First off, if you are looking for a posh Bahamas island with lots of planted palm trees, abundant shopping and an active nightlife scene, then Staniel Cay is not for you. Go to Nassau or Georgetown. The village surrounding Staniel Cay Yacht Club is real, not touristy glam, and thus is not the most picturesque. And the markets do not offer much in the way of food, much less clothing or cute touristy items. And nothing happens quickly or on time.
What Staniel Cay does have to offer is an incredibly relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, no crowds and a feeling like you are part of a family when you are staying there. Everyone on the island says hello when passing and after a few days you come to recognize the repeating faces and learn names. And the sunsets are out of this world.
My husband and I stayed in the Key Lime Suite at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Our suite was 2 stories with a balcony on each story, two bathrooms, a very comfortable king size bed (2 twins pushed together) on the top floor plus a day bed/couch on the bottom floor, and a very effective A/C unit on each floor. The cottages are cleaned every day by housekeeping and fresh towels are set out, in addition to yummy-smelling toiletries such as shampoo, etc. We loved our suite and leaving the balcony doors open at night to hear the sound of the ocean was pure heaven.
The grounds of the Yacht Club are clean and nicely landscaped, and the bar/restaurant (AKA the yacht club - makes it sound so fancy) is a funky little delight with its many flags from visiting boats and the friendly staff. The staff is wonderful and so hard working - you will see some of the gals at both breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day, plus sometimes doing housekeeping as well. The bartenders are also great - highly recommend the rum punch. You will need to de-pressurize and start living in "island time" though - service is not speedy. But the staff are so nice, and you start to come to know them, plus you become so relaxed yourself that you just don't mind the wait. The food at the restaurant is good, especially the homemade soup starter each night. The lobster tail is huge and tastes wonderful. After 7 nights, we found the menu selection wearing a bit thin, being from a big city and used to a variety of cultural food, but we had no complaints as to the quality. I highly recommend going with SCYC's all inclusive plan - food is basically non-existent in the local markets, plus you have no way of cooking it at SCYC. Yes, the cost recording of bar drinks was not the most accurate (pencil scribbles on a piece of paper at the bar) but we felt that our bar tab came out fairly at the end. If you don't want to run the tab, just insist on paying cash for each drink. The staff at SCYC is always willing to accomodate you. We even had some laundry done.
The boats included with the all-inclusive plan were the best part of the whole thing. Not the boats themselves - those Boston Whalers pound your body hard! What was wonderful was the ability to take off on an adventure each day - visiting the pigs at Major Cay (we got to pet 3 piglets), bonefishing, snorkeling, exploring little deserted islands, etc. and seeing no one except on boats in the distance. Then you can come back to your nice room, get cleaned up, and head to the bar to socialize with all the characters that come in off the boats - from rich mega-yacht owners to quirky sailboaters travelling alone. We found it amusing that no one batted an eye about mariners from Australia but when we said we were from California, almost everyone we talked to was amazed that we had travelled so far.
We found our vacation at SCYC to truly be the most relaxing we have ever taken, and we have done Hawaii and Mexico extensively. SCYC is just so removed from the normal chores and habits of home - no crowds, no driving (except golf carts), no tv, no cooking, no laundry, no cleaning up a condo. One thing we were surprised at, however, was the number of kids there. It didn't bother us a bit, in fact we plan on bringing our own kids the next time, but it might bother some people. They tend to run all over noisily, as kids do. And the adults can forget a game at the pool table until late night. On the other hand, the party atmosphere and noise of the bar might upset those people with kids. We had a neighbor mildly upset with music being played in the evening at one of the cottages. So something to consider. But if you allow the laid-back pace of the island to envelop you, nothing much will bother you. We will definitely be back.
- Also Known As:
- Staniel Cay Yacht Club Hotel Staniel Cay
- Staniel Cay Yacht Club Hotel
- Staniel Cay Yacht Club Bahamas
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Soothe your body, mind and soul with small island charm. Let one of our beautifully decorated cottages be your relaxing home while in the Exumas. Your balcony will literally overhang the clearest waters in the world. Secluded beaches. Incredible SCUBA, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking. Delicious cuisine. Inviting pool and sundeck. Friendly island bar. Full-service marina and 3,000’ airstrip. "Watermakers Air" provides convenient flights to Staniel Cay. ... more less