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“A slightly sad resort in need of big changes but located in a simple paradise”

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Sammy T's Beach Resort
Costa Blanca
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“A slightly sad resort in need of big changes but located in a simple paradise”
Reviewed November 24, 2009

We have now stayed at Sammy T's twice in the last two years. The reason we chose Sammy T's is because we wanted to stay in the North part of Cat Island. Cat Island is a stunning island where life is unchanged from decades ago. It is a simple, beautiful paradise. However it is let down by the quality of its hotels, which are generally (not exclusively) lousy...

Sammy's is located on one of the the best two beaches in the entire island. It is a drop- dead gorgeous beach, with ludicrously turquoise waters in a small perfect bay. The accommodation is simple but adequate in wooden-hut style rooms with aircon, kitchenette, small sitting room. So far so good. Simple island, simple accommodation. No problem.

What is the biggest problem is the management of the place. It is so shockingly bad its hard to describe:

Of the 4 days we were there on this trip our room was cleaned 3 times (one day they didnt bother) and another day they asked us incredulously if we wanted our room actually cleaned.

The food is really not good either.

Everyday we were given a menu but then told that they only had one thing available.

Every day they set soup spoons at the table but never had any soup (not that we cared but why put out the spoons??).

Every breakfast we asked for some fruit but everyday we were told that there was none available on the island (it can happen as it's a simple and remote island but we were able to buy a variety of fruit everyday from various shops). We almost only got just toast (sometimes almost entirely untoasted). One morning at 9.30am we were told that we couldnt have breakfast yet as they still hadn't cleaned up from dinner the night before and we'd have to wait outside...

On the first lunchtime we were offered grouper, which was fine, or deep fried conch served with a very very simple salad and bread. No problem. But for dinner we were told that all they had available was grouper. The next day there was only grouper for dinner too. We had the same meal three times as that was all there apparently was available (which is not true as we asked around other people on the island what other fish was available)....

Then on day three we were offered cracked (fried) conch (no grouper nor anything else.. in fact no other option at all). Then on day 4 we asked Sammy if it was possible to have anything other that fried conch or grouper. He said he would ask around if there was other fish available (he suggested snapper, land crab, tuna). We said great, sounds fabulous and at the very worst we are happy for some jerk chicken. That night we asked him what was for dinner and he beamed "exactly as you requested...jerk chicken", Fine, we thought... its a shame as we are on an island full of fresh fish but he has at least met our worst-case scenario request. The jerk chicken was chicken with a bottled jerk sauce. Rubbish.

Oh, we were also told that we had to eat at 6pm every night (we were the only guests). We suggested that maybe it was a little early but were told no, in winter time dinner is at 6pm. Subsequently we found out that the chef was actually working elsewhere too and started her shift there at 7pm hence the rush to feed us.

And the price of this culinary delight (4 dinners and 1 lunch)? $433. We could have eaten anywhere else in the world for less. Our total bill for 4 nights was $1160 so that works out at $290 per night for room and food. It really should have cost half of that, at best.

Last time I visited we had to wait 45 mins for the bar girl to make three rum and cokes. It was so bad that we had to order our next drinks the moment she served the first ones. This time was a little better but no one even knew how to make a gin and tonic. I'm not expecting 5 star service but this is somewhat incredible.

Also last time we asked Sammy to organise some bone fishing. We went out on the bargirls boyfriend's boat, we were given hand lines and left to get on with it while he chatted to his girlfriend (who gatecrashed our trip). There were no rods, no equipment. It was extremely basic. No problem, except that Sammy charged us $400 for 3 hours on the small skiff with hand lines.... incredible.

It's sad to see what could be a charming, simple place in a stunning location being run so badly, with such a lack of enthusiasm to get anything right. The place needs either new owners and/or new ideas.

I understand that much of our troubles were exacerbated by the fact that Cat Island had been deeply affected by the recession and people were feeling a bit desperate but the answer is not to give up entirely but to try harder. We were the only guests there. It should be easy to please us. We didnt expect much but we certainly didn't expect to get nothing for our money...

If you want to go to a small, untouched, simple and natural Caribbean island with a small charming but incredibly managed hotel then go to Little Cayman and stay at the Southern Cross Club. That gets 5 stars and this gets 2 stars.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank thewanderers_spain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2009

We were looking to relax and just enjoy the beach. Having tried several of the Bahamian Out Islands, this year we chose Cat Island and Sammy T's.

