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“Worth the hassle of getting there”

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Riding Rock Inn Resort and Marina
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Worth the hassle of getting there”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Most people won't have heard of San Salvador, which is kind of a good thing. You feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, yet still have access to all modern conveniences (unless you count Starbucks and fast food chains among life's necessities). Michelle is a gracious hostess, greeting you by name and making sure you are enjoying your stay. The entire staff is friendly and welcoming...in fact everybody we encountered on the island greeted us with a smile and a wave.

Riding Rock offers the option of buying meal plans by the day, but just having all meals included as part of the package is the most economical choice. Food is notoriously expensive on the islands, so even though the daily rates seem steep, they're probably close to what you'd be paying elsewhere. And there aren't many "elsewhere" options nearby, so you don't feel like you're missing out on all the local hot spots by having all your meals at the hotel. Agnes and the kitchen staff won't disappoint you.

Accommodations aren't 5-star luxury, but they're clean, quiet and comfortable. Water pressure and hot water can be iffy if there are a lot of people arriving back from their dives at the same time, though. Most of us just laughed it off as we took our chances, but if this the kind of trivial inconvenience that would ruin your vacation, then you're probably better suited for the Club Med down the road.

Riding Rock is essentially a dive resort, even though the hotel and dive operation are separate properties. There is little else to do here if the weather isn't co-operating, so again if you're the type of traveler who needs to be constantly entertained, Club Med is probably a better option. If, however, you just want to unwind doing nothing or hanging out with your friends, Riding Rock offers the perfect dive getaway.

Would definitely recommend Riding Rock to others, but beware of Bahamas Air! Almost half our group missed connections because Bahamas Air didn't stick to their schedule on two different days (and didn't seem overly apologetic). Riding Rock can usually arrange flights from Ft Lauderdale on Club Med's charter, which is a more reliable option but costs twice as much.

Room Tip: Rooms 321 to 329 are in the newer 2-storey building at the far end of the property. These all have o...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joolz604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2013

The staff at this resort is gracious and accommodating on every level. We were greeted at the airport with a smile and whisked away in a private shuttle directly to the resort. Check in was swift and easy - it felt much like I was being welcomed by old friends... throughout my stay - everywhere I looked, hands were flying in the air to say hello - and everyone was asking "how was your diving?"... My room was tidy and comfortable with more amenities than I've had in many dive camps. A/C, ocean view, spacious, modern feeling. Just enough of everything... except maybe water pressure at peak shower times when the camp was at capacity (twice). Easy work-around was I was patient and showered 10 minutes later on those couple of days. (no big deal to me)

The clubhouse featured a prominent deck for viewing the kind of sunsets that only San Salvador, Bahamas can offer. Go see Peaches in the Drift Wood Bar for popcorn, karaoke and an ice cold Kalik or Kalik Gold (local Bahamian Beer). Grab some Conch Chowder from Agnes and her gang in the kitchen or sample from the tasty buffet at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Save room for her simple and delicious desserts... A perfect send off, after a long day of diving.

Jump on board the Guanahani 3 and let Captain Bruce and Dive Tour Leader Tyler take you on an odyssey along the many walls and reefs in the local waters. An unspoiled marine park that is second to none awaits you, and whether you are an advanced diver or just starting out, each dive site has something to offer you - whatever you desire. You'll see a lot and you'll learn a lot. Great visibility (Nov 3-10, 2013) low to no currents, and just comfy diving as much as your heart desires.

It's a little, but pleasant walk to the marina, so plan that into your mornings, and the place shows signs of being well-used, but you couldn't KEEP me away. I don't think I could ever grow tired of being here. I'm not high-maintenance, but I know what I'm looking for. If you want to dive, dive, dive, and eat some, sleep some - this is your place...

Can't wait to see you all again.

Room Tip: if you're upstairs to the far south, try wireless access code 'sansalvador6720' and you...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank H Lynn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Boston, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This is a hidden jem,
The best reef diving I have ever been to.
The dive master new all about each dive sit and the sea life.
I went with my 14 years old son. I saw a hammer head shark face to face with him he is hooked.
Clean friendly and accommodating staff.
Good food and plenty of it.
Bring something to leave at the drift wood bar with the date year and who you were with.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scubastephe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

The Riding Rock Inn was a pleasure as usual. The food is Bahamian/American with the BEST conch chowder and several good fish dinners during the week. The resort is on a lovely stretch of beach with no one on it. Rooms are basic but the view is worth a million dollars.

Peaches was our bartender and friend. She will help you pick your beverage and can help with ring toss technique and island information.

We did 16 dives and had a fantastic time. Visibility was consistently good in the 150 foot range and on our last day exceeded 200 feet. All dives are wall dives with a minimum depth of 40 feet. We stayed on the edge of the wall on the second dive and went deeper through tunnels and crevices on the first dive and afternoon dive.

Diving in San Salvador, Bahamas is generally lee side calm water with no current. Trips were anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes to the location. Two dives in the morning, leaving at 8:30 and returning about 12:30. One tank afternoon dives left two hours after the boat returned. The marina is about 100 yards from the hotel. All gear except wetsuits stays on the boat all week and the crew washes it down.

Wetsuits hang in rack area to air out the water recirculation.

Bruce was our boat captain, he is from San Salvador and knows all the sites well. Jim was our dive master, he has been diving and guiding on the island for a couple of years and gave great advice and easy slow paced tours.

