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Reviewed 5 January 2015

Stayed here with a buddy from 15-20 December, 2014 in the twin bed room. Awesome place overall. Peter and Betty were great; Peter made sure we wanted for nothing, laid out a great breakfast every morning, and was always forthcoming with useful information pertaining to things to do on the island. They have rental cars available right there at their house. $60 a day was a little expensive, but if you want the freedom to explore the island at your leisure, you can't beat renting a car from them. I couldn't have asked for a better experience on Exuma!

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahamasbliss, Owner at Coral Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2015

Thank you very much for your TripAdvisor Review - you were great guests & we enjoyed helping you to experience as much as possible on your first visit to Exuma.

Hope we can welcome you again sometime in the future.

Betty & Peter

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Reviewed 30 November 2014

Coral Gardens is excellent if you're looking for these things: a homey B&B atmosphere, breakfast with fellow guests, personalized service, and a secluded setting. In true B&B style, guests in the regular rooms are literally staying upstairs in Peter and Betty's spacious house. Peter provides one-on-one orientations upon arrival to make sure your excursions and activities are well planned, which helped us confirm our boat tour up front. He even drove us around in one of the rental cars on the first day to get the lay of the land around Georgetown. And the grounds around the house are tranquil and quiet, especially at night with the breeze and the starry night sky.

And I'm sure you've already noticed the incredible value of the room rates. I doubt you could find a better deal anywhere in the Exumas.

On the other hand, this is not the place to stay if you're envisioning an ocean view or sleeping near the beach. The house is set 1/4 mile off the main road, down a rutted country lane. Walking to Hooper's Bay (the nearest beach) also requires an additional 1/4 mile walk along the grassy shoulder of the busy main road, before cutting between some beachfront houses. So this adds up to about a one-mile walk round trip. It's up to your personal point of view whether that counts as close to the beach or not.

Also, be prepared to feel stranded at night without a car. Unless you're in an apartment unit with a kitchen, you will either need to drive yourself or pay for a $30-round-trip taxi to get to one of the nearest restaurants. So if you make just two trips in a given day, you might as well have rented a car ($60 per day) as opposed to two round-trip taxi fares ($30 + $30). Luckily, Peter and Betty's on-premises rental cars make it very easy to rent a vehicle on certain days, and save the money on days you don't need it. So take advantage of this amenity!

If you're comparing Coral Gardens to one of the nearby hotels like Augusta Bay or Hideaways, Coral Gardens easily wins in terms of unique character, charm, intimacy, seclusion, and quiet. However, August Bay and Hideaways have one a big advantage in their walkable proximity to the area's only cluster of restaurants, like Splash and the indispensable Fish Fry (where you will likely eat more than once). In the evenings that we didn't rent a car, we envied the people staying at these hotels, because they didn't have to bother with taxis.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Rocketdogc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahamasbliss, Owner at Coral Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2014

We are so pleased that you both enjoyed your stay & thanks for the descriptive Review which captures the essence of why guests stay at Coral Gardens.

You clearly explained why our guests particularly enjoy our convenient but peaceful hillside location with it's far reaching views. This is unlike the several nearby Hotels you mentioned which are directly on the main road with fast moving traffic. Certainly to walk from Coral Gardens to the nearest (& probably the best) Hoopers Bay Beach on Exuma takes about 8 - 10 minutes but the hotels you mentioned unfortunately lose their own little beaches when the tide starts to come in so that their guests also face a walk along the road to another beach.

Exuma has numerous beautiful beaches along its 65 mile (100Km) length & wherever guests choose to stay then a car is certainly an advantage for a few days at least to explore & experience what this island has to offer.

Best wishes & hope we can welcome you on another occasion,

Betty & Peter

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Reviewed 18 November 2014

Everybody’s dreaming about having a vacation in Paradise once in their lifetime. The second name of The Exumas is Paradise.

Once you’ll land in Georgetown’s little airport surrounded with palms, Willy will pick you up in his taxi and he’ll drive you to Coral Gardens. If you are thinking about getting in a bus please, change your mind; it looks like there’s only a schoolbus in The Exumas. So, after a short ride along the main road, Betty and Peter will give you a warm welcome to their wonderful and comfortable house. The rooms are clean, nice and fully equipped (sheets, towels and beach towels), with an optimal wifi connection. Don’t worry about temperatures: a big fan on the ceiling gives you the relief needed, and no insects can get into the room (but outside it is another story! Keep with you an anti-mosquitos spray! Or, in case you forget it, ring the bell and ask Peter). The place is one of the quietest on earth and lets you sleep in a Caribbean island like if you were a dozing child. The breakfast is served in a nice living room with a beautiful view of the horizon; you’ll taste different kind of bread or exotic fruit jams, tea and one of the most well done coffee. There is also a small fridge where you might keep your food if you want eat at home.
After the breakfast, Peter is always kind and happy to discuss about the amenities on the island and gives you a lot of useful hints, because sometimes the signs on the road are not clear (if they are still there...!). So, forget about your fancy Lonely Planet or Routard Guide. Rely on Peter’s suggestions, you’ll never fail. Peter will advise you about excursions, timetable and all the information you need to organize a trip.
The house is located 10 minutes by walk from Hooper’s bay, a wonderful and quiet beach where you can have a swim in crystalline water and have some rest really close to your room. But, since Peter is offering his car to rent, it is strongly recommended to get that (60$ per day is a honest price, compared to other rentals, with the advantage of having the car parked in your backyard and the chance to decide the rental day by day).
Thanks to Peter’s extraordinary congeniality and availability, and the openness and kindness of the Exumians, Coral Gardens and The Exumas will leave in your heart an experience you’ll never forget.

