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“Heaven” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carriearl Boutique Hotel

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Carriearl Boutique Hotel
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Great Harbour Drive, B56 L13, Great Harbour Cay   |  
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Hotel amenities
Coastal South Carolina, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We just returned from an exceptional stay at the Carriearl. Martie and Angie own the hotel, hence making sure that every aspect of our stay was perfect. From chilled water in our room to high quality towels for boating and the beach, they had us covered. Once you arrive, you really don't want to leave this quaint charming hotel. There is not much around, only a little convient store on the island and a simple outdoor bar down the road. If you need loud music, shopping and constant entertainment for your holiday, this is not the place to come. If you want to swim, walk the beach, explore the island by boat, decide what delicious meal to have Marty prepare you, and decide what drink to have at the bar, then you will love your holiday like we did. Marty and Angie hail from England and are about as authentic as they can be! Thank you for everything, we will be back! This slice of heaven is for adults only, they do not allow children to stay on property.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Savannah, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

My wife and I had 8 nights at Carriearl. For anyone thinking of going here's a run-down. The hotel is the former home of Earl Blackwell, a New York celebrity promotor. He's worth a Google! In the late 1960's there was an attempt to build the island into a luxury destination, the airstrip was resurfaced, a world-class 18 hole Golf Course and Golf Club were built, roads, a Beach Club and an exclusive Dining Club. Earl Blackwell was brought in to bring celebrities to the island, which he duly did, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Telly Savalas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Ingrid Bergman among others. Jack Nicklaus had a house on the back nine and the golf course was rated number 17 in the world rankings.

Today things are a little different and less hyped. Marty and Angie, who own the hotel are English, and are passionate about making the place relaxing and enjoyable. It has an over 18 only clientele so if you don't want to be disturbed by noisy kids round the pool this is the place to be. The island is very quiet. Only the first 9 holes of the golf course are kept playable by the Property Owners Association, and those are a bit rough. The old 15th fairway lies between the hotel and the beach, probably around 150 yards away. Rooms are air conditioned and there's a bar and restaurant. Marty is the chef and Angie, who has many years with British Airways, makes sure everything is correct.

You can borrow bikes, a golf buggy, or kayaks to get around. Walk to the beach, turn right, stop at the beach Club to reward yourself with a beer, and continue to the end of the bay to find shells and Sand Dollars. The ruins of the Golf Club and Sugar Beach hotel are worth a visit, and Sugar Beach is divine and deserted.

Something absolutely NOT to be missed is known on here as "Stingray Island" (just search for the name on Trip Advisor) It's actually on Goat Cay and you can ride out from near the marina on GHC. Marty or Angie will fix it for you, It's a very new operation so you may not find a lot of reviews. It's very well set up and run. Masks and snorkels are provided. Jacqui was very nervous but even she found it fascinating. You wade in water up to your chest and the rays will come up to you, you can touch them, feed them, and even hold them. They are up to five feet across and because they are fed several times a day on small squid they associate people with food and will crowd round you. Their main market is the cruise lines who have private islands nearby. When we went there were no ships but the rays still have to be fed so we had the place to ourselves, just us, the wranglers, the rays (and the starfish).

There's not a lot on GHC in the way of fine dining (except Carriearl), or night life so bring something to read while you lounge (it makes you look more erudite if you are holding a book with a chilled drink on the side). There are a few stores where you can get any minor essentials you forgot. Normal way of getting there is by the twice daily Le Air service from Nassau, however if you are a party of four or more look into a private charter from West Palm Beach.

We will definitely be back if we get the chance. Everyone on the island is friendly, Jacqui got hijacked on to a boat by two ladies and we both played a novel version of Petanque at the Marina (huge teams). We joined Marc one night for dinner, he's a Frenchman who bought a house on GHC, sight unseen, and loves it there. He must be the only Frenchman on the island and it was good practice for us to speak French with him.

A couple of days before we were due to leave I said to Jacqui "What would you like to do today". She thought - "What am I going to miss most when I'm not here?" The answer turned out to be the hammock by the pool, so the hammock with a good book and a G&T it was.

If you decide you go I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as we did.

Thanks Marty and Angie! xxx

Mike & Jacqui

  • Stayed June 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

My wife and I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Carriearl Hotel and had a wonderful time. This small hotel was quaint, clean and very relaxing. The food and drinks were excellent with many choices. The pool is beautiful and the beach had sugary white sand with no one but ourselves. Yet it was the personal and friendly service of the owners that made our stay incredible. Angie and Marty are great hosts and know how to provide impeccable service. An excellent choice for a quiet relaxed vacation in the Bahamas.

Room Tip: Rooster Room on pool is best
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Phoenix
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Carriearl in late March and we are happy to say it exceeded every expectation we had! The beaches were beautiful and completely secluded - we saw one or two other people each day we were there and we spent a lot of time under our beach umbrella reading, snoozing or playing in the water. Angie and Marty are WONDERFUL hosts and they really made the hotel special. I felt like we were staying with friends - they are funny and sweet and made the trip that much better. The food is great, with a big selection and everything is very fresh. We stayed in the Rooster and loved it! The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was tidy and it has french doors that open to the pool, so we slept with them open every night and enjoyed the sound of the ocean.

This place is truly unique. The natural beauty is astounding, you feel like you have the entire island to yourself, and there are wonderful accommodations with GREAT food for a reasonable price. AND it's a fairly easy trip from the USA. This little jewel blows the Four Seasons out of the water.

