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“Great Exuma + Grand Isle = best tropical trip ever”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Exuma + Grand Isle = best tropical trip ever”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

My husband and 12 y.o. daughter have just returned from a trip to Exuma at Grand Isle. Here’s why this is the place to visit:

1) Great Exuma, the island:

Quiet, small, unspoiled, virtually no mark of tourist noise. Been to Mexico, Jamiaca, Aruba, this is by far a better, friendlier, higher quality, safer island. I feel even safer in Great Exuma than at home, this island is to be explored, you must rent a car. Beaches are out of this world, best snorkelling I’ve ever experienced. Restaurants are everything from open air style brightly painted huts to chef owned and operated dining; food is out of this world. (Frankie’s Bakery ‘Guava Duff’, is insane!) I could go on but you need to discover it for yourself. No casinos, amusements, discos that I was aware of = quiet and laid back. Partiers go elsewhere. Boating tours up the Cays, highly worthwhile to see Thunderball Grotto, swim with sharks, pigs, feed iguanas, sting rays. Inexplicable beauty. The people are the warmest I’ve ever experienced travelling.

2) Grand Isle, the Villas:

Is the perfect blend of polish and service. Excellent restaurant Pallapa Grill, beautifully prepared meals. Quiet eternity pool, very clean beach, lots of pool and beach equipment. Amazing snorkelling along the Marina beach, I think the best on the island. Our room was high quality; very fresh, modern facilities, beautiful linens, well appointed kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, etc, the resort is very new. You feel completely relaxed returning from a day of island adventuring to your room knowing everything is looked after, you are received at the front gate with a very warm welcome, concierge services are excellent, gardens are stunning. Staff are polished and highly servicable but low-key which I prefer. Golf cart a nice touch.

What I particularly loved about Grand Isle is that it has high touch ammenities and services but is without the conveyor-belt attractions you get at an all-inclusive. In fact, you cannot stay at an all-inclusive as you would completely miss out on the charm and exceptional character which is unique to this particular island, especially the food and people. It’s a very easy going island, easy to get around.

If you wish for a relaxing, high quality villa amidst a friendly, exotic island of amazing food and breathtaking beaches – this is perfection.

Room Tip: I don't think there would be a bad room to be honest.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Po W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DCMHospitality, General Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Thank you for providing such great comments about the island and the resort. We think you hit some really important points about the intimacy of the destination and our location. It's all about life on the water, and we're very pleased that you enjoyed the unique aspects that Grand Isle has to offer. We hope to see you again soon!
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Great place, 1,2,3 bedroom villas with top of line finishes. Nice restaurant and terrific pool to soak up the sun. Friendly staff. Probably nicest accommodations on island. Exuma is a peaceful place to explore and have relaxed fun. Great great snorkeling. Not over developed but plenty of amenities.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LSquared_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DCMHospitality, General Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time on Exuma and at Grand Isle Resort & Spa. You hit the nail on the head regarding the peace and quiet with high-end amenities and all the comforts of home. Thank you for your feedback. We hope to see you again soon!
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

It was super easy to set up our vacation with Grand Isle. They booked our excursions and rentals for us in advance and day of if we decided on something. Judy was especially helpful throughout our trip but all staff were extremely welcoming and helpful. The villas are beautifully decorated and clean! The infinity pool is amazing and just steps from the beach. You are also able to use complimentary snorkeling gear (which they allow you to take off the resort grounds) and kayaks. We snorkeled 3 days in a row away from the resort and this was not a problem!

The food at the grill was also
great. Local dishes and others as well. Make sure you order a goombay smash Bahamian style...especially from Garfield! Delish :)

I cannot say enough great things about our much needed vacation. They have maps and restaurant lists to help make your vacation stress free! Thank y'all for a fantastic trip!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elmyers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DCMHospitality, General Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
We're so glad you enjoyed your trip to Grand Isle Resort & Spa. It sounds as if you really took advantage of many of the high points...snorkeling, kayaks, local dishes and Goombay Smashes (try an Exuma Blue next time - it's really good, too)! The staff very much enjoyed hosting you and we hope that you'll come back to visit sometime soon!
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NYC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Grand Isle is flat out wonderful! We stayed in a one bedroom garden view and could not have been happier. The property is gorgeous and our unit was spotless and tastefully decorated. Having food allergies, the kitchen was a must and was wonderfully equipped. I needed a blender and they brought one right over. Everyone we interfaced with was kind and gracious (both staff as well as guests). In fact we met a wonderful family who we are still close with :)

Both the pool and the beach were great as is the island, in general. Make sure you check out Tropic of Cancer. Though it was very windy, we had an outstanding day there swimming and watching the kite boarders. There is a nice little store right down the street from Grand Isle where you can buy groceries/produce that I actually found to be better than the one in town.

