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“Small Hope Bay Diving Vacation, Andros Island, Bahamas”

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Small Hope Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Collins, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Small Hope Bay Diving Vacation, Andros Island, Bahamas”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

I visited Small Hope Bay by myself as a sort of work vacation, to further research the subject matter for my second novel. The resort is fantastic. The atmosphere is casual and laid back, yet the facilities are top notch and the food prepared by their on-site chef is second to none. The staff became friends in the short time I was there, and the scuba diving off Andros Island's barrier reef and an ocean blue hole was some of the best I have experienced anywhere in the world. Plus, the diving staff is one of the safest I have had the pleasure to meet.

I have been to the Bahamas before, and already love the country and its people. While Nassau is a great spot as well, if you are looking for a more relaxing vacation, superior diving, an atmosphere similar to that seen in the television show Cheers, and a slower pace, it's well worth the minor effort to head over to Andros Island and Small Hope.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great and very clean, although semi-rustic. If you are like me, though, you spend...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ryan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Small Hope Bay Lodge - where everybody knows your name. Thanks for the great review, Ryan! I'm glad you had a great stay and were able to see some of the great diving we have here. You'll have to come back again to see some of our other blue holes on the island. Good luck on the book!
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

So my husband and I have avoided all-inclusive vacations successfully for several years. We loathe crowded resorts filled with demanding, annoying vacationers with lousy food and prefer to stay in out of the way funky, quiet, peaceful places. He was suspicious when I told him we were staying at Small Hope! But by the end of the week he told me he has never relaxed so completely and quickly in a one week vacation. I couldn't agree more. Everything is taken care of by Jeff's attentive and kind staff. The small group numbers lend to an intimate and casual atmosphere. The food was fantastic, the diving was great, and the hammocks are everywhere. The owner and staff are always present and available to answer questions and get you anything you might need from bicycles to directions to a cold drink. I completed my Advanced Open Water cert while there and found the dive staff to be incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and on top of things. Everyone does a check-out dive before heading out to dive--a very professional and safe place. And the resort course is free which is an amazing perk for anyone wanting to try out diving for the first time. We met some really wonderful people during the week and ate some of the best cake I've ever had (did I mention I don't like cake?) The food is laid out abundantly for every meal--we never had to carry a purse or wallet or anything for the entire week. Kayaks, small sailboats, snorkel gear, loungers and bicycles are available to use whenever you feel like it. Though there weren't any kids there during our week stay there is a whole room available to them where they can eat, hang out and play. We were there to dive but many of the folks we met were there to fish or just relax on the beautiful beach. Wake up, eat, dive, eat, nap, dive, eat, relax, laugh, sleep was our daily routine. If you like to shop at glitzy boutiques, wear high heels and makeup on vacation, or watch tv the whole time do yourself a favor and go somewhere else. The only thing you will find at Small Hope is rest, relaxation, great food, kind people, great conversation, turquoise water, lots of hammocks and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The owner told me he thought of the lodge as an adult summer camp. I couldn't agree more! We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Some cabins adjoin so be sure to specify if that's something you would need/like.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank mvymermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 18 February 2014
Thanks so much for the great review! I am so happy you two enjoyed your time (and cake) here. We are definitely a different kind of all-inclusive resort than many are used to. We would love you see you guys back here soon. Congratulations again on getting your Advanced Open water certification!
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Leatherneck, Afghanistan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

Okay, first let me start this review by saying that Small Hope Bay Lodge is not for everyone. If you are looking for Las Vegas style "High Roller" treatment, you are looking in the wrong place. My wife and I picked Small Hope because we wanted to get away from the typical tourist trap style resorts. If you need a spa, swimming pools and casinos, you may want to try Nassau or Vegas. Small Hope is a "get away from it all" style resort. We stayed for 8 wonderful nights and though some reviews say that the rooms were "dirty", please keep in mind, the resort is ON THE BEACH...you are bound to drag some sand into your room (especially if you don't use the little feet washer tubs outside of the room)... When YOU are the person that is dragging dirt into your room, it is a little unfair to say that the rooms are not cleaned. Speaking strictly from my experience, the cleaning crew does a phenomenal job of making sure that the rooms are sand free, have clean towels daily, and that the bed is made exactly the same as it was when we arrived.

As far as reviews about the rooms being humid or muggy. Keep in mind, you are staying on a tropical island. If the room seems too wet or humid, they all have air conditioner units that you can use if you would like. Close the windows and fire up the old A/C if the urge hits you. We did not utilize the A/C for any of our stay. There is a ceiling fan and a rotary fan in the room that, with open windows, does a pretty good job of keeping the room cool enough.

