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“Rare beauty” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shannas Cove Resort

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Shannas Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Cat Island
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore/San Francisco
Level Contributor
90 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Rare beauty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2012

I'm a complete beach snob. I'm lucky because I've been to many beautiful tropical beaches around the world (Malaysia, Thailand, Hawaii, Maldives, Australia), so I have high standards. With that, Shannas Cove absolutely wins in its combination of ease in getting there, natural beauty, nice and helpful locals, and first world infrastructure in a still wild place.

Let's start with this - Cat Island has NO crime. Think about the implications of what that means about the society who lives there and the ease in traveling there - feel warm and fuzzy, and get ready for the setting.

Every tropical island fantasy that you wished you could have while sitting in some high rise cement jungle on a supposedly nice beach in Hawaii/Cancun/Grand Bahama etc. is actually true, and it's on Cat Island.

Cat Island has miles and miles of pristine white sand beaches and coral reefs with no one there. From Shannas cove, you can walk through "the bush" (and it is definitely the bush, you have to walk with a stick to protect yourself from spiders and crabs) for about 45 minutes and emerge upon several pristine, untouched white sand beaches. Don't want to hike? Take a free kayak and go along the shore instead.

This water and coral, is equally interesting to that in the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef, and it's MUCH easier to get to the Bahamas from the US. There are barracudas just swimming around right off shore, and you don't need to take a boat to get to good coral - you can just walk into the water from the shore and snorkel. If you are there for one of shannas cove's bespoke trips (which are FREE), you may be lucky enough, as we were, to have dolphins swimming with the boat.

The inn-keepers are organized germans who took the best of german process and engineering and used it to create a place that meets all of your needs without being overly stuffy and which is absolutely the best value for money of anywhere I've ever stayed (across 35 countries).

This is a perfect romantic getaway - about 100x better than Hawaii and 1000x better than the touristy mess of Grand Bahama.

Book way in advance - people have good reason to be quite addicted to this place!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Singafornian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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281 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2012

While rare, there are a few places that bring smiles, sparkling eyes and warm thoughts long after your departure. Shannas Cove Resort is one of the few! Frank and Gabi have created an oasis with a mission to please all the senses.

Our flights to Cat Island went well but when we landed in New Bight, we saw our luggage being taken off. After alerting the flight attendant the luggage was placed back on the plane for our jump to Arthurs Town. Unfortunately we discovered our luggage was not processed correctly in Nassau so we watched our luggage leave Cat Island for the night. Frank met us at the airport and was very helpful getting the arrangements completed. Travel Tip: When taking Sky Bahamas, ensure that you and your luggage are setup to get to Arthurs Town and not just New Bight.

Upon arriving at the Resort, Frank or Gabi personally provide a tour of the grounds and cottage. Since we didn't have any of our luggage Frank brought some shower soaps for us to use for the evening. The cottages are well acquainted, CLEAN and all have a million dollar view!

Soft, pink sand beaches as far as the eye can see (and your feet can take you!),star fish as big as your head and conch shells so heavy that packing your luggage will be a challenge! The food is high quality and cooked to perfection. Bahaman lobster alone would bring us back to the islands, what a dream! As for time of meals, per Frank, "Breakfast is before lunch, lunch is before dinner and dinner is at 7:30." Frank makes some mean drinks and spins some awesome music that carries folks as far as they want to go into the night.

We set out on a hike to Man O' War beach which is not to be missed. After asking Gabi for a good snorkeling location, she pointed us to the reefs off this beach. Beautiful corals, plentiful fish of all colors, crystal clear water and not another person in sight for miles. These are experiences that come right off of a magazine cover and make you pinch yourself to ensure you are not dreaming.

Quite possibly equal to or greater than the scenery are the feelings Frank and Gabi provide. They are genuine hosts and there is nothing here that is trying to be something it's not. This is not a virtual world and all of the ingredients for a vacation like no other are here. Island life has two speeds, full-stop and full-slow. If unplugging, spending quality time with your partner, meeting wonderful people (locals and guests!) and absorbing the island life are on your list, don't hesitate to contact Frank and Gabi for a truly memorable, recharging experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Jeff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2012

This November saw our third visit to the island, and let me tell you that the experience both matched and exceeded those of the previous years.
As with our first stay, we chose The Stone’s Throw Away as our stopover in Nassau, and we weren’t disappointed! We were obviously tired after our BA flight from Heathrow, so were delighted when Harriet suggested pizza and beers on the balcony outside our room! We would recommend this place to stay, albeit a little more pricy than other options, it really does have a quaint feel and a more personal touch.
Our arrival into Arthur’s Town the next morning couldn’t have been more perfect… We were greeted by Frank and asked if we would like to kayak in the mangroves that morning; a dream of mine since Frank told us about it on our last trip! Any thoughts of jet lag were washed away the minute we set out. We spent the next few hours leisurely kayaking through the creek, spotting baby turtles and looking for sharks. What a way to start a holiday, and let me tell you, it only got better!
Please do read my previous reviews for more detail, as little has changed since our first visit. I must say though, that Andrea was a welcome addition to the kitchen; the meals being as passionately prepared as ever, and the grounds looked spectacular, especially after the effects of the recent hurricane.
A real highlight for us this visit was the ‘rally’; an annual treasure/scavenger hunt which is held to raise funds for the local schools. What a day! If you happen to be there at the same time, you just must, must, must take part! Not only are there plenty of giggles to be had, but it is a great way to see the island!

