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“Relaxing Vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Queen's Highway, Emerald Bay, EX29142, Great Exuma (Formerly Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay)   |  
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Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Boston, MA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Relaxing Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed at Emerald Bay from January 21st through January 30th...We were in the Bay House Building 5...Perfect spot!!! It was close to everything....We only went to the large pool once...It wasn't overly loud but the pool water was freezing....We managed to get in it though to swim up to the pool bar...which was very good...Bartenders extremely friendly....Swimming back was no problem after a few cocktails....lol....We had Stephen, Cecil and Waldens as our butlers...They were excellent.....We didn't realize that they would make our reservations until after we made them ourselves...But they really are there for you and will definitely go the distance to make you happy....The quiet pool is where we hung out....You really have to get there early to reserve your cabana as they are mostly gone by 7:30 ...but there was one bartender (can't remember her name) that when she saw a cabana or lounge chairs vacant for a long period of time she took the towels off so that people who were waiting could use them...So many times I saw a cabana empty half the day...Not fair...If you go off to golf or do sightseeing then you shouldn't reserve your lounge chair or cabana...Not fair to those who are going to use them...We fortunately didn't get bit by the sand fleas or see-ums...but we did see people who did and the bites were nasty....We ate at Barefoot Bob's for lunch a few times...We like Bahama Bay for breakfast (good selection) and we ate there a few times for dinner...Drunkin Duck does have a wonderful Blue Burger and Fish and Chips....The chocolate buffet was GREAT...I wore alot of chocolate that night...lol....We really didn't like the French restaurant...Our meal was awful....but we heard people say it was great...Maybe a bad night for us...the Italian restaurant was pretty good...The dessert bar was fun and would definitely do it again...The breakfast at Il Cielo was great and I would definitely do it again....You do pay for WiFi ($42.99) which I think should be included in your room.....I did use it to stay in connect with home as I have a new grandbaby on it's way....We ate lunch at the pizza place one day and my husband enjoyed the pizza but I almost choked on the cheese so I never go a pizza again...I made myself a salad from the Bahama Bay and was happy....My favorite place was the Cafe...The ladies there were always so friendly...the coffee and pastry was great and the ice cream in the afternoon even better....We played golf one day and it was spectacular....I think I found every bunker on the course and my husband lost tons of balls...but it was fantastic....My favorite part of the trip was after dinner and sitting by the firepits meeting people from all over the country.....My husband and I loved Emerald Bay so much we have already booked our trip for next year....It is a wonderful place if you are looking for relaxation and beauty....

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,403 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (869)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Ironton, Ohio
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed at Emerald Bay January 5-11 for our 10 year anniversary. This was our first experience with a Sandal's property and after lots of reading reviews and surfing the internet we decided on Emerald Bay. We had a wonderful time full of fun, relaxation, food, and sunshine. First of all we had a butler suite in Bayhouse 5 room 5307. The location was perfect! Close enough to everything, yet far enough away from the main entertainment areas. Quinten, Henry, and Logesh were our butlers and they went out of their way to make our trip enjoyable. You are given a cell phone when you arrive and the butlers are available to you from 7 am-10 pm. They will check on you periodically throughout the day, bringing you drinks or an afternoon snack of nachos while you lounge by the pool.

The grounds of the property are meticulous! Everything is so lush and beautifully manicured. Our room was very nice, lovely ocean view with plenty of space. There were a few areas of the room that could use a little sprucing up; some paint or a redo of the wall paper, but nothing that would change our opinion of the resort. The Red Lane Spa products they provide in the room were very nice. The bed was very comfortable, although I'm a light sleeper and could hear the wind whistling outside therefore I didn't sleep very well. They kept the bar in our room pretty well stocked and even found some Coors Light for my husband. I was a little hesitant to have such a restricted wine selection; but found the Beringer's Stone Cellers line quite surprising. We also enjoyed seeing what towel creations the house keeping staff came up with each day!

