Because most people travel as couples and in groups, as I single traveler and diver, I typically read up 12 novels and sometimes more on a one-week vacation...at Small Hope... I barely made it through 3 in 10 days.
I chose Small Hope because of Nicky and Linda in the front office. I called other hotels in the Bahamas with questions about their resorts and diving and was politely but firmly told: "All of that information is on our website if you look..." When I persisted, I was shutdown pretty quickly. When I emailed I got obviously "cut and pasted" formatted answers...
I had real human-to-human chats with Nicky and Linda. When Nicky promised to call back with the necessary info re a single room - I was skeptical. The phone rang five-minutes later... it was Nicky and he'd figured it out for me.
I arrived and got the tour from Linda... she seemed surprised when I asked for a room key... but found one for me. The first few days, I locked my door out of habit.. and big city paranoia.
But after that, somehow - I couldn't be bothered... that Small Hope vibe had given me a certain comfort level and I left it unlocked and open with my work laptop, passport, credit cards, cameras, and oh yes, my cash - lying around - I'm not tidy by nature!
Was that smart? Likely not - but here's the thing - I came home with everything except a pair of socks that I'd left in the dive gear room... gotta love that! And oops.. I inadvertently came home with 2X2 lbs. in my BCD. Sorry!
The rooms are not fancy or luxe... but my bed was comfie... lots of pillows, plenty of towels... I was never hot. Asked for an extra blanket and it arrived in minutes.
Food is great - despite my pre-trip workout and bikini efforts -the chocolate pie(s) were irresistible. If it tastes amazing - those extra calories are worth it!
They don't cheap out on the food - hello shrimp, lobster, TUNA STEAK and tenderlicious beef steak. YUM. I'm not a big fan of carbs and while the homemade potato chips (handcut), scallop type, potato salad, couscous etc are fab - there were lots of veggie and salad alternatives. I'd cook the tuna a tad less (I like red versus pinkish) and ditto on the chicken tho that surely would have ensured complaints.
I love that hot chocolate, tea (regular and about 10 herbal varieties) are available always - my only complaint - the hot water and coffee aren't hot eno but if you ask they'll boil some.
Is there eno to do here? Well I did 16 dives in 7 days... and I meant to walk the beach, sail the Escape, kayak, hike, visit blue holes and hot tub but somehow I feel asleep whenever I wasn't underwater.
Depending on the season - bring long sleeves, 1 sweater, and maybe long pants. I'm a big wimp and wore a wool sweater one night and an entire wardrobe of fleece hoodies... especially valuable on the dive boat.
I saw more fish in Fiji and the Maldives but it's not a fair comparison and consider the airfare and travel time tradeoffs. I've never had more fun on a trip or a dive boat than at SHB.
The dive staff are extraordinary (Dennis, Becky, Claudis, Fedi, Tony) - I saw them show compassion, generosity of spirit and caring kindness with a number of divers who needed helped due to physical issues or nerves.
The Shark dive rocked my world...
Despite the fact my Toronto dive shop checked out my reg and BCD before my trip - I had failures on both - Fedi managed to fix one, then another part failed and finally my BCD went... I used their equipment for a bunch of dives. TX guys!
They had a good laugh over the air-conehead I get with my hood and suggested holes... when I mentioned that Gary from Washington was determined to chase my hood with a knife.. the staff offered to make pretty, tidy, stable holes in a pretty pattern with a melting device - tx. Adam and Dennis.
Small Hope really is like summer camp for adults and despite the fact I loathed summer camp - I adored Small Hope - go figure.
Back in the snow and ice and grey - I miss Small Hope and its people more than ever.
I came home grinning!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Small Hope Bay Hotel Andros
- Small Hope Bay Resort
- Small Hope Bay Lodge Andros, Bahamas