The tiny Ba­hamian is­land is mak­ing a big name for it­self thanks to its prom­ise of rum, re­lax­ation and In­sta­gram-ready beaches

Esquire (UK) - - Style - THE BAR­BER DOSSIER by Tom Bar­ber

When I was 16, I went on hol­i­day out­side Europe for the first time. Des­ti­na­tion? Tiny Har­bour Is­land in the Ba­hamas. Sip­ping beers on the ter­race of our ho­tel over­look­ing a beau­ti­ful, three-mile long, pink sand beach, turquoise la­goon and reef be­yond, was idyl­lic enough, but then it hap­pened. One morn­ing, a fa­mous fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher, his as­sis­tant, a stylist and five spec­tac­u­lar mod­els traipsed onto the beach be­fore me and pro­ceeded to spend the next three days ca­vort­ing around in the shal­lows shoot­ing a swimwear spe­cial for an Amer­i­can glossy. Need­less to say, I fell hard (in sev­eral man­ners of speak­ing) for Har­bour Is­land, and so be­gan my love af­fair with long-haul travel. And bikini-clad mod­els on pink sand beaches. Nearly 30 (sigh) years on, the is­land may be more on the map — hap­pily, the re­cent se­vere hur­ri­canes in the re­gion by­passed it with­out the ap­palling car­nage meted out to many Caribbean neigh­bours — but it re­mains de­li­ciously laid-back and the model quo­tient re­mains high. Go. Se­ri­ously.

Tom Bar­ber is a founder of the award-win­ning travel com­pany orig­inal­travel.co.uk

See Har­bour Is­land’s sun­set from Pink Sands Beach, left, with a Goom­bay Smash cock­tail, right, to hand — the of­fi­cial tip­ple of the Ba­hamas

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