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“Very Relaxing”

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Small Hope Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Certificate of Excellence
Collierville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Relaxing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2012

Three friends and I just spent 3 nights at the Small Hope Bay Lodge, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a classic example of the rustic out-island getaway, having been built in 1960 by Dick Birch. It is not a full service, high end resort with masseuse, spa, extensive wine list, etc. It is a very laid back, all inclusive (including drinks), fishing and diving resort. The buildings were all built in the 1960s and reminded me of summer camp, with a main lodge building and small rustic cabins. The food was excellent and plentiful. They maintain an open bar, with soft drinks, beer and liquor available at all times. The diving was good with 80-100 foot visibilities. But, the best thing about this resort is the staff. Jeff Birch (Dick's son) runs the place and he seems to be everywhere at one time. The staff is very friendly and you get to know them well as they mingle and socialize with all of the guests. All in all, I was very pleased and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 12, 2012
Thank you Mark so much for that lovely review. It was great having your group stay with us, even just for a short time. Next time we will have to make it a longer stay. You are very right about Small Hope not being a 'high end' resort. Jeff has done a great job continuing in Dick's footsteps and keeping Small Hope the perfect place for a laid back, relaxing, stress free getaway. The atmosphere at Small Hope is really what makes it was it is, it is impossible to leave without makiing some new friends and becoming a member of the ever growing Small Hope family! We can't wait to have you guys back again soon for some more diving and fishing!
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2012

We just returned from seven nights at Small Hope Bay Lodge. We absolutely loved our time there and plan to return next year. This is a relaxed, informal, family resort with superb diving and snokeling and truly beautiful beaches and landscaping. My husband, 12-year old daughter and I took the introductory scuba course: we were well supervised throughout the training and on our first dive. I was really pleased by the professional, cautious dive staff. My daughter decided she preferred not to be deep underwater with sharks (a reasonable position) so she and my husband snorkeled while I dove. Whether snorkeling or diving, there was so much life to see: breathtaking coral gardens, an astonishing array of fish, too much to watch and always changing. It was reassuring that there was always a dive staff member in the water with the snorkelers and the dive master watching from the boat, as well as the staff diver underwater with me and other beginning divers. We were very safe and we had a wonderful time. The advanced divers explored freely. It was clear that as we gained more expertise we could request different kinds of trip. They routinely offer trips to blue holes, cave dives, shark dives, and down the great wall of the Tongue of the Ocean. There is plenty of variety for snorkelers too.

The dive staff and the kitchen staff really make Small Hope Bay a family resort. They were friendly, interesting, and helpful. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food: the selection was varied and the food delicious. And the rooms were comfortable and quiet.

The local tour guide, Dennis, took my mother-in-law and two other guests on a tour of Andros Island: they all enjoyed the experience but it was Dennis introducing them to his family and friends around the island and telling them about life in the Bahamas that was the real highlight. He was incredibly kind to my mother-in-law. I strongly recommend an outing with Dennis to see more of Andros.

This is an old-style resort: at night, after an excellent dinner, after watching the sunset and the waves come in, we watched the short video of the day's dives, checked email, played checkers or ping pong, checked email in the main lodge, then walked back through the dark palm grove to bed. It was relaxing, calm, and family oriented. No tv, no dance club, just the most star-filled sky we've ever seen, and the sound of the wind through the palm branches and the rush of the waves on the beach. It was just ideal.

Room Tip: All the rooms have a view of the beach through palm trees. The water is 20-30 feet outside your doo...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Heliodorus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 12, 2012
Thank you Melissa for that fabulous review. It was such a joy having you and your family stay with us and I am so pleased to know that you all had such a good time. Something we strive for at Small Hope is ensuring that everyone gets the most our of their vacation and it sounds like you did. The Island tour with Dennis is a special experience, no one knows the island quite like him and he does a wonderful job, I am glad Marie enjoyed it. As for the diving, safety has and will always be our main priority. We are very lucky to be so close to such beautiful sites and the tongue of the ocean, equally as lucky to be the only boat on the water so our sites are never crowded. We loved having you dive with us and we would love to see your family back anytime for some more diving, snorkeling and island fun with Dennis!!
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Annapolis, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

