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“Loved it!”

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Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Long Island
Certificate of Excellence
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

My family and I visited Cape Santa Maria in the middle of June. We had a wonderful time and we would definitely like to visit again. I'll try to give as many details as possible to hopefully provide some helpful information to other travelers.

First, I was a little concerned that the weather may not be so great since June is the rainy time of the year. That turned out to be no issue at all. There were a few brief showers but they passed quickly and the weather was beautiful.

We flew into Nassau from the States, then flew to Stella Maris on Southern Air. We arrived in Nassau two hours before our flight to Long Island and had no trouble making our connection. We got through immigration in about two minutes. We waited about ten minutes for our bags and customs waved everyone on our flight through. I didn't see them search anyone's baggage. We waited about ten minutes to check in with Southern Air and arrived at our gate with over an hour to spare. On our return trip we arrived at Nassau with three hours to get through US customs and immigration and ended up with probably two hours to spare. So, no travel difficulties.

I will say that flying on Southern Air is a bit of an experience. The planes are OLD and kind of grungy. On our flight to Long Island we stopped at Rum Cay, Deadman's Cay, then Stella Maris. All of the runways are pretty worn out - far below what you would find at even your local municipal airports in the States. The flights were timely though. No major problems. Like I said, just be aware that it's a different experience than what you may be accustomed to.

The resort arranged for a taxi to pick us up at Stella Maris. She was there waiting when we arrived. She was friendly and helpful and took us straight to Cape Santa Maria.

The first look at the beach and the resort when we arrived was breathtaking. It is definitely the most beautiful place I have ever been. The water is blue and calm. The sand is amazing. The resort is quiet, beautiful and well maintained.

We stayed in one of the bungalows with a side room for the kids. We were completely satisfied with the room - especially the screened in porch with comfortable chairs. And the view from the porch was unbelievable.

The food was very good but I wouldn't say it's spectacular. We're not very picky eaters and we all found several things on the menu that we really enjoyed. We especially liked the daily happy hour with conch fritters. And the view from the restaurant is gorgeous, like all the other views from the resort.

As for the service, I would say it was very good overall. To be completely honest, it depends on the staff member. Some of them were outstanding. Some of them were so-so. One of the ladies in the restaurant brought an extra cushion for my daughter's chair one night at dinner so she would be more comfortable without anyone asking. One of the ladies at the front desk brought her a towel to dry off after she got caught in a brief rain shower. Many of them remembered our names and our childrens' names. Very nice touches which we greatly appreciated and there were other examples like that.

On the other hand a few of the staff members at the restaurant and the bar seemed generally disinterested, dragged their feet, made little or no attempt to be warm and friendly, etc. We weren't in a hurry at all and didn't mind being on "Bahamas time" but a few of the staff members could show a little more interest in their jobs. They were the exception rather than the rule though and we were satisfied overall with the service.

We went on several of the excursions offered by the resort. Our favorite was the Sandy Cay tour. It was about an hour by boat from the resort. They advertise it as an iguana tour but the iguanas became just a side note when we arrived at Sandy Cay and saw the jaw dropping beauty of the island. It's an amazing rocky island covered with all types of vegetation. The island is surrounded by crystal clear shallow waters and tons of huge sandbars. The tour guides set up umbrellas and chairs on one of the sandbars for lunch. There were eight people in our group including two tour guides and we didn't see another soul the entire trip. The tour guides were super friendly. It was an experience we'll remember forever.

We also went on a guided tour of the island arranged by the resort. We enjoyed this trip as well. It was interesting to get off of the resort and see the rest of the island. The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the island. He shared many facts about the island and answered all of our questions. The highlight of this trip was visiting Dean's Blue Hole and jumping from the cliff into the deep water below. Also had lunch at Max's Conch Bar, which is a little outdoor bar on the side of the road. The staff there was friendly and the food was excellent.

Our final excursion was a half-day reef fishing trip. We enjoyed this trip overall as well. The guys who took us on the trip were extremely nice. They know where the fish are and put us on them quickly. I do have one suggestion for improvement with the reef fishing trip though. I've been on many bottom fishing trips in different areas on different vessels and in my opinion the tackle they used on this trip was inadequate. Specifically, they did not use any leaders at all and the hooks should probably have been a little beefier, too.

