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“Beautiful location, wonderful hosts” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Halvorson House Villa Resort

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Halvorson House Villa Resort
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Bennett's Harbor | General Delivery, Cat Island   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Cat Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful location, wonderful hosts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

Halverson House Villa Resort is a hidden gem on Cat Island. The location is truly breathtaking. Our bedroom window looked out onto one of the most pristine sandy beaches we had ever seen. The accommodation is clean and well appointed with all mod-cons (fridge, AC, hot water and even a microwave). Our nine month old was able to go for a swim in the sea and then cool off inside the room before getting too hot. Tim, the resort's chef, is talented. He blends local cuisine (e.g. cracked conch or grouper) with international (e.g. jerk chicken, cajun spice, pastas) to create great lunches and dinners on site. Finally, Matt and Sooner are charming hosts. They have created a relaxed family vibe and nothing is too much trouble for them. The only downside was that we should have stayed for longer.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, August 4, 2012
We loved having your family here with us! The girls miss you all. I haven't taken those scuba diving lessons yet but I know I will be able to get past my fears now since you told me how beautiful it is under the water on Cat! Can't wait for you to come back and hopefully I'll be able to take a day to the drop off with you - a girls day and a boys day! Thanks so much for the review!
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66 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 (7)
Date | Rating
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English first
maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Very basic accommodations that, with a lot of money, care and attention to detail, could become a little slice of heaven. The beach was absolutely beautiful.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Thank you for your review. We do sincerely appreciate you sharing with us, and others, what we can do to improve our resort and we take your suggestions to heart. We would like to address a few of your concerns as your ratings and views of Halvorson House may concern potential guests. In "Value" Mrs....... rented a 2 bedroom (1 queen, 1 king), 2 bathroom, and grand living room private villa on the beach with 5 guests in their party for $125.00/night. We had charged them half price because we were aware that we would not be delivering a final product on the presentation of the villa. We opened in February (2 months prior) and have done all of the renovations to an inoperable reverse osmosis water system, 6 house and a 2-story main house that were all damaged by Hurricane Irene in September 2012. We aren’t a development or corporate entity. We are a husband and wife with 2 children and our close friend Tim (the super chef) and we undertook this as a dream of ours – to move to and restore a resort in the Bahamas and open a safe, peaceful, authentically Bahamian vacation destination. Since this reviewers visit in early April 2012 we have continued with renovations, decorating, and minor repairs that we believe have taken her recommendation to add care and attention to detail. We surely understand the reviewer’s observations and share her sentiment. In "cleanliness" we would truly appreciate further suggestions as to what we may do to provide a cleaner environment. We currently provide daily housekeeping, which includes making beds and replacing bed linens every 3 days. The bedding in this villa was brand new, just brought out of the packing and was bright white 1,500 thread count Egyptian cotton. We bleach soak and lauder all of our linens in a washing machine that completes the wash with a steam sanitizing cycle. We clean the bathrooms with a low chemical cleaning solution, and replace linens if the guest leaves them on the floor (we ask guests to hang bath towels etc. that they would be willing to use more than once in an effort to conserve on resources that are less accessible and affordable on a remote island). We do understand the concern that the cleanliness of the rooms is of utmost importance to guests and that we did not fulfill this guests expectations. Some obstacles that have presented themselves for our cleaning for the reference of potential future guests: Sand from the beach - it gets everywhere when you are staying at a beach house. We are from Colorado and at the time of their stay were starting to learn how to best manage sand in a house. We have been working with locals who are teaching us new (to us) and effective ways to remove sand from floors and bedding. Tropical bugs (such as mosquito, moths, ants, bees and sometimes cockroaches) as well as lizards and frogs are a constant on Cat Island. We do our best to manage their presence - we are aware that this may be of concern for guests who are not familiar with traveling to remote destinations and staying in a "local type" resort or hotel. We don't want to be misleading to future guests so we believe addressing this here gives us the opportunity to let others know there may be presence of bugs in and around the villas. We truly understand that if not expecting this it can be disappointing and we understand why a guest would not feel a level of cleanliness that should be expected at a vacation resort. "Service." As with cleanliness we would greatly welcome any suggestion you may have to help us improve our service. We strive to provide the best possible service to our guests, doing everything that we can to assist our guests with their needs. This was disheartening to see in your review. We are sad that we were unable to meet your expectations. For future potential guests we welcome and encourage you to let us know prior to making a decision where to stay to call or email us with any requests, needs, or concerns and allow us the opportunity to see if what we offer is a good fit for what you are seeking in your vacation. As we continue to invest in this "slice of heaven" and put the best we've got into it, we believe it will very soon be everything this reviewer imagines for it.
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NYC
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

