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“Honeymoon of a Lifetime - worth every penny :)” 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
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Honeymoon of a Lifetime - worth every penny :)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2010

We just got back from our honeymoon at the Sandals Emerald Bay and were very pleased with everything. The grounds were picturesque and beautiful, the pools were lovely, there were plenty of activities and water sports to choose from, our room was clean, spacious and very comfortable, the quality and taste of food was excellent and above all, the friendly and genuine service was top notch.
What you see is what you get at the Emerald Bay – their website matches what we saw and experienced. The property is a former Four Seasons and so the product was definitely top quality. From the moment we were greeted at the airport to the moment we left, the service was great! The butler service took some getting used to – as we had access to anything we wanted 12 hours a day – our two butlers made it easy for us and we had access to them by cell phone provided by the resort upon check in.
The restaurants selections were great – some food was better at certain locations. The Barefoot outdoor restaurant was perfect for lunch, pizza from the pizza place was great - Service and food quality at the Il Cielo restaurant was excellent, the Drunken Duck pub was a fun place to grab a quick drink, pub food and play pool in the games room - we were very satisfied and ate a lot! Thank goodness for the gym - which I was impressed with - 2 good sized rooms with many cardio machines and a separate weight room and a private pool just outside to be able to have a quick dip after a work out.
We are certified open water divers and took full advantage of the complimentary dives (daily except Sundays). They have a PADI dive centre at the marina and so we ended up taking our advanced open water certification while there. The instructors were great and the equipment and boats were top quality.
We only had a few glitches while there – a few food items were not to our liking but once we spoke to management, it was rectified for us right away.
The only real negative thing was beyond the hotel’s control – the sand flies began to emerge half way through our trip and we were both bitten alive. The funny thing is that these flies are so small that you never notice them biting you and it takes a few days for their bites (welts) to emerge and then they itch for a week or more. Make sure to take bug spray and ask if it is bug season when you get there. The hotel didn’t inform us and so, by the time we realized it, we were already very bitten and it was close to the end of our trip.
Other than that, it was a great experience! Enjoy!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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 MECJuly2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 (1,216)
Date | Rating
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English first
toronto
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2010

We traveled to Sandals Emerald Bay on June 27th for a 7 day stay. We had a gorgeous room which included a separate living room and 2 bathrooms. The hotel was very clean and freshly renovated. The pools were beautiful and the service excellent. The staff were very attentive and in the restaurants managers were always there to assist with seating, pouring wine, clearing tables and chatting with guests. There is an obvious respect for the staff from management. The food in most areas was excellent but there is a periodic issue with the cooking of steak as we had one very poor overcooked new york sirloin and others that were simply excellent. The butler service is not true to comparison to the the other Sandals resorts. Special treatment is differently defined. They would constantly call by cell phone to see if their assistance was needed. The resort is very secluded so unless you are seeking a quiet vacation I would not recommend this one. My husband and I enjoyed the seclusion and were not interested in any excursions. The trips were expensive but appeared very interesting. I would recommend bringing a good supply of books if you are interested in reading. I purchased a paperback for $19.00 u.s,( $9.99 u.s. stated on back) in the gift shop and a magazine for $11.00 u.s. We went to the spa for a massage and also a facial. These were both wonderful treatments. I would go back to this resort again. The management are eager to hear your concerns and are working with both staff and vacationers to make any necessary improvements as they have just opened 7 months ago.
We ran into a woman who was vegetarian and she had found the buffet restaurant met her needs more then the Italian restaurant, but still would have prefered to have seen more dishes to better suit her needs. The nightlife wasn't all the greatest but we still enjoyed it. We found that most of the vacationers were not up late probably due to the honeymoon season! Age group majority ran in the twenties, the rest 45 plus.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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 skippingaround2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2010

