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“No Place Quite Like It!”
Review of Kamalame Cay

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Kamalame Cay
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 March 2014

My wife and I have been traveling the islands throughout the caribbean over the last 10 years. We love the small out of the way places that are light on Commercialization (hotels, clubs and people everywhere) and heavy on Personalization (small, private and unique). There are some great places out there we've truly enjoyed and have repeated to like Peter Island (BVI), Palm Island and Petit St. Vincent (The Grenadines), Anguilla, Nevis, and Ambergris Cay (Belize), but Kamalame Cay has a uniqueness to it like no place we have been before.
I like to think of it as having nearly everything to offer (at least what we look for) without many to share it with. It's truly 5 Star and why we haven't been anywhere else since first finding it several years back.

Lets start with the people. We are big on the people and the culture of an island and resort. We're from the South so we can go a lot of places where we can be yes sir'd and yes mam'd up and down but this is family here so it's all on a first name basis from day 1. Of course if that's not your thing they will treat you like British Royalty as well, but let's face it, if you're coming to relax and unwind in a caribbean castaway island resort you want that type of personalized touch. It starts with family here and it's quite literal. The owners built this place 20+ years ago, they live here, raised their children here and their family manages everything. It's not a few appearances from time to time, it's their passion and lifeblood and it shows.

Depends on maybe how you define activities when you're on an island vacation but Kamalame is not short on them. I'm a diver and my wife is a "beach-reader" and spa aficionado. The on-island dive shop caters to personal dive trips. This is the furthest thing from your traditional dive boat cattle call where you're on a boat with 10+ other divers and then anchor up next to 3 other boats at the site. It's just you (and your group) with the dive master. Mark will show you some amazing sites whether you are a snorkeler or are looking to get deeper. 3rd largest reef in the world sits right off shore and not many can claim the diversity and abundance of marine life that you see and experience off of Andros. Most will already know that Andros is the bonefishing capital of the world (if you didn't I just let you in on it). You're walking out your back door to catch bonefish here or have access to lifelong guides who will ensure you become a convicted bonefisher. If you don't like fly casting then the reef fishing is right off shore where it's like casting in a barrel and if you're looking for the big sportfish, the Tounge of the Ocean sits less than 2 miles off Kamalame where it drops to over 6,000 feet (Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, etc.) The overwater spa is fantastic and Avon is a hidden gem. My spa aficionado provides a pretty experienced endorsement.

Sometimes you go to the islands and you have to remind yourself that "you're in the islands so I guess this food is good..." That's really not the case here. The chef is a magician and the cuisine here is spot on. A lot of pride comes out of this kitchen. You will be impressed.

The island itself is about 3 miles long and in most places less than a football field wide. It's truly remote. The beach is what you look for in a 5-star beach. Beautiful and most of the time all to yourself. I think the best accommodations for a 2-some are the beachfront cottages. They are all individual octagonal cottages right on the beach with French doors across the entire beach side that can basically open them up entirely to the sea. If you're traveling with the littles (kids) or better yet with multiple couples, then they have some great options for larger beachfront accommodations. There are a couple 2BR villa suites in close proximity to the restaurant and tiki bar that are great. If you are looking for a truly private beach house experience with all of the accessible amenities of this 5-star resort, they have 3 privately-owned homes you can rent that are a little further up the island and truly private. Two 4-bedroom homes and a 3-bedroom home. We stayed in the newest home, Magnolia, that was just built this past year. It's a 4BR stunner with all of the latest luxuries and amenities. Highly recommended, especially if you want a little more space and a good value if you are splitting it with another family or a few of your favorite couples.

We have already scheduled our return trip to Kamalame and while we would love to keep this place all to ourselves, we look forward to sharing the "experience" with a few others. You won't have any regrets.

