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“A dream vacation: great staff, great fishing (with Randy) and so relaxing.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Swain's Cay Lodge

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Swain's Cay Lodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Mangrove Cay, AN 023802, Andros   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A dream vacation: great staff, great fishing (with Randy) and so relaxing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

My husband and I just returned from an amazing stay at Swain's Cay Lodge, and are already planning how we can go back! We spent 10 nights at this gorgeous resort. My husband was very excited for a first experience bonefishing, where I was excited to relax on the beach. Swain's Cay is a perfect place to unwind. As other guests have mentioned, there are not many scheduled activities other than bonefishing but there are options if you want. We had an amazing time kayaking daily right from the beach, we explored the island by bikes, snorkelled, discovered blue holes, and had amazing conch salad at a local restaurant. We also did 4 days of fly fishing with the guide Randy which were awesome.

Sadly I have read below that another guest had a poor experience with Randy, perhaps due to some miscommunication. We were fortunate to spend 4 days fly fishing with Randy and thought he was great! He was patient with teaching us how to cast in the wind, and helped Craig get very good at 'double hauling'. Best of all, we caught a ton of bonefish with the best day catching 15 in total!

As for the resort, the staff at Swain's Cay are amazing. They readily got to know us by name and made sure we had everything we needed. By the end of the trip they felt like family and we found it hard to say goodbye. With such a small resort, we also had the pleasure of getting to know some of the other guests quite well as everyone meets in the main lodge for meals. We really enjoyed the meals which included plenty of locally caught fish and great Bahemian spices.

Andros Island is a quiet island with very friendly people. If you want to be entertained this is not the place for you, but if you want to relax and create your own adventures outdoors it is perfect. It would have been nice to have a couple other options on site like yoga on the beach or even some Bahemian cooking classes! Owner, Cheryl, seemed very receptive to these ideas when I suggested and is trying to expand to offer other options to guests when not fishing.

TIPS: the sandflies at night can be bad so bring bug spray and long pants! Also there are only a couple corner stores to purchase very marked up snacks, so I would recommend packing a few granola bars in your bag :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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75 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    61
    10
    3
    1
    0
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13
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

I'll start with the reason why the resort gets 3 stars. It was clean and the people were very nice. The resort was not very busy, 1-3 villas rented per night in January 2013, but the staff was still attentive and made you feel like home. If it were not for the bonefishing trip, they would get 5 stars based on Bahamas standards... it's no Four Season's nor should that be expected.

Prior to making our reservations, we were clear we wanted to Bone Fish with spinning rods instead of Fly Fishing. We're not avid Fly Fisherman and did not want to bother with the equipment etc. We then re-confirmed spinning reels that we brought with us when we arrived at the resort, at dinner the night before the fishing trip, and finally when we got on Randy's boat.

Randy proceeded to take us out to the flats, then told us he had not procured any bait and that we would be throwing dry flies with spinning rods in a 20 knot wind. Needless to say, it was a total waste of time and really infuriating. To make matters worse, when we returned to the resort and one of the other guides asked about the trip, and we told him about the dry flies with spinning rods, he laughed heartily and both he and the resort staff found it incredulous that Randy did not get out of the boat and grab a conch or a crab to use as bait, as it appears Conch is the primary bait they use since shrimp need to be shipped in from Nassau. When we questioned Randy about it, he directly claimed it was Swain's Cay's responsibility to provide bait and that if we had stayed at the Mangrove Cay resort they would have provided it. Not what I expected from someone hired and booked through Swain's Cay. Not sure where the problem really lies, but in the end we went for my wife to catch her first bone fish and that part of the trip was a total disappointment.

To end on a good note, we had a nice half day off shore with Reel Tight charters and caught a dolphin and yahoo trolling that fed most of the resort all week, and also enjoyed fishing off the beach in front of the resort where you can catch bonefish on an in-coming tide, so some at the resort were doing that vs. paying hundreds of dollars to Randy and friends.

In the end, we'd recommend the resort to couples and fisherman who know what to expect in the bahamas and don't need a pool for small children, but we will never be back based on the experience with Randy... which is too bad since the others were nice and helpful.

