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“Perfect vacation” 4 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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World Travel Award!
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Great Exuma
Connecticut
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Perfect vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Just returned from our third Sandals vacation - and once again we were not disappointed!
Each resort seems to have its own character, but still maintains the same basic standards throughout - excellent staff, beautiful beach, nice choice of restaurants and plenty to do, if you choose to.
We booked a Coral Reef Oceanfront luxury room, with concierge service. Attached photo is from our patio. Hardly oceanfront, more of an ocean view. We were on the third floor which afforded the view, but am not certain it was worth the upgrade. The Villas are all oceanfront, and have butler service; I would only consider this upgrade for the luxury of having someone go out at 6:30 am to reserve a cabana for us. Yes, like most Caribbean resorts, the early riser gets the best poolside/beachside accommodations
The concierge service was almost invisible. Most calls or requests just went to the front desk. Our request for our favorite brand of Scotch was honored, though it took two days. No additional charge for this.
Two restaurants require reservations - the Italian and the French - do so as soon as you arrive, or you may be disappointed. We procrastinated, and had to settle for a 5:30 PM seating. (Concierge was no help here either.) We later learned that not everyone keeps their reservations, so you may get lucky if you just appear at the restaurant. The Italian restaurant has an interesting dessert bar which shouldn't be missed; you have access to the dessert bar every evening, regardless of where you had dinner.
Barefoot on the Beach offers lobster tails for dinner, and are more than willing to double the order if you'd like. Bahama Bay offers a daily themed buffet lunch which was wonderful. Café de Paris has an impressive menu of coffees, as well as pastries, cookies from 6 AM (for the early risers.)
On the day of departure, had hoped to secure a late checkout (for $100 fee) as our flight wasn't until 5 PM, but the room was already rebooked. We still took full advantage of the day in the sun. Had access to our bags as well as the Spa for showers, etc., and it wasn't a problem at all. Valuables just stayed with us poolside.
Felt completely comfortable and safe here. Emerald Bay guests were a more mature crowd - 40's and up, which was fine with us. Overall, we enjoyed this resort tremendously and would encourage you to visit if you want to relax and be pampered.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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2,193 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (779)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Billings, Montana
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Amazing beautiful waters, Nice resort.I did the online check-in and that seemed to be lost when we got there.We were upgraded to a Jr Suite, wow.Beautiful room, great views of the water. We booked our tours right away in case weather caused cancelations, and good thing we did. the 007 thunderball tour was worth every penny! Pictures cannot come clost to showing just how beautiful the many shades of blue the water is. I was very impressed with the snorkeling.
All the resort employees were friendly, and made sure we had a relaxing vacation. This is a small island with less things to do off-resort than other sandals, but that is what we wanted. It was a quiet relaxing week and my wife would go back tomorrow if we could

Room Tip: We booked a palm bay walk out room, we wanted a view of the ocean, we got upgraded to a jr suite in...
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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
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We have recently returned from a one week stay (Jan 19-26) at Sandals Exuma. It was an absolutely perfect vacation. We are seasoned Caribbean travellers (30 years+), who enjoy fine dining, an excellent beach for swimming, dancing and scuba diving. Sandals Exuma is elegant without being pretentious. The service is excellent, at the front desk, at Concierge, bars and restaurants. The friendliness of all staff is noteworthy. We appreciated our room with oceanview and being very close to the beach (we are not "pool people"). Christina, our room attendant, kept the room tidy, clean and well stocked with supplies. They even arranged to have our mini bar stocked with the top shelf liquor of our choice. As other reviewers have noted , the room and bathroom are beautifully decorated with "old world charm", are spacious and the bed is like sleeping on a cloud. We ate at all the restaurants except the English Pub. The food was some of the best we have experienced in our travels. They served top shelf liquor and made martinis to my specifications and the bartender remembered the "formula" (withour asking) for the remainder of the week. ,
The banquet for repeat Sandals guests included entertainment, and an excellent meal. The house band was also excellent. I only wished they would play nightly and for a longer time. We like to eat late, so that by the time we finished dinner, we could only have one dance or two.The ususual game of saving beach chairs with towels was apparent but we had no problems finding a spot on the beach even at 10:30 am (being winter might have had something to do with that) The beach had some of the finest white sand I have seen and the water was clear and its colour undescribable. Being it was Jan, the water was cool but we expected this. We will certainly consider going back to Sandals Exuma. It was one of our best vacations! Thank you Sandals!

  • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We just returned home after a week at Sandals Emerald Bay. We too were concerned about the reviews we read and what the weather may hold. Management addressed our concerns before we even arrived for our vacation, and Mr. Mutton went above and beyond to assure that we would have a relaxing vacation. He absolutely passed his concern for his guests on to his staff. They were kind, attentive and did all they could to allow us to have a great vacation. The food was wonderful, we really enjoyed the Drunken Duck - lunch, dinner and drinks were all wonderful! Our butler, Valentino was there when we needed him, thoughtful and attentive. Kenwood took care of us at the Piano Bar each evening, and thanks to Kenny our photographer, we have amazing memories to take home with us. Waking up to the most amazing view every morning was the best part of our vacation. We look forward to returning!!! Thank you Mr. Mutton for a wonderful week! Marybeth M. and Gary B.

Room Tip: The Villas on the ocean have just an amazing view! Absolutely wonderful!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Like the other reviews, I thought the property was great. Rooms where better then most resorts I've stayed in (and I've stayed at many). I simply can't agree with the coments about the food. We ate at both the French and Italian and found the food way below par. The Italian was almost unetable and the French almost as bad. I'm NOT a fussy eater but the Osobuco was prepared so poorly after one bite it felt like I was trying to eat my belt. Might have been an off week but none of the food except the breakfast ( thats hard to screw up) was below average. We traveled with two other couples and we all felt the same. The service though from our Butlers was super as was most of the staff. I would find it hard to find better than Sitar the head of the Butler staff, Bernard and Tepac our Butlers. Thanks again to them(they made up for the food). We also found out that if your layover in Nassau is more then 4hrs, the Sandals there will pick you up and you can stay there while you wait (how great is that).

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

OK, so your a 5 star ,6star whatever!
Why then do you run out of beer at mid day?
Why is there no mint for my mohitos on some days ?
You display the block of parmesan at the wine and cheese table,BUT sadly there's no parmesan to eat?
Why does the power fail in my room every night and I smell like sulfur after taking a shower?

I loved the well manicured resort, the staff was well meaning and helpful but if sadly the culinary calibre was sub par . It really was about KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elk Grove, California, United States
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The resort is beautiful no doubt but things are not as they seem! If you want the quieter side, book Bays 4 and up. If you want the busier side, book bays 1 to 3. We got Bay 3, altho we booked Bay 2, and our view was obstructed by palm trees and the roof of the bar! We complained, and they were wonderful to move us to Bay 4, with beautiful 3rd story views! Dont be afraid to ask for a change if you need one. They are very very willing to help!

As for the food: very good! But don't be surprised if a restaurant is closed because of winds., with no notification! We didn't expect this the last night, as our favorite, Barefoot by the Sea, was closed! and then we could not get into any of the good restaurants, and were stuck with the Buffet, which was ok. Bummer.

Dont think for a minute that the water is warm here in Feb, it's not! about 72 degrees. This is not Caribbean warm water in the summer! I was quite surprised and disappointed by this!

The pool bars: they say they are open to 5..NOT! They CLOSE at 5, and then they are outa there! If you want pool drinks, pinas and bahamas and the like, order by 415 or you are outa luck! regular drinks ok, or go to another bar.

The Sports Shack. Wow. what a disaster for us! My husband tried to sign up for scuba, but then they didn't have the medical forms, said to come back at 2, which we did, but then they couldn't find them, but then said come back at 3, manager never showed....next day, same thing, till finally we complained to Reception..they said manager would call us in morning to scuba, never did call.............I complained to reception again, Nellie, she's awesome, who got us on a scuba the next morn, but my husband decided to golf instead........this really alerted the sports shack, as the manager Leonard called our room to "make it right." We appreciate that, but we never made contact with him. We never did scuba. Other guests told us the snorkel and scuba were "elementary" and "nothing to get excited about".

.....as for the winds. When we arrived, the winds were heavy out of the southeast, the bay was choppy, and all Activities were cancelled. But after that, the winds calmed down and it went to "green" so all activities allowed.. but by sat the winds picked up out of the north west to southwest, but yet the sports desk still flew the red flag. the bay was fine! Ridiculous! The sports desk seemed to cancel any and every activity at the hint of anything, and most of the employees there knew nothing of snorkeling or diving. ON great days, we enjoyed sailing and kayaking which was only 2 days of the whole week! We found the sports desk to be not only incompetent but very unserving!

Hiccups: the power went out alot. at night. The elevator in Bay 4 did not work for awhile. I ordered a bottle of Kahlua to my room from reception, it never arrived. I ordered it again from housekeeping, it never arrived. if you don't get a beach towel by 9 am you are out of luck. There were never towels available for the pool or beach until later in the day. Things close when they don't say they are closed. Weird.

There is no doubt that this Sandals tried their best, everyone so nice and hospitable, but they just can't seem to get it together.

Beautiful resort. Very bad on the sports shack. Good on the food. Weird weird discrepancies.

Room Tip: Go for Bay 4 or 5 if you want a view and quiet. Bay 3 is obscured by palm trees. Bay 1 and 2 have...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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 #3 of 9 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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