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“The most relaxing vacation of my life!”

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Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Long Island
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The most relaxing vacation of my life!”
Reviewed May 16, 2011

A gorgeous, quiet white sand beach. Water is so clear and such an incredible blue. The resort has Hobie cats (sail boat) to take out for a ride, kayaks, kids beach toys and floating water mattresses all for no charge.
Optional scuba diving, deep sea fishing, snorkelling and a boat tour to cool spots on the island near the resort.
Great food, awesome staff, cute gift shop with nice clothes/jewelry/local designs.
Yummy selection of cocktails at the bar, best Pina colada of my life! and the Miami Vice is a MUST!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jolajam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2011

After getting an email from the resort I clicked through to the site and then to Trip Advisor. I am so glad that I did! I had friendly and helpful emails and talks with the reservation person in Canada - I am sure I drove him crazy! He patiently answered all my questions. I agree that it was a TREK to get there but absolutely worth it. We flew from JFK to MIA to GGT and then hired Island Wings. The pilot was not only prompt and professional but warm and welcoming. We would definitely fly with him again - probably from Nassau this time to cut out one flight.
We stayed in a villa and it was HEAVEN ON EARTH! The villa was exactly what I want on a vacation. The photos cannot give this place justice. My husband is a contractor and he said the construction was top of the line, flawless with all the finest extras. The washer dryer in the villa, with laundry soap, allowed us to pack virtually nothing. No stinginess with beach towels here like other resorts with cards and trading one for one. Whatever you need they give you. The two bedrooms were spacious and sunlit. The bathrooms were sparkling clean and roomy. The kitchen is top of the line and the open floor plan with the dining area and living room allow you to enjoy the absolutely stunning view. There is a huge picture window and the view of the sparkling blue beach take your breath away. The screened in porch is perfect. If you want some shade and not to worry about the bugs you can rest here. We enjoyed mornings and evenings here looking at the water and talking or reading. The steps done to the boardwalk at TREX - so smooth and no splinters for little feet (it would be great if the boardwalk and gazebo floors could be trex as well). At the base you are on the boardwalk and on the beach! It is just steps away. The sand is white and never got too hot. The gazebo with chairs made for a perfect day. We were at the beach from dawn until sundown. The water is perfect. We love to swim and spent hours exploring with and without snorkels. The water is clear as a bell and slopes out very gradually with gentle rolling waves. When you are not swimming you can kayak or take long walks along the 4 mile empty beach. The beauty and stillness of it all is immensely relaxing.
We considered all the food options - getting the groceries ordered and stocked in, the modified meal plan or the full meal plan. We did bring some dry goods groceries with us in our suitcases since we hardly had any clothes with us due to the washer. We got the full meal plan in the end and the meals were delicious everytime, and served with a smile. The downside was having to drag yourself away from the heavenly beach for even a moment. The only tough part was that the kids could only have one soft drink per meal - we haven't had that limitation in other full meal plans. I suggest stopping at the grocery store on the way from the airport and buying soft drinks for the room or ordering drinks as part of your grocery order. Next time we will do the grocery order and treat ourselves to a few meals rather than do the meal plan. The kids (ages 9 and 12) borrowed bikes and played with the Wii in the TV room by the front desk. The only thing my son missed from other resorts was a ping pong table but that was a small detail.
The staff was amazing. They were helpful and friendly and seemed genuinely glad that we were visiting.
Overall I give the villas and resort HIGH THUMBS UP? Plan on a travel day down and a travel day back but well, well worth the absolute pleasure of this gem. I am already looking at my calendar - can we squeeze in a visit at Thanksgiving...

Room Tip: 2nd floor of villa is a great view!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank MDMOMLongIsland_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrookCSM, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, May 3, 2011
Dear MDMOMLongIsland_NY,

Thank you very much for your review. You have detailed a lot of helpful information for our current and future guests. I agree that flying via Georgetown, Exuma is a convenient way of travelling to Cape Santa Maria and it's only a 15 minute flight from Georgetown to Stella Maris Airport, Long Island.

