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“Start slow and taper off from there”

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Conch Inn Hotel and Marina
Reviewed 18 December 2009

Conch Inn is the charter base for both Sunsail and The Moorings yacht charter firms in the Abacos. Along with two friends, I arrived a day early for a sailing trip and stayed at the Inn prior to boarding our boat.
I understand that the Abacos are far less touristy than other parts of the Bahamas, which suits me fine. Our taxis were met by hotel staff (largely Bahamian women) and guided past the block of rooms to the office -- she even carried one of my bags, although my male companions were on their own. Our rooms were not ready (we were early). Our luggage was piled in the reception area -- unsecured but in full view of the staff behind the desk. We retired to Curley Tails, the upstairs bar, for a welcome drink.
In addition to the bar, Curley Tails has a full service restaurant at ground level. The hotel complex also includes a swimming pool, laundry, and showers for marina guests. .
By the time we had walked to the liquor store (critical for a week of sailing) our rooms were ready. We carried our luggage the short distance to them.
The rooms have two queen beds, television, air conditioning, and roomy bathrooms. They're tidy and pleasantly decorated. Oddly, the mattresses make a crinkling noice when you sit on them, or move around -- as if a stiff plastic wrap was left on under the sheets. Although I slept well enough, I did not roll around as much as usual. One of my companions, who shared a room, said the other woke him several times by tossing and turning in his noisy bed.
Power in the Bahamas matches the US, including the outlets, so I was soon surfing the web with my laptop while watching US TV. Not how I want to spend my sailing vacation, but a good way to ease from New York life to island time.
I was awakened by what I thought was a long, loud, one-sided argument -- a monologue by a woman who I thought must be right outside my window. I staggered over to it and peeked out, but saw only the bright moring sun on tropical plants, the sailboat masts nearby, and the sea. A little later another companion who had stayed in the hotel across the street mentioned the yelling woman -- aparently she was loud enough to be heard that far away. We agreed that she had not, in fact, been arguing nor even yelling. Her speaking voice was just that loud, and her conversation just that strident.
As we prepared to take posession of our charter yachts, my friends from the other room revealed that they had had only hot water. They were unable to shower. My friend negotiated with the manager and received a discount on their room.
My friend from across the street and I went for a swim in the unheated pool. It was refreshing, if a little chilly, and we had it to ourselves. We lunched that day at Curly Tails. As with so many hotel restaurants where Americans are regulars, the menu was overly Americanized, with wraps and salads that I'm sure the locals don't usually eat. But the food was good.
The Conch Inn is not a bargain, but it does not position itself as such. Its biggest value for me was its location at the yacht charter base, but even if you aren't there to sail, this would be a suitable accommodation as a home base from which to explore the island.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank miamc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 - 45 of 50 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2009

We stayed here for 2 nights before we got on our Moorings boat for two incredible weeks of bareboat sailing. The hotel is nothing special. But it was clean, the AC worked great and the restaurant was superb. The bar was lively each night and there were several others near bye. The pool was great for cooling off. The people who worked on the property for the various businesses were exceptionally nice. This would not be the place to book if you were coming for a vacation. it is stuck deep into the harbor of the commercial center of the Abacos. it is the perfect place to stay if you are getting a ferry the next morning to an outer island or if you are prepping for a charter. Or if you are going to meet a private boat, etc. I was expecting no more and was not disappointed. it was a cheap place to get prepared for our adventure.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank RayPays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2008

DO NOT STAY HERE!!! The service from the front desk is the worst service that you will ever receive. You might as well say that it is "NO SERVICE". The front desk staff almost goes out of their way to "NOT" help you. We arrived at the hotel at 11:00am because our flight arrived at 10:30am and we had not where else to go. The only reason that we were staying at the hotel was because we were leaving the next day on a 8 day chartered cruise with the company the company that is "attached" to the awful hotel. When we booked our stay with this hotel, they asked what time our flight arrived, so we told them it was 10:30am. When we arrived at the hotel at 11:00am, the lady at the front desk said that check in is at 3:00pm and we were told to go "find" something to do until 3:00pm. The restaurant attached to the hotel was closed for renovations and this hotel is pretty much the only thing on the road.
We went outside and sat on the stairs (because there are absolutely no chairs anywhere to sit on) and waited until finally at about 1:30pm I went to go back into the front office to see if there was a room available for us yet because we have a 9 month old with us and I need to change/ feed her etc.. and the office door was locked!!! I could see them sitting at the front desk and they could easily see me trying to open the door. A service man that was fixing the boats happened to walk by and saw me trying to get into the office and came over and knocked on the door so that the girls would come unlock it. She walked over, unlocked the door lock, then turned and walked back to her desk. She didn't even open the door. That was just the start of a horrible sequence of events that included ants everywhere in our room, beds that make the loudest noises when you make the slightest movement in them, a "critter" eating away at something in the ceiling all night long and air conditioning that did not work.

