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
We absolutely loved our stay in April 2017! Chartered a small plane from Marathon, FL and brought our older dog along. The staff couldn't have been nicer. Went with the all inclusive and would definitely recommend! The food and drink was spectaular. Our dog loved the beach and golf cart. We went deep sea fishing a couple of times on The Tongue of the Ocean and enjoyed catching mahi. Spectaular stars at night with the soft glow of Nassau 18 miles away. This is a great place to disconnect and enjoy the beach and nature - those looking for gambling and party time (although we did have our share of cocktails) should look elsewhere. There isn't much else to see around the area, although we did go to a blue hole in the woods. Depending on the time of year, bring plenty of insect repellant and benadryl - might also want to buy No No-see-um spray before going (I wish they'd carry this in the resort store). This resort gets a big thumbs up from us!
If you want Ritz Carlton with 5 star service, don't come here.... If you want to disappear into a time forgot, this is the place to come! Michael, David and the staff are like family. I have now been there 3 times and I just want to keep coming back. The first time was in October 2017 with 2 other couples. We had the chance to stay in Cocoanut and we had an amazing escape. Certainly, with the prices you are expecting the Four Seasons or Ritz, at first, I was surprised by the wear on the houses... but as you settle in, it becomes a patina that takes you back to time before commercialism, pre-fabbed, sanitized and standardized everything. Each residence has its own unique quirks that turn into fun conversation pieces. Like in Cocoanut, the showers in the rooms have no walls... and in some of them you have a perfect view from your bed or the porch.... if you are shy, you can close the shutters... Cocoanut is the biggest house for rent on the island and is great for entertaining.
Every day a breakfast basket arrives with various assortment of breakfast stuff... coffee, juice, pastries, yogurt, hardboiled eggs and fruit. Every day it is a different mix. It's a bit of an adventure... some days they forget the milk/cream for the coffee... Oh well... just go with the flow... It's the islands man! I kind of love the unpredictable nature of it. If you want perfect consistent service... don't come... but if you want servers who get to know you and become family... this is the place for you... Just be kind... If you are a type A demanding 'everything must be so' person... definitely don't go... but if you want to escape. If you want a friendly, slowed down existence... with not a care in the world... then this is heaven. If you want a more substantial breakfast, you can go to the great house for a breakfast buffet that has a random selection of what you would expect and it is different every day. Also, you can order off the menu. Michael's special is quite good... egg, avocado, bacon on toast.... Between breakfast and lunch there is time for a stroll on the beach, a swim in the ocean or pool, fishing, snorkeling, a spa treatment or whatever you like... my preferred activity is sitting on the porch looking out over the ocean talking to friends and just chilling.... Lunch is at the great house offers a selection off the menu and sometimes there is a bar of food to select from. There was often just one or two other couples in the great house when we ate. Between lunch and dinner, the same activities are present, but the hammock might call you instead. Finally at dinner, you are back at the great house where its a menu selection. They always have some poultry dish, a meat dish, a couple of fish and seafood dishes and something vegetarian. If you have any dietary restrictions, just let them know before you come and they will accommodate it.
I'd highly recommend it!
To David & Michael and the Kamalame Cay Staff,
This is how you’re supposed to vacation. Quite honestly, you feel as if your home the place is that relaxed. Once we arrived on the ferry over to Kamalame, Colette greeted us and gave us a tour of the area and our cottage. We missed her Nature Tour this time around but don’t worry, we’ll be back. We stayed in one of the cottages but truthfully there isn’t a bad room to stay in on the whole island. We walked the beach and always felt as if we were the only souls on the island. Now to our favorite part…the food!
Kayla and I couldn’t get enough of the food cooked by Chef Tamiko and his team. Fresh conch fritters, lobster bisque that is too die for, the best chicken curry I’ve ever had, some of the best crab cakes ever and on and on. Oh and let’s not forget our constant battle with breakfast. Each morning they bring you a breakfast basket which is delicious and fresh but we couldn’t get enough of the French toast and Micheal’s special back at the Great House.
Julian was always so fun to be around and great at managing his team. Maisha was so sweet everyday and brought us endless supplies of rose and hot sauce. Kelly, Sam, Aisha, were all so helpful and nice to be around. Sampson and Cheeks were always a ball; although, it’s not hard to have a ball when Cheeks is surprising you with deliciously composed shots.
Highly recommend a massage. It’s over the water and the two masseuses who helped us were amazing! This was also my first massage but I’m confident in saying I’m spoiled for life. We also had a boat drop off to a private island with a picnic basket (best steak sandwich ever). On our boat drop off, Marlene was an absolute pro handling that boat meanwhile Tanisha (who was on her first week!) almost laughed us off the boat.
We were there for the last luncheon of the season and I can honestly say that day was Top 3 in terms of just pure fun I’ve ever had aka you have to attend if you’re planning on coming here. I’d also make it a must to go with the Guest of House plan. Taking out your CC every step of the way on a vacation or waiting for that huge list of charges to your room isn’t the most relaxing way to unwind. Guest of House plan takes care of this for you without a worry in the world while you’re there on vacation. Lea in the front office was always there to greet us and so helpful during our stay.
This place is one of kind but it’s not just because its a beautiful place with amazing food. It’s because of everyone thats there that made this trip so special for us. I am grateful to call them our friends and we can’t wait to see all of you soon!
Nick & Kayla
The grounds of Kamalame are immaculate and as soon as you arrive you feel as though you've arrived in paradise. Following your arrival though, the recent change of ownership from Father to Son becomes apparent through the inconsistent service, food, and beverage as well as the lack of truly fresh daily options.
An unchanging menu does not lend itself to the discerning diner nor does having the same entree ordered on different days come out drastically different play to the upscale dining experience Kamalame advertises. The level of service and consistency is not in the league of fine dining and could use an overhaul.
The two bright spots of the resort are the location and the staff. The bartender, activities staff (Marlene in particular), and the others we were able to interact with were all wonderful people. They all do echo the same sentiment that with the changing of the leadership there is a new culture that is not as much fun to be a part of as when Brian was at the helm. The location is unbeatable with beautiful ocean views and a work of flats and mangroves on the backside to explore.
From visiting with other guests who have been annually for 4 years, the verdict is that the new owner is more concerned with the bottom line and appearances rather than keeping the menu fresh and providing consistent, quality service to ALL guests and not just the ultra wealthy that pop in. This traveler's opinion is that going to Kamalame has become a status symbol and is not a place to go for a luxury vacation. For the price you pay to go to Kamalame, there are better places to go multiple times and have the same (or better) experience.
My husband and I visited for a week in May 2018, and loved every minute at this resort. If you are looking for glitz and glamour and swim up bars, go elsewhere. The rooms are not opulent, but they are extremely comfortable have a understated elegance.
The grounds are minimally manicured and kept in a natural state. Our room has windows all around, each of which is filled with views of rustling palms and ocean. Every morning, a basket of fresh baked goods, fruit and offer is delivered to our door. The staff is warm, friendly and engaging. A special call out to Shadee and Teneesha who have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. The Bahamian people here have been very quick to tell us that they appreciate our visit.
The food also deserves special note. The chef is creative and Really showcases local ingredients and homegrown herbs and produce. The breads are far too good.
We went diving with Johan, who was just terrific and very patient (this was my first dive). We also went bonefishing with Greg. Greg was great, but I thought the price was way too high. The paddle boarding, kayaks and bicycles are readily available.
As other reviewers have noted, maintenance could be improved on the rooms.
Love the privacy, the golf carts, the stars at night.