In response to the reviewer who stated that the trip is not worth it "unless you are a diver", that statement is not only false, but absolutely ridiculous. I arrived at Small Hope Bay not only never having dived before, but without any want to get in deeper water for a fear of sharks. This thought however, quickly vanished with the help of the amazing dive staff that Small Hope Employs. Dennis, Tony, Rebecca and Federico are an absolute joy to be around and are very knowledgeable with regards to diving and diving safely. If the urge strikes you, it is more than possible to earn your open water diving certification on your stay (I did!) For those people that are not into diving or do not wish to dive, there are TONS of other activities offered for your enjoyment. When I was not diving, the wife and I spent our time relaxing in the hammocks or the lounge, snorkeling, kayaking the creeks or bay, going on the tour of and swimming in the magnificent blue holes, learning about bush medicine and hiking etc... To say that there is nothing to do unless you are a diver is not a fair statement to make when you take into account that there is even more that we did not have time to do.

As far as the food goes, it is true that most of the meals are done in buffet style dining. When you take into account the variety of foods that are being offered (to ensure that there is something there for everyone) it only makes sense to serve the meal that way. The variety is vast and the food is cooked wonderfully. Oh and if you are going to be out exploring one of the activities previously listed, you can also get lunch to go.

There are quite a few very unfair reviews that have been posted. The folks at Small Hope are very friendly, care about the needs of their customers and will jump through hoops to ensure that you have a good time. Throughout my travels, I have never visited a place that made me feel like a family member or that has given me such a sense of belonging. We already have another trip planned for October. Cannot wait to get back down to Small Hope Bay Lodge to visit with Jeff and the rest of the family. See you all soon and thanks for a great time!

Paul Freitas

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Thanks for the great review, Paul! I am so glad you both enjoyed your time here. We are definitely a get-away-from-it-all kind of place. And I definitely agree that there are plenty of activities (and inactivities) for both divers and non-divers to keep as busy as they wish for their entire stay. It was really great meeting you two and we look forward to seeing you both back here soon! Congrats again on getting your dive certification!
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Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2014

We recently (and very sadly) returned from a week at Small Hope Bay. What it is not - posh, formal, uptight. What it is - friendly, totally comfortable, welcoming, chill, and, did I say friendly?? Owners and staff are all great folks, just cannot do enough for you, and everyone on the island was absolutely great. It was totally relaxed. Alot of folks there for the diving, but we were not. No matter, we were relaxingly busy and truly enjoyed the island, other guests, and everything about Small Hope Bay.
One other point, important to us - many Caribbean resorts feel separate from their community. Small Hope Bay is a proud part of its community, and that is a great positive to us.
Many thanks to the Birch and SHB family, and we will be back !

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank clgs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Thanks for the wonderful review! I am so glad you got to experience the things we are so proud of - our staff, our atmosphere of friendly relaxation. And while we do have beautiful diving, there are plenty of great activities for non-divers as well. Being part of our community has always been, and will continue to be, a huge part of Small Hope Bay Lodge. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
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New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014

I have been to Small Hope a few times. Each time I am there, I feel like I have returned home rather than arrived at a vacation destination. The staff makes me feel like family. The facilities are comfortable and the food is outstanding! The diving is great, and the dive staff is extremely conscientious and helpful. I have already booked two more vacations there in the next year - I am hooked.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DiverRick64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Thanks for the great review! Of course you were coming home - you ARE family! We really enjoyed seeing you again and look forward to some more great dives with you this year. See you soon!
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New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
81 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2014

Anti-Atlantis in the Bahamas. This is the way it used to be and still can be. Remote, low pressure and way cool. Private cabins, all food and drinks included. Family run. Communal dining. Great staff and fellow guests. Incredible SCUBA and snorkeling with super guides, kayaking, swimming, fishing, nature exploration... big challenge or no pressure at your pleasure. It's not luxe, it's not tux, or big bucks... just the most laid back, island experience you could (small) hope for.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kafpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Thanks for the awesome review! You nailed it - we are the opposite of Atlantis. I am so glad you enjoyed getting away from it all and in to our off-the-beaten-track Bahamas resort. We hope to see you back for more!
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2014

First confession: stayed here last year and didn't post a review. Didn't want the word to get out. Second confession: thought 'welcome to the family' was some kind of marketing slogan. Didn't realize right away that they actually mean it.

Our favourite place in the whole world. Steer clear if you're seeking posh/luxe.

Small Hope Bay offers a rustic, friendly, laid-back, glorious holiday. If you're a diver, you'll be in heaven. If you're not a diver (me), you'll be in heaven. Bring a stack of books and find your hammock. Stroll over to the hand-built ocean-front bar and try any one of the rum cocktails on offer.

It sort of pains me to be sharing this place ... but spreading the word is probably the right thing to do.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank marguerite052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Thank you for the great review! It was wonderful seeing you again. You are definitely part of the family. I agree - a hammock, a book, and a rum drink = a great afternoon. I can't wait to see you both again. And thanks for getting the word out.
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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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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
Small Hope Bay Lodge Andros, Bahamas

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