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“Just can't get enough!”

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Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Long Island
Certificate of Excellence
Massachusetts, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Just can't get enough!”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

There are no words to adequately describe the time we spent on vacation at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas. Pure paradise! The villas are beautiful and the view is just breath-taking. I would say it may be impossible to find a prettier beach. Also, I need to commend the staff, especially Brook and Ewa for their impeccable attention to detail. The staff has a unique way of meeting your evey need and making it look seemless. Thank you for making my sister's birthday so special and memorable! Also, my husband and I ventured out to try new places to eat, but came to the conclusion that Cape Santa Maria has the best food on the island...nothing beats the blackened grouper after a day of fishing! We are happy to say that we cannot wait to return and hope to bring friends to share in the Cape Santa Maria experience. Thank you!

Room Tip: Love the villas. New and beautiful!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vanessa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook C, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Vanessa C,

Thank you very much for the glowing review. It was a pleasure seeing you and your husband again. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the beachfront villa, the quality of food, fishing with Bert and all of our wonderful staff.

Look forward to seeing you next year.

Sincerely,
Brook Castelsky
General Manager
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658 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Our 3 day stay was planned as a break in an otherwise busy travel schedule and this was the perfect place to rest. From the moment we sat by the beach here we felt the weight of the world slip away from us. In the first few days of June the weather was clear and dry although I heard rain was expected in the few days after we left.

The staff are super friendly and quickly learn your name (and room number). Everything can be charged back to your room so no need to carry cash anywhere in the resort. The staff were able to help us with a rental car (also charged to our room) which are kept on site. We arrived back after reception had closed for the day so returned the keys first thing the following morning with no extra charge.

The bungalow had a tropical feel to the decor which felt a little like a cheap motel but I can see why it was chosen for this environment. The beds were comfortable and there was a fridge in the room which was handy. The screened in porch was a great place to relax first thing in the morning. The bungalow was larger than I expected although it is worth noting that the bungalows are in pairs (so 1 and 2 share a wall, as do 3 and 4, etc). We arrived in the off season (just) so were the only guests at this end of the beach. There are gazebos that are shared among guests but with so few guests we had one to ourselves and spent a lot of time relaxing here.

The resort provides beach towels which are changed daily and offers free kayak rental. Scuba masks and flippers can be rented for a small fee. We made use of most of these facilities in our short stay. The water here is warm and very clear - even at nearly 6 feet deep you can easily see the ocean floor. The sand at the water's edge is so fine and soft it felt like walking on powder, although it does get a little rockier as you walk up the beach. The bay is protected so the waves are gentle. We didn't see a lot of wildlife on the beach used by the resort but early in the morning you can spot birds and crabs on the water's edge, and early evening we found ourselves in the middle of a school of fish.

I had read a lot about the cost of food here. I understand that most foods have to be brought to the island and found the cost to be more expensive than most of the places we had visited in the US prior to this but in line with the cost of food in NY and Australia. The quality is a little hit and miss - we really enjoyed the pizzas from the bar menu and the banana bread was delicious.

I'm not normally a beach holiday kind of person and was worried I would be bored here but I could easily have spent a few more days exploring all the resort and the island has to offer. I would definitely recommend this resort and would be happy to come back again.

Room Tip: Bungalows 1 and 2 are furthest away from the main building so it feels like you have your own privat...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chinagirl828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook C, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, July 4, 2013
Dear Chinagirl828,

Greetings from Paradise! Thank you very much for the review and we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay. I meet so many guests that are worried about having enough to do, however by the end of their vacation, everyone wishes they had a couple more days. If the complimentary bicycles and kayaks are not enough, we have activities such as paddle boards, a snorkelling and nature cruise, picnic lunch on Sandy Cay, Reef, Bone and Deepsea fishing and a Long Island Guided Tour which includes stopping for lunch at Max's Conch Bar.

It was a pleasure meeting you both and we hope to see you for your next beach vacation.

Cheers,
Brook Castelsky
General Manager
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Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Absolutely everything we hoped it would be! We're already planning a trip back next year and hoping to stay longer! The bungalow was wonderful and perfect for our family. The staff was friendly and helpful. We stopped in Nassau for a night, but next year plan to go straight to the Cape. Water was beautiful, beach was beautiful, weather was perfect (80s and sunny all week), food and drinks were delicious, snorkeling was great. Thank you so much staff of CSM, you helped to make this trip the best!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Jana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook C, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Dear Jana C,

Thank you so much for your kind review regarding the staff, food and snorkelling. Please let us know when you are arranging your flights for your next trip so that we may inform you of the available flights from Nassau to Stella Maris. Southern Air provides an excellent service into Stella Maris, however we are eagerley awaiting the arrival of an alternative airline. This new service will offer a scheduled flight in the late afternoon that will allow most of our guests to connect to Stella Maris, Long Island on the same day.

