This rental exceeded expections with a spectacular location, extraordinarily helpful hosts, glorious beaches within walking distance, and an impeccable house.
LOCATION: This house is sited in the northern part of Cat Island, which is more interesting than some of the other areas, featuring hills, lakes, creeks, and a wide choice of beaches on the east, north, and west sides of the island. From the high observation deck, one enjoys a spectacular, almost 360 degree view of this beautiful, pristine and varied landscape. There is almost no need for a map: one immediately gets a sense of where one is. Some of the surrounding islands, such as Eleuthera and Little San Salvador, are also visible. Feels like a National Park, it is so unspoiled. I have never seen anything like it in the Caribbean.
THE HOSTS: Nick and Manette Cripps are the best, most thoughtful hosts one could possibly desire. So much so, that Casa Loma feels less like a rental, and more like one's own private resort. Cat Island is not commercialized, so its attractions are not immediately obvious or in some cases easily accessible, but Nick provides the perfect support. He picked us up at the airport, made his car available to us whenever he could, booked restaurant reservations and a one-day car rental, and provided us with crucial information for exploring Cat island. Few people must know it as well as he does: He's lived there for decades, seems to know everybody and everything worth knowing about it (its history, fauna, flora, whereabouts of the best secret beaches, etc). It was really wonderful to be introduced to people in the community, and begin to understand what life on the island might be like. Nick also has a great sense of humor and is a great snorkeling guide!
THE BEACHES: The house comes with its own private beach, which is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It unfurls almost as far as the eye can see, with not a single structure, lots of coral for beach snorkeling, and patches of pink sand. There are at least 4 other beaches in the near vicinity, all different from each other, and all amazing.
THE COMMUNITY: The house is on Nick's wooded hilltop property, but one can walk to the elegant, small Shanna's Cove Resort, which serves what must be the best food for miles. Tail Wind's resort is there as well, so the house feels secluded but not isolated.
THE HOUSE: New, high quality construction, and SOLAR!
All in all, a most memorable experience!