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“Great Dive Trip, Great People” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Small Hope Bay Lodge

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Small Hope Bay Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Fresh Creek, 00000, Andros   |  
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Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Andros
Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great Dive Trip, Great People”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Our first trip to Small Hope will not be our last. The staff is so welcoming. The food was very good, deserts even better. I think the drinks were good, but I don't remember. :-) Dive staff was great, Federico, Dennis, John, plus the interns. Thanks for the tech help Andrew.

It made for a fantastic trip. Not very many resorts where the owner will come sit with you for dinner and ask you where you want to dive tomorrow.

I will not provide you with all the little details of what they provide, because I think that's part of the fun.

But if you want to dive or just relax with no TV, no radio, this is the place to do it.

Plus lots of sharks, if you want them.
Just a really great trip.

Room Tip: No. All the rooms are in great locations.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 28, 2014
Thanks for the great review! You are right - the food and desserts are incredible! I am so glad you thoroughly enjoyed our staff, the meals, and your dives. This is definitely THE place for a great, relaxing, dive vacation. Look forward to seeing you again.
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367 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

I have been to SHBL 4 times. It is always wonderful. The diving is excellent with a wide variety of dives and levels of dives to accommodate the resort diver to the expert technical diver.

The location and food are excellent, conch fritters-oh man!!!!

Jeff and the staff are all wonderful. Everyone gets to know you. I have made life long friends on my trips to Andros.

Now if you don't drink and don't like to SCUBA dive, or at least snorkel, this may not be the best place for you. But, most of us like a little relaxation at the end of the day and SHBL knows how to provide that. The underwater sites are one of a kind.

Jeff has uniquely combined an environment were couples can feel romantic, families can feel safe and comfortable and solo travelers fit right in with the crowd. That is truly an amazing accomplishment.

I'll be back!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Thanks for the great review! It was so nice meeting you. I am happy you were able to thoroughly enjoy your experience again with us. I agree, our diving and snorkeling are outstanding . . . as is our fully stocked open bar. Looking forward to the next time!
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Largo, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

The return visit rate is extraordinarily high -- and once you go there, you understand why. It is off the beaten path so it provides peace and comfort that you share with a small group of other guests. But it provides a cottage on the beach, unlimited great food and drinks, and a wide variety of safe, excellent diving.
This is the most delightful place my family has ever stayed. The staff goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable and like family. We will definitely return.
If you're looking for a large, modern condo complex, flat screen TVs, lots of people and noise -- don't stay here. If you want a staff that makes you feel at home, responds to each and every request --- with a smile on their face, great food (the conch fritters every day at 6:30 are not to be missed), any drink you want and all the while you are looking at the water -- this place is for you and you will join the families/honeymooners/friends/couples who just keep coming back -- some for 3 generations!

Room Tip: If the winds are blowing, you don't need to pay for AC. If the winds stop, then just pay for th...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I am so happy to hear that you and your family will be coming back! It's great that you all were able to appreciate the things we take pride in here - our great food, friendly staff, and laid back atmosphere. You all are definitely part of the family so we can't wait to see you again.
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

We make regular trips down to the Bahamas and we only stay in small, independently owned resorts like Small Hope Bay Lodge. Sorry, no Atlantis for us. After reading the reviews, we had high hopes for Small Hope Bay Lodge. After being there for five days, I'd say that it was a three and a half star experience with high points mixed with some not so high points.

The high points first. The resort really goes out of it's way to know the names of all of it's guests. That's a nice touch shared by Trump Hotels. Also, they are very accommodating regarding food, drinks, diving and other one-off requests. The diving is fantastic for the Bahamas and the dive team is very professional and we consistently saw sharks on several dives. The grounds are well maintained and the food is good. So far so good.

The bad. The rooms. The rooms are very dated with showers that trickle water. I know water is precious on the islands but the pressure was so low it was very difficult to thoroughly get soap off of your body so the low pressure results in longer showers which defeats the purpose of low water pressure. A/C is not included in your room rate. As of 6/14 is was a $15 a night surcharge. Also bad was the condition of the kayaks, sailboat and paddle boards. No daggerboard for one of the paddle boards. The sail was broken for the sail boat and only one double kayak. These were very popular activities where the guests were mentioning their disappointment (us included) in the availability of the watersport items.