Yet again Frank and Gabi managed to be the most gracious hosts, offering a service which cannot be faulted. They are such special people, who manage to make you feel like family. In fact, everyone you meet will touch you in some way. Within twenty minutes of landing we had met six or seven people who remembered us from our last trip; now if that doesn’t make you feel like you belong, I don’t know what does.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank loulamac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia Beach VA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2012

We just returned from a far too brief stay at Shannas Cove Resort. It was our first visit to Cat Island, and we had hoped that all the glowing reviews would bear out in reality.

The resort is a testament to hospitality and relaxation. From the minute your plane lands in tiny Arthur's Town airport and you are met by Frank or Gaby your adventure in Cat Island begins. We loved not needing a car for our stay, by the way.

We arrived at the property and were given a quick tour and an introduction to our fellow travelers, all already settled in at the intimate bar in the restaurant. Since there are only five villas on the resort it is a cozy group and we enjoyed the occasions when we were together with our fellow visitors to share tips and adventures. Frank & Gaby and their wonderful team have created a delightful retreat- great views, pristine cottages, comfortable beachfront nooks and plenty of options for travelers seeking more than a laze in the Bahamas sun (but that is a great option in and of itself!)

Our villa, Seahorse, had a perfect porch facing down the hill and out to the turquoise waters. We enjoyed a late afternoon read on our lounge chair after a day on the beach. A very quick walk down a stone stairway and we could be on the beach with our resort-supplied beach towels enjoying a swim or snorkel or kayak ride. A dip into the clear water yielded sights of starfish, sand dollars and shells galore. Each beach area had a couple lounge chairs, some tiki huts and enough privacy if that is what you crave.

The beach at Shannas Cove is tranquil and secluded, yet you feel very safe on a solitary walk. There is little to mar the view of the stars each evening as you walk up to the restaurant for cocktails and dinner and time with your hosts and fellow guests. The cocktails, by the way, are delicious and... a far cry from weak. Frank and Gaby are always nearby to provide suggestions for the upcoming day. One morning they took interested guests for a trip to the other side of Cat Island to an isolated beach replete with conch shells and beautiful coral. My breath was taken away as we approached that beach for the first time. I had never seen so many huge shells all in one place, and I have lived n beaches my entire life! After a few hours on that beach Gaby took us to a local beachfront restaurant for a local beer and a taste of local culture.

One evening guests were treated to an off premises trip for dinner at a local restaurant and some "rake and scrape" music. We missed that trip but heard that it was a real hit with our resort-mates.

We appreciated the level of care that Frank and Gaby have put into making guests' experiences G-R-E-A-T! The coordinated with us in advance, answering all our questions, no matter how small. They helped book the inter-island flights for us and served as wonderful shuttle service as we arrived and departed. The team that they have assembled provides world-class service with smiles and respect for the guests.

One thing that truly sets this resort apart from any possible competition is the wow-wow-wow food. As is referenced throughout the previous reviews, the pizza is to die for and a perfect size for a couple to share. The meals are thoughtfully considered using locally sourced ingredients, a flair for appropriate seasoning and a good variety at dinner each evening with options for diners with food allergies. Breakfast was served in several courses with French press coffee, juice, fruits, cheeses, meats, fresh baked bread and then they ask you what you would like for breakfast. I appreciated all the stairs so I could walk off those breakfasts each day! It's hard to bypass it when it's all so darn good.

One interesting aspect for us was the opportunity to enjoy the company of seasoned international travelers at this resort. It was great fun exchanging travel stories and ideas with some like-minded guests. Frank easily assesses the mood of the group and supplies stories, music and conversation to provide maximum enjoyment.

One piece of advice that I would offer to anyone visiting the islands, to ensure fullest enjoyment, is to either bring along or take advantage of the resort-supplied insect repellent when you head down to the beach. The sand flies (tiny invisible little insects) are in season, and if you are sensitive to their bites it's nice to take a pre-emptive strike. I in no way fault Shannas Cove for this; it's just a fact of life in the islands, so come prepared and bring along some liquid Benadryl in case you are bitten and are allergic. I was bitten but my husband never noticed them. Go figure!

All in all this is a special place that I personally would prefer to keep my hidden little secret, and we've already reserved time next year. It's a magical combination of people who care about their guests and a setting that invites relaxation. I never once thought about "life back home" while we were enjoying this little slice of heaven on earth.

Do yourself a favor and book- it is so worth it.

