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“Rustic, Quaint, Off the Beaten Path, Loved It!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fernandez Bay Village

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Fernandez Bay Village
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Fernandez Bay | New Bight, Cat Island   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Cat Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Wichita, Kansas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Rustic, Quaint, Off the Beaten Path, Loved It!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2007

We had done a lot of research on islands in the Bahamas. Our goal was to find an off the beaten path place, quite, beach to ourselves, place to relax and get married. We found it on Cat Island.

The island is very small and only consists of around 1200 residents to date. At one point, we were told, it had the most residents in all of the Bahamas.

Fernandez Bay Village is a small resort and there are things to consider when traveling to a place on an island like this. Note that the "Hotel Class" is a 3 star hotel. So, you should go there knowing that it's not a 5 star hotel. There will be small things about it that remind you how small of a place it is located on.

We went the first full week of June and stayed from a Thursday to a Thursday. We took Continental to get to the island from Fort Lauderdale. We stayed in the Royal Palm and we loved it. It was a little more per night, but since we stayed 7 nights it was worth it.

The ROOMS: are a little rustic, as is the entire island. They are 12" square tile floors, they do have AWESOME A/C for when you come back from the beach and need to cool off. There are kitchens in the cottages with a small fridge which we did use for beer and cooling other food we bought at the grocery store. The garden shower takes getting used to if you aren't into that sort of thing. We didn't mind at all. But keep in mind that your shower is on the front side of the resort (where we stayed) and people can hear you in the bathroom. We didn't have any trouble with water heat or pressure when we were there. Keep in mind that you need to let the water run a little while to get it warm. They are on a septic system (not sewer) so they have to have a tank cleaned out instead of the sewage draining "away". A few of our parents complained about a sewage smell in the restrooms...but that is a small price to pay to be on an island without sewer systems.... One day the entire resort did lose power for about an hour, but it had to do with the Bahamas Power company...and it didn't get too hot in that time frame. We did have a small roof leak, off to the side in heavy rain, but it didn't get us or our things wet. That's what you get with thatch roofs too...come on people...it's an island! I would suggest staying closer to the dining room so you don't have to walk so far to food or booze :)

The FOOD: This was expensive. We knew that going into the resort. The breakfast was pretty good. They do have a few items that are there every day on the buffet. Each day they do have a rotating breakfast item. Lunch - not really much to it. Made to order. We opted to buy some peanut butter, jelly, bread, chips and AWESOME coconut cookies at the grocery store and just make sandwiches for lunch. Saved us a lot of money :) Dinner - we loved dinner. It was very expensive at $45 per person - $90 per night, which does not include your drinks. My fiance, now husband, didn't really like the thought of a $100 dinner for 7 nights....but we were getting married, and you only do that once right!?!? :) They did have conch, grouper, beef, dolphin and chicken. Since we were there 7 nights a few entrees were repeated, but never with the same sides. We enjoyed the food. The tiki bar was neat, you make your own drinks and write them down. Not much else to it.

The BEACH: We loved the beach. FBV stretches along Fernandez Bay and you can walk up to the North and snorkle (at high tide) and also to the South where the mangroves are. They have kayaks too. When we were there a couple got out a kayak and the husband swam to the furthest rock/island in the bay and the wife followed him in the kayak....I'm really surprised he made it back! There were virtually no other people there when we were. There were probably 10-15 people other than us at the resort. Most of those were either our 6 parents, or the friends of the owners. Very clean, cute and they had chairs with umbrellas for your use too.

The ISLAND: I may post this seperately just on Cat Island...but there were a few things to see. We did rent a car for one day, saw The Hermitage, the Pink Sands on the Atlantic side at Greenwood and even drove up to Arthur's Town where actor Sidney Poitier is from. It was a neat 45-60minute drive, but it was nice to get out.

ACTIVITIES: There really isn't much to do....which we LOVED. Our parents got a little restless. There's no TV, Telephone (only a payphone in the lobby)....and there is a computer with WIFI in the lobby, but it works dependant on the weather. No biggie, I only checked my email the last day to make sure the parents had gotten home ok :) Other than that....swim, kayak, snorkle, read, a few board games. Take cards with you, sunbath, sleep, eat, relax...do nothing!

