Your Favorite Bahama Island?

Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:18 AM
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Your Favorite Bahama Island?

Hi there,
We're planning a trip for mid-May and have been told the Bahamas could be it. We tend to be anti-crowd/anti-tourist scene, preferring quiet, low-key beautiful beach scenes (like Vieques, Anguilla five years ago...) with decent food and boutique hotels...which Bahama island would you suggest?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Definitely NOT New Providence (Nassau) or Grand Bahama.

Depending on what I want to do, I like different Bahamian islands ... and there I some I'd still like to try.

If I want to sail between islands, or island hop, or have a little low key/laid back activity, it's the Abacos. The Abaco cays are like a string of pearls off the coast of larger Great Abaco island, and between them is a beautiful sheltered sea. The beaches are marvelous, and each of the major cays has a charming settlement where there are a handful of shops, restaurants, bars. Hopetown is probably the most famous, with its red-striped lighthouse, candy colored cottages, and nearly landlocked harbour.

For seclusion and escape, I head to Cat Island. I like to stay at Fernandez Bay Village, which perches on a world-class beach of its own -- stone cottages, some with thatched roofs, all with garden baths, just steps from the water. If Fernandez Bay is not enough, we grab kayaks or bikes or a rental car and find another beach. Usually, we are utterly alone on a variety of windward and leeward shores. In the evenings, a mellow happy hour with fellow guests, followed by dinner, followed by no TV.

Eleuthera is not unlike Cat, and I suspect Long Island as well. Still waiting to get to the Exumas and Andros. But I will. Anguilla positively bustles compared to most Out Islands.

BTW, May is a WONDERFUL time, weather-wise, to visit the Bahamas.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:23 AM
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This is really helpful, Callaloo- which airport do I fly to to best get to Cat Island? And which hotel do you like there? Thanks!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Have been to Anguilla, Eleuthera/HI and Abacos. We too love great beaches and prefer the anti crowd scene.

Abacos - Stayed on Elbow Cay (hopetown). Cute town. We flew in to Marsh Harbour and took the ferry over to Elbow Cay. Abacos is great for boaters. Most people rent one for the week and visit the outlying cays (Elbow/Great Guana Cay/Lumbers etc). Nice beaches. Loved the beach on Guana Cay by nippers. Tahiti beach on Elbow is also nice/shallow. Not as remote as some of the other out islands.

Eleuthera - Been there twice. 110 miles long, quaint/quiet, very friendly people. Most people rent houses on the beach preferably the Atlantic side. Many (and I mean many)amazing beaches on both the atlantic and caribbean side. Few of my favorites - club med, beach by Tippys, Ten Bay, Beach by Joes restaurant etc etc. Most beaches are empty and you will likely be the only ones on the beach. Few small hotels to choose from. HI is just a 5 min boat ride from N Eleu. Its more sophisticated and has many more boutique hotels to choose from. Much smaller - only 3 miles and you drive around in golf carts. You will see others on the beach. You could stay on HI and do a day trip to Eleu and visit all the beaches in the northern part of the island. Hotel/restaurant selection better on HI as compared to Eleu.

Have not been to long island but hoping to get there this year. It appears to be similar to Eleu but even more remote/quiet.
You may also want to consider the Four Seasons resort on Exuma.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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beneteau, the international airport on Cat Island is TBI (The Bight). Gulfstream/Continental Connection has regularly scheduled service from Ft. Lauderdale. There is also commuter service from FLL and NAS. (I've booked my tickets via Expedia for the last two trips.)

When on Cat, we've stayed at Fernandez Bay Village each time. I have trip reports here: www.homestead.com/islandtime/MainPage1.html. I will warn you, however, that it is rustic (but comfortable). Other well-regarded places to stay on Cat Island are Hawks Nest, Greenwoods, and Sammy T's.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:52 PM
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LOVED the out island of Eleuthera.
http://www.nbptravel.com/Bahamas.html
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Try Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort on Long Island. Fly into Nassau and take one of the puddle jumpers over to Long Island and then a short cab ride to the resort. If you want to be away from people, telephones, TV's and all of life's worries, I highly recommend it!
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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I wonder if you can actually book something in the Abacos along with a boat and/or cart you might want on this short a notice but I may be wrong. Many places in the out islands- especially those with boat rentals as a popular items- tend to book about 6 months ahead. I would suspect you can find accommodations on Long Island though with a month's notice just since it seems less visited- not sure about Cat. We are leaving in a week for Eleuthera and booked the rental house there months ago.
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