Spacious bungalows with spectacular views from private porches
On-site restaurant serving delicious, fresh food
Small property allows with personalized attention and service
Free airport pick-ups and drop-offs by the owners
Free use of kayaks and paddleboards
Free Wi-Fi in the restaurant
Small gift shop
Restaurant is on the pricey side
No Wi-Fi in rooms and TVs get limited channels
Few activities for children
Location is isolated (pro for some)
Located on beautiful and remote Cat Island, the mid-range Shannas Cove Resort is a secluded, quiet property. Its five bungalows are nothing fancy, but they feature private furnished porches with dazzling ocean views. The resort's highlight is the stunning beach with calm turquoise water, white sand, and a handful of loungers.
Due to the small size of the resort, many guests report having the beach to themselves. There are also nature trails that lead to
even more secluded beaches. But note that there's no pool. Shannas Cove’s on-site restaurant serves delicious albeit pricey food. Nearby Pigeon Cay Beach Club is another solid option for those who would enjoy the quiet seclusion of Cat Island.
A private, homey hilltop resort with lovely ocean views and friendly guests
Located up a dirt path, the Shannas Cove is a rambling property of rust- and mustard-colored buildings with wooden terraces and five bungalows in similar color schemes. A bumpy flagstone path weaves around the natural grounds, covered with palm trees, tropical flowers, and overgrown ferns eventually leading down a set of wide steps to the breathtaking beach beyond. The whole property sits on a hill, which offers spectacular views of the ocean below, but it can be a challenge for guests with mobility issues. The restaurant and porch is situated at the top of the property, near the entrance. The five bungalows are free-standing and are located at various points on the hill.
Like most hotels on Cat Island, Shannas Cove is small and quite secluded, a feeling that’s only enhanced by the fact that there’s no Internet in the bungalows, and TVs just get a handful of channels. Aside from the free watersports, there’s little activity in the area, but guests welcome getting lost in Cat Island's natural surroundings and either explore the island, do excursions, or spend the day lolling on the beach. It’s easy to find solitude along the generous stretch of sand. But the resort isn’t without its social element. The owners and other guests tend to be friendly and welcoming, and there’s regular gatherings in the restaurant's bar in the evenings. It’s not unusual for everyone to get to know each other’s names over the course of a visit. Guests are mostly couples, and Shannas Cove is not particularly recommended for children, as there’s a limited number of activities to occupy them.
On scenic and laidback Cat Island, a nature-lover’s paradise
Shannas Cove Resort is located on Cat Island, 130 miles southeast of Nassau. There isn’t much on this island, which is 48 miles long and has a population of only 1,300 people. The island is lush, hilly, and incredibly scenic with a generous and friendly culture. It's very safe, and guests enjoy the laid-back, slow pace of local life.
Cat Island is known for its gorgeous, secluded beaches as much of the island is not developed. It’s not uncommon to come across miles of white sand with no one around -- no boats, docks, or jet skis. Visitors often remark how surprising it is that a place like this still exists.
The island can be accessed by a short flight from Nassau.
Charter flights from Fort Lauderdale can be arranged but are much pricier. The
owners do airport pick-ups and drop-offs for their guests free of charge, and
will often help in arranging the connecting flight from Nassau.
The five free-standing bungalows, each named after a tropical animal or marine creature, are sprinkled across the resort’s hillside connected by the various walking paths. Inside, the crisp white walls and pitched wooden ceilings are accented by colorful tiled floors (some a bit scratched and worn). There’s little furniture aside from a built-in platform bed and a built-in couch, but burgundy textiles and ceramic tropical fish on the walls give it personality. Each bungalow has a king bed and a seating area. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, air-conditioning, and safes (but no Internet). The owners have also placed an extensive binder with activities and history about Cat Island in each room. Simple bathrooms with tan tile are outfitted with standing showers, hairdryers, magnifying mirrors, and minimal toiletries. Each room also has its own porch, which runs the length of the bungalow. With the exception of one bungalow, which has a slightly obstructed view, all look out over the ocean and offer beautiful panoramic views. All bungalows are the same size at 345 square feet, with the exception of the Dolphin Bungalow, which is 430 square feet (and slightly more expensive).
The beach at Shannas Cove is located down a scenic,
palm tree-lined stone path. It's gorgeous and spacious, with a wide swath of sand
that wraps around the cove and clear, calm, aqua-blue water. Due to the small size of the resort, the beach is secluded and never crowded. A few
loungers are on the beach, although note that there's only one straw umbrella and the
rest of the loungers are exposed to the sun. A romantic porch swing for two is also on the sand. Kayaks and paddleboards on the beach are free for guests' use. Guests who want another gorgeous beach all to themselves can follow
the Man O War nature trail off the resort, which provides a 30-minute walk
to miles of deserted, spectacular white sand beaches.
Shannas Cove's restaurant is located at the top of the
property and offers gorgeous views of the beach and the surrounding area. The best seating is out on the porch: Shaded by a trellis, the wooden tables and folding chairs here overlook the ocean; there's also an indoor dining area. The restaurant, open for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner, is superb. The fresh, quality cuisine is on par
with any upscale restaurant in Nassau or Freeport. Dinner is a fixed price and set menu, and made fresh from whatever the chef has on hand. But the owners are happy to accommodate dietary needs or preferences. Unfortunately, the menu is on the
pricey side and can add up quickly, especially since there aren’t a lot of
alternatives in the area. As of our visit in April 2015, there was high-speed Wi-Fi in the restaurant and porch, but not in the bungalows.
Shannas Cove also has a small on-site gift shop with T-shirts, woven baskets, and knickknacks from Cat Island. And the owners have diving
equipment on hand.
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