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“Sandals Exuma”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Like the other reviews, I thought the property was great. Rooms where better then most resorts I've stayed in (and I've stayed at many). I simply can't agree with the coments about the food. We ate at both the French and Italian and found the food way below par. The Italian was almost unetable and the French almost as bad. I'm NOT a fussy eater but the Osobuco was prepared so poorly after one bite it felt like I was trying to eat my belt. Might have been an off week but none of the food except the breakfast ( thats hard to screw up) was below average. We traveled with two other couples and we all felt the same. The service though from our Butlers was super as was most of the staff. I would find it hard to find better than Sitar the head of the Butler staff, Bernard and Tepac our Butlers. Thanks again to them(they made up for the food). We also found out that if your layover in Nassau is more then 4hrs, the Sandals there will pick you up and you can stay there while you wait (how great is that).

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank santarosabob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 23, 2013

OK, so your a 5 star ,6star whatever!
Why then do you run out of beer at mid day?
Why is there no mint for my mohitos on some days ?
You display the block of parmesan at the wine and cheese table,BUT sadly there's no parmesan to eat?
Why does the power fail in my room every night and I smell like sulfur after taking a shower?

I loved the well manicured resort, the staff was well meaning and helpful but if sadly the culinary calibre was sub par . It really was about KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank angelo m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

The resort is beautiful no doubt but things are not as they seem! If you want the quieter side, book Bays 4 and up. If you want the busier side, book bays 1 to 3. We got Bay 3, altho we booked Bay 2, and our view was obstructed by palm trees and the roof of the bar! We complained, and they were wonderful to move us to Bay 4, with beautiful 3rd story views! Dont be afraid to ask for a change if you need one. They are very very willing to help!

As for the food: very good! But don't be surprised if a restaurant is closed because of winds., with no notification! We didn't expect this the last night, as our favorite, Barefoot by the Sea, was closed! and then we could not get into any of the good restaurants, and were stuck with the Buffet, which was ok. Bummer.

Dont think for a minute that the water is warm here in Feb, it's not! about 72 degrees. This is not Caribbean warm water in the summer! I was quite surprised and disappointed by this!

The pool bars: they say they are open to 5..NOT! They CLOSE at 5, and then they are outa there! If you want pool drinks, pinas and bahamas and the like, order by 415 or you are outa luck! regular drinks ok, or go to another bar.

The Sports Shack. Wow. what a disaster for us! My husband tried to sign up for scuba, but then they didn't have the medical forms, said to come back at 2, which we did, but then they couldn't find them, but then said come back at 3, manager never showed....next day, same thing, till finally we complained to Reception..they said manager would call us in morning to scuba, never did call.............I complained to reception again, Nellie, she's awesome, who got us on a scuba the next morn, but my husband decided to golf instead........this really alerted the sports shack, as the manager Leonard called our room to "make it right." We appreciate that, but we never made contact with him. We never did scuba. Other guests told us the snorkel and scuba were "elementary" and "nothing to get excited about".

.....as for the winds. When we arrived, the winds were heavy out of the southeast, the bay was choppy, and all Activities were cancelled. But after that, the winds calmed down and it went to "green" so all activities allowed.. but by sat the winds picked up out of the north west to southwest, but yet the sports desk still flew the red flag. the bay was fine! Ridiculous! The sports desk seemed to cancel any and every activity at the hint of anything, and most of the employees there knew nothing of snorkeling or diving. ON great days, we enjoyed sailing and kayaking which was only 2 days of the whole week! We found the sports desk to be not only incompetent but very unserving!

Hiccups: the power went out alot. at night. The elevator in Bay 4 did not work for awhile. I ordered a bottle of Kahlua to my room from reception, it never arrived. I ordered it again from housekeeping, it never arrived. if you don't get a beach towel by 9 am you are out of luck. There were never towels available for the pool or beach until later in the day. Things close when they don't say they are closed. Weird.

There is no doubt that this Sandals tried their best, everyone so nice and hospitable, but they just can't seem to get it together.

