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Reviewed 2 April 2008

Don't fly via Bahamas Air (gov. owned/dmv of airlines) - had a difficult time getting there - ended up chartering a private plane and missed a night. Once there, it was exactly as advertised. The place was peaceful and beautiful and I loved the staff. Everyone was friendly and helpful. People don't move at a New City Pace but to me, that's part of the charm.

I can't wait to go back. Mark the manager/trainer was great and the front office/reception people especially patient. The food is not world class but good enough and not too expensive.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with friends
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3  Thank SoCalCopilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2008

Upon arriving, this resort appeared to be everything that the reviews said. The beach is really and truly incredible. I have never seen water like this. The rooms were great--a little run down in some areas, but comfortable and with great screened-in patios to sit and look at the water and sunset. If all I had to do was sit and look at the water, this would have been paradise on earth. A note to divers/snorkelers--there is nothing to see in the water because it is incredibly calm and shallow. Unless you take one of the very expensive boats or trips at the resort, don't plan on interesting diving. A couple that we arrived with left early because they expected better diving. This is not "interesting" water--it is great for watching and swimming.

The only reason that I could not give this place a top rating is the restaurant. We were there for seven days and this is an extremely secluded resort. Unless you want to rent a car ($70 per day plus $5 per gallon gas) and drive for at least 30 minutes each way (over horrible roads), you have to eat at the resort restaurant. For an expensive and well-reviewed resort, the restaurant was a huge disappointment. The food was unimaginative and expensive and often in skimpy portions. One example--$13 for two small triangles of chicken quesadillas. There was not nearly as much seafood as I would have imagined for a beach side resort and side dishes with the $25-40/plate dinners included frozen then microwaved peas and carrots.

However, the biggest problem was the lazy and resentful service we received at the restaurant. The waitresses stood by the cash register gossiping until you demanded service, often having to ask twice even for a glass of water. Then they would give you a look like you were interrupting the otherwise nice day they were having and walk over to the table as if dragging an anvil behind them. I could not believe how bad the service was. At one point, we were one of three couples in the restaurant. They did not offer to seat us, so we sat ourselves. Then they moved us twice until we were right next to the kitchen (and all the noise from them gossiping in the kitchen) even though every better table in the place remained empty throughout our meal. There was never an explanation for why we had to change tables and certainly no reason for us to sit right next to the noisy kitchen.

I think the problem is that there is a mandatory "gratuity" (it is not a gratuity if you don't get to decide the amount based on the quality of the service) of 15% and there are no other restaurants in the area. The waitresses are going to get the same money regardless of the service they provide. We finally got to the point after about 3 days where we went to a convenience store and got snacks so that we could avoid the restaurant as much as possible. It was that bad. We also ended up renting a car on two different days so that we could go grocery shopping and go to different restaurants. On a side note, Chez Pierre's was wonderful.

This restaurant would probably be okay if you were only staying for a little while, but for trips over 3 days it was really terrible. It didn't ruin our trip, but it definitely seriously hampered our enjoyment of an otherwise great place. We unfortunately can not say we would ever return.

I would like to say that the rest of the service, especially housekeeping and front desk, was great. Also Southern Air Charter worked out very well from Nassau to Stella Maris.

If you are considering this place, you should also consider how much seclusion you want. We found it very peaceful and relaxing, but there was seriously nothing to do. They did have fishing expeditions and some other things, but be prepared to pay through the nose ($250 for a half day of bone fishing?). No TVs in the room, no phones and no cell phone service for the most part, and very slow internet. There also are not very many people at the resort. There is nothing for miles around on the island. Like I said, we really enjoyed it but it was more secluded than anything most people have ever experienced on a vacation. Just be prepared for it because I am sure a lot of people would not enjoy it.

