Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

bahamas beach vacation rental

1. Where is Bahama Villa located on the island?
2. How far is the nearest airport? Taxis?
3. What is the best way to fly into Governors Harbour?
4. How far is the villa from the water?
5. How far to the beach?
6. Is Bahama Villa private?
7. How far to the nearest shopping and restaurants?
8. Do you have snorkeling gear and floats?
9. Can I rent a boat? Fishing gear?
10. What about phone service? Internet?
11. Do you allow small children and pets? At what rates?
12. How about surfing? Bicycle or moped rentals?
13. Should I be concerned about Hurricanes?
14. Do you offer Travel Insurance?
15. Can I reserve my spot over the phone using a credit card?
16. Can you give us any other helpful tips?
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Q. Where is Bahama Villa located on the island?
A.
Bahama Villa is in Ten Bay, about 8 miles south of Governors Harbour, on the Caribbean (west) coast, midway between the townships of Palmetto Point and Savannah Sound. You can see it's location on our map of Eleuthera, also linked to the "Flights" section.

Q. How far is the nearest airport? Taxis?
A.
Most people arrive via plane to Governors Harbour Airport (GHB), 16 miles north, and rent a car to drive through the township of Governors Harbour to get to Ten Bay. If you prefer a taxi, the rate from GHB to Ten Bay for a one-way fare is about $35 (US or Bahamian).

Q. What is the best way to fly into Governors Harbour?
A.
Direct from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. See Best Flights to Bahama Villa for details. Travelocity.com, Orbitz.com, and Expedia.com are best for getting quotes from the larger carriers like USAir, but you may need to contact smaller carriers directly. See our Flights Page for a list of carriers and their contact information.

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Q. How far is the villa from the water?
A.
Bahama Villa is on a promintory overlooking both Ten Bay and its beach and is directly on the Caribbean, or west coast of Eleuthera. The house main level sits about 15 feet above the high-water mark. The water directly in front normally varies from about 4-8 feet in depth and is crystal clear. The sheltered porch view faces north, so you have a view of both the sunrises and sunsets, and a well-lit view of the ocean and the bay while sitting in shade. There is also a shallow private cove featuring a concrete pier with Tiki Hut, great for sipping Mai Tai's or as a base for snorkeling or boating. The water there starts out at about 2 feet in depth.

Q. How far to the beach?
A.
Ten Bay Beach is about 100 yards away, wading distance, and about 300 yards walking distance to the short public access trail. Very few houses are built directly in front of the beaches in Eleuthera because of the danger of flooding during hurricanes. Ten Bay is obviously the closest beach, but there are dozens of others on the island within easy driving or boating distance. Since the island averages only about 2 miles wide, both the Atlantic and Caribbean beaches are easily accessible. Consult the guest book upon arrival for the best spots.

Q. Is Bahama Villa private?
A.
Depending on your definition of private, mostly yes. There are nine houses directly on Ten Bay, but very few people are ever on the beach at any given time, except during peak season when you might find a few in the water and on the beach. The house itself is located a convenient distance away from its nearest neighbors and the Caribbean views off the back porch are uninterrupted by houses or other signs of civilization. As far as nude sunbathing, it is illegal in public places in the Bahamas. There are places where this would be OK, but take precautions, especially at Ten Bay. Private though they may seem, all beaches in the Bahamas are legally considered part of the public domain, which means you could have company at any time . . .

Q. How far is the nearest shopping and conveniences? Restaurants?
A.
Nearest shops are in Palmetto Point, about 3 miles away to the north. You can stock up on groceries, sundries, hardware, and even rent videos. See Palmetto Point info page for more details. There are also a few very nice restaurants like Mate and Jenny's Pizza place in the south and Uniques in North Palmetto Point overlooking the Atlantic. See Restaurants for details on other suggestions. Nearest place for gasoline is Savannah Sound, about 3 miles south of Ten Bay. Governors Harbour has the next closest filling station (8 miles north of Ten Bay), and also many other shops, restaurants, and gift shops. If you have need for a larger grocery store and instant-teller machine, you can find both in Rock Sound, about 30 miles to the south.

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Q. Do you have snorkeling gear and floats?
A.
Yes to both. Ten Bay is perfect for snorkeling for both kids and adults. Although we have enough masks, snorkles and fins for 3-4 people, we recommend you bring your own personal dive mask since the ones we have may not fit you snugly enough to create a strong seal. There are also a number of inflatable rafts, floats, things like sand buckets and water guns. Seasoned divers may want to head further out into the Caribbean or charter a boat and guide to check out some of the underwater reefs.

Q. Can I rent a boat? Fishing gear? Other aquatic equipment?
A.
In our Welcome Packet we supply information on neighbors who will rent you their glass-bottom boat with outboard motor and gas for about $125/day. Alternatively, Arthur Nixon may know another local boat owner who might rent you theirs. Mr. Nixon also offers a half-day boating tour of the island's coast starting at $175. You can reach him best by his cell phone at (242) 359-7879, or fax your request to him at (242) 332-1879 before arriving on the island. For sailboating, charters, and other boats, Click Here for a list of Eleuthera Marinas. Fishing. We recommend you bring your own gear. Scuba fans can get more information from the dive shop in Governors Harbour and at www.bahama-vacation.com. You can also get diving instruction and certification further north in Harbour Island.

