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“A little slice of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of St Francis Resort

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St Francis Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Stocking Island, Great Exuma   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Great Exuma
Frisco, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A little slice of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

There are so many reasons this vacation was great, and it wouldn't have been the same if we had stayed anywhere else. The St.Francis has an unbeatable location that affords its guests a view of the Atlantic from the back terrace of the room, and an amazing view of the harbor and Great Exuma in the distance just a short walk out the front door of the room. The beaches on the Atlantic side are more or less deserted, and great for a long sunrise or sunset walk. The water is a bit rougher on this side, but no less enjoyable.

What really makes St. Francis the jewel of the Exumas are its owners, George and Jill. From the time of our arrival to our reluctant good-byes, they made us feel like we were part of the family, not simply guests. They truly went out of their way to ensure that our stay was one we will remember for many years to come. Amazing Bahamiam sunsets were taken in each day from the patio terrace overlooking the harbor, while interesting stories were recounted by guests and visiting sailors alike over refreshing rum punches.

As this island is only accessible by boat, we opted to rent one from Minn's Watersports across in the bay in Georgetown. It was truly a great way to explore the numerous hidden cays and beaches of the island, and afforded us access to a great number of places we could not otherwise visit.

We cannot wait to return to St. Francis and have already recommended it to friends seeking this type of vacation.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Richmond Hill, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

The property is located on on Stocking island. After a 15 minute ride from the airport to Georgetown, you get to the property by boat, courtesy of the resort.

Once there, it is pretty well self-contained, with bar, restaurant, non-motorized water activities, ocean beach, plenty of walking...and decompressing.

Although the property hosts a number of popular events usually frequented by the local sailing fraternity, guests staying at St Francis have priority treatment.

There is not a lot to do in the evening: the restaurant closes around 7 pm and the bar stays open as late as the last customer wishes. After that, it is gaze at the stars, listen to the ocean waves and figure out how you could stay there, unnoticed, if you decided not to go home.

Room Tip: All rooms front on to the ocean.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

We stayed at the St Francis Resort January 30 to February 6 2014. The room, the restaurant, the hospitality, the location and the views - coupled with typical Bahamian weather - make this a wonderful spot to rest and relax.

No complaints or surprises; indeed our expectations were exceeded.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same: on and face the ocean. Equipped with microwave and refrigerator, coffer make...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Salisbury
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

With the Regatta happening,this was a Very busy time. As always, everyone at St Francis calmly carried on,ever friendly,delivering wonderful service. The food was always freshly prepared,looked tempting and was delicious.
Every guest is made to feel special...no wonder so many return every year.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Marblehead, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

The rooms were simple, comfortable, and clean. Every room has an amazing view of the beach and ocean. The sand on the beach was so soft and white it was like walking on flour. My wife and I would wake and watch the sunrise from our private deck, then walk the long pristine beach for an hour or so. Many times we would be the only ones on the beach. We would return to our room to find breakfast had been delivered. Breakfast was always different and always good with different options of cereal, juice, yogurts, breads, and eggs each day. After breakfast we would head out for the day. It was regatta week while we were there so there was lots going on around the harbor. We hiked the island trails and visited the Chat-n-Chill bar on nearby Volleyball Beach. We snorkeled a little bit, it was OK in spots but not great. We fed wild stingrays off of Volleyball Beach, sunned and body surfed on the ocean side, and saw dolphins and sea turtles swimming in the harbor.
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The hotel restaurant and bar was great. It had an awesome view of the harbor from their large deck. The bar held trivia night, poker night, and hosted events for the visiting cruisers. It was a lot of fun meeting and talking to the different guests and cruisers that were in visiting from all over the world. We had several lunches and dinners at the restaurant and did not have a bad meal. We enjoyed the salads, the burgers, the cracked conch, and the grilled steak on barbeque night. The tropical rum drinks were great.
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What we will remember most about our trip is the people. Everyone we encountered from the local minister who also drives a taxi, to the folks working at Minn’s Water Sports where we rented a boat, the two waitresses at the hotel and the girl who delivered breakfast, and all the cruisers visiting, everyone was so happy and friendly. There was such a great laid-back and relaxed vibe. The resort owners, Jill and George, and their son Greg were particularly accommodating. I now consider them friends and can’t wait to go visit them again.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Blenheim, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

We recently stayed at the St Francis Resort Feb 14th and 15th. 2014. This was our first time here as it came recommended by a friend and it was great. The rooms are very nice. The view is spectacular. The property grounds are very nice and very clean. Jill and her staff went out of there way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. The restaurant food and service great. The view from the restaurant was great. We do not have one compliant and look forward to returning again spending a longer stay next time. We hope to see Jill and her staff again soon and look forward to meeting George next time as he was away on business on our recent stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
Bologna
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

