We didn’t think it was possible to eclipse the wonderfully perfect experience we had during our stay at Shannas Cove last August, but much to our pleasant surprise, our second stay in this unique paradise was even better. Since we jumped at the chance to book our next visit while staying last August, we were able to enjoy a full seven nights. The extra days really do make a difference, so try to book very early (as they are perpetually booked!) so that you have the time to completely separate from the everyday world and its stress, relax, and get into the peaceful rhythm of the island and your own secret paradise. The reviews continue to be true, and Frank, Gabi, and their fantastic staff continue to excel in their service, care, professionalism, and heart – it seems that Shannas Cove and all of them just continue to get better with time.
We once again stayed in the Seahorse bungalow, closest to the main house with the restaurant yet still with beautiful views of the most perfectly crystal blue ocean and quiet privacy. The bungalow was once again appointed very well, and it was clear that the bungalows are very well taken care of during each season to ensure that the experience is one of quality and comfort. You truly can’t go wrong with any of the bungalows, and they are perfectly arranged to allow for the utmost in privacy. Plus, there is one new helpful amenity in addition the all of the wonderful others I described in my previous review: you now have a shampoo/shower gel dispenser in the shower. We found this very helpful so that we did not have to pack either of those items. The product is of good quality and was fine for even sensitive skin. The landscaping around the bungalows and throughout the property is as spectacular as ever and carefully planned and executed to provide beauty that is not overly structured or formulaic.
Oh, the beach! It is just what we remembered and more. I still have never seen water in such gorgeous shades of blue. Although the resort was full (if you can call 10 people full!) while we were there, we always had a piece of the beach to ourselves. In fact, you may often find you are the only people on the beach at all. It is such a lovely place to hold hands with the one you love and to stroll, just lost in the beauty around you and the quiet breeze and warm water that envelops you and the gift of this special time together. We were actually able to walk further around the bay (towards the left if you are looking from the resort) and past the point to see yet another secluded beach. We also braved the Man-o-War trail this time around, and although a bit Indiana Jones-esque, the ending destination makes the hike most definitely worth it! Make sure you bring one of the long sticks that reside at the entrance of the trail at the resort. You’ll need it – enough said! Still, don’t miss the chance to see beautiful Man-o-War beach and walk around to the Atlantic side of the island. You can walk forever, it seems, without seeing anyone else. It really does seem like your own deserted island. The water is a bit rougher up at the north, but we did hear that there was some good snorkeling there. We found the water in May to be quite a bit cooler than the bathtub water we had in August, but it was still lovely, and who can complain that you are swimming in the Caribbean?
We actually felt like our experience with the food was even better this time around, if that is possible! Once again, the quality of food coming out of the kitchen, under Gabi’s direction and Chef Andrea’s impeccable execution, was amazing. Everything is fabulously fresh, carefully planned, and deliciously prepared. We had no issue again with the pre-planned dinners, in that we were notified early in the day or the evening before what the next evening’s dinner would be. The variety was fantastic, but we were really happy to have so much seafood on this visit. I think we met our goal of eating all of our seafood quota for the year! Even better is that Gabi supports the local fishermen, so the fish can’t be any fresher! The wonderful dinner entrees ranged from grouper filet, grilled (a la Frank) Porterhouse steak, mahi mahi and homemade gnocchi, red snapper and creamy risotto, succulent beef tenderloin, not to mention the perfect appetizer and dessert to complement and complete each meal. That chocolate mousse is to die for! Another acknowledgement of Chef Andrea is absolutely necessary. Andrea is a truly talented culinary expert that makes the food shine here; Frank and Gabi must be proud to have such an asset on their staff. Yet, despite the fact that you feel like you are eating a 5 star dinner every night, it is unassuming and perfectly spiced and prepared. I was happy to get to know Andrea more on this trip, and she is truly a sweet and wonderful person. We look forward to enjoying more of her talent on our next visit.
If you are staying an appropriate amount of time, do get a rental car and set out for a day to explore. To be honest, there isn’t a lot on the island, but that is the charm, is it not? And the locals are such very sweet people. Do get a chance to relax and have a conversation with them if you can. While out, make sure you stop by Emily’s in Arthur’s Town for some of her hand crafted straw goods. I got a beautiful big brimmed hat and some wonderful conversation. Emily’s is the little blue wood building right in town. We then set out for the south part of the island and stopped by Yardie’s for some of their famous made-to-order conch salad and conch fritters. Great food and a great time! There are some cultural/historic stops that you should not miss as well. The Hermitage is a stone monastery built by Father Jerome on Mount Alvernia, the highest point of elevation in the Bahamas at 206 feet above sea level. It is very special place to visit and the views atop the mountain are lovely. On our way back, we stopped and had a cold Kalik at Cocktails by the Sea and some great conversation with Grammy, the octogenarian owner and host, and some locals. The views are beautiful, and it is a great place to have a cold drink at the end of your big day out on the island.
This is the first time we have returned to a hotel/resort in the Caribbean for a repeat stay. From the moment we arrived and Frank welcomed us at the airport with “welcome home,” our hearts knew we had made the right choice. We once again met some amazing people staying there, and it provides for wonderful conversation and camaraderie in the evenings.
The experience that Frank and Gabi offer at Shannas Cove is not for everyone; there is nothing but peace, excellent accommodations, gourmet food, natural beauty, friendship, and time with the one you love. If that speaks to you and fits you well as it does for us, then you’ll do what you can to come or return – or perhaps both. We once again booked our return while staying for next year, and we already cannot wait. Our thanks, smiles, and hugs go out to the wonderful staff: Tara, for taking such good care of us every day and for the wonderful friendship; Molly for always being so sweet and helpful; Andrea and her to-die-for cooking and fantastic personality, Antonesse (my apologies for wrong spelling) and Vanessa for their permanent smiles and great service, and all of the many others who work to make us so happy and comfortable during our stays. But the last is saved for Frank and Gabi, who are truly two special and amazing hosts, friends, and souls. The positive and pleasant experience at Shannas is a direct reflection of them and their vision to help us enjoy our time in their special paradise. We already look forward to the many great conversations to come during our next stay. Thanks again for all that you do, Frank and Gabi. We can’t wait to return.
- 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.Free high speed WiFi in the restaurant. Kayaks, stand up boards, snorkel gear is free of charge for our guests. We have a fully equipped dive center and offer also fishing trips, bone fishing in the nearby creek, Turtle watch tours in the creek and snorkel trips ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Shannas Cove Hotel Cat Island
- Shannas Cove Resort Cat Island, Bahamas