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“A five + stars romantic experience”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Great Exuma
Edmundston, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A five + stars romantic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2010

We travelled to the Sandals Emerald Bay for a week in May with another couple. The trip started with a well organized greeting at the airport (with speedy expedition in a clean and comfy taxi-SUV) and then at the hotel with many friendly greetings, a kir royal and cold towel to refresh ourselves. Our room was very comfortable, clean and great view.
The staff is very helpful and nice.
The butler service is very nice except sometimes they call too early to know if you need anything. Sorry but on vacation, we don<t get up before nine. If you are sleepy heads like us, I suggest closing the cell phone until you<re up.
The beach is one of the most beautiful ones I<ve seen. We<ve been to many carribean resorts (Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Dominican Republic).
The food is overall very good. the Il Cielo restaurant is very good for breakfast (lovely restaurant with nice staff) but a bit disapointing in the evening when it becomes the Italien restaurant. It is the only restaurant that needs reservations, is hard to get into and in our opinion was the one we liked the least. Our favorite restaurant was the Barefoot by the Beach. Excellent fish, excellent beachy ambiance and very friendly staff. I think the resort would benefit from another restaurant (like asian or sushi).
The spa is wonderful with very qualified staff. I had one of the best sports massage...
Very nice gym and you can pay extra for certain classes (yoga, pilates, toning). These classes are expensive but very qualified staff and if you think you have your personal trainer for 45 t 60 minutes, the money is well spent.
We had nice surprise one late afternoon coming back from the beach. A bubblebath with flowers spelling LOVE in the bubbles.
I recommend this resort for couples who want to relax. If you like resorts that have a party atmosphere or with non stop activities, this is not for you. This is a nice, romantic resort with gorgeous gardens. Perfect for honeymooners or couples who want a romantic getaway (away from the kids!)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NewBrunswickChampoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,673 reviews from our community

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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 (1,228)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chesapeake, Va
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2010

Sandals has taken the Four Seasons and completely Sandalized it. All your favorites including the fun pools both quiet and large fun pool with bar, English pub, beachside eatery, buffet restaurant and fine dining restaurant.

Our group of 3 couples have been to 6 other Sandals all over and this was our first butler experience. We had two - Darrion who was a fabulous guy and very professional from Jamaica, then there was Lodesh from India who's friendly, but needs a lot more English skills. Just give him a list and you'll be OK. They both, however, make the trip more enjoyable with our modest demands for coolers with water and beer. I know others have had issues with the cellphones, etc. I think it's a good idea and I'm sure they'll work out the details.

Food - we ended up eating at the buffet most meals because it was fast and pretty good. We ended up only getting into the Italian restaurant once. Half of the restaurant is empty due apparently to the lack of staff. The government wants more Bahamians working there but they are in Jamaica getting trained. With the Sandal's wages and no tips, the Four Seasons staff were not too happy to stay. Overall the food was OK, but there needs to be more restaurants.

Location - Wow the beach is long, wide and with white sand that doesn't burn your feet. The water is like a blue swimming pool. I've included a few pics. Words can't describe it. Another plus is it's close to the airport. No 1 1/2 hour bus rides here.

Activities - Nice Hobie cats (16 ft. no jibes), sailboards, kayaks and big water wheelers. A couple of us went bonefishing. It was fun, but it was basically bottom reef fishing. We caught a bunch of pan fish up to an 8 lb. grouper. I used a fly rod on the flats, but apparently at low tide and not much sun it hard to stalk the bonefish. It was fun for novice on up. Ollie was great. You also get to see the northern part of the island. One day during our stay, the main pool was closed due to a photo shoot. To counter this the resort offered and island boat ride or bus tour. Our party rented a car and toured south to Santana's, Georgetown and the Chat-n-Chill on Stocking Island. Driving on the left was fun since there is almost no traffic. Basically, besides the sites listed above, there's not too much to see.

