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“Deep Happiness in Cat Island”

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Fernandez Bay Village
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Cat Island
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Deep Happiness in Cat Island”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We are repeat visitors to Fernandez Bay Village in Cat Island, so we know it well. This year, we spent an entire month at Fernandez Bay - it was our first major post-retirement holiday. Now back home in Canada, my husband and I reflected that we have never been so deeply happy as with our family at Fernandez Bay, amongst friends old and new in our beloved and familiar Point House. This year, we were able to explore Cat Island more fully with trips to explore Rake n Scrape bands in New Bight and in Arthurstown, meet local artists and speak with them about their painting and sculpture, and attend church services with lots of singing and dancing. As always, we loved the dinners at the Clubhouse, especially the lobster nights. But we also cooked ourselves and found plenty of supplies at Candies' shop in New Bight. Next year, we're going for another month and we just can't wait. Fernandez Bay is a fascinating jewel of tranquility and beauty - it is healing for the mind, heart, body and soul.

Room Tip: Choose a room closer to the clubhouse if you don't care for a 6 or 7 minute walk down the beach...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank NickandNatsMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Laurel, Maryland
Level Contributor
108 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

This was our fourth visit to Fernandez Bay Village, but the first in over 6 years. Any concerns I might have had that something essential about the vibe of FBV might have changed over that period of time disappeared in no time – the welcome was just as warm, happy hour and meals were just as friendly, and the location just as magical. Admittedly, the early March weather was a bit blustery for several days during our stay, and that drove us into the clubhouse for our first happy hour (instead of hanging around the honor tiki bar); but this only enabled us to make friends with the guests with whom we’d share drinks and dinner even faster. There is something about the more remote Out Islands that attracts like-minded travelers that makes them good company.

Because we’d booked our trip un-characteristically late for us, we didn’t get our choice of cottage (I love Shane’s Shack). No matter, as Traveler’s Palm was just as comfortable, if a few steps further from the beach. The sunsets are just as spectacular. Like all other cottages, we had a private patio overlooking the sea; a tile-floored, stone-walled, high-ceilinged bedroom with a comfortable bed; a walk-in dressing room/closet; and a garden bath. I missed the occasional visits from frogs and lizards in the bath, but maybe they were hiding from the weather.

We had all of our breakfasts and dinners at FBV (dinner is one seating, buffet-style, which includes one meat and one seafood main course). Dinners included Caribbean lobster 3 times. The food is good, considering the cost and difficulty of obtaining ingredients on an island where little grows; local specialties are always a good bet. Lunch, when we had it at FBV, was a la carte – I like nothing more than a bowl of conch chowder and a local Sands beer. One wonderful quality of FBV is that you NEVER have to wear shoes or carry a wallet; it’s all barefoot casual and charged to your cottage (or written by you on your bar or gift shop tab).

Through FBV, we arranged for 3 days of rental car which allowed us to explore the island (the windward ocean beaches actually seemed warmer that the leeward Exuma Sound, and they are stunning pinky-white sand wonders that you rarely have to share). When not exploring, we took advantage of the stand-up paddleboard and spent one of the calmer days kayaking in the nearby mangrove creek. But mostly, we watched the sea and sun and relaxed. There is no better place that I can think of for it.

Room Tip: Any cottage is close to the beach, but Shane's Shack, a stand-alone cottage with thatched roof i...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RedSabre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Browns Summit, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
174 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