Beautiful resort. Very bad on the sports shack. Good on the food. Weird weird discrepancies.

Room Tip: Go for Bay 4 or 5 if you want a view and quiet. Bay 3 is obscured by palm trees. Bay 1 and 2 have...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We just got back from this resort on Monday, February 18th and I can honestly say we had the time of our lives. We would recommend this resort again and again! We are going back again. Everyone made us feel so special and they were all friendly. I think the only people who weren't friendly were some of the guest.

I read alot of reviews on here before we went and I honestly cannot find what they were complaining about. Must of been some pretty picky people. Yes, there are sand flees, you get them anytime you to go to a beach. We never got bit once. I saw two ladies who had bites on them. I would recommend bringing your own anti itch medicine because the gift shop is limited and unless you want to pay a taxi $100 to take you into George Town to the store to buy some. We actually did pay a taxi to take us into to town to shop and he waited while we shopped and ate lunch, worth the $100..

The resort was clean and kept up and the food was amazing. Those girls who make your coffee every morning in the cafe were very sweet!

One other thing is the water supply, the water taste terrible there and you only have four water bottles in your refrigerator. You can ask for extra and I would. Really easy to get dehydrated there. There is pop and beer also in your frigs..

I hope you all have as great of a time as we did. Totally a place to go to unwind and relax.

Room Tip: We had a suite in building six and it was quiet and cozy. A little walk back to the party pool but...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have been to many Sandals resorts and this one was great!. We needed a quiet getaway and Exuma was the place. We went the week of Valentine's Day week and the resort and our room was decorated very festively. The butlers Logesh, and Henry were so attentive, we felt like movie stars!
The food at the French and Italian restaurants was excellent and we had a wonderful candle light dinner in the tower (what a view of the whole resort!) Our photographer Georgette was great, she took photos from close up to across the resort, giving us photos of memories we will never forget.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AverageJoeInvest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

My wife and I just got back from Sandals Great Exuma. The resort was stunning in every way, we had a beachfront room and the view of the Sea was excellent. The Scuba Diving was great and the divemmasters were very "by the book" which was fine by me. The restaurants were excellent especially the French restaurant. Having read other peoples reviews about this resort, I worried about the service levels but we had no problem. I did notice that if staff were not ready to serve you they just ignored you until they were ready. It would be more appropriate for them to say "I will be with you in a minute". One night I saw several people leave the line to go into the italian restaurant because no one told them what was going on. It seemed they were understaffed. But it never bothered us we thought everything was first class and Hey we were on Island Time. I would have no hesitation recommending this resort to anyone looking to get away for a QUIET couples get away.

Room Tip: We stayed at the furthest beach villa from reception, it was a little bit of a walk but the quietnes...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank alanoneill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Let me preface this review with the fact that this was our honeymoon (our wedding was at Sandals Royal Bahamian - see that hotel for my review).

We were extremely excited to visit this resort as all the pictures looked so amazing. This resort is truly paradise. BUT, we flew in from Nassau on Bahamas Air (A FLYING BUS), which makes stops along the way. First our flight was delayed from 2pm to 4pm and we were not aware until we got to the airport so our first day was spent mostly in a low-budget airport waiting for hours. Finally when our flight started boarding, we were told that we would be making stops. It took 80 minutes to get to Exuma which is no more than 30 minutes away from Nassau. Nothing like taking off and landing every 20 minutes to get your stomach turning. Not the fault of the resort, more on our travel agent, but DO NOT TAKE BAHAMAS AIR!

The resort is a short 10-15 minute ride from the airport but the airport in Exuma is extremely small. They bring your luggage out on carts and you have to claim them yourself. Not a big deal at all. We were then taken to the resort in a cab with a wonderful driver.

Upon arrival at Emerald Bay, we were again treated to a cold towel and champagne and greeted by our butler Stephen. We had to have butler service since it was our honeymoon and although it may not be necessary to have butlers, they all did an awesome job. We were lucky enough to have Stephen, Cecil and Waldons. All three great guys, and extremely helpful. They make your restaraunt reservations for you, reserve areas on the beach / pool (coolers and towels), will bring room service to where ever you are, carry your gold clubs and escprt you to dinner. I would recommend the extra service if you have the money to spend.

