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“A truly excellent experience! I am totally impressed with Stella Maris.”

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Stella Maris Resort Club
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Long Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 February 2011

Having traveled the Caribbean for many years, I've encountered just about everything; from unkempt holes to luxury resorts. In all these years, I don't think I've ever come across any place that was as well managed or as focused on the well being of its guests.

Stella Maris is a small, sprawling resort located on the Long Island, which is about 160 miles southeast of Nassau. I booked a ten day stay for myself, my wife, and a few friends. Our interests range from scuba diving, to snorkeling, to tennis. Since this resort seemed to offer what we wanted, and also had an all-inclusive meal plan, we decided to try it.

Flying in from Boston, we were greeted at Nassau's Executive Flight Support building by two of Stella Maris pilot/managers and two small planes. The flight over was about an hour. After landing at the Stella Maris Airport, our baggage was picked up and we were driven the short distance to the resort. Karin, another manager, greeted us with rum punches and showed us to our rooms. Each room had a welcome basket of fruit and/or drinks. The rooms were not overly large, consisting of a bedroom, a foyer, and a bathroom which had a tub and shower. The king sized bed was very comfortable. Each room had an overhead fan, an air conditioner, a fridge, and a balcony. The rooms did not have phones, TV's, or keys to the door lock. Valuables can be stored at the main desk. Storage was limited, with single drawers one of two night tables, and a writing desk. There is a storage area in the foyer with cubby holes and hangers. A dresser with drawers would have been nice, but all of us figured out how to get all our "stuff" stowed. The rooms all appeared to have been recently renovated and were spotlessly clean. When I first arrived, my air conditioner was dead. I mentioned this and within an hour a new unit had been installed. I was impressed.

The resort has several beaches, but those within walking distance are rocky and the surf is daunting. If one wanted to swim in the ocean, a quick ride over to calm locales was easily arranged by Karin. Since there are three swimming pools and a salt water natural pool, this really didn't turn out to be an issue at all.

Stella Maris has a beach bar and a full bar in the main building. Service at the beach bar was slow, although the drinks were great. Service at the regular bar was fast and the drinks were excellent as well. A dish of nuts or chips was routinely provided at no charge with drinks. Under the meal plan, we each had three drinks per day included, plus wine at dinner. Dinner is typically served in the spacious dining room. This is not a buffet style all-inclusive, but a sit down meal with a menu and wait service. The menu is extensive; so much so that I at first couldn't believe that I could order anything I wanted. I could ... and did. Soups, appetizers, entrées, and desserts are offered at every dinner. Breakfast and lunch were also provided from an impressive menu. With dinner, our group was given two large carafes of red or white wine ... more than enough for us. The quality of the food here is truly incredible; comparable to fine dining at better restaurants. Everyone was truly in awe of the exceptional food we were provided. We never met the chef but, whoever he is, our compliments to the chef! What a treat!

The tennis courts are privately owned and a distance from Stella Maris. Whenever we wanted to play, we simply let the front desk know and we were shuttled back and forth to the courts. These are well maintained courts with a sand covered artificial turf surface. They play well.

For scuba diving, we were driven down to the marina where we were able to rinse and store our gear. Our divemaster was a gracious gentleman named Robert, and he was friendly and very safety conscious. The dive sites were mostly patch reef, with prolific reef fish. Lionfish, an invasive predatory species, were seen on most dives. These fish are a threat to native species of fish, and Robert always had a small spear with him to try to kill any he encountered. When the sea was calm, and the sites shallow, our snorkelers were welcome on the boat. We all also visited Dean's Blue Hole, a rather famous 660' deep sinkhole. The snorkelers cruised the rim of the hole while the divers dropped to about 85'. When out on the boat, the resort provided us with box lunches, a very nice touch.

When I first arrived, I immediately got bitten up by the notorious sand fleas. You can't see them and you can't feel them bite, but their bites really do itch. After one night of agony, I asked Karin what to do. She suggested keeping the windows in the room closed and using the air conditioner; this so the little buggers couldn't get through the screens. She also told me to wash the bites with alcohol and vinegar to relieve the itch. Another recommendation was to use baby oil instead of bug spray. There was no baby oil in the gift shop, so Karin brought me some from her home. I am happy to report that Karin's suggestions worked and I had almost no other bites for the rest of my stay.

The staff at Stella Maris was uniformly friendly, courteous, and helpful. Robert, our divemaster, also doubled as a tour guide and took us around the island to visit the many small shops. One of the treats during our stay was the cave party. There's a large cave a few minutes walk from the resort, and it's often used for parties. One night we had a cave barbecue, complete with a local Bahamian rake and scrape band. Not surprisingly at this point, Robert was also part of the band. (I think the only thing Robert didn't do was fly our plane, but I'm sure he's working on it.) The food was great, the drinks flowing, and the band kept our feet moving the whole night. It was an experience!

