alice town bimini bahamas hemingway

The Compleat Angler – Alice Town, Bimini, Bahamas

A Shrine to Hemingway and Big-Game Fishing

Ponce de Leon discovered Bimini in 1513, but Papa Hemingway put it on the map, immortalizing Alice Town in Islands in the Stream. The author lived in the Compleat Angler hotel in the 1930s before building the Blue Marlin Cottage next door (now a private home).

His spirit still lives on in yellowed photos, memorabilia, and a bar made from Prohibition-era rum kegs, where visitors young and old gather nightly to toss back Goombay Smashers and Bahama Mamas while discussing what’s on everybody’s mind: blue marlin, sword­fish, wahoo, tuna, and barracuda.

Bimini’s sportfishing is still the best in the world (Hemingway’s best catch was a 785-pound mako shark), and the island is suffused with the legendary sportsman’s mystique. The Compleat Angler has thirteen guest rooms upstairs— including one where Hemingway penned parts of To Have and Have Not in 1937—but you’re not likely to get any shut-eye before the calypso band downstairs packs up for the night.

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