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“Divers Beware!”

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Greenwood Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Cat Island
Certificate of Excellence
San Sebastián
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Divers Beware!”
Reviewed April 15, 2012

I stayed at the Greenwood Beach Resort with my wife from the 7th to 11th of April and actually ended up cutting our stay short due to our dissatisfaction.
After looking at Greenwood's website, we were expecting a quiet resort with simple clean rooms and good food. I had also been guaranteed by email that I would be able to go scuba diving on a daily basis.

Whilst it is true that the resort is situated in a beautiful location, I would point out that virtually any place on Cat Island is equally so.

The hotel owners are Waldemar and Ana, a 75-year-old German couple who have run the resort for over 20 years. We found them both to be quite rude with no real notion of modern hospitality. Everything that was asked of them was done begrudgingly, even though we were paying for these services.

The facilities at the resort haven't been touched in 20 years and the general state of the buildings and furnishings is pretty shabby.

On arrival we were shown to our room in a very unenthusiastic manner. The room was a small, very basic one with no T.V or fridge and a defective shower.
We had the full meal plan and found that the food was average with absolutely no choice whatsoever. You get what you are given and like it or lump it! The variety of the food that we were served was very limited and definitely over-priced.

There are no other restaurants or shops in the vicinity, so alternatives to eating in-situ are non-existent. The kitchen is closed outside meal times and the pricy self-service bar and common area close at 10pm.

The owners have 3 dogs, which are allowed a free run of the property, including the kitchen and dining area. I have a dog myself and can't understand how the owners allow them to bother guests while they are eating (poking their head on their laps and licking hands!). Two of the dogs looked under-fed and I even saw a couple of ticks on one dog's leg!

The resort offers no activities and the snorkelling around the beach is unimpressive. The dive school is a real joke. I was assured when I made my reservation that diving during my stay was possible. However, when I arrived and saw the "dive school" I began to worry.
I had spoken to the hotel owner the night before my first day diving, and he'd told me I'd be able to dive at 8 am. Nevertheless, he was nowhere to be seen at this time and his wife told me that he was sleeping. She took me to a shed-like building and told me to take the equipment that I needed. On examination, most of the equipment was outdated and in a very poor state of wear.

Eventually, when the owner appeared at 11am, I was given a BCD which was wet and full of seawater. When quizzed on this, he told me that the people he'd dived with the day before had been "idiots" and when he'd returned from the dive in a really bad temper and "had just thrown the equipment into the shed and locked the door".
As there are NO DIVE BOATS at Greenwood Resort and there is no house reef, I was asked to dive with the owners friend 'Bob' on his fishing boat. Bob, an American in his sixties, told me that there wasn' much marine life on the reef and that the local reefs had been damaged by the hurricane. The dive was short and uneventful with very little to see. The air quality of Greenwood's tanks was nasty too. Very disappointing.

After the dive I saw the owner hosing down the BCD and regulator with a hose-pipe rather than submerging them in a rinse tank (which incredibly they don't have!), raising questions on the hygiene of the diving equipment and explaining it's sorry state.

On Greenwood's website they advertise "modern scuba equipment" and "2 fast dive boats", both of which are blatant lies.

There is absolutely no coverage of mobile phone networks from the resort (contrary to other areas of the island) and the internet connection, which is painfully slow at the best of times, comes and goes (the latter for most of the time).

I wouldn't recommend this resort to anyone and have written this review in the hope that it might help others avoid the disappointment that I've recently experienced.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
27 Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Paris, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2012

