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“LuxCaribbean, my new favorite word”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Frisco, TX
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“LuxCaribbean, my new favorite word”
Reviewed May 15, 2011

Two things I was unhappy with: our listed complimentary shuttle was a $20 one way taxi ride. The menu at Pallappa Grill is very limited.

The rest couldn’t be better: the minute we arrived, I was very impressed. Villa’s were clean, inviting and well-appointed. Manicured grounds, attentive staff, nice spa service and delicious food dishes. Chef Ann prepared the best steaks and I LOVE her peas and rice. My hubby enjoyed Ann’s burgers.

Yes, we like to eat… lunch and dinner at the Grill each night we stayed. Flies became an issue during lunch so some days we‘d take it to go. We choose not to rent a vehicle when visiting the islands but we enjoyed the golf cart to frequent the local store (confusing at first, it’s actually down the road a bit then across the street). We tried almost everything on Pallappa's menu so took a taxi to Georgetown our last day there. If we return to Exuma we’ll probably stay closer to "downtown", but overall I’m very pleased with our stay at Grand Isle!

Oh, I refused to pay $360 for a day pass to eat at Sandals.

Room Tip: Save money get garden vw, building 6, 2nd level.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank XLTdryvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Moscow, Russia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2011

Me and my wife spent 4 absolutely fab nights there end of April - beginning of May.
The only complain we had was Hotels.com job - there was no information about our fully paid reservation upon arrival, however receptionist was VERY NICE to us, spoke to Hotels.com rep and issue was sorted after 30 min.
All the rest of the stay was just an AMAZING!
Few comments which future visitors may find useful:
- this is not really a hotel - this is resort, where majority of villas are nowned by someone or on sale, others - operate like hotel. There is nothing wrong with such a format, however visitors need to be aware that this is not really a hotel. Stay there will be for you if you own the villa there - real feeling of exclusivity or calm, however there will be some moments which some people may find not that convenient:
1. restaurant supply no breakfast, just lunch and dinner from the small menu list. This is just one page menu, however all food is testy and good quality. Breakfast is expected to be solved at visitor's own - there is a supermarket and wine shop half of mile out. Every villa supplied with it's personal golf cart - so it is no problem to drive there and buy anything you need for breakfast.
After first impression that it is inconvenient to cook breakfast at our own, we have found it as NO PROBLEM. Villa equipped with a great kitchen, so we enjoyed to have a light breakfast at the villa backyard, starring at the sea.
All the rest is just brilliant:
- hotel staff is very responsive and careful
- Villas are stunning inside, really comfortable, clean and new
- Emerald Bay is really emerald color, clean and warm. However might be some waves if windy. But no worries - just walk to the opposite side - there are no waves there ever.
The bay shore is about 1,5 mile long and just Grand Isle and Sandals are sharing it. Most of the time beach was empty, so really nice feeling of nature
- Resort is surrounded by the beautiful golf course
- Hi Speed Wi FI is everywhere and for free
Summary: great place, highly recommend it. We can't wait to go back (but take our kid with us for this time)
Maxim and Oxana, Moscow, Russia

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maxim_Frolov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

We just returned from a fantastic family vacation at Grand Isle! The resort is incredibly relaxing and quiet, it was just right for our family. The children enjoyed playing in the pristine waters of Emerald Bay. We kayaked, played in the pool, cooked in the great kitchen in our apartment and had a wonderful time in Exuma. The staff at Grand Isle was really nice and helpful with all our needs and questions, and particularly Kendra who was just incredible! The accomodations were very luxurious and comfortable and the views just breathtaking. The only negative goes to the only restaurant on site that only prepares lunch fares for both lunch and dinner. Another menu for dinner or another restaurant on the property would make this resort outstanding. Other than that we are definetely satisfied with our stay at Grand Isle and it looks like a lot of the people at nextdoor Sandals were envious of the beauty and relaxation that we enjoyed.

Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank AliD71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, MI
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2011

If you're looking for spectacular beaches, beautiful accomodations, friendly people and a safe environment, Great Exuma and the Grand Isle is the place for you. If you want night life, entertainment and fancy restaurants - try another island. My 13-year old daughter and I just returned from the Grand Isle and have nothing but rave reviews for the entire experience. The photos they show on the resort's Web site don't do it justice. It's much prettier than it looks!
The resort:
The pool is gorgeous. The grounds are well kept and luscious. There is one restaurant and bar on site. It's very pretty - and overlooks the pool and Emerald Bay. The staff is extremely friendly, but the menu is pretty limited. Food's good, just not a lot of choices if you plan to eat there every day. Also fairly costly, but that is the case throughout the entire island. The spa isn't right on site, but very nearby. And since you have your own golf cart, it should be easy to get to. You can even use the golf cart to go to the grocery store!
The rooms:
We had an 'ocean view' room, which meant we were overlooking the marina. I did not expect to be able to walk out to the beach from my room, so I was not disappointed. We enjoyed watching the boats in the harbor. The accomodations themselves are excellent. Granite kitchen, sub zero refrigerator, washer and dryer, spa tub, separate shower, etc. I believe all the units have either a patio and/or a balcony with a table and chairs to enjoy the beautiful weather. Very luxurious feel to the villa/rooms!
The beaches:
Spectacular!!! We spent time on the Emerald Bay beach (near the resort) as well as rented a car a few days to tour the island. The most 'crowded' beach was the one at our resort... and that simply meant you actually saw other people there. At most we saw maybe 25 people on the 2 mile stretch of beautiful white sand. At the other beaches that we visited, we were the only ones there. Amazing!! We thought it was well worth it to rent a car and drive to the Tropic of Cancer beach on Little Exuma island. You can visit Santana's for lunch or dinner... great food and a very friendly owner! But don't expect luxury - it's very simple and very good!
Other adventures:
Unfortunately my daughter was too sunburned the day we were supposed to take a snorkeling trip, so we weren't able to do that. But we did plenty of that on our own at the beaches we visited. But we did take the time to take the water taxi over to Stocking Island. Well worth the trip!! The boat drops you off at the island where there is nothing other than 'Chat-n-Chill.' Nothing to do there other than swim, chat and chill. Good food and drinks at Chat & Chill and we got to swim with the stingrays in the waters right there. Amazing!! There's also beach volleyball. Not sure what others were expecting, but we LOVED it!!
Summary:
This is a true island paradise. You are on an island, so the grocery stores may not have what you're expecting, things are closed on Sunday, etc. but if you're ready for that - you'll love it. If you're looking to be entertained by something other than nature, this is probably not the right place for you.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Michmom_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2011