During the trip we caught a bunch of small fish. We also hooked about half a dozen big fish but not a single one of them was landed. One or two of the losses could probably be attributed to inexperienced fishermen on the rod but the rest were due to cut lines and straightened hooks. I've done enough of this type of fishing to understand that you don't always catch fish. I would never complain about that (and again, we did catch fish.) I also know that broken lines and straightened hooks can happen when you fish and I also would not complain about that. However, to lose fish because the tackle was clearly not up to the task was a little disappointing.

These guys are clearly competent fishermen and I'm sure they're aware of the limitations of their gear. Every time a line broke or a hook straightened they made some silly excuse about sharks getting the fish or something. It was a little insulting. Fish in the ocean have teeth. If you don't use the proper tackle they will cut your line. It seems like the trip was geared to be fun for the kids, which it was but some simple upgrades to the tackle could've afforded us the opportunity to land some big ones and make the trip memorable for everyone. I know heavier gear is expensive, but so was the fishing trip. They seem content to catch pan fish as quickly as possible and let all the bigger ones get away.

For the sake of full disclosure, I will also add that I did not complain about the gear to the crew or anyone else at the resort. I didn't really even think about it until later and I didn't go on vacation to complain and argue. So, I didn't give them an opportunity to do anything differently or make up for it in any way if they would have chosen to do so. This is mostly a suggestion for the future. And although I've written quite a bit about it here I'd like to express that it was really just a minor thing and only a blip on the radar screen during our stay.

Other thoughts from the trip.....be aware that mosquitoes here are vicious in the early mornings and in the evenings. Obviously that is no fault of the resort. It's just the way it is but it's something travelers may want to be aware of. I did see them spraying the grounds, so they're doing what they can to deal with it. The resort also provides insect repellant. We would've enjoyed sitting on the beach at night without covering ourselves with bug spray but it's not that big of a deal since all the bungalows and villas have great screened in porches that are right on the beach anyway. When the sun comes out the mosquitoes go away and you can enjoy the beach all day without bug spray.

As for management - the couple that manages the resort was onsite but I only saw them a couple times. They were away the day we arrived and the lady who checked us in told us they were returning the next day. We were there for seven nights and they never sought us out to ask how we were enjoyiing our stay. Maybe they purposely stayed out of our way, and that's fine since we didn't have any complaints anyway.

I only really took note of this because one day a lady visited the resort and stayed in the room adjoining ours. She was somehow involved with the tourism industry or possibly some governmental tourism function. I was aware of this because when we went on our tour of the island our guide mentioned that he was taking her on a tour the next day. Anyway, I noticed that both the managers took the time to come out and escort her to her bungalow but I didn't notice them doing that with the other guests. Just an observation.

When we were ready to check out all of the charges to our room were accurate and as expected. The resort arranged for a car to pick us up the morning of our departure. They took our breakfast order the night before to speed things up since we were leaving early that morning. We greatly appreciated that. Our taxi was on time and our flight back to Nassau was on time.

I've tried to provide as much information as possible but the bottom line is that our vacation was amazing. The location is THE BEST. If you're looking for a beautiful, low-key spot to unwind you will find no place better. We can't wait to go back and you'll surely love it too.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank NCFamily2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OakBayMarineGroup, Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
Thank you so much for the very detailed review of our resort. It’s reviews like these that are a such valuable asset to travelers and we appreciate you taking the time to write such a comprehensive summary of your stay at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort.

It sounds like you and your family had a wonderful vacation and we’re so happy you enjoyed your time with us. Thank you for the kind words regarding our Sandy Cay Iguana Tour and the Long Island Tour. Long Island is such a remarkable destination and we take a lot of joy in helping our guests experience everything it has to offer.

We really appreciate your feedback on our fishing tackle. We are always looking for ways to improve our guests’ experience and we’ll definitely use this information the next time we order new fishing gear.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to meeting you during your next visit.

Sincerely,
Wanda Henning
Resort Manager
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English first
Nassau, New Providence Island
Level Contributor
51 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

My recent stay at this resort completely sealed the deal for my new founded love of Long Island. The beach is stunning. Words and pictures cannot do it justice so, I recommend that you just go. I stayed in one of the villa's which was beautifully decorated and fully equipped. Customer service was 5 star. All the girls at the check in / front desk were so warm, friendly and professional. Special shout out to Bri.
Definitely coming back...the black resident cat is also missed greatly - he became my close friend and loved napping on our porch :)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank nevermind2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OakBayMarineGroup, Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
We’re so happy you enjoyed your stay. You’re absolutely right, words and pictures just can’t accurately describe the beauty of our beaches. Everyone should come at least once to experience Cape Santa Maria in person. That being said, once you’ve been here you want to return again and again! Thank you for your review, we look forward to your return visit. Oh, and we will make sure to tell Bri you said hi!

