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“Relaxing time spent at SmallHope Bay”

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Small Hope Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence
Huntington Beach, CA
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Relaxing time spent at SmallHope Bay”
Reviewed 5 February 2012

We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at Small Hope Bay Lodge. We rarely stay at an all enclusive venue and were extremely pleased. The meals were delicious and plentiful. They even left lunch out late on day so I could shower before eating. My husband enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the open bar. This was the first dive group that ever checked a few of my skills before diving...their attention to safety was stellar. The dive masters and boat driver asked our preferences when possible. The rooms were basic and tended to be dark....we used our dive lights to find things on the shelves...however I would still return as it was so relaxing, especially for my husband. He was able to get away and really unwind. We took a tour to the north, Dennis was very knowledgeable about the area. We also road bikes into town. I was pleasantly surprised to learn Small Hope Bay Lodge is listed in the book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die. Last week we were talking with a neighbor and telling him about our trip. He stayed at Small Hope Bay Lodge years ago...many things have remained the same, especially the enjoyment of the place.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank barbarabdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Thanks for taking the time to write on here Barbara. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed your vacation with us. Small Hope is all about relaxing, so it's lovely to know that you would both return just for that! Like you, we continue to be thrilled that we are featured in the book '1001 Places to See Before You Die', and in fact, it has even influenced some of our staff in their decision to come out here! We hope to see you back sometime in the future.
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English first
Omaha, NE
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Our travels are mostly warm weather, beachy places and this was country # 18. I am an avid scuba diver and my wife although certified, prefers snorkeling and birding. We spent our first week of this trip in the Exumas at Staniel Cay Yatch Club and week 2 at Small Hope.

Small Hope has been on our short list for a couple of years. We seek out authentic spots with no hint of franchising. When we see resorts with resident dogs - it's almost always like staying with friends and a relaxed atmosphere. Flying to Andros island via Watermakers out of Ft. Lauderdale Executive airport is terrific. Customs takes about 5 minutes and the drive over about the same. When we arrived, our soon to be friend Renauldo, had everything taken care of. In seconds, he handed us our key and gave a detailed orientation of the entire place while he walked us to our room.

Rooms: The rooms are rustic and dark - not charming, just rustic. The owners have not reinvested in any facelifts over time, hence your should know that the bathrooms are at or below a low-end chain in the US (like Super 8). It was very windy during our stay and dust poured into the room via jalousie style windows. It's nothing they could control. The maids cleaned it faithfully every day, but the fine layer of dust returned. Just something to consider for your stay. Compared to other "rustic" diving resorts the room is a 3 out of 5.

Staff: The activities staff are very friendly and service oriented. They are constantly available in the main lodge to answer questions. In all our travels, these people are as good as it gets. In the morning, they inquire about what you want to do that day: snorkel, scuba, fish, hike, tours or nothing. If you change your mind - no problem. It's all about making your trip wonderful. The staff is a 5 out of 5.

Dining: Except breakfast which is ala carte, the meals are served family style and are excellent quality and variety. There was always a soup, a couple of salads and mains with the expected sides. If you are vegetarian, they do have veg options or will probably make something special if you ask. My wife eats fish, so she had plenty of choices. The bar has anything you could want, and except for happy hour, you serve yourself. I would note that if you prefer to dine solo or only with your significant other - tell them. Otherwise, plan on sitting at a table with 6 - 8 people and chatting about your day, your travels or something fun. This is a very social place; the other guests will seem like friends by the end of your trip. The food and inclusive drinks are a 5 out of 5 in terms of value and quality.

Diving: I have over a hundred dives in about a dozen countries. The boats, reef quality, clarity and fish life are very, very good here. The Ocen Blue Hole and Over the Wall are good dives but Brad's Mountain was one of my favorites of all time. The coral and reef sharks throughout the dive were awesome. Even though we had terrible weather (wind & waves), Joe, Fede and Dennis worked hard to find the best sites.

