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All reviews chat n chill atlantic side george town every morning lobster blue hole water taxi swimming pigs poker tournament laid back short kayak wonderful hosts small island fresh conch salad great burgers long walks on the beach perfect place to relax
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Reviewed 6 December 2016 via mobile

We have met so many people who return time and time again to St Francis! A unique resort for a unique holiday in the beautiful Bahamas!
Only accessible by boat there are no crowds and the beach on the Atlantic side of Stocking Island is 5 miles of white talcum soft sand fringing sea so blue you can hardly believe your eyes!
And hardly ever another person to be seen.

Date of stay: December 2016
4  Thank Driver39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2016

My wife and I spent 10 wonderful days at the St. Francis for our tenth anniversary. After a busy year, we were looking for a place to relax and unwind. As frequent travellers to the Caribbean and the Bahamas, we wanted a small, quiet resort on a beautiful beach, with access to a good beach bar, and a boat to explore some of the islands and beaches that abound in the Exumas. We found what we were looking for at the St. Francis.

We wanted to stay on Stocking Island, because it has the best beaches in the area, and the world famous Chat 'n Chill beach bar.The St. Francis is the only hotel or resort on Stocking Island, which is conveniently across the bay from Georgetown. The taxi driver took us from the airport to the dock, where George, our host, picked us up in his boat for the 10 minute ride to the resort.

The St. Francis has only 8 rooms, spread out over 4 buildings. All face the Atlantic, with the sound of the surf. One terrific advantage of the island, and of the resort, is that the island is narrow, and one therefore has access to both the more rugged Atlantic side, and the tranquility of the bay (Elizabeth Harbour), a distance of about 20 steps.

Because the island is so quiet, people seeking to relax will love it. No light interferes with the spectacular stars at night, and there are no nightclubs or manufactured entertainment to spoil the sounds of the surf. Everything here is casual and low-key, and for a few days we were the only guests at the resort- try having that kind of privacy without winning the lottery first!

Gill and George are kind, generous, and welcoming hosts. They make you feel like family, which is why, I expect, many of the guests are extended families getting together on vacation.

Some tips:

We brought a laptop and DVDs to watch at night, as there is no TV or radio in the room. We also brought a small kettle and our favorite coffee and tea (this is a sailor's paradise, and sailors drink Folger's, which is provided in the room along with a pouch-style coffee maker and microwave).

Bring lots of sunscreen, and bug spray (for nighttime- the mosquitos aren't terrible, but they can get you on the walk from the room through the trees to the dining room.

The good beach chairs are the green ones on the beach by the dock; we usually grabbed a couple of them and took them to the Atlantic side when we hung out there.

We bought bottles of wine from Gill at the bar when we wanted to keep some in our room's bar fridge, but it's easy to get drinks at the bar.

Since it is a small resort, the staff ask you to pick your dinner items by early afternoon so they can prepare (unless you order from the very good bar menu, which we often did and which is always available). On Mondays, when the staff have the evening off, George fires up the BBQ. Watch the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching For Sugar Man" before you go, and mention it to George: he grew up listening to that music.

We rented a boat from Minn's across the bay for three days to explore the cays and sandbars around the island. We had planned to keep the boat docked at St. Francis, but Minn's has just instituted a policy requiring boats to be brought back to Minn's by 5 pm (broad daylight still) each day. That is a real pain, and an additional expense of time and money (having to take a water taxi back and forth to collect/drop off the boat each day). Minn's told us on the phone that for $20 each way they would pick up and drop off the boat each day at the resort, but when we went to sign the papers the first day, they retracted that offer. As a result, we just rented the boat for one day, and we weren't the only ones to do so; Minn's will need to review that daily return policy or lose lots of business.

The Chat 'n Chill is fantastic, and lives up to its reputation as one of the world's great beach bars. All the yachts and sailboats docking offshore are a testament to that. A great place to meet sailors from all over the world (Italians in particular for some reason seem to love the Exumas). Definitely order the ribs (delicious!), feed the stingrays, and if you go to the Sunday pig roast, go over early (I got the last order at 2:30). St. Francis has kayaks that we used every day for the 100 yards over to the Chat 'n Chill. The other big advantage of the Chat 'n Chill is its beautiful and tranquil beach (at the resort, that side is a bit scrubby- but all white sand across at the Chat 'n Chill).

The beach on the resort's Atlantic side is vast, beautiful, and empty. You will have that beach all to yourself, which is easy to get used to, and which will spoil you for any future trips elsewhere!