We chose Sandals Exuma for exactly the reasons YOU might be looking at it: privacy and tranquility (i.e. none of the cheesy resort activities). We spent $6100 for 7 nights in a villa, anticipating lots of sleep, good food, and a pleasant alcohol haze. SLEEP: We absolutely got sleep, lots and lots of sleep, so if that's what you're after, this is the place for you! But $6100 buys a whole lot more than just 7 days of sleep in many other equally pleasant locations. FOOD: I actually LOST weight there (note to Sandals: thanks for the tiny, taste-free desserts!) There are 2 (yes, no matter what Sandals advertises, there are really only 2) actual restaurants. The other 2 "restaurants" serve snacks like hot wings, hot dogs, and fried fish. Dino's is not a restaurant at all...the pizzas are for carrying back to your room (note to Sandals: grown-ups in America like pizza AFTER 6pm). The food is okay...like Old Country Buffet okay. No one starves, but for $6100 not starving should not be the goal. PLEASANT ALCOHOL HAZE: This is the really sad part: except for Tuesday night when Kerry kicked our butts in the Drunken Duck, we did not achieve even a slight buzz, despite valiant attempts. I mean it: nothing. Refrigeration is always an issue in that climate, but we expected Sandals would make it a priority. Nope. The Coors Light mountains stayed white the whole week. The local beer on tap was colder, but not buzz-worthy. It got to the point where I was ordering cocktails 2 at a time, and still nothing. I have 5 children, darnit, and I wanted to kick back and relax and not think about my life AT ALL!! Whatever they are pouring from those bottles cannot be real alcohol, because I worried about grades and sloppy bedrooms and laundry the WHOLE time!! $6100 should have laid me DOWN.

They are very friendly there, and the beach is pleasant (the water is BEAUTIFUL). It did seem like they were willing to help if you asked, but asking all the time seemed impolite (note to Sandals' psychology consultant: the whole butler concept is genius! Americans might ask once, maybe twice, but after 3 times, we'll just do it ourselves. What a labor-saver!).

If you decide to go despite the ungodly expense for weak drinks, okay food and sleep you could get for a fraction of the cost, rent a car and drive around Exuma. The day away from Sandals was the hi-light of our trip. Hello to Everett, the folks at the fish fry, the Chat and Chill, and the lovely, lovely man who took us to the Steventon Jail. We will be back (to Exuma, not to Sandals).

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
3 Thank vickystillman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2010

My husband and I chose Sandals Emerald Bay for our Honeymoon destination, and we did not regret our decision. Prior to departing I checked the reviews daily. Some made me nervous, but I was excited to experience it for myself.

Arriving at Exuma airport! What a breeze. In and out in 10 minutes. 10 minutes to drive to the resort. We arrived at the resort and were welcomed with chanpagne and cold towels. Didn't even have to go to the counter, our Butler was there ready to show us around the resort and walk us to our room. We booked the Pink Sands Penthouse. Our room number was 1304 in Bay House 1. The view to the ocean was amazing, but don't be fooled, not all of the rooms are ocean front.

The Room was very nice. Very spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. His and her sinks, big tub and massive shower. Room was always spotless.

Grounds are gorgeous. Could have been a little more attentive to clearing up the glasses and plates that were left around the resort.

Beach is the best. White sand...water that I can't even describe. I wouldn't even know what color to call it. People complained of the sand fleas and the mosquitos?? My husband and I came back with not a bite on us.

Sorry this review is getting too long, so I'll just point out a few more things. Food was okay. NOt much of a variety. The pub was good. Definately try the burgers and the fish and chips. Service was good. Some days slower then others but whatever. We were on vacation and had nowhere to be. Very quiet. If you want quiet this is the place to be. So relaxing and romantic. Not much nightlife. Dj at the pub a few nights of the week. We did the Eco Harbour tour. It was very nice. Do that one if the 007 tour is a little to expensive for you.