Most of the action is centered around the main pool...we were surprised to see that very few people were on the beach. The biggest disappointment of the trip was that the water sports were red flagged everyday that we were there due to high winds. There is always a constant wind; which from what we hear is pretty common all year. The temperature was perfect; 80 degrees and sunny except for one 30 minute rain shower. We read several reviews about how bad the sand fleas or no see-ums as the local call them are. We used the bug spray in the room anytime we knew we were gonna be on the beach and not one of us ended up with a bite. My husband and I spent most of the time by the pool, reading and napping on the lounge chairs. Be sure to get up early to get a cabana, they are usually gone by about 7:30 am. My hubby and I are both fair skinned so we enjoyed being able to pull the sides around the cabana as the sun moved throughout the day. Service at the pool bar was very prompt; look out for Van, he makes a mean drink! We never did venture over to the Quiet Pool.The Main Pool wasn't overly loud and we were able to read/nap without disruption.

Now for some food specifics....you must have breakfast at Il Cielo! It does not require reservations for breakfast and the food is wonderful. They have a vast fresh fruit selection and the blueberry pancakes and rum berry french toast were fantastic. Also, be sure to have breakfast on the patio of your room at least once. Our butler Henry set ours up the morning we left and it was a beautiful way to conclude our trip. Most mornings we opted for Bahama Bay which had a nice selection to choose from including an omelet station. Cafe de Paris has a wondrful pastry selection for a quick grab and go breakfast. Drunken Duck makes a mean black and bleu burger and we found the local beer Sands Light quite tasty. The BBQ/grill lunch at Bahama Bay (I think it was Thurs) was amazing! The carribean jerk pork was spicy and delicious. We had dinner at Barefoot by the Sea one night and my husband received a greeting from one of the two resort cats. Apparently the cats like filet mignon cause one jumped up and sat next to my husband, before we knew it he swatted his paw and flicked a piece of steak off his plate! It was quite comical, but they really aren't bothersome most of the time. We ate at both Il Cielo and La Parisenne for dinner and enjoyed them both. I highly recommend the dessert bar at Il Cielo where they make your dessert right in front of you. The chocolate lava cake was to die for...Don't forget to try Dino's pizza, we had our butler bring us one for lunch by the pool. Perfect size for one person.

We had a $100 spa credit so we decided to get the scent of love couples massage. It was a very nice 50 minute massage, however the spa is very expensive. Even after the credit it cost us $170 cause they tack on a extra 12% gratuity. Even though this is an all inclusive they do find ways to nickle and dime extra money from you. Wi Fi is not included; and costs $42.99 for the week. For what you pay, this should be included in the price of the room. Also, golfers beware! My husband and I are by no means experts but we figured we would never get an opportunity to play such a course again. Even with free greens fees; between club rental/shoes for both of us, purchasing golf balls, and cart rental it was another $200. You will need lots of balls! A little tip that we learned too late...bring some cash with you cause you can purchase used golf balls for $1 a ball or be forced to purchase a sleeve in the pro shop for $10.50 for 3! The course is amazing though....the back nine has some breathtaking views.

If you have a butler room, be sure to accompany the butler convoy on Wednesday evenings. You meet at the club house and drive golf carts to the 14th fairway for drinks and appetizers. Nice way to get out and mingle and also to see the golf course if you don't play.

As for excursions we decided not to book the expensive 007 Thunderball Tour through Island Routes at the resort. After reading reviews we learned about 4 C's Adventures that has the identical tour for half the price $160 pp vs. $375 pp! One thing to mention is if you pay be credit card it is an additional 5% I think, so bring cash if you can. We called the day we arrived and set up our tour. They pick you up at the gate of the resort. It was an amazing day! Capt. Andrew and his first mate P.J. were wonderful hosts. We held starfish, snorkeled in Thunderball Grotto, saw multiple celebrity homes, feed the rock iguanas, visited the famous swimming pigs, and swam with nurse sharks (an additional $10 pp, but well worth it). You will stop for lunch at Staniel Cay Yacht Club which is also an extra cost; but two can eat for $30 and it's still cheaper than the Island Routes excursion. Sandals will not book this tour for you cause it is not through their company, nor do they want you to know about it. One couple that was on our trip had been booked through Island Routes and they cancelled the tour and told them there were no other companies that did this tour; luckily they found out about 4 C's. This was our favorite day of the trip.