Overall, if you want an all inclusive place where you can dive a wide variety of quality Caribbean sites with little regard to accommodations, this is a great choice. If you want nice rooms and lots of non-dive activities, l'd look elsewhere.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am so happy you thoroughly enjoyed our diving, the staff, and our delicious food. I am sorry that some of your experience didn't live up to your expectations. Regarding the water pressure, with the introduction of solar (of which we are very proud) we have found that the general delivery of water has dropped to the minimum suggested by the environmental agencies for standards for hotels. We are increasing it! Most of the time when the pressure drops it is in the unit itself and can be cleaned easily with anti scalant and although we (and I think many hotels) have preventative maintenance programs this can be an issue. My manager does not recall this being brought up. Since we put in solar water heaters in all our cabins, we have had to make some adjustments to the plumbing. I am surprised to hear what you thought of our kayaks and paddleboards as most of them are brand new. By daggerboards for the paddleboards, I assume you mean the tail fins. We have a big sign on the tree get the fins from the office and please be careful as they break often when people drag them through the sand. Thanks again for the review and your feedback.
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Setauket, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

Small Hope Bay Lodge is a very interesting and enjoyable establishment to visit. It boasts good diving but also a rather unique atmosphere and the added feature of food with a flare. The chefs and the staff take special pride in the preparation of breakfast, lunch and especially dinner. In fact, dinner commences with the chef describing the different dishes and desserts and shortly thereafter invites all the guests to serve themselves buffet style. Breakfast and lunch are also served buffet style.
The bungalows/rooms are rustic and large and all are facing the ocean. There are 21 in all with a private bathroom and air conditioning in each. It is an all-inclusive resort which is a good thing as there is little in the way of other restaurants or stores in the area.
The majority of guests come to Small Hope Bay to dive the numerous dive sites, some deep, some shallow, all of which are interesting. Of course, there is the shark dive (shark feeding) but we found sharks at various sites. One site in particular was the wreck of Marion that we dove on 3 times during our 10 day stay at Small Hope. On all three occasions we were visited by the same reef shark. Other sites such as the Mound also found us amongst reef sharks. Our typical daily dive routine was a deep dive followed by a shallow reef dive in the morning with the option of a third dive in the afternoon. Deep dives were guided while shallow dives were self-guided unless otherwise requested. Night dives were also possible if enough divers asked. The reefs are as intact as can be expected for the Caribbean. Corals, sponges and fish abound. We also found nudibranchs and crinoids on most reef dives and occasionally ran across hawksbill turtles.
The property faces east with the ocean at one’s feet and mangroves to the west. One can walk through the mangrove on a maintained path that starts at the southern end of the resort. Amongst the mangrove trees/bushes there are many outcroppings of limestone. Much of the limestone is derived from fossilized coral so old and weathered that it is almost impossible to distinguish any coral like features. Other outcroppings near the beaches contain discernable fossilized corals.
Some members of the staff are also very knowledgeable about the ecology of the island and it is possible to have a guided tour to the interior to check out the plants, birds, land crabs and of course Cousteau’s blue hole.
It would be remiss not to mention the staff of local islanders and interns (college students). They engaged the guests in conversation, provided assistance when asked and in general where wonderful. This indeed makes for a unique and pleasant atmosphere. It was a joy! No doubt about it if you like diving and do not need a fancy resort and/or a shopping mall but rather enjoy being close to nature, being intimate with nature, then Small Hope is worth a visit.
Andros island is the largest island of the Bahamas and interestingly the least developed which might explain some of the charm of Small Hope Bay.

Room Tip: room 1 is near the kitchen
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 29, 2014
Thanks for lovely review! It was great having you here. I am so happy you were able to experience the wonderfully unique atmosphere here at Small Hope, where all the guests and staff gather for our fantastic meals, as well as appetizers and drinks at cocktail hour. The Marion wreck is one of my favorite dive sites, I'm glad you enjoyed it too! We do have a wonderfully knowledgeable and experienced staff, from our Divemasters, to our Nature Guides, to our office. Looking forward to seeing you both again!
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Casper, Wyoming
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

My wife and I spent a week at Small Hope Bay Lodge the first week of June.It was our first visit.We were looking for a place to dive in the Bahamas that was NOT Paradise Island, and we found it.The "all inclusive" package was not a necessity when we began searching, but it turned out to be a great addition to our trip. So on to the review!

Accommodations:
The property consists of cabins that sleep two to four people. Ours had a sleeping area with a king size bed, a chair, a dressing area with a safe and a bathroom with a shower (albeit a very small shower...but it did have ample, low pressure hot water!). The bed was reasonably comfortable and the room clean and tidy. The staff cleaned every day. The front of the cabin contained a large window looking out onto the ocean. Ours (#18) was closer to the ocean than most of the others so we had an incredible ocean view. In front of each of the cabins are two chairs for relaxing and admiring the view. It had a common wall with the cabin next door, but noise was never an issue. It fit our needs perfectly!

Food and Drink;
Upon arrival we were given a "welcome" drink, and told that from here on out we were "welcome" to go behind the bar and get whatever we wanted. I had read that is how it worked, and really did! I have been to all inclusive resorts and often the drinks make you wonder if there is anything except cheap mixer in them, or the glass of wine is tiny and of questionable taste. Not here! S.H.B. has good quality alcohol and wine. Whether it was having the bartender mix up a Bay Breeze, wine with dinner, an ice bucket with 4 Kaliks in it for post diving rest in the room, or a bottle of wine to take back to the cabin for relaxing and star watching the drinks were top notch and welcomed.
The Dinning is at large tables either in the dinning hall or outside looking at the ocean. Breakfast was cooked to order or continental, fruits, breads, yogurt. The pancakes were great! Lunches were sandwich fixings, cold cuts, tuna, chicken salad, or a cooked entree such as hamburgers or chicken wings. Dinners had a meat dish (grilled steaks) as well as a seafood (shrimp) option each night. One evening the chef cooked up mahi-mahi filets that had been caught by another guest that day. Outstanding!! All of the food was high quality and extremely good. The dining was a pleasant surprise.

