Our family spent 10 days at Pigeon Cay in early August 2014. We have three kids, ages 19, 10 and 8, and we had all the room we needed and the options we needed for a really great family vacation. You can make a trip to Pigeon Cay into whatever you want, with a little planning. The option to stay at the hotel and beautiful beach will surely be relaxing. There are no words to describe how beautiful the beach is, and it is steps from your door! You can also have as much adventure as you can handle, if that is what you want to do. Cat Island is the real Bahamas!
We stayed in the Boyles cottage, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen was large and well stocked with cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes and a purified water cooler which was a definite plus. We cooked many meals in the cottage and it was very easy. The Boyles cottage has no air conditioning, but the ceiling fans and the island breeze were fine for us. It cooled off every night and we were fine without AC. Ned was great about giving us ideas for adventures and directions. Here are some tips:
Groceries and beer/wine:
We borrowed a car (Ned rents it out to hotel guests) and drove to a grocery store just south of Pigeon Cay (about a 20 minute drive), near the Bank of Bahamas. The grocery store had everything we needed, from eggs, milk, cereal, chicken, fruit and beer (Kalik!). The grocery store in Orange Creek was cheaper, but did not have as large a selection of food items or alcohol.
The water is crystal clear, Caribbean aqua and the sand is incredibly soft. On days when the waves were a little higher (2-3 foot swells), we got to surf, kayak and boogie board. On days when it was calm, you could stay in all day. The water is so clear, clean and warm, you may never want to get out. Pigeon Cay has ocean kayaks, boogie boards and paddle boards available for free use for all to use.
Ned cooked a gourmet dinner for us three of the 10 nights we were there and the food was excellent. We did not choose off of a menu, but he asked us what we wanted before each meal. Dinner is served family style, where all the guests sit at one table. We had one breakfast also and it was very good, with fresh fruit, eggs, sausages and the best toast and butter. We went to Da Smoke Pot one night with many of the other guests and enjoyed a great meal. The sweet and sour conch was one of the best meals I have ever tasted. My wife and kids enjoyed the food as well. We also had dinner one night at Kizzie's (she owns a restaurant just north of Pigeon Cay and works at the hotel) and it was outstanding. We were the only ones at the restaurant. Ned took our food orders in the morning and we just drove to the restaurant around 6:30 and Kizzie had everything started. We caught a decent size conch one day and Ned had the cook at Pigeon Cay make it into very tasty conch fritters, then we cleaned out the beautiful pink shell and packed it in our suitcase to bring home as a souvenir.
We also ate at Yardie's one night. Yardie has more food options (you don't need to order in advance) and cooks some reasonably priced, great tasting food. Our kids had cheeseburgers and fries, and the cracked conch was delicious. Yardie made conch salad for one of our dinners at Pigeon Cay, and it was one of the best I have ever had.
Adventures and things to do:
We took the bikes down to the church just south of Pigeon Cay and went snorkeling one day, and discovered the graveyard that was unearthed by a hurricane. It was creepy and cool at the same time. The snorkeling was pretty good around the point.
We did the 45 minutes walk to Man o' War point at the north end of the island near Shanna's Cove. We had great pizza at Shanna's restaurant, then walked the 45 minutes to the Point. It was an adventure, as the banana spiders were HUGE, and the cicadas and bees kept us busy. The beach at Man o' War Point is worth the hike, both for its incredible beauty and great snorkeling. If you hike there, check out the beach (when you can turn left on the trail) and the underwater caves. If you make it to the Point to snorkel, head to the tip where the Atlantic Ocean has deeper reefs.
We drove to Mount Alvernia and hiked up to the Hermitage. It was definitely worth the drive. The hike is uphill, but not too hard. The Hermitage is incredible. We could not believe Father Jerome built that himself!
We also biked to the Atlantic side one day to snorkel. It was a tough ride, over rough roads. We found a bunch of baby chicks just born on the way and got to snorkel at some great reefs. We saw a really large barracuda that scared us out of the water.
Ned arranged a boat trip with Charles to Alligator Creek one day. We chased sea turtles in the boat (they are very fast swimmers), got to snorkel through the mangroves, then Charles took us about a half mile off shore to snorkel on a few reefs. We saw reef squid, strawberry grouper, sting rays and a really big Nassau grouper. We highly recommend a boating trip with Charles.
The mosquitoes are tough at dusk, but they stay away when you put on bug spray. Ned told us to buy and bring 100% deet bug spray, which we bought at Sports Authority. The worst of all were the sand fleas, or "no see 'ums." All of us got bitten pretty bad, even with bug spray and baby oil. We heard from the locals that the "no see 'ums" are around from May to October, and they took their toll on us. We all had bites all over our legs. Try not to bring beach towels into the house. We saw a couple of water bugs in the house, but we took care of them. Everything else was manageable.
If the moon is new or if it sets early or rises late, make sure you get outside to see the stars. The stars are incredible, with thousands in view and a full, clear view of the Milky Way right above.
There was no TV in our room, and the WiFi was spotty at best. We played a different game almost every night in our room, borrowed games and books from the library at the main house. We played Clue, Apples to Apples and a bunch of card games. Our kids were drawing most of the day after 5 or 6 days and we all hung out together every night. How many times does that happen on vacation? Our oldest daughter runs cross country in college and kept up with her training by running every day. She could run one mile each way on the beach at low tide, and ran several miles on the main road later each day. Our younger kids got to explore and search for land crabs in the many holes next to the road, shells on the beach, hermit crabs on the paths and lobster in the rocks just offshore. We got to unplug, go on adventures and just be together for 10 days. It was a great break from our hectic lives at home. We were delayed almost 4 hours in Nassau on our way home and there were no fights, crying or upset moments, mostly because we were relaxed and recharged from our week at Pigeon Cay.
You get whatever you want at Pigeon Cay and Cat Island. The beach is breathtakingly beautiful, as is the rest of the island. The people are friendly and helpful. This isn't "The Atlantis". If you want to be with a lot of people or be catered to, this isn't for you. If you want to get away to a beautiful gem of an island that is undeveloped and unspoiled, come to Pigeon Cay and Cat Island. Just ask for anything you want. Ned, Leslie and the rest of the Cat Island residents can help you make your vacation into a wonderful memory.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pigeon Cay Beach Club consists of 8 cottages on a 3 mile white sand beach. We are located in the Northern part of Cat Island, 7 miles South from Arthur's Town Airport (ATC) 20 miles North of New Bight Airport TBI). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pigeon Cay Beach Club Hotel Cat Island
- Pigeon Cay Beach Club Cat Island, Bahamas