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“We love the Bahamas!!”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Orangeville, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We love the Bahamas!!”
Reviewed March 14, 2011

My husband and I spent Feb27-Mar6/11 in paradise with our good friends. We have visited Nassau before but Emerald Bay is our new favourite home away from home! What a beautiful place to vacation we booked through Air Canada Vacations which offers a direct flight to the island. The weather was hot and sunny just what we needed after enduring -25 degree wind and snow for months! We all enjoyed the resort the boys enjoyed golfing and my girlfriend and I enjoyed relaxing by the pool and beach. We went snorkelling which was booked through the water sports by the beach and we also kayaked on the only yellow flag day it was amazing. The rooms are clean and spacious we always found surprises when we returned to our room in the evening like bubble baths, flowers and candles everywhere! We ate at the Bahama Bay for breakfast and dinner at Il Cielo the rest of the time we ended up at the Drunken Duck Pub. Our butler Bernard was great he always smiled and checked in on us during the day which made our vacation even more fun! We are so fortunate to have found such a gorgeous part of the world to visit we are looking forward to our next vacation in Great Exuma!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank tanned67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hazel Green, Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2011

We stayed at Sandals Emerald Bay March 2- 9, 2011 in conjuction with our wedding/honeymoon. We spent four days with our guests and three days by ourselves after they departed. While our friends were there, we had an absolute blast and after they left we had a relaxing and romantic rest of our honeymoon. Food was great at the Drunken Duck (try the hamburgers, esp. the Blue Cheese burger), Bahama Bay (great buffets for lunch, breakfast, and the Asian buffet), and Barefoot by the Sea (good blackened fish sandwiches and Thai beef salads). Drinks were good, brand choices a little limited, but acceptable. (i.e., no Makers Mark or Michelob Ultra - our preferences). Pools were nice and the beach was equipped with nice chairs/umbrellas. Our only real complaint was the Il Cielo restaurant. Menu was not our "type" of food and what we ordered was much more gourmet than good. Service EVERYWHERE was outstanding. We dealt with the wedding dept (Beverly and Ann), the butlers (Logesh and Greg),the golf (Ivanette), and the spa (Michelle). We also went bonefishing with Bonefish "Olie"; lots of fun!!! Our wedding trip was fabulous and we would definitely recommend this resort to anyone with no reservations whatsoever!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank deanasub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2011

First, I want to say that after reading through some of the comments on here, I was afraid of what I might encounter once I got to the resort. I have to say honestly though, I didn't experience any of the things people seem to be complaining about. I have been all over the Carribean, including cruises. This was my first time to Sandals or and all Inclusive.

We flew Delta out of Atlanta, and it was a quick trip. Customs was rather lengthy but we did fly in on Sunday and two larger planes were going through at once. We were immediately checked in at the airport and in a cab on our way to Sandals within 10 minutes. The cabbie was nice and offered many bits of insight on our way to the resort.

When we arrived at the resort, we were immediately greeted and our bags were taken. We checked in, were told our room was not ready, and taken to lunch. I didn't expect the room to be ready as we arrived at 1pm, but many other guests were complaining about having to wait. I was surprised at this as most hotels are not ready before 3pm for check in, but then again some people will complain about anything.

After lunch, we walked around and looked at the beautiful property. It is taken care of very well, with many beautiful flowering plants and wonderful landscaping. We met one of our butlers, Carlene, and she took us to our room. We had a beach walkout in one of the villas directly on the beach. Once again, I had heard people complaining about the vegetation in front of the building, but it didn't affect our view and kept sand from blowing up onto our porch or in our room. The room was oversized and very nice, the bed was comfortable and the view was exactly what we had expected.

Carlene and Henri were our butlers and were there for our every need. As we are both very busy at home, I told them I didn't care to tote the butler phone and would call them as needed. After that conversation, we didn't have to worry about being bothered. I can't say enough about how Carlene and Henri helped make this a trip to remember. I didn't have to repeat myself and the things we asked for were done for us every day there after.

The food and food options were better than I expected after reading some of the reviews. I never expected it to be five star, but also expected it to be better than cruise ship food and it was for sure. I personally didn't care for the breakfast buffet, so we had room service breakfast, made to order for the rest of the week after the first day. We tried all the different venues and had nothing to complain about. All of the meals I would rate as above average. The portions are a little small, but again it is an all inclusive, just order more. The drunken duck was just outside our door and the chicken pot pie and cheeseburger were very good. If you want good seafood, see Bianca at the beach, she is very nice and from Exuma if you have any questions or just want to chat, she was one of our favorites.

We did the special candle lit dinner and it was nice. I felt it was worth the extra money. They had an opera performance that night and it was going on during our dinner, a nice surprise. Lucky from India was our server and he was very nice and made us laugh quite a bit. We made sure to talk to him every time we saw him after that.

There is what I would consider to be quite a bit of night life. There was something going on every night, whether you went to the italian place for the piano sing along, or the lounge at the front of the property. Not very much of the night life went on past midnight, so if you are a party animal, you might look elsewhere. Neither of us were bothered about the amount of after hour activities.

The golf course is beautful and very fun to play. If you do nothing else, take the tour, and if you play golf, at least do the one hour of instruction with the pro which is free. I played 18 with the golf pro, they do that on Wednesdays and no one else did, it was a blast.