If you are looking for nightlife, gambling and a go, go, go, vacation, this is not the island for you. If you want to relax on an uncrowded beach, right outside your bungalow door, watch unbelievable sunsets and just relax....this is the place for you. Forget the world and escape to Sammy T's.

Sammy sent a driver for us at the airport who gave a us an overview and history lesson on the way to the hotel. This was very nice.

Sammy and his staff cater to whatever you want. The bungalows are clean and well furnished. Each having a small, well equipped kitchen and living room equipped with a DVD player. Sammy has a DVD library. There is a pool table and other amenities for all guests to use. Kayaks and other beach amenities are on the beach. There is no extra charges for anything.

Sammy cooked breakfast most days. It was excellent. Each day the chef would find you to take dinner orders. All meals were cooked to order as you enter the dining room. The food was incredible. Fresh sea food each day. (Steak, hamburgers, etc were available). The dining room was small and this made for excellent conversation with people from around the world.

Sammy is there everyday. He arranged for a rental car to be delivered and returned. He and his staff took care of everything we could need.

Go to Sammy T's to get away from the world and just relax. Sammy and his staff will take good care of you!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paw1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2008

My husband and I were married in October. We had searched and searched for the perfect honeymoon. We wanted to go somewhere beautiful and low key, but nice. We came across Cat Island in our search and found Sammy T's Resort.

Cat Island was appealing to us because we wanted to experience true island life and not an overcrowded tourist trap. Cat Island looked remote and quiet, not to mention gorgeous!

Our experience at Sammy T's was perfect. I really do not have one complaint. The grounds were immaculate. It's obvious that Sammy takes pride in his property. Our cottage was spotless and our bed was extremely comfortable. The beach was really beautiful and fun to explore. We were the only guests at the resort and had the entire beach to ourselves. It made for some very peaceful and relaxing days. The only folks near us was the family down the beach who were building a house. They would wander by once in a while and sometimes eat at Sammy's, but that was about it. They were very friendly and nice to talk to.

I have no complaints about service. The staff was very nice. We enjoyed Kennie and Shakira as well as the others. They were friendly but not in your face all the time - which was nice. They checked on us regularly and took care of us. Sammy was friendly as well and interesting. He seems to truly care about the island. The housekeeping staff did a great job keeping the cottage clean!

As for the food....oh my goodness.....the food was amazing. We ordered lunch on our first day and were pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. Not that I expected bad food, I just didn't imagine a grouper sandwich would be as good as this was! That night I had cracked conch and it was delicious. My husband also enjoyed his meals. We were served good size portions and were not ever hungry! Andrew is an excellent chef!

We enjoyed the quiet nights. Rented some movies. Played a little pool. It was everything we had hoped for. The dogs were wonderful and joined us on the beach each day. It was nice to have them around! One day we drove down to the Hermitage and it made for a fun day driving around the island. We ate at the Blue Bird Cafe for lunch that day and it too, was fabulous food. (Sammy had recommended it)

So, overall I would recommend Sammy's to anyone wanting a great island experience at a reasonable price. It was exactly what we were looking for. I'd definitely go back. Oh, but I will add that the sand flies are pretty ferocious once the sun starts to set....be prepared!

My one and only warning is about Cat Island Air - they ran late for both of our flights. Sammy called to make sure they were on time for our flight home but mechanical problems couldn't be avoided. We ended up missing our flight from Nassau and got home about 7hours later than expected. While we waited at the Arthurs Town airport, we caught a ride back to Sammy's with a nice older couple (Jenny and ???) and we hung out there until the flight came in. That helped!

Anyway, Sammy's was awesome and we hope to go back some day with the whole family.