Use your butlers; they are there to make your trip extra special. They made sure we had dinner reservations to the french and italian restaurants before we even arrived. From what I hear they can be quite difficult to get into. Quinten was even able to get us an extra night at La Parisienne after I wasn't able to make our original reservation since I didn't feel well. They were also able to get us a tee time and our massage scheduled. I recommend sitting by one of the fire pits by the pool in the evenings; Henry brought us a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses and it was really nice to relax, enjoy the fire, and listen to the ocean. Try and attend the chocolate buffet on Tuesday night by the Drunken Duck, there was a band playing and the chocolate dipped items were amazing.

Overall this was a wonderful and romantic vacation. We would recommend Emerald Bay to anyone looking for a secluded place to relax and soak up the sun. This is definitely not a party resort; most of the nightlife is over by 11 pm, but we knew this when we booked this place. We would definitely go to another Sandal's in the future, but would probably choose another one of their resorts just to see something different.

Room Tip: Bayhouse 5; close to everything, but away from some of the noise at the main pool.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubuque, Iowa, usa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

This was our second trip to a Sandals..location was on my island "bucket list"...wished to compare and contrast to our trip to Harbour Island in November..Quick Review.. (0-10...Excellent) Hotel Location and Beach..9.3 ... Rooms ..9... Service ..8.6...Facilities..tennis ,golf ..9.. cleanliness..9.3.. Food 6.8... Special of note..great coffee shop for espresso,latte,sweets...we did not have any insect bites until last day ..a can of insect repellant is provided in room..may be a bigger issue for some ..Best restaurant... French......Overall, an excellent property and presentation..would return with no problem

Room Tip: Deluxe Ocean were excellent...rooms in BLDG #3(next to main bldg) are across from "bandstand&qu...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kanata, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We just returned from a wonderful week in Paradise. We had the most amazing time and relaxed as soon as we arrived. Our Butlers Deepak and Bernard went above and beyond to make our stay so memorable. We thank you so very much! The beach is outstanding and the island is breathtaking. We will definitely return - this is our "new home away from home!" We found Paradise!

Room Tip: The Villas were excellent - so close to the ocean you slept to the sound of waves!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I'm sorry people we just got back from this resort and we must have been some were different than all of you.We are very down to earth people like nice places and nice things and make the most of anything.This resort was the biggest dissapointment we have evr experienced.We didn't have a villa but with the money we spent getting away from the resort we could have.First our room would compare to a comfort inn and we don't stay there either.The tub was broke it did get fixed the sink didn't drain the fridge barley worked.No problem can deal with that.The room service took 2 hrs the first time we called 3 hrs the second time and the late menu was pretty pathetic.I never seen anyone or had any one serve me a drink around the pool or the beach.Is it only the returning guests that get special treatment?If they wanted us to return maybe try giving better service.We waited 45 min just to get a salad to wait another hr for a meal if the restaurant was even open.The grounds were beautiful and seen alot of younger to middle age people we are in our late forties and like to have fun.Were to go a pub which is inside I can be inside at home were it is cold.There is no central area everything seems to be segragated a piano bar again inside that was the entertainment sing along ,please.we are not hard to please people but i suppose if you go to bed at nine and drink tea or want to make your own drinks cause it was hard finding a bar after five oh the drunken duck lol.We went to nassau at sandals for a night beautiful room and more than accomidated us.We had a great time off the resort when we rented a car .Guess you get service if you have a butler little much.Then i was told they were hard to get so not to waste our money.Well this was a waste for sure I have never written anything about anywere not really into that but after this experience felt neccessary.Try excellence in punta cana little windy on the beach but amazing rooms service at pool on the beach the even bring pizza around the beach if you want to snack entertainment wonderful shows then a band after outside and plenty of bars to get a drink then after you can go to the disco if you want to carry on or call it quits after a show excellence is truly excellent sandals people try somewhere that really does give good service.

