The idea is brilliant. The cottages are well furnished, they do have everything you need for a vacation. Its close to an amazing beach, everything is so so so nice in the Exuma!!
But its very badly managed.
First, it advertises stuff that is not true.
It says it has internet. And it doesn't. We stayed for 2 weeks in high season, in the cottage that had the internet router for all the others. It did not work ONCE. And on arrrival, on the booklet it says that "the internet is not reliable, you can go to the many hotspots on the island if you need to use it, but after all you are on vacation, and who wants all the techie stuff?" Seriously, reading that made me so angry. Some people do have to fix some last minute things using the internet sometimes while on vacation. Some of us DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. And the cottages are advertised as they have internet. So its just a lie. To sell the place, then you get there and get the message above. Really? Be real, say there is no internet so people can choose whether they want to be there or not.
We did told the guy that does the repairs (adorable guy, really) and he said he was going to try to fix it but nobody ever came. So no internet for 13 days.
What's more, the pink cottage did not have internet NOT telephone. Nowhere in the ads of the cottages it says that it's FAR from the city and you are better off renting a car a t least for a couple of days or a scooter. So we witnessed a family arriving to the pink cottage (someone mentioned that the phone did not work since october, read the other reviews), finding no way of communicating, they couldnt use the phone nor the internet so they were completly isolated. They couldnt ring for a taxi to take them eat after the long flight. They borrowed our phone when we came back but they left the day after, so dissapointed.
We saw another couple coming to the same pink cottage to find the same situation. They were dissapointed but they couldnt leave. We helped them with the phone to fix taxis so they could go into town to buy groceries. But we were not there all the time.
About the bikes. YAY we did have bikes. But they are in a decadent state. We went on a ride the second day, and noticed that a wheel was deflated. We told housekeeper and he inflated it. OK, we asked, have you patched it? He was like, i inflated it. If you need me to inflate it again, i will need to charge you 20 USD. So...basically the bike has a hole, that was there before we got there, but we would get charged if attempted to get it pumped. So, that was for the bikes for the rest of our stay.
The kayaks were good. But one of the paddles is broken, so there is only 3 good standing kayaks. There are lifevests, which is good. Beware if you come with a small baby, they do have a travel cot but i saw it on the shed with the rest of the equipment completly broken and under a bunch of mess. That shed where the equipment is, its completly messy and some of the promised equipment is in really bad shape.
The appartment itself is great. Everything you can wish for. BUT the bed in the master bedroom is the most horrible thing i have ever slept on. It squeaks like there is no tomorrow. I have travelled a lot and NEVER stayed in luxury places because i dont like them. I have slept in youth hostels all over the world, in matresses on the floor, on boats, on campings, on snow, you get the picture. and this was the WORST BY FAR! I have had trouble with my back for the whole stay, 13 days dreading the nightfall.... its not the matress, its the base of the mattress that should be changed.
BEWARE of things not working on arrival. They do not check the place before people leave, so there are a lot of issues that are not adressed until the next guests arrive and find things non functional. And maybe even you will be "charged" for breaking it (see the bike example).
Advice to the managers: Check people in and out, not just for the guest's comfort but also for you to make sure that the wonderful place you have put together doesnt get ruined slowly by being passive. The reputation will take its toll. Be real, tell people what to expect upfront (no communication for example, how far to places, some people lack mobility, think elderly, small children, pregnant...) and then they can make up their minds and find alternative solutions. If we had only been informed of the issues in advance, we would have no complaints.
And most of all, don't insinuate that we should "relax and leave the techie stuff behind" as if we were some sort of idiotic people. Its mostly due to the need of calling cabs if there is no car (they were sold out for the holidays in the whole island) or go to eat (everything is closed on the 25th and 26th of december, lots of people arriving that day)
Don't let this discourage you from coming to these cottages, they are nice, as long as the expectation setting is correct you will enjoy it. The beach is amazing and this island has proven to be the most beautiful place i have been to.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hoopers Bay Villas Exuma are authentic self-service Bahamian cottages. You will get a true Out-Island experience. You visit Exuma because you want to get away from the noise and crowded beaches. Coming to Exuma for the Disney effect is like going to Vegas for culture and studying the desert ecosystem. Exuma is rustic and pristine. There are no high-risers, traffic lights or fast food restaurants. What you will find is a quiet place to slow down, and reconnect with your inner self. Hoopers Bay Villas Exuma is the perfect place to relax after a day of biking, snorkeling, kayaking or relaxing on one of the nearby beaches. Recreation equipment is provided. You can take the kayaks and explore Hoopers Bay beach or your can explore the Mangroves to the south of the property. Some of our guests go bird watching (binoculars are provided). Each Exuma Cottage has 2 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms – one bedroom with a Queen bed and the other with two Twin Beds, great for families or couples. Kitchens are fully equipped and there are outdoor showers for rinsing off the sand, upon your return from the beach. You can enjoy the evening breezes on the front or back porches, grill your catch or just hang out with your neighbors. The property is centrally located and within walking distance to a well stocked food store and liquor store. There are nearby restaurants and downtown is only 5+ minutes away by car. This is a warm and welcoming community, the people are friendly and there is staff on hand to answer your questions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hoopers Bay Villas Exuma Hotel Great Exuma
- Hoopers Bay Villas Exuma Great Exuma, Bahamas