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Request How to choose where to stay?

Toledo, Ohio
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185 posts
10 reviews
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Request How to choose where to stay?

Looking to come in May. I think I have it narrowed down to Tail Winds, Flamingo Bay or Island Hoppinn. Bringing our 19 year old son would like to snorkel, kayak, maybe tour the island, maybe dive? Any suggestions, insight as to how to choose location. Etc? Is it best to fly to Nassau?

Santa Barbara...
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14 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

LLLIKENS:

We just got back from Cat last night and are still reeling from what a fantastic getaway it was. We stayed at the Spectacular House, which appears to have had quite a bit of controversy over the years but won our hearts. Staying there is like you are at the ends of the earth (no, I have no relationship with the owners, and was a little worried before arriving, but all for naught). This house had everything we needed, including kayaks and a row boat, some beach bikes, tennis rackets. We brought our own fishing gear and snorkeling equipment. Anyway, here's what you should know about (I think) most accomms on the island:

Everything is remote. There are no restaurants so to speak (as far as what we are used to in the US), they are very hutt-ish and funky so be prepared to be won over by their quaintness not their mod cons. It is not unusual to be asked to bring or buy your own TP, paper towels, dish soap, bath soap, etc, as it is quite expensive for the house owners to buy it themselves.

Everything is a bit expensive, which is why I'm glad we brought a cooler of proteins and some staples. We ended up eating out only once, and having our house person cater a meal for us once. Everything else, we prepared ourselves.

It's an out island that is subject to the idosyncracies of the weather. Each time a major storm comes through, things get torn up; sometimes they are repaired, and sometimes not and sometimes, very slowly, like island-time. So you will see lots of properties that are in various stages of repair or disrepair, including most of the rentals. It takes time and money to make repairs; it's not like the owners can hop down to the local home depot to buy new windows.

I believe, if you can be forgiving and open your mind to the vast differences of home ownership in a place like Cat vs. your hometown, you can be rewarded beyond belief. Was our house in perfect, Western-first-world condition? No. Was it amazing and comfortable and spectacular in other ways? Yes. Would I recommend it or would I go there again? Yes, in a heartbeat. I wish I was still there!

We did nothing but play cards, read books, snorkle, fish, doze, and drink rum. The house internet was down, and it turned out to be a blessing. I could have gotten all cranky about not being in touch with my staff daily, but I chose to take the opportunity to disconnect instead. Much better as a result!

I wish you well with your journey, and I'm open to questions if you have any, although I think you'll be fine no matter which rental you choose. Just keep an open mind!

Toledo, Ohio
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185 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

Music to my eyes. "drinking rum". LOL. I just won't to relax. Be a lee to snorkel and show my 19 year old how much dun remoteness can be.

Cudjoe Key, Florida
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109 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

No question it would be Shannas Cove.

Toledo, Ohio
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185 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

Any difference between north and south end of island?

Santa Barbara...
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14 posts
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5. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

We were on the southernmost part of the island, so I can't comment on the northern part.You might want to inquire as to the severity of the noseeums as, according to the locals, they do vary from location to location. I do recommend a strong bug spray no matter where you stay just to be sure. The first day I obtained lots of bug bites, but once I took care to spray my ankles every day and before walking through the woods on the path to the beach, they stopped biting.

Or maybe they stopped biting because they don't like rum. Who knows? Try the Ricardo coconut rum. If you like coconuts, you'll love this rum!

Have fun!

Toledo, Ohio
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185 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

Awesome. Thank you all

Virginia
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169 posts
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7. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

My wife and I will be there in May also. From what I can find, flying thru Nassau is the only option. Hopefully you can get into Nassau by mid day and then take the 3:45 PM Sky Bahamas flight to New Bight that then continues on to Author's Town if you are staying on the north end. We are staying on the southern coast probably close to where Clementina stayed. Can't help on best locations, I just picked a house to rent that I found on the web that sounds really nice.

Clementina, Who did you rent a vehicle from? I've been trying to find someone who rents actually Jeeps but have only found those that rent SUV's like Ford Escapes or Mazda Tributes. Prices are $85 per day.

Looking forward to the trip, have been to Eleuthera a few times but Cat sounds even more deserted which will be perfect.

Doug

Santa Barbara...
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14 posts
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8. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

Doug:

If you like deserted, you will indeed love Cat. I'm jealous that your trip is ahead of you and ours is behind us!

We stayed at a private home that had beater cars to rent for $185 per week. They ran fine but didn't look so good but it was totally fine. It was a great deal, sounds like. Although we had the car, minivan actually, for 7 days, we actually only used it on 3 days (we were there 2 weeks). We used it once to go to lunch and pick up a few provisions, once to hit the hermitage, and once to drive most of the length of the island and get more rum and kalik beers (you'll note a running theme to my posts). Our rental included transfers to and from the airport by the caretaker, and he stopped at the market and liquor store on the way to the house from the airport on Day 1, so we didn't need it right away or for airport transfers.

If you are staying in a private home, you will probably not need the car very many days as there is really not that much to drive to. I'd recommend you get it for a couple days in the middle of your visit in case you need to stock up or go to the hermitage, but for us, we were fine to not have it the whole time.

Oh, and I did not see any jeeps anywhere. Mostly beaters or rental minivans. And the islanders drive and drink beer no problem mon. It's a totally different culture as far as having a beer while you are driving goes..

You can have a produce delivery from the Reverend Johnson at your house, and I'm sure you already know to bring a cooler of frozen proteins as everything is very spendy on the island. We took an insulated cooler box of frozen steaks, chicken breasts and lamb chops for grilling.

More info than you asked for, I hope it's helpful!

-Clementina

Grand Rapids
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158 posts
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9. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

We have stayed at Shanna's Cove on the North End and loved it, and a private home on the South End and loved it. Shanna's Cove seems to accomodate only 2 to a bungalow but I sure would call and ask if the bigger bungalow could fit a cot for your son because you sure would love Frank and Gabi, and they have kayaks, snorkeling, diving, relaxing, lots of rum. We had a car when we stayed on the south end and explored all the nooks and crannies and found lots of private beaches and made our way back to Shannas Cove for lunch. I think you can't go wrong on Cat Island as long as you go with the right rfame of mind, that it is a totally laid back kind of island with nothing in the way of orgainized activities, "stores", "restaurants", etc. The waters are gorgeous as are the people. We always like to brings supplies for the local school children, awesome way to meet the locales!

Virginia
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169 posts
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10. Re: Request How to choose where to stay?

Thanks Clem. Great info. Yes, we are staying in a private home rental called "The Poodle House". Will get a rental car even if we don't use it much. Always like the flexibility to go on inpromptu road trips and turn on random dirt paths to see where it might lead. The cost is not great considering the overall cost of getting to Cat and other expenses. Not sure what we will bring as far as food. Would rather just buy what is available on the island but will probably bring a few things like mixers to keep the blender going with frozen tropical creations.

Doug

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