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank MolandSco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Myrtle beach
1 review
Reviewed November 17, 2008

Sammy T's was a very nice relaxing camp type resort. The beach was to die for. My wife and I thought the food and the service was excellent. I must remember not to go to the Bahamas durring the months of June thru Novemeber because of the weather possibilities which we had. The tropical system that was present in the area kept us in the rain and clouds for 3 days and there is nothing to do without sun unless you want to sit in your cabin and watch DVDs and read books all day. So, after 4 days of this we had had enough and decided to go back to the states. Sammy offers nothing to do with bad weather. He needs to have an area with brouchuers or tours that we could do in case of bad weather. Also the bugs were very bad durring 5pm to 10am. If you didnt spray yourself heavily you were swarmed. The weather and the bugs are not Sammys fault but if the Bahamas Govt. doesnt start spraying more often the tourists will stay away. The cabins were nice and clean and the bed was nice. Its a good thing the bedroom has AC (noisy window unit) because the ceilings have no insulation. I would think in hot sunny weather this might be a problem because the rooms could heat up like a backyard shed. There were a few plumbing issues because of the poor water quality. The toilet took 30 min. to fill up and the shower head was corroded so the water sprayed everywhere. Sammy should do a better job of inspecting the mechanical systems of the cabins on a more frequent schedule. Sammy should also inform potential guests that they should stop at the store on the way to the resort so you can pick up some water, snacks, liquor, etc. to make your stay more comfortable. We only learned this form reading other reviews. Danny the cab driver was very nice, however they forgot to include his charges in our bill. We were told the charge from New Bight airport round trip was going to be $100. I got a phone call while waiting at the airport that they did not collect his fee and he told me the fee was $120!!!. Now I think he needs to lower the price or Sammy should include it in the rental price because $120 is way too much for a 30 min ride and 2 gallons of fuel even at $6 a gallon. I paid $100. We thought the price for the room and food was good. Just be prepared for bad weather and try not to get cabin fever because we ran out of books and DVDs by the 4th day and we brought alot! We loved all 3 dogs as we have 3 ourselves so they were not a problem but may be to other guests. All in all Sammy is working very hard to make his resort great but he needs to do a little better job on the small things in order to keep up with the other resorts in the area.

  • Liked — Food, service, beach.
  • Disliked — Bugs and weather and limited activities.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank MyrtlebeachZiggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2008

My wife and I just got back from a relatively short stay at Sammy's. We were there from July 24th through the 29th. It was very interesting to me to correspond with JElaine before going, and e-mailing with her probably properly shaped our expectations. To begin with, I think once you've landed at "The Bight" - your expectations get a final jolt to get you dialed in on what your experience will be like.

Our flight in was more than 2 hours late, but Sammy had arranged for his taxi driver, Danny, to pick us up, and much to our surprise, Danny was there waiting for us even with the flight being so late. He was great. We asked for suggestions on what to buy at the nearby grocery store - which had more of a selection than we expected - and he noted the obvious things that we might want, namely, a couple of gallons of water and some snacks. There was a liquor store next door and we picked up a few things there as well. Again, the selection there, while limited, was still better than I expected.

We had a nice drive to Sammy's and Danny was happy to talk with us and talk about the history of the island and stopped by the "Bat Cave" so we could peek inside. He gave us a great history of the now dead "salt pond" and talked about the friendliness of the islanders. For us, he was right about that.

At Sammy's, Jason met us, and as others have said, he was great. Jason is younger than Sammy (they are cousins) and is definitely more outgoing, but Sammy can be very personable as well - I'll talk about that in a moment. Keenie, the waitress that some have mentioned, met us and took our dinner order, and because of the reviews on this site, we were prepared to ask "what else" was available. If you don't ask, they will give you 4 or 5 choices of entree and one or two ways that any of those can be prepared (grilled seems to be there method of choice). Keenie did seem a little standoffish at first, but I tend to push people a little to get them to talk and by the end of dinner that night, she was much more talkative.

The chef for most of the nights we were there was Andrew. The first night we ordered grilled grouper and grilled lobster. The grouper was pretty good - not so fantastic that you'd want to order it over and over, but it was good. The lobster was a different story that night. It was overcooked on top and undercooked on the bottom. We were so tired from a day of getting there though, that we just let it go, kicked back a few drinks and went to the room.

The next afternoon, after spending the day on one of the most beautiful beaches we've ever seen, we had a chance to talk to Andrew about the lobster. We were hesitant at first, but he was very open and wanted to know what we thought, so we told him. His response was "let me make it up to you", so we did. His efforts on the other entrees for the remainder of our stay was very good. We had conch in just about every imaginable way - and it was all better than average, and their grilled pork was better than we expected as well.