We had fun, but the dives are not the same quality as a place like Bonaire. But we did see some good stuff. Some other items that might be of interest to divers.
- They did not ask for our certification cards or do a checkout dive with us.
- The first dive of the day is deep, followed by a short or very short surface interval (once only 10 minutes after a 130 ft dive), followed by a shallow dive. Then the afternoon dive was often in the 50 foot range. Most dives we experienced were 30-40 minutes in length.
- Many of the divers are intro- resort course divers or newly minted open water divers after their resort training. 
- Dive computers are not required. I didn't see any use of dive tables either.
- The dive boats are pontoon boats. If it is choppy then lots of water comes onboard. The staff advises you to hold on to your gear so it is not washed overboard. 
- They usually anchor the boat to the reef (usually not a mooring ball) with a rusty sharp five prong anchor.
- In two locations they did have mooring balls. At these locations they take the anchor up while the divers are in the water. When the sea is choppy, the sharp anchor bounces up and down. Once they brought the anchor up to about 15 feet and left it there right next to the emergency air tank. Both bobbing up and down. Another time when the sea was calm, they put uncertified divers (intro resort course divers) on the line as part of their safety stop.
- On our last dive, the boat had 27 people on it. 
- They have 11 gas cans on the dock. There are rags inserted in each can in place of gas caps.
- They wrapped a dock line around a prop when leaving the dock
- They damaged a boat while docking
- They had a golf cart with a sticky gas pedal. It was driven off the dock by staff, fell 10 feet and hit the water. Nobody was hurt except the golf cart.

I liked the people and it seems like a nice rustic place to bring a family for quality together- time. The owner of the Small Hope Bay lodge summed it up pretty well. It's a vacation where you dive, not a diving vacation. 

Stayed June 2012
Helpful?
9 Thank dawicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, July 12, 2012
I did say on your morning of departure that Small hope is a"vacation with great Diving" as opposed to a "diving vacation". Three one tank dives daily. Leaving at 9:30am.You do not have to carry your equipment. You stroll out to the dock and get on the boat after a full breakfast... off you go to our beautiful, healthy reef..... diving the full range allowed by the USA navy tables. Back for lunch. Then out again at 2pm after some of your sumptuous lunch has started to digest. Then back at 3:30 or so in time to lay in a hammock, have sometime with your partner,spend some time with your kids on the beach, take a bike ride, sailboat excursion, kayak.... the list goes on. And then (weather permitting) do a night dive. WOW that sounds good to me, with enough dives too. In 6 days 18 plus! The rest of the comments dear reader are so specific that it would really take too long for me to comment. I care. My family has run Small Hope since 1960. We want to please you and we want you to come able to be pleased. We do everything within our power to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our guests above and below the water. We are truly sorry that these issues were not brought to our attention during your stay as we will always address any problems. Please look at our website and contact me with any questions or concerns. Thanks as always for all readers of TripAdvisor that care and all our fantastic friends that contribute their experiences, good, bad or indifferent. -Jeff Birch, owner
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Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2012

The Dive Guides and Cooks make this place awesome! not only are they good at what they do but they are excellent after hours entertainers and make the atmosphere in the lodge super fun. I read another review that said Small Hope Bay is like going to summer camp for adults and I completely agree. The diving was good, unfortunatly the weather was not the best for us but everyone made the best of it and stayed positive so it was still a great experience. Not to mention the hot tub feels amazing after diving when it's rainy and windy out! The adventure to captain bills blue hole in the van on the road that resembled a river will be remebered by us forever! We will be coming back one day, hopefully to sunny skies this time :).