Room Tip: Each villa is appointed the same as the others; since there are five villas on the entire resort, te...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Sandbridgers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
81 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2012

Wife and I just returned from a FANTASTIC trip to a BEAUTIFUL place !! The reviews are right on. Gabi, Frank and their staff have created a Fantastic destination. For what we like, Shannas Cove is perfect. Seamless help with preplanning, all questions answered quickly. We liked Frank taking care of flight with Sky Bahamas. Easy, tickets waiting for you at desk when arriving in Nassau. Frank and Gabi then at airport to drive us to resort. Beautiful, clean room. Lots of room with couch/sitting area, flat screen TV, which I think we only turned on once, great, clean bathroom, nice big (2 person... shower), and a great deck overlooking the beach. Do remember to bring your soap and shampoo etc as we learned on here prior to coming. Air conditioning in room if you need it but a wonderful breeze coming in suffices. Available WiFi at restaurant/bar.
The BEACH , WOW !! We have also traveled to many islands around the world and have lived in Hawaii and the caribbean and while we've found some nice beaches you won't find any better than here. Beautiful soft white sand, clear water - the beach in front of Shannas Cove stays shallow quite a ways out which makes for perfect swimming and playing!! Walking is the best, goes on for miles and we'd walk every day and never even bump into another. We walked to Man o war twice, a perfectly marked 1.14 mile walk to a romantic even more secluded, beautiful beach. For those that like, great running road out from resort back towards town or as far (48 miles I think) as you'd want. Bring a water bottle belt.. The temp is 70's in the morning low 80s afternoon. The no see ums (bugs) are nasty but Gabi even has the right kind of spray to use.
The FOOD - excellent. Three course dinners every evening and all were excellent. They will let you know what is planned and you can change accordingly if you don't like a particular dish. We had Tenderloin (FANTASTIC), Fish 2 nights Mahi Mahi and hogfish- both excellent, duck and rack of lamb.....the appetisers and deserts, heaven.. We'd always go down an hour plus early for a little happy hour and the drinks .. strong and very good!! Can't say enough about the cook, Andrea and Tara and Molly... Friendly, NICE people..
One evening Frank hauled us all down to da Smoke Pot in Arthurs Town for a fun, local evening of great food, and rake and scape music. Great to partake of a local fun spot and to support the islands very friendly people. All with honest smiles on their faces and all say hello and or wave and you see them.
Another day we all piled in to the truck and Gabi took us to the other side of the island to do some shelling and pick up some Conch shells. They're all over the beach and we brought plenty home (3 apiece is allowed they say). We stopped at another local spot, Grammies, on our return for an ice cold beer and relaxing..
And our favorite, just relaxing on the beach with our books and each other and the sun. Quiet, peacful nirvana..... and meeting and getting to know some GREAT other quests..
Thank you to all at Shannas Cove, Frank and Gabi you truly show thru!! , We will see you next year.......... not soon enough ..

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jimyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Western New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2012

Frank and Gabby know what they are doing. It has taken me a long time to write this review, but on reflection, this remains possibly the best vacation we have ever taken. Dinners, views, beach, hosts, staff--every piece of this vacation was perfect. If you are looking for a place to disconnect, read a book, maybe scuba dive, walk miles of empty beaches, look no further. You often hear people on Tripadvisor say that they don't want to give too high of praise because they want to keep the place to themselves. In this case, I confess to feeling a bit that way, but Frank, Gabby and everyone at Shanna's Cove deserve all of the praise you see on these pages. Just terrific.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JRNWesternNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2012

This place is utopia on earth! The couple who owns and operates the resort is very personable, polite and fun loving. The multi-course dinners were absolutely exceptional. The rooms were very private and impeccably clean with a gorgeous view of the ocean. The activities are endless, as we went scuba diving, cave spelunking and a hike to a private beach. Furthermore, all guests at the resort were blessed with the opportunity to join the owners, attending an amazing local BBQ where we enjoyed dominos, a DJ and a bar on the beach. This is where my now husband proposed to me under the stars, best proposal ever!! It wasn't just the owners who were incredible, as the staff (Rod) was friendly and did nothing but make us feel welcome. He had some beautiful carvings for sale in their guest shop as well.

One tip I would give to someone else going there is to ensure you have everything, as the only shop near by had select quantities. Part of the beauty of this place is how isolated it is and that you get a retreat from all the major technology (it may have been available but we didn't need it). There are only a couple of bungalows there so on the busiest night there were only about 10 guests total. I would not say that this is a place for families but it is an impeccable place for couples or someone looking to get away from the "busy world".

This is by far our favorite place and we hope to go back in the future. None of the above really explains just how amazing this place is and just how incredible the staff and owners are. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shannas Cove Resort

Property: Shannas Cove Resort
Address: Shanna Bay, Orange Creek, Cat Island
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Shannas Cove Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shannas Cove Resort is a paradise for people looking for a relaxing beach vacation in the sun, and is the perfect location for diving and fishing. Enjoy the island‘s secluded white sandy beaches and sub-tropical flora and fauna. During tours of the island you will get to know the islanders and will be impressed by their friendliness and hospitality. Our restaurant will pamper you with a diversity of dishes including exotic island specialities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shannas Cove Hotel Cat Island
Shannas Cove Resort Cat Island, Bahamas

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