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“Beautiful property, fun time, minor challenges”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Columbus, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, fun time, minor challenges”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was my first experience at a Sandals resort and given the extra money spent, I wondered where I would see the difference...

The resort is located within 15 minutes drive of the very small airport (two tiny buildings) and its nice to be at the property within 35-40 minutes of landing. Definitely a plus from early morning travel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you're taken to a concierge area for a check-in process and refreshments and then on to lunch while you wait for your room to be ready. It was very professional, welcoming, and accommodating.

I was there as part of a large wedding party and I was the only individual in the group without a spouse or someone to share a room. The resort itself is fairly sizable and I was the last from our group arriving shown to my room. It was on the other side of the resort as the REST of our party, which was frustrating. We were all clearly marked as part of the party, and it was a hefty walk to and from the main part of the resort from my room. As far as what I was told, there was no difference in my room from what the rest of our party described so I'm not sure what happened there. Its my understanding that our travel agent requested to have us all near to each other.

My room was on the second floor of a three story building with a beautiful view of the grounds and the sea. The room was spacious with a large bathroom, cable TV, stocked mini-fridge, and separate jacuzzi and shower. It definitely felt slightly more upscale from my other travels. No issues besides a bed that was just a little softer than I'm used to. The bedding itself was very nice.

As this is always important to me, wifi is available throughout the resort, making it easy to stay in touch or check the news. It was nice that you don't have to head to the lobby in order to get on wifi. The free wifi gets you the ability to surf the net, but if you want to stream videos or need more access than a basic service, you'll have to pay extra. The free wifi worked for my needs.

The beach was absolutely beautiful and it was great floating around in gentle, warm waves. The main pool area is where I spent most of my time during the day and there are plenty of seating options around the pool. They also have these fantastic outdoor couches near to the water and well as multiple firepit areas lit up around the pool at night. It was a beautiful place to hang out day or night.

The quality of the food and wine are two key differences I noticed from some of the other resorts I've been to, but I'm not sure the price really justifies the difference. You definitely won't go hungry at this resort, and there are plenty of options whether you hit the main buffet or try the specialty restaurants as well. I enjoyed all meals there. Meals in the specialty restaurants were very good, but it was frustrating that within our wedding party, the EMPTY Italian restaurant wouldn't put tables together so that everyone could sit together our first night. Be prepared for a 1.5 - 2 hour long meal when you go these restaurants. The French restaurant was my favorite of these. Amazing atmosphere and great service.

My favorite morning and afternoon stop is the Cafe Paris coffee shop. Excellent coffee drinks and amazing pastries, ice cream, and even crepes. Skip the coffee at the buffet or within your room and pick up one of these coffees in the morning -- trust me.

I'd say the biggest frustration within our group had to be the bartenders. The customer service is horrendous, they are consistently unfriendly across all bar locations, slow, and appear bothered by you and don't hide it. It was strange because the rest of the staff was completely opposite of this. You can't walk around without being greeted by the friendly Bahamian people but the bartenders had a totally different attitude. It was strange, but if you read my Jamaica review, you'll know I've dealt with worse -- at less cost.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay and I would likely return to this resort or another Sandals location. When I think about value against having a good time, I'd say I had just as much fun as resorts where I've paid a little bit less (Riu Palace) but if money isn't an object for you, you can decide if these differences are worth it to you.

Room Tip: There is no activity at night on the north side of the resort by the quiet pool-- all the parties te...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank red_x_oktober
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, November 23, 2013
Thank you for your review.
We are pleased that overall, you had an enjoyable stay at Sandals Emerald Bay. The resort is indeed beautiful with stunning island views.
However, we recognize that there were some aspect of your stay that did not meet your expectations. We value your feedback, as it helps identify our areas of strength and weakness. We will be forwarding your concerns to our resort management team for further action as needed.
We hope to welcome you back to one of our gorgeous properties in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Espanola, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 21, 2013

As a Christmas gift to our family our two adult children and their spouses and my husband and myself went to Emerald Bay. It was a wonderful, wonderful vacation! Our children who have traveled extensively said that staying at Sandals Emerald Bay would spoil them forever for vacationing at other resorts.

Beautiful water...it really is emerald in color. Beautiful beach. Service was great.

We will go back to visit again.

