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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 13, 2013

My stay at the Grand Isle Resort and Spa is something I will never forget. The luxurious accommodations had everything required to make our stay there extremely comfortable. I like space so I rented a 2 bedroom 3 bathroom townhouse. It was huge. Anything I could think of had been thought of and provided for us and if we needed anything else we just asked and it happened. Snorkling and swimming at the beautiful private beach just down the steps from the pool deck became my favourite activity. You can see many species of tropical fish and an abundance of see life. Many times we would be served lunch on the beach or we would walk up a few steps and enjoy a meal at the Palapa Restaurant. The menu was wide and varied, fine to casual dining. Personally they made the best burgers on the island. The bon fires on the beach hosted by Peter Nicholson and some of his staff were an event that everyone looked forward to. But I think one of the key elements that made my recent stay there so memorable was the people. Peter and his staff were there (it seemed like 24/7) to make sure my wife and I were very well taken care of and there assistance was sincere. No stuffed shirts here. They treated us like Royalty.This experience is difficult to reduce into words. If you are looking for a vacation of a lifetime...this is it.

Room Tip: The room we had was an ocean view that over looked the marina. Each bedroom had an ensuite bathroom...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GlobalGreek58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 12, 2013

If you are looking for a place to get away and clear your mind-you've found it at Grand Isle resort and spa. The villas are absolutely gorgeous-spacious, clean, beautiful kitchen. We stayed in a 2 br villa (we reserved a one br but they gave us a 2 and locked the one br door). The kitchen was fully stocked with glasses, dishes, etc. Housekeeping was great.
We arrived at 1:20pm at the airport and were in our room by 2pm. The cab driver waits and drives you to your room to help you with your bags. We used the golf cart to head to the liquor store down the street but that's all we used it for-we were close enough to walk to the restaurant/pool/beach.
The water in the ocean was a blue I've never seen anywhere else in the Caribbean-almost like a neon blue. The sand was soft and white. Plenty of chairs but only 4 palapas-we never had to get up early to reserve one but if you need shade you'll have to be aware that there aren't many. Water temp was a bit chilly but fine once you got in. Also be aware that there are about 20 steps down to the ocean. While it wasn't a problem for us it may be if you had an issue with walking or bad hip/knees. And the only outdoor bathroom was up by the reception area which means up/down the steps again.
The pool was nice also-right off the restaurant.
All staff at the resort are very friendly-they actually seem happy to be at work! They were happy to assist us with whatever we needed.
We only left the resort one day-rented a car and drove from one end of the island to the other. Be aware that they drive on the opposite side from what we do in the US. Took some getting used to! There is only one road that runs the length of the island so you won't get lost. Ate lunch at Santanas-was delicious! The owner-Dee I think her name is-was so sweet. And her mama has a bakery next door which makes bread and pound cakes, both of which we purchased -fantastic! Took about 45-50 mins from the resort. The water behind her restaurant is picture worthy!
We also went to the Tropic of Cancer beach-it is a pain to get here-you need to look for a bunch of blue trash cans that have the words Villa something on them-then you'll drive back a very rocky and potholed road but wow-is it worth it! We were the only people on the beach and the water was breathtaking. It was so beautiful and peaceful.
For dinner that night we Big D's Conch Shack (think that was the name) where we had a nice view of the ocean and a decent meal. I'm not a big fan of conch but my husband liked it.
The outdoor restaurants are all what we would call 'shacks' I guess. There are flies-and plenty of them. They usually put out a stern and this keeps the flies at bay.
The restaurant at the Grand Isle was good-lunch fare was sandwiches/fries etc. Dinner was good but I do not think I would be able to eat every meal here. We did go to the Exuma Market in Georgetown and ate some meals in our room.
I highly recommend visiting this resort if you want peace and quiet. If you are looking for nightlife or a lot to do in the evenings, this is not the place for you. I will most definitely return to this resort and island.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Benny521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Just got back from a two week stay in Grand Isle Resort and Spa, and I can honestly say nothing compares to it, it was outstanding!! Views of the lush Tropical beach, Emerald Bay, were incredible from the infinity pool........and it was only a few steps down and you were actually in the ocean. Every meal I had in the Palapa Restaurant was excellent, and the prices were more than reasonable. Fantastic tropical drinks, (the pina colada is to die for) and Kaliks the local beer, were the daily fare, it was heaven sippin' and swimmin'. The Sun shined every day, and the tropical breeze, is like natures AC. Peter Nicholson and Tyrone took great care of us, and Don and Claudine are excellent Resort Operators. Take in the Seaweed wrap massage if you really want to pamper yourself, and unwind in Paradise. I recommend this place to everyone. Oh, and did I mention the Bonfires at night? Jamming into the wee hours on our guitars.........drinks a flowin' and ladies a dancin'. Truly Paradise on Earth.........go see it for yourself. This place far exceeds St. Francis, there is no comparison actually.

