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“First time at Sandals Emerald Bay, but hopefully not our last :)”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Mahone Bay, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“First time at Sandals Emerald Bay, but hopefully not our last :)”
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We truly enjoyed our week (Apr 14-21, 2013) at this resort. We have stayed at many Sandals properties, including Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia and Nassau (it was our 28th week at a Sandals resort) and we would definitely go back. We appreciated the friendly staff, the size of the resort, the well kept grounds, and seeing staff from previous stays.

We would recommend Sandals add one more restaurant and maybe a larger gift shop. and quit advertising in-room check-in for Diamond members if you aren't going to do it.

Although it was windy the week we were there, which curtailed some of the water sports, we had no problem finding lots to do (such as a lovely morning at the Spa). The walk on the beach and the golf course is not to be missed. On the day of our departure, we also appreciated the on-resort airport check-in - truly a great service.

In addition to the property, we also joined the "People to People" program (just google it), and got to meet some lovely folks from Exuma.

We preferred Il Cielo over La Parisienne, but probably just a personal choice.

We are not butler people so concierge was great for us, and our room was well attended all week.

Thanks everyone at SEB for a great week!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank G M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

This hotel is everything I dreamed of for my honeymoon! First of get a butler room, we stayed in the plum beachfront walk out villa. Our butler Henry was just amazing! He mad our stay that much better, always making sure we were happy!bring us snacks,drinks,a cooler full of water and beer to the beach without even asking! The resort is so beautiful, the water is crazy never seen anything like it! Our favourite place to eat was the seafood restaurant on the beach, great calamari! We did the 007 tour but with a company off the resort! It was great loved the snorkelling,sandbanks, ohh and can't forget swimming with the pigs! Didn't really eat at the buffet, had breakfast on the beach every morning brought to us by our butler, same as lunch. Amazing time, great people! Would go back in a heart beat!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Memmanuil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, FL
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

This resort is stunning. The location is amazing. The beach is beautiful and our room was luxurious. The food in the italian restaurant was superb. A few things that were disappointing was that the main pool bar closes at 5 p.m. They start shutting down at around 4 p.m., and they started running out of beer and certain liquor (coconut rum!) around 2 p.m. At noon one day, they ran out of cups at the pool. How does a resort of this size run out of beer and liquor at the pool bar? I've never seen that before. That was disappointing. The transportation to and from the airport was provided by local taxis. This is supposed to be a 4+star resort, and we were picked up by a mini van that was so beat up, it didn't have AC. Will we be back? Probably not.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tara5525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2013

I guess you could say that we are major sandals fans, this being or sixth visit to six different Sandals Resorts.

Sandals Emerald Bay has proven to be our favorite resort yet with other visits to Montego bay, Royal Caribbean, Antigua, St Lucian Grande, and Sandals Riviera.

First off, Its a quick one hour flight from Miami with beautiful views from the plane. Exuma airport is a very small airport and immigration and customs was a breeze taking 5-10 minutes tops to get through and then out the exit to meet the Sandals reps, including general Manager Jeremy Mutton to quickly whisk you away to the resort in a comfortable SUV which is at most a 10 minute ride.

Check in could of gone smoother since we did arrive around noon and our room was not yet ready but we were escorted to Barefoot by the sea for a quick lunch. After Lunch our room still was not ready so we just waited for our butler to come take us to our room. We probably waited an hour and a half total but understood having an early arrival.

Our room was a Coco Plum Penthouse room directly overlooking the beach and amazing blue waters, A king size bed with our own pillow menu, 32 inch flat screen, dining table and lounge chair for the main room, The deck was large with another table and two chairs and drying rack. The middle room had a closet, safe, and fridge stocked up with beer, water, soda, wine, juices and Champaign. The Bathroom had a large soaking tub, double vanity sink, and a very large glass encased shower.