We stayed in the Coco Plum Beachfront room 9408, 2nd floor. A bit of a walk from everything but was never a big deal, the nights and days were so beautiful the walks were nice. The room was outstanding. We had an awesome view of the gorgeous beach (you could hear the waves crashing all day and night). The bath room was immense, with 2 sinks, separate shower and soaking tub. flatscreen TV with many channels and an extremely comfortable bed. We could not have asked for anything more.

Beach: One of the best I have ever seen. Water as blue as you can imagine. Small waves and rather warm for Jan/Feb. Not many people went in, but I am from NYC and the water in Long Beach in August is colder than the water in Exuma in Jan, so I went right in. Beach is about a mile long and walking up and down was beautiful. You felt like you had the beach all to yourself!! We asked Stephen to set up an umbrella for us and he had towels and a cooler with beers and water waiting for us. We then asked if we could have shrimp brough to us and he didn't disappoint. Took a while, but he brought us 24 shrimps, well plated and just delectable. The beach is this resort's main attraction.

Pools: They have one main pool which is not heated although it should be. It was very cold. Took me almost 4 days to finally get in. Once I did, I did get used to it and spent a good hour shooting hoops and playing volleyball but many did not get in the water. They have a smaller pool which is called “the quiet pool”. This pool is heated but spots fill up quickly, so best to get up early or have your butler reserve a place.
I must be honest…this resort is very expensive but we did not mind because we splurged for our honeymoon but we are 37-36 years old. We felt as though we were the youngest couple there. Most people were in their 50’s 60’s. If you like to party I would NOT recommend this resort. We did have a ton of fun, but mostly by ourselves. Most of our vacations we meet other couples which we wind up doing things with, but there was just too much of an age difference.
So with that said, there were times I felt there were snobby people about. Noses in the air. We didn’t let it bother us, but we definitely felt it. Our first experience around the quiet pool was late morning..we attempted to get a seat but there were none available. There were tables in front of the cabanas that were empty. We tried to grab one but an older couple said they were using it, even though they had the cabana already. We were able to ask another couple for their table and they were nice enough to let us sit there. The couple who would not let us use “their” table, proceeded to put a book on the table so that it looked like it was being used. They never once sat there, then left mid-afternoon. That did get under my skin but we learned our lesson, that’s why we have butlers. So we never experienced that again.
Golf: The course is stunning and in great shape. I played twice both times by myself so the rounds were fast. BRING EXTRA BALLS. I am about a 20 handicap and lost 24 ball in the two rounds. I had to go back to driving range to pick up some balls just to finish. Water everywhere…nowhere to land the ball. So if you are a sprayer like me, prepare for a long day. Back nice is seaside, absolutely gorgeous. Front nine still has plenty of water. I would suggest making your tee times prior to arriving. Even with the butler it was hard to get a morning teetime. Played one afternoon and superbowl morning.
Food: Most places were extremely good. The French and Italian restaurants require reservations. Both are well worth it. We were retuning guest so we had one meal at the returning guest dinner. Very tasty but did not sit well with my stomach. Bahama Bay buffet was great for breakfast and lunch. Freshly squeezed OJ Machine was to die for. The Pizza was excellent and barefoot by the sea was also pretty good.
This resort is a daytime resort. Not much night activities. The Drunken Duck was fun and the bartenders there were great.
Bugs: BEWARE, sand flies everywhere. Women are in for it. They supply bug-off but it does not work. One worker suggested baby oil in the morning and at night. But remember to remove the baby oil prior to tanning. NOTE: These are not Sand fleas and are not located on the beach. They are sand flies (named because they are the size of a grain of sand) and are everywhere. I did not get bit until night 5, but the remainder of trip was very itchy. My Wife was destroyed from day 1.
All things combined it was a great resort and I would recommend for a relaxing vacation. If you want to party, go to Nassau (see Royal Bahamian).

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank dahijoka
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: $597 - $1,761 (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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