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“Beautiful! Could not have asked for more!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Isle Resort & Spa

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box EX-29253 | George Town, Great Exuma   |  
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Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Great Exuma
Williams, Oregon
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful! Could not have asked for more!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We just returned from the most fabulous vacation at Grand Isle Resort & Spa. The villa we rented was gorgeous. It was clean, comfortable and HUGE! It also had every amenity you could ask for. Basically, we were ready to move in permanently. Each room comes with a golf cart to get you around the resort. The golf course is breath-taking. The beach is just steps away with coral reefs, the bluest water, and white sands. The pool/bar/restaraunt area is fabulous. The food is great. We ate and drank there at least once everyday. The view from the pool is so pretty, I just had to mention it! Another thing that must be said is that the staff at the Resort are so friendly, we couldn't stop noticing it. A nice, professional staff can really make a vacation that much better. Thank you Grand Isle Resort & Spa! WE WILL BE BACK.

  • 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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426 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Waterloo, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Words cannot describe how wonderful our one week holiday at Grand Isle Resort was; nor can pictures do it justice! My family of four felt pampered and we fully appreciated all the luxuries provided by the gorgeous resort. Our villa was immaculate and stunning - view was "to die for." Restaurant service was excellent and food delicious. We all loved the heated pool and we took full advantage of lots of the "beach toys" such as boogie boards, snorkling equipment, kayaks, and even pails and shovels to make sand castles! The concierge was very helpful in organizing our fabulous excursion around the cays - an experience of a lifetime! Renting a car also enabled us to explore the island, enjoy some other beaches and get some groceries. We had great fun riding the golf carts around the grounds. Before we left, my daughter and I even pampered ourselves at the spa! Definitely stay at Grand Isle Resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

My husband as I stayed in the 2 bedroom (3 bathroom) penthouse overlooking the ocean in march 2012 - the penthouse was gorgeous! Granite and marble finishings throughout, with high end everything (appliances, etc)!! The ensuite bathrooms were beautiful - the master bedroom and ensuite bath were very spacious - the separate master balcony was perfect for sunbathing! I prefer being able to eat quick healthy meals (salad, greek yogurt, etc) in my own (beautiful) well-equipped kitchen instead of the all-inclusive options, I actually lost weight (as opposed to gaining weight with the all-inclusive).

It would be advisable to rent a car for a day or two at the beginning to buy groceries (20-30 min's away) and to see the other end of the island. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Having your own golf cart to drive around the resort and surrounding area was great. The emerald bay beach is gorgeous, beautiful fine white sand (as is common in the Bahamas) - there were so many great little secluded white sand beaches that you could kayak to - it felt like you had the island to yourself - one of the upsides to being a smaller more secluded island. I cant say enough great things about this place, however the island is a bit secluded. If you wanted to socialize a little more you could wonder on to the neighboring Sandles resort. We did go to a couple bars in the main town on a friday night with a few others from the resort and it was alot of fun!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We spent one week at the Grand Isle Resort in February 2013 and we were blown away! The grounds are beautiful and clean, the villas are spacious and tropically decorated, and the pool is gorgeous with views of the Emerald Bay beach. The staff is warm, friendly, and helpful with all your needs. Our villa was not on the ocean but we didn't care... Eating breakfast out on the patio was still lovely. We recommend renting a car to see Little Exuma/Tropic of Cancer Beach with a stop at Santana's for a delicious post-beach meal; driving to George Town to get groceries, liquor and cash; driving to various restaurants like Sylvia's at the fish-fry, Catch A Fire to watch the sunsets, and Splash a sports bar to play pool and darts; and getting to the various harbors so you can catch a water taxi to Chat N' Chill/Stocking Island and/or get a boat ride by Captain Jerry! We love Exuma and cannot wait to return! Thank you Grand Isle for making our vacation so special!!! A special mention and thanks to Judy, Emmerson, Crystal, and Shug for your hospitality. A huge thank you to Peter for everything!!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york,ny
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Just returned back from a week at Grand Isle Resort + Spa with my husband and 4 other friends. First of all the villas are beautiful! Spacious, clean with a tommy Bahama style decor, it was a great place to return home to after a fun day out in Exuma. The resort itself is beautiful! The view from the pool area is magnificent. Emerald Bay is just a gorgeous beach with incredible turquoise water. There are coral reefs just a few yards out where you can use the resorts snorkeling gear to check out the great sea life.

We travel quite a bit and cannot say how kind and friendly everyone who works there is. I actually find that quite rare so it made our trip that much more memorable.

Their palapa grill has great food, amazing drinks and has a real comfortable vibe. The live music that we saw was fab!

The fitness center has all that you need and while we didn't take advantage of the spa this time around, we heard from other guests that its really exceptional.

So sad to be back in chilly NYC but so looking forward to our next trip back to Grand Isle!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Illinois
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Stayed at the Grand Isle Resort for 4 nights the last week of January. I had very high expectations and mostly they were met with a few exceptions. Here is a rundown of our experience at the resort.

* The villa was luxurious. Villa includes high ceilings, nice flooring tile and area rugs, multiple flat panel monitors, huge bathroom with two-person whirlpool tub, separate commode and shower, a washer/dryer setup (convenient after ocean swimming), and a safe. There is also a full kitchen outfitted with high end appliances. Villa is tastefully decorated, which is always a consideration. Bedroom was beautiful with decent furniture, bedding, and access to balcony. The interior was nearly immaculate, although there were a few hairs (not our hair color) found in the tub when running the whirlpool.

* Although I booked an Ocean view room, there was only a partial view of the ocean. To the left, I could see palm trees, another villa, and some of the property. To the far right, there was an outbuilding. I felt slightly resentful as I expected an unobstructed view of the ocean. I stayed silent on the issue with the property as I did book late; however, you should get what you pay for.

* Grounds are pristine. They seem to take pride in this property.

* Large beach is a short walk from villas and has plenty of chaise lounges. Sand is fairly clean. View off the beach is pretty but there seems to be a cell-tower across from the resort, which detracts from the beautiful landscape.

* Pool was perfect as it is clean, heated, and varies in depth. Not quite an infinity pool as palm trees block most of view. Lounge chairs neatly spaced around pool and beyond. It would be a real easy place to get a tan or read a book. I personally can't stand still for that long.

* Outside hot-tub was relaxing in the evening. It could probably hold four adults.

* Golf cart was a nice little perk but there's not too much to see beyond resort. We used it to pick up water at the nearby liquor store and do some sightseeing around the golf course. Our cart seemed to be low on battery most of the time even though it was charged all night.

* Although their website states that there is a larger than life hammock, it was nowhere to be seen. When asked about it, I was told that it was taken down for repair or until a replacement could be found. That was a minor letdown.

* Restaurant is decent albeit overpriced. Food was average but then again, you are on a small island. Ribs were disappointing even though my "Dining Concierge" stated that the meat falls off the bone. Instead, I found them to be tough. We did not find too many dining alternatives away from the resort.

* Staff was very friendly except for the manager of the restaurant on Sat. night. Although we made late dinner reservations with reception, the restaurant was not informed. This made for an awkward situation (us pleading our case to the manager). We were accommodated; however, the manager implied that we should dine quickly so that a larger party could be seated an hour later. We did eventually get seated after waiting at the bar but the entire situation ruined our dining experience. The infuriating part is that the entire lower half of the restaurant was vacant. We even offered to dine there but were brushed off. Being rushed in the Bahamas is very ironic.

* Snorkeling equipment offered to us was not the same brand as listed on website.

Overall, the resort is very pleasant and we had a memorable time. As you can see, there is also plenty of room for improvement. If you require an unobstructed view of the ocean, get them to commit in writing before reserving.

As for Exuma, the beaches and waters are beautiful. The sea is clear near shore and becomes a light turquoise blue farther out. It changes to indigo blue in deeper water. My words cannot capture the beauty of the ocean in Exuma. The Island is small and mainly uneventful.

I suggest you rent a boat from Minns and head for Stocking Island like we did. It was not inexpensive but it was worth it. This was the highlight of our trip! It's easy to find a secluded beach on Stocking Island and drop anchor. Go ahead and search for starfish, sand dollars, and swim in the warmer, calmer waters. You could stay at the resort and work on your tan, but for me, swimming at the resort beach was rough and murky (near shore) compared with Stocking Island.

Then there is the Tropic of Cancer beach. It's easy to get to with a rental car from Don's. Spend the afternoon relaxing while taking in the amazing views. It was so nice, we went there twice.

Room Tip: If you require an unobstructed view of the ocean, get them to commit in writing before reserving.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed at Grand Isle for one week. I would confirm the view of others: the hotel is a five-star resort in almost every way. The one bedroom oceanfront villa we were in was beautiful and modern, very similar to what I would expect at a Four Seasons or St Regis resort. Nice views of the water. While the units have full kitchens with modern appliances, we didn't find this useful, as it is 30 minutes from the resort to a grocery store. (Apparently there used to be one nearby, but it has closed. The decision to build full kitchens in every room in this resort feels like a waste, as, even the best grocery store in the Exumas, the Exuma Market near the marina in George Town, is not very good. This isn't Mexico.) We had the odd breakfast of coffee and toast in the room, but other than that, we ate out.

The staff were uniformly excellent, friendly and efficient, way above the Bahamian standard. Really enjoyed every single person we met. It is actually a striking contrast to the Sandals next door, which we went to one night on an evening pass, and had several frustrating experiences (and a couple of good ones too, it wasn't all bad, with their staff.

The food in the restaurant was uniformly good. We especially liked the wraps at lunch, the grouper or snapper at dinner (these are local catches), and the conch chowder anytime.

The pool at Grand Isle is spectacular, its large and pleasant to swim in, with great views of the cove. Poolside has a nice, quiet vibe. We were there on an off week (it was at maybe 15-20% occupancy), but, even if it was full, I think there would be chaise lounges for all. Grand Isle also has chaise lounges the beach (only a minute or two down the hill from the pool). NB: there can be a no-see-um/sand flea problem. We were fine for 6 nights, then on the last night my wife got 20 bites. Bring Skin-so-soft.

We rented a car twice, and it was a joy. Just ask at the Grand Isle front desk and the car is delivered to you. We did this once on short notice, and had a car within 30 minutes of asking.

Restaurants: Away from Grand Isle, we tried Santana's, Chat n chill, and Big D's. We found that Santana's, much beloved in these parts, is kind of overrated - it's a charming place, with a nice beach location, but given how far away it is, the food is heavily fried and not memorable. Pet peeve - this is the sort of value for money calculation that Trip Advisor reviews often get wrong. If you want lobster, pay $36 or similar in the better restaurant near where you are staying, and get something prepared well - it doesn't make sense to drive a long distance to get one that is only OK for $22. Chat n Chill was fine, but nothing special. The real revelation is Big D's in Steventon - the conch salad is fantastic , as is the scorched conch (not what you think it is!) and really, so is everything else they do. Big D's is not Bahamian fast food, like Santana's or Chat n chill - it is quality, well prepared, healthy food, all local catch, served in an authentic place, at a good price.

Beaches: We went out one day to explore other beaches and restaurants, one day to get to the boat rental at Minns. The beaches at the south end of the island are no better than those at the north end, and it's a long drive (almost 90 minutes from Grand Isle). I wouldn't bother going down there. Much better was the secluded beach on the Atlantic side of Stocking Island, and Cocoplum beach. These were awesome, secluded beaches, and you can do a bit of shelling (overall though, the shelling in the Exumas , when we were there, is overrated - we've seen much better in Florida, eg Captiva or Boca Raton). Cocoplum can be hard to find. The road to Cocoplum is not marked, it's just another dirt road going east off the Queen's Highway. Going north, after Steventon but before Rolleville, when you see the faded sign for Runaway beach club, make a u-turn, it is about 100-200 yards south of that road.

Snorkeling: we did this three times at Emerald Cove, next to Grand Isle, and used the rental boat from Minn's to visit a number of hard-to-get-to sites. While we saw dolphins, a ray (not including the "domesticated" ray swimming in front of Chat n Chill), and lots of schools of small fish (mostly shad), snorkeling in the Exumas was a little disappointing. It's not that colorful or exciting, and the water is surprisingly cold when you get out of the coves. We enjoyed it nonetheless, but be warned - this is not "world class" snorkeling, no matter what the websites say. This could be the time of year, I am not sure.

There is no better experience than landing at the Exuma airport, especially direct from a major airport (Air Canada from Toronto). It's a one room building, you get your bags, walk 20 feet, and the taxi takes you 15 minutes to the hotel, and stays with you after you check in, to take you and your bags (which never come out of the car) to your room. Touchdown was 6.15pm, we were in the room before 7pm. That is true, stress free, off-the-grid luxury!

Notwithstanding the minor things mentioned above, we loved Grand Isle, had a great time and would come back to the Exumas. But given the grocery setup, the Exumas is somewhat better for couples than families.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Isle Resort & Spa

Address: PO Box EX-29253 | George Town, Great Exuma
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Isle Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas, Grand Isle Resort & Spa is a stunning ocean front resort. The exclusive gated community comprises 78 luxuriously appointed 1- to 4-bedroom villas that range from 1,250 sq. ft. to 5,200 sq. ft. and offer a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area, high-end amenities, and extraordinary views. Getting around the resort is quick and convenient, as every villa is equipped with a personal golf cart. Grand Isle is one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean and is ideally suited for family holidays, romantic getaways, destination weddings and honeymoons, or for simply enjoying the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Great Exuma, Bahamas

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