Room Tip: Every room faces the ocean, as you are on a peninsula, therefore the views are excellent everywhere...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Rob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

This is a beautiful place to relax and "disconnect" from the daily grind. There is almost nothing to do on the island except eat, drink, and sunbathe...unless you play golf or have a boat. I'll start with the bad because they are minor compared to how lovely this resort is. In my opinion, this is not a family friendly resort. There are no activities for children, teens, or even young adults looking for the nightly entertainment. There is NO SHOPPING ... on the whole island. In some reviews there are mentions of a grocery store just out side the resort. That grocery store is no longer there. However, there is a liquor store. Wines are very expensive, liquor is cheaper to about the same as the states There are 2 grocery stores about a 25-30 minute drive to "town" (Georgetown). The grocery store was double to triple the price for basic needs. Paid almost $4.00 for a 1 ltr bottle of Fiji water. The meat, even frozen, did not look attemptable. The only somewhat of a gift shop was in town, and basically the same old tourist souvenirs made in China, also expensive. I actually asked the reception girls where they shop, they told me Nassau (which is another island) and/or Miami. So this turned out to be a cheaper trip for my BF than he thought. There is not even a little sundry or convenient store on the resort property, so make sure your bring ample sun products, first aid, meds, etc. There is one restaurant on the resort and kind of pricey. Personally, I would have preferred to see more island fare on the menu. What they did have was somewhat adequate. The conch chowder seemed to be missing the conch and the conch fritters were pastie. Oh...Flies! They come out of no where as soon as you get your food. When you order your food make sure you're given at least 2 sternos for your table, it seems to keep them at a distance.

So now for the good stuff. We arrived on a Saturday. "Patrick" our taxi driver was very friendly and informative from our airport drive right up to bringing our luggage to our room. Check-in was also friendly & fast. Another staff member went over the room and grounds with us. We were assigned a golf cart which was fun to tour the grounds, marina, and immediate area. This resort is clean, spacious, quiet, and everyone was very pleasant. We had a one bedroom with a full kitchen, that came in very handy. The quality that went into the rooms can not go unrecognized. Windows and doors are solid. When closed, you hear nothing...no wind, no ocean, no birds, and certainly no other guests. One night a band was playing at the pool which is only blocked from our view from some trees. We did not hear them until we opened the patio door. Heavenly! The bathroom was quite large but lacked adequate towel racks/hooks. The fixtures, appliances, and cookware were high quality. The bed/pillows were comfy. The pool area was very nice as it looked over the beach and the pool itself went from about 3 feet to 5 feet. The beach had it's good and bad times of day. At times, there was a lot of seaweed. Other times, the sand was white, cool, and soft as flour with the most beautiful clear blue waters. As for food alternatives, we went to Exuma Point Beach Bar & Grill, about 15 minutes by car. Great buffet style, island food. Owners were very welcoming and friendly. It's right on the beach and just breathtaking. Another place was Big D's Conch spot, about 10 minutes from resort. From both places we got extra plates to bring back to the room, which gave us meals for 2 days. We had also gone to the town grocery store and picked up a few breakfast items and water. The resort drinks were pretty good. I was pretty much hooked on the Goombay Smash the whole trip. Overall, we had a beautiful, pleasant, and relaxing trip. Actually found it refreshing to have nothing to do. I would absolutely do this again!