Look forward to seeing you soon, hopefully on Thanksgiving.

Best regards,
Brook and Ewa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qualicum Beach, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

Hands down, the best holiday we've ever had.
The Management and Staff at this resort have thought of everything to make your stay absolutely perfect!
You'll want to stay long enough just so that you can try everything on the menu!!! The food is incredible! Great kids menu too! And the service impeccable! Fabulous drinks and snacks at the bar! Take a home-made Pina-Colada to the beach with you!
Everyday the rooms are cleaned to a standard rarely seen by the friendly, efficient housekeeping staff. There is even a mini fridge to keep your beverages cold.
The activities are a plenty from scuba diving, island tours, fishing and snorkeling led by locals who know all the best spots! Rental cars on site and massages under the gazebo on the beach!
But by far the best attraction is the pristine, cool, white sand beach with calm, warm, clear water!
The resort has tons of complimentary toys for the kids and kayaks and hobi cats as well if just sitting and enjoying the magical view isn't for you:)
Regardless of whether you'e been coming to to The Bahamas for years or if this is your first time, you no longer have a place to stay on Long Island, but have friends to stay with at The Cape!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JeannieMae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrookCSM, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, May 3, 2011
Dear JeanieMae,

Thank you for the wonderful review. We are so very happy to hear you enjoyed the food, activities and the staff! Ewa and I enjoyed visiting with you and we're looking forward to seeing you, your husband and your daughter once again.

Go Canucks!

Cheers,
Brook and Ewa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2011

If you are longing for a place with clear turquois waters, powder white sand beaches, palm trees gently rustling in the breeze, and the friendliest people on the planet, then look no further. Cape Santa Maria has all of that, and much, much more.

Scuba diving for the adventurous, snorkeling for the inquisitive mind, hobie cat sailing for the whole family, long bare-foot walks on the beach, star fish in the shallow waters, bicycle rides along quiet contry roads, and peaceful afternoons whiled away reading in a gazeebo. What more could you ask for?

The food was excellent, and we absolutely love their Lobster Bisque.... it's to die for!

So, what's not so good? It takes extra effort to get to Cape Santa Maria, and in our case it adds one extra day travel to get there, and an extra half day travel to depart. This resort is located on an "Out Island" and there are no International flights, so everything is routed through Nassau. This costs extra, and takes a bite out of your holiday time.

Next, I think the resort is a little over priced for a couple of reasons. First is the time and expense to get there (as already mentioned). Second, there are no alternatives for restaurants unless you rent a car and drive a very long ways. This means that you are a captive audience, and after adding a mandatory 18% gratuity to the restaurant bill it's quite expensive. Not out of this world expensive, but for anyone on a budget this is a bit much.

Having made the negative comments, you should know that we have been there four times now. We feel that the good stuff far outweighs the not so good stuff, and the local people push this over the top. They are friendly, helpful, and very cheerful. Would we go again.....? You Bet!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are on the beach!
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CFMEA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrookCSM, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, April 20, 2011
Dear CFMEA,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our resort and we are happy to hear you enjoyed your fourth trip at Cape Santa Maria. We certainly enjoyed meeting you and your wife and swapping stories about sourcing parts etc.

For those departing from the west, it does take a little extra effort to get to Long Island, however it's well worth it once you are here. Westjet offers a convenient direct flight from Calgary to Nassau, but you will have to overnight in Nassau and then take a short 45 min flight to Long Island the following morning. If you choose this option, we are able to extend a special rate with our Nassau hotel partners. If you are determined to make it to Long Island without the expense of a Nassau hotel, I know people that have taken a late flight from Calgary to Toronto and then connected to Nassau. This route will arrive in time for the afternoon flight to Stella Maris, Long Island. For more information and flight options, our website has a lot more information under the "Reservations" tab and then click on "Getting Here".

