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“In my opinion: Very Nice Sandals Property - we would visit again without hesitation”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Reviewed November 11, 2012

In my opinion: Overall- we would rate the property 4.5. They did a very nice job all around but have just a few minor things that could be improved. For guests planning to go - things to know:
1. Find the coffee shop. Their lattes rival Starbucks. I highly recommend. Brochure says they open at 7 but the girls open up at 630... The pastries are excellent as well.
2. Get the butler service. Darrion, Keisha and Anthony were wonderful. Our stay would not have been the same without them. Keisha even brought popcorn from home for me :)
3. Satar - if we had an issue, he went over and above to fix it.
4. Leslie and Navada (Entertainment Staff) - Very nice. Had a lot of fun being in the couple's game show with them as hosts. We had a chance to chat with Leslie at the airport as we were leaving. He was headed home for a couple of days to celebrate his birthday. Very nice guy.
5. If you like French, make reservations as soon as you arrive at the property. It was hardest restaurant to get into. Food was fabulous.
6. The Italian restaurant was pretty easy to get into. FIND THE DESSERT ROOM.. ;)... Food was fabulous (Breakfast too).
7. The Buffet had really good food everyday - breakfast or lunch.
8. Dino's pizza....not great pizza but worked in a pinch.
9. Cabanna by the pool...Prepare to set an alarm for 6am each morning. Take a book or some flip flops and claim a cabanna. Go back to bed. Towels come out at 630am. IF YOU DO NOT get out there by 6am...getting a cabanna at the main pool will be virtually impossible - so head to the quiet pool. **even at 6am, you might not get a cabanna. Usually at 6am, the only cabanna we could get was # 12.. but it is in an ok spot.
10. Barefoot by the Sea... probably the biggest disappointment as far as food goes. We were not impressed by service either.
11. Drunken Duck pub - bar food but very good - and always hot.
12. Do you want to snorkel, dive, etc - with the Sandals property? If so - as SOON as you arrive, go straight to the WaterSports desk at the beach and signup. For the snorkel trip, they take you by bus at 1:40 each day - but only 18 lucky people get to go. This is one of the disappointments on the property. We learned this late. We were only able to sign up for the last couple of days of our trip because the other days were full. The days we did sign up for were cancelled due to weather.
13. Paid Excursions - we did the Ocean Safari. The boat ride was fun but the water was really too choppy to be out on. The resort had canceled their snorkel trip for that day if that tells you how bad the weather was that day. The crew of the boat we went on were nice but they had no business letting us get in the water to snorkel. The current was way too strong and they did not require anyone to don a life jacket. I snorkel and dive often -and trust me, we had no business being in the water that day. Very dangerous.
14. Kitty cats on the property - :) they were born there and Sandals got them neutered, etc. They are very friendly and we very much enjoyed these home away from home pets. The stripped one that has the tip of his ear missing really loves the chicken cubes from the buffet and milk... just saying :). I nicknamed him Chester and he met me each morning for breakfast. It made the experience more fun for me as I was really missing my pets back home.
15. Georgette - pictures.. she did a fantastic job. We were very happy with the photo session
16. Spa - probably some of the best massages of our life :)...I dont remember names but the girls that took care of us were great.
17. Drawback - the changeover time between breakfast to lunch to dinner at the restaurants. We were not always quite sure where to go if we wanted something to nibble on.
18. Drawback - mixed drinks - the bars opened later than I would have expected - or you could only get a certain cocktail such as bloodmary/mimosa in the morning. We thought this was odd since you had liquor available 24/7 in the room. Anyway...
19. Glass on the floor in the bar area at the Italian restaurant - we noticed when we arrived for breakfast. It appeared that someone had dropped a glass..probably the evening before. There were shards of glass on the floor and a lot of barefeet cross that area. We told 3 people over the course of a half hour (breakfast) before someone finally cleaned it up. The third person we told immediately fixed. Thank goodness no one stepped on the pieces before they were cleaned up.
20. Golf - we were not impressed with the golf experience- and in fact, were disappointed. We called Sandals before we went on the trip - as Sandy had just hit the island. We were assured the entire course was open for golf but when we arrived, it was not. When we arrived, only the back 9 were open as a result of Sandy. They did open the full course on Monday but it was still pretty soggy. We understand the need to close the course due to conditions. We were disappointed because we called ahead and were assured it was open. Had they told us the true conditions, we would have left the clubs at home. The mosquitos will eat you alive on the front 9...
21. Mosquitos.. Mosquitos.. Mosquitos.. Holy cow. They are vicious. The resort provides a Deet based spray in the rooms - and encourages use - but I am alergic. Thank goodness I brought my own. We were not expecting the bugs to be as bad as they were/are though. If you are going to this resort in the next couple of weeks, take some bug spray with you - especially if you are allergic too or do not want to use a Deet based produce.
22. Airport (not Sandals - but just the Great Exuma Airport (and specifically United)....I did not like the staff at the airport. The United girl that checked us in was not useful or friendly - but I will take the up with United. We are lucky that our luggage made it home based on how she tagged it..In fact, one bag almost did not make it as the tag she used fell off at FLL... Also - United MIGHT LEAVE you stranded in Great Exuma - and there aren't many options if they do. The girl informed us that the flight was full/overbooked. In the event that the plane was overweight, it was possible we would be pulled off the flight and booked for the NEXT DAY even though we both have status. She said that did not matter. While no one was pulled from the plane, if you are flying United (Silver airlines) just be aware.... We left on Saturday. I was told that Sundays are even worse...
Overall - we had fun :)

