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The Best Caribbean Beach Resort You’ve Never Heard of 

By: Alexander Britell and Guy Britton - June 12, 2024

There’s a boat just offshore called “Escape.”  It’s bobbing in some of the most brilliant, dynamic turquoise water I’ve ever seen, a few meters from a stretch of sand so bright and so white you have to squint to look at it.

When you travel around the Caribbean, you see beaches, big and small, crowded and secluded, beautiful and well, less-beautiful. 

You never see this. 

This is Cape Santa Maria, a beach on the northwest corner of Long Island in The Bahamas that is as perfect a beach as I’ve ever seen — and this is from someone who has seen more beaches in the Caribbean than just about anyone on the planet. 

But it’s not an empty beach. It’s the home of the hotel-and-villa resort that shares its name, a classic, essential little 20-room retreat that merges effortlessly with this remarkable stretch of sand. 

If this sounds like a lot of superlatives, it’s because it’s true. Every time I took the step from my bungalow to the sand and peered out at the beach, I was awestruck. It’s a beach I keep coming back to, even after my return, a beach that has become stuck in my mind.

It’s just that good — even with the small resort, it’s always deliciously uncrowded, the water exquisitely calm, the sand just the right give for an extended stroll. 

It’s the Caribbean you dream about – a Caribbean some may not believe exists, the Corona commercial, the ethereal, castaway scene. 

cape santa maria beach with cottages
Pictures don’t do it justice.

But it’s also the setting of a rather good resort, with an outstanding all-day restaurant and bar, copious watersports (the paddleboarding here is world-class), warm service, and cottages and villas that are literally right on the sand. Wake up, step onto the beach, repeat.

The best part, though, is that you feel like your own private destination, secluded, empty, surreal. It’s all yours, whether you’re here for the day or a week or longer.

beach perfect caribbean
Cape Santa Maria Beach on Long Island in The Bahamas.

When you combine this beach and this resort you get an enviable combination: the best beach resort you’ve never heard of, set on the sparsely-populated, naturally stunning, 80-mile-long island that remains a closely-guarded secret even among those who know the Out Islands of The Bahamas well. 

Of course, part of its secrecy is that getting here is not easy, except one way: Makers Air, the popular carrier that operates scheduled and charter service from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to a number of smaller, harder-to-reach destinations in The Bahamas, and now operates twice-weekly nonstop flights to Long Island’s Stella Maris airport — about 10 minutes’ drive from the resort. 

It’s what we all want in our Caribbean fantasy: an escape. And I’m not talking about a boat. 

To learn more, visit the Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort.

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