Falling in love with Harbour Island tends to happen swiftly and unexpectedly, like most great love affairs usually begin. It’s inevitable, really, once you step out of the water taxi that takes you from neighboring Eleuthera to the remote, three-and-a-half-mile-long island in the Bahamas. Suddenly, all you see are colorful little cottages in bright pastel colors, friendly roosters that roam the land, and crystalline beaches with pink-hued sand—who could resist?
Certainly not former model and British aristocrat India Hicks, who left England almost two decades ago to settle down full-time in the island. Nor Diane von Furstenberg, who reportedly bought a house in the late ’80s, after a bad storm at sea led her and her husband Barry Diller’s yacht to seek shelter there. The same head-over-heels effect happened to Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, the designer behind the hit brand that bears her first name, and her husband, Nathaniel Reeves, after vacationing there this Easter. The couple, who live in Los Angeles’s Venice Beach with their two young daughters and are self-avowed beach addicts, had been searching for a home by the ocean for their family for months. “I wanted a place our kids could build a connection with over the years,” Nathaniel, the company’s CFO, says. “A house where they would eventually want to bring their kids, too.” Once they stepped foot on Briland, as locals like to call it, it was only a matter of time until they found themselves buying a lot of land and looking at architects. “I loved the unique pink sand and turquoise water, the proximity to Miami, and yet a faraway feeling brought on by the local culture and community,” Marysia explains. “You feel as if you’re somewhere remote but still feel right at home.”
This past weekend, my family and I were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving on Harbour Island, where we stayed at The Dunmore, a picturesque boutique hotel run by Texan couple Gil and Tricia Besing. Sticking to a theme, the Besings bought The Dunmore in the spring of 2009 from its previous owner, after going there as guests for 15 years. “We saw an opportunity to update a historic hotel with a multigenerational following located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world,” Tricia explains. A sleek renovation led by interior designer Amanda Lindroth, along with husband-and-wife architect team Maria de la Guardia and Teófilo Victoria, transformed The Dunmore from a former quaint beachside retreat into one of the chicest (and in this day and age, most Instagrammable) places on the island. It comes as no surprise to learn that it was during a stay there, too, that Marysia was inspired to create a special-edition collection of swim- and resortwear based on The Dunmore’s signature striped emerald green and white beach umbrellas. “I even cut out a piece of the umbrella to take home so I could perfect the color,” she explains.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Marysia and Tricia hosted a Friendsgiving brunch for those on Harbour Island over the holiday to celebrate the launch of their new collaboration at The Dunmore, the place where it all began. Starting this week, you can shop Marysia’s limited-edition collection online, which includes the brand’s scallop bikinis, maillots, and rash guards in The Dunmore’s turquoise stripes, plus other resort-inspired pieces perfect for your next getaway at the beach. Above, a look at the celebratory brunch, plus a few other scenes from Marysia’s Thanksgiving weekend on Harbour Island.
The original story was posted here.