Room Tip: We were in Bay House 2. Location was good.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Donna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,809 - 2,815 of 3,942 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2012

Words can not explain how beautiful our trip has been. Renewing our vows after being married for 25 years has been just as special as our first wedding all thanks to Sandals and its great staff. Our wedding coordinator Shalise took care of our every need and made our day so special, she is truly one of a kind. Also thank you to Anne in the Wedding Office for always being there for us. This is our second time to Sandals. Our first trip was 5 years ago to St. Lucia Grande. We were invited to the Sandals Select coctail and dinner party as returning guests when we got the pleasure of meeting Shakira the new Butler. She sat at our table and listened to our plans for the week and even though we did not have a Butler this trip, she went out of her way finding us everywhere and doing little special things that meant the world to us. She is worth her weight in gold. We also got to meet our wonderful Hotel Manager David that same evening. He already knew we were renewing our vows when we met him and saw him so many times through out our trip making sure our every need was met. He was so impressive handing out ice cream to guests at the pool making sure everyones vacation was a dream come true. On our wedding day I had the pleasure of having my hair and make up done by Michelle in the Salon, not only did she make me look beautiful she made my day beautiful as well. Then there was our photographer Kenney who not only took fantastic pictures of us from day to day but made our wedding pictures turn out to be priceless and a treasure for life. Now to move onto some other people that made our trip so special, to our chemist Pool Bartender Warrenique you make drinks just as well as you make special memories, to James in the Tours department, thanks for all of your help and always making us smile. Satar at the Concierge desk always seem to be a step ahead of our needs and always helped us when we needed something. Your number one Concierge Ganee should be running her own Sandals resort in no time at all. You should consider her as your customer Service Manager, we were honored to have met her. As far as our food needs, Dino's Pizzeria is by far the best on this resort. Not only is the food quality excellent, but you have the two best serveres in the whole resort. Terrance and Tinika made sure we were happy everyday and went that extra mile everytime we saw them, even if we were eating at the restaurent or just passing by. Thanks to Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas for the memories to talk about for a lifetime. You will all be suring missed.

