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Reviewed 1 February 2011

There is a ten page story about how we ended up on Cat Island of all places but I will stick to the review and say the Frank and Gabby are wonderful people that offer a great experience. Shanna's Cove was actually booked full but Frank went out of his way to book us at Tail Winds (which is actually not open, but a very nice property as well). We had Tail Winds all to ourselves and David the manager of Tail Winds was fantastic. Not understanding the concept of High Tide my wife left her flip flops on the beach which are now floating somewhere in the Caribbean. As it was her only shoes, David got right on it and called all over the island to find her a pair of sandals. The young lady that owned the tiny little shop with the flip flops also ran the phone company office and David drove us into town and picked up the young lady that owned the shop to open up for us. Now that is customer service and just downright friendly. We had our meals at Shanna's cove and the food was fun and tasty. Frank gave us a tour of one of the cottages and they were very nice. The main house is absolutely beautiful and the views are nothing short of spectacular, A million dollar view as Frank would say. Bottom line it was an absolutely fantastic experience.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 401kid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2011

Please trust the great 5 star reviews they are fact. My wife and I visited Cat Island over Christmas Holiday 2010. Our trip exceeded our expectations. We were seeking a quiet, peaceful and friendly retreat and consider this one of the best trips we’ve ever taken!

Why? The people we met (fellow guests, ex-pats, and locals) and the landscape we explored were equally beautiful and very special. Gabi and Frank (Proprietor’s of the Shannas Cove Resort) and their wonderful staff were expert hosts, who could relate and cater to our expectations in a balanced yet pro-active and pleasant way, and always with a genuine smile. They are easy going. They organized day trips and acted as guides to the various points of interest on the island. I scuba dived and caved with Frank and other guests. In short, they’re interesting and engaging.

Shannas Cove is a beautiful hillside resort with 5 smartly designed bungalow/cottages delivering quiet/clean accommodation with convenient amenities overlooking one of the nicest Coves in the Bahamas. Shannas Cove restaurant is nicely decorated with an outside wrap around veranda offering expansive panoramic views (day and moon-lit nights) of the surrounding landscape and Caribbean. Their beach is large with soft white sand, contrasted by clear blue water (really incredible shades of blue). They provide water sport amenities: kayak, canoe, hobe cat, etc. free for your use.

Gabi and Frank take great pride in all aspects of their resort. Their dining offerings reflect this well. Their meals were diverse and expertly prepared via an a la carte or prix fixe menu (your preference). From Breakfast to Dinner, we truly appreciated the international flavor and consistently good taste and creativity of their offerings. For example, our dinner entrees included; various fish (tuna, swordfish, red snapper and grouper), lobster, and porterhouse steaks. Please try Gabi’s delicious homemade salads and pizza’s (interesting with tasty toppings). In addition, they cater to special dietary considerations. The local ex-pats consider this a favorite spot which was consistent with our view.

If you’re looking to get away and relax Cat Island and Shannas Cove are a perfect elixir. Shannas Cove Resort compliments this experience by offering a quiet and beautiful setting with modern amenities, good food, and natural and secluded beaches. We recommend the Shannas Cove resort at the north end of Cat Island. There are other resort options on Cat Island and we visited them, but they didn’t seem to offer the same intimate feel or attention to detail Gabi and Frank provide.

Thanks Gabi, Frank and Staff!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bryan_33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

My wife and I would like to introduce you to a magical place called Shannas’ Cove. After your visit here you will be left wondering, ‘was I really there or was I dreaming?’ Within a couple months of researching where I wanted to take my new bride for our honeymoon, I settled on Shannas Cove.

Our wedding day was rather stressful. A series of severe storms left the church without electricity and a nearby tornado touchdown had sent all our guests to the basement just minutes before the ceremony was about to begin! After all that, I didn’t think any place was capable of making up for what we had just gone through. I was wrong. Shannas’ Cove exceeded the highest of expectations. In spite of everything that happened our wedding was still very special and a day we will treasure for the rest of our lives!

I discovered Shannas Cove by googling “bed & breakfast resorts Bahamas”. Shannas’ Cove is not a B&B, but a full service resort. After searching for the perfect honeymoon spot for nearly 3 months; I had finally narrowed it down to 2 places with Shannas Cove being one of them. What closed me on booking our honeymoon at Shannas’ Cove was the fact that they would cook meals in a way that wouldn’t affect our specific food allergies. My wife and I both have an allergy to wheat flour and dairy. This can make eating out very difficult to say the least! They ordered what they could and we brought a few ingredients with us for them to make our stay as pleasant as possible. This was not very easy for them to do since it is an island. The meals you will eat at Shannas’ Cove really are the definition of fine dining. What you will discover after being there a little while is that the other resorts on Cat Island send their guests to Shannas’ Cove for special dinners and the wealthiest people on the island go to Shannas’ Cove when they are looking for the best place to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The meals here will leave you satisfied and amazed! More on that later.

One of the things I learned while researching the Bahamas for our upcoming honeymoon was that it’s best to get away from the commercialism of Nassau to really experience the Bahamas and what island life is all about. The “Out Islands” of the Bahamas really are the way to do that. When you are on Cat Island you are family. You really feel like you are part of the community. After spending time there you will wish your neighborhood back home could be more like that.

