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“Best Place on Earth”

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Staniel Cay Yacht Club
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Staniel Cay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 January 2012

Everything really has been said about this place in the previous reviews. I cannot say enough about the island, the people, the activities, the food, etc. My next trip is already scheduled for their New Year's Eve party next year! I loved the watermakers air flight down, it was so easy. I also used Lane's Limos in Fort Lauderdale to get us to the Watermakers hanger and that was great.

I had been to Nassau Bahamas on a cruise once and felt I never wanted to return. Exuma Islands are magical-I am glad I gave the Bahamas another chance because the beauty is truly amazing. I used to dream about going to the Polynesian Islands, and now I feel like I do not even need to spend the time it would take to get me there. I cannot imagine that anything could get much prettier than this! We swam with the pigs every day, snorkeled the grotto, fed the iguanas, went to Compass Key to swim with the nurse sharks, picnic lunches on our own beach, bicycled the island, went to church(that was great, they were so welcoming to us), we really did it all. We even saw flying fish~they were so beautiful.

I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit this place at least once in their lifetime, maybe I will be lucky enough to move there someday! I would be happy to answer any questions you may have~Relax and Enjoy...I think this is truly one of the best places on earth!

Room Tip: The hillside cottages are brand new and come with a 17 foot whaler
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank DoctorMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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313 - 319 of 407 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2011

This was our first trip to Bahamas and our 18th country visited. Most of our travel has been to warm water tropical locations. We stayed 7 nights here and 7 nights at Small Hope Bay Lodge in Andros. Travel is a passion, but understand that we prefer authentic experiences. We avoid franchises at home and would never go to Cancun or Nassau. If you prefer and expect Sandals or a stay at Ritz, this place might not be right for you.

After carefully reading previous TA reviews and then visiting, I believe the many other reviews are very accurate. Getting here is easy if you work with Watermakers. The flight from Ft. Lauderdale Executive is a total of 90 minutes with a very short stop to clear customs in Andros. If you bring more than 35 pounds of luggage including your carry-on (everything) be prepared to pay a surchage. Candidly, you need very little. I didn't wear shoes the entire time.

We highly recommend the all-inclusive package. There are no other comparable dining options - period. If you include the use of the boat, it is a no brainer. Once your plane arrives it is a 5 minute ride to SCYC. You check in at the bar and the good life begins. The bar is extensive. Beers are $4 and wine and drinks are similar to US prices. If you want high-end tequilla or wine; no problem. Carl and David are the bartenders and friends from the minute you sit down. Meals are tasty. Breakfast is typical American favorites plus ala carte options. Lunch can be packed for the beach or enjoyed any time throughout the day. I especially enjoyed the fish and club sandwichs and the wings. The fried fish fingers are wonderful and ask for a grilled cheese if you are a vegetarian (eat fish) like my wife. Dinners are soup and a salad course followed by fish, chicken, lamb, beef or lobster. Each are served with sides like rice/potato and veggies followed by a simple dessert. If you are a full vegetarian, they will work with you but your options are limited since they have to ship or fly in everything and perishable items are not practical. Save everything leftover from your meals. The pigs, birds, sharks, rays and other critters are fun to feed.

The rooms are rustic but clean and simple. We stayed in the blue cottage. While it has some blemishes, they are cosmetic not functional. The lights, water and toilet all worked fine. If you prefer it, the A/C was strong and would drown out any noise,


although I'm not sure there was any. While we were there, the bar and music was shutting down by 10ish except for Sat night when we stayed up until ~11:30. Our "king" bed was 2 singles pushed together - very common if you travel much. I did not ask about other cottages. The in-room coffee will get you by until the restaurant opens around 8. You do not need to worry about security but if needed the office will put small items, cash or passports in the safe.

The boats worked fine contrary to certain reviews. This is an amazing perk. We got in daily around 10 for beach hopping, animal encounters and fantastic adventures returning about 3 for a late lunch and siesta. I will make this very clear. In our dozens of trips we have never, ever seen more prefect water and countless beaches. A yatchie couple we spoke to said it rivals Polynesia. A critial TA review noted the beach in front of the cottages are poor - duh; they are on the leeward side of the island. With your boat and a few minutes drive, you can visit dozens of deserted beaches that are amazing.

We did not fish but others had good success. I planned to dive, but the boat wasn't working. Snorkeling is good but not great. Sites to not miss are feeding the pigs, the igaunas, Pipe Creek,Thunderball Grotto and the 2 sunken planes you can snorkel. We also used the bikes once. They are included. I would note that we didn't see any children; only couples.

In summary, this place is magical. The people are wonderful, the surrounding water, beaches and islands will boggle your mind, the facilities and food are fully adequate given you are in the middle of nowhere. The adventure is up to you.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tonyandk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

Fantastic spot to relax and unwind. I think the all-inclusive deal is great. This does genuinely mean you can choose what you want from the menu (instead of having those usual annoying restrictions and limitations), it means you get unlimited use of their facilities including cycles, snorkels and a boat. Other good points however include: very friendly casual bar, the self-contained nature of the cottages right on the water and next to the jetty, and the quality of food. Bad points: no kettle in the room so you have to make tea in the coffee machine, WiFi charge is per time and a bit excessive (also erratic reliability).
In addition, though you can choose from a very nice menu in fact they ran out of fruit and most cereal types so it's not quite as extensive as it appears.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Stephen005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

I now realize that there aren't enough colors of blue in Crayola's box of crayons. The water surrounding Staniel Cay is simply incredible, ranging from turquoise to azure to sky blues...impossible to describe acurately but easy to spend the day watching.

