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“Long but Thorough review of a great place”

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Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina
Ranked #10 of 10 Hotels in Cat Island
Reviewed 14 October 2011

I went with a few of my buddies on an 8 day Blue Marlin fishing excursion to Cat Island at the end of June/first of July. My friend has a 60ft sportfisher he keeps in Florida most of the time so we do a few Bahamas trips each year. We flew into Nassau (which I hate by the way) and had his Captain meet us at the Marina where we quickly loaded up with provisions and set under way for the 120 Mile run to Cat.

Until this point I had never been to the eastern Bahamas, most of our trips had been around West End and Bimini. The trip to Cat was amazing in its own right as the passage through Highbourne Cay is nothing short of breathtaking (even for the Bahamas where almost everything is). Upon arrival we noticed that the water temperature was a little bit warmer than we were hoping for and the Marina was all but empty. As a matter of fact we were the only private sportfishing boat in the marina, never a good sign for fishing.

The Marina is very easily navigable with enough water for a much larger vessel and the fuel docks are in a convenient location (not to mention a great place to see dozens of nurse sharks waiting for a meal). Once you get off of the boat and hop on one of the many bicycles that are scattered around for public use, you can ride around the premises and begin to appreciate the true remoteness of this place. While Cat Island has about 1500 residents, they do not reside anywhere near the marina, rather in Old Bight which is 10 miles or so or Arthur’s Town which is at least 30 miles or so.

Hawks Nest has a small runway and several, I will call them bungalows for lack of a better description, available for rent. I stayed on the boat but my friend rented one of them for the week. The rooms were not flush with amenities rather pretty basic with AC and a refrigerator, which fits well with the laid back vibe of the island. There is no place on site to purchase any sort of provisions, so unless you want to rent a car to go to the northern end of the island, you will need to be pretty well supplied upon arrival.

The Clubhouse/Restaurant/Bungalows are about a 4/5 minute bike ride from the Marina. There is a pool at the Clubhouse which looked pretty well kept although I never used it. We cooked on the boat a good amount, ate at the restaurant 3 times and all but once we were the only diners. The food was really delicious authentic Caribbean style home cooking. Because of the lack of diners, you must place your dinner orders several hours in advance which was no big deal as we were able to reach them via VHF radio while fishing. The Conch chowder was the best I have had, and I have eaten it at numerous other places. We also brought them some snapper we caught for dinner one night which they did a mediocre job with; I was expecting something a little more original/ethnic than just plainly fried. I will say that their homemade tartar sauce is extraordinary, I do not usually care for tartar sauce whatsoever. The service is very friendly.

Due to the lack of visitors the club/bar works on the honor system which was pretty cool. They have a nice big screen TV with satellite so you can keep up to date on current events if you choose. The bar prices are roughly the same as anywhere on the outlying islands, which needless to say are ridiculously high. If you plan on doing much drinking, be sure to bring plenty of your own or have deep pockets, of course we loaded up on beer and Anejo in Nassau plus the boat already contains a pretty well stocked liquor cabinet.

The beaches rival anything you have ever seen in a commercial. Beautiful white sand and more private than anything you could ever imagine. They have built several shade huts along the beach with lounge chairs in them. Whichever hut you pick there is a distinct possibility that you will not see another person all day. The beach is on the leeward side of the island so the water is very calm. The shoreline can be a touch rocky in several places so you kind of have to pick the best place to enter the water. We did a lot of snorkeling in the afternoons and with the whole place surrounded by reefs, you can spend hours swimming around checking out all sorts of tropical fish. We did not have any spears with us but there were plenty of grouper under the rocks if you enjoy spearfishing. We were of course on the hunt for lobster and conch and for reasons beyond my explanation we did not see any at all.

The bathhouse at the marina was decent at best. The water had a somewhat strange odor that I attributed to the fact that it probably rarely gets used. After the second day I just showered on the boat. There is a fish cleaning station as well. The Marina itself was very clean and I am guessing there are around 30 slips. They can accommodate large boats also, after the 3rd day there a 115 footer pulled into the slip next to us and stayed for several days.

Unfortunately we were about 2 weeks late for the best Blue Marlin fishing as the water had gotten up to about 86 degrees. We were able to go 4 for 7 on the blues which were all in the 150-200 lb range and released a single white. We jumped off one I would guestimate at about 350lbs. What struck me as odd was the lack of meatfish. We only caught one Dolphin during the entire trip. The run to the fishing grounds is any lazy fisherman’s dream. The water drops to over 1000 ft barely more than a stones throw from the entrance to the marina, no reason to leave at the crack of dawn. Tartar bank which is a very impressive sea mount is only 8 miles or so if I remember correctly. Conception Island, which is a small uninhabited island, is only 25 miles or so south of the marina and provided our best Marlin action. Columbus Point is on the east side of the island and was not a very long ride either, we were told that was the best place, but it did not produce well for us. The bottom fishing on the other hand was exceptional. It seemed that we were able to catch as many snapper as we wanted to at pretty much any ledge we decided to try.