Matt and Sooner are excellent hosts, their attention to detail is impressive, this beach is gorgeous, and the rooms are very well appointed, functional, cozy and charming. They are very accomodating resort owners, who really care and exert maximum effort to please their guests.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, May 7, 2012
Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas for helping us grow our business! We enjoyed your delightful company and are so appreciative that you took the time to add a review not only for the resort but also for the restaurant! I thought you might enjoy this news.... we found an AMAZING local artist who will be spending retreat weekends here at the resort to paint her uniquely beautiful works. We'll hang her work in the rooms, like Villa #4 (the one with all of the big walls just screaming for bright pictures to be hung.) We will post the paintings on the website. We hope your travels continue to be safe, full of adventure, and that you will return to Cat Island!
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Denver, Colorado, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Where do I start? Halvorson House Villa Resort met and exceeded every expectation I had! We took a puddle jumper from Nassau and had to fly to the south airport (New Bight) due to a private aircraft hitting a goat while landing the previous day! One of the owners Matt was right on top of it and drove a half hour across the island to pick us up. We were greeted by locals with smiles and a hug from a little girl. The drive to the resort was very breathtaking as the main road hugs the western shore (Gulf Side) of the blue-green water and pinkish - white sandy beaches.

We arrived at the resort around 5:00pm for a tour of the main house which held a clubhouse for kids, the restaurant, and met the chef Tim, co-owner Sooner and their cute kids Stella and Mattie. The decor was very clean and bright as they had just recently remodeled the entire resort. Next we were taken to our private villa which was just a few steps from the beach. Our room was decorated with class and had a coffee maker, mini fridge stocked with soda, juices, and beer :) It had a living room with a nice couch, an air conditioner (that I never used), a tub/shower, super-comfy queen bed, walk in closet with a dresser in it, and privacy curtains.

We then checked out the beach that was stocked with free adjustable tanning chairs, sun umbrellas, kayaks, snorkel gear and stand up paddle boards for sea adventuring! The water is the most beautiful that I have ever seen and the sand was pristine . There is a second beach just around the bend that is even more private than the first.

After playing in the water for a bit we unpacked and got ready for dinner. OMG! The food there was amazing! Prepared by the live-in five star chef. The meals where fresh, simple and creative using local "caught-that-day" fish and natural ingredients that left you dreaming about your next meal.

Over the 6 nights we were there we never came close to running out of things to do. We drove up to the North Shore (Atlantic side) to do some reef fishing and never saw another soul. We caught a few nice fish and watched the sun set. The next day we rented a charter boat with a guide to do some deep sea fishing about 10 miles out near Half Moon Island. The fishing was great and the coral reef snorkeling was out of this world! We saw two types of small sharks, Barracudas, tropical fish and florescent coral. My brother hooked a good sized Mango Snapper and lost it due to a Black Tip Shark stealing it right off the hook. It just left the head on the hook! It was a chilling yet an awesome experience. Something to not miss out on!

Sooner and Matt are very integrated into the local customs and community. That made us feel welcome and very safe throughout the trip. We went to a local church on Easter Sunday and it was a very powerful sermon. There are a handful of local restaurants offering authentic dishes like Conch Fritters, Bone fish, Souse (soup), fried chicken, etc. I would recommend "Da Smoke Pot" as one of the restaurants to try out!

All in all, It was the single most enjoyable vacation I have ever been on. It was very peaceful, slow-paced, and ultra-relaxing. If you are looking for a party and night life, stay in Nassau at an all-inclusive corporate resort like "Atlantis". Come here if you are looking for a real vacation :)

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
We loved having everyone here! Hope you come back very soon!
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Cape Cod, MA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

We just returned from a wonderful week at Halvorson House on Cat Island. If you want white sand and the most beautiful clear aquamarine water right out your door, a lovely decorated villa, sea breezes, Egyptian cotton sheets, sunny days, great food.....I could go on. Sooner and Matt Halvorson have resurrected six villas (one is theirs) just steps from the beach and they have done it very well. They are warm, welcoming and accomodating hosts. Their little girls are adorable. There is a larger main villa which is open, airy and nicely appointed where Tim, charming resident chef, serves up splendid fresh meals three times a day (conch chowder - best on the island). Meals are priced separately but there are no cooking facilities in the villas, mini markets are far away and we loved someone else cooking for us anyway. There are refrigerators for soda or beer, yogurt, snacks, etc and we brought some dry goods with us. There is always clean filtered water and an honor bar at the main villa. We did not experience mosquitoes and only one evening of no-see-ums - maybe there are less of these in March. The days were so relaxing. We could not get over the amazing beach (some days no footprints in the sand but ours) and water - had to swim a few times a day! Sooner, Matt, Tim and family made US feel like family - lots of great visiting. This is the escape from the corporate entity - it does not exist here. Enjoy this special island haven.