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Thank you Laura for the nice review. I am very pleased to hear that despite the less then perfect weather you guys enjoyed your stay. Something we strive for here is to ensure that everyone has an amzing trip no matter the weather conditions. The trip to the blue hole was quite an adventure, but definitely good fun! I would have to agree with you that not too many things feel better then jumping into the hot tub after a dive, especially when the hot tub has a great view like Small Hope's. It was so nice having you here and I hope to see you both back again soon!
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2012

We just returned from our second trip to SHBL and already can't wait to go back. The diving is incomparable and the staff, as before, are fantastic.

If you're looking for paradise, this is it.

The staff integrates with the guest like we're old friends and family. It feels like a family cabin where family and friends and friends of friends go to hang out.

We come home with new friends every visit.

Room Tip: All rooms are great.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank crads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Thank you Tom and Jen for those kind words about us here at Small Hope. It was so great having you both back again, and for Crab Fest no less! The atmosphere at Small Hope is something that really sets us apart, you are always among friends and family when you are here, and yes it is very difficult not to come home with some new friends. We are very much looking forward to your next visit, some more diving, drinking, and of course conch fritters!!
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Mississippi
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2012

My 14 year old son and I spent last week at Small Hope Bay. If you are looking for a place with beautiful beaches, delicious food, gorgeous water, good fishing, beautiful diving, and the friendliest staff imaginable, then book a vacation at Small Hope! This is unspoiled beauty at its finest. We bone fished two days and deep sea fished a third. Guides are very very good. We ran into a stretch of less than perfect weather which affected the fishing. Regardless, we had fun with the guides and saw some beautiful water, particularly on the west coast. We took the beginner scuba course and made a shallow dive to the reef. SCUBA was a new experience for both of us, and the dive staff made it all so easy. The chefs are great...the food is so fresh and creative. They even took the mahi we caught and grilled half for supper and turned the other half into a beautiful sushi platter for cocktail hour. Small Hope is a beautiful place, and the staff is so friendly that you really feel like you are leaving family when you have to go home.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LLCrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Thank you so much Christine for the great review. It was so nice getting to know you and Matt, I am thrilled to hear that you both enjoyed your stay so much. You are very right our fishing guides are great and true experts in their fields. Even when the weather does not cooperate they know how to show you a good time, Glister's detour to the Bang Bang Club was a great ending to your day of fishing. On your next visit you will both have to become certified divers as you did so well in the beginner course. Our divemasters are attentive, patient, and always put safety first. It would be great to have you and Matt back again sometime soon, we will be sure to have conch fritters waiting for your arrival!
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atlanta
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

My family and I have been going to Small Hope Bay for almost 20 years! I almost hesitate to write a review for fear that it will be discovered! Small Hope has everything; great beaches, clear water, world class diving and interesting and friendly guests and staff. If you want a casino, gift shops, and a flat screen tv--do not go there. Rather, if you like talking to well traveled people, like to read, lie in a hammock and scuba dive--then this is your place.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wilsonAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shbmkt, Marketing Team at Small Hope Bay Lodge, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Thank you so much for the nice review. Small Hope Bay really is what paradise feels like, and it is so great that you and your family feel the same way after 20yrs with us. That is one of the special things about Small Hope, the families like yours that continue to come back year after year and are truely part of our ever growing family. It was so great to see you all again and I can't wait for your next visit!
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Additional Information about Small Hope Bay Lodge

Property: Small Hope Bay Lodge
Address: Fresh Creek, 00000, Andros
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Andros
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Andros
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Small Hope Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have been catering to scuba divers, snorkelers, fishermen, eco-tourists, and relaxers since 1960. Third largest barrier reef in the world and bonefish heaven. There are 21 all-inclusive rooms in cottages right on the beach. Come experience our unique ambience, friendly staff, and natural safe environment. Our dock and dive shop are right on property and fishing trips are easily arranged. Of course, if grabbing a drink, a book, and a hammock are more your style, go right ahead. We have 2 beaches and plenty of hammocks. Rest, Relaxation, and Rediscovery ... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Small Hope Bay Hotel Andros
Small Hope Bay Resort
Small Hope Bay Lodge Andros, Bahamas

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