Butler Service:
This was a first for us and I was not sure whether I wanted this or not, we are very used to doing things on our own and felt like maybe a butler would make us feel a little uncomfortable. Let me tell you that this was not the case, Our butlers Valentino, Adam and Sheldon made our stay the best yet. You can use them as much or as little as you like. They never seemed intrusive at all. We were so happy to have our room decorated daily, Baths drawn, poolside seats saved with a stocked cooler, lunch brought to us daily, Private poolside and beach cabanas set up for us where we wanted them, our dinner reservations made for the time we like and a nice escort to dinner. Any thing we needed was just a phone call away. A big Thank you to Valentino, Adam, and Sheldon for a great vacation. The Butler Manager Satar is a class act that always has a smile and truly has the best for the guests in his mind.

Restaurants:
There was no complaints anywhere, you need to understand that this is an all inclusive and your not going to get the absolute best, but everything we had was pretty damn good

Grounds and Beach:
When I say that I never before have seen water like this, it is an understatement, the water color is amazing and words cannot describe its beauty, The beach is a fine white powder sand that is raked daily and the grounds are kept up with a very high level of standards, the Grounds staff deserves a round of applause

Pool and Bars
The main pool is where we spent most fo our time, the water is crystal clear, plenty warm and very clean. Bar service is not a problem, anything you want is just a request away

We will definitely be returning to this resort in the future, We were treated like gold form everyone at the resort form the maids, to the grounds, to the wait staff to management. A special treat was being invited out to Jeremy Muttons home for wine and cheese, Jeremy is a class act that runs a tight ship and maintains a beautiful resort.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Mark K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sayville, New York
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

If you go to Emerald Bay, you must get a butler room! We did not and felt the consequence of that decision. We arrived on a Monday but couldn't even get a dinner reservation before 9pm until Friday because the butler people got them. There was a hunt for a beach chair because the butlers set them up for their customers. We were forced to wake up extra early to get one. Not what we want to do when trying to relax. Check out was a nightmare.
It is a beautiful place and the people who work there are wonderful! Just make sure you go for the top rooms!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank robin m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This Sandals resort was absolute paradise! Having travelled to Nassau, Bahamas and visiting the Sandals resort there, we had very high expectations. The staff was beyond helpful and sincere and definitely made our trip, which Sandals is known for!

The grounds, the room and the beach were breathtaking! The food-amazing. I cannot see anyone saying anything negative about this resort. If you are looking for paradise, this is the resort to go to!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Preeti84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We went with a group of friends (12 total) from 4/13-4/18.

First off - The flights stink, so as long as your willing to wait around for the connection in Florida, or wherever your connecting then you'll be fine. We were coming from Philly and the total time with delays, etc., was about a 12 hour travel day, which seems a bit absurd when the total travel time to the Bahamas is about 3 hours...

The property is breathtaking. I had read just about every review on here and was still amazed at the color of the sea. The water was very warm and the beach is beautiful. I can just close my eyes and still imagine the color...

We did a hobie cat one day and my husband did a kayak. The ocean was calm and it was an enjoyable experience. Don't expect jet ski's because they don't rent them.

We spent most of our time around the pool. I did have to get up early every morning to get get some chairs, because if you didn't get one before around 8am, then you are out of luck! The cabanas are first come first serve and they don't charge you for them, which is unusual of Sandals because most of their other properties do. We were able to get a Cabana the first full day we were there, but only that day.. While we enjoyed the pool and dominated the volley ball net (..there WERE 12 of us), I have to say that this is where the worst service was at the entire resort. The pool bar was extremely unorganized and VERY slow. While I realize your on "island time" there is no excuse to have to wait 20 minutes for a draft beer! This happened day after day. We did happen upion the food and beverage manager and told him our feelings about the lack of service and we did notice a change for a few hours the next day, but after that it went right back to being slow and sloppy. This would really be my only complaint about the pool area - but it's kind of a big one when your staying at an all inclusive! There wasn't a whole lot of personality there either, which I've some to expect at a Sandals pool bar...

