We are a married couple who flew to Great Exuma expecting an idyllic beach vacation, but had mixed opinions on our stay. We chose not to have a butler, and stayed in the "honeymoon luxury suite" (basic accom). Here are the PROS:
1. Location: north-west of the airport and Georgetown, nice beach, beautiful blue water, varying in wind.
2. Rooms: large rooms, great housekeeping service, well stocked bar, large soft bed. Large bath, separate shower, twin sinks.
3. Big pool: HUGE pool, many floating mats / activities e.g. water basketball.
4. Tennis court: 4 large clay courts available with racquets and balls available for free hire.
5. Inclusions (limited): water sports (e.g. wind surfing, snorkelling, surfcatting), alcohol, average food, activities, entertainment (limited), large clean well-stocked gym.
Here are the CONS:
1. Insect/sandfly bites: my wife got over 100+ insect bites all over her body but mostly to her legs which were VERY itchy and ugly. I also had some bites. We were not alone (other guests had bites too). We were NOT warned of the need to use insect repellant by the staff until they noticed the bites. We had to purchase corticosteroid cream ($14), antihistamine ($14) and insect repellant ($11). Prevention is the best policy - wear insect repellant when outside esp near bushy/garden areas, and at night.
2. Expensive Exclusions (e.g. spa, excursions): optional excursions examples of prices per person - $22.50 bus to Georgetown, $150 snorkelling expedition, $275 - 375 for 007 Thunderball Grotto + swimming pigs tour. We wanted to do the cheaper $275 option which did not include lunch and swimming with sharks as we were told "there were not enough ppl to go (need minimum 8 ppl per tour) so had to pay extra $100pp to go on the more expensive option. A good idea is the $74 car hire for the day (used Toyota Corolla) to explore Great and Little Exuma. We had a "$250 spa credit" - $240 was for a 50min traditional massage for 2, BUT a 15% tip ($36) was NOT included - you could not use the remaining $10 to part-pay for the tip either. Great relaxing massage but expensive and horrible in principle. Golf was not included, and was $180pp for 18 holes. Internet is NOT included - $14 per day or $45 per week.
3. Average varying service: great enthusiastic service from a few staff e.g. Peter (volelyball/pool activities), Garth (bartender at pool bar), water aerobics guy, Emerson (water sports), housekeeping staff. Others either had an attitude, a frown, or forgot our orders. We did notice those with a butler getting excellent service though. People with butlers were treated better than those without (e.g. first to get cars for airport, better quality cars too). Last day - we ordered early room service breakfast prior to leaving which NEVER CAME.
4. Average food - 4 places to dine, room service also available - but average quality at best. Pub chicken wings (hot) was the best choice there.
5. Lack of "five star" options: Golf at this resort (we found out once we got there) was NOT free - it cost $180pp as mentioned above for 18 holes. Also, little things like an in-room Resort Information / Map for guests was non-existant. Internet not free.
All-in-all we would choose to stay somewhere else a little more traditional Bahamian and more isolated. Food outside of resort (e.g. Santanas on Little Exuma) was much better.
- 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