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Cheers,
Brook Castelsky
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The staff was friendly, the beach and location was amazing. The bungalow was clean and right on the beach, and since we went in low season we had the beach to our self a couple of days. We went in middle of June and had sun every day for almost a week, only a bit rain in the night.
As you can read in the other reviews the food is not very good. With that I mean the fish was very dry and over cooked every time, the steak was ordered medium rare but came out well done and dry. The breakfast was alright, the lunch was also okay they had an amazing lobster salad that everyone should try. The problem is that the food is quite expensive compared to the main land, I do not mind paying extra as long is the food is good, but not when its below average. I would recommend the resort to friends and family because it is a nice place!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank gun0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook C, Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Gun0,

It was great to meet you and your husband and I enjoyed chatting with you about your travels all over the world!

I am glad that you enjoyed your stay; we agree that we have a special place here.

I am concerned about your comments regarding the food. I remember personally quality checking some of your meals and your response was that the food was good. We endeavor to make sure our guests enjoy their stay and dining is a large part of this. If indeed you were not enjoying a meal, we would have gladly had it remade.

We receive a lot of great feedback regarding the quality of food. In fact, 12 of the last 13 reviews say the food is either “very good” or “excellent” with many commenting on their favorite items. One of our guests from Riner, Virginia says, “…we found the food to be very good, with a nice mix of western and Bahamian cuisine.” Another guest from Illinois says, “We were never bored with the fare. Anything you could possibly want for breakfast including omelets, eggs benedict etc. Three huge courses for dinner. You can have shrimp cocktail, followed by lobster tail every night if that's how you roll. All I'll say is, ‘Don't pass up the apple fritters! They're to die for.’” As part of our continuous improvement process we have been testing a few new menu items on our daily feature sheet and we will soon launch these on our dinner menu. In addition, we have recently updated our dessert menu.

All the best to you both, and we hope you will consider us for your next beach vacation.

Ewa Castelsky
Resort Manager
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Middlebury, Vermont
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We hadn't been to the out Islands since about 14 years ago when we visited Cat Island. I have no idea why people go to Nassau/Paradise Island when the Out Islands are SO MUCH more spectacular. I've traveled to probably 20-25 Caribbean Islands over the years, but NO WHERE has nicer water/sand than the Out Islands of the Bahamas. Even the Maldives (okay, maybe there - I've never been) could not have water as crystal clear. That shallow, translucent water is only found in the shallow island shelf of the Bahamas. The blue is so clear at times it can hurt your eyes. We love other places too like Peter Island and Guana Island in the BVI but they are much more expensive. Dollar for dollar, I'd be hard pressed to find a better deal. We just got back from 6 days on the Island and it was spectacular. Our friends had the bungalow adjacent to our villa so I can comment on both. We had a fantastic trip with two couples/kids.
What makes Santa Maria amazing?
1 - the beach (4 miles of the most calm, crystal clear water you could picture)
2 - the sand - white and SOFT - hard to find such perfect sand
3 - great weather - 80-85 in June - it rained at night, but clear most of the days
4 -- helpful staff who went out of their way (thanks Shenique and Starlinda -hope i got that right) - bar tenders were great, and bar has a great view
5 - the villas are awesome. I never thought I'd enjoy doing laundry, but we did a load EVERY DAY which was great. It's super convenient and they supply detergent, bounce, etc... which is very helpful. Internet is great. Kitchen has EVERYTHING - blender, dishes, pots, silverware - stocked. Very clean, 2 bathrooms, a master and extra bedroom, TV/VCR, air conditioning, great views, screened porch.... all the comforts of home and then some. We recommend villa 26 which had an awesome view. I will say if you are stuck between a bungalow and a villa, just keep in mind the villas are MUCH nicer. The bungalows are very rustic, in need of a makeover, darker, and have few amenities (which may be fine for some who want a basic facility). Comparing the two, I was glad we had a villa for our two kids and us. Our friends spent every night on our porch overlooking the water (see pics). They thought of everything - they will even buy groceries for you.
6-- Bert is AMAZING for bone fishing and tours. My husband and son LOVED the half day they went fishing (bone fishing) with Bert and we did a half day Sandy Cay tour which was amazing. Bert ROCKS.
Cons? Just small nitpicks
1 - food is very good for the Out islands for sure but not as gourmet as say Anguilla for any number of Caribbean islands (if you eat a lot, get a meal plan, if not, just do a la carte)
2 - not much to see on the island and taxis are expensive - we spent $300 to see Dean's blue hole (which you should see), the capital and the caves (unless you love bats, I might skip these) - but I'm glad we did it
3 - bungalows need renovation
4 - electricity had some issues and we lost our water the last day before our return home due to a thunderstorm (no water at all, no shower before our flight home)
5 - no easy way to GET here - I don't like flying and that Southern Air Charter from Nassau was the oldest, most decrepit plane I have ever flown on - it had ASHTRAYS. The out Islands need some REAL plane service with newer planes or high speed ferries or they will never gain the prominence they deserve.
6- mosquitoes - be sure to spray with OFF - I got bitten quite a bit between no see ums and mosquitoes. They do provide bug spray and if you want to sit on the porch, it's worth doing a quick RAID spray (which we did with the RAID they provided).