Overall - the staff was very friendly -Tashana (hope I got the spelling correct), the activities coordinator keep everyone having fun. Water arobics was fun as well as the 8:00AM power walk. Anyway, to wrap up, book your trip and have a great time. We sure did.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CountRone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2010

If you have been to Sandals before then you would know this hotel is not up to par yet give them a year or so before traveling!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank pepsimae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2010

If you are looking for a pampered vacation. This is the place. It is an all exclusive with food and alcohol. 5 resturants and I felt all the resturants had great food. When my other half booked this and said all the food was included. I thought it would be like cafeteria food. But it was not. Some people will say one resturant was better, but I fill everyone has different tastes. So in our oppinion all the resturants did a fabulous job.
The Spa was purfect and we did our spa treatment on the beach (awesome). The boat tours are a must. Spend the money and enjoy life;)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 2009skinnymini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2010

A great addition to the Sandals family! Finishing touches were still being placed on the property during our stay but overall a beautiful resort, nicely appointed rooms and great bar service. The butler service is an excellent touch - extremely helpful but know when to leave you alone also. Maja, the guest ambassador, was fantastic! She was always helping with EVERYTHING and had a smile on her face. Hers was the first smiling face we saw upon arrival and she set the tone for the trip. Several managers from other Sandals properties were present to make sure things were up to par and some were more helpful than others. Overall, a great trip - a beautiful property, beautiful beach and we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank WLI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Forest, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2010

We arrived May 10th and stayed one week. During all but the last day of our week it was “Red Flag” windy so the beach was not usable, no water sports or ocean swimming and the Barefoot By the Sea restaurant was open but used only by those who enjoy blowing sand with lunch. The trade off, however, was that with the wind, mid to high 80s temps were comfortable and there were no bugs. The wind was mentioned by other trip advisor contributors who stayed in March and April. Other guests told us that this is typical for resorts facing the Atlantic (East) as opposed to the Caribbean side.

The resort is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are manicured, the buildings are newly refurbished, and the rooms are luxurious and clean with daily maid service and evening turndown service.

Upon arrival we were greeted with a glass of bubbly, check in was quick and after a short wait we were introduced to a butler who showed us to our second floor accommodations which were exactly as we reserved, but we refused to stay because of a strong musty smell which even the butler acknowledged. (Advice: If the room is not satisfactory do not stay there and wait for a remedy.) We immediately returned to the reception desk and after polite conversations with a couple staff members, the Guest Services Manager showed us to a lovely suite (which passed the smell test) much larger than the one we had reserved. Our suite had a large bathroom, marble with double sinks, tub, separate glass enclosed shower and privacy toilet. It was a ground floor, with a walkout patio. We had a glimpse of the bay but were in a central location with a view of the main pool. We were very pleased.

The Butler system depends on Butler Phones (dedicated cell phones which are provided to guests) and there were none available to us for the first two days of our stay. Talking with other guests, this seemed to be common and some were without a phone for even longer. We don’t suffer silently so after another visit with the front desk a new butler appeared with a phone which had not been charged. (Our Butler had attempted to contact us via the room phone but we did not happen to connect.) The butlers work in pairs, each pair serving the needs of about 10 rooms. They can’t be everywhere at once so if you require service such as breakfast in the room, special wine or liquor in the room, drinks, lunch or snacks at the pool or beach, let your butler know in advance. We required very little service but the butler called two or three times a day to see if we had any requests.

The butler system means no pool attendants. As a result there is an early morning (or late night) scramble to reserve the best pool side cabanas and lounges. People put out a couple books to save space and by breakfast time there may be no good space by the Main Pool. We preferred the Quiet Pool where we also found some shelter from the wind but I was out at six AM each day to save a cabana. The resort does have a rule that poolside space may only be saved for one hour but with no pool attendants, 'the prisoners are in charge of the jail' and there are a lot of hard feelings, couple of arguments and reports of worse than that. (In the morning, staff put out lounge covers, towels and some pillows but then they are gone for the day.)

