Truly remarkable A review of Chez Pierre Bahamas
Almost everyone enjoys a vacation. A vacation that combines a new place with a new mode of vacation can be great and it can be a disaster. A little research helps remove the unknowns and eliminate the disasters. My wife and I just completed a five day stay in a new place with a new mode of vacation. Her research was exhaustive. And still, we were not prepared. Yet, we are going back, anxiously, as soon as we can. It's that good!
Chez Pierre is REMARKABLE. Even their outstanding web site at ------------------- does not adequately prepare one for their resort. No one going to Chez Pierre is expecting a Sandals or Secrets or other big all-inclusive resort with all the trimmings. Yet, Chez Pierre exceeds every expectation one might have for a small family owned and operated resort. After enjoying several big resorts with all the frills, I found myself more relaxed and having more fun at Chez Pierre. MUCH more fun. And, we were able to meet some real people and enjoy honest quiet conversation during meals and more.
The Bahamas are often hit by hurricanes and Long Island, where Pierre built his resort, is not spared. But Long Island is so far south that it is seldom hit. Take a look at the hurricane tracks on the Internet. There was no damage evident this Thanksgiving after the two hurricanes virtually destroyed Treasure Cay and the rest of Abaco way up north. I'm not saying Pierre didn't have work to do to recover, but the beach was spotless when we were there and the big house and all the cabins had intact screens on all the openings.
Getting to the Bahamas is a challenge. It can be very Caribbean; "take it 'teasy, mon" comes to mind when dealing with even major U.S. carriers flying into Nassau; much less the local airlines. Be very firm with either if they cause you to miss a flight. We had to stay in Nassau overnight because Bahamasair canceled a flight. And "take it 'teasy, mon" is good advice. You'll get there, eventually. There is a new direct flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Stella Maris on Long Island that hopefully will greatly improve reliability. It will also increase tourism to Long Island; I leave it to you to decide if that is good or bad.
Long Island is still relatively primitive, when compared to many of the other Caribbean islands. Electricity was added island-wude about nine years ago, when Pierre started working on his Chez Pierre. The very nice road from the northern tip to the southern tip was finished and paved about the same time. In all matters, I chose to look at Long Island through a glass, half full. There is a world-class blue hole. Snorkeling on the Atlantic side is outstanding and on the Caribbean side even better. The beaches on the Caribbean side are pristine; on the Atlantic side pretty well pounding with the surf driven by the Atlantic trade winds. There is scuba diving available and ought to be great based on the snorkeling quality. One can snorkel and "harvest" lobster just yards from Chez Pierre at the little island within an easy paddle on Pierre's two person sea kayak.
Chez Pierre is one big house (home to Pierre and Ann and their two children, at least two cats, and one very friendly golden Labrador) and six cabins. Sam, the Labrador, is supposed to stay outside during meals but can open the screen door himself. While we were there, everyone was an animal lover and we drove Pierre crazy, I bet, petting Sam. The six cabins are spread out on the beach. I mean, ON THE BEACH. Bring some soap that works in brackish water in the shower. You get a gallon of drinking water a day for drinking in your cabin and teeth brushing and face washing and hair rinsing, it's plenty. Bring bug spray and mosquito repellant. Bring lots of sunscreen. And bring reading material. It's that kind of place. Relax. There are little stores only a few miles to the south where you can get what you forgot. Oh, yeah, EVERYTHING, except Chez Pierre, is closed on Sunday.
Now, for the best part. Pierre is a chef. I mean, without a doubt, a real no-kidding honest-to-goodness, first class blue ribbon chef. Breakfast the very first day was better than even my favorite "greasy spoon" diner at home. For lunch, the menu is extensive when you consider that the kitchen is right over there and Pierre is the only one in there cooking. I chose an Italian sausage and pasta dish. Even after living in Naples, Italy for two and a half years, Pierre's version was better than any I have had. The second day, I had a cheese and tomato sandwich that was a taste sensation. It was so good that I repeated the treat every lunch after that. And naturally, Pierre's french fries taste like French fries should taste. Pierre prepared a set supper for the guests which was always exquisite. They stock a great wine cellar and often have some really great imported beer. I really enjoyed the local beer, a very light lager. I can not praise the food enough. The price of the visit was well worth it in food alone. Add the relaxation of the cabin and the beach and Chez Pierre is on our very short list of places to return visit.
If you want to relax and don't need spas and massages and seven hundred strangers sharing the buffet with you, then go to Chez Pierre. Besides, the food is better.