Stella Maris is exceptional. It offers friendship, fine food, and an impressive attention to detail. It's easy to get to and, if you don't need gambling and high powered entertainment, is an ideal place to just chill out. There's a phone at the main desk, a TV in the lounge, and wi-fi access. That was enough "civilization" for my friends and I. Saying hello to everyone and waving to any passing vehicle made this feel like a small town stay; except with a decidedly Caribbean flair. Stella Maris is on my personal short list of places I would want to visit again. It's an easy recommendation.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank saholz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 February 2011

My husband and I stayed at Stella Maris Resort in April of 2010. I led a group who was there to combine a lovely tropical vacation with some learning. We did some archaeological excavating at an old plantation dating to the late 1700s. This resort was the perfect place to base our project!

The staff was incredibly accommodating, the food was insanely good (and plentiful), the rooms were very clean and comfortable, we did not incur a bunch of unexpected expenses as at many so-called "inclusive" resorts, and the setting of the resort is lovely! This is a low-key, relaxed, and lush setting. I would highly recommend Stella Maris to anyone wanting to escape from the real world

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled on business
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4  Thank fennelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2010

Stella Maris Resort is a great place to spend your vacation. I spent six nights there and wished I could have stayed longer. I visited Stella Maris from Dec. 13 to Dec 20th.

Management & Staff:
The management personnel and resort staff were very helpful during my stay. Elizabeth Vance assited me with directions to various historical spots like Adderleys Plantation Ruins. She even drew how each site would appear when I reached it whether it be the entryway or other aspect. The other people at the front desk were also efficient and friendly. Whenever I wanted to use the internet it was no problem. In some instances I felt like I was part of a big family. Even when I wasn’t sure what activity I wanted to participate in they were patient enough to explain what each activity entails. The restaurant and bar service was also commendable.

Food & Drink:
The food and drinks were very good. Especially the BBQ night where we were served Rum Punch and steaks and Mahi Mahi from the grill. The buffet layout was excellent especially the salads. It was during my second night there that I was invited to dine with 2 other guests since I traveled alone. Thereafter I was never alone for dinner at Stella Maris resort though I did venture out to other restaurants by myself. I visited Chez Pierre for a delicious Italian dinner and it was great. The owner is the cook, housekeeper, etc.

Activities:
There is so much to do at Stella Maris and I wish I could I have done more. My second day there I borrowed a bike (free of charge) and rode to Adderley's Plantation ruins. Getting there was no easy. The roads are steep which means it’s difficult to ride a bike to the top of the hill. The footpaths to the ruins have plants and trees along the way. It plant or tree is noted with a name and its uses by people. The ruins were not much to see but getting is pretty exciting. I toured the rest of the island by car on my 3rd day to the end of the Long Island at Gordon township. It’s a nice secluded spot with nice calm blue water. I stopped by the Flying Fish Marina in Clarence Town for a delicious lunch of Cornish hen, rice & peas with cranberry sauce. I also ventured to Deans Blue Hole which is a must-see for every visitor. I did not go into the water but I did walk along the edge of the hole where its deep blue because of its depth of over 60 feet. I stopped at Cartwright's to make an appointment for cave sightseeing but it closed at the time. I went on the Stella Maris Resort dive boat to observe how one must prepare for deep-sea diving. The divers went down 35 feet for 45 minutes. The dive operator was patient and diligent in showing first-time divers the techniques of diving. The water was 65 degrees which is too cold for me. I also visited the Saltwater pool at Stella Maris Resort which is by the ocean on the Atlantic side. There are also small “Love” beaches which you need to reach by car and are also nice to visit. I met other people there and we played pool and had drinks and conversed.

Overall I enjoyed myself at Stella Maris Resort and look forward to visiting in the future

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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4  Thank laguna68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2010

a gracious staff, delicious food, spectacular beaches. the nature pool was awesome and the freshwater pool right outside our cottage was a special treat. this was our 11th trip in about 25 years to the family islands, our first to long island and we will definitely be back. rent a car for a couple of days to get the whole vibe of the island and discover some of the most beautiful (and empty!) beaches. don't miss the blue hole. all in all, a trip well done. you'll have to save your nickles but it's worth every dime. take the all inclusive deal. no worries.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank breadnbutterphoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2010

The resort itself was clean and tidy and most staff were helpful except for the bartender who was just rude.
We stayed for a week which was far too long! We were told there would be lovely sandy beaches right by the resort which there are not, it is on the Atlantic side and nothing but rock, you certainly would not want to swim in it, as it is far too rough. On the Caribbean side of Long Island the beaches were gorgeous, Cape Santa Maria beach was particulary beautiful, they did provide a free bus to a few beaches.
There onsite resturant was very expensive and there breakfast was a joke! We went to the nearest shop to stock up (which was a gas station approx 3miles away!) which ofcourse in that heat you do not want to walk, so you need to hire a car which they do offer but its not particulary cheap. Could not believe they did not have a shop onsite!!
Nothing to do of an evening so its gets very boring as there are no TV's in the rooms, which for the price you pay you would expect. Air conditioning did work but sounded like a tractor!
All in all a extremley boring week and i could not wait to get outta there - avoid this Island completely !!