Fernandez Bay Village exceeded my expectations tremendously! My wife and I always book a getaway to celebrate our anniversary and we've always agreed we would never visit the same place twice...after our four day stay at the Shane Shack at FBV, we have suddenly reconsidered our position on that promise. Let me preface this review by stating FBV is not for everyone, but it is EXACTLY what we were looking for. Peace and quiet, romantic, warm location, great food, incredible sunsets, star filled nights, good music, and sand between our toes! If you are looking for a place to hit the town and live it up at night, then Cat Island is not your spot. Those places simply do not exist on the Island. No trademark restaurants or clubs...just amazingly beautiful and helpful locals that love their island.
The hosts at FBV are lovely and so willing to help you enjoy your time there, but the most enjoyable aspect for us is that they also know when to give you space...they will not hound you or pressure you in any way. Hospitable if you need, but not afraid to leave you alone. Just the way we like it. An honor system at the self service bar or at the boutique exemplifies the laid back atmosphere you will find here. All the meals are fresh with fantastic fruits, veggies, and local fish.
We stayed at Shane's Shack and I can honestly say I've never had a better view in my life. The waters edge is literally 20 feet from the end of your bed! Three sliding glass doors, that we kept open day and night to enjoy the sights and sounds, open up to a beautiful stone porch with two lounge chairs. Step right out to the beach and amazingly crystal clear water. Though the room is amazing, with an open air garden shower, I may chose a different room next time we stay. It is right next to the bar and restaurant area. So, if you like to drink, that could be a plus or if you don't want to walk far for dinner, then this is great room. But it was a little noisy at times when people gathered after dinner at the bar area.
I really have to think hard to find something disappointing about our stay. The hot and cold water in the shower are backwards and the water pressure is weak, but WOW, that's all I can come up with.
P.S. if you venture away from FBV for some sight seeing make sure you visit the Hermitage, Greenwood resort for pink sand beaches, Shannas Cove for great lunch. But beware, the drivers are crazy....we had a close call with a local and lost the mirror off our rental as a result. And we were told the rental was $85/day but it was $95 and gas is $6.50/gallon! Turned into a $500 day trip, and the roads are pretty bad.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Randall M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
86 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I was looking for a quiet resort where my entire family (wife plus two boys 10 months and 3 years) could relax and forget about the wet and cold winter in Germany. I found it!! This was the most quiet vacation we have ever had!
I was concerned that 12 nights might be too long and boring but time passed so quickly although we didn't do much. A regular day started between 7 and 8am when the boys woke up. We prepared breakfast in the patio of the Beach House, a very nice, rustic and spacy villa with two bedrooms on each side separated by the large living room, perfect for a family or two couples literally a few feet away from the gorgeous beach and a fantastic view. Then the older boy and me explored the beach, took a swim or a paddle boat and then it was time for kunch which we either ordered from the restaurant (excellent conch fritters, self made french fries, super garden salad) or had bought some stuff from the super market. The kids then went to bed and the parents had their time off :-). At five in the afternoon it was time to grab a sundowner (excellent rum punch) from the bar. Then we had to shower and prepare for the get together before dinner and finally the dinner which was excellent!!! One fish and one meat course from the buffet. The meat was superb quality and the fish couldn't be better (almost every other day lobster!! So if you don't like lobster you still have the great meat or you have to look for another place :-).
For one day we rented a car and visited the Hermitage and then went up to the north which was a relaxed and enjoyable (don't forget to stop at Derrek's booth for a freshly made conch salad!!!!) trip. We also followed one of the dirt roads to the "Sea Glass Beach" which shows the "other side" of the isleand, which is quite different!! I was also lucky to find three pieces of white glass with engravings.
All the staff at FBV is very nice, but Donna is something special in the positive sense!!!! We were not greeted upon arrival at the airport because our flight from Nassau was delayed. But a call by the airport staff and a few minutes later Kelly picked us up. From that moment onwards we (almost) forgot about the rest of the world!!
All the other guests were very nice and interesting plus we met John who is on his way to sail alone around America and Barbara and Steve who do 8 months a year research on Bahamas Sea turtles and two times came with 8 to 12 turtles to the beach to do their measurements. Many of the guests came with their own little planes.
The only thing which had some negative touch were the sand flies (or fleas). I was bitten quite heavily on the first day. After that they lost interest in me. My older son was not affected at all while the younger boy got bitten in his face during the first night only. My wife had several bites but not too bad. What I am saying is that individuals are differently affected and it seem like it happens only during the first day/night. I have to say, though, that when Donna saw the baby she gave the good advice to cover it and us with baby oil! It does not keep the flies away but they get stuck on the skin before they can bite. So bring some baby oil or buy it in the local super market.
And finally one word about the garden showers: me and my family LOVES them. You will find them in many places in the Caribbean and they make a lot of sense: The trade winds blow away any moisture which could cause must and smells. Besides it is so nice to watch the stars (and there are LOTS of them) at night!!!
I have visited about 90 countries and lots of nice islands and beaches. FBV with its location, owners and staff ranks among the top five!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank rudik2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Cat Island is a true destination for someone who just want to take a break from their hectic schedule and relax in the lap of nature. Me and my husband, went for 6 nights to Cat island, booked Fernandez bay looking at reviews at Trip Advisor. While being there, i could actually understand the importance of these reviews which help many people in planning their Trips. About Fernandez bay, only word that comes out is "WOW". we loved our stay in Royal palms cottage which was on the beach almost. Beach is calm and so beautiful to explain. i would like to mention the warmth that we got from our hosts out there. Donna (The manager) is one of the most hospitable, warm and energetic person you can come across. She made us feel at home. Everyone from Owner's family was really accommodating and nice to speak with. About the bar, i must say its almost 5 yards from beach and you can take any drink and write down on the paper with your cottage name. NO Superficial Protocols. it was absolutely being at home. In the evenings, there would be a small gathering of guests staying there, for drinks and appetizer, which was fun too.

We loved the food there. But as we say Everything comes with a price.. Sitting and having food with a spectacular view certainly comes with price. Food and drinks are relatively expensive than other resorts that we checked out. But we couldn't mind much as we had some awesome experiences of living there. We travelled to other resorts to have our lunch- Shanna Cove which was at other end of Island. But we were more than happy to discover that we were at the best place in Cat Island. Hermitage is 2.5 miles, airport almost 1 mile. We rode bikes and explored places. All over, i would highly recommend Fernandez bay to whom, who don't mind spending "Value for Money" as indeed it is more expensive that other resorts in Cat Island.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank Simi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

If you are really looking for a destination to get away and relax I would strongly recommend Fernandez Bay. From the casual check in to the ride back to the airport everything is on a no stress relaxed pace.

Everyone on staff truly treat you like family, especially Donna.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TrevorS4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We came back to Fernandez Bay Village for Christmas agin this year because we wanted more! This time the only members of the family that could come back were the family from Asheville,NC. My 2 granddaughters (12 and 14) were packed and ready to go weeks before. The weather was great, the food fabulous, and the activities perfect: paddle boards, kayaks, bonefishing and helping us catch and tag turtles for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research. The people staying here, some the same from last year, were all interesting, fun and enjoying the resort. One family had been to Atlantis with their 2 teenage children and after 1 day said they wished they had spent the entire time here! So second, third or fourth helpings...we'll be back again next year!

Room Tip: The pool is the ocean and it is better than any pool I've seen. The beach is the fitness center...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lonetagger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fernandez Bay Village

Property: Fernandez Bay Village
Address: Fernandez Bay | New Bight, Cat Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Fernandez Bay Village 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity and TripOnline SA so you can book your Fernandez Bay Village reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Fernandez Bay Village Hotel Cat Island
Fernandez Bay Village Cat Island, Bahamas

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