In summary, it's hard to beat a gorgeous place like this - between the free bikes (fun to ride into town), kayaks (which we took out a lot), paddleboards (not sure why they charge $10/hr for these), there is quite a lot to do. The small bay next to the hotel is amazing to walk to and kayak to as during high tide you can paddle in and at low tide, there are sand bars you can walk out quite a ways on. Sandy Cay (where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed) is worth a half day boat trip. Thanks Cape Santa Maria for a great vacation!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank VTwelltravelled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brook C, General Manager at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Dear VTwelltravelled,

Thank you for the kind and informative review. Your "Insanity" workouts are an inspiration to us all.

With regards to your comments about the small plane, Southern Air has recently refurbished their 19 seater planes and we are awaiting the arrival of a second airline. If you prefer flying on a larger plane, you may book a seat on Bahamasair to Deadman's Cay Airport and you will fly on a 50 passenger plane. Deadman's Cay is a 75 minute drive to Cape Santa Maria and the taxi fare will be $110 for 2 people.

I sincerely apologize for the situation with the water. Due to the thunderstorm, we did lose power and operation of our water pump for a short period of time; however this was resolved by 7am that morning.

We hope to see you next year!

All the best,
Brook Castelsky
General Manager
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Harrisburg, PA
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

The second we got in the taxi to go back home - I was already planning a trip back in my head! It all started with the friendly taxi ride from Smithy's who was waiting for us at the airport. The hotel had contacted us a few weeks prior inquiring about our arrival time. On the way to the cape he stopped at a local gas station/liquor store so we could get some additional wine and such. We were greeted upon check in and shown to our rooms - I was just so excited to see the beach, I don't think I remembered a word the lady at the reception desk said :) But once I saw the beach - I couldn't believe that I was there, it is something out of clip art, post cards, wall paper etc... Once we arrived in the bungalow it was large, cool and minimal (which was fine, since we really didn't spend much time in the room). There was a 2 queen beds, mini fridge and a safe - I loved the fact that it had louvered windows but the room still kept cool, if you are a light sleeper just be warned that the birds outside will be your super early alarm clocks!! We found the bed and the sheets to be really comfy. The screened in front patio was enormous and we enjoyed sunset drinks there. For the price that we paid for the room - you would pay 2 to 3 times that amount for proximity to the beach anywhere in the states. We knew going in that the room wouldn't have any frills. I felt that the restaurant was very good - we did not opt for the meal plan since we are not big eaters and decided to split all of our meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. I recommend getting anything off of the special menu - I felt the food we ordered off of there was a bit better than off the regular menu! We had a mushroom bisque one night that was sooo amazing! The bar was a lot of fun and we had a lot of good conversations with the employees, they were able to give us some insight as to where else to explore on the island. I recommend if you are there and Andy is working at the bar to order a Sky Juice! You will not be disappointed. I didn't feel the prices were expensive at all - they were right in line if you were to go to NYC or Vegas. They did have some happy hour specials - just watch out for the goombay smash, it will catch up to you!! We did the Sandy Cay tour - which I definitely recommend - when we go to the island it was literally like you were in a different world! I love animals so I had fun feeding the iguanas which are always looking for a piece of bread!! You spend 3 hours on the island and have the ability to roam around at your free will - they set us up for lunch on a sand bar and people can not even believe it when I show them the pictures! We also rented a car and drove down to Dean's Blue Hole - again people can not believe the pictures that I show them! Make sure to stop at Max's on your way down or back - get a rum punch, kalik and the conch salad! During our stay we also rented a catamaran, paddle board and kayak, but my favorite part was just relaxing on the beach. I can not wait for our next visit back - we hope to bring some of our friends and family with us - so they can see first hand the beauty of this place. Oh and don't forget to say hi to the resort cat Killa - such a sweetheart!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank beachbunny4568
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Let's just say that there is nothing that could ever be changed to this beach to make it more perfect, it is perfect. The hotel however not matter how well positioned cannot hide it's need for a general overall. The rooms for the price were in dire need of a make over. The bathrooms were old and stale, threadbare towels, louvered windows, and the pipes running through the clothing cupboard were leaking. The size of the rooms and the lanai were exceptional and the beds were comfortable and while not the best linens certainly clean and not worn. The staff are helpful but not always appearing to be happy. There is a sullenness that is palatable, or is it shyness? - not everyone but a few. We were given a late check out at no added cost and the bike ride to the Columbus Monument was a thrill. There is NOTHING else to do except read and sleep, swim and kayak so be prepared. The restaurant and bar once again has an arrogance for its position on the Cape and the view but the quality of the food and the price one is charged for it makes no sense. Once again either be really good or be reasonable in price. You are stuck there with no other resources - no alternatives. I am sure the condos next door is a good choice so you can cook for yourself - however with no markets or fresh food to be found for miles good luck with that. This is one of those dream spots to completely relax and see water and beach that you cannot imagine really exists. For the price I feel an overhaul of the bathrooms and rooms is necessary to call this Most Excellent.

Room Tip: All the rooms seemed the same but further away from the main house would seem better. We stayed in...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fay V
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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