Reef Health: I am very concerned about 1 thing. Small Hope uses anchors (sometimes 2) and not buoys. The large claw anchor with heavy chain surprised me and I witnessed reef damage first hand. Incremental and small, but day after day it has to have a toll. I visited with the owners about my concerns, but was told fisherman would steal the buoys. Although the divemasters attempt to carefully lift the anchors at the end of the dives, they still have to drop them intially. Why not use submerged bouys; even if just at the most popular dives sites?

Regardless of the imperfections; Small Hope is a nice place. Andros and the out island Bahamas are wonderful and the people are perhaps the happiest and friendliest we have ever met.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tonyandk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 9 February 2012
We cannot thank you enough for your wonderful comments INCLUDING your concern for the reef. Your comments are correct we do still anchor. However, we feel we are doing this for the greater good! Small Hope has always been involved in the protection of the environment since its creation back in the late fifties. ANCAT, Andros Conservancy and Trust, that has taken an active role in Central Andros in particular, was started at Small Hope back in 1996 and continues to be supported by us!

We anchor and physically lift because some of our sites are in the marine park. Without us being able to control who hooks up to moorings or being able to enforce the removal of those who destroy the reef and cause grave harm, we anchor. Now, having said that, we are starting to look into some creative alternatives to increase the moorings that we already have, and yet ensure our concern and interest is being protected.

Thank you again for all that you say, we appreciate all feedback. It helps us to move progressively and positively towards our 52nd year and to continually improve our Enviornmental Management System and stewardship.
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California
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

What a fabulous friendly place this is. The food was excellent, the lodge relaxing, but best of all was the attentiveness of the staff. There were six dive masters on site, sharing meals with guests, reviewing the days dive, discussing the next days outing, offering advice and guidance.
It was invaluable time spent with wonderful helpful folks. If you warn a vacation where you are treated like family, this is the place. Thanks for everything.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Paulajeanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Thank you Paula, as always, it's great to know that you enjoyed your vacation with us. Also, thank you for the lovely wine.....I know all the staff were big fans. We look forward to seeing you both back here soon!
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We simply cannot get enough of Small Hope Bay Lodge! The setting is stunning and the staff is incomparable. While I'm enjoying diving the reef, the wall and the blue hole, John is stalking the wily bonefish on the most beautiful, far reaching flats -- including the flats on the bay right next to the lodge. How else does one define paradise!?

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BaldwinDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 31 January 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review Kay. We always love having you both here, and we are already looking forward to visit number 16!!
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Jacksonville, Oregon, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

We have friends who have come to SHBL for 15 years or more. They raved about the amazing diving & bone fishing, the friendliness of the staff, the great food & relaxed atmosphere. We were HOOKED after our first visit. SHBL is a family-owned business and it very much feels like it; a huge number of their guests are repeat customers. The property is neither large nor over-the-top fancy, but it's comfortable, friendly, and - best of all - most oriented to serious scuba divers & bone fisherman (the friendliness of the diving staff and fishing guides deserves special recognition). Communal dining means you actually get to know your fellow travelers. If you want a resort with fourteen swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall and in-room flat-screen TV's, look elsewhere. Leave SHBL to the rest of us who treasure it for its charm and accessibility. As for us, we'll keep coming back.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MaryD574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Many thanks for this lovely review Mary. We love the fact that such a huge number of our guests (like you) are repeats or referrals.....it means the atmosphere we are trying to maintain here is working. So much of our charm comes from the fantastic guests we get, so we really can't take all the credit! We very much look forward to seeing you again soon.....all the best for 2012!
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Additional Information about Small Hope Bay Lodge

Property: Small Hope Bay Lodge
Address: Fresh Creek, 00000, Andros
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Andros
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Price range (per night): $754 - $1,209
Hotel Class:3 star — Small Hope Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have been catering to scuba divers, snorkelers, fishermen, eco-tourists, and relaxers since 1960. Third largest barrier reef in the world and bonefish heaven. There are 21 all-inclusive rooms in cottages right on the beach. Come experience our unique ambience, friendly staff, and natural safe environment. Our dock and dive shop are right on property and fishing trips are easily arranged. Of course, if grabbing a drink, a book, and a hammock are more your style, go right ahead. We have 2 beaches and plenty of hammocks. Rest, Relaxation, and Rediscovery ... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Small Hope Bay Hotel Andros
Small Hope Bay Resort

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