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“APPROVED” 4 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 8 Hotels in Great Exuma
Barueri Brazil
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“APPROVED”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2010

Grand Isle is a very good choice, even if you select the less expensive room (Garden View): a fully equipped kitchen with everything you need, near to 1,200 square feet of room total area and, of course, an electric golf car as a courtesy.
Hotel is located in a very nice place, about ten minutes of beach walk from the Sandal´s Emerald Bay, or an excellent marina near.
The beach is right in your front, as well a Jacuzzi.
The big problem is food: the hotel´s restaurant works very slow (one hour to prepare a cheeseburger with cold fries), and quality isn´t good.
If you bring your own food, don´t expect find what you need on the supermarket near the resort: it´s better bring all your food from your home. Remember: your room kitchen is 100 % !

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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479 reviews from our community

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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 (119)
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English first
Rome
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

As I read all the reviews about Grand Isle in TA I expected a lovely place, but I found out it was much better than I could imagine. Usually pictures are better than the reality, but Grand Isle is an exception as pictures aren't able to describe how lovely it is.
The villas are spacious, well furnited, elegant, quiet and new. Every single detail is cared for the comfort and the relax of the guests. Service is excellent and housekiping was perfect, also taking off dishes from the dishwasher! Our villa was very quiet and we had full privacy. We had our private cart to move all around the property and to go to the market where you can buy food and spirits if you like. The garden all aroud the villas is wonderfull with flowers and plants I wish I had in my house! The beach it's close to the villas and it's a long withe sandy bay where you'll often be alone or with very few other guest. Sunbeds are very comfortable.
The concierge was wonderfull with us, they helped us in every kind of request. A special thanks to the girls at the reception who made us feel so comfortable even we were so far away from home.
Pool area is nice as well and we loved stay there for the aperitive after a day spent on the beach. The property has got another beach just close to the marina where we had the best snorkelling and it's quite easy to see lobsters and other fishes just between this beach and the small island in fron of it.
Exuma is the right place where you can forget every kind of stress of your life and enjoy you holidays. My suggestion is to rent a car and discover the island in all its beauty, findind beaches were you'll be completely alone. You can park your car and chose the place you prefer as the island is really very safe. Also try to arrange a boat trip to one or more of the wonderful cays around Gran and Little Exuma.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

Just returned from 9 day family vacation and had a great time on Great Exuma Island and at the Grand Isle. We stayed in a 2 bedroom condo and traveled with our 3 and 5 year old kids. The condos/villas are best on island and great for families. Pool is big and beach is right there. Grocery and LQ right across the street. Resort will set up babysitting if you want to get away for a while without kids. We used babysitting service one night. Go to Chat N Chills and hang out on Stocking Island for a day (We went on 2 days - Sunday and Thursday). Also have Pat (Patterson) from 4 Cs take you out on his boat for a day trip around the Exumas (Starfish Bay, Farmers Cay, Staniel Cay, Thunderball Grotto, Swimming Pigs, Compass Cay - Swim with the Nurse Sharks). Our kids had a blast and cried when we left (They want to move to island and live at Grand Isle!). Staff was great, Palappa Bar and Restaurant had great drinks and food. Locals on island very nice and we really enjoyed entire trip and plan to return later this year or early next year. Anyone that doesn't like this place is HIGH maintenance and needs to learn how to relax and have a good time.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 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.
North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2010

After reading many reviews on the out islands over the last 2 years we finally decided on Grand Isle. I have also posted a trip report on the Exuma forum dated 5-30-10 on overall Exuma deatils plus issues such a s bugs, roads, seaweed, wind, weather, etc. that I was overly concerned about. I will not go into detail about how amazing our unit was as many other reviewers have done that but will be spoiled now by it in the future. .The staff at Grand Isle was the best we have ever had. Special mention and hello to Kelly, Shenell, and Shivonder (Shug) who hopefully will miss miss as much as we will them. Grand Isle was everything I had hoped for and more. We had an amazing view from our 1 br unit. We met many nice tourists while we were there and made friends. The food was decent and I thought the prices were good for an island. The free Continental breakfast was ok but does get old after a few days. I would suggest they add scrambled eggs. They cook take out lunch at the Marina store and we got a $10 plate of ribs, peas. rice. corn, mac and cheese that was great. Emerald Bay was more scenic than I thought with the cliffs and rock formations in addition to the appx 3/4 mile sandy beach that was appx. 25 yards beach depth. The water color was as amazing as Anguilla or Providenciales if not more so. But I would say a tad less clear, clean, and calm than the others mentioned. I am glad they rake the beach at Emerald Bay except for the other end past Sandals that has stuff on it. Emerald Bay was by far our favorite beach and we rented a car and saw many. Also loved Stocking Island beaches. You had to turn back and take a last glimpse of Emerald. The bay was perfect for swimming. The beachs were not too crowded. We had a plane full of Sandals guests on the way back and heard a earful of complaints. We never considered staying there. We heard there may be a mega development coming to Crab Cay. I think Exuma is really going to take off with more direct flights coming.
Whoever planned Grand Isle years ago thanks we enjoyed your efforts. Grand Isle and Exuma vas very peaceful and the Exuma people make you want to come back. This is a special place and we feel very blessed to experience it. We took a slice of Exuma back with us that will be in our hearts forever. I would not stay closer to Georgetown unless we had a boat. We are elated with our choice of Grand Isle and hope to return again someday.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2010

My spouse and I travelled to Great Exuma via Air Canada Vacations. A short 3 hour + plane ride out of Toronto at 9:30 am, and we were at the tiny Exuma International Airport. Then a short 15 minute taxi ride to Grand Isle from the airport. It was a pleasure to avoid the 2 hour bus ride we have experienced so many times before. By 1:30 pm we were on the beach relaxing.

THE POSITIVES:

1) Villas- Well appointed, luxurious, large and comfortable. For some reason we happened to be upgraded to a two bedroom ocean view villa. (we had booked a one bedroom gardenview) We enjoyed 2300 sq. feet on two levels. No expense has been spared in outfitting the condo. Brands such as Subzero, Dacor, Tommy Bahama, Kohler, Bosch etc. are what you can expect to find throughout. It was a highlight to get CBC, to get the real news, and the hockey playoff's, so bonus. It will be very difficult to return to a typical hotel room ever again. We have definitely been spoiled now. It's no wonder that many of the top Sandals execs from Sandals Emerald Bay live at Grand Isle.

2) Beach, Emerald Bay- Exquisite turquoise calm waters in the large bay. The Emerald Bay is also where Sandals is located (formerly The Four Seasons Hotel). There are kayaks and a hobie cat at Grand Isle for guest use.

3)Reception & Housekeeping Staff- Always very friendly, professional and accommodating.

4) Complimentary continental breakfast- Better than we expected. Located indoors just off the pool area, with a view to the beach. They offered the usual pastries, fruit, cereal, yogurt, etc. but also smoked salmon with onions and capers, cheeses. There is also the option to purchase a hot breakfast at the outdoor restaurant.

5) Golf carts- Every villa comes with a golf cart to get around in. We didn't use it to get around the resort, but we did go to the grocery store and liquor store, and explored around the golf course and marina.

6) The liquor store was quite nice. Wine prices were a bit above usual, but liquor was reasonably priced.

7) Grocery store- Ok, nothing great, but had everything we needed. We did bring some items from home that we figured would not be available, however there was no need to do this, as they have everything you would need to make a meal. We did not buy the frozen meat, other's have and said it was fine, but it didn't look very appetizing.

8) Layout & Landscaping- Just gorgeous. Well thought out, stunning architecture and grounds.

9) Rent a car- we rented a car for 2 days arranged thru the hotel. We visited Tropic of Cancer beach, Club Peace & Plenty for drinks at the bar with "Dr. Livation" (a legend at Club P&P) as well as lunch. You must visit, it is a relic of a hotel but a happening spot, with fabulous views of the harbour and Stocking Island. Tropic of Cancer beach is a bit of a drive, but well worth it. We also just stopped at the side of the main road near the airport on a beautiful stretch of deserted beach. The cost of the car rental was $74/day.

10) February Point- For dinner- it's a must. A mere twenty-five minute drive to February Point and you will be set up for the most wonderful food on the island. We cannot say enough about our dining experience here, it was so delicious that we decided to keep the car for an extra day, just so we could go back for another dinner.

11) Great gym- located in a villa, two levels of all the machines you might need.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT:

1) The food and restaurant service- We ate 3 dinners at Grand Isle. They were not as enjoyable as they could have been. We have owned our own restaurant, my spouse is a chef, so we might be a bit more critical than most, however we were very disappointed. It could be so much more with a bit more effort. By the way, the prices were more expensive at Grand Isle than at February point.

