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“Quiet Caribbean perfection”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Quiet Caribbean perfection”
Reviewed May 22, 2009

This is a wonderful place to stay for quiet relaxation. The rooms were impeccably decorated; very modern, and very gorgeous. It the weather & water weren't so nice & pretty outside, I wouldn't have wanted to leave the room. There was only one small snafu during our entire stay. They forgot to pick us up at the airport as promised. This may sound like a big deal, but it really wasn't. A taxi took us there and they gladly reimbursed the driver, apologized, and upgraded us to an ocean view room. Our view was mesmerizing so we couldn't have cared less about the snafu! I won't include pictures because the room was exactly as the website depicted.

There is only one restaurant, but you can take an 8 minute walk, or golf cart ride (since they provide you with a free golf cart & garage for the length of your stay!) to the Four Seasons Resort, which had three restaurant choices. (BTW, to give you an idea on prices, a lobster dinner was $42, and a fish dinner was $30 at the Grand Isle restaurant)
Breakfast was included with our package and it was better than an average continental breakfast bar.

There is also a shopping center nearby with a pizza and ice cream restaurant and a grocery store. It's a good idea to buy some groceries or snacks/drinks if you want to save some money, since there is a full refrigerator in your gourmet kitchen.

I wouldn't say there is a lot to do on this island, but that was fine with us. The resort is situated on a beautiful turquoise colored bay, and it was very enjoyable to sit in a cabana chair and take it all in.

We did take a snorkel tour with Starfish Tours, which we would definitely recommend. We snorkeled a "blue hole" where we saw a spotted eagle ray, a barracuda, and a humongous lobster. We were also taken to "Starfish Beach" where we found starfish in the shallow water.

We highly recommend you rent a car for one day ($74 at the hotel) to see the island. We felt this was sufficient. There are lots of remote beautiful beaches with not a soul in sight. Make sure you get to "Coco Plum" beach. We found dozens of sand dollars in the shallow water. Other beautiful beaches: Tropic of Cancer Beach, and "Three Sisters".

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank totoanddorothy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
KY
1 review
Reviewed May 21, 2009

I just got back from a 5 night honeymoon stay at this resort! Needless to say....it was too short! We did not want to leave once we were there. The resort was fantastic and we have traveled to many 5 star resorts. The staff was very friendly and would go out of their way to accommodate you. Macarra and Neville were great! If you visit the resort one of Neville's famous "911'" drinks at the bar is a must. Another one of his drinks I would be sure to try is "chocolate cake" .

The beach was clean and was very easy to get to. Before we got there I wasn't really sure how close the beach would be to the resort. You actually access the beach down the steps at the pool.

The golf cart that comes with the room was very helpful to get around. We used it to go to the local market across the street. However, the market was quite pricy. There is also a good pizza/sub place beside the market that was delicious and reasonably priced. We used the golf cart to go over to four seasons for dinner. I would not waste the money to go to four seasons...the food was pricey and was not that great.And the service at four seasons was terrible!

The staff at the spa at grand isle were very friendly and professional. We got a couples swedish massage which was great...and very relaxing.

Another thing I would recommend doing while you are there is visiting Chat and Chill on stocking island. They have drinks, beach volleyball, food, etc. Neville the bartender at the resort actually has a company called Starfish tours...he took us out on a boating trip over to Chat and Chill, starfish island, snorkling, and to the straw market downtown. We had a great time with him and the group we were with. I would strongly recommend checking in to doing this while you are there.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 09honeymooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkley, Mi
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 19, 2009

We went there for our honeymoon. It was the perfect place to relex after a weddings. This is a great place to relax and unwind.

There is serveral thing thing that really supprised us. The complementary golf carts were quick and a great the get around and explore. The staff would go out of there way to make you stay as enjoyable as possible. Specifically Neville the bartender.

I would reccomand one thing, go as all-inclusive. The cost of the food is pricey. But there is a pizza place down the street which serves great pizza.

If you do decide to visit you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MattT69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2009

My wife and I just came back from 7 awesome days at the Grand Isle Resorts in Great Exuma. The resort is outstanding! Our one bedroom, ocean view Villa was amazing. The views from the living room and bedroom was breathtaking. The one concern we had before heading down to the resort was the location of the beach to Grand Isle. Their website doesn't really show you where the beach is compared to the villas. No worries though, as the beach is right off the side of the resort. Only a few minute walk from even the furthest villa, or you can just take your golf cart over.

Our overall rating is four stars only because the food at the resort was okay. Food on the entire island is very expensive so if you don't mind cooking (we did one night) then bring food down and cook in the villa. At the resort, the Saturday night Bahama buffet was over priced for the food that was offered. We did have two nice lunches, and a regular dinner on Friday nigtht that were okay. Dinners at the Four Season were a little nicer but also more expensive. We ate at 23 degrees and Il Cielo. If you want to buy groceries on the island, rent a car and go to the Exuma market in Georgetown. They have more to offer than the store near the resort.

