This visit was our second visit to Sandals Emerald Bay. We have established the baseline on our first visit and were now able to compare the two visit that spanned 2 years apart.
Our first visit was a bit rocky and we did not enjoy it as much. This second visit was totally the opposite. Jeremy Mutton, the GM for this resort, and his team had done a tremendously great job to turn it around. So, if you have been to this resort a few years ago, we highly recommend you to give it a second look. Like us, you will be very pleased.
Without further ado, here is the list of great things about this resort:
BEACH: semi private beach. The wind keeps it breezy and it is quite pleasant in the afternoon. The water is clear and in the various shades of turquoise and emerald; waves make it very playful. We parked ourselves on the beach from dusk til dawn on daily basis. Staff members often floated around to offer cocktails, fruits, snacks. For beach bums like us, it was heaven on earth. By 9AM during the week that we stayed, there were enough seats on the beach for guests looking for some. Beach cabanas however, would be harder to come by at that time.
ROOM and HOUSEKEEPING: perfect view to the water or garden from almost every room. I believe that almost every room has a balcony overlooking the ocean or garden. Generously sized, it's a perfect place to read the book with the ocean waves as a background noise. Depending on the location of the room, you may even be able to catch the nightly music entertainment. The room we stayed at has a separate shower stall and a soaking tub. Our fridge was fully stocked daily. Our housekeeper even brought a book of match when she noticed dear husband's cigar butts. I was about to call to ask for additional shampoo, when several tubes materialized the next time the housekeeping service came.
CONCIERGE: During our first visit, we weren't very thrilled with the concierge department. This time around, our concierge/front desk liaison, Carla, has known us from the time we stepped into the resort all the way until we left. She never once failed to greet us by our names, and she was tremendously helpful in making restaurant reservation. Even when the restaurants were full, she and her team never once came back with any rejections.
SERVICES: We have to say that almost every staff member at this resort has been a delight. We were pleasantly surprised and we can only account this to the management team of the resort. Every staff member genuinely had been more attentive this time around; they really gave it their best effort to try above and beyond to meet guests' requests. Services were delivered in a more punctual manner and with smiles. We never had to wait for a long time to be served at any of the restaurants.
FOOD: Our favorite was La Parisienne (French) and Barefoot by the Sea. During our first visit, it was impossible to enjoy meals at Barefoot by the Sea due to the nuisance of flies. They would be the first to enjoy our food, and by the time it was our turn, we have lost our appetites. It's a totally different experience this time around. The flies were barely there!!!!!! Hooray... We were able to enjoy our favorite dishes at Barefoot by the Sea. For lunch, they served fried calamari, crabcake, salad, burgers, sandwiches and our favorite... grouper finger! And oh... The services were speedy and friendly. We found ourselves spending more time here at Barefoot for lunch than Bahama Bay. La Parisienne was our favorite for dinner. You can't beat the grilled New Zealand lamb, duck and fillet mignon. Their seafood bisque is to die for and the list of their appetizer... yumm... Our advise is to try every single one of them! The first time we had it, we were a bit confused. Hmm... an almost empty bowl made its appearance and wait didn't we order soup? The waiter/waitresses later poured this aromatic, comforting bisque into the bowl. And then... all is well. Il Cielo (the Italian) didn't have a lot to entice our appetite. The best dish is their grouper. It was cooked to perfection... Bahama Bay was a hit or miss (mostly miss for lunch). Dinner was great as well. Some dishes were spicier than our spicy gauge could handle. Nonetheless, their dinner menu was excellent. Drunken Duck, sadly, we didn't have a chance to go for lunch. Their menu seems to be typical pub fare menu. We did not have one bad meal ever during this visit.
SPA: Unfortunately, their legendary steam rooms have been renovated. But if you are looking for a quieter place to unwind or to even enjoy your cup of coffee/tea, please don't look further then the spa's garden. What a slice of heaven and perhaps a best kept secret in the resort. Nobody seems to notice that there exist a hot and a cold tubs here. The services at the spa was excellent. We treated ourselves several times during our stay this time around.
RETURN GUESTS DINNER: This was a don't miss show. In addition to meeting several management team members, most of the the management team members participated in the "serving the guests" show. We loved to see the connection/interaction between the management and staff members. It was easy to translate that such connection was the primary reason contributing to the success of the resort. And hey... Appleton Rum is BACK!!!!
All in all, we were glad that we came back and had a blast at Sandals Emerald Bay. Our goal was to be able to relax, pampered, enjoyed great dining, participated in some water sport activities at the luxurious All Inclusive Sandals Emerald Bay, and mission was accomplished. From the time we arrived, to the time we depart, it had been a continuous hassle free, relaxing experience; one that we highly recommend for others who have been or never been to this resort.
Which makes it extremely hard for us to list the downside of the resort, but we are hoping that Corporate would research further to address this: the diving opportunity. We understand that weather and location are the primary challenges. As a first step, we would like to recommend separation of the non-experienced and experienced guests divers to ensure that all guests enjoy the diving activity to the maximum. If you don't dive, this won't even be an issue. My husband dives, so he was a bit disappointed at the limited opportunity while we were there. It didn't damper his enthusiasm for the resort. However, he will certainly not blink an eye at the opportunity to come back to this resort and being able to dive to his heart's content.
- 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