of Russell Island to get there:
There are some nice rock ridges there that the fish really like. It's about 2 minutes past the Sandbar Restaurant.
They other spot is Pear Rock (aka St George's Island). Pear Rock is the small island that is just north of Spanish Wells that you can see from our beach. It's straight north from our house. You can see it in some of the beach pictures posted on this website. It's a 1.5 mile kayak ride from our house to Pear Rock. If you take the paddle board or kayak down to 24th street, it's about a half mile kayak ride out to it. There is a small dock on the island where you can tie off your kayak. There's also usually kayak rentals at the Russell Island bridge if you want to cut your kayak ride to Pear Rock in half.
Does the house have a fully furnished kitchen?
Yes, you should not have to bring any kitchen items to the house. There is a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, dishwasher, stove, and oven. There are full sets of utensils, plates, cups, etc. as well as pots and pans and knives. There is also a toaster, coffee maker, crock pot, and two blenders. The kitchen has pretty much everything you would expect in a fully furnished kitchen. We just did a major renovation of the kitchen in 2020 and installed a new dishwasher, fridge, and stove top.
Is there a grill?
Yes, there is a Weber gas grill on the back deck. If it runs out of propane, give Andre our house manager a call and he can get it refilled for you. Please make sure you clean it after you are done using it and refit the cover.
What kind of coffee maker is at the house?
It's a standard drip coffee maker. It uses standard round coffee filters. Also, the coffee selection at the grocery store isn't bad.
How many beds are there and where are they located?
There are a total of five beds in our three bedroom, two bath, 2100 square foot house.
The master bedroom has a king bed. The two road side bedrooms each have twin and queen beds. There is also a sectional couch in the great room.
The house is perfect for a party of six. It gets a little crowded with a party of eight.
Does the house have TV and cable?
There are four flatscreen TV's, one in the living room (48') and one in each bedroom. The TV in the living room has local Bahamas cable, a DVD player, and an Apple TV, so you can stream Netflix, Disney+, or Prime. If the living room TV cable isn't working, please make sure everything is plugged in and that the TV is on channel 3, otherwise the cable box will not work.
The bedroom TV's do not have cable. They are each smart TV's and can play Netflix and several other apps.
Note that our DVD selection is pretty slim and the local Bahamas cable has your standard cable stations.
If there is a big game you really need to see, and Bahamas cable doesn't have it, Buddha's Restaurant has a satellite dish that gets just about any sporting event you'd want to see.
Are pets permitted in the house?
No. Pets are not permitted inside the house under any circumstances. Many guests choose our house because they have pet allergies and asthma, so no exceptions will be made.
Is this a non-smoking house?
Yes. You can smoke outside on the deck.
What are the check-in and check-out times?
Check-in is 3 PM EST. Check-out time is 11 AM EST. We realize that flight and ferry schedules don't always match up with these times, so if you need an early check-in or late check-out, let us know. If you are fine with leaving your bags on the deck while the cleaners take care of things and enjoying the beach and island, that works!
When checking out, if you could tidy up a bit and run a load of towels in the washer, that would be great. Thank you!
And here is a document that summarizes some useful house info that you might want to print out and have with you before you arrive:
Is there a security deposit? Is damage insurance required?
No. We use the honor system. There is no security deposit or damage insurance required. We’ve found these to be far more hassle for everyone than what they are worth. If you break something major during your stay, please just replace it or mail us a check for the damage.
What is your cancellation policy?
Once you confirm your reservation, you have a 10 day grace period to cancel your reservation where you will get 100% of your money back. Once the grace period is up, you will only get your money back if we re-rent the house for the same time period and rate. We'll try our best to re-rent the house, but sometimes we may need to lower the rate in order to make this happen, especially on short notice. If we re-rent the house at a lower rate, your refund will be based on this lower rate.
Please contact us immediately if you need to cancel your reservation. Note that HomeAway and VRBO provide travel insurance through Allianz. Here is a link to the travel insurance website where you can quickly get a quote.
What amenities are included?
Here is a list of amenities that are provided:
Are there beach chairs at the house?
Yes. There should be six lightweight, plastic Adirondack chairs on the deck that you are welcome to take to the beach. They are great for lounging on the beach or in the water. There should also be four canvas beach chairs like these.
With any beach house, the beach chairs quite often get beaten up or blown away, so the numbers above may vary. They are also very difficult to buy on the island. We typically ship new ones down every 6 to 12 months.
We do not have beach umbrellas. You can sometimes rent them from Harbourside Rentals.
Are there toys at the house?
Not a lot. Our kids are getting older so there aren't as many toys there as there once was. There should be one crate of beach toys on the deck. The store down the street from our house around 7th St should have an OK selection of toys. Food Fair usually has them too.
Do you have a high chair and crib at the house?
What is your hurricane refund policy?