The WEDDING: we had our wedding there at FBV. We had the Administrator of the island (basically their governor) preside over the ceremony. If you want more information on this, just contact me and I can give you details. Donna made me a bouquet and she even made us a cake that was wonderful and my husband LOVED it. We did it just before sunset and got some beautiful photos.

The BUGS: the only real problem here is the sand fleas - or whatever they're called there. Take bugspray with DEET. I would suggest if you get eaten alive - like I do - then you need to spray every evening before you go to dinner. Get your feet especially. We did and we still got a few bites, not bad, but just annoying. They do have bugspray by the tiki bar, but by the time you walk from your room to the dining room you'll get bit.

I don't know what else to say. We had a great time. We loved the resort and the island. We went there expecting something a little nicer than camping and we were pleasantly surprised. As I mentioned before, you can't expect a 3 star hotel to be a 5 star. Use common sense. If you're looking for a remote island, you won't find a 5 star hotel - unless you're a star and have tens of thousands to spend on your trip...then you could rent your OWN island. So...give it a shot if you're willing to try something new. We did and we would definitely go back. Trouble is....there's lots of other places in the world we'd love to go first!!!

  • Liked — Great Views and water
  • Disliked — Expensive food, buggy....again, it's an island...
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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199 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (50)
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  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2007

This is the most amazing place. It was perfect for our wedding! We couldn't have been more pleased with the choice we made!
Everyone was so kind & helpful - thanks to Donna & the Armbristers for making our wedding so memorable!
We have no complaints about any portion of our stay - the room was great - as were the villas our guests stayed in. The food was amazing! All our meals were delicious - I have been spoiled & for the past few days have found it hard to eat "American" food - I miss FBV meals!
Despite the one night of storms, the rest of the time the weather was perfect & the night time sky was a sight to behold.
We are definitely returning to FBV!!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2007

This place is great! We went for our anniversary. The peace and quiet was calming. I would not advise bringing young children, such as under age 5. The beaches are awesome. Staff was VERY friendly. If you are an independent travler, who can entertain yourself, then you have the right place. Kayaking the mangroves is a must! Much fun! Great fishing guide on site.Gorgeous days and nights on the beach relaxing.We travel the caribbean often but avoid glitz(westin, hyatt, etc.) and fernandez bay is one of our favorite places and can't wait to return. Rec. flights on Continental thru Fort Lauderdale instead of from Nassau. Food is not gourmet but was great; but, in fairness, we did not go to this laid back paradise for the food.

Stayed July 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
opinion90
1 review
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2007

I have to agree with the traveller's review from June 2007.

We stayed there last year and desired to return as this is a great place to relax. We love the beach, the room, kayaks, snorkelikng and just relaxing on the beach.

Donna is great but we did notice some changes from last year and that was the food. FBV has the audacity to charge $15 for a breakfast
that consists of a buffet of greasy bacon, pancakes, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, box of cereal and watermelon. I myself prefer eggs, but not hard boiled for breakfast.

I found myself eating 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast for a cost of $15 plus 10% tax!

Dinner was worse because it was $45 plus 10% tax! We ate fried conch which tastes like rubber, fish that tasted like soap (I'm not kidding), scalloped potatoes, cabbage rolls, some kind of beef and peas and rice over the course of 4 days. I went to bed every night with a stomach ache and I do not have these problems with my stomach ever!

I mentioned to Donna about the quality of the food and she blew it off and said just wait until tonight, we have this wonderful fish dinner. This dinner turned out to be the fish that honestly tasted like soap!

Donna said, the resort was written up twice in the Island magazine plus Conde Nast Traveller. So I guess they will go on believing they can advertise their way to success as FBV has been in operation for years.