All in all, this place gets two awesome thumbs up!

If it were easier to get there, we'd be back more often.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank SASSSSY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DCMHospitality, General Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 27, 2013
It sounds like you had a great time and we couldn't be happier! The kitchen is nice to have, isn't it? We're glad that worked out for you given your food allergies! Next time, let us know if we can get your groceries for you so that they're waiting for you upon arrival!

So good to hear that you enjoyed the villa, as well as made it to some of the landmarks around the island. Regarding ways to get to Exuma, did you know that Reservations can help you with air accommodations? Give us a call next time so that we can find the easiest and most economical route for you - 214 393 2841. We'd love to have you come back!
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virginia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Our family of five stayed here the first week of August in a two bedroom villa with a pullout couch. If I could rate this hotel, it will be a 4.5 because the beach in front of the resort had a lot of seaweed and this black/ brown plants which washed ashore the entire time we were there... I mean lots of them by the end of the week. I can tell that they tried to clean it up and really, they cant control nature.This resort sits above Emerald bay. If you walk 5 min. past Sandals next door,the beach is cleaner. If you snorkel, right near the rocks at grand isle, there are tons of fish so there are pros and cons concerning its location depending on what you are looking for.

The other reason why I give 4.5 is because I think the housekeeping could have done a better job wiping or sweeping at least the foyer area everyday. With 3 teens, it was becoming sandy and dirty. Also, I had to request things to be refilled which I thought they would do automatically in a luxury hotel like this. Lastly, We reserved an ocean view but it was facing the marina with a yellow house and some boats. Our friends also requested ocean view. Their view was a little better.. a faraway view of the ocean obstructed with trees and other villas.

At the end, it really did not matter because this is why...
When we landed in Exuma, we received word that my father-in-law passed away suddenly. Somehow the front desk knew and gave their condolences. There were lots of positive things that I have to say.
First, the staff and service was excellent. Kevin bought cold drinks to all on the beach. Emerson entertained the kids at the pool. Leon was an excellent waiter and there were others on staff who were so friendly, I wish I can remember them all. The resort is peaceful and everyone was so friendly. There are paddle boats and kayaks that you can use for no charge. The entire island is friendly...much more than Turks and cayman.
Second, the restaurant at the resort is excellent. Our friends and our family usually would venture out but the food was so good that we ate there once for breakfast and lunch and 3x for dinner. Btw, bring bug spray and lots of cortisone. My son got 65 bites and I was bitten a lot by the end of the trip.
I would suggest getting a car since this resort is far from the grocery store and it is ideal to check out stocking island (take ferry from georgetown ($12 round trip/pp). A dolphin came close ashore and our kids got a chance to swim around it. You must also go to Tropic of Cancer which is about 45 min away. There are not many road signs but when you see a sign that says beach wink villas and some trash cans out, that is where you make the turn to Tropic of Cancer. Our friends went to coco plum beach and they loved there, too.

Overall, the resort itself was very good. Despite our sad news, grand isle did its job to make our stay wonderful especially in our difficult time. I don't think I saw a better resort anywhere like this while we were driving on Great Exuma.

Room Tip: Oceanfront is ocean view and ocean view rooms are sometimes obstructed with oceanfront villas, trees...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank trixgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Our unit was beautiful, almost palatial. 2500 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 2 story unit with a balcony on the 2nd floor and a small patio on the 1st floor. Ocean view from balcony ( obstructed ). Each of 2 bedrooms had kingsize bed and ensuite, and a pull-out couch/bed in the living room. Maid service each day. Fully appointed kitchen, marble counter tops, sub-zero Fridge. Very very luxurious. Top marks for the unit. The grounds included a very large infinity pool, and towel service with access to a gorgeous beach. The Grand Isle resort includes one restaurant which was superior in service and food quality to most of the other restaurants on the island ( the restaurant industry in Exuma is "3 star" at best with a few exceptions, this being one of them). The grounds are immaculately maintained. There is an on-site spa, and they are still building their spa acumen.

I would endorse this resort as a 5 star facility.

Room Tip: There appears to be 2 resorts in Exuma to choose from for folks looking for a 4-5 star experience in...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ted B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Our stay at the Grand Isle Resort was overall fantastic. The villas were extremely clean and beautiful, the staff were friendly and very accommodating, customer service overall was perfect.The food was delicious! We will be returning next summer!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank christy b
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 Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Great Exuma, Bahamas

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