Q. Waht about phone service? Internet?
A.
There is a phone at the house for local calls only. Neither US calling cards or toll-free 800 numbers work from the islands so you will need to buy a BaTelCo calling card locally unless your cell phone has excellent range from Florida. BaTelCo cards come in $5, $10, and $20 denominations. As for Internet access, we recommend using the computers upstairs in the Governors Harbour library for a small fee. If staying longer, you could also sign up for a month of BatelCo Internet service at the Governors Harbour office. See the BaTelCo Website for rates and terms.

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Q. Do you allow small children and/or pets? If so, what are the rates?
A.
Although Ten Bay itself is a smooth, sandy-bottom beach and body of water, much of the area immediately around Bahama Villa consists of sharp coral rocks that can be dangerous, particularly to small children under the age of six. We want you to have a good time, but also be aware of risks and take responsiblity for your child's safety while visiting our home. The rate for children is the same as for adult guests. As for pets, we normally do not allow them because of dander, fur, and other problems. If you must bring your pet, however, there can only be one and it must be small, short-haired, and house-trained. In such a case, it must be approved and an additional pet rent of $15 per night paid.

Q. How about surfing? Moped or bicycle rentals?
A.
Surfers may want to head north to Gregory Town and the Atlantic side, to Surfers' Beach. It used to be a mecca for enthusiasts in the 60's and many tournaments where held there. Regular hurricanes, however, have torn up the road leading to it, so you may want to hire someone to help you locate it and navigate the overgrown access. The place to rent boards in Gregory Town is at Rebecca's Beach Shop for about $20/day plus deposit. Stop in to see Pete or Rebecca Courtemanche, call them at (242) 335-5436, or E-mail them. For other local assistance, see sources at www.bahama-vacation.com. There are no moped rentals on the island, but you can rent golf carts on Harbour Island and Spanish Wells when you visit there. As for bicycles, try Governors Harbour. We discourage you to take bikes on the Queens' Highway, however, since it can be treacherous with blind curves and speedy Bahamians!

Q. Should I be concerned about Hurricanes?
A.
Not really. A major storm could visit Eleuthera about once a year, but Category 4 or 5 hurricanes - the largest and most dangerous - are very rare. Even if storms increase as predicted by the weather-watchers, odds are still very small that one will occur during your scheduled visit. As for being stranded on the island during a major storm, that's highly unlikely. Hurricanes give lots of warning, letting airlines cancel or re-arrange their flights before an actual warning is in effect. Modern weather satellites provide even more protection since they can track major storms several days or even weeks in advance of landfall, plenty of time for you to get off the island or even complete your vacation. If a hurricane does threaten Eleuthera, you will be notified by Paula or Arthur in plenty of time to start safe evacuation procedures. Our villa has survived four major hurricanes: in 1993, 1999, and most recently Frances and Jeanne in 2004. The only real damage sustained was in 1999 when the high waves reached the main floor and the porch was ripped off. This same hurricane - Floyd - stayed over Eleuthera two days and nights, destroying roads, the Glass Window bridge, and flooding beach-level homes. A minor (Category 2) hurricane in 2002 did no damage at all to Bahama Villa, and even the 2004 storms only ripped off a few shingles and an outdoor soffit light. All the dire predictions for 2007 did not come true; only one hurricane visited, causing mostly a lot of rain.

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Q. Do you offer Travel Insurance?
A.
No, but we recommend all visitors get some, especially during hurricane season. We cannot guarantee any refunds if your trip is suddenly cancelled or cut short because of factors beyond our control. . . but protection is cheap. Travel-Guard, for example, offers 100% cancellation and interruption coverage with their ProtectAssist plan at very reasonable rates. Just figure out the cost of your trip per person to determine how much you need. If your total trip cost is less than $1000 per person, the rate is only $52 for each traveler, plus a $6 service charge (total cost for two - $110). For $1500 coverage, you'll pay $71 per traveler plus service charge, a small price to pay for peace of mind. You might also check with AccessAmerica.com

Q. Can I reserve my spot over the phone using a credit card?
A.
Unfortunately, we are not set up to accept credit cards, and don't keep any credit information on file. We use approved third-party payors like PayPal so we can focus on the things we're good at, such as providing guests with the best vacation rental experience possible. If you are still hesitant about paying online, just fax us a copy of your completed check, then mail it so we will recieve it within 10 days (3 days if applying within 30 days or less). If paying from outside the USA, wire us the money. To reserve your spot, however, we must receive your faxed Application and Agreement forms, along with PROOF of payment, i.e., faxed copy of your completed check or wire confirmation. See our How to Apply section for details.

Q. Can you give us any other helpful tips?
A.
Lots of people ask about bugs. The best advise we can give you regarding No-See-Ums and mosquitoes is to stay in side during dawn and dusk and where repellent when outside. While most folks from the south are used to these evil critters, many northerners and Europeans are NOT and can suffer mightily if not prepared. Our advice is to take some AVON SKIN-SO-SOFT as the cheapest available preventative. The next best thing is to take some OFF! or DEET or other repellent.
For other tips, check some of the other Bahamian websites, particularly the Bahamas Vacation Guide, Bahama-Vacation.com, and EleutheraLiving.com for descriptions, maps, island pictures, and links to available services, activities, guides, charters, vendors, festivals, and other noteworthy items on Eleuthera and elsewhere. Then go have some fun, Mon!

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Last Update: 12/9/07