Other then that everything was amazing. We will probably go back in 5 to 10 years for an anniversary to see how the resort has developed. They are still working on a few things and throwing out new ideas. Hope this review has been helpful.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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 FabiCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Wright, Kentucky
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2010

My wife and I went on our honeymoon from June 7th - June 14th. We had an excellent time while we were there. The food was really good overall. Il Cielo food was good but the service at night took a while. Bahama bay also had good food and had different themes each night which was great. My only complaint was there was not enough restaurants to choose from so we went off the resort 1 night to Big D's and had a wonderful meal. The party was always at the Drunken duck with Rashaed (Schoddy) leading the dance floor with his Michael Jackson moves and Tishana (Beyonce) dancing to "all he single ladies". The pool wasn't crowded but you do have to get up early around 6:00 or 6:30 to reserve your spot at the pool. You could order lots of snacks while at the pool all day ( nachos!!) . Our butlers Stephen and Trudy were the BEST!! They were always there for whatever we needed all day. I would highly recommend them to be your butlers for the week. We played golf one day and the course wasn't in the greatest of shape as they were having irrigation problems. It would be a great course if it were in great shape. Also take the half day bus tour.. where you stop for lunch is great and the island is beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RossandLisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
78 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2010

First time at a Sandals resort, have been at many all inclusives and on many islands in the Caribbean. Sandals Emerald Bay is a gorgeous resort on a beautiful small island in the Bahamas. The service is excellent, the staff could not have been nicer. The flight from Miami is easy and quick, the drive to the hotel is 10 minutes. The food is good and drinks are good, both are plentiful. The pool is gorgeous and beach is clean and lovely. There is snorkeling right off the beach, easy sailing and kayaking. The gym and spa are immaculate. There are plenty of shady areas and due to the gorgeous breeze we had, absolutely no bugs. By day alot of lounging in the sun and water activities and by night, eating, drinking and music. It is quiet, not a party atmosphere. It is romantic. The rooms are large and clean, tv's get a variety of stations. Wireless access for a nominal $38/week. The resort is large and never feels crowded. Two faults in our opinion; 1. Butler service is included. If you prefer not to be bothered, you really have to ask, it can be annoying if you are not into that aspect. 2. If you would like to take trips off resort, they are available but really expensive. (we did not take any) We may have ventured into Georgetown to check it out had it been more easily accessible. They seem to be continually improving the resort since its takeover in January 2010. We would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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 Readingandeating
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attleboro, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2010

This resort has the potential to be stunning, but unfortunately Sandals has a long way to go! The food was just OK...nothing elaborate. The grounds were in a state of transition, or should I say disrepair, and Sandals should not have opened until everything was done. The attention to detail was seriously lacking. Their were missing and broken tiles on the floor, beds were not attached to head boards. Landscaping needed serious attention, flower beds looked like they were not weeded in years, dead plants, grass not mowed. Lamp shade had rust or blood all over it. The worst part was the bathtub had HUNDREDS of pubic hairs in it, and the floor near the toilet had urine all over it . We complained to general manager, and maid service came to clean tub afterwards. The resort needed at least 2 additional Restaurants, and English Pub had serious issues to include nothing but LAZY THUGS as waitstaff and so called Bartenders. Food was taken away 2 times while chewing and not even asked if finished with meal. We had to ask for drinks every time we wanted one, as waitstaff and bartenders were to busy fooling around with other staff. When we asked for a Margarita, the THUG bartender replied, "That kind of drink you will be waiting a while for, order something else!" The Butler service is a JOKE! The Butlers only started doing their job the last couple of days, so they will receive their tip. The place was SERIOUSLY understaffed in every aspect. The only "Saving grace" was the beach, which was Absolutely stunning! The water was the clearest and cleanest I have ever seen. I would have rather eaten, drank and slept on the beach rather than my room. If you could put this beach in Sandals Antigua, nothing could touch it! Save your money for at least the next couple of years until they straighten the problems out and hire adequate staff!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank deco17
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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