We were three couples visiting Baycienda for a week. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and Tomas met us at the airport and escorted us back to the house. He then took us to the 7-Eleven which is the main store in Gregorytown and also to the liquor store to stock up since the next day was Sunday and a lot of the stores are closed.
We settled in for the next couple of days and got acclimated. We really like the location of the house, the view is gorgeous. There are many pros for renting this property which include the excellent satellite TV reception, good wireless internet, large living area, kitchen which had ample pots and pans and dishes along with a dishwasher which was a real plus. The Tahoe that came with the property was a bit rough but did not break down on us and was sufficient for the week. The boat was in excellent condition and ran well however lacked proper safety equipment such adequate life preservers. It was nice to run around in the bay and we did not feel uncomfortable even running over to Harbour Island. The pier was great with the turtles and fish and green moray hanging out all the time. The outside patio was a great place in the evening and we had no problems with bugs. The air conditioning in the bedrooms worked great, the master bedroom suite was very nice. The other bedrooms were not up to par. The second bedroom upfront had a comfortable double bed however the toilet seat was broken in the bathroom. The back bedroom with a double bed was horribly uncomfortable as were the two single beds in the other bedroom. The second bathroom was rather old and not particularly appealing. I would rent the property again but only if I did not have to stay in those bedrooms the next time or if they were somewhat upgraded with new bedding. This is one of the most beautiful islands that I have ever been to with some of the friendliest people. And you feel very safe everywhere you go. Shopping is good at the N. Eleuthera Shopping Center which carries most everything and is only about 15 minutes from the house once you get to the main road. Eating out is very expensive but Daddy Joe's close by was very reasonable option. The air conditioning in the main living area strains to keep the area comfortable in the afternoon when the sun shines through the glass doors. I would rate the overall condition of the property about 2 1/2 to 3 stars. However based on the experience of the whole trip I would have to give this as I have, a four star rating. Also there is a cell phone there at the house for local calls just make sure that it has enough minutes on it for you to make phone calls I believe it's prepaid and we were only able to make one phone call and then it said we could make no more calls due to insufficient funds.
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Baycienda is a huge property, too big for the 2 families we had staying there. Tom jones was very helpful. He stayed in a nearby cottage while we were there and checked in on us each day. The boat was the best part, as we were on the Bahama sea everyday. Be sure to fill up with gas, as we did run out. The house had air conditioning,cable and the bay is great for swimming. The water is so clear and blue and there are a ton of fish by the dock.
There were a lot of small insects in the living room because the doors are open a lot. There was a leak in the bedroom but it was cleaned up right away by toms ground keeper who also lives on the property. We loved it and our children loved it. Be sure to buy some groceries, as you will probably want to cook some meals. The water taxis are also available to take you to harbor island if boat is not available. They only charge 8 bucks
We spent 2 weeks at Baycienda and could have stayed forever. We covered as much of the island as we possibly could. Checked out other rental properties for comparison…Baycienda stood miles above, for a large group especially. I chose this property based on the amenities offered. 4 bedrooms. 3 bathrooms. Large well stocked kitchen. Room for spreading out. Our own boat and car to use. These were both indescribably helpful. The island is VERY long and some of the best beaches are rather remote so having access by water or land was absolutely a necessity.
The owner left our car at the airport for us and his house caretaker met us at the airport and guided us to the house. When we left we drove to the airport and left the car for the next guests, could not have been easier.
The house is on the protected inner bay so the waters are calm and warm and perfect. Just on the other side of the driveway is the mighty Atlantic so you have the best of both worlds at your doorstep.
The most positive aspects of the property are:
1: ON the water
2: Boat provided
3: Car provided
4: Comfortably sleeps 8
5: All bedrooms have ceiling fans (and A/C units if you need)
6: 10 minute boat ride from Harbor Island which has Dunmore Town and Pink Sand Beach.
7. Great snorkeling directly across from your dock. 5 minutes by your boat. We paid for a snorkeling trip and this is one of the places they took us!!
8: Kitchen is very well stocked. Go to the house first to see what you need before stopping at the grocery, no need to buy more than you need. We left a lot of our staples for the next guests which others seem to have done also... so pay it forward.
9: The large grocery is about 15 minutes from the house. It is surprisingly well supplied though before the weekly delivery staples do tend to run low. Plan on going on delivery day to get the best selections! (was tuesday when we were there) Before and after school you will see MANY children at the store who will graciously "help" you take your groceries to the car. Tip well ;)
10: There is a washer and dryer in the guest house. There is also a laundry line for drying if preferred.
11: Rain water is collected from the roof and stored in a cistern under the house. We never had a worry about running out.
12: Bottled water is readily available at the store and 5 gallon water bottles can be exchanged there as well.
Early morning and late evening be sure to be on the dock…morning you will see sharks and rays and turtles….evening you will see the rocks below the dock come alive with fish and if you are lucky and drop and few nibbles down you may get to see the eels!
Be sure to go Preachers Cave at the very North end, Then follow the path to the beach and you will find one of the most spectacular beaches on the whole island. We were completely thrilled to get to play with dolphins at this beach.
Also worth the trip is a day trip down to Lighthouse Beach at the southern most tip of the island. It is a bit of an adventure to find. And when you think you are LOST keep going. Take food and water and plan for a whole day adventure.
Also an adventure is Surfers beach. Do not miss it.
Eleuthera has been our favorite island of the Bahamas so far. So much to see and do and so much diversity with the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. And Baycienda is a delight. Owner Tom does it right with all the amenities he offers, he helps make your vacation a little extra special!
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