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“Long-term view of Small Hope Bay”

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Small Hope Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 May 2005

We've been going to Small Hope for 14 years (well over 30 visits, including our wedding in 2000), and consider it one of the best places in the world for a relaxing dive vacation, and a great place for kids. There aren't many places where you can stay barefoot all week and let your children run free in the (reef protected) shallows and mangrove swamp.

That said -- SHB is indeed rustic. You're not expected to spend a lot of time in the cabins, so they are simple, clean (but far from antiseptic) and not air-conditioned. Fans are usually enough to keep things comfortable, but if you like to be cool at night, you may be disappointed. The water pressure is not always reliable, and the fixtures are very basic.

As the resort is eco-friendly, the the surrounding greenery is not sprayed with insecticides. Which means you should be prepared to keep yourself covered and/or coated with bug repellent at all times, particularly on calm days.

The food has waxed and waned over the years, but is usually tasty and plentiful. Be sure to take advantage of the Bahamian options, including conch fritters, land crab claws, and rice and peas. The open (and all inclusive) bar is a truly wonderful thing., and playing bartender is a great way to get to know your fellow--and almost always faschinating--SHB guests.

For divers, SHB is paradise. Blue holes, wall dives, some very nice shallow coral gardens, all within minutes of the dock. For non-divers, the snorkeling around the lagoon and dock is spectacular, the mangrove swamps are full of birds, orchids, and interesting critters; and the kayaks and bicyles are always available. And of course there are all those hammocks and a library full of books.

If your idea of the Bahamas is the resorts and casinos of Nassau, you probably won't enjoy the more subtle charms of Small Hope Bay. But if you want to kick off your shoes and and take a break from 21st century "conveniences" like ever-ringing cell phones and 24-hour news programming, Small Hope Bay is definitely for you.

  • Stayed: January 2003
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18  Thank Doubtful60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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474 - 480 of 522 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2005

Have been here to dive and bonefish at least 5 times! Perfect place for those who want no phones, tv, internet, or other invasions of privacy.
Husband and I both dive, he fishes, I hammock, visit Androsia, read, and chat with the folks.
If those who complained about the diving, look again at the web page. This place started for divers, by divers, all other eco tours etc are secondary...Unless you dive or snorkel or fish, this is not your place..leave it for us.
Have arrived by SHB charter from Ft. Lauderdale, Western Air from Nassau, always got in and out, tho learned to leave plenty of time between flights back to civilization.
Food has improved over the many years we've been here. It's always been good, just gotten better. Nothing better than the conch fritters at cocktail hour!
Now just have to figure out when we can get back again.

  • Stayed: October 2004
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7  Thank heownby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2005

A special place. We loved it. We went with three of our children and had a wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable time. The food was great, the staff incredibly warm and helpful (we borrowed the manager's car one day). The all-inclusive nature and family style of the lodge made making new friends easy, for both the kids and the adults, but if you wanted to be alone, that was okay too. The rooms are rustic, but comfortable. This is not Atlantis. No TVs, video arcades, fake waterfalls or swimming pools. We had a wonderful time. Small Hope is not for everyone, but it worked for us.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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7  Thank PARISBOUND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Virginia
322
Reviewed 26 March 2005

I've been to SHB 5 or 6 times (lost count) with my family and on my own and it's my favorite relaxing vacation place. I learned to dive there, and have dived other places as well. I must say, the diving is great, the dive staff accommodates all levels of divers, and there's something for everyone. They offer diving instruction and certification in a lovely and relaxing atmosphere - sure beats lessons in a pool or a quarry! The staff is very friendly, and believe me, they remember you when you come back. The food is a real treat, home made yummies all day. Plan on packing on 5-10 # even if you're actively diving. I always meet interesting people when I go there, and have not had a problem fitting in even when I've gone totally alone there. Kids are welcome there and accomodated nicely. My kids love going there. The rooms are a bit dated and spartan, but that's why I like it. Getting there and back can be a little tricky, and I'd recommend using their charter flight rather than risking the local commuter airline Western Air unless you're adventurous. I've taken Bahamasair to the main island and gotton stuck there when Bahamasair decided to cancel the rest of the flights indefinitely, and had to fend for myself on the Western air crap shoot where you may or may not get a seat on the flight and have to pony up cash for a ticket. Which may be good because the people that make it to SHB sometimes have to go through he** to get there so it cuts down on the riff raff. Another thing I like about SHB is it's relatively small, as far as dive resorts go, so there's usually one or maybe 2 dive boats going out and there aren't that many people per boat, unlike some cattle call boats I've been on in other places where they throw 20 or 25 people into a boat and you're on your own. I'm planning to go back and have my *second* kid learn to dive there and get her certified, too. Check it out!

  • Stayed: January 2005
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2005

We expected our week-long stay to be a much needed rest. However, a fun-filled week quickly turned into a miserable mess on departure day. Our charter flight (booked through SHB) was unexpectedly cancelled. Despite management knowledge of this the day before, we were NOT TOLD until just two and a half hours before a substitute commercial flight was set to take off. We scrambled to get to the airport and made desperate attempts to purchase one-way tickets on a new air service that was barely ready to operate. After arriving at the airport, we discovered the land crew was not trained to make credit card ticket sales and we were expected to come up with enough cash to cover the purchase of the two last minute tickets. Then we waited an hour and a half at the counter while the new airline staff tried to muddle through the ticket paperwork. By the time we finally got on the plane we were shaking and furious. In summary we felt abandoned by SHB management to find our own way home. If we had not booked our flight originally with SHB, it would have been unfair to expect more involvement from them. However, we made charter flight arrangements directly through them and had expectations these arrangements would be handled properly. Because of this rude treatment, it was clear to us that SHB did not care one way or another. It was also clear that management DOES NOT understand the economic value of its guests and that discourteous treatment is perfectly acceptable.

  • Stayed: February 2005
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21  Thank AlabamaAnita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2005

If you are a hard-core scuba enthusiast and like to dive, talk about diving, and then drink and talk about diving some more, this is the place for you. If however, you want to eat something slightly better than prison food, have a bathroom that doesn't look like it was shipped in from Central Asia, put your clothes in drawers instead on plywood shelves, (come to think of it, the entire cabins are plywood) have fans that actually spin without squeaking, avoid this disaster. (All true, cross my heart.) My main problem with Small Hope is that their web site is completly dishonest as to how limited the place is. During our stay, any number of other guests were lured, as we were, by their clever, but utterly misleading Internet pitch. Eco-tours, cycling, blue holes--forget it! It's diving, diving, diving, and if you don't dive, the dive staff--and that is about everyone--treats you like pond life (excuse the expression).

  • Stayed: January 2005
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22  Thank LSG47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2005

My wife and I enjoyed Small Hope so much, we had to return for a second trip. The conch fritters are wonderful and the staff has succeeded in creating a "summer camp" style atmosphere where everyone gets to know each other. We enjoyed cocktail hour every evening and sitting with different people every night at dinner. This is a dive resort so if you don't dive you won't have as many stories to trade. Loved the hot tub at night. Be careful when approaching a night. The hot tub is CO after dark. Overall, we had a great experience. I'd go back tomorrow if I had the chance.

  • Stayed: January 2005
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7  Thank Joel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £425 - £551 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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