There are only 2 restaurants where you need a reservation - The french and the italian. We ate at both as a group and as other reviewers have said the service is extremely slow, but we expected that ahead of time, so no big deal. The food was good - and good was about what I expected as well. you can't go to an all-inclusive and expect 5 star dining, so manage your expectations ahead of time and you'll be prefectly happy.

We enjoyed the Drunken Duck and spent a lot of our evenings there. They did set us up for dinner there (outside) one night as well and this was very nice. I cannot remember our waitresses name, but she was a firecracker! One of our more enjoyable dinners! They also served Guiness here, which the guys really liked because the only beer you can get at the pool is Kalik and Kalik light - The light is pretty good though.

Barefoot on the beach was a nice little place and we normally went here for lunch (they are closed on Mondays). We enjoyed the best service here when Jewels was our waitress. What a shining star Sandals has in her! Meeting Jewels was one of our highlights and I'll always remember her smile! The only drawback of this restaurant was the fly problem!

We ate at Dino's on Saturday night since the rest of the group wasn't getting in until Sunday. The outside seating was very nice and overlooked beautiful gardens and various brightly colored flowers, but once our meal came about 30 flies descended on us - the wait staff picked up our plates and guided us into the back of the buffett restaurant where we ate at the bar and enjoyed special cocktails made just for us!

We did an excursion 1 day, but not thru Sandals - their simply just too expensive! We used 4C's and thouroughly enjoyed the day! all 12 of us had 1 boat and we toured some of the islands which included riding around Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's private island and we stopped at Nick Cage's private island and were able to walk around and do some shell collecting. This is also where a large habitat of Iguana's live and they come right up to you as your boat rolls up to the island. Very cool! The last part of our day was when our Captain - Captain Gregg took us to an island known as The Blow Hole. We would have stayed at this one island all day! One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! crystal clear water and sand so thick that your feet just melt into every step you take! We would have loved to come here with some lunch and a few brews and stayed a few hours! One side of this island was the Caribbean sea and the other was the Atlantic. Very cool excursion and Captain Gregg kept us laughing!

Back to the resort...We were all very hungry when we got back from this excursion so we decided to meet at the Duck for lunch. The service was sub par and my sandwich had almost raw bacon on it. When I pointed this out to the waitress, she shrugged and walked away offering no assistance and seeming not to care. The manager DID however come over about 10 minutes later to ask if I wanted something else, but by this timeI had already eaten the sandwich sans the bacon..

The rooms here are really nice. We all had walk-outs which we made crystal clear that we wanted, because Sandals has not always accomadated this request in the past...My only complaint here is that our rooms were not all together. Myself and another couple were in building 7, while everyone else was in 4. So it was a bit of a walk back and forth and that was a little annoying considering the fact that we booked our trip in August for an April stay. Anyway...The rooms were spacious and we all commented on how comfortable the beds were. I had no problems sleeping here! Our fridge was stoked daily with cold waters, beers and white wine after I asked for it the 1st day...That stocked fridge was definitely a nice touch and also not typical of Sandals.

We were treated to a private dinner by the reflecting pool on our last night thanks to the naggin of our travel agent - We did book 6 rooms and this is the third year in a row we chose Sandals, so we had it coming to us! they strung colored lights and set a beautiful table with fine linens, flatware and stemware. Everything looked beautiful and they even sprayed the grounds before setting up so that we wouldn't have alot of bug issues. We were treated to butlered hors d’voures, our own private bar and a dinner of sirloin with roasted potatoes and veggies. The desert was a beautiful masterpiece and I can honetly say that this was one of my favorite nights! VERY well done by Sandals staff and a trip highlight.

It's easy to overlook the service issues when you are in such a beautiful place, but I shouldn't have to for the money I spent and the fact that I am a repeat customer. Sandals definitely has some homework to do at Emerald Bay. BUT, this is a well maintained property and the beach and grounds are beautiful. Temps were in the mid 80's everyday and the humidity wasn't to bad. I really loved this little island!

Room Tip: Although I was away from my friends rooms - the Walkout's in building 7 offered a great view of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cathy 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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