By Tom Austin
July 27, 2015
Credit: © Planetpix / Alamy

Founded in the 17th century, Harbour Island and the capitol of Dunmore Town—named after the fourth Earl of Dunmore—never stops being invincibly chic. Diane von Furstenberg has kept a house here since the 1980s, and the regulars on the island include Uma Thurman, Harrison Ford and Elle Macpherson. The Rock House hotel, among other boutique hotels, has guests like Robert De Niro and Colin Farrell.

Visitors to the island step off the ferry boat from Nassau and immediately encounter India Hicks’s boutique, Sugar Mill Trading Co. In 1999, Hicks and her boyfriend David Flint Wood designed The Landing hotel on Harbour Island. Hicks is the daughter of the society decorator David Hicks and granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria; Hicks also served as a bridesmaid at the wedding of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Barbara Hulanicki, who once had the swinging 1960s London boutique Biba—favored by Mick Jagger and Twiggy—is another design icon on Harbour Island. In the 1980s and 1990s, Hulanicki did the interiors for most of Chris Blackwell’s early hotels on South Beach: when the hotelier and record producer bought Harbour Island’s Pink Sands in the 1990s, he had Hulanicki redo the property (the hotel has different owners now.)

Recently, Hulanicki recalibrated the Coral Sands hotel (doubles from $300), doing the interiors of the Latitude 25 restaurant and the Siren Song gift shop, which carries Hulanicki’s Iconclub line of silk scarves and canvas tote bags with butterfly imagery. She’s also renovated twelve rooms of the hotel with her own custom-designed furniture (produced with sustainable Sheesham wood from India), along with bedding and pillows created in the United States. Starfish and seahorses, as bright as a Bahamian morning, are a recurring motif in the hotel rooms: this is a hotel intended to lift the spirits of any traveler.Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin.