by Courtney Elko
This beautiful beach resort is situated on the tranquil Long Island in the Bahamas. Families will love being only steps away from the white sands and ocean but then have the convenience of the outdoor pool as well. The kids can swim while the adults relax in surrounding lounge chairs or in a hammock. One- to four-bedroom accommodations are available, so larger families are very welcome here. The villas feature large living and dining areas and a fully equipped kitchen and a grill outside. There is an outdoor dining patio too. Meal plans are an available option as well at the onsite restaurant and may be more convenient for families who don’t want to have to worry about cooking.
Our Editor Loves
- Pool and beach
- 4-bedroom villas
- Meal plan available
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
by Robert D
The beauty of this fairly small, family-run resort is that it doesn’t pretend to be more than it is. And what it does, it does well. If you want to be at a fancy resort where everything is spoon fed to you, this isn’t it. But they offer plenty of activities that are there to be taken advantage of. And if you’re looking for a very quiet place to kick back and enjoy the natural beauty of the Bahamas, this is the place for you.
Here are some of the pluses:
- very friendly staff. Never had one experience of any of them not being helpful, polite, and accommodating. Always got a friendly ‘hello’ from every staff member we encountered.
- beautiful location on hillside facing the Atlantic. Stunning views and nice breezes. Occupies an old cotton plantation surrounded by wilderness. It’s remote, if you like it that way.
- very clean. Rooms clean. Grounds well kept. Pools immaculate. And generally that went for the entire island that we saw, almost no trash along roads or beaches. Certainly cleaner than the US.
- uncrowded and quiet. We were there during the shoulder season, so it was especially uncrowded, but it struck me as being a peaceful place regardless.
- private accommodations. Most of the rooms consist of small cabins or houses, with a few multi room structures. Well spread out. Not fancy, but quite adequate. We stayed in a modest two room dinette suite, but there were some waterfront houses available that were truly spectacular.
- available activities include kayaking, snorkeling, biking, along with the standard longing around. Scuba and fishing also available for extra cost. The snorkeling and scuba are spectacular, with colorful, lively reefs. World famous bone fishing brings people from all over the world. Good birding.
- several pools, which are welcome relief from mid-day heat.
- safe, crime free. Because it’s set off by itself, and everyone knows everyone on the island, we never felt unsafe and property theft was not an issue. No dangerous animals, though bugs in the evening can be an annoyance. Bring bug spray.
- cosmopolitan. This place attracts people from all over the world, particularly Europe (and the US of course)
- nice vibe. Hard to explain, but the place just has a comfortable atmosphere to it. Lots of return guests, some coming back every year for decades. That should tell you something.
There are a few limitations to be aware of:
- it’s remote. The island is 70+ miles long with a population of less than 4,000. That limits services and resources. It’s also a bit of a challenge to get to, having to take a small plane flight from the main airport on Nassau. It’s a challenge for the resort too, for instance the kitchen ovens were down for a few days until a serviceman made it to the island. That meant delaying my pizza cravings.
- water access. Most of the activities require getting a ride to them. The resort offers shuttles, but you need to be on their schedule for departures. They’ll pick you up at your schedule. There isn’t a good swimming beach onsite, but they own a beachfront property they’ll shuttle you to that is really beautiful.
- limited onsite supplies. If you want food for your kitchenette (if your place has one), or other personal items, you’ll need to wrangle a ride to one of the very small stores several miles away.
- consider a car. Much more of the island opens up to you if you have a car. Bear in mind that traffic runs on the left side of the road (remnants of its British colony days). Roads aren’t great, but traffic is low and drivers are generally considerate.
- food is good, but not great. Daily meals are only served between set hours. Menus are limited but rotate daily. Food is pretty expensive, but at least gratuities are priced in. The bar also serves food. If you want food outside the resort you’ll need a car.
- water quality isn’t great. It’s safe to drink, but being on a tropical island salinity can be high. People living in the vicinity of the resort come here to fill their drinking water containers.
- salt in water and air means that things like plumbing fixtures, bicycles, etc corrode. Don’t expect everything to be shiny.
- not cheap, but not unreasonable
Summary: Stella Maris, and Long Island in general, is a hidden gem. I don’t regret coming here in the slightest.
When we were planning our private aviation trip to the out islands of the Bahamas, Long Island and Stella Maris came on our RADAR. Little did we know how wonderful the resort would be. Everything was ready for us when we landed at Stella Maris airport and put the plane to bed there. Customs was easy and quick. A very quick ride to the resort and we moved our stuff into our room. Everyone was wonderful and so nice.
The Moonshine Bar on the Atlantic ocean was a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Lunch there was perfect. Even though there is a nice pool, my wife loved jumping into the ocean beach which was protected by the outer layer of stones. There was plenty of space on the beach and chairs/Hammocks to laze around. We did get a car and toured the island – It is a very long Island. The Main road Queens highway is a good road. The side roads not so much. From Stella Maris its an easy trip to Columbus’s monument and Cape Santa Maria. Getting out to see Deans Blue hole was a little further but an easy drive.
We had a wonderful room with a beautiful view of the Ocean and leaving the windows open let the sound lull my wife to sleep. The sunrise shone right into the windows.
There are several other places to eat on the island. We eat breakfast at the resort and lunch sometimes there. Food was excellent with perfectly made omelets in the morning. Getting off the resort was fun and one has to try Tiny’s place for dinner. Just scrumptious.
To say the least we loved it at Stella Maris and will return.