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“Amazing beach- very relaxing”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Amazing beach- very relaxing”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Sandals Emerald Bay was as beautiful as the pictures! If you are looking for an amazing blue water, soft sand beach, this is your hotel. It is a short drive from the airport, which gives you a little more vaction time. We opted for a non butler room, and I am glad we did. It was not necessary and the standard room was expensive enough :) We were in building 6, away for the main pool and restaurants, which we liked very much. Room was always clean, as was the beach, which recently I have seen some people complain about.

Food was good, but not great. I am fairly picky with food and always found something that I liked. The cafe was great! We passed it on our way in and out each day, so often stopped for a latte or dessert. The pizza place was good for a quick lunch by the pool. Very fresh. Pool bar staff was fun, and entertained many of us one day while it was raining. Drunken Duck Pub was a fun place to hang out. Wings were great! Fun atmosphere when there was a decent crowd. Bring a thermos cup for the beach. Since there is not really beach service, you can fill your cup with a yummy drink and take it with you. The beach was beautiful and we were often able to find a relatively secluded place to hang out in the water by the golf course most days. My husband enjoyed the golf course. Got some spectacular pictures. Bring extra balls.

If you tend to get eaten by bugs, bring extra repellant and use it. I am one of those people, but I sprayed early morning and at night, and I was fine. No sand flea bites on this vacation.
I cannot express how awesome the 4C Thunderball tour was!!! Look them up before you go and definitely book with them. Swimming with the pigs, sharks and the sand bar were truly amazing! It is a long day, and a far travel by boat, so I do not recommend for small children.

We had stayed at a Sandals in Jamaica years ago, so we attended the Return Guest Dinner. Best lobster of the trip and nice sunset during the cocktail hour. We made a donation to their charity. Yes, this resort is expensive, but the grounds and beach are stunning. I don't think we will return here, but it is a beautiful area and we may try another hotel here in the future. I did a good amount of research before booking, and felt it lived up to my expectations. If it looks like the nice choice for you, I say book it. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Snorklefan72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Nova Scotia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2013

This was our third visit to this resort. We used to say that we wanted to try a different place every year but no more. If you like a stress-free travelling experience, this place is for you. You arrive at the airport, scoot through customs, pick up your bag(which just gets passed through a large open area in the wall, so you can see where it is on the cart)and walk outside to a waiting car provided by Sandals. No buses, no waiting and a short drive(less than 10 minutes)to the resort. From there we were whisked away to our room by our wonderful butler, Hilton(he is part of a great team which looked after us all week--Meesha and Chevie were the other butlers). Our bags arrived within about 15 minutes so within an hour of landing we were unpacked and sitting in the Drunken Duck having a drink.
The resort itself is as lovely as ever. Friendly staff, good food & drinks and a beautiful beach. Sand fleas were bad this year(1st time in 3 years we've been coming)so use the bug spray that they have in the room.
On two occasions, when one of our party ordered fish, it wasn't as good as she(and others in our party tasted it as well) expected--seemed heavily salted and a touch old. That was salmon in the french restaurant & grouper in the italian restauant--2 pieces of fish out of the 42 dinners our group had that week is pretty trivial. Just as we were getting discouraged about the fish, we all ordered Sea Bass at the french restaurant and it was delicious. All of our other meals were great as well. We enjoyed the returners dinner where our table was hosted by David, the hotel manager.
Walk the beautiful golf course if you get a chance.
I wish we could remember all of the staff that were so good to us. Kenwood in the piano bar, all the waiters and waitresses at Dino's. There was a Nikki and a Tinika and many other notables whose names escape me. We ate at all the restaurants and never encountered anyone who wasn't pleasant and accomodating to whatever we wanted.
The trip home is just as relaxing as the rest of the trip. We got a late check out($100 but worth every penny) as our flight did not leave until 7pm. We left our room at 4:30pm so were able to spend our day as we had every other one there, leaving the beach at our regular time. We were already checked into our flight as Air Canada does that right on site so you get rid of your bags before lunch, identify them just after lunch when you check in, get your boarding passes and then continue on with your day. You don't see your bags again until you reach your destination. A car takes you to the airport where there is no hurry to go through security. You can relax outside with a drink until you hear the Air Canada flight arrive an hour before your flight leaves. Then you pop through security and on to the plane.
We are considering Sandals White House in Jamaica next year. We have heard great things about it but it is going to be hard to outdo Emerald Bay!