Comments on the six listed Resort Dining Options:

Bahama Bay – This is the main restaurant offering table service and a buffet table for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Chef Anthony prepares excellent food complimented by wonderful deserts. We ate most of our meals here and enjoyed every one.

Barefoot by the sea. – was a bust for us because of the wind. We went in once and ordered two beers while looking over the menu, only a couple other tables were occupied, three or four servers and a bar tender all standing by the bar talking. No beer. After 15 minutes we left.

The Drunken Duck – an authentic English pub with very good food and a few sweets. Open for lunch and dinner, indoor and outdoor seating.

Afternoon Tea – who does that?

II Cielo – attempts to be top class but in our opinion fell well short. The wait staff are lovely people, trying hard but the level of service is uneven. The dinner reservations policy makes it hard to get a table. (Advice: book some dates before arrival.) Reservations are supposed to be done by the butlers, but we happened to be there for breakfast on our second morning so we tried to book ourselves. There was nothing available for dinner until the fourth or sixth evening of our stay and then only at 6:30. We looked at the book and there did not seem to be more than a handful of reservations listed for each night. Strange. On the evening we did dine there we ordered minestrone soup and it was a thin red broth with only baked beans, tasted like watered down pork and beans, without the pork. On our third morning we went to II Cielo again for breakfast, the manager was at the entry and said exactly this, “I’m Swiss and a stickler for time. You’re eight minutes early so please wait.” We went over to Bahama Bay and were greeted warmly as usual.

The evening bandstand entertainment was in our opinion not worth watching and listening. They could learn from Club Med. In the early evening a saxophonist strolled and played, perhaps attempting to sound like Kenny G. It was sad. No discernable melody, just random sounds and squeaks.

Value for $$ spent - in our opinion (and without considering the room upgrade we were given without charge) the overall cost is about the same as first class resorts we like in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, but there we have a much greater choice for dining – and they have pool attendants!

Bottom line, This was our first Sandals experience and will probably be our last.

Dave G
Illinois

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DRG35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, West Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2010

This was an amazing vacation! First of all the airport was so easy to get through- maybe 10 minutes to get through customs and get bags! We were then taken to our taxi and quickly wisked away to our vacation! Wonderful! As soon as we arrived they gave us champagne, cold towel and a hug! We got a Villa- let me tell you this is the only way to go!!!!!!!! Villas have the best view - if you don't get a villa you will regret it! Check in did not take long at all and we were taken to our room - again given champagne in the room while being introduced to our butlers. We filled out a "butler preferance" form b/f we left- They had everything we asked for already in the room (the types of liquor we prefer, the type of wines we love- basically everything!)!
Everyday was like a dream- we would get breakfest in bed - here is a little tip- either tell your butler what you want the night before and time you want breakfest served or hang your menu out on the door the night before- this makes it so your breakefest is ontime the next morning- we NEVER waited for our breakfest. Another tip- if you want something from one of the resturaunt's menu just call your butler and they will bring it to you in room.
WE had two amazing butlers- Trudy and Stephen- and yes you can request your butler- they are what made our vacation. They would ask us our plans the night before for the next day- they would sign us up for dives or any other activities we wanted. They also checked on us during the day - esp b/f dinner and lunch. I mean you can't get better than that! They are also increadibley organized. We did use them a lot. I believe the reason we did not have any problems was b/c of them.
Also the Dive Master Bancroft was Great!!! I was doing my open water dives for certificatin with him- he was GREAT!!!! He is calming and experienced. I want to come back and take Advanced open water with him!
I know I have made this long but let me say this was the best vacation of my life! Everyoen is so nice and service is amazing. Even Debbie- head of housekeeping - introduced herself to us and wanted to make sure our stay was great. Also I have to say the Island tour desk worker, Snow, helped us - we were walking around wondering if the dive was still on for the day and she checked for us- we weren't even on a tour- she went above her job description-very nice.
Basically we had no problems. Please relax and enjoy this vacation as much as we did!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DoctorHendricks
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 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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