WIth regards to the bar service, we tried to prepare in advance. When we stopped at the liquor store, we picked up what we wanted and made more drinks in our room than we got at the bar, so we didn't experience any problems there. We brought a portable cooler (a collapsible one), and each morning before going to the beach, made whatever drinks we wanted and put them in water bottles - which we had used to fill the ice trays and make plenty of ice with - and had all the drinks we wanted right on the beach. Most days, Keenie or Eloise would come to the beach to find us around 3:30 or 4:00 to get our dinner orders. Again, while they will tell you 4 or 5 choices, I am convinced that you could ask for anything you possibly wanted and they would probably be able to come up with it - we did, mainly just to see what they would say, meaning if we heard that the entrees were grouper, lobster and pork, we would ask if they had steak or chicken or any other type of fish and they always said yes.

A caveat here that may have affected our experience - there were never more than 3 couples, including ourselves, at the resort during our stay. In fact, for about a day and a half, we were the only ones there. We had that beautiful beach to oursleves!

The comments about the rooms have been right on the money. We had a "parking lot view" room - described as garden view, but we didn't go here for the room experience anyhow. As for the ocean view rooms, they really aren't, but the gardens are very nicely cared for, and the ocean/beach view is great when you walk a few steps over to it.

Back to Sammy now. Sammy wasn't there for the first two days we were there. When he got there, he came to us to meet us and thanked us for coming, asking if everything was ok - the room, the food, etc. and we were very honest with him about everything, including the first night's lobster. He made no excuses for it, but apologized for it and also wanted to make it up to us, which at that point we told him was not necessary. I was forward enough to ask him about the recent "Administrator Election" (someone had mentioned that they thought he had lost a recent election) and he talked about why he had run for that position and that, yes, he had lost, but then he sat down with us to talk about it. He really seemed like he just wanted to explain what was going on. His main concern is a proposed 250 room resort and casino that will likely be built on the southside of the island. It wasn't the competition that bothered him, but he is truly worried that the islanders way of life will be affected by the inclusion of the casino. He has no problems with an anchor type of resort coming in. In fact, this fall, he will be adding 5 more cottages to his property for a total of 12.

By the time we left, Sammy was giving my wife and I hugs good bye. We really enjoyed meeting him.

All-in-all, the reviews have been spot-on. Just have your expectations set correctly - it's hot, you'll definitely need to adjust to "Bahama's time", and if you take the time to start the conversation, any of these folks will open up to you. We went for walks every morning along the road and everyone that drove by honked and waved, and every local we met was very friendly. We rented a car one day and drove north to Orange Creek, found "Dickie Road" (be ready to broaden your understanding of the word "road") which eventually takes you out to the Atlantic ocean, and then drove down to Hawk's Nest - which is very pretty - but the owners there were not nearly as friendly as the folks working at Sammy's.

We will very likely goi again and have told several of our friends about in the two days that we've been home now.

  • Liked — The beach, the solitude, seeing more stars at night than anywhere else on earth
  • Disliked — The pool - Sammy is considering closing it down and making a biger patio there - which would be a good idea - most people use it to rinse off their feet from the beach
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank VA40somethings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2008

I have to agree with JELaine's review and trip report. I went to Sammy T's in June and had very similar experiences. I may have worded them differently, but the experience was basically the same.

I, too, read a lot before I went and had a certain expectation based on the descriptions, what was said and not said, and matching those comments with my prior experiences at other small resorts.

ARRIVAL
GOOD. Jason (and the dogs) greeted me. Very relaxed. Room was quite nice (not exactly a 'villa', but a nice cabin), very clean, attractive bedroom (with a/c), fans in every room. It was midafternoon and I hadn't eaten all day; Jason let me order lunch even though it was probably after last-order time.
MIXED. Room had not been aired; the windows were all closed, so it was quite hot. Jason opened them. There really isn't an orientation. I thought it was because I wanted lunch, but other guests who came after me said they didn't have one either.
BAD. My ocean view cabin looked out at the pool table. The ocean was really hard to see. I could see the gardens - which were lovely and natural - but the ocean was just a couple spots of blue waaaaaaay in the distance. Huge disappointment. Huge.