Some recommendations:
- As many others have said, the Rum Punch is fabulous!! We also recommend the key lime pie, lasagna and hog snapper. Everything is good, but those were out favorites.
- Swim with sting rays - it was wonderful! David and his girlfriend (and all of the staff!) are great. They have a large area closed off and you can swim with and feed the sting rays. They are like kittens - they will brush up against you legs!
- Hire a local to take you out snorkeling for the day on his Boston Whaler. We loved it! He was able to tell us all about the local flora and fauna. This is great for people who are comfortable in the water and have experience snorkeling. WEAR LOTS AND LOTS OF SUNSCREEN!
- Take the bikes out and explore the caves and the old hotel. Really beautiful.
- Enjoy meeting the other dinner guests and chatting with Angie and Marty.
- Grab a beach umbrella, a book and some rum punch and spend the day laying on the beach. Wander around at low tide and collect shells or walk across a sand bar to another little cay.

Thanks, Angie and Marty, for working so hard to create this little piece of paradise! We had a wonderful time and have been singing your praises back here in Arizona! Take care and we hope to see you again!

  • Stayed March 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.
Nassau, New Providence Island
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

This little spot, very unassuming from the outside, is a secret treasure in every way. The casually elegant atmosphere is both intimate and private making a perfect setting for various tastes. The rooms are clean and comfortable with care given to details. You absolutely cannot beat the miles of untouched beach just outside the door, which is only rivaled by the unbeatable cuisine inside the door. Marty and Angie are experts in the fine art of hospitality and dote and cater to whims and wants. If you are looking for hubbub or the usual tourist traps, don't go here. But if you are looking for a place to rest, relax, enjoy the beach, the sea, and some amazing eats and drinks, you will find rejuvenation for body, soul, and spirit in the pampering atmosphere of Carriearl.

  • Stayed May 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

The Carriearl Boutique hotel on Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands is a hidden gem. With four rooms and magnificent, friendly hosts in Angie and Marty, this hotel and island will make spectacular choices for a get-away from it all. A quick trip from MIami, my partner and I were welcomed immediately when we arrived, like we were old friends. I appreciate the unguarded spirit of Angie and Marty, their personalities lend themselves to a feeling like you've just come home.

Living in Miami, we are often overwhelmed by crowds and noise, and Carriearl provided us with everything we were looking for and more. The room was immaculate, and I could tell that Angie and Marty are intent on keeping up a standard of excellent cleanliness (which is sometimes hard to do in a beach locale!) High ceilings in the bedrooms, superb linens, and a well kept bathroom gave us absolutely nothing to worry about in the sleeping domain of our trip.

If you see the chef, tell him I said thanks. ;) I had the prime rib and my partner had the chicken curry, which were both excellent choices. Plus, the meze was a great starter. Raquel was a strikingly friendly and knowledgeable bartender. (and a wonderful singer!!)

Carriearl provided us with bikes and a golf cart to explore beautiful Great Harbour Cay, and explore we did. The sand is spectacular, and the best part? You can walk for miles without seeing another soul. If you want to get away from it all, this place is it. We walked across the water to Hawk's Nest (low tide only), and Sugar beach is pristine as well. Conch are everywhere here!

Since our flight was in the afternoon, Angie was thoughtful enough to offer (without us asking) if we'd like to use the shower to clean up before our departure. This is the type of planning ahead and service that is difficult to find anymore, and we are very thankful. We are currently planning another trip very soon. If you are looking for attitude like a Viceroy or W hotel (both of which we have stayed at), Carriearl has those places beat in spades. Leave your attitude at the door and relax at this comfortable boutique hotel.

Thank you, Angie and Marty!
P.S. Marty, I owe you $5. I will have it plus interest when we return.

Room Tip: You cannot go wrong with any room choice.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merritt Island, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

We flew into Great Harbour for the day and spent the afternoon at Carriearl. Angie and Marty were so gracious. They treated us like special guests and were very personable. We had lunch and drinks of which both were wonderful. The lunch spread was incredible and the food was delicious. And the view...well, can you say AWESOME? They have a beautiful pool and access to the ocean. It's a tranquil little hideaway. And although we didn't stay overnight, we were shown the guest rooms of which were spacious and clean. This is a special "getaway from the rest of the world" type of place. It's just absolutely beautiful and relaxing. We're looking at returning so we can actually stay for a few days. If you want to get away from everything...this is the place.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carriearl, Owner at Carriearl Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 7, 2014
We always enjoy having your group fly in for lunch and we are getting to know you all now after a few visits. Thank you for your kind comments about our food and our property. As you can tell, Chef Marty loves to make his food look irresistible.

We look forward to seeing you all again on your next visit from Savannah.

Angie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carriearl Boutique Hotel

Address: Great Harbour Drive, B56 L13, Great Harbour Cay
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Berry Islands > Great Harbour Cay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Great Harbour Cay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carriearl is your antidote to workaday worries, but is only a 20 minute flight from Nassau, and a hour flight from Miami. From the moment you walk in the door you will feel at home. With one of Dronzy's famous Rum Punches in your hand, you will just want to chill round our beautiful freshwater swimming pool and walk our amazing beach, where the only footprints you will see are your own! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Carriearl Boutique Hotel Great Harbour Cay, Out Islands, Bahamas

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