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“Amazing Vacation in Paradise”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Reviewed December 17, 2012

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.

Room Tip: The Coco Plum walkout rooms are right on the beach and the lowest priced butler room. Our room was...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Shell914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,756 - 2,762 of 3,940 reviews

Reviewed December 17, 2012

I have so many amazing things to say that I don't even know where to begin! I might jump around a little so I apologize ahead of time! I'll start by saying that the resort itself is absolutely STUNNING! The pictures in the brochure and online don't do it justice. I have travled to many places Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, St. Lucia, Roatan, just to name a few - Exuma is the most beautiful of them all! The water is a color blue that I have never ever seen before! The sand feels like a memory foam mattress - its like heaven. I was only at the resort for a week but for the first time in my life I experienced that feeling of actually "falling in love" with a place. The food was very good - better than any of the other all inclusives that I have been. The Italian restaurant was my favorite. If you go, ask for Shantell - she is amazing!! It was becasue of her that we took the tour of the Exuma island - which I will tell you more about in a bit. She has a laugh that will just make your heart smile! And after dinner do NOT miss the piano bar sing along in their lounge (trust me - you don't want to miss it!) The Barefoot by the Sea restaurant is also a great place to have dinner - it's so romantic. It's by candelight and you can hear the waves crashing against the beach! We ate at the buffet at least once a day - where we were always greeted with a warm smile. This resort has an incredible knack for hospitality! Our very first night we ordered room service and Wayne delivered our food and told us many stories of the island of Exuma. He was one of the sweetest people we had ever met! Oh and if you eat at the French restaurant, ask for Sterling - this kid has a million dollar smile and will give you top notch service to match. Our room accommodations were beautiful. Every morning I woke to see the sun rising over the ocean...it was breathtaking! The entire resort was immaculate and beyond clean. I'm kind of OCD about cleanliness and this place exceeded my expectations! The grounds were well maintained and the flowers were some of the most exotic and beautiful that I had ever seen! The French bakery absolutely ROCKED! Not only could I get daily croissants but I could get my caramel macchiato too! Everything was freshly baked every morning - and you could tell! The pool was pristine and the atmosphere of the entire resort was very laid back. It was probably the most relaxing vacation I have ever had. The only shore excursion we took was the 007 tour. Sandals offers the tour but it was cheaper to go through 4 C's - they were AMAZING!!! The tour lasted all day (from 8am-4pm). We got to see miles and miles of Exuma's Beaches and Cays (which are breathtaking -again, have I mentioned the water??!!) We saw starfish and stingrays, we fed iguanas, snorkeled in a grotto and even swam with pigs (no, that is not a typo, it says pigs!) We saw many celebrity homes (from afar) and then stopped for lunch at a local fishing yacht club in Spaniel Cay. The highlight of my trip was a sandbar that we were able to visit at low tide. Here we were able to beach comb for sand dollars and see the most amazing sand I have seen in my life. It was a day I will never forget. Our Captain, Andrew and his assistant Smiley, were incredible! If you are able to ever do this tour, definitely book it through 4 C's and request them! Andrew even taught us some Bahama music. My favorite was an artist named D-Mac. Andrew at one point had me dancing on the boat to "Da Gaulin" Song - it was a blast!! Okay, well, I think I have rambled on enough! I'm sure I probably forgot something, but the bottom line is if you are looking for a romantic, relaxing vacation with impeccable service and a beautiful resort - book Sandals, Emerald Bay. You won't regret it!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank JennPiet1828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We moved over from the Nassau resort and found Emerald Bay to be more organized and they followed through with things when requests were made. Georgette was an asset there as she was helpful and knowledgeable about many of our questions. Nelly was a great help too, as we had lost luggage when we arrived and our camera was left in taxi. She located items and we got them back the next day. The staff there were very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Rlsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed at Sandals Emerald Bay in late November for 5 nights. The hotel is extremely beautiful, with lush landscaping, and nestled on a perfect white-sand beach.

The service staff was impeccable and the food was delightful. We played one round of golf and the back nine is extremely challenging, but the views are breathtaking.

I would certainly go back to SEB in a heart-beat..

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NJDFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Our anniversary & my husband's birthday was special by Sandals Emerald Bay Staff. Keetel, Ganee, Laqunya were excellent!!! concierges. They made our anniversary night especially lovely when they filled the tub with a bubble bath and fresh flower petals, as well as chill our champagne. They made a heart with the towels and put petals in it. It was really touching, and greatly appreciated it. When you've been served by Georgette, Lakesia, and Melinda at the bar you are well served with Love, laughter, Caring, Personality and Professionalism. I enjoyed every moment I spent with them.

Room Tip: Choose a room that's close to the Beach front and Cabana. So you could quickly reserve one daily...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jonmattnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Because this is the first review I've ever written about a vacation, I'm not sure where to begin. So, I'll just start with the friendly people at the check in counter, who got this special vacation with friends off to a great start. Since we stayed in a Villa on the beach, we had the extra special service of having our very own butler service. This particular service was a new one forus, which we enjoyed immensely. They were helpful, professional, entertaining and just plain "fun" to have around. I would recommend their service to anyone who wants to feel "special", because that is how they make you feel. Very Special. Last, but certainly not least, we met a young lady named Georgette. She was an official photographer on staff at our Hotel. Not only was she a very good photograper who took some excellent pictures of us, but she was a lovely young lady that we enjoyed getting to know on a little more personal level. She did her job very well, but in the process of doing so, made us feel like we were really welcome in her country. If we ever have the opportunity to return, I hope she is still there. Please accept our sincere appreciation and gratitude for making our stay such a memorable one!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Villas on the beach are tranquil and beautiful
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Connie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

We had a fantastic time for our first stay at a Sandals resort and it was all and more that we hoped for. Georgette from the photo staff looked after us like she was our personal host. We could not believe how well she looked after our needs and gave us great suggestions.

Room Tip: We booked ocean view and loved it.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Leianne A
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

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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