Room Tip: if you a night person stay by the big pool if you are quiet person, stay further from the big pool...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 123Espanola
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, November 23, 2013
Hello and thank you for your review!
We are so pleased that we were able to surpass all of your expectation during your visit to Sandals Emerald Bay. What a lovely way to make unforgettable memories with your family!
We hope to welcome you back soon for more pampering and fun!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wiltshire
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This sandals is quite small staff are really nice we had a luxury honeymoon suite which was a nice size and was well maintained. We are beach lovers and went to the beach on the first day beware of the sand flies maybe it depends on the time of year but everyone was being affected.We stayed by the pool for the remainder of the holiday. If you want a cabana you need to get up early or they are all taken in the quiet pool or the main pool. The French and Italian resturants are good then you have the drunken duck and buffet restaurant they really could do with one more as you have to book up or you will miss out. The coffee shop is good. We took the island tour trip to see the swimming pigs it cost $750 dollars for two it is an all day trip but long winded if I knew I would have just done the half day tour but the swimming pigs were awesome.We did enjoy the holiday but the communication needs to be addressed. You really do not need a butler.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Trowbridge9
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, November 23, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Sandals Emerald Bay.
Overall, we are pleased to hear that you did enjoy your visit with us.
We apologize if there were aspects of your stay that fell short of your expectations. We appreciate your feedback and will be making the appropriate steps to improve our service and quality.
We hope to welcome you back in the near future for an even better experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Sandals EB this past June for a (5) night stay at resort.

This was our third Sandals resort we have visited in the past 8 years; our other stays have included (2) stays @ Royal Bahamian and (1) stay at Royal Plantation.

We utilized the following during the stay: golf; fitness room and spa.

The golf was very nice for a Caribbean golf course. It is very demanding (a high handicap golfer may get frustrated but the views on the back 9 are amazing). When we where there in June, the tee-times where “wide open”. The ladies at the golf shop said that December thru March is there “high season” for golf (temp is great and low humidity).

The spa facility was very nice (the resort was built by Four Seasons Corp before being converted into Sandals; therefore the spa facilities were inline with what you would see @ 4S or Ritz Carlton). The services we received were nice and we’re very similar to other services received at Red Lane Spa’s at Sandals in the past.

The fitness room was in need updating (equipment); the facility itself was very nice and had plenty of free weights. The aerobic equipment (elliptical and Stairmasters were in need of servicing) so we were a little disappointed with that aspect of the resort.

The beach was very pretty but could only utilize water sports 2 of our 5 days while at the resort; we heard similar stories from people that had been at the resort the week before us; my word of advice, if you love water sports (sailing and/or snorkeling), if you get a pretty day you better take advantage of it!!

We enjoyed the resort but it would be our least favorite of the 3 we have visited. The biggest disappoint for us was the difference between “Butler” service suites and “non-butler” suites. We have had both at other resorts and had never seen such a difference as what we saw @ EB (was very much an issue in regards to seating at main pool). If we ever went back, would not go back without BS.

Room Tip: If you domestic (US) beers and higher end liquers you MUST have butler service
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank elon94
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, November 23, 2013
Thank you for your review of Sandals Emerald Bay.
We are pleased that you had an overall enjoyable visit with us. There are many amazing features at the resort and the views are sublime.
We apologize if at any time we fell short of meeting your expectations. As a returning Sandals guest, you are well aware of the high standards that we set for our service and quality. With this in mind, we will be forwarding your concerns to our resort management team for further review and action as needed.
We hope to welcome you back soon at one of our gorgeous properties.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This is my 3rd stay with Sandals, 1st @ Emerald Bay. Place is Beautiful, the staff where Great! The only down side is there is REALLY Nothing to do on the property, unless you are into laying back All Day long. Very quiet. The food was Good. Staff at the water sport where excellent. Overall had a Great stay.

Room Tip: Third floor, Great views!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank liza c
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, November 23, 2013
Hello and thank you for your review, Liza!
We are thrilled that we were able to exceed you expectations and that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at Sandals Emerald Bay!
We look forward to welcoming you back for another fantastic vacation at one of our beautiful Sandals properties!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Lovely hotel, surpassed our expectations. Food was really good, no complaints. Rooms were good too, no need for the butlers, but they were polite. Beautiful beach and view, although the ocean was quite rough a few days. Loved the golf course, take your camera! Definitely do the Ocean Safari tour, lots of fun and island hopping, the snorkeling is amazing, far better than the Sandals' dive boat. You go with a great father and son team on a beautiful power boat. That was actually the highlite of our trip. Wow! Got some incredible photos. Exuma has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Hope to return and do it all again.

Room Tip: Rooms don't matter that much, you want to be outside!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chaslw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Domesticdive
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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