If you,ve had enough of the typical all inclusive resorts...this family run quaint resort is a breath of fresh air. The 8 miles of untouched pink sand beach is truly amazing. Crystal clear water, great food, the people we met, and very hospitable hosts made this vacation one of our best. Our hosts Anna, Waldermar, and Florian did everything possible to make our stay the best it could be. If you like a perfect beach where you can find your own private mile or more, if you want time to read, love to snorkle, and want to get away from it all...go there. Don't expect the normal resort experience, but do expect a casual relaxing vacation. The location is remote, but that is part if Greenwood's charm.
Every Bahamian we met was charming, from Greenwood's staff to the taxi driver, Andrew who drove us to Greenwood.
This is not a 4 or 5 star resort by most people's demands, but was our pice of heaven for the week we were there!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Goldkniy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2012

had a wonderful stay at this family run hotel resort. Anna and Waldermar excellent hosts. Remy Martin, one of their 3 dogs, was our guard dog during those sublime walks on the long stretch of beach with pinkish powdery sand. nothing better than the soothing sound of waves lullabying a long sleep into the night on their comfy bed - just the right support, not too hard nor too soft. it took a while to get use to no internet access in my room, but learned to enjoy serenity without temptations from the outside world. i will go back again.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank fishtailsoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2012

Visit if you like any of the following: pink sand beaches without anyone else around, easy access to snorkeling, scuba, sea kayaking, ocean swimming, sun bathing, fishing, diving for conche, watching rays swim along the beach, relaxing, or experiencing how the locals live.

Know before you go:
this is a small remote island, not a ritzy tourist destination. It's the real deal.
Airport is the size of a tool shed...but that's all you need, somewhere to check in and use a restroom.
Greenwood did imply transportation was included but that just meant the arrangements were made for you, not that the cost was included in your Greenwood bill. Our taxi driver was very friendly and more than willing to stop (at no extra charge) anywhere we wanted to on the way to Greenwood (we stopped for some snacks & beverages to keep in our room).

The owners have 2 adult sons that often work at the resort in addition to "interns" (often from Germany) who get college credit etc for working there. The 1 son, Florian, and the 1 male intern, Claus, were both charming and very helpful. Claus and the 2 female interns took us to a beach on a different part of the island for snorkeling and it was amazing. 1 of the girls even held my hand when I need a little help swimming/snorkeling while pregnant! Claus also took us to see The Hermitage and enjoyed hiking around it with us.

You can walk out of your room, onto the beach, put on your snorkel gear and walk into the water to see coral, octapus, fish, sea snakes (well that's what I called the thing I saw...not sure what it really was). We literally did not see another person while walking along the pink sand beach the resort is on (each day of our visit). The bay at the far end (I believe to the south) was worth the extra effort to find. So beautiful. The weather was perfect the entire time. We were there in mid January. Yes, there is "sea trash" along the beach but it's nothing to worry about. Due to the location of the island this stuff just happens to get washed ashore and ends up where the land/grass meet the beach...not all-over the beach like where you'd be walking/sun bathing etc. It's mostly buoys, boots, hats, and random plastic stuff (nothing gross).

The food was a neat mix of Bahamian and German. And if they were serving something you weren't fond of you could simply ask for something else and they'd happily provide for you. I had to do this twice, only because I don't enjoy eating fish. You have the option of eating at your own table or meeting the other guests by sharing a table with them. There were only 3 other guests there when we went.

The rooms were clean and ours, facing the water, had a lovely balcony. We left the windows cracked open at night and enjoyed the sound of the waves. NOTE: if there is a day where there is no breeze at all, be sure to wear bug spray for the no-see'ems and keep your window closed so they don't come in your room. This only happend once when we were there...it was after dark on our last night.

We hope to return again soon.

Room Tip: Get a room with an ocean view. If you want A/C, be sure to request it when you reserve a room.
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MNKara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thomasville, Georgia
Level Contributor
589 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 424 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2011

