My husband and I stayed here for a quick getaway...had the best time! Service was great...and the ocean water is just unbelievable...we will be back for sure.
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
This was a perfect holiday -- we had a little rustic but luxurious house right on the beach with very warm, clear, calm ocean (the resort is in a protected lagoon) forty feet from our door. It was like a perfect cross between a cottage vacation and a resort... we just chilled on the hammock and read and swam and cooked our own meals (the house had a kitchen) if we wanted to be left alone (a "crowd" was three other people on the two mile beach) -- but when we wanted a boat to go snorkling out at some distant keys or a restaurant-cooked lobster dinner the staff was right there to help us.
This was the nicest, most relaxing holiday I've had since I was a kid spending summers at the lake with at the family cottage. I fly from the west coast (north of Seattle) -- and even that long trip is worth it... I'm going back next year.
I love the privacy and beauty of this island and Fernandez Bay is incredible.
I was originally drawn in to FBV from an ad I saw in one of my travel mags offering "2 fly free" which was free airfare from Nassau to the out island (Cat Island in this case) if you stayed for 4 nights or more. I checked out the FBV web site and was wowed by the photos and images.
This place is every bit as gorgeous live as it is on the web site.
Its gorgeous. The bay is stunning. There are lots of 'toys' - kayaks, sand toys, whalers, floats, lounge chairs. Plenty of palapas or beach umbrellas on the beach for us red headed, freckle skinned burners. They also had bicycles if you wanted to see a little of the island (we did bike into New Bight to have a hot lunch at Bluebird)
Staff were very friendly, very accommodating. Food at the clubhouse was quite good and there was plenty of it.
Even though the resort was fully booked, it did not feel that way, and you felt like you had the beach to yourself many days.
I have to say, this was by far, the smallest room I have ever had in the Caribbean - and I've been all over the islands. Now, the view was quite nice - straight on view of the beach from the bed, but really, there was not a lot of space between the foot of the bed and the two screened doors. There was not a lot of space period, but what space there was had a piece of furniture in it. We had the Conch Cottage -- and other rooms appeared to possibly have more space than our cottage had. If I were to go back, I would not stay in this room simply because it was just too tiny for a week's stay. For a couple of days, maybe. I don't spend a lot of time in the room other than to sleep but the hubby and I were tripping over each other - it was an orchestrated effort to move about.
I do like the outdoor shower concept, and we've had it before in St. Lucia. The thing I really liked about the bathroom is the large number of hooks and the drying rack -- really was useful for the wet bathing suits and towels.
Queen size bed was ok. Not the best we've had, nor was it the worst. The view from the bed was definitely the best thing going for the room.
Towel service -- I found it to be erratic. When you arrive, your room has 2 beach towels. When they cleaned the room on Monday, of course, we had the beach towels on the beach. So they left 2 clean ones (very nice). And so it went the rest of the week - left 2 wet ones, took the 2 new ones to the beach and they'd leave 2 new dry ones. But then on Thursday, we rented a car to explore the island and left all 4 beach towels in the room. They took all 4, left 2 new. Friday, we had the 2 towels on the beach, they did not leave us any new towels. Saturday, same story. So we ended up using the same wet towels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday......thank goodness I never rely on the resort for towels and always carry my own. Just in case.
Every meal is buffet. Breakfast was usually scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and a variety of fruits and baked goods. You can make your own toast or English muffin. They also have 'menu' items on special request - beware, the French toast is spiked with rum! but we found breakfast to be surprisingly good, don't assume all buffet scrambled eggs are bad because I really liked the eggs at breakfast!
Dinner: they tell you when you check in that they assume you will be at dinner every night unless you tell them by 10am otherwise. Which we found a bit odd. Until we rented a car and ventured 'off the reservation' as it were. There just isn't a whole lot out there. So anyway, dinner started around 645 or 7, with appetizers (conch fritters were very good) adn then dinner was buffet style. My favorite dinner was the lobster tail, of course. I had 4. I think the remaining live lobsters cheered when I left the island. But dinners were always good and there was always something you enjoyed, as well as a few new things to try.
The way the meals are done, it somewhat forces you to know the other vacationers - which was quite nice. We found the majority of folks were 'repeaters'. And we met a bunch of pilots, and a few other newbies like us that were interesting.