Room Tip: All rooms are close to the beach, so not sure if ocean view vs. ocean front matters much.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We spent five days at Swain's Cay Lodge. We were not interested in bone fishing, just a getaway to a quiet location. Swain's is definitely quiet. The beach is small, but lovely. The vista is gorgeous --an uninterrupted view of the ocean with no development, as far as the eye can see. But be advised that if you're not fishing, there is NOTHING to do here. Other than the local conch shack, there is literally no place to eat offsite. I noted before I went that many of the other reviewers raved about the food at the lodge. I found it to be totally mediocre. (To be fair, it's no worse than food generally found in the Caribbean --expensive and uninspired.) The rooms are nice, not at all fancy, but appropriately priced. The staff are all very nice. If you absolutely love bonefishing, this is a great destination. If bone fishing isn't your thing, you might consider a destination that has more options for beaches, dining and other activities.

Room Tip: We had the beach front room, which was very nice.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Our stay at Swain's Cay was one of the highlights of our trip. The property was developed in 2009 with a beautiful design and layout. The rooms are comfortable and clean, with AC..bringing the feeling of home on a remote vacation. Cheryl, the owner, runs and manages the lodge with kindness and hospitality. It was great to wake up very morning to breakfast, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing on the lodge's secluded beach. Swains Cay also has mountain bikes, snorkling gear and kayaks available for you to use anytime. This is a hidden gem that shouldn't stay hidden long!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Swain's Cay the end of October '12. We really enjoyed everything about our experience. The wait staff were friendly and very attentive to all of our needs. The food was great every meal. The rooms were clean and comfortable. We especially enjoyed fishing with one of the island's top fly fishing guides, Patterson. Through some rainy weather (this was the week before Hurricane Sandy), he was still determined to find us some fish, and that he did!
The lodging is pretty remote; one main road, we visited one tiny bar called "Shine's Conch House"-loved it!! That being said, besides some kayaking, fishing is the thing to do here. Not sure how much a family of crying babies would enjoy it.
We cannot wait to return!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Columbia, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My wife and I just recently spent 10 days at Swain's Cay Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff were wonderful, friendly and accommodating and took care of our every need, The food was consistently great thanks to Chef Marie, and the lodge setting was beautiful. As for our room, it was more than adequate, both clean and comfortable with plenty of room to store our clothes and other items. If you are looking for a spot to relax, enjoy local food, do some snorkeling and/or bonefishing, and enjoy Bahamian life, you can't ask for a much better location. You will be especially happy if you are a snorkeler or a bonefisherman. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a swim up bar, tons of shopping, lots of night life, and restaurants everywhere, this is not the place for you. One word of caution, don't forget to bring some bug repellent. On calm nights the sand flies are plentiful.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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Torrance, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We originally were looking at all-inclusives in the Caribbean but after a lot of searching we came across Swain's Cay Lodge. We chose it because it seemed like it would make a much more relaxing, budget-friendly experience away from the cookie-cutter resorts and as a plus we could try our hand at bonefishing, which we'd always wanted to try.

We made the right choice! We had a wonderful time and were well taken care of by Cheryl, Pamela, Pam, and the rest of the friendly staff. Once we booked the trip we got in contact with Cheryl and she arranged everything we needed (flights to Andros, fishing trips, etc.). Our fishing guide, Alvin Greene, was excellent and through his patience, coaching and perseverance I (a first-timer at fly fishing) was able to catch a bonefish! Pushing around through the flats was a beautiful experience and we saw sharks, barracudas, and lots of bonefish and though we were all new to bonefishing everyone landed their fair share including one when we waded out on the flats in front of the hotel.

The rest of our days were spent relaxing at the lodge with some cold Kalik's, exploring the beach & flats in front of the lodge, and enjoying the delicious food (our favorites were the pasta with lobster and seafood and the guava cheesecake) The rooms were clean, comfortable and spacious. Each has its own porch and fenced in entry with spa (will have to try that next time--we were so relaxed at the end of each day that we went straight to bed!). It was also nice to get away from the TV for a bit as there are no TVs in the room, but there is one in the dining hall and Wifi throughout the property if you need to stay connected.

Definitely a 5-star experience!

Room Tip: Beach front is about 40 feet closer but there are no bad rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Swain's Cay Lodge

Address: Mangrove Cay, AN 023802, Andros
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Andros
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Andros
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Swain's Cay Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swain's Cay Lodge is the perfect island retreat on Mangrove Cay, Andros Island, only a a 20 minute flight from Nassau. Newly built in 2009, Swain's Cay is located on the beach. Kayaks and bikes are available for guest use to explore the island, our bonefish flat, reefs and blue-holes. The ideal location for the world's best bonefishing or to escape from it all! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swain`s Cay Hotel Andros
Swain's Cay Lodge Andros, Bahamas

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