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“Quaint and Relaxing”

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Carriearl Boutique Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Long Sault
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Quaint and Relaxing”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

The weather was perfect and the accommodations quintessential. This is one of those "best kept secrets" ! A wonderful experience if you are looking for a relaxing stroll on the beach, excellent food, clean rooms, and that feeling that you are staying with friends. A quaint hotel with unique decor adds to the experience. We arrived by air, and after clearing Bahamian Customs (which is very much a welcoming committee) we were met by a very cool guy wearing shades and bare feet - yes our host, Marty - driver, bartender, chef - Later that evening we met our hostess, Angie - lovely, entertaining, delightfully British. The Carriearl Boutique Hotel strives to provide the best in dining and cleanliness. No detail ignored. Great Harbour Cay has a jewel in this destination.

Room Tip: Ask for the ocean view room.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank 574JoyceF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Marty and I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a lovely review. We thoroughly enjoyed having you both to stay with us and were glad that you used our bicycles to see the Island. There are more hills than you think here!!

'The Barefoot Chef' hates shoes, and only wears them under sufferance when travelling.

We hope that you get the chance to come and stay with your daughter so that she can swim with the Stingrays which is an amazing experience.

Happy Christmas,

Angie
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108 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
2 reviews
Reviewed 8 November 2013

From the quaint comfortable decorations, fantastic food, exquisite service, to the incredible views....this place is fantastic. We came by boat with friends to Great Harbour Cay. The weather delayed our boat travels home, but this hotel kept us comfortable, entertained and well fed. We will be back and would recommend Carriearl to anyone/everyone. Our recommendation would be NOT to miss this treat!!

Room Tip: There is no fitness center/spa, but incredible pool, beach, and ocean to keep even the active busy.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
It was such a shame that the weather was not kinder on your first visit to stay with us. We were so glad that you all still managed to enjoy our lovely Island and you certainly made the most of your time with us. It is rare here that the sun does not shine for part of the day!!!!!!
Marty and I really enjoyed your company and hope you had a good boat trip back to Freeport and we see you again soon.
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Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Rarely have I come across a hotel which I don't want to write a review on. Carriearl is definitely one of those hidden gems that I want to keep all to myself.

When I decided on spending my birthday on an Out Island in the Bahamas, I was at a complete loss as to which island to go to and where to stay. I based my choice partly on the reviews on Tripadvisor, and partly on my instincts. Bingo! The island of Great Harbour Cay and Carriearl Boutique Hotel turned out to be perfect choices!

ABOUT THE ISLAND:
Great Harbour Cay is a secluded out-island 7 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, being part of the Berry Islands chain. Info on the island is scarce, which makes it not a popular destination, but that's what makes it very attractive to me and my husband...you can walk miles on the sugar white sand beach and not see a soul.

There were private beach coves that we had all to ourselves during the week long trip. They have beaches with surf, calm shallow flats, secluded coves, dramatic beach caves...anything you ask for. The white sand was talcum soft and the water came in different hues of turquoise, green and blue. I would rate it as one of my top beach vacations, alongside Huahine in Tahiti and Provo in the Turks and Caicos.

This sleepy island is very safe...the safest one I have been to in all of the Caribbean. We didn't even lock our hotel room. The hotel provided us with two hours of free use of the golf cart which we drove everyday to explore the island. We felt completely safe cruising around. All the locals were very friendly and helpful.

BOOKING:
I read the excellent reviews of Carriearl Boutique Hotel on Tripadvisor, and contacted them via their website. The response was quick and cordial. Angie and Marty own this little piece of gem and they would answer any questions you have about the hotel and the island.

GETTING THERE:
We flew direct from Toronto to Nassau and then flew to Great Harbour Cay from Nassau via Leair. We took advantage of the Two Fly For Free offer from the Out Islands Promotion Board. As long as you stay 4 nights or more at one of the participating hotels during the promotion period, the hotel will refund you the entire amount of the two air tickets including tax. You can check it out at this link:
http://www.myoutislands.com/two-fly-free-promotion.cfm

Part of the reason of deciding not to rent a house/villa is because we got to fly free if we stayed at the hotel.

THE HOTEL:
This beautiful little hotel is just the right size for us. What also appealed to us is that no kids and no pets are allowed for the hotel stay. Presently there are 3 rooms that are rented out and all have ensuite baths and newly renovated. Angie and Marty bought this property and spent years renovating and improving it. This boutique hotel is only 18 months new!