Like the other guy said, the litmus test is whether or not we would return and the answer is NO. Such a shame because it is a beautiful place but my husband and I paid over $700 for food for 4 days. That's
ridiculous even if the food were good! This did not include drinks from the bar either.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OH
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2007

Overall I would say that FBV was a good vacation but after reading the reviews on this site I would say, "beware fellow travellers, don't believe everything you read".
Let me start off with the positives:
The beach - it really is everything that you can imagine and more, the water was great, snorkelling plentiful, plenty of space to be on you own.
Donna - she is fantastic and can handle anything and everything that you throw are her. She was very accomodating and really nice to deal with. She was off for a couple of days and you could tell the difference.
The views: the sunsets are fantastic and the vistas are impressive.
The ho-hums:
The food - very basic. Grouper every night! In looking at the website it really isn't as good as that. We didn't expect much so we weren't dissapointed. The breakfast is below average, lunch is mediocre and the dinner was OK.
The island - very basic again - we didn't consider this a negative, it was what we were looking for so it was fine. If you want a souvenior take pictures because you can't buy anything on the island.
The negatives:
The cleanliness of the facility. Our room was cleaned daily but it never felt clean. Our porch wasn't cleaned the entire trip. I'm all for rustic but I don't want dirty.
The amenities: the garden bathroom is fine. The shower wasn't. Didn't have a hot shower all week. On occasion we had a warm shower but that was the best we could get.
The resort: it felt like the resort hasn't had money spent on it in years. Our room had a leak. Overall it wasn't well maintained and the aesthetics werent pleasing.

Overall we thought that FBV was OK. The pro's defiantely helped to try and balance out the cons. I guess the easiest litmus test is whether we will be back......the answer is probably not.

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The housekeeping
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2007

We spent our honeymoon at Fernandez Bay, and it was amazing! It is definitely a place for those looking to completely unwind and get away from it all. The grounds were meticulously kept, and the cabanas simple and airy. Despite the simple architecture, the resort had a luxurious feel to it. The waters and beaches were pristine and private. The resort had kayaks, snorkel gear and bikes for use. Many people came to the resort via their sailboats. Dinners were wonderful buffets that started with passed appetizers on the patio near the bar. It was an opportunity to socialize with the other guests, who you rarely saw any other time. Cat Island had no nightlife (although we didn't look for it, either). It is a paradise in simplicity and beauty. This resort was the best we found on the island (although Sammy T's is also supposed to be wonderful but much smaller). I would highly recommend this resort to anyone in desperate need of relaxation, delicious food, and beautiful surroundings.

  • Liked — Beautiful, beachfront property
  • Disliked — Not much to do outside of the resort-- which was okay b/c we loved it.
  • Stayed April 2004, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Orlando
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2007

We went to FBV in search of total relaxation. We got it ! No phones,tvs,radio just an island,good food and good company. We stayed on the beautifull sandy beach most of the time but did venture on a short 3 hr fishing trip with Mark the onsite guide with whom we hooked a few small fish and 15lb Barracuda which was alot of fun . Donna the humurous all knowing concierge is great and literally will set you up with whatever you want ! The frogs in our semi open shower each day were a source of entertainmant . In the mornings it was not uncommon to find one nestled next to your shampoo bottle. Our room had an efficient / modern /quiet air conditioned wall unit that made for a comfortable sleep. Living room and kitchen were cooled by balmy shaded breezes. Bikes are free on the property for the adventurous. We rode a little and were greeted by double toots of the horns of locals driving by - sharing the road. Kayak out to the rocks in front of the beach for a little reef snorkeling. Watch out for sea urchins as they can be a painfull surprise if stepped on or kicked. Food served nightly while slightly expensive- we thought was great ...good basic recipes prepared well...basic fish,meat dish other nights,bread, salad etc. Breakfast and lunch are moderately priced but fine. Honor bar is a big hit outside the dining room and a common meeting place for colorfull guests to chat before and after dinner. While not for everyone due to the semi rustic nature and character of the property which includes biting insects outside of your rooms and unique rooms with semi open showers we thought it was an awesome place abounding with character and characters. We cant wait to go back and see our new friends again ................... FBV - DONT CHANGE A THING........

  • Liked — Rustic beautifull setting
  • Disliked — Biting flies
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fernandez Bay Village

Address: Fernandez Bay | New Bight, Cat Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Cat Island
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Fernandez Bay Village 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fernandez Bay Village Hotel Cat Island
Fernandez Bay Village Cat Island, Bahamas

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