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“Amazing Place!”
Review of St Francis Resort

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St Francis Resort
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Hagerstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amazing Place!”
Reviewed 4 January 2013

I cannot say enough about St. Francis property or the staff. The owners were more than gracious and treat you as family. The island's beaches are beautiful and usually deserted. There isn't a bad view anywhere. Snorkeling is amazing and there are numerous paths to explore. The resort grounds were beautiful and the food was excellent. The cracked conch is a must. There are boats provided for your use as well. I would love to come back.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mixie-shasta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2012

The reviews and ratings we read on tripadvisor lead us to the St. Francis and they were right on the mark. The Stocking island location was amazing. The beach is now one of our favorites in the world. The villas were as described, large and clean. But as the title of this review suggests, the hospitality was what made the trip really special. Jill, George and their son Greg made us feel at home. Jill greeted us with breakfast and a smile every morning and George and Greg provided free boat shuttle transportation to George Town.

We enjoyed the food from the bar menu especially the conch and fish burgers. The food was reasonably priced and well prepared. Sandy the bartender was there for us whenever we wanted to come down and have a drink or order lunch/dinner.

There are plenty of activities to do at the resort like snorkeling and kayaking or hiking around the island. You can also take one of the boat excursions if you are looking for more adventure. We wanted to relax and enjoy stocking island with most of our 4 days so we spent most of our time hinking and enjoying the beach. We did rent a scooter and toured Great Exuma for one day though and that was a lot of fun. We highly recommend lunch at La Shawte in lower Exuma. Dwight the owner can cook a great seafood meal of shrimp or lobster and the view from his patio is incredible.

Everywhere we went the locals were very friendly and did a nice job with customer service.

Exuma, Stocking Island and The St. Francis provided my wife and I with an excellent getaway and we hope to return sometime soon.

Tips:
1) Bring mosquito repellent - We were fortunate that we were there in the dry season and there was a breeze most of the time, but we did experience some mosquitoes one day when there wasn't any wind.
2) Try Kalik beer - I'm a beer lover and was plesently surprised by this local Bahama brew - especially the Kalik gold.
3) Keep an occasional eye on the ground - There are some critters on stocking island - for the most part they seemed harmless and only added to our adventure but the island does have some snakes and bugs that you may or may not encounter. Our neighbors never saw them but they seemed to like us.
4) Rent a scooter - We felt safe driving the roads, and we were advised "you will live longer if you stay left" so we did.
5) Kayak over to Chat and Chill and try a Goombay Smash

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank quicktrip777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
74 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2012

I primarily booked this trip based upon the reviews that I read on tripadvisor and those reviews were spot on. The owners, Jill and George, are incredible people that make you feel like you are staying with friends. The property is amazing. The ability to explore Stocking Island on its trails and with the use of the kayaks and row boat kept us occupied for days. If I had to search hard for a complaint it would be the following: Every day that we were there we got up and walked the beach. On our 5th day of doing this, we actually saw someone else's footprints in the sand for the first time. How inconsiderate, did they not know that this was our private beach! Mind you we saw footprints, not another person, just some footprints. Of course I am joking about this, but after a few days we did feel that this was our own private island. Cannot wait to go back!

Room Tip: There are only 8 rooms and they are all equally incredible!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank honorabley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2012

I totally agree with what beech_seeking said on the last review regarding St Francis...
St Francis is a gem... I arrived at night, and didnt realise until the next morning what a view the rooms have... I pulled back the curtains in the morning and went wow!!! yes you are 20 metres from the atlantic beach...which stretches for miles in both directions..ok at this time of year the caribbean side is best.. but what a view...
From the room you can explore the island via walking along the beach, either to your left or right...you can climb up to the monument via the trail paths... remember to put on mosquito repellent when you do... as I got bitten... its not a very tough climb...and is right next to hamburger beach.. so you can come down for a drink afterwards.
You can use the St Francis rowing boat or kayaks to get across to the Chat n Chill beach which really is a lovely beach.. its only a 50 metres row or paddle...and then you can feed or touch the big sting rays that arrive.
I really chilled out at St Francis and was very sorry to leave... it really is a gem... with friendly people, and a wondeful posiiton...
The blue hole is 100 metres away so you can snorkel or take a kayak or rowing boat there, and there are so many fish around..
There are lots of yachties who anchor up in the harbour and come ashore in the evening, which makes the bar come alive.... watch out for the poker night once or twice a week, which is great fun.
This was my favourite place in my travels around my three week holiday in the Bahamas... and somehow I think I will be back..