Room Tip: I think the best accommodations for a 2-some are the beachfront cottages. They are all individual o...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank IslandLubber21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 - 136 of 333 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2014

From the first greeting thru to the last goodbye, this was an experience of a lifetime. Food, drink, accommodation, all incredible but the setting of the island with its super soft beaches amid wondrous blue waters has to be experienced to be believed. We will be forever thankful to Donna, Brian, Michael, David and all the staff for contributing to us having one of the best weeks of our lives.
The Island and all those that work on it are incredible, please pass on our thanks.
I have no doubts we will visit again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank StewH455
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

The moment I stepped off the ferry on to the island dock I knew this would be an experience of a lifetime!! There was a flowery crisp island smell and an almost instant feeling of paradise at my finger tips. From the champagne greeting to the tiki club by the pool to the amazing fresh seafood and organic salad bar lunch served on the beach I couldn't have imagined anything more could be possible. We were visiting the island for my best friends wedding and I knew it would be spectacular mostly because she is :) but I had no idea what was in store. Our private villa Coco Nut was something out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The wedding dinner was spectacular and the service was beyond anything I have ever experienced. Most of all the love, care and generosity of the owners David and Michale and their amazing staff made this a 5 star plus experience!! Thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of our hearts we WILL be back!! Tom & Christie

Room Tip: They are all incredible...If you are travelling with a group Coco Nut was spectacular.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Christie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

My life is travel. I have stayed in 1 star dives and 5 star palaces. I have known some of the world's best butlers and even more of the world's most surly desk attendants. As with most things in life, I find it important to know what you are getting into before you commit your time and money to any endeavor. So if you are looking for a lavish week with your best guy or girl friends cruising the clubs and casinos, Kamalame is not for you. Go to Nassau and enjoy yourself at Atlantis or Sandals. If you are looking to really getaway, digitally detox, and enjoy an atmosphere where your needs are either known or predicted with a clarity that sometimes borders on clairvoyant, then Kamalame is for you.

The houses are owned by either the island owners or independent parties. They are all situated on the beach and they all offer the standard in luxury appointments. While a kitchen is provided, they function as snacking spaces and communal areas to chat in the event you have several people over. Not that you have to have several people over. The greatest benefit of Kamalame is the reclusive nature you can enjoy on this cay.

The dining at the Great House was always unique and excellent. Staff among the best I have seen in the Caribbean.

Travel to and from the island is best done by seaplane or helicopter, this allows curbside service to the resort. Otherwise, Fresh Creek airfield is a 15 minute plane ride from Nassau and an additional 30 minute taxi ride to Kamalame.

The spa is located on a peer and offers the standard massage, nail, and wrap services.

As a reminder, the purpose of Kamalame is to escape to a place where you can enjoy the ocean and the sun without the distractions of every day life! Go there, escape, relax, ponder a life where you aren't tethered to the digital world!

Room Tip: The Magnolia house has three bedrooms and abundant ocean access!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank AF_Vet_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We just had our wedding on Kamalame Cay and to say it was a dream come true would be an understatement. I could go on for days about how magical the whole thing was but what I really want to do here is communicate how unbelievable the WHOLE Kamalame Cay crew were - from the housekeeping, to the dining staff, to the administrative staff...the owners...the wedding planner. Literally everyone! We had 36 guests take over the island and the staff and team became like family. The accommodations were beyond perfect and we rented the entire island so I can vouch for ALL of the rooms. The food was 5 star - we are still reeling from how they managed to deliver such high quality dishes meal after meal to such a large group of people. We were SO impressed as were all of our guests. If you are reading through the reviews wondering if this is the right place for you all I can say is YES IT IS! We will be back time and time again. I can't wait to read what you say after your stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kerri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

Difficult to describe in words how amazing our time at Kamalame Cay was......even more difficult to get on the plane to leave. The island is a truly beautiful setting, the rooms very (very) chic, the food absolutely delicious but best of all were the staff who made us feel like royalty and family all at the same time!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Danielle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Ferry ride over delightful, had a lovely drink and were warmly welcomed. Stayed in the cottages, very secluded, beautiful grounds, very nice beach. Cottages are open air, with multiple doors open to the beach which is 25 yards away. They are beach chic, meaning casually elegant, very nicely done, with wood, limestone and white linens. The beds are delightful. Bathtub, has a great view and is perfect. Food is limited in selection, but very, very good by Caribbean standards. The Great House, where all meals are served is wonderful. You have your own personal kayak, pink golf cart, hammock and sun shelter with palm fronds. Stocked with lovely Mouton Brown shampoo and conditioner.

The pool and the tiki hut (the bar), were deserted the entire time we were there, there's no bartender (there is a very well-stocked help-yourself honor bar), so there was no socializing except at the Great House over meals which was fine with us. The owner is very pleasant and has two great dogs, (hi Romulus!) The front office people are very buttoned up and helpful.