All the 3 rooms are beautiful, with comfortable beds, linens and towels. Angie has added her tasteful touches to them and any room would be a good choice. We stayed in the Palm Room and loved it! The hotel was kept spotlessly clean, and the 50 ft. fresh water pool was also sparkling clean and so refreshing!

We picked the Palm Room which was a private corner with a lovely ensuite bathroom. We didn't pick the Rooster Room because it faced the pool and we weren't sure if the pool would be busy. Well, it turned out that we were the only guests at the hotel for the whole week except one night when another guest flew his private plane from Fort Lauderdale to check out the island and to test his plane's system. Only hotel guests and members of their little private Brits Ritz Club could use the pool. So we essentially had the pool all to ourselves most of the time.

The great thing about staying at this hotel is that you can get all the privacy you want, but when you are sick and tired of talking only to your other half, you get to meet interesting people as well - we had very interesting and informative chats with the owners and other patrons of the onsite restaurant.

As for activities, you won't be bored. Take a dip in the fresh water pool or go beach combing with the golf cart they provide. I will be posting a trip report in the Out Islands Forum separately about all the different beaches and other info on the island. There is a 9 hole course (for fun, not champion standard) where you can play for free. You can rent the golf clubs from the hotel, but bring your own balls. Bring your own fishing rods and wade the flats, cast from the causeway, or hire a fishing guide. There are also bikes and a sea kayak that you can rent from the hotel. How about flying a kite on the beach...they have them at the hotel.

FOOD:
Carriearl has an onsite bar and restaurant which is open to hotel guests during their entire stay, and to the public Thursday to Sunday. Having their signature rum punch while chilling on the outdoor patio is a must.

Marty, one of the owners, is the chef. What can I say about his food? Wondrous! He is such a creative chef and cooks with his heart. We were so surprised that we would be treated to such gourmet food on this remote Caribbean island. He makes use of the fresh seafood and comes up with creative recipes and beautiful presentation. Totally deeeeelicious! Make sure you try his Eggs Benedict during Sunday brunch...the best I have ever had. Another must try is his Lobster in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce.

The highlight of my trip was the steamed fish Marty cooked for me. I told him my favourite way of cooking fish was to steam it Chinese style, and mentioned how to do it. His curious mind drove him to the marina to buy two live yellowtail snappers and steamed them for us that night. How was it? Heavenly!!! Angie even dug out the Chinese serving set she got during her British Airways days to match the theme!

My husband requested for a small birthday cake for me, and Angie got up 6:30 in the morning to make a whole cup cake tree of butterfly cakes...what a birthday treat! Angie must have read my mind...I LOVE cupcakes! Hers were the best!

OVERALL:
Pure bliss! The island is certainly a private paradise and Carriearl is truly a hidden gem. We were so surprised that we could have this six star vacation at a very affordable cost. Now that the secret is out, we hope we can still return to paradise in the future and find it the way we enjoyed it.

Room Tip: Rooster is bigger and face the pool. Palm is a private corner.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank isimpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
Thank you Isimpo for taking the time to write so much about us and Great Harbour Cay. Marty really enjoyed cooking your Chinese dinners, and the tips you gave him. Our Island is still very unknown so all your research and the information you put together will really help visitors to enjoy our tiny piece of Paradise.
We both hope that we get the chance to enjoy your company again.
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Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

My wife and I spent 2 wonderful weeks at the Carriearl in mid July...the reference to "Dark and Stormy" is of course to the habit forming rum drink that Marty introduced us to and far from a description of our stay. We have been to 7 "out-islands" and are accustomed to the "little-to-do-and-all-day-to-complete-the-task" routines that one embraces on small islands. We weren't however prepared for the amazing combination of beach, food, ambience, and the graciousness of our hosts. We were made to feel like house guests rather than hotel guests. The accommodations were bright, airy, and spotless. The food prepared by Marty never failed to leave us craving more, and Angie's decorative touch gave the property that perfect sense of barefoot elegance. The Carriearl has vaulted to the top of our "short list" of vacation sites.
Joe and Kelly
Louisville, Kentucky

Room Tip: There are currently only 3 rooms...all quite nice...we did however choose the one with the king bed...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JoeKelly89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
Thank you Kelly and Joel for taking the time to write such a glowing review on Carriearl. Laura's daughter came to stay after you left and we have a secret addition to the 'Dark and Stormy' which I cannot reveal, so you will have to come back to try it !! She is a 'Mixologist' so gave us some great ideas and tips for our cocktails. Trouble was we had to drink them all !!

