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“Prepare to be awed” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Great Exuma
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Prepare to be awed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

So this was our third Sandals experience. I'm still trying to decide just how to put into words how beautiful it was. Not sure if just one word could describe it, but lets go with breathtaking. From our arrival to the hotel 15 minutes flat in a Sandals provided vehicle. We had a ocean front suite which from the on set had us smiling. Room was very well kept, no issues whatsoever. Maid service was perfect, never had an issue and always done in a timely manner. We had the Butler service and new want to expect from having the same service at Sandals Negril, I highly recommend it especially if you are looking to sit back and relax like we do. Food, Excellent, Employees Fantastic. The golf course will take your breath away with the views on the back 9. Golf was never rushed. Make sure you tour by boat to stoking island to the Chat n Chill, swim with the pigs..... like us, you will be buying something within the year.......or, you can go to Sandals as we plan to again.

Room Tip: Cant loose with eh Ocean front, we stayed top floor Villa 9308,
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sandyfeetBurlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Thank you so much for your review and sharing the lovely picture with us! It is fantastic that you were able to relax and really enjoy the beauty of the island and Sandals Emerald Bay! Our staff is always ready to help and make sure that everything is taken care of for you!
We hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,212)
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English first
Ft Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

We stayed 5 days in mid Oct 2013.
Butler service with a beach front villa room.

Butlers were wonderful. Bernard and Depak were always helpful, delightful, and willing to do more. Whether it was setting our room or a bath for my wife, setting up reservations for us both at the restaurants or the spa, or getting us great spots to relax on the beach. They were major additions to this celebration of our anniversary.

Resturants were good to great. French and Italian had great meals for dinner. The Drunken Duck was a nice option for lunch or even dinner or a late snack if you missed anything while out taking a day somewhere. We even attended the return-dinner, which was a wonderful surf and turf.

The beach and grounds are wondrously beautiful. My wife and i sat on the beach for hours relaxing, then swimming, then relaxing again. My wife also took morning walks along the beach just to take it all in to start each day. The grounds were almost perfect, colorful, flowery, ect. The colors, the flora, all simply stunning.

The main pool was more lively, but very nice. the quiet pool was just that. a place to get away from any noise, if you so desired. i had no problem at either.

Some seem to complain about the staff's willingness to help, or even be cordial to them. We experienced nothing but super niceness from any and every staff member, including the ones who didnt seem to be on the clock. I am not sure why others felt this way, but at every turn, we were either met with exceptional help, or at the least a bright smile and a harty "hi, how are you doing, how are you enjoying your stay?" each and every day, each and every time we passed someone.

We did spend a day out with the 4Cs tour, which i have written another small review for. that was a wonderful day seeing the beauty of these islands. it was a great way to get off of the resort and see the sights on the water.

Some dont seem to totally like SEB, but i dont know why. 2hrs dca to mia, then only 50 min mia to exuma...sounds like a good plan to me. We'll be back to SEB, and we'll be back to Great Exuma for sure. I hope they do build a Beaches next door as the rumor has it. Sandals now owns that plot of land, so we will see what occurs there.

Room Tip: Beach front is best, but many rooms have very nice ocean views also.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mnofpeace123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Hello and thank you for your review! We are so pleased that you and your wife had such a magical time at Sandals Emerald Bay! The resort's luxurious settings are perfect for relaxation and set in one of the most beautiful locations in all of Exuma! It is wonderful that you got a chance to explore and that the staff made your stay even more special!
We hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

From the moment you get off the plane I was surprised that there wasn’t a big bus waiting for us to be all put in like cattle. We were each given cabs for the short 15 minute drive to Sandals. Right away I knew this was different as the check in process was going to be gradual as people arrived, and it was. We were greeted with lemongrass scented facecloths to wipe any sweat away. You are quickly escorted to a lounge where you sit and miraculously everything is already waiting for you. The best check-in experience I’ve ever had all thanks to Shanel. We travelled as a group and Shanel even arranged to have our rooms close instead of at opposite sides of the resort like it was at check-in.

ROOMS
The rooms were beautiful, with dual sinks in the bathroom, comfortable beds and a spacious patio. The only suggestion I could make about the room would be to have a fan in the bathroom and for the shutters on the windows to be cleaned a little better. Mine had some mold. The maids were nice enough to spray lemongrass in the room almost every night which made falling asleep great.

FOOD
The food at every restaurant was amazing. I would often take 2 appetizers and combine 2 meals and the chefs were more than accommodating. The lamb at the French restaurant is a standout meal. The house wine is more than adequate and buying a “better” bottle for your meal was never necessary. The Italian restaurant we had great service from Bradnicka. On my birthday she sang our table a few songs. Amazing voice! Breakfast has a fresh orange juicing machine and had a great selection every day. For lunch we ate mostly at Barefoot on the beach. Again food was always delicious. Café Paris was great for iced lattes.