A warning about the beach, on my last day, I went out to the beach in the early evening to bag some sand & fill a bottle with ocean water (my only souvenirs). The next afternoon, I started itching. I thought it may have been a mosquito. The bites continued to appear over the next 2 days and as of this writing, they have not gone away. So be aware of sand/sea fleas.

Room Tip: Building 15 did not have much of a ocean view due to a tree.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank NJVon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We recently returned from an early April week at Grand Isle Resort in Great Exuma.

The island itself is old-world Caribbean, with no traffic lights or congestion. There are untouched white sand beaches around every corner. If you are looking for peace, quiet, and relaxation I cannot imagine a better place to vacation than Great Exuma.

Grand Isle is spectacular. The villas are absolutely 5-star with every amenity you could want, and everything is top of the line. We had a two-bedroom villa in building 7. With a view of the beach and ocean, the villa also had patios on both the master bedroom and living area. The big-screen TVs were a nice touch but we didn't use them much. The golf cart was great for getting around the grounds or over to the liquor store across the road. We also used it to go over to Sandals to golf.

The on-site restaurant was both excellent and reasonably priced. The pool and bar were great, and the staff were awesome. It is hard to find any fault at all with any aspect of Grand Isle Resort. We really had the impression that they would do anything to make our stay enjoyable.

We played three rounds of golf at Emerald Reef Golf Course at Sandals. The course is amazing with six holes that hug the Caribbean Sea. While challenging, it is a fun course to play. Bring extra balls... the water isn't forgiving.

Definitely book Capt Jerry for a day on the water. The real beauty of Exuma is the water! Jerry can take you to some spectacular sandbars, over to Chat n Chill, and anywhere you'd like to go. We also rented a car from Airport Car Rental and drove down to Santana's Grill a few times and explored some of the off-the-path beaches and sights.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank YHZ99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Stayed here over spring break in March 2013 with my wife and two kids (9 and 4). The condo was absolutely amazing, tons of space - 2 bedrooms and full bath downstairs and another 1/2 bath, living room, kitchen, dining area, and a nice patio with another table and chairs. We booked an oceanfront room that overlooked the 15th hole of the golf course and the ocean. Kids loved taking the golf cart down to the pool, you can also walk if you wanted as it's just a 5 min walk but that's not as fun as driving the golf cart! The pool was nice and they provide rafts, noodles, and balls if requested and they also had shovels for the beach. You could also take out the kayaks although the water wasn't exactly calm to take those out except for maybe one or two days during the week. The beach was great and the water wasn't too cold. It wasn't calm enough for the kids to swim in the ocean but they did enjoy getting splashed by the waves. The hotel has free movies you can check out to watch in your room if you want which was nice for the kids. I wish they would have had more kids activities or came around as asked kids if they wanted to join whatever events they were holding that day - we didn't see anything though. The restaurant at the hotel is probably the nicest on the island, food was decent and it overlooks the pool. You can get drinks at the pool or beach as well as lunch and dinner from the hotel. We rented a car for the week and drove all the way down to Santanna's for lunch one day - best place to eat but it's about 1 hr away. We also went into Georgetown to the main grocery store and bought food and alcohol as we would eat breakfast and dinner in the room and buy lunch at the resort restaurant. I found the lunch menu to be better than the dinner menu but that's just my opinion. It's about a 30 min drive to Georgetown and there are a few grocery stores there but the min one is right in the middle of Georgetown. If you do rent a car, I'd recommend stopping off at the beaches that are along the road - absolutely beautiful and you'll have it all to yourself. All in all, I'd rate this hotel and vacation as my most relaxing and luxurious getaway ever. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank mr_hand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Myself and 4 girlfriends stayed at this magical resort for one glorious week in the 4 bedroom penthouse. The views from our accommodation were spectacular and the penthouse was beautifully decorated. The housekeeping, front desk, pool, restaurant and bar staff were fantastic. The seafood in the restaurant was excellent. The beach was quiet, tranquil and so relaxing, and the water was a breathtaking color. If you want total Paradise and staff that will cater to your every need, than Grand Isle is where you need to stay when traveling to
Exuma.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CALove2Tvl
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

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: $350 - $1,059 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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