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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We are home from a week at Emerald Bay...and have nothing but great things to say about this place. The staff were very friendly and ready to help, the food at the Italian and French was good, and the overall place wonderful. We were travelling as a group of six friends so there was always lots to do,,,golf, wonderful clay tennis courts, and the spa gym.... We had fabulous service from Garth the butler and Vinette in the Spa for a hair cut and style. We would recommend the property to friends who are looking to really chill out, de stress and have some fun.

Room Tip: We loved having a beach front walk out....
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Domesticdive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 15, 2013

We were first attracted to Sandals with promise of "unlimited" SCUBA along with the "Sandals Luxury Included" pitch. We had a great holiday but the Luxury Included was not as advertised.
Fortunately, this resort has a challenging golf course and with our Butler class room, unlimited golf was included. Just pay the cart fee -- a good value for the quality of the course. However, lucky we checked the club rental ahead and brought our clubs as rental would have been pretty pricey.
This is not really a SCUBA place for SCUBA people. When we took previous vacations to such places, the SCUBA operator would go the great lengths to get you diving. The best example was where the sea was rough in Honduras, the scuba operator took their boat to the other side of the island which was more sheltered and transported divers and equipment over there by van and bus for a couple of days until the sea calmed. Not so at Sandals. It was pretty rough and the solution was to cancel SCUBA 3 days out of 7 and only offer one dive other days except one calm day.
Regarding the "Luxury Included" our expectations were a bit high on account of the promotion. The liquor was and still is promoted as top brands included, including Remy Martin VSOP cognac -- not so, no cognac at all on the resort, and REMI brandy brought to us as if it was cognac. Another strange drinking peculiarity -- when a gin martini ordered, no vermouth, just straight gin shaken with ice -- not our preference, and never seen this before; we just chose not to finish it rather than complain. Same failure to meet expectations on the food -- good but not up to any of the good restaurants we frequent in Toronto, never mind the few very good restaurants we have had the pleasure of in Toronto, Paris, Rome, New Orleans, San Francisco, etc. A decent resort, and perhaps this is all one should expect, but definitely not up to the hype.

All that said, we played golf 3 days and had 3 lovely, safe dives. And we ate well. We always enjoy ourselves on vacation and look on the bright side, for example high winds mean few ankle biting bugs.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ken M
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 reviewResponded November 16, 2013

Thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay, Ken.
We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your vacation and had a great time playing on our golf course.
However, we disappointed to hear that we fell short of meeting all of your expectations. We appreciate your valuable feedback. We realize that anything less than perfect leaves room for improvement and we will be forwarding your concerns to the relevant departments - including the watersports team.
We hope to welcome you back soon and that we will be able to exceed all of your expectations on a future visit.

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Reviewed November 15, 2013

My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last week at SEB. The flight from Miami to Georgetown was short and uneventful. Upon arrival it was just a few minutes (about 20) getting through customs and into our taxi to the resort.

We met our butler soon after arriving at the resort with a quick check in. We were escorted to the Bahama Bay restaurant while we waited for our room to be ready. The restaurant buffet was good.

We were escorted to our room by our butler. We had a beachfront walk out Villa that was very nice. It did smell a bit musty but we didn't notice it after the first day. The room was large and more than adequate. Bar was fully stocked with our favorite liquor and juices, sodas, etc. Being "beach front" we had an excellent view of the beach/ocean. I have read many reviews the said the beachfront rooms were partially blocked by sand dunes but I didn't really see that this was the case on any of the beach front rooms. There is some foliage between the room and the sea but I thought it was minimal. We had a nice King 4 post bed with awesome pillows and sheets. we had a table adequate for dining in, two comfortable chairs, and large TV and chest of drawers. Great extra space all through out the room. Bathroom was large with large shower enough for 2 and large tub but not large enough for 2. The room was well kept and clean. I didn't notice the furniture being worn or well used, aside from a few nicks and dings expected in any rented room. I say this because other reviewers had complained about this.