2) The service at the bar/pool area/restaurant- could have been better. We always felt like we were interrupting the staff having a good time when we wanted to order a drink or be seated. It was a sharp contrast from the service we received from the staff at reception and house keeping.

We must add that the local people of Exuma are so kind and were a pleasure to talk to. There was no island hustle that we have received so many times on other islands. By far our best vacation south yet. We hope to return to Grand Isle again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potomac, Maryland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2010

This is our 10th trip to Exuma, 5th to Grand Isle Resort, and we LOVE it! We stayed here for our honeymoon last December too. We had previously stayed at the Four Seasons Resort several times, which was also fabulous, but it closed - even so, I think we prefer the super personal service, great food, friendly staff, and of course the beautiful and spacious accommodations even better here.
Been to Nassau, Freeport, and many out-islands - the Grand Isle is truly THE BEST! Kudos to the wonderful staff who made our trip a continuous honeymoon!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Connecticut
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2010

We highly recommend Grand Isle Resort, and Great Exuma Island. It’s strikingly beautiful, well-maintained, reasonably affordable, reasonably easy to get to, the units are lovely, and the staff is excellent. We would return in a second.

Getting There: We avoided Nassau by flying into Georgetown from Fort Lauderdale. Then it’s a 15-minute ride to the resort (past some striking coastal scenes) via the resort’s complimentary shuttle service.

Staff: The resort staff deserves a special mention. They were unfailingly friendly, polite, efficient and detail-oriented – real hospitality professionals. (In striking contrast to the more lackadaisical attitudes we have experienced in other tropical island visits.) The Grand Isle staff should feel very good about the terrific experience they are delivering to their guests.

We worked with Kelly at the concierge desk, in advance and while onsite. She was great!

The Resort: Our two-bedroom two-story unit was beautifully decorated, and the full kitchen was stocked with all necessary appliances and utensils – including a SubZero frig, a dishwasher and wonderful granite counters. You are responsible for food & cleaning supplies, right down to the salt & pepper. More on how to deal with that in a minute.

The gorgeous infinity pool is great and the beach is even better. Plush sand, small waves, pockets of reefs to snorkel around and an emerald-blue color to the water that you can’t stop looking at. Beach towels and snorkel gear are provided. When we were there in mid-April, the resort was not so crowded that you had to stake out your pool chairs or beach chairs early (if they even allow that). There were also kayaks and a small Sunfish you could take out into the bay. There is also a golf course, but we didn’t sample that.

Food: While the restaurant’s food is good, its menu is somewhat limited and unchanging, and not cheap. After the first day, we switched to buying lunch there and then preparing light dinners in our unit. You can buy food at the market just down the road, which is easily accessible because the units come with your own golf cart. Fun! Of course, this being an island, the groceries are pretty expensive -- $5 jars of peanut butter, for example. You also want to check expiration dates before you buy. (Knowing we would want to make some of our own meals, we used a small extra suitcase to bring down some pasta, PB, cereal, snacks, etc.)

Miscellaneous: at Kelly’s recommendation, we did a four-hour snorkel trip from George Town with Cap. Steven Cole (Off Island Advenures). He’s very knowledgeable and caring about Exuma and took us to several interesting sites and good snorkeling spots. He was terrific and thoughtful with our kids. Give him your business if you go!

Also, try to get down to George Town and catch Elvis & his water taxi out to Stocking Island so you can spend some time at the Chat ‘n’ Chill. What a delectable hoot, mon!

If you can, rent a car. A roundtrip taxi run to George Town costs $100. (Be sure to drive on the left!)

Our only two things we wish were different: the restaurant is covered but open-air, so the no-see-’ums join you for dinner (bring Skin-So-Soft or other deterrent), and the second bedroom had a king sized bed – great if we had been traveling with another couple but less than ideal with our two adolescent kids. Our 10-yr-old son happily claimed the sofa bed in the living room – in front of the big-screen TV– allowing our 14-yr-old daughter to have the second bedroom to herself. But we – and I suspect other families – would love to see some units available with two twin beds in the second bedroom.

Those are minor quibbles, though, with such a beautiful place. You should go.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 5
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 8 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 Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Great Exuma, Bahamas

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