I had similar experience as other reviewers. We went in May 20-27, 2016, which is apparently just after their main tourist season so that could be why a few things were a little run down and a few things were slow - but not enough to really be an issue.
First, I was disappointed that we couldn't get one of the ocean side villas and could only get the hillside, one bedroom villa, but I was told it was a nice place and had an ocean view. It was very nice. The room was huge and very clean and modern. The shared balcony (with three other rooms) does look over the trees and onto the ocean. You enter into the living room and go through the kitchen area which was well stocked, and there is a small bathroom to one side. then you go back to the bedroom that was clean and a good size, and had a bathroom of its own too. I was impressed with the room because I guess I was expecting a little worse.
The Splash bar is not exactly what I was expecting. First of all, ALL restaurants on the island are expensive. The wait staff at this bar were a little rude and didn't really want to work, but maybe they were tired from the long tourist season. I don't know. However, the beer is fairly cheap and the Conch chowder is AMAZING. I think all the food was good but we did not eat there a lot because of the price. We cooked a lot in our room.
Hideaways offers free Kayaks, snorkel gear, and paddle boards. Here is where I am not sure if things were run down because of the time of year or if it was because they are always like that. The workers there were never around to help me take the kayak off the racks so I used the one on the ground that I could reach. Well it turns out that kayak was missing a plug and we didn't know that until we were sinking about 50 yards out. Luckily even 50 yards out we are still able to stand as the water is shallow, but the further out you go the more chance of sharks and other critters.... When we came back dragging it they guy came over and we told him about the plug. He said I should have asked for help. I told him I did - twice - I even had to ask him for the paddle/oar for the kayak so he did know what we wanted. The snorkel gear was adequate but I had concerns about how well they cleaned them.
The Hideaways also have a small boat dock if you are into that. The beach was beautiful and you can walk further down and find an even more beautiful and very secluded beach.
They say they have free Wi-Fi but it is only at the lobby and the Splash bar.
The free shuttle from the Hideaways is great because if you are staying a while, you can go into town in their little grocery store and buy food to cook, and the liquor store is right next door. then the shuttle picks you up and takes you and your groceries back. However, if you are going to peace and plenty, the shuttle stops at 5. the clerk at the Hideaways told me we could get at cab back at 9pm. They lied. When we were ready to leave Peace and Plenty, the clerk there had to frantically call people to help us get back to our hotel. She said the clerk should have known better.
Some things to note:
Exuma is definitely not "super touristy" - the power WILL go out every day across the whole island. we thought it was just at our hotel but it is through the whole island. (also when the power goes out the water does too.) It only stays off for about 15 minutes though. It only inconvenienced us once when we were about to cook, so it wasn't a big deal.
Bring lots of cash. Some places take credit card, but some don't. The only ATMs are at the banks in town.
Also there is no public transportation as mentioned above and the taxis stop around 5ish.
If you are looking for stuff to do there isn't much that doesn't involve water. there are like 5 shops to go shopping at and that is about it. There is a weekly party/BBQ at peace and Plenty, but if you are staying at the Hideaways it is hard to get back there, because like I said, the taxis stop at 5.
Also, the Bahamas have sand flees. they are awful! They do not respond to bug spray but if you bring baby oil it really helps. Its like they can't land. Otherwise bring some insect repellant for the mosquitos and flies.
**Definitely take the water taxi to Stocking Island. Stocking Island is a must. it is beautiful there and they have a Pig Roast on Sundays. You can swim with the stingrays!. You can snorkel, or have a beer in the surf, or eat fresh Conch salad. Or you can walk a little ways, wade through a low water crossing, and climb over the small hill to the most beautiful secluded beach you have ever seen.
I also did the 4C's adventure but I had a bad experience with them.
As a side note, the hospital on the island is brand new but not very good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you are planning a trip to the Exumas, look no further than Hideaways at Palm Bay. Our beachfront resort offers you a variety of accommodations, ranging from studio, one & two bedroom cottages to one, two and three bedroom villas. We have it all for you here at Hideaways. Our casual, friendly, and peaceful resort offers you the opportunity to play in the sand on our private beach, or lounge by the pool with a drink in your hand from Splash!, the on site bar and grill. Hideaways was made for you, and our amenities and facilities were designed with you in mind. Offering in suite massage for pampering, complimentary water toys for entertainment, and gorgeous views for enjoying the sunset on our private patio, you will find Hideaways is filled ample opportunity for couples, families, and friends, all to have a great time away from home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hideaways At Palm Bay Hotel Great Exuma