The beach is exquisite with the hardly anyone using it. If you reserve the small huts it gives some protection from the sun. The water is truly crystal clear. Waves were at times rough but very gentle at others. The pool was very nice and the Cabana's (reserved by the butler) were awesome. Since I don't like full sun it was nice to pull the curtains partially at high noon.

As other reviewers have said there is not a whole lot to do here but thats not why we came here. But we did have fun at the piano bar a couple of nights. Also the drunken duck pub was a lot of fun. One night at the pub was Karaoke night which was also fun. On the first night we went to the SSG dinner for Sandals returning guests. It was a lot of fun and we had dinner with many of the upper level staff and managers. The Junkanoo party on Friday night was interesting. A little odd at first as not many people seemed to like the band as they were trying to get some audience participation but no one seemed to want to. After dinner there was a limbo expert who used fire to heighten limbo activities. He was entertaining and very respectful to the volunteers from the audience and gave the girls towels to wrap around their legs if they had skirts or dresses on. All in all a fun night.

We took an outside resort excursion (through Fours Cs adventures) to visit the Thunderball Grotto and all of the other sights that were offered through the Sandals excursions as well. But this trip was less than half of what an equal Sandal's excursion would cost although we did have to buy lunch and I think the Sandal's excursion includes lunch. Lunch cost us about $35 including tip at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. They picked us up just outside the security gate in a nice air conditioned van with other guests from other resorts. It was about a 20 minute drive to the put in area on the Caribbean side of Exuma. Waiting for us in the boat was Captain Andy. He was very knowledgable of Exuma and all of the cays as well as the fish and animals of the area. We snorkeled the Thunderball Grotto, swam with sharks and many other fish, swam with and fed the pigs, fed the many Iguanas waiting for us as we boated up to the beach. We also saw many beautiful Cays owned by celebrities and the like. I have to say the water was so clear, calm and beautiful. You could always see the sea floor which looked only a few feet deep but in reality it was probably an average of 20' deep. All in all the trip was the one of the best highlights of our stay.

Everything was really nice throughout our stay but our biggest disappointment was the dining and food. It was good and adequate but just not excellent as you would expect from Sandals or anywhere that you pay top dollar for a nice experience. Lobster was over cooked a bit, most food had a bit of an institutional taste to it. Its hard to explain but I just wasn't wowed. Also more than once the wait staff just didn't hear exactly what we ordered. Not intentionally getting it wrong but I got the impression that they didn't have a lot of experience.

The butlers did a great job as well but I felt that they were not fully engaged with us, maybe a bit preoccupied. They did exactly what we asked of them and gave us some surprises but it didn't feel that it was "over the top". Maybe because we had butler service before at Sandals Ocho Rios and the butler there was more than outstanding. I'm just not sure that paying extra for the butler was worth it on this trip.

All in all we did have a wonderful time and we loved the resort. But I think our tastes have changed as we are now middle aged we have a lot more experience with the travel/hospitality aspect of hotels and dining and we expect more for what we pay for. We would go to a Sandal's resort again but maybe just book a regular room and go elsewhere for milestone vacations like anniversaries or birthdays. I don't mind paying top dollar for anything but I just want to feel like I got what I paid for and this trip just didn't quite feel that way.

Room Tip: Any of the beachfront rooms seemed to have wonderful views. We had room 9206, it was close to the ma...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank VirginiaTripper
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 reviewResponded November 16, 2013

Thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay.
We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and found the resort and it's grounds to be beautiful.
We regret to hear that your stay was not completely as expected and that some aspects of our service did not meet your standards. For this, we apologize.
We are constantly making upgrades and improvements to ensure that we provide the best experience to our guests. We appreciate your valuable feedback, as it helps identify our areas of strength and weakness. I will be forwarding your concerns to the resort management team for further discussion and action as needed.
Thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you back on a future visit.

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Reviewed November 14, 2013

Had the chance to stay here during our FAM trip...