Our trip to the Bahamas was a complete and total surprise to my wife. She knew to pack for warmer weather and bring a bathing suit, but other than that I kept her guessing. When Gabi picked us up at the airport we hopped into their pick-up truck and headed to the resort. That first ride from the airport to the resort was an experience we won’t soon forget in and of itself! Shannas’ Cove Resort is located on the northern most part of Cat Island and we could tell that they hacked it out of the bush and created a paradise for folks like my wife & I looking to get away from it all! Our first view of the resort from the top of the hill took our breath away. When we arrived in our bungalow, there were fresh flower petals in a heart shape on our bed! The view from our room is something I will never forget. They had even gone out of their way to put some candles in the room at my request. There are only 5 bungalows at Shannas Cove and we stayed in the “Turtle”. Each bungalow has its own deck and offers breathtaking views of the ocean with plenty of privacy. When we arrived, there were a couple of other folks renting bungalows but we rarely saw them since they weren’t there for a traditional vacation, and had other obligations. It was as if we had the whole resort to ourselves! The beach at Shannas’ Cove was truly the most beautiful beach we have ever experienced! There is probably a mile or so of beach front near the resort and the most people we ever saw on that beach, on 2 different occasions, were 3 people other than ourselves! It really was surreal! Typically, when you see pictures of beautiful beaches in the Caribbean you see a picture of what looks like a secluded paradise and when you arrive there are lots of people out enjoying the sun and sand leaving seclusion nearly impossible to attain. Not here! It was just us and nature for the most part. And since Shannas’ Cove only has 5 bungalows, how crowded can it get???!!!

Our first evening we were treated to the best steak dinner we had ever eaten in our lives! To top it off we were provided with a Cat Island delicacy - sweet and spicy green jelly to go with our steak. As odd as it sounds, this jelly was exploding with flavor and does something to the steak that is hard to describe. We bought a jar to bring home with us and now I wish we had bought 3! Make sure you try it if you go. Frank and Gabi made a special effort to get sweet potatoes for my wife, at my request. She was delighted to be able to enjoy sweet potatoes in a foreign place. Little things aren’t little things, they are everything! Frank & Gabi have put together something truly special. You can sense their intense pursuit of perfection in everything they do for you at Shannas’ Cove! Working together they make an amazing team. Shannas’ Cove is without a doubt the best kept secret in the Bahamas, but I know it won’t stay that way for long. While planning a trip like this isn’t cheap, Frank and Gabi have created a millionaire’s experience for those of us who aren’t. It won’t surprise us if the day soon comes that we would have to book our future vacations at Shannas’ Cove months in advance just to get a bungalow.

The meals we were served at Shannas Cove were fantastic! Having breakfast on the deck of the main dining room overlooking the ocean every morning is one of our favorite memories. We always left full, yet without feeling like we had over done it. Breakfast was always made up of Gabi’s wonderful homemade breads, fresh fruit, and numerous other things that you will see in one of the breakfast pictures posted. While having dinner each evening, we had the opportunity to try a number of different things we had never eaten before. Gabi would often make a recommendation for dinner, but we had the option of choosing something else if we weren’t interested in what was suggested. We are not big sea food lovers, but we must say that we really enjoyed the Sword Fish, Salmon, Grouper, and Mahi-Mahi that we ate while we were there. We also discovered that Gabi has become very famous on the island for her pizza! It is the only place to get pizza on the island and the locals will drive 90 minutes just to get some!

We had the pleasure of walking on a beautiful stone walkway each day which took 3 months to build with 4 men working 8 hours per day! It may have taken 4 months I can’t remember now, but it really is a work of art. When it is lit up at night it is just awesome! And speaking of the night time; the display of stars when we looked up into the heavens gave us goose bumps. There is no light pollution on the island so we had a completely unobstructed view of the heavens from Shannas’ Cove. I had not seen stars like this since my time in Colorado.

One of the most unique things we experienced was going on a caving expedition with Frank. If you have the courage, make sure you hire him and go do it. It will be well worth it! The cave we went to had two very large chambers and was filled with beauty and fruit bats! One chamber had no bats and the other one was full of them! We had never experienced anything like it. In the US you would not only pay a lot to have an experience like this; you would also be surrounded by many other people which was very unlike the totally private experience made possible by Frank. After spending a week around Frank I think of him as a German Indiana Jones.

In addition to the caving experience the other place you will want to make sure you visit while on Cat Island is “Mt Alvernia.” Mt. Alvernia is the highest point in the Bahamas with an elevation of 205 feet. It may not seem like much, but from sea level you really feel like you are up high and the view is breath taking. Mt. Alvernia has many stone structures that were built by a Catholic priest during the first half of the 20th century. You can research it more on your own, but this is not to be missed if you make the trip.

