Gems / Hans Paradise
Avaliou em 28 de Junho de 2021
My wife and I stayed at Gems Resort for 7 days in Long Island a few months ago. Hans went above and beyond in making sure we were comfortable and al our needs met. The place is gorgeous and Hans is an excellent host. We highly recommended Gems !
A true Gem it is
Avaliou em 19 de Junho de 2021
After over 3 years of planning and attempting to make this trip happen and finally finding a reasonably priced alternative to CSM resort I was able to convince my wife, whose Long Island was a dream destination, that if she gives Gems a well deserved chance she will fall in love with it; it's cozy, clean, much more affordable than CSM resort and still has its own outstanding beach... and if that is still not enough the drive to CSM beach is less than 1.5h easy scenic drive. And if you travel smart, like we often strive to, you can score a deal like we did here where for 4 nights stay we got one free round trip ticket with Southern Air from NAS to LGI - a value of about $250 which brought down the cost of our 4 nights here to about $450 - an absolute bargain for a place of this caliber!
Location: the 20 minutes easy drive from Deadman's Cay airport (LGI) is super convenient as on the way you will pass multiple grocery stores where you want to get some water, beer etc. and there is a gas station or even two if my memory serves me well. Gems is right passed Clarence Town which despite being a capital of Long Island is a pretty non-business town; for those who stay on land during our "still COVID" June 2021 stay there was literally one restaurant open in the marina (the marina of course operates normally), and a bakery/grocery stop at Erica's and another small restaurant that was open at some random hours right past the church - what I am trying to say is plan accordingly because this is Long Island, a Bahamian Out Island so things are different here :) On the way from the airport you will pass the Dean's Blue Hole. Another 20-25 minutes easy drive south is Gordon's Beach. CSM beach is about 1.5h drive north, so is the Columbus Point - so depending where you want to spend majority of your time take the location into consideration - we drive twice to CSM and it wasn't a big deal to us and we were happy how things played out for us as we wanted to "check out" the island :)
Room: we booked the least expensive option but upon arrival Hance informed us that we were upgraded to the Diamond Building (the rooms connected to the main house vs. the separate 3 story structure) with the full kitchen - we are a couple who doesn't cook but if you travel in groups this is an amazing option as there are 2 rooms with separate doors that first connect in that full kitchen before they connect back to the main area of the property/lobby/bar. The room had good A/C, decent Wi-Fi, very big and comfortable bed with multiple pillows, full bathroom with a bath tub and shower and lastly an outstanding balcony with a superb view - I believe all rooms have an ocean view but it was amazing to chill on that balcony seeing the beautiful ocean colors changing throughout the day and in the evening stars "bombarding the skies" - after Eleuthera this is the most stars I had ever seen on any Caribbean island - what a treat! The room has no safe but don't need that... it's an Out Island after all, here human life matters and people respect each other! :) There is a TV with cable and a DVD player but we didn't watch anything at all as there are better things to spend time on while on this beautiful island.
Hotel Grounds: this is a nice big property located on the hill overlooking the beautiful waters of Clarence Town marina, it's a very homey and cozy place where definitely time slows down. It's off the main and only road on the island with just the owners' house being next to it so if you feel like Long Island is on island time then here you further indulge yours in lack of distractions :) beautiful palms and trees/bushes with flowers are present throughout the grounds and on the beach you will also hotel's sun beds with plenty of shade - our favorite place for spending time in the evening - the hotel faces "east" so if sunrise is your thing then you will be happy, and even though we couldn't see too much of the sun setting the display of colors on the clouds was still a pleasure to watch each night
Beach & options: this is probably this biggest surprise, I expected beautiful views of the cove/water but I didn't realize that there is such a nice beach at Gems and that the water can be so pretty and pleasant to swim in - it's on the Atlantic side and when the wind blows harder the waters get lively but still not choppy, we actually ended up spending quite a lot of time in that water on 2 different occasions - my wife was definitely sold on this; we bought agreed that Gems doesn't receive enough credit for its beach; as Hance said himself "we aren't as pretty as CSM beach but we definitely have a great beach" and we 100% agree. If you want to try other beaches go to Dean's Blue Hole - the beach there is very pretty and shallow water - less than 20 minutes drive. The Gordon's beach in south looked good as well - we only arrived in the evening for dinner but if we had more time on the island I would go for a day there as well - it's about 25minutes south. Lastly of course CSM beach is about 1.5h drive up north - definitely a must while on Long Island. We also bumped into some people in the area of Columbus Point chilling by the more remote beaches/waters there - looked pretty cool, though for the more adventurous ones.