BEACH
The beach is stunning and not that busy. BRING BUG SPRAY! There are sand fleas and you will itch. If you forget the lobby will give you some. There are some great beach activities like sailing, canoes, paddle-boarding. Waiters at times brought little ice cream samples to cool you off. It would be nice if you could put an umbrella and chairs closer to the water. In October the water was 88 degrees. You can snorkel around some nice reefs close to the beach as well.

DIVING
You can book scuba diving at the beach. We went diving 3 out of our 7 days. Sandal’s diving is very conservative. They go to 40-50 feet and stay down max 30 minutes. Everybody must dive as a group. I was yelled at the first day as I came up a minute after everybody, but I was simply following my dive computer’s safety stop countdown. I was told I should not follow my computer but the dive master’s. Not cool, but for the next dives I was sure I kept up with everyone else’s ascend rates. We heard there is a dive excursion to long island that is $100 but was not offered that week as there weren’t enough advanced divers. The dive sites we were brought to were nice but nothing spectacular. Small fish, not a lot of life. Sandal’s reef was the best site and we saw 3 black-tip sharks on last dive. Diving was the main reason we chose Sandal’s, however if I came back to this Sandal’s I’d use an offsite dive shop for a trip or 2 to mix it up a bit.

POOL
The pool and pool bar was great. Surrounded by a lot of chairs and cabana’s we always found somewhere to relax. Weronique at the bar went above and beyond to make our time at the pool fun. On a rainy day we occupied the covered cabana above the bar and she walked up the stairs every 15-20 minutes with more drinks and even sang me a beautiful happy birthday song (amazing voice by the way!)

STAFF
The staff is what makes the difference at Sandal’s. We were always being asked what could be done to make our stay better. Every staff member that walks by you says hi and genuinely looks happy and would drop everything to help you. It seems like NO is not in their vocabulary. They do everything to make you happy. This is why I would not get the butler service as I can’t imagine being served any better. Shanel at the front desk was our go to person all week and exceeded every expectation. Sonia and Christophe also gave amazing service. Steven also went out of his way everytime he saw us.

EXCURSIONS
007 excursion was fun but beware of the swimming pigs, don’t turn your back to them, my uncle got bit in the bum. No blood but a nice bruise! A great way to spend the day seeing all the small islands. You can take a cab $50 there $50 back to Georgetown to “shop”, however I would not recommend. We walked downtown Georgetown in 15 minutes. Beautiful and kind people but $100 for 15 minutes is expensive. You can pay $150 and get driven to little Exuma by a driver and see the tropic of cancer beach. It’s beautiful, but so is every beach in the Bahamas, so again $150 is expensive for this day trip (plus food if you stop at a restaurant)
This trip has turned me into a Sandal’s groupie. I will try my best to book Sandal’s at all future vacations.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sunnytimes75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay! And thank you for sharing your lovely pictures as well! We are delighted you had such a fantastic time at our resort and that the staff really made your stay as fabulous as you reported! We appreciate your feedback and will be sending your suggestions to the appropriate departments - including the dive team.
We look forward to welcoming you back again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2013

Quite the loveliest vacation we've had at the beach in many years! Traveled at the end of September, 2013, when the water temperature was comfortable, as was the weather. We spent every day at the beach, where the water and the beach are both more beautiful than any we have experienced anywhere. Very peaceful, very serene, as most of the activity was around the pool.

Had noticed a few notes somewhere online regarding limited availability of beach palapas, which are first-come, first-serve, so we knew we would need to get up extra early to reserve one of the larger ones, a necessity for us because my husband had previously experienced melanoma. Having risen early enough to reserve a larger palapa the first day we were there, we then faced extensive questioning from an older Canadian couple regarding the whereabouts of the palapa their butler had reserved for them.

Thereafter, they would maintain their position in "their" palapa for the rest of the week, regardless of whether they were actually using it or not. Also, not without irony -- when the palapa was reserved for a wedding the following Saturday afternoon, the woman removed the sign, then positioned her lounge chair in the sun outside the palapa, thus claiming it once again for herself without even putting it to the use for which it was intended.

I could go on at greater lengths, but when she would make comments to us about the heat, I would respond that we considered the weather comfortable. And when she complained about the bugs, I would offer her our bug spray.

Bottom line: Had there been greater availability of the larger palapas, of which there are only a few, I would have given this lovely place five stars. Furthermore, given the great lengths to which Sandals goes in other areas, not sure why they wouldn't provide more of the larger palapas.