THE BEACH.
GOOD. Gorgeous, empty, attractive shade umbrella, kayaks available, if you wanted them.
MIXED. Beach towels were not always restocked in the cabinet.

HOUSEKEEPING.
GOOD. The room was spotless when I arrived. There were paper towels, dishes and glasses, coffee - which I didn't need, but still it was nice for those who do - for the coffeemaker, a microwave, a refrigerator.
MIXED. They don't clean every day or even every other day. You have to ask to have your towels changed. After your third day or so someone will ask in the morning if you'll want room service that day. I thought they meant, do I want dinner in my room. They meant, did I want my room serviced. So I went 5 days before my room was cleaned. If you asked to have your room cleaned, they did a good job.
Towels were interesting. Because I didn't know about the beach towel cabinet, I brought my room towels to the beach the first two days. That meant I used up the large towels quickly. By the 3rd or 4th day I was running low on bath towels even though I routinely reuse hotel towels. I had been leaving them on the porch, but I guess they didn't realize that meant I wanted new ones. When they did exchange towels throughout my stay they would take the bath towels and replace them mostly with hand towels and wash cloths. By my next to last day (I was there 11 days), I was out of bath towels and had to specifically ask for them. I was not the only guest with this problem. It gave us a laugh.
Oh, just a suggestion, it would be nice (not required, but a nice touch) if they had a full tray of ice cubes in the fridge.
BAD. Nothing once you learned the system. A mention at arrival would have helped.

FOOD.
GOOD. Breakfast and the lunch sandwiches were almost always good. Almost never the same, but almost always good to very good.
MIXED. They don't give you a menu, so if you didn't ask for one when you made your reservation, you don't know the price of items. I had one and shared it with others.
There is a problem with supply. I believe it is the island's problem, not the hotel's, but it does mean that there are stretches of days and days that the entree choice is very limited.
BAD. Dinner was another matter. The cook is a really nice guy, but he overcooks most of the food, resulting in dry meat. He was nice and I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I told him it was good if it was just a little dry. My second night I had chicken that was almost impossible to cut, it was so dried out and he happened to ask me the next day how dinner was and I told him. I felt really bad, so after that I tried to be more positive when it was just okay. Given the prices the quality should have been better. Some people had a good meal their first night and said how great it was only to regret saying that because subsequent meals were subpar.

TAKEN CARE OF.
That was a phrase that stuck out in the reports I read. I don't have a big complaint to make, but I didn't feel 'taken care of' - at least by comparison to similar hotels I have stayed at.
GOOD. Jason was great, but he left after a couple days. Guests who were there when I arrived said things were better when he was there.
MIXED. Since I've come back someone said (was it JELaine or on Fodors) that Sammy was standoffish while they were there. I thought so too. He said hello when he arrived. He was polite. He answered questions, but he really didn't mix with the guests who were first-timers.
Service was always polite and with a smile, but not always sincere a guest told me soon after I arrived and I came to agree. It isn't always available either. There isn't a bartender, you have to wait by the kitchen door until someone notices you. Sometimes this door is closed and has a staff only sign on it, which makes things difficult. One afternoon I came up from the beach and Keenie, one of the waitresses, was sitting in the kitchen. She saw me standing at the bar and she made a face (as if she just didn't want to be bothered) and then said something to the person next to her before slowly getting up and coming out. When I mentioned it to the couple who told me about the 'insincerity' they said they had oberved similar reactions from her and some other passive aggressive behavior. The other waitress was Great.
BAD. As I said, the orientation was non-existent and the atmosphere was very laid back, so I thought it was easy going. A couple days before I left a group of repeat visitors had come from Nassau. The day they left one cabin was occupied until well after 12 noon. Another cabin was occupied until 1:30 or later. I know because I heard the woman screaming at her young kids when I was in my cabin after lunch. (My room must have overlooked their lower-level cabin.) The day I was leaving, I also had a late afternoon flight and asked to stay in my room until lunch if it wasn't needed. Sammy told me check out is 11:00 and a guest was coming. I made sure I was out at 11. It was an especially hot day and I really didn't want to be dressed; I'd rather be on the beach, but I did as I was told was necessary. After 12:30 I went to lunch and noticed that no one had been in my room to clean for the new guest. The whole time I was at lunch no one went to my room. Shortly before Sammy returned someone finally went to the room. It was 1:30 or so. I easily could have kept the room until 12:30 or 1:00 and not put them out. When Sammy returned, I asked him about it and he told me quite firmly that check out is 11:00 as if it were some hard and fast rule that I should have known. No one told me when I arrived and they obviously made exceptions for others, so why act as if this a firm policy?

