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“Villa #31: FABULOUS...The most beautiful location in the Caribbean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hideaways at Palm Bay

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Hideaways at Palm Bay
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Jolly Hall Bay at Queens Highway, George Town 00000, Great Exuma   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in George Town
Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Villa #31: FABULOUS...The most beautiful location in the Caribbean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2010

Villa #31 Diamond Palm, The most beautiful location in the Caribbean

George Town, Exuma (GGT) is truly paradise. Travel to this location and you will not be disappointed if you like crystal clear blue waters, friendly people, and enough to keep you busy but not the run of the mill touristy vacation. We rented Villa #31 (www.VRBO.com) from the owner and were extremely pleased with the accommodations. Villa #31 is a 1 bedroom with a full kitchen and living room—right on the beach! Every morning we woke up and walked out to the living room to the most beautiful views. Palm Bay Beach Club offers many extras that you may not get if renting a personal residence or standard “hotel” room. There is a very nice sandy beach, two swimming pools (which we never used because there are so many beautiful secluded beaches), jacuzzi, and kayaks. They also have a full service restaurant and bar with good food. They run a free shuttle from the club to downtown George Town (1 mile away) at 9, 11, 1, 3 and 5—but do be sure to tip your driver. Downtown you will find a grocery, liquor store, boat rental, the iconic Peace and Plenty and limited shopping and government buildings.

visit Palm Bay Beach Club on facebooks for my full write up of all our adventures there....see the discussions tab on their page or e-mail me.

  • Stayed December 2009, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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315 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (94)
Date | Rating
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English first
Massachusetts
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

Our suite was very clean and nicely laid out but we had several issues. When we checked in at 7:30 at night, there was a musty odor in the room. They supplied us with a Lysol aerosol bottle so we could take care of it ourselves. They also told us that the restaurant was closed so we couldn't get anything to eat there that night despite the fact that it was supposed to be open until 9pm. We had an air conditioner problem in the main living room-- it dripped onto the flat screen TV situated below it. 2 - 3 attempts to "fix" it with us pestering them daily to check on it. One of the toilets would continue to run after flushing on several occasions. Water in the pool was cold (somewhere I read that it had a heated pool--NOT). The jacuzzi was not filled and not operating. Felt like we were the only ones there so they didn't bother to offer the normal amenities. Kitchenette was meagerly stocked-- not one sharp knife available, no dish washing liquid, sponge, etc. One of the pillow coverings was ripped and the stuffing was coming out of the pillow...All of these things would have been overlooked easily if the cost reflected it.

Overall, I had the feeling that they were hurting financially, cutting corners along the way-- needing to sign out/in beach towels, ping pong ball/paddle or else it would be charged to our room, etc. They did, however, provide free shuttle to George Town which was helpful. As I said, the rooms were clean, the location was nice but I left without desiring to return.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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USA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

"We spent 13 nights in Rickelle and James' little cottage by the beach and loved it. Palm Bay Beach is a relaxed place, the staff is very nice and best of all, the beach is quiet, with fun snorkeling by the little rocky islets just a short swim a way.

We would follow the wooden walkway from the front door of the cottage through the yellow, pink and scarlet blooms of hibsicus and bouganvilla and in a minute we were digging our toes into the sand at the beach.

We weren't looking for shopping, partying and nightlife - what we wanted was clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, good snorkelling, and relaxing times so Exuma was the perfect place for us.

The resort had snorkelling gear, along with a few sea kayaks. So we swam, snorkelled and kayaked right from the beach every day. And, of course, we got great tans lying on the lounge chairs on the beach, which we often had to ourselves or shared with just a few other couples.

We also went on a few excursions - a half day of sailing with the young but very experienced Capt Adam on his lovely catamaran, a whole day with Robert on his speed boat to see the swimming pigs, iguanas, sharks, very cool sand bar and best of all to swim in Thunderball Grotto.

We also spent a fabulous day boating around the harbour with our host and hostess as tour guides - we snorkelled at the reef by Fowl Cay, found the "herds" of giant starfish, checked out the wreck mailboat and dined at Chat and Chill.

The cottage was comfortable and clean - a living/dining area with a kitchenette and a separate bedroom with king size bed and nicely tiled full bath. Great for the two of us.

We prepared all of our breakfasts, most of our lunches and a few dinners using the microwave in the kitchenette. And when we asked for some "plastic" beachware that so we could have lunch on the beach, Rickelle made sure it was in the room the next day. There's a good market in town - we were pleasantly surprised at the selection - high prices but that's to be expected on an island.

The fish fry is a short walk away - definitely try the conch salad at the Out Deck and check out Charlies for Karaoke night- even if you don't sing - its a hoot to hang out with everyone else and Charlie is quite the entertainer. We didn't much like the restuarant at Augusta Beach Inn - very expensive for not very good food. We loved Dee's cooking at Santana's on Little Exuma.

Rickelle and James are great hosts - tell'm Shanna and Brett told you so! Enjoy"

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

This was my second time back in 2 months, everyone is very pleasant, polite, and personal. My husband was there on business, so I was left by myself alot. Everyone of the staff members took me in and made me feel at home. They work very hard to let you know what is available to guests on the island. Rickelle will find and set up any excursion for you! If you want personal service, this is the place to stay on Exuma!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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NJ
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2009

Earlier this year when my then "boyfriend" was devising a plan for where to ask me to marry him he realized...it had to happen on Great Exuma while staying at our favorite Palm Bay Beach Club.

It was our sixth visit and stay at the immaculately clean, amazingly friendly and beautifully decorated island escape. As a person who travels internationally for work and stays in hotels for over 70 nights a year I am very particular and I am never disappointed at Palm Bay Beach Club!