Sincerely and Always,
John and Dana Mischler
November 2012

Room Tip: The closer to the main pool the better.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dana-Mischler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Nice employee Georgette, took care of us and made us feel important during a vacations for us that was cut short. Even after we left, she contacted us to make sure we arrived safely and is a very caring employee. She is an asset to Sandals. Thanks Georgette!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Chance to return next April with a group - we will if we can swing it. Sightseers and partyers beware. There's nothing on the island outside the resort and not much action after 11PM, which was OK with us. Here goes:
- Beach and property are over the top, probably the best in their chain. Constant groundskeeping, sand like icing sugar, clear emerald blue water.
- Food quality is excellent. Menu choices at Il Cielo were strange. Service at Barefoot was terrible, went once, never returned. Give yourself at least 1-1/2 hours if you go there for lunch. Best overall restaurant was the Parisienne - 5 stars all the way. Loved the coffee shop, great pastries, went there 2X day.
- Drinks were excellent at the main pool bar & lounge. Bar at quiet pool was bit disappointing - no blender, both slush machines not working and lemonade containers gone for the last 3 days, ran out of rum one day! And it was not busy.
- We had a room at a beachfront villas. Large room, bathrooms were excellent. View of sunrise was breathtaking. No comfy chair of any kind - one rittan lounger that was useless. Big black stain on the area rug around our bed. Wife refused to walk barefoot in the room, but they provided slippers.
- Butler service was satisfactory. Had it at Royal Plantation, and it was nowhere near that standard. Upon arrival, put unto a crowded bus with no inside lights or AC. Pandemonium upon arrival at the lounge. Made to wait to check-in, they were very concerned about leaving a credit card number at the desk. Three rotating butlers that don't talk to each other much. If you made a request for the next day, there were no guarantees the 2nd butler would follow-up.
- Golf course was breathtaking. Not a resort course, tight, island greens with lots of wind. Bring at least two sleeves of balls. Worth playing for the view alone. Butler convoy and reception on the course is a must for butler guests.
- Red Lane Spa for pedicures. Bit pricey but it was great. Friendly staff. Let us use their locker rooms to freshen up at the end of our last day.
- Other highlights were the chocolate buffet, Georgette the photographer, wife's visit to the local school, Remon who kept us entertained. Snaphots are $16 each, so bring your own camera.
- The quiet pool had twigs and leaves at the bottom from Sandy. Not real bad, but it never got cleaned all week despite one manager stopping and looking at it.
- Biggest disappointment was the beer selection at the Drunken Duck pub. Newcastle Brown which they ran out of by the afternoon (twice), Guiness from cans, Heineken, bahamian Klik. That's it. The chicken wings were real good, double up your order. The Manager was very friendly and hard-working.
- The airport is small & quirky. They unload your luggage through an opening in the wall. No carousel here folks. The airport lounge is across the road. Most taxis are rundown, stalling, dirty, so buyer beware.

Room Tip: Beachfront villa, second floor, south end, near the quiet pool
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TansRFading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Just returned and survived Sandy during our visit. I must say it was interesting. Never been through a hurricane before. I must tell you Jeremy Mutton, G.M. and his staff were excellent. They showed a sense fo calmness and professionalism telling us what to expect, what to do and what not to do as it was approaching us. Sandy came and went with minimal damage to the resort. The resort itself is a vacation to dream for. Our 9th. Sandals, our first for SEB and our first for a Butler. My wife wanted to take Scotty our butler home. They couldn't do enough for you. They do have a scheme. It is they find out what your likes are early on and then repeat it through out your stay. Coffee and Hot Chocklate was on our patio at 7:30 every morn. My wifes bath was drawn at 4:30 every day complete with flower pedals and candles. She got me a butler cell phone when we got home but it doesn't work at home. I could go on and on about how great Sandals is...but even under adverse circumstances like Sandy showing up Jeremy and his staff were outstanding. I promised my massage gal, Chandele that I would tell everyone how wonderful she was also...could have been the best massage every. Hats off to Sandals. Fred

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank FRITZSacramento
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I have been meaning to write a review for this resort and finally got around to doing it. My wife and I travelled here Apr 29th - May 6th with another couple. Great flight with Air Canada as usual.

