What We Love
- Its hyper exclusivity: a 96-acre private island that welcomes just 70 guests
- The only overwater spa in the Bahamas
- Direct beach access from all 19 rooms
- The self-serve tiki bar next to the resort’s beachfront freshwater pool
What To Know
- A continental breakfast basket, afternoon cookie delivery, and departing gift are included in the rate
- Each room includes a golf cart and bicycles for daily use
- The all-inclusive Guest of House rate (an additional $200 per person) includes all meals, drinks—alcoholic and non-alcoholic—and an array of aquatic adventures
Beachcombers and fishing enthusiasts will find their bliss on this dreamy, remote Caribbean refuge, named after the shaggy red trees that dot the private island’s powder-soft sands. Limestone cottages are kitted out with stylish wood and host plenty of repeat guests – a testament to the resort’s unmatched warmth, thanks to the Hew family who has owned the atoll since 1994. The ever-ready front desk staff can swiftly arrange a host of customized experiences, including candlelit dinners by the ocean, snorkeling picnics, or sunset cruises. Three miles of private beach offer a range of rather lazier lounging options, from hammocks to covered palapas. For the ultimate taste of barefoot luxury, the juniper-and-cypress oil massage at the resort’s overwater spa (where you can spy sea life through the clear glass floor) is a must.
All 27 rooms and suites have bougainvillea-laden exteriors and are spread across cottages, bungalows, and Balinese-style beach houses. If you’re honeymooning, consider the one-bedroom Cottage Suite (there are four on the property) with its 17-foot ceilings, sea-view soaking tubs, and expansive wrap-around balconies.
The Great House is the only full-service restaurant on the property, but it’s a fine one, with a Bahamian menu that’s chock-full of dishes featuring freshly caught seafood and locally sourced tropical fruit (for a bit of both, try the conch salad spiked with pineapple and mint or the grilled-to-perfection snapper drizzled with mango chutney). The resort also hosts a nightly torch-lit barbecue at the Tiki Bar & Beach Grill next to the freshwater pool.
This heavenly retreat is a mere mile from the world’s third-largest coral reef, teeming with angelfish, stingrays, and nurse sharks. To get here, take a zippy 15-minute flight from Nassau to Andros Island and follow it up with a 20-minute drive to Kamalame Cay.
How to Get There
Kamalame Cay is absolutely stunning. It absolutely exceeded my expectations. It's magical.
We stayed in one of the beach bungalows called Red Coral. They are a string of white huts right on the beach. While they are a 15 minute drive (via golf cart) from the main buildings (restaurant, bar, pool etc), they are so very special to stay in and seemed better than the larger huts set further back from the beach.
I will never forget the experience of waking and watching the sunrise from bed, french doors and side windows open, listening to the waves. Collecting shells along the beach once the sun was up, paddle boarding, spotting rays along the shore. The outdoor shower. It's insanely beautiful and peaceful and relaxing.
The other huts are spaced well enough so that you don't feel the presence of other people. The staff were all lovely and very friendly. The breakfast hampers were appreciated so that you needn't leave the bungalow till lunch time. The cookies at turn down each night were a nice touch, especially in the glass jars.
Driving around in golf carts the palm tree shaded roads is dreamy. It is one of my most memorable and favorite vacations I've ever had.
Some notes on what could be better:
I would go back in a heartbeat if getting there was a little easier. Once you land in Nassau you need to fly or take a boat to Andros. If you are traveling with a group and you can spring for the private sea plane or boat, that seems ideal and very easy.
However otherwise you must take a small plane from Nassau to Andros then a 20 minute taxi ride to a five minute ferry ride, which will take up a good part of your day. And if you take the small older planes Le Air or Randolph then they are very small and a bit rundown and both have infrequent and inconvenient flight times (super early or mid afternoon) and days when the flights don't operate at all (Saturdays or Sundays I believe) so it's all a bit complicated to arrange and match up with your flights from Nassau. I think if it weren't this way then they would be booked solid all the time and that is the only reason they still have availability when other resorts are already booked up. It's ultimately worth it once you get there but it's a lot of travel and it adds up.
The instructions on how to get there were not great however they have just updated the website and they are better now.
Overall the resort is beautifully decorated. Occasionally a little bit run down but still charming just a little rustic. The golf carts are fun but must be charged regularly.
The staff were puzzled by us not wanting fresh sheets and towels every day and had trouble complying with this request.
The breakfast hampers are a lovely idea you just get a knock on your door around 9/9:30, however the ability to customize to avoid waste would have been appreciated, the presentation and variety could have been better (i.e. more savory items, not wrapping cereal boxes in cling wrap, stainless steel bento boxes instead of plastic). A large glass carafe/ bottle of filtered tap water with the breakfast hamper and/ or at turndown would be appreciated, to avoid having to rely on small plastic bottles.
The music playlist at the Tiki Bar and pool was the same playlist repeated over and over day after day. I gave them feedback about this so hopefully it's been addressed.
The was too cold to enjoy swimming in during March which was disappointing, I assume it's not possible for them to heat it. A wetsuit might have helped.
The food at dinner was sometimes quite good (the blackened fish with pineapple was really great) but sometimes not (a Vietnamese salad I received as a room service item at dinnertime was placed in a tiny bowl and was almost a soup and essentially inedible).
The lunch menu is a bit limited and the food quality is not great. Quite expensive for four tiny shrimp on skewers that were fairly dry and unseasoned. I would have like to have seen more healthy options, including some salad, and I expected to see a lot more fresh locally grown produce. More kids menu items would have been appreciated and it seems there are off menu items for some reason - I was surprised to hear someone order a grilled cheese even though it did not appear on the menu, would have been nice to know that was an option prior to the day we left, when my 7 year old was growing a little tired of the burger and chicken fingers.
Wi-Fi is patchy, it should be guest accessible at main house at the very least, I was never able to use it and instructions as to how to access it should be put in the rooms. The Wifi hotspot they hand out on request never worked properly, it worked briefly then stopped, someone came to fix, same thing happened again. I returned it and asked that it be removed from the bill. It wasn’t, I had to then ask again for it to be removed. Best to just avoid it, not worth the trouble, but perhaps they've fixed this now as I did pass these issues on. They provide cell phones to guests as there are no landlines at the beach bungalows but they seem to constantly run out of money.
I saw an earlier review prior to going about trash on the beach and we didn't find this to be a problem. Nor did we find bugs to be huge a problem either. You do see them regularly spraying for I assume Zika which is a little disconcerting but it seems to be working.
Despite these issues, it's still of the most incredible places I've ever been, and one of my most memorable and favorite vacations I've ever had. I still absolutely highly recommend going there if you have the chance, and we really hope to go back soon!
The resort was incredibly beautiful. Loved the rooms. We preferred the beach cottage over the larger room we started out in. The place is shabby chic and made you feel like you were very much off the grid. The golf carts and breakfast baskets were cute touches.
Now for the bad-
Housekeeping was spotty. We stayed in 2 different rooms during our stay and both had signs of people having stayed there before us and things left behind.
The lunch spot is very good however there was only one time in our entire stay that we weren’t overcharged. At first we thought it was a mistake but it was every day... and we literally ordered the same stuff everyday but the bill was all over the map. Sometimes it was changing the actual price of the menu item, sometimes it was adding a bunch of cocktails (I was pregnant so that wasn’t happening), and other times it was adding charges for french fries and coleslaw (that were automatically served with their lunch dishes). There were only 2 of us but I imagine it would be impossible for a large group to even notice all the different ways they were secretly adding charges. They accommodated is at the main office and kept readjusting the bills... it just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my vacation (scouring bills and standing in an office everyday to fix them). Besides that we had a great time, it just changed the vibe completely for us and we won’t be going back
Words that come to mind when we remember Kamalame: paradise home from home, so welcoming, feel like family, super relaxing, out of this world food and drinks, amazing brunch experience, proper play time as adults, golf buggies!, stunning sun rises and sets, staff were perfection, gorgeous and very well planned interiors and exteriors, nature at your feet (in and out the water! Nothing scary though lol), paddle boards and kayaks, reef swimming over the blue hole (thought we were in a nature documentary!), missing it! And so may more....
When we think to our stay in Kamalame we are sad, and this is because we are not there anymore!
If you want absolute luxury but feel like you are part of an island experience then don’t think twice, you must visit!