Sara & Zeno

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Lavattone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahamasbliss, Owner at Coral Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2014

WOW & THANKS!!

You must have known that we were fans of Queen with the title of your Review!!

You were lovely guests & we very much enjoyed you staying here at Coral Gardens.

Thank you for your lovely Review which will be very helpful for other people who may be thinking of visiting the Bahamas.

Best wishes,

Betty & Peter - owners

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Reviewed 17 November 2014

We stayed at the Coral Sands and since we were the only ones there at the time we were upgraded to a larger area of the house! Since we had our daughter with us, this was definitely a huge upgrade! We had a wonderful time and the house is right on a fabulous beach. Our only complaint is the mosquitos, which is more of an island problem :-(

Stayed: November 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Michele H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahamasbliss, Owner at Coral Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2014

Hi both,

Thank you very much for your lovely Review & we are so glad that you all enjoyed your stay at our Coral Sands Beach Villa.

Hope that we can welcome you again (with family or friends) sometime in the future.

Best wishes from a sunny & 84* Exuma.

Betty & Peter- owners

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

My wife and I needed a break from a stressful period, so we looked for a little tropical paradise, a peaceful place with beautiful and warm sea, good weather, empty beaches, friendly people and a laid back atmosphere. It wouldn't hurt if it was also easily accessible since we didn't have many days to spend on airplanes and boats. So we left our kid with his grandparents and we flew to Miami first, and then took a short 45 minute plane to Exuma.
Wow, we had found exactly what we were looking for. Just perfect. Miles of spectacular empty, white and soft beaches, with clear and warm sea ranging through all the tonalities of blue that one can imagine. Friendly and relaxed locals, sunny days - never too hot - with a constant breeze, and cool nights. We found ourselves driving up and down Great and Little Exuma visiting all the different bays and enjoying two or three different beaches everyday. And at the end of the trip we really had a hard time figuring out which one was our favourite.
Stocking island is another paradise in itself, with a caribbean coast lined with some of the best beaches we have seen, a wonderful little grill bar/restaurant right on the beach (chat 'n' chill), and an oceanic coast that we had to go see twice in order to believe it was real. Imagine the powerful atlantic ocean hitting a coast that could be right at its place in Ireland, just with a tropical vegetation, perfect white sand and waves made of clear blue water!
And then you have turtles, stingrays, conch...
Even the excursion to the Exuma Cays (in which you are rushed through the closest Cays all in one day) is a must do. The thunderball grotto alone is worth the trip, and Staniel Cay has a very relaxed atmosphere.
For five out of 8 days we stayed at Coral Gardens and we just loved it as well. We rented the apartment, which ended up being a very good idea. Food in Exuma is good but not very varied and not many restaurants are open at night. Fried conch, fried fish (grouper), lobsters, hamburgers and beer, basically. Which is great, and you'll even find spots like Santana's where you'll have the best lobster of your life. But we're italian, and we liked having the chance to cook our own dinners every once in while and enjoy the night on the deck.
Peter was extremely helpful and always willing to give advice to make the most of our vacation. You can really tell the Oxleys love the island.
They also rent some cars, which is very convenient, and have free wifi.
The apartment was clean, well furnished, with nice bathroom and kitchen. It has its own private deck from where you can unfortunately only barely see the sea in the distance. The garden surrounding the house is beautiful and very well kept. It is quiet and secluded on a hill.
It's not by the beach but the beautiful (want to see turtles?) Hooper's bay is a 10 minute walk away, and the best places on the island must be discovered by car anyway.
Georgetown, the only (very small) town on the island with banks, groceries, a hotel and the petrol pump is a 5-minute drive south-east.
Last but not least, the prices at Coral Gardens are among the lowest on the island (which is quite expensive, by the way, but not as much as other places in the Caribbeans), especially taking into account the quality of the accommodation.
Definitely recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank ollisara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bahamasbliss, Owner at Coral Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

It was so good to read your TripAdvisor Review & we feel very happy that your first visit to Exuma was so enjoyable.

You were lovely guests & we hope that we can welcome you again sometime in the future.

Best wishes & many thanks.

Betty & Peter - owners

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