All in all, I wish this place had lived up to the reviews. Had the restaurant been better managed and offered better food, I would have no trouble recommending this place as a beach paradise.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank katshif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2008

We have a private helicopter and we were able to fly right there and land. There is a landing strip next to the resort which we absolutely loved. With just a short walk to the premises, which was much needed to stretch our legs, we were checked in and 2 minutes after that we enjoyed a cocktail in their lovely bar. I enjoyed a massage while we stayed there also. It was so relaxing. The woman came right to our bungalow, so private and oh so wonderful. Food was excellent, EVERYTHING was clean and we also experienced our first 2 seater bicycle ride...what fun....everyone must go!!! Debra and Tom
d.acee@maddenconcrete.com

Thank you Wendy!!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank zzztjmdebra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2008

This fabulous beach resort on the northern end of Long Island, Bahamas was the perfect six day setting for us to have a second couple get married. We stayed in one of the 2 BR Villas -- 1800 sq feet of luxury overlooking the 3 mile long beach. The Villa, which runs $795/night on season, $595 off, had an enclosed porch, spacious living room/dining room/full kitchen area with TV/DVD, wireless access, washer/dryer and 2 separate bathrooms, one with Jacuzzi. All rooms were nicely appointed, appropriate for their now current $900K selling price, and all offered great privacy. Our new found friends enjoyed their smaller bungalows, but the Villa offered far more enjoying options and space for the four of us.

The Villas are on the south end of the resort, a short 3 minute walk to the main office/restaurant/indoor bar and outside eating/drinking area along the water. It was great to walk down the main street—the amazing wide, soft, white beach—to greet friends who we met on our first day. The beach at Cape Santa Maria is by far the most beautiful and amazing that I’ve been to and that includes other Bahamian beaches, Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Morocco, Southern France, Crete, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, and California. The water, even in February, was warm, gentle and beautifully shaded from clear to delightful shades of turquoise and green. On the extreme southern end was a very diverse reef and rock area that provided several different environments for fabulous snorkeling and viewing of coral, small and larger fish, sea fan fields and the mildly terrifying barracuda. The northern end of the beach ends in a well protected cove, where I found 2 live large conch, which I brought to the staff who cleaned them, gave us the meat to cook for a pre-wedding dinner in our fab kitchen, and polished the shells for us to take home. Also in the cove are bonefish, rays, smaller reefs, and there were several fly fisherman working the flats. The free kayaks and bicycles allow one to explore caves and nearby surroundings.

The food at the restaurant was very good and plentiful, with dinner entrees ranging from $22 to $39, and included a range of Bahamian specialties, as well as steak and chicken offerings. Drinks were generous and ranged from $5-$7 for great tasting Bahamian favorites. Service was very good to excellent, and uniformly deserved the included 15% service charge [standard in the Bahamas]. A car to explore the island and pick up provisions cost $70/day, but the Resort offered the far more exquisite experience than we were able to find on the island during a day’s ride.

As a couple in our party got married, and then decided to spend their honeymoon in Sandals, Nassau, I can only say that the wedding experience has to be vastly superior at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort. What one misses in a well tuned wedding program that the larger Sandals offers, in which our couple were informed they could get married during a particular hour, sandwiched between other weddings, one gains in the most personable service provided by the Long Island administrator, who most graciously expressed that his time and service were for the happy couple. At the Cape, we were able to have a most private, unhurried and beautiful ceremony, beneath the fine gazebo right in front of our Villa and right on the beach. I’ve been to some great wedding settings, but this takes the cake –LOL. Really, the ambience, the administrator, accommodating staff [a free bouquet of hand picked flowers], the presence of new found friends, the ease of walking down the Villa stairs to the gazebo with sun shining on the sea in the background, all created a perfect experience for the lovely couple.

Oh, and did I mention that since the beach faces the West, the sunsets are divine!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank DPNDPN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2008

A weekend is not long enough to enjoy Cape Santa Maria, we would have loved to stay at least a week for the total relaxation this resort offers. Our Villa was beautiful with an incredible view of the beach, only steps away. You can walk on the beach for hours and not run into anyone else and as the bay is protected, the swimming is wonderful. We've spent many holidays on the beaches around the world and this was one of the best.

All the decks on the Villas and the Bungalow are screened in so you can sit "outside" to watch the sunset or the sunrise even if the weather doesn't cooperate.

The menu offers a selection to suit everybody and the meals were delicious. Living in the Bahamas I know how hard it is to get the fresh ingredients you need to offer these kinds of dishes so hats off to the Chef.

The staff were friendly and warm, the service was always good. We look forward to going back soon and have already recommended the resort to several of our friends.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jackelberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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