With regards to local restaurants, there are a number of restaurants throughout the island and a couple restaurants in Burnt Ground, approx 12 minutes away by car. Taxis are available at any time and cost $15 each way for two people to Burnt Ground. I have also seen a number of guests go for lunch by riding our bicycles to Burnt Ground. We encourage all our guests to explore the island. This can be done by renting a car and exploring at your own pace, or join a Long Island Guided Tour where Omar will show you a number of Island highlights including lunch at Max's Conch Bar for great conch salad and some real local atmosphere.

As with most hotels and restaurants in the Bahamas, our restaurant does charge a 15% gratuity for your convenience.

Once again, thank you for your comments regarding the staff and our food and we hope to see you again.

Best regards,
Brook and Ewa and the great staff at Cape Santa Maria
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

We found this place through friends who had visited it previously. It's about a 35 - 40 minute flight from Nassau, in a somewhat small plane (20 seats!). Upon arrival at the airport, a taxi had been arranged to meet us and took us directly to the resort. We were able to stop at a local general store to pick up a few items before we got to the resort.
The resort itself is gorgeous! It sits in a small bay, with sky blue water and white sand beach. I'm just over 6 feet, and I was able to go out about 200 yards into the water and it just reached my chest.
There are 24 cottages on the resort, two rooms per cottage, but unless the resort is full, you probably won't have anyone else sharing the cottage with you. There's a large enclosed porch for when you want to get out of the sun (as if), and you're only a few steps away from the beach.
The main area of the resort contains reception, the tv room, (with a large DVD library and satellite tv) the laundry, the exercise room, as well as the bar and restaurant. Wi-fi is available free of charge in the lobby. There are also windsails, and kayaks available to take out onto the water.
The bar offers free conch fritters during happy hour as well as daily drink specials. You can sit in the bar area or go out onto the large deck at the beach.
The restaurant has a great menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all the meals we had were excellent! The whole area is open so you can look out at the ocean while you eat.
There's not a lot to do on the island, a few tours and what have you. We were just looking for a place to relax and sit by the ocean for a few days, and without a doubt, this was the best place to do it.
I can't recommend this place highly enough, if you're looking just to get away from it all and hang out in the sun.
It's also unbelievably quiet at night, and one night, there was a short power outage, and we ran outside and saw the most amazing sky you've ever seen.
Go and be amazed... we'll go back, no question.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlbertaActor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 24, 2011

That's what several people said to us as we passed them when strolling down the most beautiful beach in the world. You know about the places you see on-line, and when you arrive you think the pictures oversold the place? Not here - it's really the opposite, where the pictures can't do it justice. It's that beautiful. This was our second visit in two years. Initially we were in a villa with relatives, then moved into one of the bungalows. We were able to cook a lot of our own meals in the fabulous villa kitchen and when we were in the bungalow, were delighted to discover the food in the restaurant is excellent. The staff is extremely courteous and helpful. A great combination of professionalism, warmth and friendliness.Great new discovery for me this year was, in addition to the endless white sandy beach, there IS snorkelling around the one rocky area.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Calgaryduo2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrookCSM, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, March 26, 2011
Dear Calgaryduo2222,

Thank you for your kind words. It was great seeing you again and certainly nice to get to know you a little better.

We hope to see you next year.

Best regards,
Brook and Ewa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

David Byrne's lyric "Same as it ever was." would well describe our return to Cape Santa Maria after ten years. This secluded (read: isolated) outpost of tranquility sits atop the tip of Long Island, one of the outer islands of the Bahamas.

After our first trip here we vowed to return, but in the intervening years we were off to other adventures. Actually, we don't like to repeat trips. We live in the Vail Valley and enjoy robust year round activity and plenty of great Rocky Mountain weather and scenery. We love adventure travel and between trips to CSM have been to the Greek Islands, US Gulf Coast, Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, St. Martin and to Abaco Island in the Bahamas. At every beach or beach resort we've visited we've compared it to CSM and invariably we say, "it's just not as good."

