I love beach vacations. I have been known to say that I have never visited a beach as beautiful as Destin in Florida. I now have to retract those words. Cat Island has not only the most beautiful beaches I have seen in a long time, it also lacks the crowds, noise, over extravagance of inclusive resorts and commercial beach developments.
I was fortunate enough to happen upon "The Ocean Dream Beach Resort" as I surfed the net trying to find the perfect get-away where I would not have to deal with crowds, rude people, tip- hungry staff, and crime.
The Ocean Dream is the only establishment on the Atlantic side of Cat Island. You literally have to take a dirt road to get to the beach cottages. There is no Wi-Fi, no pool, no concierge. Instead there is Desiree and Nick--the most hospitable, friendly, and helpful hosts I have ever dealt with (including myself). In addition they do all the cooking, and it is wonderful; especially considering Nick's Greek influence on the cuisine.
Our two bedroom (kitchen, living room, bathroom) cottage overlooked the beautiful surf of the Atlantic Ocean. Sand more powdery and white than Destin, and surf a deeper turquoise and clearer than Destin. For 3 days we enjoyed the 5 miles of deserted beach down from our back patio, without seeing another person--only Minute, the famous guard dog. However, that is another concept unfamiliar to most--no guard dog is needed. Crime on the island does not exist--we never locked our doors. The windows were always open and the fans slowly ushering in the wonderful ocean breezes.
Which brings me to the people of Cat Island. They are friendly, unpretentious , helpful, and loving. The only rude person I encountered was at the car rental agency (I think Gilberts is the store it functions out of). She wanted to argue with everything I said. She was the only person that had that 20+ entitlement attitude so prevalent here in the States.
I did spend a day on the Caribbean side of the island taking an eco and snorkeling tour with Mark. We went from viewing hundreds of turtles, mating sharks, rays, and tropical fish in the secluded Mangrove regions to snorkeling on two coral reefs. It was a wonderful day. One can appreciate how careful the island people are about protecting their wildlife. Mark operates out of
Fernandaz Bay Resort, which his wife manages. This resort is nice--but still a resort, you encounter tourist everyday and the restaurant food is expensive (and quite frankly not as good). But for those that need other people and like quiet waters (no surf), this may be your choice.
Give me the deserted beaches, the wonderful Atlantic surf, and the hospitality of Desiree and NIck---I will take that anytime. If I want people or day trips I will visit the accommodations on the Caribbean side--but I will stay on the Atlantic side. i can't believe I have found a wonderful hide-away as close as the Bahamas. I am almost apprehensive to post this review because it will mean that all of you guys out there may flock to "my deserted island" and Desiree's and Nick's "OCEAN DREAM RESORT"!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ocean Dream Beach Resort offers quality accommodations at great prices. This eco conscious resort offers 100% solar powered beach cottages that sit on a hill with outstanding views of The Atlantic Ocean. The cottages are generously spaced apart to maintain a private island feel. Mermaid's Restaurant at The Ocean Dream Beach Resort serves amazing Greek and Bahamian cuisine. The resort is just 300 miles off the coast of Florida and 130 miles from Nassau. The Ocean Dream Beach Resort is in the center of Cat Island and is within comfortable driving distance to New Bight airport, grocery stores, beaches and major attractions. The property is extremely private and away from the crowds. The resort is a fantastic romantic getaway.Each cottage includes: outstanding ocean view, sliding glass doors that lead out onto a private outdoor patio, Ceiling fans, separate room with Kitchenette, Dining Table and Sofa sitting area,portable stove, mini refrigerator, pots, cooking utensils and cutlery, king sized beds, and plasma TV in the living area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ocean Dream Beach Resort Cat Island, Bahamas