Back from Cape Santa Maria, Long Island

Aug 24th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Back from Cape Santa Maria, Long Island

We very much enjoyed our recent three-night stay at Cape Santa Maria on the north part of Long Island, Bahamas and would recommend this resort to anyone seeking a tranquil vacation on a gorgeous beach.

- The property is beautiful and well-maintained. We stayed in one of the bungalows, which was cool, clean, and comfortable. The beach is absolutely incredible and we liked exploring the lagoon.
- The staff was warm, capable, and genuinely concerned that we were having a good time. We especially enjoyed seeing the true passion of our regular waitress as she described her love of local "culture" music.
- Renting a car, we got to see more of beautiful Long Island. Dinner at Stella Maris was good and the change in scenery was interesting, and the view from Columbus Monument is truly breathtaking.

DCTraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Shoot, I'm replying to my own post because the bottom 2/3 of my message got cut off...

- The restaurant's food was average. For breakfast, I once got eggs Benedict with a cold, overcooked egg; untoasted English muffin; and mustard on top. Yikes. The dozen items on the dinner menu never changed, which left us wanting variety. There was supposed to be a daily special, but this was only the case on our first night.
- We were excited to explore the southern stretch of the beach where the snorkeling was rumored to be good, but we never found a spot lacking a "private property" sign.
- The massage included in our package was very difficult to schedule, to the point that I didn't think it was going to happen.
- The restaurant plays an XM satellite radio station with easy listening, American 80's movie sountracks 100% of the time. If you long for the days when Richard Marx, Michael McDonald, and Air Supply ruled the airwaves, this is the place for you. It drove us crazy toward the end of our stay.
- Of course this is no one's fault, but we were really chewed by noseeums, which didn't happen when we stayed in Nassau or on the south side of Long Island.
- It felt like this resort was trying too hard to insulate guests from the local culture, and the owner's Canadian stamp was everywhere. (Maybe this is what most of their guests want?) Local beauty products were available for purchase in the gift shop, but Canadian Panama Jack products were provided for use in all rooms. Bahamian hot sauce was for sale in the gift shop (as well as used on the rest of the island and delicious!), but American Tabasco sauce was on all of the restaurant tables. American music + Celine Dion on the radio, the Canadian flag flying along side the Bahamian flag, you get the idea.

- During our first lunch, the resort manager was seriously censuring one of her waitresses. The girl hung her head low and looked like she was going to cry. Nothing ruins our mood faster than seeing someone treated unfairly. If the manager's goal was to provide the girl with constructive criticism to improve her performance, it should have been done in private. If the goal was to embarass her in front of guests, mission accomplished.
- The manager introduced herself to us over dinner and asked how we were enjoying our stay. We conveyed our happiness and said we had one small request, to which she expressed this weird, surprised guffaw sound (like how dare we not find everything perfect). We asked if she might consider playing some local music instead of American satellite radio. She said she'd see if her iPOD was charged, played one local-sounding song much later, and promptly restored the Peter Cetera for the remainder of our stay.
- We asked the male manager if he knew much about the different types of rays found in that area. He seemed upset to be bothered and suggested he was sure there was a book in the gift store that could answer our questions.

All in all, we had a great time. Of course nice facilities and a perfect view outweigh annoying music, and maybe the management just needs a quick reminder that guests notice how they treat their staff.
DCTraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thanks for posting. I have looked at this property in the past and the beach there seems amazing.
I also saw your hotel review for Nassau. Yikes!
caribtraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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No doubt Cape Santa Maria made Breezes seem even worse by comparison (this is how I felt when I followed a week on Cat Island with a day in Nassau...).

Long Island is on our short list of places to go. How did you get there? How would you compare Stella Maris to Cape Santa Maria?
Callaloo is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the report! Did you stay or eat anywhere else on Long Island? I've been considering Chez Pierre for next spring...
seasweetie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Hi Callaloo. We wanted to really explore Long Island, so we flew into Deadman's Cay in the south via Bahamas Air, and out of Stella Maris in the north via Western. We rented a car and paid a fee for the one-way drop. Both airlines were similarly-priced and the flights were fine. Other airlines operate at both airports as well, so you have a few choices.

Not sure if you're interested in the south part of Long Island, but I'll do a plug for the Lochabar area. That was our favorite spot of all. We rented a small villa and had more privacy than we could have imagined. However, we were close enough to the harbour to kayak to lunch and to buy groceries. Truly a treat.

We didn't see the acommodations at Stella Maris, only the restaurant, but I don't believe they have units on the beach. Stella Maris is up on the hill with an impressive view of the waves crashing on the Atlantic side. Cape Santa Maria is directly on the beach on the calmer Caribbean side. I understand Stella Maris provides rides to the nearby beaches, but we really wanted to be right on the crystal water. I will say that the strong breeze at Stella Maris was refreshing, while the Caribbean side was much warmer, if that's a consideration for you.

DCTraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Hi Seasweetie. There are some fun restaurants down in the south if you might consider a different part of the island. On the drive to Cape Santa Maria, we stopped in Salt Pond at the Cafe Washington (or Washington Cafe?), which was fine but nothing to make a separate trip for. There was also a nice tiki hut type spot on the Caribbean way out on the point that is new and hadn't started serving food yet, but expects to in a month or so. It looked fun and the owner was nice. We never made it to Chez Pierre because it was a ways south of Cape Santa Maria, but it's on our list for next time!
DCTraveler is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks -- great information. Now I just have to find the time...
Callaloo is offline  
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