Flying into Exuma (when not on a charter flight) is only by American or United (from Miami or Fort Lauderdale)...

If your traveling to this resort, the main thing to remember is that this is just really a beach and golf destination...

The Sandals Emerald Reef course is spectacular, with 6 signature holes, Greg Norman Course and very challenging..your first hole, is lined with water all the day the right side with lots of bunkers on the approach for example..

The staff and service were great, and everyone went out of their way to make sure everything was suitable or good for the time...

The food as you would guess was great, try the scallops in the Le Petit Restuarant....awesome...

Will definately return again when traveling with wifey...

Room Tip: All rooms are at least Concierge or Butler and there is not a big difference on where your at, your...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank caneshockey31
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 reviewResponded November 16, 2013

Thank you for your review!
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Sandals Emerald Bay. The golf course is a must see and will definitely provide a fun challenge for our guests. We will pass your kind remarks on to our team!
We look forward to welcoming you and your wife back in the near future!

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Reviewed November 12, 2013

First room was dirty, smelled moldy, cracked window, toilet had not been cleaned. We complained and were moved to another room-lost the view we had paid extra for. The patio area was very small with the furniture badly in need of a good cleaning and painting. The room furniture looked very used, worn and sagging, not at all like the pictures on the website. On the plus side, food was great, beach was great but both of us ended up with terrible sand flea bites. The resort grounds were well tended but the buildings really needed some attention. Bottom line-OK but nowhere near worth the money we paid.

Room Tip: If your looking for a good view don't pay the extra money for a ground floor walkout.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AMR5571
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 reviewResponded November 13, 2013

We regret to hear that we did not meet your expectations for service and quality. We have many guests who feel the direct opposite and have boasted of our luxurious accommodations. As hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review.
While we always perform renovations and redesigns to ensure that we provide the highest standard of luxury and comfort, our process is an on-going one. To avoid disturbing our guests this work is done in sections and we apologize if the current state of your room failed to meet your standards. We encourage you to visit us again in the future and experience what improvements have occurred during your absence.

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Reviewed November 11, 2013

Just to give you an idea of my travel background/ basis for my review, my husband and I are seasoned travelers and have been to more than a dozen all inclusive resorts including other Sandals resorts, Couples, Iberostar Grand resorts, Excellence resorts, and others.

Beach- We are beach lovers and this beach was incredible!! Very long, private stretch of white sand and gorgeous turquoise waters! There was never an issue with getting chairs/ umbrella and the beach was not crowded at all, in fact, we were the only people on the beach most of the time. There wasn't a single person trying to sell anything on this beach (amen)! It's very peaceful. Also, there are no guards/ fences and we felt very safe walking the entire length of the beach as well as off the grounds. There's a beautiful golf course with a nice trail to walk that gives you beautiful vistas of the sea nearby! We had a butler who filled a cooler with drinks and brought us an occasional drink if ordered, however, if you do not have a butler, there is VERY limited beverage service offered on the beach (unlike other resorts we have been to, such as Iberostar Grand). Now, the negative I must mention- SAND FLEAS! There are so many sand fleas and you will get bitten, even if you wear the OFF they provide you with! I was covered and the bites make you quite miserable. So despite the amazing beach, these pests are such a huge problem that I would not return to this resort.

Food- Very good, but not quite as many restaurant selections as other resorts we've visited. Each time we ordered room service, our order was messed up (made differently than stated on the menu or something forgotten). A note to my fellow vegetarians, each restaurant offered a veggie option, but it was all pasta. A note to the resort, please come up with some more varied vegetarian options!

Beverages- nice beer and wine selection, premium spirits, mostly anything you want.

Service- workers were very friendly, only a few that weren't.

Transfer- a very short commute from the airport!