Service at Grand Isle is outstanding. All the employees were friendly and answered any questions that we had. The bar staff was top notch! You felt like the resort was your own private place. Since the resort was not that crowded, the staff to guest ratio was pretty good. The grounds were perfect! We gave them 5 stars for value as we received a terrific deal on the room for the week. It pays to do a little research and call the reservation line.

Recommendations: Rent a car for a day or two as Great Exuma is a terrific place to see and driving is easy (just remember stay left!!). We rented a car for a day and basically saw the entire island. We checked out many of the beach access points along the highway and found two great beaches on Little Exuma (Tropic of Cancer beach was great!). Plan to grab lunch at Santanas in Little Exuma. The food is outstanding! Dee and her mom were great. Don't forget to stop next door at Dee's sister's bakery. Great muffins!!

Need to do Chat N Chill on Sunday. It is expensive to get to, $80 round trip taxi and a $24 round trip water taxi for two, but it is a great place and the beach on the other side of Stocking Island is beautiful. Also check out Coco Plum Beach Club (about 10 minutes from Grand Isle or $40 taxi round trip) for the "The Best Burger on the Island" along with an abundance of Sand Dollars. Dana and his wife are wonderful.

We took a Kayak tour with Neville (also a bartender at Grand Isle). It was a great morning trip. If you are looking for any type of tour I would check out his company, StarFish, as he offers many types of trips and he is a great guide. He took us to the Fish Fry on the way back to the resort and we had a great lunch at Tino's. Neville also pours a great bunch of drinks at the Grand Isle. Watch out for his 911 or the new drink that he learned this week called the Pineapple Express!

Golf course is beautiful. The six ocean holes surround the Grand Isle property so that gives you an idea of the views from the villa. Course is tough and pretty expensive, but that goes with island golf and the Four Seasons name.

Again, the vacation was awesome. You basically have a private beach right next to the resort. The people on the island are very friendly. If you are looking for a large resort with crazy nightlife and mulitple places to eat on property, this is not the place. If you are looking for a quiet almost "private" vacation with great service and accomodations, then look no further than Grand Isle! This place was awesome and we hope to make it back there soon.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank PNJ_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2009

We chose to stay at Grand Isle so I could bonefish and my wife could relax in a beautiful resort. We've travelled a lot and I think the actual villas are the most beautiful I have stayed in--2 stories, 3 bath, 2 bedroom,beautiful woodwork and best quality furniture and appliances. The grounds are breathtaking. The beach and pool are beautiful. The staff were very helpful and friendly.
On the negative side--the pool restaurant served a continental breakfast which was just ok, and the lunch was nothing special--snackbar quality. The free golf cart was fun and we used it to run to the adjacent Four Seasons and eat. The food there was expensive but very good. The Marina adjacent to the Villas is in receivership and the restaurant there--Wahoos--is closed.
We got a last minute deal and Grand Isle was less expensive for us than rack rate. I would have been disappointed due to the quality and variety of the restaurants if we had paid full price.
Grand Isle would definitely be worth ful price if you travelled as a family or a pair of couples. And BRING your OWN FOOD--the extra bag cost of a couple coolers stacked with food you can cook in their beautiful kitchen would be worth it.
We did not try the spa. Nor did we golf. Course looks beautiful.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JeffRome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2009

The Grand Isle is a first class resort. The staff and villa were amazing. The included golf cart was fun and convenient to get around the area (marina/ four seasons/ supermarket/ liquor store). The pool was unbelievable and the beach had some of the softest sand! The do clean the beach although when the wind is coming off shore seaweed does tend to collect. The restaurant quality was excellent with such a scenic overlook although all the food on the island is overpriced. Recommend a day trip to Chat n Chill on Stocking Island. Take the water taxi from georgetown (about a 20 minute car ride south of the resort). Great Exuma is a quiet, hidden gem that I will never forget about! The dive staff at Dive Exuma were also wonderful. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this resort and destination!

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jerseyshore91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2009

My wife and my three kids just came back from Grand Isle Resort - and it was not what I would have imagined.
This place looks like it is right out of the Frontgate/Pottery Barn Catalog - sterile and generic.
In one sense it had everything - I would give it a 5 star for almost everything - Rooms were clean and neat, grounds were well, too well manacured almost a Stepford Wives senerio.
However, all was not what it seemed food, ambience and value for the $$ is lacking. Food is imported from the States so you get those same sawdusty tomatoes from Californa - no local produce - I suppose that is the Bahamas - because the Four Seasons right down the beach is no better. Ambience is lacking - it is picture prefect, but sterile and generic you feel that you just walked on the set of a catalog cover - local culture is absent. Value - the price of everything is high to begin with, but they do not tell you that you are a $60 cab ride in and $60 cab ride out of town - better to rent a car $100 a day. It was almost better to go into town for food and or a meal because of the price but the $120 cab ride on top of the $200 dinner just put the wrong topper on the evening.
I would say that they advertise well and we really did not think we were really that far away from it all - until we got there.
From a servive stand point Marcala at the front desk is awesome and very helpful - the Bahamas Tourist Bureau should hire her.
Alex at the pool is also one person who goes out of his way to help
So, I would say this is a place that they spent a lot of $$ to get it right with all the right things - but they missed something ambience - atmosphere - culture.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank houqua
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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