Movie room with DVDs, lending library, and board games
Bungalows are basic without TVs and Wi-Fi
Small fitness center with few machines
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas is a 41-room property located on Long Island. A short flight from Nassau, the middle-upper-range resort is peaceful and scenic with a show-stopping beach -- it’s one of the most pristine, calm, and scenic stretches of sand in the Bahamas. Cape Santa Maria offers two tiers of accommodations: Bungalows are homey but basic and have private verandas; they're a great option for those on a budget. Villas are huge and have added luxuries: full kitchens, washer/dryers, and more upscale furnishings. Note that there is no pool, and the bungalows don’t have TVs or Wi-Fi. While bungalows are nothing fancy, the rates are a good value and give budget guests access to this stunning beach. However, for a similar price, the condos at nearby Gems at Paradise Point have full kitchens.
A peaceful beach and a lively beach house and restaurant
Named after Christopher Columbus’s famed fleet, Cape Santa Maria Resort is laid out in a straight line parallel to the gorgeous, long beach. The lobby, with a large front desk, small convenience shop, and activities center, is housed in a homey, colorful beach house on the north side of the property. Guests can gather here to watch TV or movies, play boardgames, work out in the small fitness center, using the free Wi-Fi, or tackle a load of laundry in the coin-operated washing machines. The upstairs restaurant is the liveliest part of the resort, especially in the evenings when guests gathering for drinks. The atmosphere is relaxed here, with wicker chairs and wooden tables topping multicolored tiled floors. The restaurant's veranda gives a lovely place to take in the ocean view.
The bungalows sit nearest the beach house, lined up in a neat row along the beach. Two units make up each of the one-story, squat white buildings with wooden boardwalks. The villas are located farther down, on the south side of the property. The five villa buildings are two-story, white, and more elaborate with patios and balconies with decorative railings and light blue shutters. There is parking near each of the villas. The resort is quiet and peaceful during the day due to its size and the long stretch of sand. You can easily sit by yourself on the beach and not see another soul for 20 yards.
On Long Island, a sleepy, rugged Out Island with fabulous beaches
Cape Santa Maria Resort is located on the northern end of Long Island, in the Out Islands of the Bahamas. There are two airports on the island: Stella Maris and Deadman’s Cay. (Stella Maris is closer.) Daily flights are scheduled from Nassau. Ferry service is also available. Taxis to the hotel from Stella Maris are about $25 USD, and most drivers are happy to let guests stop at the small grocery store on the way.
At 80 miles long and no more than five miles wide, Long Island is fairly remote. There’s just one main road that goes from the top of the island to the bottom. Businesses are sparse here, and there's only a small number of restaurants and shops on the island. Guests who come here appreciate the isolation. Those looking for a more active resort with plenty to do in the area should look into properties in Nassau, such as Comfort Suites Paradise Island or Sunrise Beach Clubs and Villas.
A range of accommodations, all with furnished outdoor spaces
Cape Santa Maria has 21 bungalows, each with a spacious screened-in porch featuring an ocean view. Cushioned armchairs and glass-topped coffee tables make these spaces a bit more cozy than usual. Rooms in pastel colors (sky-blue, buttercup-yellow) are nothing fancy with colorful pattered drapes, white linens, and beige tile floors. Amenities include small writing desks, coffee-making facilities, safes, mini-fridges, and a jug of drinking water. Bungalows do not come with TVs or Wi-Fi. The bathrooms are fairly bare-bones, too, with older vanity sinks, bright-blue tiles, wall-mounted hairdryers, toiletries, and stand-up showers. One bedroom bungalows have a king bed or two queen beds; two-bedrooms have a queen and two twin beds.
The resort also has 20 1,800-square-foot villas. The decor here is contemporary and a level above basic bungalows with neutral paint, crown molding, decorative art, attractive lighting, and dark-stained traditional furniture. They also have more features including full kitchens (with pots, pans, dishes, glasses, and utensils), large living rooms, dining tables for six, flat-screen TVs, irons and ironing boards, free Wi-Fi, and washer/dryers. All of the villas are two bedrooms and two bathrooms and are individually owned and decorated. The unit we saw had stainless steel appliances, whirlpool tubs, and separate showers. The villas have a private patio or balcony with beautiful ocean views. Guests can also pre-order groceries prior to their arrival or during their stay.
Gorgeous beach, popular restaurant, and lots of activities
The real star of Cape Santa Maria is the beach. Spanning the considerable length of the resort, the beach is long and spacious, with a wide stretch of pristine white sand. This spaciousness means that you'll never be too close to your neighbor. The resort has loungers and hammocks in various spots as well as small cabanas for shade. The water is stunning as well -- turquoise blue and extremely calm.
The resort's well-staffed activities desk runs plenty of tours. Fishing is extremely popular on the island. Other tours that are available include diving, nature cruises, and snorkeling. Loaner kayaks and bikes are provided to guests for free.
The hotel’s Beach House offers a TV room with loaner DVDs, coin-operated laundry machines, board games, a lending library, and free Wi-Fi. There's also a small and minimally outfitted fitness center with a treadmill, an exercise bike, and a couple free weights. But most guests come to the Beach House to hit the restaurant. A formal dining room is upstairs, and an attractive bar area is downstairs, both look out through three walls of windows, which provides exceptional views of the beach and sunset. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has both a lighter bar menu and a full restaurant menu. Guests give rave reviews to the food. Various meal plans are available, including full board (all meals) and a modified plan (breakfast and dinner).