Diving;
Having logged hundreds of dives all over the world, I feel I have a good point of reference. The dive operation at S.H.B. was excellent. They assisted as little or as much as you wanted them to and constantly strove to give each diver a great experience. They tried very hard to cater to the wishes of the divers in regards to where they went each day, including firing up a second boat when some divers did not want to go where another group did. Every dive was conducted in a safe and very well monitored fashion. My only complaint is that I wish they used mooring balls instead of anchors on the dive sites. I understand that installing moorings is probably very expensive, however going down and seeing an anchor wrapped around a beautiful coral head was sad. That aside, they are as good as I have ever dove with.
The dive sites are interesting and the fish life is good. We went to Andros to see sharks and saw them on almost every dive. We did the organized shark dive and were glad we did. The feeding sharks were mesmerizing! We had the added honor of seeing my first manta ray! Diving where so many pelagics cruise by, you never know what you will see and the Manta playing in our bubbles was the highlight of our trip.

Finally, I cannot say enough about the staff at Small Hope Bay Lodge. There is a reason why so many of the reviewers list in their reviews that it is their second, third or even fourth visit to the resort. Every single employee seems to be aware that they have a job because you are visiting. From the wonderful ladies cleaning your room or serving your meals, to Jeff, the owner, they all strive to make your stay the best experience possible. Hats off to you all! You succeeded! We had a phenomenal time. Although I love to dive, when we go back it wont be because of the diving. Instead it will be so that we can experience and hopefully share with family or friends that which is Small Hope Bay Lodge.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 29, 2014
Thanks for the great review! I am so happy you had a wonderful vacation. I agree - Our staff, our diving, and our food are just a few of the things that make Small Hope really stand out as a resort. Regarding the anchors vs. moorings, this is something that we are in the process of improving. We have found surface buoys attracted fishermen which severely hurt the fish populations of our dive sites. Our light-weight anchors seem to do less damage, though we are working on getting underwater moorings. I am happy our dive staff exceeded your expectations though. We look forward to your next visit!
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Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

We visited SHB for the first time in June 2014. We are a family of 4 (2 kids - 9 and 11) and we met another family of 4, also with 2 kids (9 and 10). My husband and I completed our PADI open water certification upon arrival, and participated in 4 to 5 dives once we were certified. Fede was our dive master and he was fantastic. Very patient, clear and calm.

We had never been on a vacation to a place that was this small, rather remote and "family style" and we absolutely loved it. It was such a breath of fresh air to be so unplugged and able to truly relax. We had a hard time saying good bye. We only stayed 7 days and recommend at least a 10 day stay, to really unwind and unplug from life. The kids didn't even miss the electronics and were outside playing and enjoying the freedom.

The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable. All of the "cabins" are water front so I am not sure one is better than another. The rooms are clean and freshened up everyday. Meals are prepared each day by a wonderful staff and there is a wide variety of options and everything was good! There was plenty of Kalik (beer) on ice every hour of every day, as well as a fully stocked bar if you like your cocktails. Happy hour is fun, with yummy appetizers followed by a buffet dinner. Following dinner is a video from the dives of the day (or the snorkel trip of the day :) )

The snorkeling was excellent, even right off the beach or dock. We took a boat out to "Goat key" (about 5 minutes) and spent several hours and it was just our 2 families and a cooler of drinks and fruit. It was really gorgeous and private and lovely.

The staff was very attentive and the interns were wonderful. My kids both agreed that they want to intern at this resort when they are in college!

We had a really wonderful experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin S, MarketingTeam at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 29, 2014
Thanks so much for the wonderful review! It was great having both of your families here. Kids seem to have an amazing time while they are here and I am glad yours were no exception. Thank you for the compliments on our staff and interns - they are all great. We look forward to having your kids as interns when the time comes. Looking forward to the next time you're with us. Congratulations again on becoming a certified diver!!!!
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Additional Information about Small Hope Bay Lodge

Address: Fresh Creek, 00000, Andros
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Andros
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Andros
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Andros
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Small Hope Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have been catering to scuba divers, snorkelers, fishermen, eco-tourists, and relaxers since 1960. Third largest barrier reef in the world and bonefish heaven. There are 21 all-inclusive rooms in cottages right on the beach. Come experience our unique ambience, friendly staff, and natural safe environment. Our dock and dive shop are right on property and fishing trips are easily arranged. Of course, if grabbing a drink, a book, and a hammock are more your style, go right ahead. We have 2 beaches and plenty of hammocks. Rest, Relaxation, and Rediscovery ... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Small Hope Bay Hotel Andros
Small Hope Bay Resort
Small Hope Bay Lodge Andros, Bahamas

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