Riding along the East Side of the island towards Devil’s and Columbus points is breathtaking. There are beautiful homes along the cliff and beach lined coast. It appeared there would be plenty of suitable places for safe harbor and some great snorkeling.

Well I apologize for the length of the report, but I tend to be a little bit on the verbose side. I will be returning to Hawks Nest for a week or so in February for the annual Wahoo tournament and I am greatly looking forward to the trip!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Grant C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 29 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2011

Hawk’s Nest, although it can be reached via commercial air to Cat Island followed by a rental car or rather long taxi ride, really shines as a destination for private pilots or boat owners who can take advantage of their sheltered marina and nicely paved private airstrip.

We visited only briefly during an island-hopping run but enjoyed our stay and likely will return. The clean, comfortable & air conditioned hotel/motel style rooms are set back from the beach proper by about a hundred yards, so you can’t say they are really “beachfront”, but a short stroll down a walkway puts you onto a great sand beach with sun shelters, lounge chairs, hammocks and some of the nicest clear, calm (lee side of the island) swimming you could ask for. There is a pool if you prefer fresh water swimming. A large collection of bicycles are kept scattered around the property, just grab one and cruise the area.

The rooms have a refrigerator & coffee maker but no microwave or other food prep facilities so unless you have a car your sole eating choice is the on-site restaurant. Food was good and portions plentiful. The lounge or “clubhouse” area has a bar which, when we were there as almost the only guests, was operating on the honor system with a clipboard on which to tally your purchases.

Although some recent reviews have mentioned less than friendly staff, we found everyone to be pleasant if not effusive and they took care of all our requests with no problem.

All in all, Hawk’s Nest is a comfortable, modern facility that would be equally excellent for a self-contained couple seeking a quiet get-away or for a group wanting to socialize, both having the option of SCUBA, fishing, or just lounging in the tropics.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Socal Flyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2011

Love this place, been going there for years but it definately needs some new life. Menu has not changed in years, staff is not particularly welcoming (even to repeat guests).
Fairly expensive for what you get, a pretty basic room, with little in the way of amenities.
Price is way more than $100- 150.
Cape Santa Maria on Long Island is way better property.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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1  Thank Piperkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2010

Had friends trying to make reservations for a fishing trip. Since we were on Cat Island we decided to drive to Hawk's Nest to see if perhaps we could make arrangements in person. No one called us back after several phone calls
The lady at the reservation desk was rude and the exact opposite of helpful. She stated that she couldn't guarantee anything unless they stayed at the resort. No one told our friends that over the phone.

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4  Thank Ljsays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2008

We have vacationed at Hawks Nest seven times now and each time gets better than the time before. It trully has to be the most peaceful island that I have ever been to.If you want to get away from it all this is the place to come to.My children look forward to Cat Island every year. We have been many places but the island is captivating.We eat every meal together,unlike at home because of everyones busy schedules.We snorkel,explore,swim and bike,some dive with Randy,my daughter and I get a massage from Sheila under the hut overlooking the beautiful water.Their is lots to do if you want to ,or you dont have to do anything but enjoy the sun and beach.Randy, JR,and baby Jes-sea are wonderful host,and the staff become like family.We love Anton, Beverly,Karen,Alberta,Alverna ,KiKi,Werner and his wife and everyone who makes our stay wonderful.It is one week out of 52 that we see each other everyday and enjoy seeing each other and doing things together as a family.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Hope W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2008

The location is very remote and beautiful. The fishing was great and the chef was kind enough to cook the Mahi-Mahi we caught that day. The rooms are pretty clean but there was a big ant problem in the bathroom. Our only real complaint was the service of the hotel staff. I worked in the hotel industry for quite some time and know that it is the warm hospitality that keep customers coming back. We enjoyed out trip but will never return because of the staff / service. We felt as though we were a bother to the servers. There was not a freindly "hello" when you walked in the common areas. I ordered the same breakfast three days in a row and the order was wrong each time. We enjoy small remote hotels such as this but will never return because of the poor service. I suggest you look into a hotel called Kamalame Cay. It is a private island off of Andros. Same idea (15 rooms, a great house where your meal are served- extrremely private and remote) but MUCH better service, better rooms & food.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Janer321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2008

We went to Hawks Nest for the week of Christmas 2007 with our two small kids and extended family. We had a fabulous time. The resort is perfect for all sorts. Couples, families, and kids. The hosts JR and Randy, are so helpful and nice. The resort is in an awesome location. You get the best of both worlds with a beach, marina, creek and if you fly your own plane an airstrip. They have bikes, kayaks and snorkling equipment you can use at your will to go explore the surrounding island on land or sea. We had been one time before in 2004 and it keeps getting better. We had folks that ranged from 5 years old to 60 years old and everyone was very content and entertained. We can't wait to back. The staff treats you like family and the other guests are usually very friendly. I highly recommend it if you like to hang out and relax or play outside in the sun!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bahamachick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina

Address: Devil's Point, Cat Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Cat Island
Price Range: £71 - £107 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hawk`s Nest Resort And Marina Hotel Cat Island
Hawks Nest Hotel And Marina
Hawk's Nest Resort And Marina Cat Island, Bahamas

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