We had done a lot of research on islands in the Bahamas. Our goal was to find an off the beaten path place, quite, beach to ourselves, place to relax and get married. We found it on Cat Island.
The island is very small and only consists of around 1200 residents to date. At one point, we were told, it had the most residents in all of the Bahamas.
Fernandez Bay Village is a small resort and there are things to consider when traveling to a place on an island like this. Note that the "Hotel Class" is a 3 star hotel. So, you should go there knowing that it's not a 5 star hotel. There will be small things about it that remind you how small of a place it is located on.
We went the first full week of June and stayed from a Thursday to a Thursday. We took Continental to get to the island from Fort Lauderdale. We stayed in the Royal Palm and we loved it. It was a little more per night, but since we stayed 7 nights it was worth it.
The ROOMS: are a little rustic, as is the entire island. They are 12" square tile floors, they do have AWESOME A/C for when you come back from the beach and need to cool off. There are kitchens in the cottages with a small fridge which we did use for beer and cooling other food we bought at the grocery store. The garden shower takes getting used to if you aren't into that sort of thing. We didn't mind at all. But keep in mind that your shower is on the front side of the resort (where we stayed) and people can hear you in the bathroom. We didn't have any trouble with water heat or pressure when we were there. Keep in mind that you need to let the water run a little while to get it warm. They are on a septic system (not sewer) so they have to have a tank cleaned out instead of the sewage draining "away". A few of our parents complained about a sewage smell in the restrooms...but that is a small price to pay to be on an island without sewer systems.... One day the entire resort did lose power for about an hour, but it had to do with the Bahamas Power company...and it didn't get too hot in that time frame. We did have a small roof leak, off to the side in heavy rain, but it didn't get us or our things wet. That's what you get with thatch roofs too...come on people...it's an island! I would suggest staying closer to the dining room so you don't have to walk so far to food or booze :)
The FOOD: This was expensive. We knew that going into the resort. The breakfast was pretty good. They do have a few items that are there every day on the buffet. Each day they do have a rotating breakfast item. Lunch - not really much to it. Made to order. We opted to buy some peanut butter, jelly, bread, chips and AWESOME coconut cookies at the grocery store and just make sandwiches for lunch. Saved us a lot of money :) Dinner - we loved dinner. It was very expensive at $45 per person - $90 per night, which does not include your drinks. My fiance, now husband, didn't really like the thought of a $100 dinner for 7 nights....but we were getting married, and you only do that once right!?!? :) They did have conch, grouper, beef, dolphin and chicken. Since we were there 7 nights a few entrees were repeated, but never with the same sides. We enjoyed the food. The tiki bar was neat, you make your own drinks and write them down. Not much else to it.
The BEACH: We loved the beach. FBV stretches along Fernandez Bay and you can walk up to the North and snorkle (at high tide) and also to the South where the mangroves are. They have kayaks too. When we were there a couple got out a kayak and the husband swam to the furthest rock/island in the bay and the wife followed him in the kayak....I'm really surprised he made it back! There were virtually no other people there when we were. There were probably 10-15 people other than us at the resort. Most of those were either our 6 parents, or the friends of the owners. Very clean, cute and they had chairs with umbrellas for your use too.
The ISLAND: I may post this seperately just on Cat Island...but there were a few things to see. We did rent a car for one day, saw The Hermitage, the Pink Sands on the Atlantic side at Greenwood and even drove up to Arthur's Town where actor Sidney Poitier is from. It was a neat 45-60minute drive, but it was nice to get out.
ACTIVITIES: There really isn't much to do....which we LOVED. Our parents got a little restless. There's no TV, Telephone (only a payphone in the lobby)....and there is a computer with WIFI in the lobby, but it works dependant on the weather. No biggie, I only checked my email the last day to make sure the parents had gotten home ok :) Other than that....swim, kayak, snorkle, read, a few board games. Take cards with you, sunbath, sleep, eat, relax...do nothing!
The WEDDING: we had our wedding there at FBV. We had the Administrator of the island (basically their governor) preside over the ceremony. If you want more information on this, just contact me and I can give you details. Donna made me a bouquet and she even made us a cake that was wonderful and my husband LOVED it. We did it just before sunset and got some beautiful photos.
The BUGS: the only real problem here is the sand fleas - or whatever they're called there. Take bugspray with DEET. I would suggest if you get eaten alive - like I do - then you need to spray every evening before you go to dinner. Get your feet especially. We did and we still got a few bites, not bad, but just annoying. They do have bugspray by the tiki bar, but by the time you walk from your room to the dining room you'll get bit.
I don't know what else to say. We had a great time. We loved the resort and the island. We went there expecting something a little nicer than camping and we were pleasantly surprised. As I mentioned before, you can't expect a 3 star hotel to be a 5 star. Use common sense. If you're looking for a remote island, you won't find a 5 star hotel - unless you're a star and have tens of thousands to spend on your trip...then you could rent your OWN island. So...give it a shot if you're willing to try something new. We did and we would definitely go back. Trouble is....there's lots of other places in the world we'd love to go first!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Fernandez Bay Village Hotel Cat Island
- Fernandez Bay Village Cat Island, Bahamas