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“A Beautiful, Quiet, Low-Key Place”

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Exuma Vacation Cottages
Reviewed 29 April 2011

Spent a week there. Valerie is very helpful--and genuinely wants her guests to enjoy themselves. The place is well located, about 9 miles drive from Georgetown--close to the water (beautiful views), nearby beaches, and a few local restaurants. Santana's serves the best grouper : ) The pool area is peaceful. The whole place is extremely clean. Highly recommended if you want a peaceful, low-key holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NEWYORKPROF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 37 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2011

We stayed at Valerie's cottages during our honeymoon, and we had an amazing time! Valerie is very helpful and knowledgeable, and she went out of her way to make our stay as pleasant as possible. The cottages are lovely - the one we stayed in had a view of the sea, and her property has a dock nearby, which was a handy departure point for our daily kayak excursions! It's just so peaceful and quiet there, you really can get away from it all! There are loads of activities one can do there - kayaking and exploring the various cays, snorkelling, fishing, etc. Valerie was always willing to answer our questions, give us advice and help us out. We stayed there for 6 days and 5 nights, and didn't want to leave! Thanks to Valerie for all her help and hospitality - we would love to come back and visit her again!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TravelGuruJeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2010

It is with great hesitation that I write this review about this wonderful location. I only hesitate as I don't want the secret to get out as to how beautiful and relaxing the cottages are because everyone will want to go there. This was a surprise trip for my wife encompassing our anniversary, her birthday and my birthday so we had lots to celebrate. She had no idea where we were going, only to pack light, and that it would be warm and sunny. I read all the reviews and found them not only helpful, but absolutely true in all respects and then some. One of the most special aspects of the cottages is Valerie. She truly goes out of her way to ensure that everything is in place to make it a memorable vacation. Valerie even offered to shop for us so groceries would be waiting. We arrived on Monday morning and were greeted when we pulled into the drive by Casper and Bridgett, a pair of large "potcakes." Of course this is not a recognized breed of dog anywhere else but very prevalent on the island. The story of the breed and how they got their name is interesting and Valerie is happy to explain it to you. We found the cottage to be exceptionally clean, well appointed and cool on an otherwise hot day. Valerie explained the layout of the property and gave us an idea of things to do around the cottages. Some would say it's not much but we found it to be plenty. The kayaks are available anytime and, although when the wind is coming at you are a workout, they are tons of fun. We paddled across to Moriah Cay the first day just to try it out and, just as a heads up, when the tide is out you may have to drag the kayak because the water is very shallow in lots of places. Learned that lesson the hard way but still had a ball! We kayaked over again later in the week and went to the other side of the Cay and found the most beautiful beach, unspoiled, uninhabited and all ours. Valerie also let us use her small boat with a motor and this was much easier and she suggested another cove on Man o' War Cay which may have been even more beautiful. We drove to little Exuma and checked out the official beach accesses. The first was really crowded with a family and one other couple...6 people...totally overrun but with a beautiful cove and beach. The next beach access turned out to be even more secluded. We chose to go there one day and stayed for most of the day...got real crowded at one point as a gentleman came to the beach, walked down the other direction, returned and left. There went the neighborhood! We loved the privacy and you could totally get into the feeling of it being your own private paradise on the beaches.
Some suggestions for traveling to Exuma.....We shopped at Exuma Market and found a good selection but expect to pay at least double or more for most items. Everything has to come in by boat or plane and this jacks up prices. One idea is to pack a cooler with food, or a suitcase with staples and bring it with you. We plan to do so on our next trip. There are a number of restaurants but we found that we loved the Fish Fry, a number of small "shacks" where they sell what they caught that day. Crack conch, essentially beaten breaded and fried, grouper fingers, snapper, and conch fritters were our favorites. The meals almost always come with peas and rice, mac and cheese, plaintains or cole slaw. Typically, we found that one order was more than enough for us with all the sides included and would cost 12 or 13 dollars for a full meal. Drinks can get expensive, usually 7 or 8 or more for mixed drinks. Kalik beer is the beer of the Bahamas and probably cheap but not our cup of tea. Did not have a bad meal. Definitely go to Eddie's Edgewater in George Town for Rake and Scrape, interesting music played with some homemade instruments. Other bars and restaurants have entertainment and Valerie is a wealth of information about the various venues. Driving is an experience, drive on the left, but our rental had the steering wheel in the right place and this made it easier. We had no television, no papers and the internet was on Bahamian time for the most part, but we each managed to read a lot of books from the cottage and to just generally veg, which was the idea for the trip anyway. We will definitely go back to visit Valerie and the dogs as this was the most relaxing vacation we've ever had. Thank you Valerie!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank maclawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2010