Ten years later we found the property to be in tip-top condition with first rate service. It's a testament to good management that CSM is as good, if not better than it was a decade ago in 2001.

We're not sun lizards and tolerate "just hanging out" in small doses, but at CSM we haven't found it hard to hit the slow button for 4-5 days. Beach walking, snorkeling and bonefishing are signature activities for us.

The biggest negative, which is also the biggest positive, is that CSM isn't easy to get to. Depending where you're coming from it can take 2 to 4 flights to get there and the planes get smaller and smaller.

One of the most common comments you read on line and hear from guests is the surprise that CSM looks just like the photos on their web site. If anything, the photos fall short of capturing it's spellbinding turquoise beauty.

The centerpiece is a five mile beach that arcs around a cove. Photos are deceptive as the beach is much longer than it appears. The sand is as fine as you could ever imagine and you can easily wade in 2-3 feet of water for hundreds of yards.

Flanking the main house (dining, reception, activities desk, TV, WI-Fi) are the duplex bungalows and larger condominium villas. But unlike resort properties in, let's say Florida or Hawaii, with around 100 guests at a time there's usually less than a dozen folks seen on the beach. That’s it. One morning I counted six people on five miles of beach. This is as close as most of us will ever come to being on a private island.

Compared to other travel destinations, there's minimal tourism adventures and dining opportunities on the island. I'd liken a CSM vacation to a cruise -- without throngs of people. Everyone congregates at the patio, bar and restaurant. It's a delightfully friendly international mashup with Canadians and Americans (CSM is owned by a Canadian company) and other families and couples from Europe and Latin America adding interest. Many are return guests and everyone you talk to invariably wants to share how wonderful Cape Santa Maria is.

It's romantic for couples, great for friends and fantastic for families. The menus for all meals are varied and tasty, but if you're a true foodie don't expect a 4 star Michelin product. The kitchen really does an excellent job at breakfast, lunch and dinner and you won't be bored or disappointed with the food.

The logistics to make this all work are impressive considering that Long Island got electricity just over 20 years ago. Everything (and I mean everything) comes from weekly sea transports. As guests, most of of us take simple things for granted (like a well stocked bar or wide variety of menu choices), but it’s clearly a well-managed behind the scenes effort to provide all the civilized comforts of a high quality resort in such a remote location. For instance, the property rightfully boasts that it has a first rate reverse osmosis drinking system -- and they do.

CSM is celebrating their 20th anniversary and what really impressed me is the cleanliness and care given to the property has kept it in excellent condition over the past ten years (and a few nasty hurricanes). This reflects a very high commitment to quality and investment in on-going maintenance.

A lot of visitors have commented on the excellent service. We'd agree. However, it's a bit hard to describe what's different. Maybe it's just the island vibe or maybe it's like the slight tweak of driving on the left side of the road (with left hand drive) -- just a little different. Warm, but informal. Whatever that difference you may feel in service, you're still going to be impressed and happy.

Summing up, with our extensive travel experience this is one of the very few destinations that goes on our return list (this time we’re not waiting ten years between trips). It’s a challenge to get to, but if you’re looking for comfort, quality, service and jaw dropping Caribbean beauty, you’ll figure out a way and, remembering this review, will be glad you did.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VailValley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas

Property: Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Address: Galliot Cay, Long Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Long Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Long Island
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Long Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Untouched... Undiscovered... Barefoot elegance in a Caribbean paradise. Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort is unlike any place you have ever experienced. Mile after mile of silky-fine sandy beach melts into the warm turquoise water. With twenty bungalows and a handful of villas steps from the most beautiful beach in the Bahamas, an escape to Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort is an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Long Island
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort And Villas
Cape Santa Maria Beach Hotel
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas Long Island, Bahamas

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