We arrived and had reservations for an Ocean View room. When we got in our room we were wondering why it was considered "ocean view". We didn't unpack anything and waited to hear from the front desk about moving to a different room. It was then that we discovered the difference between Ocean View and Ocean FRONT. We paid to upgrade to Ocean Front because that's the kind of room we wanted. I'm sure they get many complaints from guests that are disappointed in the Ocean View and would be wise to eliminate this problem by calling it something else.
Our Ocean Front room was really more of a condo than a room. There were 2 levels, 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, dining room, 3 bathrooms and a laundry room. Plus, our kids were SO excited that we had our own golf cart for the week! We were close enough to walk to the pool, bar and restaurant, but the golf cart came in handy when going to the local market for food. We also enjoyed driving down by the marina and around the golf course. Breathtaking views!
We received wonderful service from everyone from the office, bar, restaurant, pool shack and spa. The beach is very secluded and we didn't have any problems getting 4 chairs together for our family. This is a wonderful resort and the only complaint would be the limited menu at the restaurant. After 2 meals, we were ready for something different.
We rented a car because I read reviews and heard that taxis would really add up after a week. It was very interesting to drive on the left side of the road with the wheel on the right side of the car! (a learning experience for this American!) The roads aren't the best and are very windy so it can be nerve racking, especially at night since the roads aren't lit!
Restaurants we tried were:
February Point- Excellent food! Very hard to find because there aren't any signs. It would be more enjoyable during the day when you can see the water.
Chat n Chill- The food isn't worth the trip because you can get a conch salad anywhere and there wasn't anything to do. If you walk around the bay behind Chat n Chill and through a small channel of water you can eventually get to the Atlantic Ocean side of Stocking Island. The tide was too high and our kids weren't feeling adventurous so we couldn't do it, but maybe the boat ride over to Chat n Chill would have been worth it if we were able to get to the other side of the island.
Augusta Bay- The title of my online review will sum it up: "Rude staff, mediocre food and tacky atmosphere". There's a reason why you won't see any interior pictures of the hotel or restaurant on their website.

We went to the Straw Market one day which there wasn't much to see, but there is a beautiful shop nearby called Tropical Accents & Gifts. The unusual shells are worth the trip alone! No one else had the selection of shells that they did, and the prices were reasonable.
The highlight of our trip was an all day boat trip with Patterson of 4 C's. He is the best in the business! We paid for a personal tour since we don't snorkel and he did a great job of filling the time with other things. We saw Iguana Island, the swimming pigs, the nurse sharks, etc. He also took us fishing! He jumped in the water to catch our bait and we fished without rods. Just a line, a hook and some bait and the results were AMAZING! It really was an experience of a lifetime!
Although this resort is very beautiful with wonderful service, I don't think we'll go back any time soon. It needs to develop a little more so you have options of things to do and restaurants to eat at. Another drawback: Almost all places (including restaurants and grocery stores) are closed on Sunday and a lot are on Monday also so plan ahead of time! Those are the days you'll have to eat at the resort!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank silver515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2011

This place is quite extraordinary. When I arrived I was surprised by the sheer size and quality of my appartment. Everything is very clean and neat, and the ocean view is gorgeous. It has a balcony and a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom (even including washing mashine and dryer).
The food and drinks in the restaurant were good, too.
Although the place has a nice pool as well, I recommed visiting the beach which is just in front of the premisis. I was clean and tidy when I was there.
The whole staff was very friendly, helpful and caring. They helped me planning my stay, booked a rental car and assisted when I needed a health certificate for scuba diving.
Thank you for a wonderful week!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank kleingeist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2011

The accommodations are upscale. The villas have full kitchens, plasma screen TVs, Master king Suites, with Jacuzzi, Bosch washer and dryer. The view from the balcony of the marina and golf course are breathtaking. The resort is very quiet. The island is also quiet for that matter. It is a quiet retreat.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SkychiTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Isle Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Address: Emerald Bay | PO Box EX-29253, Great Exuma
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Isle Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas, Grand Isle Resort & Spa is a stunning ocean front resort. The exclusive gated community comprises 78 luxuriously appointed 1- to 4-bedroom villas that range from 1,250 sq. ft. to 5,200 sq. ft. and offer a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area, high-end amenities, and extraordinary views. Getting around the resort is quick and convenient, as every villa is equipped with a personal golf cart. Grand Isle is one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean and is ideally suited for family holidays, romantic getaways, destination weddings and honeymoons, or for simply enjoying the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Isle Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Great Exuma, Bahamas

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