Room Tip: If you like the beach quiet, go down to the 9300 block--down past the quiet pool A bit of a walk to...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank RoamerNovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We chose this resort for our destination wedding/honeymoon - and let me just say it exceeded our expectations! I wasn't sure what to expect or how everything would be handled upon our arrival to the resort. We have so many people to thank and I hope I don't leave anyone out - Our intial consultant and Sandals agent "Kai" was absolutely wonderful with all the pre-planning details. The concierge staff were so welcoming and friendly upon our arrival. We did have an issue with our luggage and our intial room - but thank goodness we met Satar the Butler Manager because he is absolutely wonderful! Not only did he locate our luggage but assisted with finding us a much nicer room within a short time - thank you so much for all your help - you always had a smile and such a wonderful attitude every time we saw you :-)

We had wonderful wedding planners - Shalise and Danielle - thank you both for working with us to help make our wedding truly special and memorable and going that extra distance. A big thank you to Michelle at the Red Lane Spa for the amazing job you did with my hair, makeup and nails for the wedding - I enjoyed meeting you. To Joval - our wedding and social photographer...THANK YOU for the amazing wedding pictures, laughs and fun...it was such a pleasure meeting you.

To all the bartenders and wait staff that provided such wonderful and friendly service - and Van, you still make the best "rum punch" I have ever had - Thank you :-) ..we really enjoyed the French Restaurant..I want to thank our server "Demetria (I apologize if I got the spelling wrong) - you were so much fun as a server..thank you!

Our experience at this resort was truly memorable and we have the staff and all the wonderful people we met to thank for that...Highly recommend this resort and looking forward to our next visit in the future.

Room Tip: Be sure when you book that you specifically say "ocean view" if that is what you are looki...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CHires
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Just returned from Emerald Bay and had a great time. Resort is very nice. Beach was very nice and the water was amazing. I only have 2 complaints. The water in the main pool was way to cold. They need to look at heating the pool some. I expected the food to be amazing for the price you pay. I was very disappointed. The best meal I had was on the Thunderball 007 excursion and that was because we ate off site. I really didn't expect to have immitation crab and lobster. The fish tasted old and not fresh at all. I expected fresh fish. Really disappointing. I am surprised how many people on this website said the food was great. They must not have taste buds or had way too many cocktails. Luckily the rest of the resort made up for the poor food. I would recommend the resort because how nice it was but would warn people not to have too high of expectation on the food. We were not the only ones complaining about the food. A lot of the other couples we meet all said the same thing. I would highly recommend the Thunderball 007 excursion. The crew was very nice and the views are amazing. Where else can you swim with sharks and pigs. It is on the expensive side but well worth it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Brian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This was our second trip to a Sandals, first being Cuba, this was much better putting Sandals back into our future plans. There are always going to be complaints about every place you visit if you look for them and are a negative person, this resort did all they could to take that away and as you will read in the reviews you will never please all but believe me when I say they REALLY try.
Food was very good at all places we ate and staff were amazing!
Reef Fishing was a blast as our goup landed 3 dozen or so.

The treasure of the entire resort is the Golf Course - a beautiful track that has difficulty and views that will erase you last bad shot. My wife and I were fortunate to hook up the Pro for holes 16-18 and his tips on the course lay out were greatly appreciated. I ran into the course superintendent the last day I was there and let him know the great job he and his staff were doing! I play golf a lot and I was very impressed with the shape and how the greens were perfect.

This is my first review I have ever written but have travelled many times to many sun destinations, take this a VERY HIGH compliment to Sandals and their staff.

We had a bulter room and they couldn't do enough for us even though we are not a demanding couple at all but small visits with snacks and beer were very nice....Thanks Ariel / Adam and Denrick well done Team!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JR M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elverson, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

I should have posted immediately upon our return to the states, however, i was in denial about having to return to the real world!!!

Our trip and experience far exceeded our expectations. As parents of two busy kids, my husband and i thought and researched carefully where we would want to go to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Upon listening to our list of wants/needs, our travel agent suggested SEM. She hit it right on!!!