Room Tip: When we booked, the rooms were labeled as "ocean front" by Sandals, but sometime before we...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SunglassesQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Hello and thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay! We are happy that you had a great holiday and enjoyed all the beauty of the island! We appreciate your feedback and I will be forwarding the resort staff your suggestions!
We look forward to having you come back soon and to having the perfect vacation experience!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haslet, Texas, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma was one of the best experience we have ever had!! It was the most relaxing vacation. The services was amazing.....the best we have ever had. It's definitely top notch. No one ever walked by you without saying hello. My butlers were awesome...very caring and friendly. They really go out of their way to make sure your stay is enjoyable. They are Vaughn, Waldon and Logesh. You rock!!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tammy Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Hello and thank you for your review, Tammy! We are delighted that you had an amazing time at Sandals Emerald Bay! It is wonderful to hear that we not only met your expectations but surpassed them! Our staff will be so grateful to hear that they made your stay exceptional and I will pass along your kind remarks to them!
We look forward to welcoming you back again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

Recently returned from a relaxing week at SEB with my wife. We have been to many all-inclusive resorts over the years, including Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica. We loved our time at SWH and as a result were very much looking forward to staying at SEB. We are extremely laid back people and very easy to please, realizing nobody is perfect and mistakes are bound to happen.

Having said that, we feel an obligation to write a review on SEB because as amazing as this resort is, there are also ways it can improve; with customer service being at the top of our list. I'll get to the bad stuff later but first let me detail everything SEB does well, which is quite a lot!!

The beach is amazing, soft white sand with plenty of privacy!! We've been to many resorts where vendors are a common distraction, so staying at SEB was a welcome change for us. The ocean water is beyond description. We found photos simply don't do it justice, its something you need to see with your own eyes to fully appreciate. We spent the majority of our days on the beach, but beware of sand flies because we got bitten quite frequently. Be prepared to have bites all over your arms and legs. There will be a can of OFF bug spray in your room and we suggest using it whenever you're on the beach, day or night.

The grounds are also beautiful. We did a site inspection with Jacqueline who did a great job showing us everything from the different suite selections, to the restaurants, to the spa. SEB does an amazing job keeping everything clean and well maintained, the grounds keeping staff deserve a great deal of credit for all their hard work.

We tried all the different restaurants and enjoyed every one, particularly the French and Italian which happen to be the two you'll need reservations for. We dined at the Italian twice as it was our favourite. The service we received was top notch, a special thanks to Floyd (French), Shantal and Letoya (Italian), and Anfroy (Barefoot) who made sure our every need was attended to. We also ate at The Drunken Duck a few times and really enjoyed the chicken wings. Their fish and chips were somewhat disappointing but definitely worthy of a try. Dinos Pizza was our favourite place for lunchtime as we often grabbed a wheel to eat on the beach. Would have been nice to have more 'to go' options for lunch.

We played 9 holes of golf at the SEB course and decided to head straight to the back nine as it provided better scenery. I suggest taking a walk through the golf course even if you don't play, you can walk the path and check out the beautiful surroundings. We booked a tee time for 10am and it was already smoking hot by that time. You might want to consider an earlier time if golf is on your menu, as the weather can make it hard to breathe the longer in the day you wait.

We did one excursion while at SEB and thoroughly enjoyed it. We took the half day 007 Ocean Safari Tour and would strongly recommend it to anyone looking to get off the resort and see more of Great Exuma. We swam with pigs, hung out with iguanas, and snorkelled in crystal clear waters. Thank you to Ray and his son Justin for providing excellent service during the whole tour!!

Now, onto the negative aspect of our stay. The part we don't look forward to mentioning but still feel is necessary. Our biggest gripe during our week at SEB would have to be the staff and the lack of service we received. We came to the realization if you don't have Butler service you are basically treated like a second class citizen. Its true the best pool and beach spots are reserved early by Butlers, so you'll want to wake up by 6am if you want to grab a prime cabana. We also felt we were inconveniencing the bar staff every time we tried to order a drink. Be prepared for long waits at the swim up bar as there isn't a lot of eye contact made by the staff, making it difficult for them to know who to serve next. These things may sound petty, but simple eye contact and an "I'll be right with you" would have made waiting for drinks a much better experience. We were very satisfied with the quality of their drinks, as the bartenders clearly know what they're doing, but the urgency behind their efforts could use substantial improvement.

We really enjoyed our stay at SEB, but likely wouldn't return unless improvements are made to the staff. The resort and beach are beautiful, the food is delicious, and the weather is scorching hot. You will not be disappointed with this resort, provided you spend a little extra and get Butler Service.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Sean D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

We chose this location for our anniversary and had the time of our lives!! Everything was top notch. Two employees really stood out from the others. We had an issue with our room and Carnetta from the front desk went above and beyond to find us the perfect room! The photographer, Georgette, took some amazing pictures of us, while making us laugh the whole time!! Bravo!!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Whydontcanadianstip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are thrilled to learn of the amazing time you had at Sandals Emerald Bay! We strive to provide excellent service and quality for each of our guests and it is gratifying to know that we succeeded in surpassing your expectations! We will forward your kind remarks to the team!
We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 7 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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