I had really done my research on this property having read about it several years ago. I was not let down in one single aspect. The cottages were precious, the bar lively, the food truly delicious. When we arrived the air conditioner was on in our room and I promptly turned it off and opened all the windows. What a breeze! I loved lying in bed at night and listening to the water lapping the shore. The little porch on our orange cottage was so wonderful, literally perched right on the water. It was simply decorated but had all the necessities including a small refrigerator. The staff was lovely. The ladies that served our food and took care of us were truly charming and great fun to chat with. I loved the sign in the bar "You are here now, what is your hurry?" Remember this and all will go well.

The little boats were a tad on the rough side but functioned just fine. I brought my own snorkel gear, which was smart, but should have also packed water booties so I could have explored some of the little islands we boated to. The coral can be pretty sharp and I was only wearing flip flops. You gotta feed the piggies and Thunderball Grotto is a must. It was the only place we saw a nice reef with lots of brightly colored fish. We went back there every single day at slack tide so we could imprint it in our memories forever! I'm sure there are other reefs, we just didn't make it to all of them. Another do: ask your breakfast waitress to pack you a lunch so you can have a picnic on one of the many little white beaches you will see while boating. Heaven!!!

It was very entertaining to watch the fishermen clean their fish and watch the nurse sharks feed on scraps. You knew your dinner was going to be really fresh! The lobster tail I had one night was huge!!!

Small note: bring sunscreen, bug spray. The rooms have hair dryers (good ones) and bath products. Plenty of towels. Dress is casual, I did need a sweater at night (November visit) Sneakers would be good, especially if you want to ride the bikes or do any real exploring, the coral is pretty sharp. If you are super fussy about your sleeping pillow it would be good to bring that as well, the pillows were a bit thin and flat. The bed was fine with a ceiling fan hanging over it providing a bit more air.

Room Tip: Just be sure to pick on that is on the water, it would be a shame to miss that view! The four one s...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mizjudypoody1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2011

As so many people say on these reviews, this small corner of heaven is NOT for anyone who is after pampering, perfect accomodation or fancy food.
However, if you are a real traveller who delights in perfect nature, the freshest of freshest foods, amazing cocktails (in plastic cups) and the simplest of lives, this is the number one destination. Once the new cottages are built and a little more luxury is added, it will be more perfect. The aircon is noisy and the beds aren't the most comfortable, but I could sleep on a desert island, so I wasn't that fussy.
I just can't keep going on about how beautiful the setting is, how amazing the nature is around the cays, the sand bars, the staff... where to start:
The staff are lovely - from David and Carl at the bar (David is a mean dancer) to the gorgeous Felisha and Ruth in the restaurant (you MUST see Ruth's bags that she makes - stunning!!!) and all the guys around the waterfront, they are simply there to make you feel relaxed, happy and excited about your days ahead.
The water WAS the most blue, clearest, warm, gorgeousness that i've swum in - the fish were stunning and the snorkelling was exceptional. Head to Twin Cay for perfect desert island bliss, snorkelling and a romantic lunch spot. Compass Cay was fun with the sharks. Head to the Land and Sea park in the rented 17' boat or with the Capt from the yacht club - has to be seen to be believed.
And not forgetting Ben and Barry, the brothers who gave us all our fish! Crazy guys and really informative to us about all the fish. The best Conch salad EVER!
We met such lovely people, guests and staff included and although the weather wasn't 100% all the time, there was plenty to keep adventurers occupied.
Like I said, if you have adventure in your heart, head to Staniel - you will NOT be disappointed!!
ps I will try and put some photos up soon.

Room Tip: Ocean Blue was amazing!!!
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Charlie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

If you get a chance to get down to the Exumas by plane or boat Staniel Cay is a must stop. Go dive thunderball cave or go out fishing and catch some tuna or dolphin. The cottages come with a 13ft boston whaler so you can go cruise around yourself. The place is simple but clean and beautiful. The staff is great and Joan behind the bar can make a great drink. If you want high end this place is not for you!!! But if you want to explore and get away, you found your spot!!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gtrain_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

If you like luxury, being pampered, flawless accommodations or expect the staff to anticipate your whims stop reading here. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club is not for you.

If however, you would love to self-drive your own 13' Boston Whaler as you navigate turquoise water, visit deserted white beaches and snorkel coral gardens then this is the place for you. This is not a controlled, contrived experience concocted by a multinational corporation. But for adventurous souls who seek their own way and those who can make their own fun, it's paradise in paradise.

The Staniel Cay Yacht Club started as an outpost for yachters in the Exumas in the 1950's and the vibe of that era still resonates today when the dinner bell rings and guests gather to eat and casually mingle with visiting boaters. The food is simple, fresh, delicious and unpretentious.

Echos of the bygone era of self-sufficient islanders living in a remote paradise reverberate today as you are casually handed the keys to the boat included with your simple guest cottage after breakfast You and the other guests will spread out over the islands during the day and then gather at happy hour in the bar to share your adventures, tips and stories of one of the most unspoiled places on earth.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank HT3777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Address: Staniel Cay | Exuma Cays, Bahamas, 00001, Staniel Cay
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Staniel Cay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Staniel Cay
Price Range: $154 - $483 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Soothe your body, mind and soul with small island charm. Let one of our beautifully decorated cottages be your relaxing home while in the Exumas. Your balcony will literally overhang the clearest waters in the world. Secluded beaches. Incredible SCUBA, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking. Delicious cuisine. Inviting pool and sundeck. Friendly island bar. Full-service marina and 3,000’ airstrip. "Watermakers Air" provides convenient flights to Staniel Cay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Staniel Cay Yacht Club Hotel Staniel Cay
Staniel Cay Yacht Club Bahamas

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