As other reviewers have noted, this is not the place to come for luxury digs and nightlife. It IS the perfect place to come to unwind and relax, as we did for several days, and also meet some interesting people. The beach is beautiful and miles and miles long, although some trash has washed up as a result of this summer's hurricane. (Hopefully, at some point, the trash will be removed but it will not deter you from enjoying the lovely pink sand.) You can literally walk miles and miles in either direction and not see another human being so you have this sense of being on your own private island. Wow! The rooms are not fancy but extremely clean and have everything you need for a few days at the beach. The air conditioner in our room worked really well for the few hours we turned it on but we found that we did not need it due to the wonderful tradewinds. The water pressure in the shower was very low but there was hot water so that was the least of our concerns. The beds were comfortable too with reading lights on either side. The resort is very low key, kind of "do it yourself" but they do furnish beach towels and have nice lounge chairs by the beach, with palapas for shade if needed. Anna and Waldemar were friendly, sweet, thoughtful and made us feel right at home. Waldemar even loaned us his truck to use for a quick trip to a local basket shop. One small warning: if you are not a dog person, you need to be aware that the owners have 3 dogs. One small puppy, one very quiet older dog, and one dog that barks at you at the most unexpected times, even while you're eating. This dog might frighten some people but he appeared to be rather harmless. He's the ONLY negative I have about the entire resort. Greenwood does not have what you would term a full service restaurant. They have a bar set up in the main sitting area, adjacent to the dining room. It's an honor bar with water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and various types of alcohol. Breakfast and lunch are served on the terrace overlooking the beach. Dinner is served inside where you have an opportunity to sit with other guests and have some great conversations with people from all around the world. Guests have a selection of several dishes to choose from for breakfast but don't be hesitant to ask if you want something different. I highly recommend the French toast made from homemade bread: delicious! Lunch is served from noon until two and once again, you have a choice of several items: the tuna spaghetti rocks! Dinner begins at 7:30 with a small appetizer served in advance. This menu is prix frixe so you do not choose your dish but you can always check with Anna if you have special dietary needs. From our experience, go with the preset meal: they were all absolutely delectable. We were served grilled grouper, wahoo, chicken curry, cracked conch and the best lobster I've ever eaten. Soup and a green vegetable plus salad are also served along with some mouthwatering desserts like coconut rum creme pie, coconut tart and various cakes. The coconut tart is especially memorable and was cooked by Ena Bebbs Hunter, one of the friendliest ladies you'll ever come across in the kitchen. She takes a lot of pride in her food and it certainly shows! We had planned on renting a car for the week but decided against it after we got to the resort. One day for car rental is enough, so you can visit Mount Alvernia (definitely worth it for the gorgeous views) and visit some of the bays on the Caribbean side of the island if you so choose. We were so contented at Greenwood, we didn't want to leave and could never get enough of the wind and the waves. Anna will arrange for a driver to pick you up at the airport for $60 and then will also set up the return for the same amount. US Dollars are accepted one for one for Bahamian dollars so there is no need to exchange money before or after you arrive. Cat Island is very laid back and there is very little to do but find your bliss, so go for it!

Room Tip: Ask for rooms one through 8 to get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Smiles4miles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2011

My husband and I spent 7 glorious days at the Greenwood Inn on Cat Island, Bahamas this past July. We felt like we were not guests, but "one of the family" from the start! If you are The type of person that needs to be entertained, this is not the place for you. If you are, however, looking for total relaxation, peace & quiet - the Greenwood will be your nivana! There are reefs right off the beach for snorkeling and you can literally walk for miles in each direction without seeing another soul! The beach is gorgeous - pink sand! The food is delicious & plentiful. We were fortunate enough to be there during Emanipation Weekend and had the best time hearing Rake & Scrap music down at the regatta site! We were also there fir the opening of lobster season and enjoyed seeing the owners' children bring in some of the biggest lobsters I have
ever seen in my life! I highly recommend the Greenwood for anyone needing a REAL vacation!

Room Tip: Ask for. Room with an ocean view and if traveling in the warmer months, you definitely will want to...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Katalina59Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Relaxation and wonderful beach front...enjoy doing little and you don't feel guilty.
Relax, Relax, Relax

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Buddy727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Greenwood Beach Resort

Property: Greenwood Beach Resort
Address: 1 Ocean Drive | Port Howe, Cat Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Greenwood Beach Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Greenwood Beach Hotel Cat Island
Greenwood Beach Cat Island
Greenwood Beach Resort Cat Island, Bahamas

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