Overall, this trip combined the best features of many of our beach trips elsewhere in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Hawaii: gorgeous beaches, warm hospitality, good food (it's not St. Bart's but it's reliably good, prepared by a former chef from the Four Seasons. Remember- it's a sailor's paradise not a foodie one), a peaceful island vibe, cool beach bar nearby. And the very reasonable prices at the St. Francis are an additional bonus that made this one of the best trips ever.

A tip for Canadians: take advantage of the direct flight from Toronto to Georgetown (the Sandals shuttle) while it lasts, and you can go from the office to the beach in a half day. You will spend a day or more travelling to get to a beach anywhere else in the world that comes remotely close to what you will find here.

We will definitely be back!

Room tip: All rooms are good, but #1 and #8 only has a neighbour on one side
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Island_hound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2016

Having been an avid user of Trip Advisor for years, I have always read other peoples reviews but I have never written a review of my own, but after our trip to the St. Francis Resort I felt compiled to write my first one.

First off the owners of the St. Francis Resort are wonderful. Gill and George made our family feel welcomed as soon as we arrived. They treated us like family, not like guests. Their staff is wonderful, they all introduced themselves and greeted us warmly everyday of our stay. All our requests were handled immediately and with great care and sincerity.

Gill prepares a different breakfast everyday which is served on the balcony that overlooks a beautiful bay. George has a great sense of humor and is fantastic on the grill (Monday evenings are grill night for hotel guests only)! The resort restaurant is excellent and you don't have to look elsewhere for your meals. As a matter of fact a great number of people from outside come to enjoy their delicious food. Needless to say we ate there everyday of our stay.

We travelled with our 14 year old and 10 year old. We stayed in the 2 double bed unit, which was fine for all of us. It was clean and there was plenty of room. We loved sitting on the balcony which had a lovely breeze and overlooks a beautiful white sand beach.

We made great use of the kayaks at the resort which are free to use for hotel guests. We explored the nearby harbors as well as some gorgeous beaches.

We stayed at the resort for 7 nights and enjoyed wonderful weather. It only rained a couple of times at night, which made the mosquitos quite active, so don't forget your mosquito repellant. All in all I would highly recommend this resort. We are definitely going to be back again. Thank you Gill and George you guys are greatest!

Date of stay: June 2016
8  Thank babystuff1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2016

Having survived another four days on the water photographing the 2016 Nat'l Family Island Regatta held in George Town, decided that after four years of attending and not getting over to Stocking Island, it was time to do so.

Accommodations are few on Stocking Island. St. Francis was an easy choice - directly on the beach and great reviews of the staff and restaurant. All of which turned out to be true. Breakfasts (which were included) were filling. Both lunch and dinner menus had enough choices to please anyone. Food, especially the fish, was well prepared and delicious. We stayed only three nights, one being Monday, which is "Grill Night" when George the owner fires up the grill and does the cooking. It is also poker night when tables are set up in the restaurant's "back" room and the mostly locals motor on over from George Town for an evening of cards.

Gil, George's wife, is the hostess and keeps things running smoothly. The staff is extremely pleasant and helpful. We had several great conversations with them as we have mutual friends and acquaintances in the Out Islands. The grounds are immaculately kept and full of fun garden kitsch.

Of course, the main attractions are the beach and the water. There is easy access to the "ocean" side beach which stretches for three miles. There is also a small beach on the "harbor" side. Swimming is of course much easier here. However, the main thing to do on this side is to snorkel into "Hurricane Hole" and to the small blue hole in it and observe all the colorful underwater life.

The famous "Chat n Chill" beach side restaurant and bar is only a couple hundred yards away. If you don't have a boat, the only direct access to it is by swimming a narrow channel which separates the two.

In order to fully explore Stocking Island, you'll either need to love to walk or else have a small boat. Particularly if you are staying more than 2-3 days, I'd highly recommend getting a boat for at least a day to not only get to the more distant parts of the island but also to explore Elizabeth Harbour. Boats can be rented from Minns in George Town.

Although this was our first trip to St. Francis Resort, it won't be our last.

Room tip: 8 rooms with ocean views, four without.
Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank pfigdore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2016 via mobile

Probably the best lunch on Exuma.
Great menu and excellent customer service.
Get a water taxi and pay Gill and George a visit you will be made welcome and definitely leave well fed. The whole place is pristine and charming.
Before or after lunch take a stroll along the Atlantic beach. Spectacular.

Debbie and Dennis

Date of stay: April 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank DennisClar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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