Let me start by saying that this resort is big with less than 400 rooms (I believe). This made the resort look empty, not in a bad way because you weren't tripping over other guests over the week we were there. The grounds are what you'd expect from a Sandals resort, well manicured and clean. This is the first time my wife and I travelled to a Sandals resort and from what we heard, Sandals was to be the elite in all inclusive resorts. We've travelled across the caribbean to many different 5 star resorts including Gran Bahia Principe's, Riu Palaces, Riu Club Hotels, Iberostars, and others as well.

We look for service and food to be the top in our priority list. All resort grounds are well taken care of with workers busting their butts, keeping it clean and manicured everywhere. We booked this resort cause our travel agent said it was the best resort Sandals offered. We couldn't wait!

We had booked the Palm bay Oceanview Luxury suite. Room was large and had a king bed and all the amenities with a great view of the ocean.

Food at the resort was really good with many many options to choose from. Buffets and a la carte's were consistent at serving great food. Hats off to the chef's.

Pool in the middle of the resort was huge. There was another pool at one end of the resort which was a fair size as well. Both pools had swim up bars.

Drinks were consistent at each bar location through out the resort as well. Make sure you request a premium shot of liquor or else they will pour the house brand.

Now this was the biggest problem the 4 of us found with service. There was multiple times we waited for a drinks at the bar with no one else around and the bar tender served us when he wanted to. We would move to a table and wait with our glasses empty and the server would look right at us and walk away. We'd be by the pool and servers would walk around with trays in hand and not serve anyone around the pool that we could see. Not even an offer... We went to the pub and waited 1 hour after receiving our drinks to place our order ( pub food was awesome by the way). The waitress was talking to an older couple behind our table about her problems at home and what was going on around her world while we sat and waited and waited. Now we are good tippers and if we get great service then we believe that they should be rewarded for their hard work (cause they honestly don't make much). But when your service is mediocre at best, your trip isn't as fulfilling as you thought it would be. I hate complaining and people who complain about trips, but when your paying this kind of money to be "wow" and all you get is "meh", something needs to be said. Now it wasn't like this all week, they did at times serve us promptly. They have a lot of staff working there which drove us nuts as to why the service was poor. If the service was at par with the rest of the resort, this resort would be at the top of my list. These guys can learn alot from Riu Palace. Riu is consistent through and through, from Cabo to Aruba.
My wife enjoyed the spa services there 3 times and she said that they do pamper you there.
Finally, we went golfing at this beautiful resort and the front nine was nice but the back nine was mostly on the ocean and was very beautiful. Carts and drinks included. Replay rates were reasonable as well.
There isn't much to do off the resort. We rented a Jeep Wrangler to go into town and tour this beautiful island. From one end of the island to the other took 1 hour. Georgetown is the shopping mecca (haha) of the great exuma. Go and eat at the Town Cafe. Great food! The Bahamian people are very nice and pleasant and there is no need to worry about safety off the resort.
Would I go back to this resort..... maybe! Would I try another Sandals, sure, I'd give it another shot. If your looking for action and night life, don't come here. If your looking to relax and read a book under a secluded canopy by the beach with the sounds of the ocean in the background, then this is the place for you! I hope this review helped.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 11Cervezas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Fantastic beach with incredible staff. Shout out goes to Kenwood, Van who served us great drinks with a smile at the piano bar... Andreas who ran the Italian restaurant with amazing class .. Incredible food! And Gemma from the pub who gratefully offered me a plastic glass .. Wink wink. I adore you all and thank you so much for catering to us on our honeymoon! You all literally left us with great memories! I will refer this resort to all!

Great resort.. Food top notch.. What more can anyone ask for??!!

  • Stayed: October 2012
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3  Thank DG25XX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Sandals Emerald Bay. We're so delighted to read that you enjoyed our exquisite dining, beautiful property and our warm, friendly staff. We always want to exceed the expectations of our guests and I'm happy we were able to do that for you.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range: $559 - $1,408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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