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Home > Destinations > The Bahamas > Trip Reports > Trip Report

The Bahamas - Trip Reports

Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros

My husband and I spent 7 days in April at Small Hope Bay Lodge and it was everything we expected and more.

We had never stayed at an all-inclusive before, due to the expense and wanting to stay away from the glitz and masses. I did a significant amount of Internet research before booking there, to make sure it was what we were looking for. The descriptions and pictures on their website are an accurate representation. SHB really does seem to be all about attitude. It is very low key, relaxed and friendly. The food was excellent and more than ample, the service impeccable.

The rooms were sufficient and clean, have in-room safes now and have a glorious view. Meals are buffet style with seating with other guests and staff. That may sound odd if you haven't experienced it, however it was a wonderful, non-intrusive way to get to know people. I was also impressed to notice that if someone is newer or alone, staff will subtly sit and eat with them, a nice touch to ensure no one is left out. Within a couple days, visitors are laughing and joking with each other and staff, sharing drinks and the day's events.
Activities are well planned and posted, but you should ask if you want something. We are experienced snorkelers that have been to several Caribbean islands. The sites aren't the best we've seen over the years, but they would rate at least average. Not tons of fish to see, but some nice exotics, and other sea life too. I worry that it is condition that will happen more and more if reef preservation isn't addressed in the general Caribbean area. The dive staff is extremely accommodating, while maintaining visitor safety. I attempted the Discover Scuba experience, but my own fears made me unsuccessful at it. Shannon, the dive master assisting me, tried ever so hard to get me through it -patient and encouraging.

The pace is good, with time between meals and activities to relax in a hammock, talk with new friends over drinks in the patio area overlooking the water or take a walk on the beach. If you want more, you can use the bikes, kayaks and maps to see other areas. You can rent a car for the day. I would say that we enjoyed the first half a little more. The seas were calm and school was in session-not the fault of SHB! It isn't Disney World and things like rain and wind, and the US school breaks happen! There are still other things you can do. There are no phones, TVs, etc - very nice. If you require a lot of activity, higher level of amenities (like cruise ships or Club Med) and really want to be catered to, it isn't your place. If your kids constantly play video games or can't entertain themselves, they won't be happy. However, if you enjoy nature, swaying palms, reading on a hammock and living barefoot in a bathing suit, I think you'll be glad you booked there.

Thanks to Deb for this trip report ...
April 2006

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