$$$$$$
GOOD. The room rate is quite fair. Most bar prices range from very good to reasonable (see mixed for exceptions).
MIXED. The bar prices don't make sense. A couple who were there at the same time as I was each had a tumbler filled to the brim of top shelf, imported liquor every night. On my bill I had some drinks with a shot (sometimes two) of local, no name rum and it was a dollar more. Still a reasonable price, but when compared, it didn't make sense.
Some drinks that anyplace else would automatically have rum or other alcohol in it, didn't. Example pina colada. You had to ask for it "spiked" or "with rum".
BAD. I was one of the people who when I contacted the hotel for prices asked for it with all room taxes, gratuities, and other charges included because I have a tight budget. When I received my bill I was surprised that the price I was quoted was the very basic price with none of those included. In fact I was even more surprised to learn that we had to pay for using a credit card. The reason this is in the bad section is because I had asked specifically - I had enumerated a long list to make my point.
The other money 'bad' is that the prices on the menu aren't the prices on your bill. I saw Sammy in the morning and he said he would give me my bill in the afternoon. He went out on errands and didn't return until less than 30 minutes before I left. I had marked every thing that I ate or drank (and the day that I ate/drank it) on the menu they sent me. (I'm compulsive.) The couple who left before me also gave me the prices they were charged for items that weren't on the menu. (We all tended to pass along.) They also told me that a 15% gratuity was also added. I had calculated what the restaurant and bar bill should be. I had decided that a 10% over charge ("over" from the printed menu) was acceptable. It was almost 15% over. That made me look through the sheets of paper from the restaurant. It seemed like the menu prices were a suggestion. Some were over, some were under, but the over ones were a lot more. Also, I had been charged more than the couple told me they had been charged on the other items. Also, one night - after we ordered an additional wine - we were told they were out. I didn't take an alternate that time, but I was charged for that non-existent wine because they usually write it down before they get the item. I figured that would happen and it was one of the small things I had been prepared to overlook, but added to the other creative pricing it added to the annoyance. Sammy saw that I was talking to the other guests and asked what was the matter, but my taxi was coming any minute and it would be difficult to 'prove', so I just let it go.

KIDS.
GOOD. The policy is no kids under a certain age.
BAD. This is another flexible policy. The large group from Nassau had 2 little kids. They were definitely years under the limit. The first morning, they were typical kids, but not bothersome. They left for most of the day. The second day the boy was very bothersome. He screeched. He yelled. Every little thing his mother or sister did, upset him and when he was upset he screeched. He was so loud that I left the beach because I kept rereading the same sentences in my book.

BOTTOM LINE.
It's a lovely resort. The beach is beautiful. The service was friendly. The rooms are very nice and very clean. Breakfast and lunch are good. I would definitely recommend it, as long as you know you will not get a real ocean view room (and stay away from the garden view rooms, they are in a bad location) and the prices will be a mystery.

Helpful?
4 Thank ScottishDancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2008

Expectation vs Reality. Always a problem when they differ and that is what happened here.

The beach is gorgeous, the water is clear, and you do have the beach almost to yourself. It was the only thing that we had read that was exactly as described. In fact, the 3 best things about Sammy's are the beach, the beach, and the beach.

Reviews praised the food. Well, the lady chef is ill and no longer working there. The entrees were generally overcooked. Some, such as the lobster tails, were tasty, but on the dry side. Chicken ranged from a little dry to stone dry. Conch was generally said to be the best item on the menu. Fish was usually okay to good. Inconsitent quality of the food would be the main reason NOT to return to Sammy's.

"Ocean view rooms" are the best category of rooms available. A bit of hyperbole there. If you squint between the trees and shrubs far in the distance you can see a bit of water here and a triangle of water there. The only reason you know it's water is because it is a different color than the sky. If you add all the little bits up, you may (if you are very lucky) get to 10% of the view. This is for cabins 1, 2, and 5. The view from 6 was better. These should really be called Garden View. Oh, wait, they have Garden View rooms. The guests in them called them "Parking lot view", "road view" and "the downstairs annex".