  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
We had such a wonderful time with you both. The long laughter-filled visits after dinner and the trip to Orange Creek will always be held close to our hearts. Thank you for taking your chances on a new resort! We can't wait to see you on your next visit!
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Worcester, MA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

As a solo traveler, I was looking for a place to spend a couple of days that wouldn't be too expensive, where I wouldn't need to rent a car, and where I would be able to meet other people, both travelers and locals. Halvorson House exceeded all of my expectations. Matt and Sooner were exceptional hosts. When my flight into Arthur's Town was delayed and rerouted into New Bight, I expected I'd have to take a bus to the north end of the island - yet Matt was waiting for me the moment I got off the plane, giving me a first taste of the outstanding hospitality I would feel during my stay. Sooner introduced me to several of the kind ladies living down the road; she also accompanied me to a nearby high school, as I had wanted to observe a class. The couple's two girls were equally welcoming: they introduced me to the resident dogs and cats, gave me a tour of the "Kid Zone" (an area with games, books, and movies for younger guests), and pointed out the local wildlife (mostly in the form of giant moths). The common space, too, was conducive to community-building: guests chatted and shared meals together, while locals too dropped by to play dominos or visit with our hosts. I felt as if I were a house guest staying with friends.

Of course, few house guests are lucky enough to stay in a charming two-room villa just steps from the beach. Mine was beautifully decorated with flowers and a sea-inspired color scheme. Free use of kayaks, snorkel gear, and a stand-up paddle board made it easy to explore the water, where teems of colorful fish swam among reefs just a short swim from shore. The water was calm and the sand wonderfully soft, a great combination for anyone visiting with kids.

A review of Halvorson House wouldn't be complete without mention of the outstanding food expertly prepared by Tim, the resident chef. My mouth still waters remembering the breakfast quesadillas, chicken picatta over fettuccine, and fresh fish with parmesan rice to which we were treated.

Overall, this is an excellent place to relax, enjoy the beach, absorb the local culture, and meet some wonderful people.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
We enjoyed having you and thank you for taking the time to get to know us! We look forward to reading your article! Come back again SOON!
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Grand Junction, Colorado
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

Never have I experienced such friendly people, charming villas, great food, spectacular beaches, all in one location.........let alone all within 50 yards! Great water toys and some outstanding bonefish water close by. I wasn't sure if we would have enough to do but after five days there was still plenty of options available that we had yet to complete.

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HalvorsonHouse, Owner at Halvorson House Villa Resort, responded to this review, February 15, 2012
The other guests that were staying at the same time as you asked when you were coming back. They wanted to make sure they booked a reservation at the same time so they could hang out with you all again:) Would you mind packing Dave in your suitcase?
We can't wait for your next visit and hope it will be very soon! We promise to put an extra scoop of coffee in the coffee pot every morning...
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Additional Information about Halvorson House Villa Resort

Address: Bennett's Harbor | General Delivery, Cat Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
There are alot of changes coming to HHVR in 2014. We are slowly "leaking" information about the exciting changes including "all inclusive," kitchens in the bungalows and even a new name! Our property is 10 acres on 3 secluded beaches, one of which is Bennetts' Harbor - possibly one of the most beautiful white sand and calm water beaches in the Bahamas. Our 6 sea side bungalows are rustic, nothing fancy but beatuifully unique and spacious. As a 2013 and 2014 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award Wimmer we are humbled by the honor. We are excited to tell everyone about what is to come for this gem of a propoerty in April 2014 - hint: private resiort rentals for wedding and speical events!! Rent out your own Bahamas resort for a week! All inclusive 5 night/6 day packages for 8 people stating at $13,500 including all wedding legal fees, ceremony, reception daily brunch and open bar!! Extra exclusive 2 bedroom romance bungalow with private beach, private chef and indescribable views (20 feet from the water!) Love is in the air at HHVR property and the new Blue Starfish Beach & Bungalow all inclusive resort! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Halvorson House Villa Resort Cat Island, Bahamas

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