And to top it all off - When we finally did get our room key and went to our room, the cleaning lady was in there sitting on the bed watching "her show" on the tv and she said that she was almost done and to wait outside!!!!!

We were booked to stay there another night once we returned from our cruise and we actually tried to get an earlier flight out to Florida, just so that we didn't have to stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank Madison21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2008

Check in was fine, the floor was really gross. Slimy floors, the shower curtain fell down when it was opened. Just as well, it was filthy too. Called reception about the shower curtain, they sent a maid down to try and fix it, she could not. The floor could have used a little water anyway.

Beds were really bad. I would have slept on the floor as I am sure it would have been more comfortable, but not on those floors.

A/C was inop, my request for a wake up call (absent alarm clock) was met with a shrug, and then some attitude. Sure enough, it never happened anyway.

In my years of traveling for a living (airline pilot) I have had plenty of ho-hum hotel experiences, but for $180 a night, I would at least expect CLEAN.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CTBALK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2008

We have stayed at the Conch Inn yearly since 2000 , as a holdover at the first and last days of sailboat rentals from the Moorings who are based there . 2004 and 2005 for a week at a time .In the beginning it was wonderful,great bar ,good food, and a great place for seafaring folks to hang out.The rooms stark but pleasant ,island decor. Close proximity to restaurants ie. Sapodilly's, Wally's,Snappa's ,Anglers [at the Abaco Beach Resort] and the best one ,consistantly ,Mangoes.
You can get the ferry to Great Guana [A must] here too.Having said this ,I must sadly say the Conch Inn has lost us as customers. Most notably ,the help ,they were surly and inefficient the grounds unkempt , A building project started at 7:30 Am untill 9:00 am and were gone untill the next morning.The food and waitstaff ,both unacceptable.This year we are going to the Conch Inn ............To wait for the ferry to Guana .for a week.

  • Stayed: May 2005, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank potcake8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2006

We stayed here the night before and the night after our sailing trip with the Moorings. The Inn is the location of their base in the Bahamas. We didn't find the staff to be rude at all, in fact they were a tremendous help in getting us our lost luggage back. (Compared to American Airlines they were angels!)

One of the hurricanes that came through in 2005 raised the water level to 5 feet around the inn and destroyed a good deal of the restaurant. Hence the rooms and restaurant are newly (and nicely) redecorated. The rooms are basically clean, parts of the floor and some corners get missed, but the bathrooms, sheets, pillows, and fridges were fine. Towels seemed to be in short supply, however.

The bar and restaurant are great, the food was wonderful, the tropical drinks good and they had plenty of the great Kalik beer. But the kitchen is small, so the service is slow, but the food's hot when it arrives and the waitstaff were uniformly nice to us.

I wouldn't make this my only vacation stop since there is no beach attached to the hotel, you need to drive or cab to get to one. (if you do come in and need a cab, call and ask for Mr. James Williams - he's the best taxi driver on the island. He's the father of 19 and grandfather of 75 - well, he did admit that some were 'fosters'. He drove us all over the island to buy clothes when American finally coughed up the dough to get us something to wear until they found our luggage.)

If you're doing a Moorings cruise, which is a fabulous experience, you'll enjoy the beginning and ending stays since you'll get plenty of beautiful water and white sand beaches on your sailing trip. If you're not, go find a resort on the beach and stay there instead.

I'd definitely recommend going north into the upper Bahamas, to Abaco, to Hope Town across the Sound, to Great Guana Cay (home of the best bar - Nipper's) or any of the other northern Bahamas Cays, they're pretty much untouristed, and welcome folks, especially in the summer when not too many people seem to be around.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled with family
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6  Thank Cbrofm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Seabrook, TX
14
Reviewed 24 May 2005

The staff is smug and rude, they act as though you are impossing on them. The doors to rooms donot close properly, you can see light all the way around. They are in the process of rebuilding, there are nails, screws etc. every where. When we arrived the pool had green slime in it. The bartender at the bar could not make any exotic drinks, even a Mai Tai, and then she totally ignored two people when they asked for a beer. When they asked again she gave them a cold stare! On top of all this it is very pricey for so little.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Conch Inn Hotel and Marina

Address: Marsh Harbour | P.O. Box AB 20469, Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Abaco Islands > Great Abaco Island > Marsh Harbour
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Marsh Harbour
Price Range: £91 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Conch Inn Hotel And Marina Abaco Islands/Marsh Harbour, Bahamas

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