One of the things about the Bahamas that never gets old is watching the color of the water continue to change as the sun hits it during different times of the day. I didn’t know the color blue could change so much and still remain “blue” but it does. My favorite part of the Shannas’ Cove, Cat Island experience, in addition to the beauty of the resort itself, was kayaking to the Northern most tip of Cat Island from the Shannas’ Cove beach to what the locals call “Man-O-War”. We couldn’t remember if it was the 2nd or 3rd deserted beach where we were supposed to dock our kayak, but we knew that we were supposed to be looking for a large chunk of rock jutting out into the ocean with a huge hawks’ nest at the tip. When this came into site we felt like kids with a treasure map and half expected Captain Jack Sparrow to come strolling down the deserted beach to meet us! We packed a cooler full of drinks, some of Gabi’s famous pizza and a couple umbrellas. There were no other foot prints in the sand when we arrived! When we arrived we saw no signs of civilization other than debris that had washed up on the beach from the ocean. It is the beginning of 50 to 60 miles of wilderness beach. It really made us feel like Robinson Caruso when we came around the bend to see the beginning of the deserted beach that goes on for miles. Our first trip, of two, to “Man-O-War” was highlighted by the very large sting ray that went gliding right underneath our kayak! Words cannot describe the beauty and overall feeling of that experience. You will just have to do it yourself. There are two ways to get to “Man-O-War”; a 30 minute kayak trip or a 45 minute walk through the bush. On our second trip to our private beach, we started to make the hike through the bush but we turned back after about 100 yards due to the bugs and kayaked over instead. Kayaking on that gorgeous blue water is so awesome anyway. Maybe we will try to make the hike next time.

The snorkeling and scuba diving we experienced was amazing! The beauty and clarity of the water is astonishing. It is well worth the money to hire Frank for a scuba or snorkeling expedition. My wife had always wanted to experience the marine life in a place like this and she was not disappointed, this became the highlight of her time in the Bahamas. A great place to start your snorkeling experience at Shannas’ Cove is right off their beach. There is a small piece of coral close to Shannas’ Cove beach that can be easily accessed to just enjoy the marine life.

Some final thoughts on planning a trip to Shannas’ Cove. Frank & Gabi will help you make your time here whatever you want it to be. If you want to just lay on the beach all day every day in quiet solitude you can do that here. If you are the adventurous type there is plenty to do from caving to scuba diving. However, if you are someone that has to be constantly entertained with Las Vegas style shows and night life, this probably isn’t the place for you. Bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray for your trip. Frank and Gabi will help you plan adequately for this. Try to make sure you are scheduled to arrive in Nassau 3 hours or more before you are due at the ticket desk for your connecting flight to Cat Island. Clearing customs can take awhile. The ticket counter will close 30 minutes before the final flight of the day. There are typically only 2 flights per day on Sky Bahamas to Cat Island which is the preferred airline of choice if my memory serves me correctly. If you fail to make it on time you will be spending an unplanned night in Nassau. I understand Frank and Gabi have a good relationship with a hotel in Nassau that could save you some money should that happen to you. Make sure you get that information before leaving. Our original flight on Delta Air was scheduled to arrive at Nassau by 12pm EST. This was pushed back to 2pm and if it hadn’t been for a generous couple further ahead in the customs line; we would have never made our connecting flight that day.

Frank and Gabi,
We can never thank you enough for making our honeymoon the trip of a lifetime and something we will treasure for the rest of our lives. We can’t wait to return!

-The Honeymooners from Ohio

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Financeguy89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2010

For our Bahamas vacation, we have deliberateley chosen Cat Island (one of many Bahamas islands) because the island is very natural and not so touristy. Fortunately, we got an insider tip for Shanna's Cove Resort, there we have found exactly what we expected from a perfect island vacation. Absolute quiet, Caribbean feeling and a perfect treatment. For those who want to feel like in Paradise, the Shanna´s Cove Resort is the place to be.
The owners Frank and Gabi are great hosts and take care of everything.
Depending on how you feel you can spend the day at an absolutely gorgeous and wide beach. Loungers, umbrellas, goggles, fins and snorkels are at the beach available. (you can run for hours without meeting anybody). If you prefer to know the island and its inhabitants, Frank and Gabi are always planning different island tours. (For examle visiting Mount Alvernia, the Monastery “The Hermitage”).
The resort is only 1 year old, there are 5 super beautifully designed bungalows, top decorated and very clean. From each of the 5 bungalows you have a direct view (from the bed) to the beach and the amazing turquoise water.
Gabi's cuisine is unique on the island. You get a great breakfast and a varied evening 3-course meal.
Thanks to Gabi and Frank for your hospitality and the great things that you have done with us.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MC_MUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

Yes I will agree...arrive as guest and depart as good friends !
What an amazing time we all had with Gabi and Frank (brother) It was totally amazing, can NOT FAULT Shanna's Cove Resort' its the best place ever! Gabi's cooking was amazing,(try the breakfast!) and Frank went out of his way to take us places and make us so happy, 4 adults and 4 bigs kids! from fishing to tubing. If you want total relaxation away from the crowds this is the place, You have the most beautiful beach to yourself which is heaven, Theres a kayak, canoe and Hobie to sail around to a cove ...its so peaceful!
This was our second visit and we WILL BE COMING BACK....number 1 place to go in Cat Island!!!!!...... I thoroughly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank JillnRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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