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Opening onto Fernandez Bay, this is Cat Island's best resort. Although rustic, it has a certain charm, mainly because of its position on a curvy beach set against casuarinas blowing in the trade winds. The beach is never crowded, so come here only if you really want to get away from it all; this place is far too laid-back for full hotel service. Things get done, but it takes time—and no one's in a hurry.

Fernandez Bay Village has been in the Armbrister family since it was originally established on a plantation in 1870. Its rusticity and seclusion are part of its charm. But if you wish, you can get acquainted with other guests whose interests match your own. Yachters, who moor in the water offshore—there are no marina facilities—often visit the resort to take advantage of the general store's fresh supplies. (Nearby Smith's Bay is one of the region's best storm shelters; even government mail boats take refuge there during hurricanes.)

The "village" consists of both villas and cottages, all with private gardens. Each villa contains two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a washer/dryer—perfect for families or couples traveling together. There are also double-occupancy cottages, each built of stone, driftwood, and glass. Meals are served in a clubhouse decorated with antiques and Haitian art. This clubhouse, which opens onto a view of the beach and sea, also features a sitting area with library, stone fireplace, and overhead fans. You'll eat dinners here on a beach terrace adjacent to a thatched-roof tiki bar that runs on the honor system. On many nights, guests gather around a blazing bonfire near the water to hear island music.