Small Hope made our Honeymoon the best experience I've had in my life.
While my fiance at the time was working on some of the logistical things for the wedding, I worked on the honeymoon portion. We knew we wanted to do something tropical and it had to be under 7 hours of flight time (not including delays and lay-overs). I probably looked at every island in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Cruise Ship, and more for options. I made an excel sheet showing the pluses and minuses of each as well as what fun things there would be to do at each location. The first place I emailed was Small Hope and within just a few hours they had responded to my two paragraph email with 13 paragraphs (I literally went back to the email now and counted). I continued emailing them and always received the most impressive emails ever.
Started to get serious about Small Hope being the location for our honeymoon, despite the distance from San Diego to the Bahamas as well as the per night cost (wife doesn't drink), and so I started thinking about what we would do there. There is so much to do! Their website does a fantastic job of telling you what you can do but there is no one to tell you what you should do! It's a huge difference and one I appreciated. Neither of us dive and neither of us are that active. Ultimately, we chose Small Hope not for the diving or extra activities (though they were nice to see as options, but because the water looked warm and clear, the service looked great, it was far away from everyone, and not a typical resort.
We made a mistake on our traveling day and stayed up all day before the red eye flight. We then had 15 hours of traveling to get to Small Hope. When we got there, we had been up for 45 hours and were ready to sleep. The second the Taxi driver (shout out to Hamilton who is the best Taxi driver i have ever had) dropped us off, a wonderful lady from the office (I'm sorry I can't remember your name!) brought us immediately to the bar where I was fixed a very potent drink. That was before any talk of paperwork was mentioned or anything serious. After some confusion, probably on my part, about us not having the Honeymoon package we thought we had, they told us to wait 10 minutes (more like 30 but it was the Bahamas and I had a stiff drink so i didn't mind) they would set up our room properly for the honeymoon package. It ended up costing the same and we had oh so many things.
We got walked to our private room where they had put petals all over the floor, champagne chilled in a container, 1 ticket for a breakfast in bed, 1 ticket for a stay on a private island, shot glasses, and some batik. It was wonderful. Our room was just 15 or so steps from the beach. It was at that moment that we realized we chose right and everything was worth it.
Throughout our stay we were constantly surprised at so many things. Ever single person (minus 2 people at Nasau International Airport not associated with Small Hope) we met in the Bahamas were some of the nicest people we met. When wanted to go Kayaking, for example, at Fresh Creek (a beautiful long freshwater river a mile or so away), they just told us what time we wanted to go and they loaded up the kayaks for us with snorkeling gear and everything. They gave us two bikes, a map of great places to see, and a smile. The gentleman who dropped off the kayaks asked if there was anything else he could do and then helped me get the kayak in the water. By the way, I highly recommend that tour. There were no sounds except the birds in the mangroves and the water lapping against the kayak. It was serenely quiet. Back to the people: they were all wonderful. At no point did they ever stop being nice and helpful. You want to go to the island? They packed up snacks for us with drinks in a cooler for our trip. They washed our clothes for us, cleaned our rooms amazingly well, made drinks with a smile, were super patient with us, and always made us feel welcome and that we had been there many times before. Another amazing thing that I hadn't seen in a review is that the kitchen staff is AMAZING. It was honestly shocking how quick dinner was served and then plates taken away when you were done. I can't think of a time when my empty plate was sitting there for more than a minute. The food was amazing as well! Whether it be lobster, Argentinian steak, good ole fashioned burgers, conch chowder, and conch fritters, everything was just amazing.
The location too is perfect. The water is absolutely stunning. Never seen anything like it. For probably close a mile, the water depth is between 6-10 feet continuously. It is perfect for snorkeling and I loved it. The water temperature was between 75-78 degrees and this was march. It rained some when we got there but it went away after a few minutes. The staff was so perfect that my wife and I felt comfortable enough to try diving. While she didn't enjoy it so much, I went ahead and did two 40 foot dives. Becki, one of the dive staff, was literally next to me the entire time I was underwater and made me feel super safe. By the way, we were literally the only dive boat out there each day I went out. Stunning.
I could go on and on, and have done so, but the take away is that this was wonderful. Jeff Birch, his family, and staff have made something that many of us there considered one of the best kept secrets in the world. I don't understand how they are able to have vacancies and not be on a waiting list for years. By the way, I gave Jeff a hug when I was leaving and he got so happy to see me happy. It honestly felt like family.
If I had a few minor complaints it would be these: the water takes at least 5 minutes to get warm in the shower, the pressure is very low, I wish there was a bartender there at all times (you're encouraged to make your own drinks), and I didn't like the weird mosquitos they have there (they don't buzz apparently, just bite and super small so they are hard to see). That is literally all I have to say that is slightly wrong. Maybe it being so expensive (relatively?). Was unfortunate for my wife since you can only pay the all-inclusive rate and my wife doesn't drink so we essentially paid extra for the drinks she wouldn't drink.
I highly recommend any of you reading this who want peace and relaxation to consider Small Hope Bay Lodge. There is so much great about this place that even this lengthy review can't cover all of it. The other guests you meet there too are great as they are all after the same thing you are. We met a lovely older couple named Barbara and Bruce who were our favorite people to have meals with. I highly recommend this place. We will be back VERY soon.
- 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