Room Tip: rent a house if you want to see this island waters amazing if you want some entertainment or someone...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
We're so sorry to read that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. It is always our top priority to ensure that all of our guests enjoy their time spent with us in a stress-free and welcoming environment. Please accept my apologies for this not being the case during your visit.

I'm glad that our General Manager has been in contact with you and addressed your concerns. He has assured me that adjustments have been made to ensure that we do not receive similar feedback from our future guests.

Thank you for your feedback.


Kind Regards,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Gorda, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was our first trip to a Sandals resort as well as an all inclusive resort. We wanted a romantic vacation on a small, secluded island. We chose Emerald Bay based on the pictures in the Sandals website. We weren't disappointed. The Sandals resort at Emerald Bay is outstanding. From the moment we arrived, we were treated with first class service by the employees. We stayed in the Palm Bay Oceanview Room in Bldg #7. The room was outstanding and the view was excellent. The beach is beautiful and great for morning and evening walks. There are plenty of activities at the resort to keep you occupied. My only complaint for the resort was that the entertainment ended at 10 PM. It would be nice to have it extend another hour or two.

There are two outanding restaurants at the resort. The best one is the French restaurant where you recieve white glove service. We had two meals at this restaurant and both were outstanding. The Italian restaurant was also great. You need to make reservations at these restaurants so make sure you do it as early as possible after your arrival as they fill up quickly. The other restaurants were not as good but the service at all of them was excellent. We did have an excellent dinner at the Barefoot by the Sea restaurant.

If you are a golfer, the Greg Norman course at the resort is beautiful. I didn't play since this was a romantic vacation with my girlfriend but if you do, bring plenty of golf balls as the fairways are narrow and there is water on every hole.

If you like to sail, there are 4 or 5 Hobie Cats that you can use to explore the Bay area.

Overall, this was one of the best vacations that we both experienced and we plan to explore other Sandal resorts in the near future as well as return to Emerald Bay next year.

Room Tip: If you choose the Bay Houses, ask for the upper floors. Also, if you want to be closer to the pool a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We travelled with a group of tennis players and were treated to clay courts and hospitality at their finest. The beach was beautiful. The food and wine were very good. Rooms were spacious. Peaked at the villas with the butler, seriously considering that option for next time round! The staff went out of their way to accomodate our group, though I think they go out of their way for everyone. The grounds are spacious and spread out so you never feel the place is busy or crowded. Definitely would not hesitate another trip to this resort!

Room Tip: Go for the seaside villas with the butler, hammocks and private walkouts.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort

Address: Queen's Highway, Emerald Bay, EX29142, Great Exuma (Formerly Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 245
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•NEW!! Jogging Trail on property - 2.6 miles long •Greg Norman designed 7,001 yard golf course with 6 signature oceanside holes•Three fresh water pools including the Caribbean’s largest zero entry pool with a central fire pit•24 hour room service to all rooms and suites•Seven exciting dining options to choose from•Red Lane Spa with sixteen extensive treatment rooms•Personalized off resort excursions arranged by our Island Routes Tour specialists•Sits on 1 mile of the Exuma’s best powdery white sand beaches•6 Har-Tru tennis courts including a sunken stadium court•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Emerald Bay “Caribbean’s Leading Luxury All-Inclusive”•Awarded #9 spot in the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards "Top 12 Resorts in The Atlantic" ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Emerald Bay Hotel Great Exuma
Four Seasons Great Exuma
Great Exuma Four Seasons
Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis And Spa Resort Great Exuma, Bahamas

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