The reefs looked the same as when we were here six years ago. There were less lionfish now as the reef sharks and groupers are starting to get a taste for them. Tom and Jerry were the friendliest of the many Nassau Groupers and we got to play with them twice.

We saw one or two Caribbean reef sharks on almost every dive. They have benefited from chowing down on lionfish and showed up within easy photography range. Several divers got to see hammerheads during our week but not us.

The Williams family; Michelle, Kevin, Carlos and Jason were all there on our trip and helped make everything go smoothly.

We got to several local bars on the island during our stay and got to play some great domino games. The local Bahamians are super friendly and have a great sense of humor. It is definitely worthwhile to get out and about. Clifford Fernander (AKA Snake Eyes) is the expert tour guide on the island. You can book his tour at the hotel front desk.

Room Tip: 2nd floor beachfront rooms in the main beachfront building have phenomenal views
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank wethiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I had a great dive trip (excellent) and enjoyed the food (excellent) as well and good accomodations (needs a little sprucing up). The dive operation is safe, efficient and a real bargain (up to 17 dives in a week, typically wall diving starting at 40 feet). Both captain & dive master did great job of getting us to excellent dive sites. We had 2 to 3 reef sharkes on every dive, saw 2 hammer head sharks, lots of groupers, sting rays, parrot fish, colorful sponges, etc. This is a family run business & bar and restaurant staff were very helpful; really wanted us to enjoy the week. The conch chowder at lunch and pina coladas are almost worth the trip. Beaches were very nice & easy walking distance from our room. We also rented bicycles one day to get to further out beaches. There is a kerosine lightlhouse (still operating) and some caves to visit if you rent a car or golf cart; regretfully we ran out of time.

Room Tip: We got upgraded room at regular room price with nice view of ocean & beach area. The sea wall is...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rpetroff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Dive resort of legends amongst dive enthusiasts; now a very pleasant small older style family resort with personalized service, offering great diving in small groups. San Salvador feels like it's on the edge of the planet, laid back, undeveloped, ultra friendly and crime free. Please, San Salvador, establish marine reserves so that your reefs will remain pristine!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Atck4life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrollton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I went to Riding Rock the 1st week in July 2013, and had a superior time. Here are some details:

We could not get there in one day. Needed to stay overnight to get the 11am flight to San Salvador. We stayed at the Orange Hill hotel just 10 minutes from the hotel, and it was just fine. We got there late - arrived just minutes before midnight - and all we wanted was a clean room, a bed and some air conditioning. Someone was waiting for us to show up and take us to the room. Breakfast was very good. We asked for a taxi to take us back to the airport, and the lady at the hotel asked if we wanted to share a ride with another person that had stayed the night. It was a gentleman from England named Martin, who was on his way to the Riding Rock Inn, also. So, we got to meet one of our dive buddies for the week a little early.

The room at Riding Rock was just fine, comfortable, working A/C (I've mentioned that twice - we HAVE stayed at places where A/C was NOT acceptable, and it is important, now.). Started off with lunch and conch chowder, (the chowder was a daily, welcome experience!) We specifically asked for hot peppers, and the cook remembered us the rest of the week and made sure we had extra heat with the chowder. All the meals were just wonderful.

First dive we had shark viewings. We had at least one shark sight every single day, some dives with at least 4 all around us. Reef Sharks, one hammerhead in the distance. We saw more sharks this week than we have seen in 25 years of diving.

Reefs here are really the best we've seen for 5 or 6 years, just in excellent shape.

One of our dive masters (Bruce) always brings a spear gun for lion fish, after making sure we were not squeamish about it. We are not - they really are spectacular to look at, but they simply do NOT belong in the Caribbean. He got 3 on the first dive, 3 on the second. I found the second one, signaled to Bruce. He came over, zapped it, pulled it out of the coral nook it was in, and one of those sharks ZOOMED up and snatched it off the spear head. Gone in one gulp. The second shark that came behind got nothing. This was less than 10 feet in front of me - maybe less than 5. I was so...shocked, delighted, don't know what emotion! I laughed out loud, which is the first time I've ever tried to do that on scuba. Mostly makes a lot of bubbles.

Jim Koepfle was the DM for most of the trip, and he was everything a DM could be. He let us dive, showed us stuff, and watched us carefully. Didn't herd, didn't instruct, just helped in any way we needed. He is one of the highlights of the trip, also.

We got a 4th of July fireworks show! Neat!

I hope that it won't be 23 years before we go back there again!

Judy Flayderman, at rsireservations.com helped put the trip together, including a sudden change of dates. Cannot thank her enough for outstanding effort on our behalf.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riding Rock Inn Resort and Marina

Property: Riding Rock Inn Resort and Marina
Address: Riding Rock Point, San Salvador
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > San Salvador
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The small island of San Salvador in the Bahamas, just 360 miles southeast of Miami, is undisputedly one of the premier scuba diving and fishing Mecca's of the world. Perched on a pinnacle and washed by warm breezes and clear azure waters, San Salvador is also home to Riding Rock Resort and Marina.Riding Rock Resort and Marina was built, custom designed for dive travelers and anglers alike, with all of the facilities close at hand. Nearly 50 years later, the property continues to host dive groups, fishing groups and individuals from around the world who come to experience the quality and diversity of diving and fishing for which San Salvador is legendary. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Riding Rock Inn Resort And Marina Hotel San Salvador
Riding Rock Hotel And Marina
Riding Rock Inn Resort And Marina Bahamas/San Salvador

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