And it was a good thing the kitchen was so good there. Cat Island, unlike just about every other island I've visited so far, just doesn't have much in the way of eateries and restaurants -- unless you call a few hours in advance to tell them you are planning to stop by the take out shack, and even then, they may tell you they can't serve you. We just found it to be odd! But the population is so small, and every resort is set up the same way (isolated resort on bay, with own kitchen, not many rental cars, not many restaurants that you can even go to) that is just Cat Island. So if you did not like the cooking or if it was really bad, its not like you'd have much in the way of options! And that was about the only thing that we did not like about our stay on Cat Island. We do like to get out and mingle with the islanders and eat what they eat, see how they live, etc. Its really hard to do that when every meal is at the resort, and getting off the resort is pricey (rental car was $100 a day). The taxi rates are ridiculous; we were charged $14 for our ride from the airport to the resort --- and its literally, less than 2 miles. Thats worse than NYC.
Anyway, what would I change?
If I were FBV, I would just go to an all-inclusive price, or at least give that as an option. I mean, really. We only had a fridge in our room, we were basically held hostage - food wise- where you gonna go? An AI option would have avoided the sticker shock at the $1000 food bill ($90 was bar tab) at the end of the week. That was just 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners, folks, no lunches. Yeah, this does not go down as a 'value' trip. Food is expensive on the island, and you can't get around it but an AI option at least prepares you for the cost.
Barring that, I'd expand the cottages to have kitchenettes. Right now, the only options with kitchens are the 2 bedroom villas, if I'm not mistaken.
Tips for those going to FBV:
pack BUG SPRAY. I was literally eaten alive every night. Yes, they have some at the bar, but you need it to actually get to the bar..... its the islands, and some islands have more no-see-ums than others, its not FBV's fault - but know you need bug spray.
I packed a jar of peanut butter in my suitcase. We bought bread, snacks (Doritos are $5 per bag, just a warning), beer, rum, vodka and mixers at the grocery store on the island. No, it was not cheap - we spent about $175 altogether. But , we did not have to buy lunch the entire time and it really cut the bar bill. Plus, our cottage was quite a ways from the bar, and it was a shorter walk to the room to get a cold beer from the beach.
pack a flashlight. Our cottage was farthest from the clubhouse and at night, walking back to your cottage, especially if you've had a bottle of wine or two..... a flashlight would have been helpful. I must have tripped over that same stupid tree root every single night on my way back to the cottage.
Remember to leave a light on in your cottage if you don't have a flashlight -- our first night after dinner, trying to locate our room was a comedy of errors.
Overall, this was a great place to unwind and relax. No phones, no TV's. It has a beautiful beach, nice amenities, we met some good, interesting people, and had a lot of good food.
My husband, two girls (5 and 9) , and I just returned from a seven night stay at FBV on Cat Island, Bahamas. The cottages and villas are all located on the beach and the ocean is only steps away. If you are looking for peace and quiet, relaxation and rejuvenation, then this is the place to find it. We were one of perhaps four families/couples visiting the resort during the second week of February so we often found ourselves pleasantly alone on the beach with just the sound of the gentle waves. Loungers and hammocks dot the front of the beach and provide a welcome spot to sit and read or take a nap. We also enjoyed taking the kayaks out for a paddle in the Bay or up a small creek nearby. The kids really enjoyed watching out for turtles, small nursing sharks, and conch shells as well as small schools of fish. We also enjoyed snorkelling and fishing during our stay and an Eco tour. Mark is an excellent guide and host with endless patience. My girls were thrilled to have a fresh coconut one afternoon and spent a lot of time searching for and watching the small lizards that inhabit the island. The food at FBV is top notch and I highly recommend having supper there every night. As previous guests have mentioned, FBV has an honour system, so you just help yourself to a drink at the Tiki bar and write down what you made. The staff are professional yet very welcoming and accomodating, and they work hard to make sure you enjoy your stay. We did and we'll definitely be back!
Cat Island as a destination is what people visiting the Bahamas need to experience. A beautiful, relaxing, friendly island experience. "The Real Bahamas". Fernandez Bay Village is a great place to stay while experiencing Cat Island. You must explore the island to feel the connection with it and its people.
I must note the Garden Bath in the rooms are interesting and unique but can be cold when showering at night.
You will feel the warmth of the family that runs this place and be seduced by its back to basics philosophy.