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave9960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2012

I originally found St Francis on Trip Advisor, and impressed with the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I decided to book it. My husband and I were looking for an escape to just relax, but to get avoid the big all inclusive resorts we've done a few times which tend to be quite cost effective. But as it turned out, we didn't spend very much on food, and the reasonable rates at St Francis made it affordable.

First off, part of the reason this place is so great is because of the owners: George, Jill, and their son Greg. They'll regale you with tales of sailing in the Caribbean or their wacky pet birds and make you feel totally at home. It's no surprise they have many repeat visitors.

The actual hotel is fantastic: there are only 8 rooms, which are quite big, very clean, and all overlook the ocean. In fact, each room has both an ocean and harbor view. The bathrooms are big with a great shower, and they have their own desalinization plant so the water is clean and drinkable.

Breakfast is included and is delivered to your room each morning, usually including some sort of bread, yogurt, cereal, pastries, and OJ. You can eat at the table in your room or take it out on to the deck, which has lounge chairs and a table. Each room has a coffee maker with coffee and tea as well as a mini fridge.

Lunch ranges from burgers to fish and conch--don't miss the conch soup, it's excellent. Prices range from about $8 to $15. There's a separate dinner menu you can order from but have to put in the order before 4 pm; prices are a bit steeper for those items. But you can order from the lunch menu for dinner as well. It's also just fun to grab a beer overlooking the bay.

Water sports are included, and you can go sailing in the Hobiecat, kayak all over the island, use the rowboat, go snorkeling, and even allegedly try wind or kitesurfing. There are also beach chairs and umbrellas--just ask if you want to use them. I highly recommend kayaking to the beaches on the harbor side. They're spectacular. You can also hike, and there are some amazing views from the monument trail. Just be sure to bring bug spray for hiking and to use at night.

One of the best things about the hotel is the proximity to empty or nearly empty beaches. On the ocean side, you'll often be the only person in sight, and on the harbor side beaches, you can also often snag a few hours without any others on the beach. You can also kayak in the little coves of Stocking Island and see the blue hole and the mangroves.

Also included in the price is boat transfers to the mainland to and from your flight. But they'll also be happy to take you to the George Town dock if you need to go across during your stay--all you have to do is ask. They took us to and from the dock when we did an excursion, and also take people across when they go to rent boats.

You can rent a boat in George Town which you can use to see more of the area. It's around $160 a day so it's only worth it if you really take advantage of it; I only wished we had done it to see the farther ends of the bay. One day we joined another couple who rented a boat to go snorkeling and see the far end of the island, which was great.

St Francis is right across from Chat-n-Chill, where you can go for lunch or for drinks. We went at sunset a few times and it was perfect. You just need to take a kayak or rowboat across. There are tons of sting rays here and you can even sight some by St Francis, as well as fish and an occasional sea turtle. Sometimes there are dolphins in the bay, too, though we didn't see them.

There's not much for nightlife; guests tend to gather for dinner and drinks and it's fun to chat and hang out. There's a barbecue on Monday nights and poker on Saturday nights. You can also see tons of stars at night.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. I couldn't recommend it more.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beach_Seeking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2012

Last year we visited the St. Francis and we had such a relaxing and wonderful time, we went again this year.

The location was perfect for us. Stocking Island is fairly small and somewhat secluded. There are trails all over the island, perfect for wandering and discovering. You could walk for miles if you wanted.

There are quiet beaches on the Harbor side that you will have all to yourself. And I must have said a million times that the water must be fake - unbelievably blue and clear.