We rented a car, 125 dollars, and it was well worth it. The island is not huge by any means, but it took better part of a day to see the sites and experience a little of "zoomer" island. I'm glad we did and don't miss Santana's on little exuma. By the way, a cab to georgetown and back will run you 100 us dollars, might as well rent the car! They do drive on the opposite side of the road, so keep that in mind. THIS IS NOT A TOURIST ISLAND!! OTHER THAN SANDALS THERE ARE LIMITED OPTIONS ON LODGING AND ACTIVITIES AWAY FROM THE RESORT!!! If you want tons of things to see and do off property, go to Nassau, if you want to relax, go to zoomer.

Now for the most important part, THE BEACH. It was incredible and my favorite part of the trip. The water wasn't warm, but I swam in it anyway. The sand was soft, no shells, rocks, and you can go out into the surf about 200 feet before its above your head. Overall the nicest beach I have ever been to and not at all crowded. The most people I ever saw on the beach at once was 10. It was very windy the week we were there, not at all common, so many of the water sport activities were not able to be done.

Lastly, I'm not the surgeon general, but I will say this anyway!! Do not go outside without some form of sunscreen. The sun is very, very powerful and even after being out all week I was sunburned badly after being in the sun for a couple of hours in direct sunlight.

Overall this was a wonderful trip. I want to give one last shout out to Carlene and Henri, Bianca and Lucky. They helped make this trip one that we will remember forever. We will be going to another Sandals and we will return sometime to Great Exuma.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank aristippus1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 14, 2011

My husband and I just returned from Emerald Bay and it was fantastic. It was our first time at a Sandals and it will not be our last. We arrived shortly after lunch to our room not being ready but no big deal. We went and had lunch and an hour later it was ready. The room was very nice with a lovely view of the ocean. The room was always kept very clean with everything being replaced everyday. We had butler service and it was good. Our main butler Ainsworth was great. He took care of everything. The guy that covered him was okay. We came home one night to a lovely bubble bath with flowers and a few nights we had a plate of appys waiting for us.
We spent most of the time at the main pool and never had any problems getting chairs. You never had to wait to get a drink. They had servers walking around taking orders or you could swim up and get anything. The beach was just gorgeous and the nicest sand around. My husband golfed 3 times and just loved it. One of the best course he has ever played. The view of the back 9 holes is amazing and I would suggest anyone to just take a walk or the golf cart around those holes. The Spa was fantastic. One of the best spas that I have been too in a long time. The couples massage was wonderful. The food was great. The lunch time BBQ with the jerk chicken was fantastic. All the restaurants and room service had great menus.
They do have a few things to sort out but they are aware of them and they are still finding the right group for staff. Everyone was so friendly and willing to help you out with anything.
I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunnycowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 13, 2011

Just came back from my honeymoon at Sandals Emerald Bay and it was the best vacation I've ever been on. I've been to a few different "all-inclusive" resorts, and they cannot hold a candle to Sandals Emerald Bay. It has to be the most beautiful place in the world! The food was amazing -- we developed quite the appetite. I think i gained 10 lbs. The service was the best we've EVER had at any resort and the grounds were stunning. We will definitely be back next year. The location was great - and from what we hear, you won't be able to see water that blue any where else in the world.

Only complaint - the room descriptions are a little deceiving... I think most people were upset about it. We had a honeymoon "suite" but, it wasn't any more special than any other room, so we were really confused. We heard others felt the same way. I wanted to go complain like hey, this is not what I thought I was getting - but in the end, we didn't spend too much time in the room so I guess it wasn't too big of a deal...

The bars were SO FUN!!!!! We made so many new friends!!! Definitely get butler service - Darion and Samson were the best!!!!!!!! I loved all the special things they did for us like draw the romantic bath with rose petals.

I had a massage at the spa too = BEST massage ever.

We were also told that the resort was 85% at capacity when we were there, but it didn't feel like there was hardly anyone there at all. A million activities - if you got bored there, its your own fault.

BEST VACATION EVER!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank CorrineLaDrig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2011

We just returned from 5 days and unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest. While it didn't dampen our fun we did not participate in any of the water activities. However while the resort is beautiful all the hype that Sandals gives - it is just that. The resort is not new - it is a former Four Seasons property and it does show some wear and tear (like duck tape on the carpet in one of the restaurants). While service is very good, but we had a very bad experience at El Cielo the last day we were there. We were never served our ordered breakfast and then at the Chef Signature dinner - the food was lukewarm at best. They were not equiped to serve that many people at one seating. Butler service was nice but not worth the extra money when you are staying in a regular room. They said all rooms have a ocean view - I guess a sliver of blue water on the horizon counts for that.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Vegas_Travelers52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2011

Great hotel,It,s the perfect size.Bulter service was excellent,as Micheal and Sam did agreat job.Whatever you need they take care of it.Nice beach and pool and bar service are top notch.If you want a relaxing vacation this is the place.This hotel was a four seasons and is really nice.Hotel is near airport and you can get boarding passes at hotel in the morning you leave.My hat.,s off to Sandals.Thanks Sonya and David and all the staff at Sandal,s.Tust me this is a really nice place.Great golf course also.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank timandramona
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

Property: 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 #2 of 6 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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