Upon arrival at the airport, we were whisked away within minutes - armed with a frosty bottle of water. Jeremy (the GM) checked us in personally and assigned us our taxi!! When we arrived at the resort we were immediately offered cold champagne and were greeted with HUGE smiles from every person we encountered. Satar took care of us at the front desk with incredible care and quickly sent us on our way with one of our 3 butlers!! Shout out to Sheldon, Cecil and Stephen - you guys TOTALLY rock!!! You made our visit even MORE fantastic!!! The treats you brought, the nightly decorated bed, the soothing bathes you ran for us - we loved it all!! You made us feel like royalty for our anniversary!!!

After much toiling, we decided on a beach front room....we were in a Coco Plum beachfront walk out - room 9402 i believe. The location was fabulous - right on the beach, away from the hub of the resort - only a beautiful walk away from anything and everything.

The beach was gorgeous, albeit a bit windy - but certainly not SEB's fault...the pool was also refreshing. When on the beach, you got the feeling that you were almost the only guests there...it was never crowded...and our wonderful butlers would show up at the best times with the yummiest drinks and snacks!!!

We wanted peace, relaxation and time to spend together...and that is what we got!!! We enjoyed eating at the French restaurant twice, the Italian place once and we were invited to SSG dinner which was fabulous - we were fortunate enough to sit with David for the evening and what a delight he was!! The Drunken Duck offered excellent food as well!

We opted to stay put on the resort and not partake in the many excursions offered - although we had planned to do the Reading Foundation tour - what a treat that was - we had brought books from home to donate to the local school and we got to spend 2 hours seeing the local school and meeting the adorable school kids. We highly recommend doing this - such a rewarding experience!!! Georgette was a real gem on this tour - offering so much great information - and from then on, she'd call out to me whenever she saw me around the resort!!

We loved everyone - never experienced any rude behavior - everyone was so quick to make sure we were enjoying ourselves....

We were very sad to see our week come to an end...with any luck - we will be back...sooner rather than later!!!

Room Tip: we stayed in a beachfront walkout - it was great to be able sit on the patio and walk straight to th...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Footballmom4045
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewisberry , Pennsylvania, United States
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

If you are looking to truly get away from it all this is the place for you! You need to be a true beach lover, enjoy fishing, water sports, and GOLF! If you are looking to party the night away at Margaritaville this is not the destination for you! Sure, the Drunken Duck pub is a fabulous night spot to enjoy the absolute best french martinis I have ever tasted! The karaoke and DJ can be a blast till early morning. But this is the extent of the night life after the entertainment to include touching opera preformed by Rory or the exciting video music skits. Every room offers the 24 hour room service however we did stay in one of the butler rooms and I say it was worth it! All the butler rooms are located on the very front of the resort directly off the beach to include a stunning view of the turquoise water. We had a hammock on our balcony and enjoyed many unspoiled moments out here! The decor is soft and natural. Every day when we came back from the pool or beach we had rose petals leading from our door to our hot bubble bath with rose petals and champagne! We also enjoyed shrimp cocktail as we got ready for dinner. One night we had dinner on the beach that our butler set up for us. I would not recommend wearing perfume instead wear the bug spray that is in the closet. The only night I had an issue was when i used lotion on my legs! There are so many room categories that I would suggest contacting an experienced Travel Agent who has been to this resort to help you decide if this is the right resort for you and what room is the best for you based on your preferences. The food is outstanding here! We enjoyed the most succulent lobster at the Italian restaurant and afterwards we were escorted to the adorable dessert bar where they actually made the dessert to order! Everyone was so helpful and attentive. The airport is only 15 minutes from the resort and the entire island only has one road! Remember if you are traveling Nov-March pack a sweater for the evenings it can be chilly in the winter months.
The Greg Norman designed golf course is breathtaking! I felt like I had a spa treatment after the 18 holes. Hole 14 is a stunning photo opt and must see. Bonus butler suites have unlimited golf privileges! 8-hole, par 72 championship course with 5 set of tees. Plays to 7,000 yards!
The front 9 holes are a mix of ocean front dunes while the back 9 play along the rocky peninsula of the resort. I would be thrilled if you contact me with any questions and happy to help! No Service Fees Lindsey Hoffman at Ultra Tech Travel

Room Tip: Call an experienced travel agent who has visited the resort to help you select the perfect room. th...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lindsey H
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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