It is nice to rent a boat from Minns for a few days, it allows you to get to farther points on Stocking Island and over to Georgetown easily. We aren't "boat people" and we had no problem driving the boat - so don't let inexperience scare you away.

The food at St. Francis is wonderful - go for the lobster at least once while you are there you won't regret it.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelGirl55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We recently spent 8 days at St. Francis resort on Stocking Island, for our honeymoon. We were looking for a quiet vacation, without casinos, pool side activity and crowds.

Stocking island and the surrounding area was just what we wanted - often we were the only ones on the beach and if there was someone there - hey, we could just move on to the next beach. Needless to say, everything looked like a postcard. Even though we were there during the rainy season, we didn't see a drop of rain during our stay.

The property itself was well maintained and roomy, with A/C. There are only 8 cabins so the atmosphere is intimate. The resort has a bar/restaurant which also serves vacationers coming to the island for a day trip. The owners, George and Gillian were very helpful with planning and bookings and extremely hospitable.

A few helpful tips:
1. The price includes a hearty breakfast served at around 08:00 to your room. If you need to leave earlier, just say so.

2. There is a bar menu, including wraps, pizza, burgers etc. at around 10-12$. The dinner menu is more expensive and includes fancier food. Bear in mind the kitchen is open until 7 and you need to order from the dinner menu until 4, so you need to plan ahead a little. The portions are generous, as are the drinks. You must try the local drink - goombay smash.

3. On Mondays, George and Gill have a barbecue instead of the menu (steaks and lobsters etc.) which was very good. I also recommend the Chat&Chill pulled pork Sunday roast. While you're there, make sure you see and feed the stingrays.

4. The room is equipped with a small fridge and there are supermarkets in Georgetown where you can stock up on anything you need.

5. The cab ride between Georgetown and the airport costs 30$ (per ride), and Gill came to pick us up in her boat.

6. You can hitch rides with George and Gill to Georgetown where they go several times a day. I recommend renting a motorboat at Minn's at least for a few days because you can come and go as you please and explore lots of little cays, reefs etc. There is also a water taxi costing 12$, but its hours are a bit erratic.

7. Even for those who don't dive, the water is super-clear and there are many shallow reefs so snorkeling is very rewarding. The resort has snorkeling gear for your use, and they also have a hobie cat which we used to sail around the harbour. They also have kayaks which are nice for exploring the lagoons. Note that there is an underwater cave in the lagoon very close to the resort, and it's really worth it paddling over there and snorkeling a bit. You can also go to one of the many sand bars in the area and look for sand dollars.

8. We did go on a guided dive with Dive Exuma, who were very professional and took us to see a reef and a blue hole. I definitely recommend it.

10. Another thing we enjoyed was the speedboat tour of the Exuma cays. It goes all the way to Staniel Cay, stopping at attractions like the Thunderball grotto (from the 007 film), the swimming pigs, swimming with nurse harks and iguana island, among others. It's a full day.

11. You should bring lots of mosquito repellent. This is a tropical island and the thickets in particular are full of them, especially after it rains. However, we didn't have mosquitoes inside the room.

12. If you are looking for nightlife this is not the place. You have to provide the entertainment yourself. On many evenings we sat at the bar with the owners and other guests and had a very pleasant time. We read a lot and rested.

13. The locals are all very friendly - do not hesitate to ask for help or directions.

14. If you are flying from Nassau to the U.S., please note that you have to go through US border control in Nassau, before boarding your flight. The line can be very very long (it took us 2 hours!), and some people missed their flights because of it. Make sure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

Enjoy your vacation! :)

Room Tip: all the rooms are the same - and excellent.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Einat S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about St Francis Resort

Property: St Francis Resort
Address: Stocking Island, Great Exuma
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — St Francis Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St Francis Resort is located in a pristine location on Stocking Island. Enjoy miles of whitesand beaches, diving and watersports, sailing, dining, and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St Francis Hotel Great Exuma
St Francis Resort Bahamas/Great Exuma

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