First, let me say I've been to other Sandals properties in Jamaica and St. Lucia, so I have something to compare this resort to. My husband and I are big fans of Sandals and this trip did not disappoint. It was an easy flight from NY to Miami and then a short connection to Exuma. We got through Customs in ten minutes and enjoyed the locals playing music for us at the airport. Sandals was waiting with cold bottles of water and we were taken by SUV on a short ride to the resort. We were at the property from Nov. 25th - Dec. 2nd and the weather was great all week. The first part of the week, there was no wind and we really should have taken advantage of the water sports because as the week went on, we really couldn't use the hobie cats, kayaks, etc. due to the wind. This was no fault of Sandals. If we went again, we'd make sure ot take advantage of the calm winds days and do the water sport and snorkling on those days. We did manage to go on the Thunderball Grotto tour through Four C's and enjoyed it very much. I was surprised at how underdeveloped the island is. That is definitely part of the charm, but anyone looking for shopping, etc. shoudl look for another resort. This is total relaxation in a breathtaking environment. It was exactly what we were looking for.
ROOM - We had the Coco Plum Walkout room. It's one of the lowest priced butler levels and it was awesome. In my mind, there would be no reason to pay a penny more. This room was very large and being able to walk out to the beach was a real plus. The view was gorgeous. The little bit of sea grass in front of the room just added to the beauty.
BUTLERS - In my opinion, the butlers were worth it. Maybe it was because we had three of the best. Scott, Quintin and Henry were all outstanding in their efforts to wow us. The only complaints we heard were from guest that did not have butler service. We enjoyed our special treatment very much. From the baths that were drawn, to the towel characters, to the rides to dinner in a golf cart, to the premium liquor we requested - every thing we asked for, we got and more. I think they all did an excellent job in taking care of us and they truly worked as a team. I think we personally enjoyed Scott the most because we got to know him on a personal level. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his life, etc. and we have made a lifetime friend.
BEACH - The most gorgeous deep blue water that you will ever see. It actually looks like it couldn't possibly be real. The only other place that we've been to that compares, is The Grenadines. No beach vendors is a plus. The only negative thing I will say is they should definitely have more chairs/umbrellas on the beach. It was difficult to get a spot near our room even though we had butlers.
MAIN POOL - We are not pool people. We enjoy spending most of our time at the beach. But, we did enjoy the pool bar and sitting on the comfy couches in the water later in the afternoon. The pool is huge and very clean. The fire pits at night added to the ambiance.
QUIET POOL - Didn't spend any time here other than to get Bloody Mary's. This pool bar had the best!
RESTAURANTS - If you are going here for the food, forget about it. Living near NYC, we have the best pizza and Italian restaurants around, we weren't expecting to be wowed. The Italian restaurant here was the worst of the bunch. Mario's in St. Lucia was fantastic and I expected the same. Not even close. If you don't get a reservation here, you are not missing a thing. Definitely go to the bar though. They have a great piano player that we really enjoyed. Our favorite was the French restaurant. The beef tenderloin with a short rib was to die for. We ate there twice and had the same meal because it was so great. Barefoot by the Sea was very good for lunch. I enjoyed the jerk chicken wrap and the fries were delicious. The Drunken Duck had great burgers and sandwiches and it was always a fun place to hang out at night. The Bahama Bay restaurant was buffet and we only ate there for breakfast. The omlettes were very good, but the rest of the selections we exactly the same all week. They need a bit of diversity. Room service was prompt and I enjoyed the chicken ceasar wraps a lot. All in all, the food was okay, but not great. It certainly did not take away from our vacation though in any way.
BARS - Whoever says the service at the pool bar is slow, is out of their mind. Those guys work their butts off. The Drunken Duck was always fun at night. We discovered the piano bar at the Italian restaurant later in our stay and then that became our favorite. If you are a wine drinker, choices are limited. Another thing I think could be easily fixed by Management . We found the service at the all bars very quick and friendly.
RETURNING GUEST DINNER- The dinner was steak and lobster and was very good. We were honored to be asked by Satar to sit at his table. Satar always has a smile that lights up a room and is the happiest man you'll ever meet. He clearly enjoys his job and greats you like he's known you a lifetime. We enjoyed him very much.
GOLF COURSE - We are not golfers, but got to go on the Butler Carovan where we drove golf carts to the back nine and enjoyed snacks and drinks. The view was unbelievable and we really enjoyed getting to see the course even though we don't play. Another perk of having a butler room.
SPA - We used our $175 credit towards a couples massage and it was fantastic. If we weren't relaxed enough, this definitely did it. Plus, we got a free massage oil and shower gel to take home.
So, all in all, I'd say we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. We met some of the nicest people ever - guests and workers. We even got invited to a guest's wedding. We were always greeted with a smile from everyone at the resort. Their were some minor problems, mainly with housekeeping. But, they were always fixed promptly. The retaurants and bars were usually out of something. I think that could be easily corrected by management. I would say that if you are looking for rest, relaxation and a breath taking beach, this is the place to be.
- 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