  • Stayed: June 2010
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4  Thank saveoursharks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
starofthesea, Manager at Stella Maris Resort Club, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2010

There are 700 islands in The Bahamas, with over a dozen offering unique vacation experiences from the bustle and nightlife of Nassau to the solitude and nature of Inagua. Long Island and Stella Maris are found closer toward the latter. Genuine old-fashioned hospitality and friendliness are hallmarks of Long Islanders and it is very rare that anyone describes any of our staff as other than friendly and accommodating. Never the less we are sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with one of our bartenders and we will make sure to look into the matter.
Long Island has so many beaches, as we show on our website, from stretches of leeside beach to Atlantic side beach coves. It is nice to hear that you utilized our complementary shuttle to visit a few.
We do offer to accommodate a range of budgets and appetites with several dining options, from full course meals or entrée only options in our dining room, to light dining options at the ocean/pool side Moonshine and in our clubhouse lounge; even catering to special diet requests. Our breakfast options, Continental or Full American, are generally reported by our guests to be quite satisfying and at $16 including selections of beverages, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs/omelets, French toast or German pancakes; quite reasonably priced.
We appreciate our guests’ feedback and are always looking for ways to accommodate your vacation expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2010

We traveled to Long Island to experience another side of the Bahama Islands. We had spent the previous few days in the bustle of Atlantis. From the moment we were picked up by small plane at Nassau we felt welcomed and informed. Long Island itself was interesting and we could have stayed several more days to get a really good look around. The owners and staff at Stella Maris were friendly and informative. Nothing seemed a problem and the travel advice was much appreciated. We stayed in Rainbow House. For us this was a great choice. It was roomy and gave our Teenage children a space each to spread out in and enjoy. The infinity pool was great. The weather wasn't 100% kind to us but the views over the Atlantic ocean were superb. The food was good although a small walk up to the restaurant and main bar area where you can also access internet. Suggest to anyone going here organize a rental car (can be done through Stella Maris). There is a lot of interesting things to see and gorgeous beaches to visit.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Cheezel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2010

Although we didn't stay here, we took their resort dive course (Peter is great and extremely knowledgeable about diving and ocean conservation) and then went for one dive at Flamingo Tounge Reef later that day (Rober,the dive master is awesome). It was our first dive but they really took care of me as I was bit nervous. The reefs are beautiful and the water is crystal clear. The bar food was so so but the dinner menu looked very sophisticated and delicious. The resort really seems to cater to their guests. We even met one couple who has been going to Stella Maris for 27 years! On site, they have two swimming pools as well as a natural sea water pool carved into the rock plus their own airstrip which is very convenient. There's also the tide pools (very cool) and the Love Beaches. The resort is very spread out as far as the natural attractions and other private homes in relation to the Inn and club house. There are many roads with nothing on them. I highly advise renting a car, even just to explore the north end. We traveled up to the north area 3 times from our centrally located cottage in Pettys because there are more attractions to see (Columbus monument with the BEST snorkeling IMO in the bay just below, tide pools at SM, beach at Cape Santa Maria). Key advice: do your homework when traveling to an Out Island. Example: one previous post from "grrrrah" blames the resort for her no see um bites. Yes, they are all over the island and no one can do anything about it. Its best to be prepared (we used baby oil as they can't bite through the oil) which worked great.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank jungledriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Stella Maris Resort Club

Address: 123 Ocean View Drive | Stella Maris, Long Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Long Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Long Island
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Long Island
Price Range: £150 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Stella Maris Resort Club 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stella Maris Resort Club,is off the beaten path. On a tranquil island, where nature abounds, where the ocean and beaches are at their best, with an unhurried pace of life and with islanders, much known for their old-fashioned hospitality and friendliness.We are an intimate out island style resort, offering a wide range of tropical accommodations, from panoramic ocean view rooms to appealing four bedroom water front villas. Food is great, as is casual evening fun. Many activities are free of charge. We can even fly you here from your international Bahamas airport hub. It's a place for anyone who seeks to get away from every-day's stress, who loves nature, who loves being at and in the water. From singles to couples, from families to small groups. And there is no better place for a romantic island wedding, barefoot or elegant, or for celebrating your anniversary! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stella Maris Resort Club Hotel Long Island
Stella Maris Hotel
Stella Maris Resort Club Long Island, Bahamas

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