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Reviewed 20 May 2007

We just spent 10 days on beautiful Eleuthera and stayed at the laughing bird apartments. We had a blast. The apartment was clean and affordable. It was pretty much what we expected. A clean, basic apartment with a small kitchen that was reasonably priced. This place has not been updated in some time but it is just fine. The kitchen was small but acceptable as we made breakfast every morning, and made dinner for three nights during our stay. The bed was basic but comfortable. The grounds were landscaped nicely with lots of palm trees, flowering trees, and plants all over. There is outdoor furniture and hammocks. The apartments are situated about 80’ from the beach. This is not one of the greatest beaches although if you have water shoes, it is close by and just fine for swimming or wading, or shelling. You are also right in Governor’s Harbor which is nice but you will still need a car to get around. Everything is very spread out on this island and although my wife and I are pretty physically fit and don’t mind walking, in the Bahamas heat, no one wants to do a lot of walking. We had somewhat of an ocean view from our bed, and it was quite enjoyable to wake to the sounds of the small waves crashing. Jean the owner is very pleasant and accommodating; we really felt welcomed at LB and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. She used to own the apartments with her husband but he passed away in April 2007.

If you are looking for luxury, this is not the place for you, matter of fact; this might not be the right island for you. Everything is very rustic and this is very much a ‘do it yourself’ island. If you are looking for a decent place to stay close to a beach, stay in Governor’s Harbor, and stay with a gracious host, then I would recommend the LB apartments. You can email me if you have any other questions about LB or Eleuthera.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Snorkeler123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2006

Apartment: Laughing Bird is very nice. We stayed here a few days ago & had an amazing time. Hosts are friendly & very helpful; they provided us with information on the island & where to rent a car (about $60US/day). Grocery store, liquor store & movie theater are about a 5min walk away. Full kitchen, cable TV, Air, & bathroom with shower. Our apartment was beachfront with private patio & hammock. If you want to explore the island you will need a car as the island is about 100 miles long. The Beach by the apartment is ok, however there is a gorgeous beach right across the road on the Atlantic side of the island which is only a 15-20 min walk away. Bring mosquito repellent.

Area: Every Friday there is a Fish Fry just down the beach. Great restaurant (Sunset Inn) is about a 15 min walk up the beach, excellent place to watch the sunset on the deck. Location of LB is perfect because it's in the middle of the island, 10 min walk from the dock if you arrive by Ferry. Island is incredible, perfect beaches around the entire island with pink sand & crystal clear water.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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14  Thank JNK999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2006

We travelled to Eleuthera as part of our honeymoon and have to say that Laughing Bird is the perfect spot for an "away from it all" holiday. The hosts, Jean and Dan are extremely friendly and helpful but sensitively keep their distance when all you want to do is unwind.

Eleuthera seems to be a quiet island in general although there are busier places if you want to hire a car and travel around. Like the last reviewer, we found the Club Med beach on the atlantic side of Governor's Harbour to be absolutely beautful and practically deserted. It was certainly preferable to the pink sand beach on Harbour Island, sharing the same pink sand and turqoise waters but without the hordes of tourists and just a 20-min walk from Laughing Bird. The beach just across from the apartments themselves is not quite as expansive or pretty but the perfect place to drag the sun loungers (provided all over the garden) and a jug of strong cocktails (made in your own kitchen which is equipped with just about everything you will need) and watch the gorgeous sunset with the fish swimming up to within a few feet of where you're sitting. It was magical. Our honeymoon was in 3 stages, with the first in New York and the third on Paradise Island, across from Nassau. The stretch on Eleuthera (the longest) was by far the best and was less expensive. No contest about which was the most relaxing. We didn't do an awful lot other than relax in the sun on either beach across from the apartment or on Club Med beach but a few tips from when we did venture out would be:-
a) make sure you take a picnic if you go to Club Med beach. We're not walkers and both the Citagoo Inn (which you pass on the way to Club Med beach) and Tippy's (which was closed the only time we walked there) are both a fair trotting distance when you're hot and thirsty
b) renting a car is easy and a trip to Harbour Island is worth it probably if you want to see another pink sand beach and are craving something a bit more lively
c) Sunset Inn is a lovely bar and restaurant about 5 or 10 mins walk along the road by the beach from the apartments. They do good cocktails and food but take a torch as the lampposts are few and far between around there. The owner is a sweetie who will drop you back at the apartments when the last thing you want is a walk home
d) the Friday night fish fry is a must - they set up a bar and huge barbeque along the beach in governor's harbour from 6pm. You can hear the music from the apartment and it was packed when we were there - a good night out.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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11  Thank RomanticFool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2005