It was a shame you were not here when she came as we told her how much we enjoyed your company and she would have loved to have met you both.

We were a little bit worried that as we had a quiet week when you came that you would feel a bit uncomfortable, but you were such delightful company and so easy going and it was obvious that you just wanted to spend some time together, as you have such busy lives at home.

You know you would be more than welcome to come back sometime, we would love to see you again.
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Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 August 2013

Spent 9 days with Angie and Martin this August, celebrating a special event. It was just the most wonderful time we've had. Everything was perfect and we want to go back again soon. They both work so hard to make your time there special. I have great memories of afternoons in the pool with one of Martin's 'Dark and Stormys'. Phil managed to relax and that is so hard for him.
We love them both and GHC now feels like another home for us.

Room Tip: Our room faced the pool. Perfect for early morning dips.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Morag R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
Thank you Morag and Phil for coming to stay with, especially as you chose to spend your 40th Wedding Anniversary with us. We felt very honored as we know you plan an extra special holiday for your Big Wedding Anniversaries.

We enjoyed sharing the bottles of Champagne and having the chance to catch up on all the stories Marty and Phil had to tell about when they were building Marty's boats together.

It was a very special time for us as well, having such good friends to stay and being able to enjoy your company. We always feel a bit guilty when we are busy and have to leave you to your own devices but you just got on with chillin' and walking the beach. It was great to see you both relax and enjoy yourselves. Marty and I hope we all manage to have a few more celebrations together !!!!!!!
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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2013

I have visited Great Harbour Cay for many years. On my last trip during the 4th of July holiday I discovered this little gem called Carriearl. I could not believe that this tiny island had such a charming B&B and restaurant. I met Angie and Marty who welcomed us with open arms and gave us a quick tour of the darling property. It is very tastefully decorated and they have really done their best to make it feel as if you are staying in a home away from home or as I call it the Oasis by the Sea. I did not stay in the hotel but I did enjoy the bar and restaurant. The food was very fresh and artfully prepared. They both have truly spent the time thinking of all the little details that make this B&B so special. Even the napkins in the restroom were beautiful! I would certainly recommend Carriearl for anyone that enjoys boutique hotels, exceptional service, beautiful views and a little R&R!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MiamiTravel101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dronzi, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Wow, thank you so much for such glowing praise. We really appreciate you taking the time to comment on Tripadvisor as so many of our Guests say that reading the Reviews made them want to 'Come Stay'. It makes all our hard work worth it, as life on a small Island running an Hotel is not always easy !!!!!! Please come back soon, as you know our door is always open.

Thanks, Angie and Marty
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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 25 June 2013

This boutique hotel and restaurant is like staying at a friends house. The decoration is exquisite and interesting with accents from all over the world collected by Angie while working for British Airways. The beach and natural surroundings of Great Harbour Cay are incomparable. The bar overlooks the beach and is perfect for a happy hour. Marty's cuisine is delicious, healthy and surprising.

Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank ortegaana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dronzi, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Thank you so much Ana for taking the time to put a Review on our website. I have to admit that in all my travels of the world I have never been to Tahiti, but your comparison is a delight to hear !

In fact, we had never been to the Bahamas until we came to Great Harbour Cay. We always say that the house waited for us, as it had been empty for 10 years, until the 'Mad Brits' fell in love with it.

We always love to have you, Pepe and your friends visit us, and appreciate that you tell everyone about us.

Angie and Marty
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Additional Information about Carriearl Boutique Hotel

Property: Carriearl Boutique Hotel
Address: Great Harbour Drive, B56 L13, Great Harbour Cay
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Berry Islands > Great Harbour Cay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Great Harbour Cay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carriearl is your antidote to workaday worries, but is only a 20 minute flight from Nassau, and a hour flight from Miami. From the moment you walk in the door you will feel at home. With one of Dronzi's famous Rum Punches in your hand, you will just want to chill round our beautiful freshwater swimming pool and walk our amazing beach, where the only footprints you will see are your own! Owned by 2 'Brits', Angie and Marty, our British Hospitality is reflected in our attention to detail and wonderful International Cuisine. We have a 'Smart, Casual' dress code in the evenings, and we do ask Gentlemen to remove their caps please. ... more   less 

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