Sustainable, Beachfront Luxury at Chub Cay Resort & Marina
Set amidst the swirling blues of The Bahamas’ world-famous water, Chub Cay Resort & Marina is a haven for vacationers, fishers, and cruisers alike. Located on the west end of Chub Cay, in the Berry Islands, the expansive property exudes old-time seaside charm and class while offering every modern comfort a traveler could desire. From the setting to the staff to the investment in sustainable initiatives, Chub Cay Resort & Marina wows at every turn.
We stayed at the Chub Cay Marina for four nights. For cruisers, the marina offers a much-needed stopping point between Nassau, 35 miles to the southeast, and Bimini, 70 miles to the northwest. The marina is extremely well protected, accessible only through a narrow canal. Neatly arranged floating docks provide shelter for dozens of gleaming fishing boats, yachts, and sailboats. Marina guests have access to a lovely bathhouse and laundry facilities, as well as all other resort amenities.
Upon arrival, you’ll be directed to the Clubhouse to check in. The Clubhouse, with its wide, wraparound porch, shiplap walls, and cozy balconies, is warm and inviting. A large marlin statue graces the peak of the roof in homage to the resort’s long-standing reputation as a destination for sport fishers. Inside, the Clubhouse exudes coastal elegance; crisp white walls are accented with warm, rustic beams, shining wooden furniture, and colorful, ocean-inspired fabrics. Multiple vignettes of chairs are arranged around the lobby and indoor-outdoor bar area practically begging you to settle in with a gin and tonic and share sea stories with fellow guests.
Beyond the Clubhouse, the property stretches out in all directions. To the west, you’ll find a glittering saltwater infinity pool and powdery white sand beach beyond. Ample lounge chairs and umbrellas arranged across the pool deck make it the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Settle in the shade with a good book, cross the pool to the swim-up tiki bar for a Goombay Smash or rum punch, order lunch poolside, and plunge in the burbling hot tub at sunset.
When it's time to stretch your legs, walk the beach and you’ll see the candy-colored villas and bungalows stretching north along the contours of the white sand. Grab a lounger beneath the rustling palms or wade out into the warm, shallow waters. At low tide, little sandbars will emerge, showing off the gorgeous contrast between white sand and blue water.
To the east, you’ll find the Sea Glass Spa, a ship’s store, including groceries and a small boutique, the dive center, the marina, a chapel, the Nauti Rooster (a casual island bar), a gym, and more. Be sure to visit the ship store to see what goodies Susanmae has baked that day. Susanmae, originally from Acklin’s Island, has worked at Chub Cay since 2016 baking rolls, biscuits, breads, and desserts for the main dining room, the staff cafeteria, and the ship store. Her banana bread is succulent and, if you’re lucky, you may happen upon her cinnamon rolls!
Farther down the dirt road, you’ll find a small airport, as well as Customs & Immigration offices. The helpful, attentive staff will gladly transport you in one of the many golf carts used to move around the property.
The resort’s isolated location necessitates a certain level of self-sufficiency and sustainability and Chub Cay Resort & Marina has stepped up to the challenge. Reliable power can be hard to come by in the remote islands of The Bahamas, while reliance on fossil fuel energy sources contributes to the very climate change impacts that most threaten island nations, including sea-level rise, warming ocean temperatures, and intensifying storms and hurricanes.
In search of a more sustainable solution, the resort recently made a multi-million dollar investment in an autonomous solar microgrid. The system, whose panels cover approximately 10 acres, is reported to be the largest solar array in The Bahamas. It is estimated that the microgrid will generate 6,785 MWh per year, reducing the resort’s reliance on fossil fuels by approximately 90 percent. In addition, the highly customized system was built specifically to withstand high salinity and hurricane-force winds, making it a truly inspiring example of what the future of energy in the islands might look like.
Energy is not the only thing that can be difficult to source in the out islands. Everything from building materials to fresh vegetables to furniture must be brought via boat or plane to islands like Chub Cay. Importing supplies is not only logistically complicated but also imposes a large carbon footprint. In pursuit of more sustainable production systems, Chub Cay maintains a large vegetable garden and plant nursery on site.
The garden and landscaping team are led by Lance, a warm, enthusiastic man with a passion for his plants. With diligent care and attention, he coaxes beautiful produce from the sandy Bahamian soil. Wander through his garden and you’ll see onions, bananas, lettuce, kale, eggplant, sweet potatoes, papaya, tomatoes, okra, hot peppers, broccoli, herbs, and more. He works with the seasons and local conditions, planting things like eggplants in the cooler winter months and watermelon during the hot, humid summer.
Gardening on the island is far from easy. Bugs, salt, hurricanes, heat, and more threaten the health of the crops yet Lance and his team keep a steady crop of fresh produce flowing to the main dining room and ship’s store. In the dining room, you’ll find their beets and greens tossed with feta and almonds. Their seasonal vegetables - carrots and broccolini when we visited - are served alongside many of the main dishes and featured on the separate vegan / vegetarian menu. In the shi store, stock up on their more hardy vegetables, like sweet potatoes.
Lance also manages the plant nursery which supplies the resort with the beautiful tropical vegetation used throughout its landscaping. Seagrapes, a variety of shrubs, and palms are all grown onsite. You can walk through the coconut palm farm where clusters of green coconuts hang, waiting to be plucked and planted. Keep an eye out for the resident roosters as you stroll.
Chub Cay Resort & Marina demonstrates that luxury and sustainability can go elegantly hand in hand. With endless activities, plush accommodations, and the unbeatable natural beauty of The Bahamas, you could easily spend a week at the resort. Perfect for families, honeymooners, and friends alike, this is a vacation you can feel good about taking.
When To Visit:
Hurricanes and tropical storms move through The Bahamas each year, so plan to travel outside hurricane season. The islands are beautiful in winter and spring, from December through May. Things can be busy in December around the holidays but there is often a lull in January before things pick back up again in mid-February.
Responsible Travel Tip: Traveling outside of peak season can help to reduce stress on local facilities and the natural environment and provide income for local businesses during the travel lull. If your schedule allows, consider traveling during the shoulder season in early December, January, or May.
Getting To Chub Cay Resort & Marina:
Chub Cay Resort & Marina is accessible by boat or plane. Located approximately 130 miles from Miami, Chub Cay can be reached by powerboat in a day. If you’re traveling via sailboat, your pace will be slower, so plan for closer to a 24-hour sail. Once you arrive, you can clear with Customs & Immigration on the island. The island can also be reached by boats or planes traveling from Nassau.
If you’re traveling by plane, consider Makers Air which offers daily scheduled flights from Fort Lauderdale as well as other Bahamian islands. Additional information about charter flights can be found here.