My 10-year-old daughter and I recently had the best island vacation EVER at Club La Shante in Forbes Hill, Little Exuma.
We were told that Club La Shante had been closed to the public for several years because it was being leased as a private residence. Now the original owner has returned and he has done a great deal of renovation to the property so that it can once again be a landmark hotel and restaurant.
We stayed there during the grand reopening period so we basically had the place to ourselves -- the peace and quiet we enjoyed were priceless! I rented a car so that we could explore most of the other hotels and restaurants reviewed on this site. Our conclusion was that, no question, we already had the best deal of all by staying at Club La Shante.
Right now, the Exumas are a super-hot destination now for real estate investors. Luxury condos like February Point and McMansion-type houses are springing up everywhere in sight. The Bahamian Dollar is considered to be exactly equal in value to the US Dollar and the paper currencies are used interchangeably. That doesn't mean, however, that bargains can be found. Everything costs twice as much, but we found ourselves in a carefree atmosphere where we heard the phrase "put it on my tab" over and over. The Bahamian locals seem to have a sophisticated high-tech lifestyle and we didn't witness the typical poverty you often find in the islands.
Club La Shante is indeed an oceanfront property, a pleasant respite from the hard-partying Margaritaville scene we encountered at Chat 'n' Chill on Stocking Island or the super-upscale "if you have to ask you can't afford it" atmosphere at the Four Seasons -- a far superior beach, too! The food was enjoyable, because chef/owner Dwight Brice delights his guests with tasty meals like curried chicken with cool side salads or a tempting burger. There's plenty of the local Bahamian beer called Kalik, but a fully stocked bar as well.
We had such a magnificent time at Club La Shante that we don't think its re-opening should be such a well-kept secret any more. It's time to let the cat out of the bag and share the good news with anyone who might be considering a trip to the Exumas!
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