Pink Sands, Bahamas

LOCATION: If the Bahamas makes you think of the mega-resort of Atlantis, prepare to change your mind.

LOCATION: If the Bahamas makes you think of the mega-resort of Atlantis, prepare to change your mind. Celeb-hangout Harbour Island – one of the Out Islands – is small but perfectly formed, rather resembling the type of guest it attracts. I was the only person to bat an eyelid when Brooke Shields bombed past me down the seafront, slender and surrounded by daughters. Beautiful people are commonplace here, buzzing about in the golf carts that are the island’s sole form of transport, and the laid-back, low-key, flip-flops at dinner atmosphere suits the rich and privileged retreating from the rat race. Pink Sands is a mere five-second toddle from its eponymous beach, a three-mile stretch of powder soft sand on the outskirts of Dunmore Town, the main centre.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: From the minutes you walk inside and spot a towering carved wooden swing-chair framing a view of the inner courtyard’s pond, you can tell this place is stylishly designed. The haute-hippy-chic look is down to Biba-founder Barbara Hulanicki, and it’s particularly evident in the public areas, including the pitch-roofed bar where decorative lamps dangle like snowflakes and guests can shoot pool.

THE FACTS: Twenty-five individual cottages, all colonial-style dark wood and pale fabrics, are scattered through the 20-acre grounds. Each is a little different, but all come with their own private sunbathing terrace, and are just a hop, skip and a jump from the beach where the hotel has sun loungers and umbrellas. There are two tennis courts and a pool, but really, the beach is the place to be. You can even eat with a view of it; breakfast is served in the beachside Blue Bar. Dinner takes place in the more secluded surroundings of the Garden Terrace. The food is really excellent, with exquisite, freshly-caught seafood including stone crab, grouper and rock lobster cooked both Caribbean-style and in dishes with both Mediterranean and Asian influences.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Harbour Island is a place to relax, and Pink Sands has been designed to allow guests to do this in seclusion and style. The hotel is entirely fitting for the island’s vibe – Dunmore Town is close by and afternoons can be spent mooching around tasteful boutique shops and galleries, and evenings at the lovely restaurants.

WOW: The name says it all – the pink sand beach is one of the most beautiful in the world.

HOW MUCH: From £310