Food & Restaurant Options: One thing I would want to emphasize is that you definitely want to take advantage of the Gems food options, unless you cook, as this would make your stay and vacation on Long Island much easier as finding open places is sometimes tough, not to mention one serving particular food you may be on the look out for - the total is about $40 per person to do both breakfast & dinner (you can choose just one if you prefer to cook or dine outside) and you want to request the food a day before from the menu provided (the menu options are pretty plentiful see picture I shared) - we passed on the breakfast one day to explore the island... there are no options in Clarence Town so you have to drive about 20 minutes north to the closest place that serves breakfast or coffee (I believe it's called Under the Sun, inside their convenience store) - like I said the of Clarence Town; is not a typical capital you may think of... the breakfast and dinner we had twice were great and very generous portions so plan accordingly. From other places on the island we ate at we really enjoyed the CSM resort restaurant; Max Conch, Erica's Bakery (closest option, though no coffee, just bakery + groceries, right in Clarence Town), Lighthouse Inn right in the Clarence Town marina serves also some good fresh fish and it's a convenient alternative if you want to leave the resort. There is a honor bar at Gems but I believe no beer so we always pick that up ourselves and what we brought to our dinners on the property :)
Things to do: beach at Gems is great for starters, you can use the kayaks and paddle boards as well. Hance also organizes boat trips/excursions so if you want more action speak directly to him. Having a car is an obvious must on island like Long Island (though I can see how someone can survive at Gems without really leaving the property) so do explore Dean's Blue Hole, Gordon's Beach, Cape Santa Maria Beach, Columbus Point + smaller stops along the island just to even sit down and absorb the vistas - that water is something special!
Overall: a fantastic place to stay, especially the first time you visit Long Island and want to explore this Bahamian paradise. Hance is always there to help you to make your stay great, communicating via WhatsApp while not seeing in person turned to be extremely convenient and helpful as well; an absolute Gem this place is!
Avaliou em 4 de Maio de 2021
Amazing hospitality! Gorgeous location and incredible hosts! The meals were delicious and the rooms were very clean and comfortable. Gems has one of the best views of the ocean and a nice hilltop location. Any questions or requests Hans was always available to help. We will definitely be returning!
Avaliou em 25 de Abril de 2020
We had a amazing time at Gems and we can’t wait to go back. As the other reviews have mentioned - location is great, the views of the harbor are wonderful and the hospitality was absolutely fantastic!! It was one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever had. Can’t say enough about how great Hence and Shavonne were with everything- arranging a car hire, a fabulous boat trip which included visiting with the swimming pigs! I could go on. Pictures are of the view from our room
Stunning Location & Hospitality
Avaliou em 17 de Janeiro de 2020
Great location and quality hotel build and furnishings. But what particularly made the stay exceptional was the personal attention afforded to us by Hance and Jennifer.
We stayed on meal plan and Jennifer accommodated our requirements including vegetarian and Hance was very attentive to his guests. We stayed in the main building next to the lobby with a kitchen. A small private beach is available and a 20min walk to Lockbar beach is next door. The Bahamian hospitality is wonderful and with Hance's sailing experience we had a great boat trip through the mangrove and cays to see some wonderful locations and fantastic pigs and boars on a remote island. All in all an amazing 10 day stay - thank you.