Our trip was about a week and we wanted to stay somewhere secluded and quiet. After reading many positive reviews of Valerie's, we were excited to stay in her cottage. As many people described, Valerie was very helpful, friendly, and respectful. She is very easy to talk to and knowledgeable about everything regarding Exuma. Her cottages were clean, homey and well equipped with cooking necessity, a cooler, a CD player, internet connection, tons of towels, laundry facility on the site, A/C, a heated pool just behind the cottages, kayaks, and so on. You don’t need to bring anything. The store in George town which is about 20 min drive will have almost everything you need, if you want to cook. Valerie has a lot of interesting stories about her experience in Exuma and it was one of highlight of our stay to talk to her. She has two dogs – Casper and Bridgit. They were very friendly and came to say hi every morning to us. Valerie’s cottage has a dock that is a min walk away with beautiful view of the bay. Kayaks provided us a wonderful adventure without any cost. After the Kayak ride we decided to spend some time on the dock to have dinner, since it was beautiful evening. Valerie came out to the dock to see if we came back safe, knowing that it was our first time taking the Kayak for the ride (very kind…). The location of the cottage was perfect for us, because we had a great access to little Exuma where we found many of our favorite beaches including The Tropic of Cancer beach (only 15 min drive). Overall, our stay at Valerie’s cottage was amazing and it was very difficult for us to leave…. I now understand why there are so many people who keep on returning to her cottage years and years.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kashbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2010

Nice accomodations, great pool for relaxing after daily activities. The kayaks were very useful, we used them frequently to access bonefish flats and mangroves and beaches for fishing, snorkeling, swimming, and nature viewing. Active outdoors enthusiasts would most appreciate the activities available. Located in a scenic, quiet, easily accessible setting. Good facilities, good non-touristy island, with plenty of outdoors activities and exploring available. Valerie, the owner, is an incredible onsight host! Had a great time.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank bonefisher1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2010

My husband and I stayed here in April 2009 and were so pleased with our decision to do so. Valerie, the owner, graciously welcomed us as soon as we drove in and was most accommodating in helping us with anything we needed. The cottages are extremely clean and comfortable, and have a beautiful view of the sea. The pool is also very clean, and a nice spot to relax at the end of the day. An added bonus is the use of Valerie's boat or kayaks, which allowed us to explore the cay opposite us, and is something to definitely do. Quiet, peaceful, and relaxing pretty much sums it up - as my husband says, "nothing to do, and all day to do it!" - all the while surrounded by beauty.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank PatriotPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2010

Remote and quiet. A great price. We highly recommend paddling a kayak over to Moriah Cay for a private getaway. Exuma is excellent if you want to get away from the tourist traps and crowds. If you need 4 star hotels and posh restaurants, try another destination.

The beautiful water was too cool for snorkeling in late February. Valerie was most helpful and knowledgeable . Mike H. Nashville TN

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank mikehNashville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Exuma Vacation Cottages

Address: Hartswell, Great Exuma
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Great Exuma
Price Range: £52 - £67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Exuma Vacation Cottages are located oceanside in a quiet setting on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas . Each cottage has two bedrooms, lounge, well-equipped kitchen, bathroom and a screened porch at very economic rates. Swim in the heated pool or kayak to explore reefs and deserted sandy beaches on the offshore Islands. For affordable accommodation in a peaceful, relaxing setting with direct access to the ocean. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Exuma Vacation Cottages Hotel Great Exuma
Exuma Vacation Cottages Bahamas/Great Exuma

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