This resort is more like a (european) basic b&b or a 1 star hotel as for service, room and amenities, absolutely not at the level of its high tariff of $258.5 per room per night, continental breakfast included.
That said we overall enjoyed our stay of 6 nights, but I think I won't come back as it has pros and cons which I'll try to explain.
Stocking Island is a very small island 10 minutes by boat from Exuma, it has no streets and no cars. It's ideal for relaxing and staying in contact with nature, absolutely not suggested for people looking for nightlife, town exploring and shopping, and probably not suitable for people with children.
The resort has a stunning beautiful location of which it takes full advantage with its clever plan and arrangement: the restaurant-bar has a big terrace overlooking the bay on elizabeth harbour where you can enjoy your meals; the rooms have a window with a more distant view of the harbour and, on the opposite side, a balcony overlooking the ocean from which it's a pleasure just to sit there and look at the waves and at the starred sky at night. Also, you never feel too isolated because many people from boats come to the restaurant and bar.
The downside is that if you are looking for the typical white beach and clear sea to lay on and bath all day long, this is not for you, as the ocean is too agitated, you can go in but you can't swim or go too far away from the coast because it will be dangerous, nor you can snorkel beacause there's nothing to see. The beach on the ocean is about 4 miles long, you can walk or run if you dare but it's too windy to lay down. The beach on the front, on the bay side, is very small and it serves as a docking for boats and kayaks of the resort.
The sea is calm and with some fish near the rocks on the side, but it has a big area which is too low to swim and then it immediately becomes too deep and it is populated by boats arriving at the resort. Moreover you are very close to the balcony where there are people drinking and chatting in many periods of the day, so it's not quiet nor private.
If you want to reach better beaches you must use the resort kayaks (for free) or call a taxi boat. Otherwise you could walk on the ocean beach, and then there are many paths crossing the island from which you can arrive at the harbour side, but many are quite difficult and also you must walk through bushes, where you can find snakes, poisonwood, poisonous spiders, scorpions. In any case the walk is not a short one under the sun and with difficult surface.
We frequently used the kayak, it was our first time, and it was fun.
Rooms are big, with a huge king bed, matress was ok, cushions were too high and stinky. There is air conditioner, a ceiling fan, a small fridge too noisy at night, a microwave, tea and coffee making facilities, a table with two chairs. On the balcony there are two plastic long chairs and two stools. At the windows there are mosquito nets. The bathroom is big, with no window, a huge shower with good water pressure and a glass panel. It also has a closet for clothes. The furniture is basic, not luxurious,
I would have liked a wardrobe, some drawer, or at least a hanger in the room. I also missed very much a cord for hanging swimsuits and towels.
There is no phone, no tv (which is not so bad), no radio, no clock or alarm clock, no stationery, no ironing facility, no safe, and in fact no wi-fi, as I'll explain later. There were two towels for beach use, which were never changed in a week. Other towels and the bedlinen were changed once. Cleanliness was just ok, not dirty bur not super clean either, we found hairs in the bathroom, the room was cleaned every day, but in fact the results were that the shower and sink were dried, the towels folded, the bed done without changing sheets, and most of the sand was swept away from the ground. We involuntary sprayed sun lotion on the mirror, tried to remove the most of it with some paper, but the rest remained there till the end of our stay. The cleaner did not even turn on the lights while in the room, not even in the toilet which had no window. But she used to leave the room door wide open, and as it overlooks the tropical garden we found a scorpion and some spider inside. I sometimes had to use earplugs as the weather was windy and the ocean very noisy even with closed windows, it's a sweet sound during the day, but at night it can be tiresome.
As for service I must say the owners, the two waiters at the restaurant and the chef were always kind and smiling. I did not like our welcome though. We arrived in Georgetown airport after three flights from the US, it was around 6 pm and sunsetting. Everybody had a driver, a taxy driver or a b&b owner with their name on a sign but us. We had asked some days