If there is a hurricane that threatens the Bahamas and causes you to either shorten or cancel your vacation, you will receive a refund prorated for the days of your trip that you miss. We're very liberal with this. You do not want be stuck on Spanish Wells if there is a hurricane heading towards it. It may be a while before you're able to leave. So if you need to leaver early or postpone you're trip due to the threat of the hurricane, please do.
Hurricane season lasts from mid June to the end of October. Mid August to early October seems to be when they are most active.
Also, we are giving full refunds to guests who cannot travel to Spanish Wells due to the coronavirus pandemic.
How do we get the keys to the house?
There are no keys for the house. The house has one keyless entry door. Your key code will be emailed to you approximately two weeks before your arrival date.
What if someone needs medical attention?
The Spanish Wells health clinic is down the street from the house on 18th St and Main. It's a pink building across the street from the Eagles Landing restaurant. There is a nurse practitioner there and she is usually on call if you get sick on the weekend. She will leave a phone number posted on the front door if you need to see her.
We have young boys and have taken them there a few times. The nurse practioner is very good. There is also a full pharmacy at the Food Fair and the pharmacist there is very helpful.
If you are having serious medical problems, here is a link to emergency medical information for the Bahamas. The phone number for being airlifted to Miami is 305-232-7700. To Nassua, the phone number is 242-362-1606.
Also, our next door neighbor to the east is where the island police officer lives. Roker is his name and he's great and very helpful. Definitely say hello to him while you are here.
Is there a telephone at the house?
Yes. There are two phones at the house, one for local calls and another for calling the U.S. and Canada. They are both labeled so you can tell which is which.
The local phone can only make local calls and it can receive local and international calls. The U.S. and Canada phone is a Magic Jack phone and can make and receive calls to/from the U.S. and Canada and can also make 800 calls.
Cell coverage by Bahamas Telecom is very good on the island. Call your mobile phone provider for temporary international coverage. Most provide a weekly or monthly plan for calls, text, and data. We use AT&T / iPhones and get great coverage on the island (dial 611 on your mobile to contact AT&T).
The internet connection is usually really fast so Skype and FaceTime are also good options.
Here is a house phone list of useful local numbers:
What's the weather like in Spanish Wells?
Gorgeous. Here is a link to a bunch of weather resources.
It can get very windy during the winter months and very wet and muggy during hurricane season in the fall (August through October). Our favority weather months are April, May, June, October, and November. The other seven months aren't too shabby either.
How old is the house and how long have you owned it?
The house was built in 2008. We purchased it in 2014.
What are some other good online resources for Spanish Wells?
This link has all kinds of good info: My Spanish Wells
There's also a great book on Spanish Wells that was published in 2010, Spanish Wells Bahamas: The Island, The People, The Allure. It was written by Chris Cirillo. If you are heading to Spanish Wells, you should pick up a copy.
And here is a very good link to emergency medical information about the Bahamas.
This site has great information about boating in the Bahamas.
And here is the Spanish Wells TripAdvisor link.
Can you recommend a realtor?
Absolutely. We highly recommend Darrin Sands of Sotheby Realty. Darrin was born and rasied on Spanish Wells and was our realtor when we bought the house. You can reach him at 242-557-7071.
Can we drink the tap water?
Spanish Wells had a new water filtration system go live in 2020, but we recommend that you still don't drink the tap water. It's fine for doing dishes, laundry, and showers, but it's salty and may give you diarrhea if you drink it. We have a water cooler at the house that you'll want to use for drinking water and coffee. If it runs out, call 242-333-4704 and they will drop off a 5 gallon refill for $5. Just leave the empty jug by the back door with $5 underneath it. They usually deliver refills the same day you call.
We have a really large group of people. Are there other rental homes nearby?
These homes are a short walk from our house (1-2 blocks) and are not on the beach:
These beachfront homes are all just down the beach from us and are a 1-2 minute walk from our house:
What do we do if the city water goes down?
The city water stops working several times per year for a day or so. We added a 600 gallon water storage tank behind the house that can be used when this happens. To switch over to the water tank, give Andre our house manager a call and he can switch it over for you.
How wheelchair accessible is the house?
The entire house has a very open, single story floor plan and is naturally very wheelchair friendly. The rear entrance has a concrete ramp from the concrete driveway to the entrance doorway which is 35" wide. The doorway widths in the house range from 29.5" to 35".
There is a padded shower transfer bench on site for showers. Both showers have a detachable wand shower head. The outdoor shower is also wheelchair accessible. There is also a commode chair on site. Note that there are no grab bars installed in the bathrooms. Every room has wall-to-wall tile floors.
The beach can be accessed using a golf cart and golf carts can be rented locally. Another option for beach access that is really nice for wheelchair users is our boardwalk and beach deck. You can easily get to the edge of the beach using the boardwalk.
If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact us.