Laughing Bird Apartments offers a plain and quiet (and inexpensive)little place to lay your head while enjoying the sun and the sea in the friendly small-town atmosphere of Governor's Harbour. You will have to overlook some wear and tear if you stay here...but you will be greeted and seen off like company...and you will be able to unwind in a tiny village on an undeveloped Out Island. Those who favor the luxe indulgences and limitless amenities of the overdone, foreign-owned Bahamas-in-a-can resort hotel need not apply.
Accommodations at LB consist of two duplex apartment cottages; I think one unit in each building has a second bedroom that can be had by prior arrangement. The property has been caringly planted with trees and flowers by the owners (but still has some sand where there ought to be more grass--on the ocean side of the place--due to damage from recent storms). The cottages are water-view but not waterfront--the sand-over-rock-floor beach is across the "back yard" and the road, with the water about 200 ft from your back door. Plenty of worn but perfectly serviceable garden furniture is spread around the yard, and if you want to indulge in that whole "lay in a hammock under a palm tree with a book" thing, you'll have several comfy new hammocks to choose from. There is a grilling pit for guest use, with a pile of firewood at the ready.
We stayed in Apartment #4, furthest from the barely-traveled side road and from any foot traffic through the property, but right across the fence from a local family's back yard (more about the midnight canine concerts later). The unit was clean and simple and just a little bigger than tiny--two tall but not-fat adults were pinched for space at times, and mealtimes required some fancy footwork in the kitchen area--and nicely furnished in wicker, glass and light woods. The room itself was fairly well worn and definitely showing its age...vases of fresh flowers created a graceful touch, but a fresh coat of paint and some new floor tile would make a world of difference. Comfortable king bed was two twins pushed together...big closet...old and slightly funky but very clean bathroom with tile shower stall...sheets and towels worn and really need replacing. More signs of age: the blinds, patio screen door and windows mostly needed fixing up or replacing too. (Note that the owners aren't maintenance slackers by any means: the whole property was scrupulously clean and tidy, and their young Haitian maintenance man was always working at painting or spiffing-up or cleaning something. The place is just not new and could stand a bit of renovating.)
The cramped kitchenette had a full complement of crockery...pots and pans...utensils...small full-sized fridge/freezer...four-burner stove with oven...microwave...coffee maker...toaster...electric can opener...but of the countertop appliances, sad to say, only the coffee maker worked as it should have. The collection of appliances on the countertop also left practically no room for meal prep... frustrating ...and a frustrated cook is not enjoying his vacation!
We slept with the windows and patio door open--good screens in place on all--and did not use the a/c. There were a few mosquitoes but they seemed more interested in finding the warmest corners up near the ceiling than in biting. (Strange since the Mrs is usually a mosquito magnet.) There were also plenty of chickens in the neighborhood, and between several guest roosters and the four dogs next door, reveille was sounded daily between 0430 and 0530--except for that night with the full moon when everybody got going at about 0200. What a treat THAT was! If you stay at LB and happen to be in #4, you might want to use the a/c instead of leaving the windows open...unless you like to get an early start to your day.
Some notes on the town of GH:
Right around different corners from LB are a bakery (nice cheese danish...good bread still warm from the oven...cheap...simple breakfasts too) and an Esso station with minimart. A 5- to 10-minute walk takes you to the center of town and a shopping center with grocery market...fuel pumps... hardware store... gift shop that also carries some snorkeling gear...and First Caribbean Bank with PLUS system ATM. Also in the middle of town are three liquor stores...gift shops...police station...bike rental place. Fishermen bring in the catch right at the center of town at about two or three in the afternoon...you might be able to take home a huge and unsurpassably fresh crayfish (Caribbean rock lobster) for dinner. Down the road from the shopping center are the government building (with post office) and a library, in a hundred-year-old Victorian building, with computers you can use for $5. Closer to LB are a second grocery store...Royal Bank of Canada (no ATM)...movie theatre with one show nightly at eight-fifteen. A 25-minute walk across the island from LB--up the hill above town and down the other side--takes you to ClubMed Beach. The ClubMed is gone--destroyed by a storm a few years ago--but several beautifully deserted miles of pinkish-tan sand and pastel water remain. You'll have to overlook the flotsam strewn around the beach--it is completely unmaintained after all, and faces the Atlantic--but this is probably one of the nicest beaches most people will ever see. After our first visit, I took a garbage bag with me every time we went and hauled out as much plastic junk as I could, just to help the place out a little. (This is only one of many beautiful - undeveloped - deserted beaches on Eleuthera that you can drive [or thumb] to depending on your level of adventurousness.)
The grocery markets had pretty much everything needed for snacks, simple meals and keeping house... limited fresh fruits and veg...some local products but mostly US and European imports...almost all meat frozen...prices for most items 150-200% of stateside, but some were about the same, and a few things (suprisingly)--tea and the same brand of soup we use at home, for instance--were actually cheaper.
Food choices in GH consist of a couple of simple local restaurants...couple of take-out places... the (seasonally closed)restaurant at the Buccaneer Club...Piña Cafe right in front of that...restaurant at Cigatoo Inn (up about a third of a mile of fairly challenging hill above town--see notes at TA Cigatoo page)...Sunset Inn about a fifteen-minute walk south of town (see notes also)...and the Friday night fish fry (a town cookout, really) next to the causeway to Cupid's Cay. Be warned--there is almost nowhere to eat dinner in GH after 5:00 in the evening... virtually nowhere on Sunday...although the movie house does serve burgers and ice cream if you need something to stave off starvation until morning. Restaurant prices were generally fairly high for disappointingly small portions (and we are not overfed Ameri-gluttons either) regardless of where you went. If you tire of the options in GH you can always drive or catch a ride to Palmetto Point and head for Mate and Jenny's...where you can get a truly awful pizza from some really nice people.
It seems like everybody in GH keeps some chickens and a dog (or two), so there are dogs and chickens everywhere, since both wander during the day as dogs and chickens will. Drive carefully if you do rent a car. You can pick up a sack of chicken feed at the market for $2.39 if you feel like making some new friends... Hitchhikers can catch rides at the corner by Pyfrom's Liquor (northbound) or across the street from the Esso station (southbound)--hitchhiking is a fairly common and evidently very safe way to get around on Eleuthera. GH Airport is a twenty-minute/$25 (before tip)taxi ride from town.
Does that about cover it? Nothing like a thorough review... Please feel free to email with any questions about LB, GH or Eleuthera and I will help with further info if I can. Bon Voyage.

  • Stayed: November 2005
    • Value
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23  Thank MisterMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Ridgefield, CT
16
Reviewed 15 February 2005

the hotel is a tiny tiny apartment with all the furniture close 2gther and the so called beach is just all rocks

6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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