As other writers have indicated we bring one suitcase full of provisions and pick-up the other fresh items at the local supermarket. We enjoy breakfast on our terrace and if we are not ourt kayaking the "Fidgi" blue waters of the Exuma harbor we make simple lunches and then get right back out on the water. Each night we eat at a different local spot...but cherishing our time at Palm Bay with our favorite bartender Ms. "Tiny" Esther Rolle. Tiny makes the best dark rum pina colada and makes us feel like family that has returned to the fold each time we return. Don't miss the conch fritters at Splash (Palm Bay's casual, but spirited restaurant and bar) the burgers and the fresh grilled local fish. Also make sure to visit the local "fish fry" that's four blocks (walking distance) down the road from Palm Bay Beach Club.

Palm Bay's location makes it even more perfect as your are a mere mile or two from town. The resort offers free shuttles into town several times a day. There is no need for a car (unless you rent for the day to explore the other parts of the island). My suggestion is to rent a Boston Whaler (small powerboat) instead from the fine folks at Minn's Water Sports right in the center of town. You can easily explore the Exuma harbor and the barrier island right across the way (Stocking Island). Palm Bay offers complimentary docking or anchoring of your boat too!

The staff at Palm Bay are what help to separate it from all other island resorts. They are friendly, helpful, honest and lovely people. I have never felt safer, happier and more appreciated than I do when I stay with them. The resort is family owned and the owners are on-island and running the resort along with their staff. This is another exception...owners who greet you upon arrival, remember your names and value your business visit after visit.

Of course I said "yes" and we are looking forward to our spring 2010 return to our favorite place in the world and will be welcomed back with open arms by the dear, dear folks who own and run Palm Bay Beach Club!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Mccool66
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

Stayed on boat with friends but came here almost every day for lunch and to use the beach and bar..a trully carribbean feel. Will stay there next time we come down.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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mattggotu
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

We had a great stay at Palm Bay. At one point my wife said "This place couldn't be any cleaner." Make use of the kitchen or kitchenette and devote a suitcase to food. It's not that there isn't food available as some have written but the kitchen is there so you might as well use it. It is worth noting that Palm Bay is just serving dinner at this point. So if you don't bring food you'll have to figure out alternatives. I'll have more on that later.

Getting to Exuma -- we did Southwest from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale and then Continental. It was our first time on a smaller plane but in all honesty we found it to be a smoother ride than the larger planes. I thought it was pretty funny that the gate next to ours had a plane going to Cleveland. Those passengers didn't seem anywhere near as excited as we were.

When you arrive in Exuma there are plenty of taxis waiting. Entering and leaving Exuma is a breeze since there's no mad rush of people, which is one of the many little things that makes the extra cost of choosing to vacation here well worth it. Taxi should cost you $30 with a few bucks tacked on for groups larger than a couple. It's about a 10 minute drive from the airport to Palm Bay

Check-in at Palm Bay took minutes.

The Palm Bay bar/restaurant is a pretty cool laid-back place. However, the food is not great and it's not cheap. That being said, it's not like you're going to break the bank eating there and some things are better than others and you can save money by doing things like getting your food to go and using drinks in your room. For instance, one night we got three small pizzas to go and it only cost $9 a pie and was totally edible.

If they're still not serving lunch or breakfast when you go, here's a few things you can do...
walk down to the Beach Inn. Their food is excellent and while dinner can be a bit pricey ($25 per entree), breakfast is very reasonable ($8 for an omelet). Lunches run about $12 per entree.

We also got lunch once at Chat-n-Chill, which has very good and reasonably price burgers and dogs. And before you leave you can order and chicken or rib platter ($12-$15) and you've got yourself a great dinner.

My final food recommendation -- If you're in town and looking for lunch, Sam's, which is across from the Exuma market, makes a great burger and fries for $7 (thanks to a fellow Trip Advisor member for that tip).

If you need to buy groceries and have a car, it's worthwhile to hit both the Exuma market and Smitty's, which is located on the main road going back toward the airport. We actually thought Smitty's was the better choice for many items and they had fresh milk but the market didn't. If you don't pack food, you can find most of what you'll need at these two places.

Beaches -- Jolly Hall beach is just a short walk along the beach and is a really nice. The beach at Chat-n-Chill is great too and allows you to socialize a bit. While we were at Chat-n-Chill we got to watch the guy pull out the snail(?) that lives inside the conch shell and met one of the rays that hangs out in the water there -- two highlights of the trip. We also went to Tropic of Cancer beach. I really thought that was the most beautiful beach of them all.

We didn't rent a boat but I think it is the best thing to do and there's enough to check out in the harbor and on Stocking Island that you don't need to take a tour.

If you do take a tour, I'd say try Roberts Island Adventures. We weren't able to because of scheduling problems but Robert struck me as a very personable guy and he really knows the area. We did go out with a guy named John who just started up his own outfit called "Reggae Boat Adventures." We ended up having a great time but I'm hesitant to actually recommend him as he really is learning on the fly and I think Robert could give you a much better tour at this time.

Exuma was great. We're already talking about going back with all the kids in a few more years.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hideaways at Palm Bay

Address: Jolly Hall Bay at Queens Highway, George Town 00000, Great Exuma
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in George Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hideaways at Palm Bay 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our beachfront villas & cottages are available in either studio, 1 or 2 bedroom plans and offer full kitchens or kitchenettes. Decorated and designed with tropical charm, amenities include air conditioning, ceiling fans, private bathrooms, televisions, wireless internet access, full service business center including guest computers. Hideaways Exuma is the ideal location for your romantic getaway or family vacation. Weekly rates are available in our hillside villas and studio rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hideaways At Palm Bay Hotel Great Exuma
Hideaways At Palm Bay Bahamas/Great Exuma

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