Reviews have said Sammy and his staff will take good care of you. Well, Sammy was a bit stand offish during our stay, stand offish to just about everyone, not just us. He always said hello and from time to time said a sentence or two more, but for most guests that was it. Which was fine - but not what we expected based on the reviews. While we were there a woman asked to stay in her room until noon or maybe 12:30 because she had a late flight and wanted to enjoy the beach. She had seen other guests keep their room to 12:30 and another to 2:00. Sammy told her check out was 11. He didn't even offer her a shower in one of the garden view rooms - most of which were empty. She had been there almost 2 weeks I think. When no staff person entered her room until 1:30 or so to clean for the new guests scheduled to arrive that day, she teased him about it (she was friendly, not rude) and he became a huffy and told her firmly that checkout is 11 am. Another couple told us they would not return because the service was so bad. This was a couple used to the Caribbean and Mexico, so their expectations were reasonable. We didn't think it was that bad, but it was pretty spotty. We chose to laugh about it. There was a lot to laugh at. We heard Sammy had recently lost an election on the island so maybe he was in a bad mood that week.

The menu was a guideline, not a real menu. Prices were also a guideline, not a fact. If you asked you were given a menu, although most of items on it were never available when we were there. Alternatively, Items not on the menu were readily available, but you had to talk to other guests to know this. Several of us compared prices as we checked out (and passed along the prices to the new people). There was no consistency here. Many entrees were several dollars more on your bill than on the current menu. And Guests were charged different prices for the same items. Our food bill was quite a bit more than we expected based on the menu prices. You don't get to keep your bill. All you get is your credit card receipt, which brings me to............

They pass along their credit card fee to you. If you pay by credit card you are charged an additional 2.5% on the final total. A few couples said they had asked for all fees, taxes, gratuities and other charges before they came and were not told about this until they got their bill. They also charge a flat 15% gratuity on all restaurant and bar charges. This includes the bottled water that you buy for your room and pick up yourself. Oh, that's a different price than the one on the menu, too.

I know this sounds pretty negative, but we really did have a lovely time. The cottage was just fine. It was comfortable, breezy, had a nice little kitchen area, was very clean, and had a/c in the bedroom, but not in the second bedroom if you book a 2 BR cottage. The beach was gorgeous. The gazebo was the most comfortable place to sit and relax (breezy and usually comfortable on a hot day) and it had a beautiful view. If it weren't for the quality of the food, we would probably go back. It's a nice place, just not what we expected reading the glowing, over the top reviews on this site. Had the reviews been less effusive, we might have liked Sammy's more. Expectation didn't match reality. In case you're wondering if we tend to be overly picky; we have consistently found other beach resorts to be better than the fanastic reviews we read beforehand. Also we're not the type of people who expect to be waited on hand and foot. We've stayed in places ranging from Young Island to no electricity Kailuum and absolutely loved them both.

Oh, one more thing. The atmosphere is great for couples who want to be alone. If meeting other people is usually an important part of your vacation we should tell you that Sammy's is not really designed to encourage spontaneous gatherings. Privacy is more its thing. The bar is in the restaurant with just 4 stools, no airconditioning except during meal times, and no bartender most of the time. You have to hunt someone down, not always easy when the door to the kitchen is closed and has a do not enter sign. The bar is supposed to be open until 10 p.m. but it's really hard to find someone after 8:30 or 9:00. Every other beach place we've been to has had a bar or some other area outside where guests tended to mix and talk during the afternoon and especially after dinner. The design of Sammy's doesn't seem to lend itself to that. Just an observation, not a complaint.

  • Liked — The Beach; the beach; the beach
  • Disliked — Inconsistent food quality; Pricing is Inconsistent and Less than transparent; No real ocean view in the ocean view rooms
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank J_ELaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sammy T's Beach Resort

Property: Sammy T's Beach Resort
Address: Bennett's Harbour, Cat Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Cat Island
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Cat Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sammy T's Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sammy t`s Beach Hotel Cat Island
Sammy T's Beach Resort Cat Island, Bahamas

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