Room- we had a walkout beachfront butler room (9204). Very convenient location and beautiful views! A small patio with lounge chairs and a hammock were nice. Nice, but fairly standard room. Some rust in the bathroom and a few patches of black mold in the closet though. The butlers were very friendly, but we didn't expect to have to constantly call for each drink we wanted on the beach. Would have been nice if they checked on us at least once an hour while were on the beach for a drink.

Overall, a beautiful resort with friendly service and an incredible beach (but not without sand fleas that will bite you many times, causing you an unpleasant experience).

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank aeglobetrotter
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 reviewResponded November 16, 2013

Thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay.
We are pleased that you enjoyed the resort and the gorgeous island surroundings.
However, I am sorry to hear about the severity of your bug bites. We do our best to control the amount of pests on property without harming the environment. During certain times of the year we may experience a brief influx of their numbers and our efforts may seem almost futile. Along with the complimentary bug repellent we place in each room, our spa and store offer body oils, lotions and gels containing soothing ingredients that not only treat, but in some cases, prevent bites for those that seem to be more attractive to these pests.
We do hope to you will afford us another opportunity to showcase the best that Sandals has to offer on a future visit.

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Reviewed November 10, 2013

Great resort with beautiful grounds and beaches. Despite starting out on the wrong foot where the room description misled us to believe we had our very own butler, this resort stay was phenomenal.
My fiance' booked what he thought was a bungalow room with private butler but it turned out to be a regular room ( which they like to call villa) oceanfront with a butler service. This butler service means that you have a butler whom you share with 6-7 other rooms ( which equates to 1 butler per up to 16 people!). For the price( very expensive), make sure if you book a butler room, that it is close to the main part of the hotel. We were a long walk from there all the way at the south end of the resort next to the tennis courts. Although butlers Deepak and Bernard are the best of the best, they surely had challenges getting us hot food to the room due to the distance. Beach phenomenal! We live in Miami so coming from paradise already living on the beach in miami beach, it takes alot of beauty to impress us. The BEACH/ /water/ and included watersports are phenomenal, not to mention that Emerald Bay is all Sandals beach with no vendors peddling amd bothering you, no cruise ship riff raff hanging around,etc etc. This is perfect seclusion to relax and enjoy paradise! Our weather conditions did not cooperate so we had minimal exposure to the water sports firsthand but we did check out all of them and were just waiting anxiously for the winds to die down and for the weather to cooperate.
BUTLERS DEEPAK AND BERNARD WERE INSTRUMENTAL in making our hotel stay great and our first impression of "meh and misleading" to our overall stay being "WONDERFUL!"

Some suggestions for hotel, offering some kind of all- inclusive program for non-drinkers as the price is high per day for people who dont drink and party. Food quality and selections could be enhanced. Another suggestion, put BUTLER ROOMS, all together if possible- and all closer to the main hotel to ensure better food quality delivered to room. Another suggestion, change the marketing and room/butler descriptions to be more accurate and reflective of what the customer is paying for. ( this still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth as I felt we were misled or deceited with their advertising descriptions of room types) Lastly, consistantly and non- discriminatorily recognize returning Sandals customers -----as this was our second time to a Sandals destination and we had NO Recognition of that, although other returning customers were recognized with spa services, room upgrades etc.
This is probably the Best SANDALS destination in the Carribean........we will Return......its just too bad we learned some tips from our visit here that turned out to be very costly mistakes. And when we return, we will request DEEPAK and Bernard to be our BUTLERS! Loved them! They definitely turned us around on our perception of our stay. BIG,HUGE THANKS TO OUR BUTLERS-- DEEPAK and Bernard.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Heidi F
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 reviewResponded November 16, 2013

Thank you for your review, Heidi.
We are delighted that you had a wonderful time at Sandals Emerald Bay. We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced in the beginning of your stay. We are pleased that our team was able to resolve these and you enjoyed the rest of your stay.
I will be sure to pass along your suggestions to the resort team for further action as needed so that future guests do not have similar feedback.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the future for an even more enjoyable stay!

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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: $608 - $1,689 (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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