I can see though why some people argue this is not a luxury experience. First, the staff is very friendly and willing to help, but inexperienced in luxury living. The attention to detail just isn't there. You run out of shampoo, it isn't replaced and no one answers the phone, so you hop in your cart and go get it, Turn-down (night) service only happened the first two days. Discarded towels are not replaced, nor dishes rinsed, or toiletries replenished, meaning no morning showers. They could could easily make the turn-down service into a romantic, luxury experience for no additional cost and little effort.

The rooms are minimally provisioned. There are 2 small dishes, 2 glasses, 2 forks, 2 knives and no napkins (paper towel does not count) in the cottage making the breakfast in the room a bit difficult. You can't have water and a drink from the well stocked room bar at the same time, so you are constantly washing glasses in the tiny bathroom sink. This matters because you spend most of the day in front of your room on the beach. The breakfast baskets are stingy, one day it was two rolls, four pieces of fruit, OJ and some jam. We were told we could request additions and tried, but nothing changed. We requested them from the front desk the next day, still no luck. So the next day we hopped in the cart and went to the great house for additions, which was not greeted with great enthusiasm from the cook. This is another area that easily be turned into a luxury experience by letting you order from a selection and stocking the basket with dishes, napkins, salt, butter etc. There was initially one beach towel, and two bath towels but we got a second one by the next day. The sheets were never changed, no one offered. I recognize the making a private island eco-sustainable is a challenge, so the lack of towels and sheets may be well justified.

So what it seems... you have the location of your dreams, a delightful room, cool toys, good food, pleasant willing staff but the bare minimum of actual luxury in terms of what is provided. It would be so easy to turn this into THE luxury destination, but they need to take that one more step, if thats what they want.

If you want a relaxed experience in a tropical paradise and don't care about the little stuff, definitely go... if you stress over the details, attention, and live for luxury you may be unhappy. If you like hermetically sealed rooms with beige upholstery and carpet, do not even think about it. Me, I am going back.

PS Although we saw almost zero bugs even the the doors wide open during the day, mosquito netting would be nice at night (like the Caves and Jade Mountains) so you can keep the doors all open all night.

PS2 They did not nickel and dime us AT all. We did not do all inclusive, which was fine. There were no extra charges, or hidden costs (very nice).

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank robinmariehome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kamalame Cay

Address: Staniard Creek, Andros
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Andros
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Price Range: £394 - £655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located off the northeast coast of Andros, and accessible only by private ferry or seaplane, the secluded family-owned Bahamian island of Kamalame Cay caters to a comfortable group of guests at any given time. Idyllic and isolated, this oasis of breathtaking natural beauty wraps ocean adventure and island romance in the luxury of a private island experience.A quick flight from major hubs such as New York, Toronto and Miami, yet worlds away from Nassau’s trendy, resort-lined beaches, Kamalame’s utterly private accommodations are tucked into 96-acres of swaying palms and flowering tropical foliage. A lush oasis ringed by three miles of deserted, white-sand beach and colourful coral gardens, the warm, turquoise waters just off shore teem with manta ray, parrotfish and blue tangs.Kamalame Cay is an idyllic escape for those whose idea of paradise is a tropical hideaway where a sarong is all that’s required to be ‘dressed’ for dinner.Modern interpretations of classic Bahamian cuisine combined with sophisticated wines and spirits, comfortable elegant island décor, and one of the only overwater spas in the Caribbean underscore Kamalame’s gracious 'barefoot chic’ character.Traced by white sand pathways, the island’s beautifully landscaped jungle of sea grapes, palms and coco plums is banked by pristine mangrove fields and a pristine coast scattered with conch shells and starfish; the wide variety of birdlife ranges from sandpipers, herons and cranes to finches, pink ibis and pelicans.Sliced into the Silver Palms that embrace the island, the Great House serves as a welcoming social hub for dining and cocktails and is just a few steps from the heated, freshwater pool, sweeping ocean views and al fresco beach bar.With myriad diversions – from spa programs to world-class diving, snorkelling, fishing and sporting excursions – Kamalame takes pleasure in tailoring every guest’s experience to individual tastes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kamalame Cay Andros, Bahamas
Kamalame Cay Hotel Andros

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