before arriving and they told us to catch a taxy to Georgetown and ask the driver to call them. Outside the airport a man with no badge of any kind and without a car at his side asked us where we were going and how and only after a bit he said he was a taxi driver and could take us. When I travel, even in my own country, I'm used to avoid such people because at best they are abusive taxi drivers with a private car who will charge you much more than they should. A bit unsure what to do we followed him to his car and in fact it turned out he really was an official taxy driver. He called the resort on his radio to inform them of our arrival and left us at a georgetown pier after a 20 minutes ride ($30 cash + tip). There still was no boat for us. Another men came near us, started making questions and wanted to help us with our luggages in order to earn a tip, but again it was a bit annoying because I'm used to be diffident and it was my first time in Bahamas. After a few minutes a speedboat arrived, the stranger said it was our boat, and the boater said nothing but smiled, we learned afterwards he's the managers' son but for sure he's not of many words. Hoping to be with the right person we tryed to get into the boat with all our bags without him helping us or talking to us. I'm not used to boats at all and did not know where to seat as there were only one proper seat, so I leaned on the back, it turned out to be a bad idea because the boy speeded up the boat and I had to squat down near the bottom not to risk to fall outside, shocked by the speed and the wind and the bumps. Jillian the owner was at the resort dock waiting for us, smilingly took my luggage and accompanied us to our room, without giving us any detail (dinner, breakfast, wi-fi password, use ok kayaks, suggestions on where to go...) nor something to drink as we were thirsty and didn't know that tap water could be drunk. Upon asking I learned the bar and restaurant close at 7 pm so we had to immediately go out without the time of a shower or a clothes change. The only information we had were a copy of a hand drawn map of stocking island and the times of dinner and breakfast which we did not see till next day because we were in a hurry for dinner.
Breakfast and dinner were maybe the main issue. As the public areas close at 7 pm, you should be at the restaurant at most by 6.30 pm, and as the sun goes down at that time and we had to take at least a quick shower, it means we had to loose a pleasant hour of the day and also to eat at an unusually early hour.
We had to wait quite a long time for food beacuse it's cooked at the moment (a good thing), even if you order it beforehand. In fact, if you want some of the freshest and more elaborate dishes from the restaurant menu you must order them by 4.30 pm, otherwise you can choose from the bar menu. We liked the food, it was well cooked and seasoned and also the drinks were good. There are fish, salad and meat dishes, also the variety was enough for one week, including lunches and dinners. Their cost was ok. The only delusion was the grilled lobster which was properly cooked but did not have much of a lobster flavour. We ate it on monday,
which is the day the restaurant is closed to other customers but the resort guests, the chef is not there but the owner does a bbq, you must choose in advance between chicken, steak and lobster, and you can serve yourself from a buffet of side dishes like potatoes and other vegetables, all for $30 exluding drinks.
As for breakfast, I never really liked it, even if they served something slightly different every day (scrambled eggs/cheese sandwich/boiled egg/sausage + cereals+ youghurt +
sometimes a granola bar or a mini muffin + a tiny glass of orange juice + 1 or 2 tiny cups of milk hardly enough to eat cereals). It has to be continental breakfast, so
I appreciate the fact they also serve something cooked, but I'd have preferred a buffet with more cereals types, some toasted bread and jam, maybe fruit, or a croissant or a home-made bun, some not soluble hot beverage, and a jar of juice. Moreover breakfast is served in room between 7.30 and 8.30, that means you cannot choose the exact time and must wait in your room for sometimes 45 minutes, one day we waited one hour and 20 minutes as it arrived at 8.50 and we had got up at 7 for that! And to eat breakfast at almost 9 is too late because the sun is high, the day not so long and as you dine at 6.30 pm, so you're hungry from an early time.
You can use freely the resort kayaks (the have the sit on top kind) and paddles, life vests, mask and snorkle, fins.
There is no convenience vending machine or store on the island, so you must go to exuma or better, bring everything from home.
They say they offer free wi-fi, they do have a wifi, but is very weak even on the main building and moreover to use it we had to ask, and they gave us an account that expired after 85 minutes, and when we finished it, we had to ask another, but, as my new smartphone couldn't connect and my husband's only sometimes, we didn't use it anymore.
On leaving, the owner took us by boat (at a normal speed this time) to the pier and he was very kind to verify the cab they called for us was really there, he accompanied us at a very early hour, of which they complained (our flight was leaving at 7.20 a.m.), but I must say he took us even if he had a bad back pain those days.
So in short we overall enjoyed our stay, even if it was not what we had expected. I don't think we'll come back unless we'll read of some improvement on future comments and of lower rates.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St Francis Resort

Address: Stocking Island, Great Exuma
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — St Francis Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St Francis Resort is located in a pristine location on Stocking Island. Enjoy miles of whitesand beaches, diving and watersports, sailing, dining, and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St Francis Hotel Great Exuma
St Francis Resort Great Exuma, Bahamas

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