Sincerely,
Wanda Henning
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Have held permanent residency in The Bahamas for 25years and lived in Nassau for 6. Been to many family islands but this was mind blowing!
Long Island has a total of 5000 year round residents. Each one seems to know the other. Carpet rolls up at 5pm and closes all together on Sundays.
If your looking for night life this is NOT the place for you.
However if you want the most beautiful, safe, clean, and peaceful getaway this is for you!
My wife and I spent five days in one of the Villas. The staff, management, food, accomadations are world class! You will not find more beautiful beaches or water ANYWHERE on earth.
Hit Columbus Point while your there. It's not far away but drive! The second place he landed in the new world.
And take your camera and a bathing suit. Trust me, once you get there you will understand why. Oh and if you have your own snorkel gear take that too!
Cape Santa Maria is amazing in all respects. Take sunblock, a book, underwater camera and enjoy.
We will be back VERY soon and Very often.

Room Tip: If you can afford a Villa by all means do it. They are spectacular and new. For a taxi driver ask f...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SnK68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OakBayMarineGroup, Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
Long Island is truly a unique and special place. We’re so glad you enjoyed your time here. From the various landmarks, to the beautiful beaches and ocean, this island can’t be beat! That’s why we offer our Long Island Tour and snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions, so our guests can experience everything the Island has to offer. Thank you so much for the kind words and we hope to see you back at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort soon!

Sincerely,
Wanda Henning
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

In April our family made our 10th trip to Cape Santa Maria in 14 years. The villas are amazing -- beautifully decorated and appointed, spacious, Wi-Fi, flat screen TV's, all the amenities of home. If you want to get away from TV, Wi-Fi, or the temptation of cooking you can do that too!! Stay in a beautifully appointed bungalow instead! The beach is the most beautiful anywhere, the service is great, the food quite consistent, and the staff is the best. This year we brought some close friends for their first visit! I know they will return!

Room Tip: Our family has stayed in both bungalows and villas but lately we always select a ground floor Villa...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Orrfamily2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OakBayMarineGroup, Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, 27 June 2014
Wow, 10 trips to Cape Santa Maria! Thank you so much for your continued support of our resort. We’re thrilled we’ve been able to deliver so many great holiday experiences for you over the last 14 years and we’re already looking forward to your next visit.

Sincerely,
Wanda Henning
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telluride, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Cape Santa Maria is truly a wonderful resort. If you are seeking a quiet, pristine, and peaceful beach/ocean experience, then know that is what makes this resort so special. The beach is gorgeous and uncrowded (we were there mid-April). They have all the beach toys you need. The grounds are well kept. Our excursions (snorkeling and Sandy Cay) were perfect--our guides (Gene and ?) were most accommodating and personable. We were in a villa that was clean, spacious, and most comfortable. It was well stocked with all the necessary utensils, etc. Loved the screened in porch. We so enjoyed happy hour at the bar and then back to the villa to make dinner and relax on our porch. Had some itchy bug bites, but found cortisone cream kept the scratching at bay. Use bug spray in mornings, evenings, and after a rain storm. It's manageable, just be diligent. It is fun to explore the island on a bike, but the bikes are in need of maintenance (the chains on our bikes kept falling off and tires were questionable). However, this kind of stuff is all part of traveling! Starr, at the front desk, was a delight. We can't wait to return to this peaceful paradise!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank CBJ831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronx, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas provides very nice accommodations on Long Island. Not an extensive property, but to the point with a nicely stocked "gift shop area", public laundry washer & dryer (1 of each), and a what we found to be very nice restaurant with good food/options. All of the food options (breakfast, lunch, dinner) I found to be more than adequate & surprisingly delicious for an Out Island (especially after arriving after 8 days on Cat) Resort. No complaints here. They did have free conch fritters during happy hour (may not have been every night though, I apologize for not recalling precisely), one of which had some shell that miraculously & thankfully didn't end up damaging something in my mouth. I've never had to eat conch fritters with caution before but, just be careful (lol).

Cape Santa Maria also possesses one of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches/bay you could imagine .. the definition of a Caribbean dream : ) Not much to see snorkeling-wise directly out in the flat(s), but if you head to the right of the beach (north), near a channel you will most likely encounter plenty of fish, and I even saw a huge stingray right by there feeding. There may be additional snorkeling/underwater sight-seeing opportunities heading across the channel but unfortunately I didn't get to make it that far.

We stayed in Bungalow #1, which is the last in line (farthest) from the main house/reception/restaurant, closest to the channel/snorkeling I referred to, and just steps away from the sand. No TVs in the Bungalows, but you should already know that by now. Wasn't an issue for us but we did opt to rent a portable DVD player (available at Front Desk) for one night to watch a movie which is a decent enough option if you should find yourself bored at night. This is where I deduct a star though - The bathroom was in dire need of upgrading/refurbishing. It serves it's purpose but for the nightly rate the bathroom should be up to par with the rest of the bungalow. It looked super old. In addition, the bedding although apparently very clean, had a funky mold smell to it. It takes quite a bit for me to mention or ask for anything above & beyond what we're usually given as I go with the flow & don't have a critical, negative eye but the smell was uncomfortable enough for me to ask them to please change the bedding entirely. The "replaced" bedding had the same smell, albeit less noticeable. I wouldn't be surprised if a spray to neutralize odors was the attempted remedy but, like I said I wasn't there to complain or be upset about anything so that was that : )

I only once tried to use the public PC to try to print boarding passes which didn't work, and for some reason which I can't recall now (apologies) the front desk was unable to assist with the actual PC/printer issue or with alternatively printing from their PC which I found weird but hey, wasn't %100 necessary. Another thing I found odd was while Management (former?), Brook & Ewa Castelsky were very much visible, they weren't very outgoing or outwardly friendly. I had the thought at the time that for the number of guests there it shouldn't have been very difficult for them to introduce themselves, say hi or just generally inquire with the guests about how their stay was going :shrugs: I mean, we're from the Bronx & all but we just so happen to be part of the small majority of New Yorkers that are actually friendly, outgoing, and polite :-P So we DO notice & definitely appreciate friendliness.

Other than that oddly somewhat inhospitable vibe from the Managers the rest of the staff were awesome! (with one reluctant mention of a front desk girl who rolled her eyes at us upon arrival, I didn't make any note of her for obvious reasons lol) But the stars of the staff there during our stay were: Breanda at the front desk - sorry we didn't get back to you! Andy at the Bar - Thank you my Bro! Erika in the restaurant (we see you girl! lol) ! Although pretty much everyone else there too were very friendly, polite, helpful & kind.

On-site vehicle rentals can conveniently be arranged by the Front Desk staff, ..a huge plus. Also, just a tip. . I found out the hard way why it is advisable to NOT walk barefoot on the boardwalk .. splinters! :DOH!: lol

I would wholeheartedly suggest you can't really go wrong staying here at the Cape. Many Sincere & Heartfelt thanks to the staff that made our stay most enjoyable & unforgettable! Kind Regards, and Happy & Safe travels to all!

Room Tip: Might be worth splurging for a Villa if you could swing it. Bungalow #1 although "farthest&quo...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank JayStarzZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winchester, Kentucky
Level Contributor
176 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I stayed at the Cape in one of the villas with family in March and this place is just amazing. The most beautiful beach and ocean I have ever seen. The white sand beach and clear calm ocean make this the perfect vacation for beach lovers. The resort is top notch with a great restaurant and bar. The sunsets are incredible as well. Getting here can be a little tricky because you never exactly know what the small airlines coming in from Nassau are going to do but that is part of the charm. Once you get here you will absolutely LOVE the Cape. While you are here, rent a car and go snorkle in the south end at Deans Blue Hole. Also check out any number of seaside restaurants - so fresh and so good but beware - Cash only once you get away from the resort.

Room Tip: If you can afford the villas, that is the way to go. It is nice to have a full kitchen. Order grocer...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank fantifan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas

Property: Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Address: Galliot Cay, Long Island
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Long Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Long Island
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Long Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Untouched... Undiscovered... Barefoot elegance in a Caribbean paradise. Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort is unlike any place you have ever experienced. Mile after mile of silky-fine sandy beach melts into the warm turquoise water. With twenty bungalows and a handful of villas steps from the most beautiful beach in the Bahamas, an escape to Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort is an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Long Island
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort And Villas
Cape Santa Maria Beach Hotel
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas Long Island, Bahamas

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