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“Sandals Emerald Bay is a true beach getaway.”

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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Shoreham, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Sandals Emerald Bay is a true beach getaway.”
Reviewed 10 April 2011

My husband and I travelled to Sandals Emerald Bay In November and had an amazing experience. We were looking forward to our first vacation without children and we couldn't have chosen a better location. We were treated like royalty from the minute we arrived. The staff was friendly and always ready to help. We had a beautiful room with a breathtaking view of the beach. (Bay Tower III) The beach and pools were always kept clean and there were plenty of quiet places to relax around the resort.
Thanks to Amy McHugh from Dream Makers Vacation Services for all of her help. Amy's advice helped us to find the best room possible for our budget and it was exactly what we were looking for. Amy also helped us through a difficult time at the airport with a cancelled flight that we thought might ruin our vacation. With the help of Amy we were able to reschedule our trip and save our dream vacation.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GMM28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dallas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2011

We are having a great time. Relaxing, well maintained and worth the trip. The food is OK, the atmosphere is inviting and the grounds are very nice. The dive team is excellent and will get you trained and in the water quickly and safely.

If you are looking for a place to go where you can just relax and enjoy, this is a good place to go. Don't expect a brand new facility with perfect service. But it isn't bad.

Just be prepared. Everything is on island time so be patient. Also, bring bug spray. They aren't terrible but you do get eaten up a little at night.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TheWarDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2011

Honest comments.

We stayed from March 20 - 27th and had a wonderful time.

The Rooms were clean and comfortable. The maid staff came at least twice a day to check the room and refresh any items needed.

We had two Butler’s, Trudy and Vallentino. Trudy was very good. We didn't use her very much but when we did she was always there with a smile. She always remembered what we drank and what we liked. Vallentino was abysmal. He was so bad I had him removed from our rotation immediately. They indicated that he would be retrained but I am sure I seen him working the next day. When we sat around at night and spoke with other guests and we discussed the Butler service. It was all over the map from outstanding to abysmal. I am sure that if I return to SEB it will be without Butler service, and I could not recommend them. (We stayed at Royal Bahamian the year previous the Butler service there was outstanding, SEB could learn from them). The replacement Butler we received was Adeep. He was very good; wish we would have had him all week.

The grounds are absolutely gorgeous. Very well maintained and everyone around the resort was extremely friendly and personable right down to the grounds keepers. Did not run into anyone who would not say “Good Morning or Afternoon or Evening” without a smile, or ask how your day was going.

The Restaurants were hit and miss. Il Cicelo was good and reservations were never required even though it was a full house. The food was good but not outstanding. Best part of the dinner was the dessert bar. Dino’s Pizzeria was a very good pizza. Although the day we ordered a pizza they did not have mushrooms available. At Bahama Bay the dinners were good each time we went. The breakfast buffet was extensive with an omelets station if you so wanted. Be for warned that they do like their pepper and their products were often heavily seasoned with pepper. At Barefoot by the Beach had the hamburger there for lunch one day, it was good. The Drunken Duck Pub fare was basic pub food, but very good nonetheless. The Chicken wings were large and tasty. The Shepherd’s pie was also good. A lack of restaurant variety would be the biggest drawback, although they told us that they would be adding two more restaurants in the next few months. Note, we attended the Junkaroo Street Party and Dinner. Entertainment was good. Food was good. Eating outdoors was not our cup of tea, (flies bother you while you eat). We walked around and samples the various foods but did not sit and stay. We used room service for some of our breakfasts and for a few mid day meals. They were very prompt and food was great. Would recommend having breakfast in the room. Note, stay away from ordering steaks, (had on three different occasions) they still need a lot of work on learning how to make a great one. The liquor at the bars and in the room was all top end. They had ever brand I had asked for, Grand Marnier, Hennessey, Crown Royal, Stollie, etc.


The Pools were clean and nice. The big pool was just a little cool upon entry but temperature wise it was very acceptable. The quiet pool is heated. We spent most of our time there and enjoyed the pool. The activates are limited, but there is always something going on. If you wanted to be busy, you could be busy. Chairs and cabanas were always available, may not have been the absolute prime location but there was always room. Recommendation to SEB, reservation of chairs in the morning is fine, but if they are unoccupied by say 10:00, remove the towels and open them up to people who will actually use them. If you want a pool floating mat, there is definitely a shortage of them and some guests hung onto them as if was the last thing they were going to do in life. Buy more SEB.
The swim up bar and the quiet pool bar were well stock and the staff I found to be very friendly. At the quiet pool, there was numerous times that two or three staff were sitting behind the bar and doing nothing. A walk around asking guests if they would like a refill or refresh of their drinks would have gone a long way to enhancing the vacation experience. Some staff, Sonia, did make the effort to visit and take requests but there was more down time than up time from the staff. (Why have so many people doing nothing).

The ocean is gorgeous and the colour is truly amazing. We have travelled a lot and this has to be one of the best beaches we have ever been on. Take the free golf tour, the views are SPECTACULAR and not be found anywhere else.

Take an excursion Cay tour if you have the chance. We were not able to do the excursion personally but spoke to many people who did. The trip was rated as spectacular by everyone we spoke to. Take the tour through Starfish Excursions and not through Island Route Tours (Sandals rep), or Four C’s (heard two horror stories about them) - you'll save loads of money for the same tour. One large drawback, that they don’t mention, is that you spend 1 ½ hours in a small boat travelling to the cay’s. So will spend 3 hours going back and forth. Many of the people who went said the boat ride was very hard on their backs and bodies. Went Bone Fishing, a COMPLETE rip off. The equipment and boat were not even up to substandard levels. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID. I was not the only person with the same remarks (3 others I spoke to).

The story of the sand fleas and other biting insects. There were a few people who were bitten quite badly by the sand fleas but if you used the bug spray either early morning or late night you should be fine. We never had a problem with any bites. Remember you are in the Caribbean, a lush tropical paradise, USE COMMON SENSE. Would you go for a walk in the Muskoka’s in the evening in July without mosquito repellent?

Rented a Jeep one day ($175.00, rental, insurance and refuel) and did a tour of the island by ourselves. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Visited secluded beaches and coves where there wasn’t another sole around. The views were spectacular around every corner. Found bars and restaurants off the beaten path, (Catch the Fire, Santana’s, Mr. Dee’s), that were outstanding. Was definitely a highlight of the week.

Overall, would recommend SEB. We will be going back.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank SirZhargon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2011

I stayed with my fiance from March 27th -April 3rd. The beach was gorgeous, and probably the best we've ever been to. We did not have the butler service and opted for the concierge service for a cheaper rate. The staff were all very friendly, courteous and respectful. The service for the most part was disappointing, as we had to keep calling on several different incidents. We even ended up bringing down our own baggage, when they failed to show up, but no big deal. The food was okay, but we thought the best was at the Drunken Duck and room service, when called in advance!!!. The Italian restaurant's Chef, apparently must have went back to Italy for something, as I tasted better "Chef Boyardee" out of a can. The resort however was very clean, so no complaints there. There is also a problem with guests throwing a towel and a book on preferred ocean side Cabana's and never being there left unattended all day. Guests get up early throw a towel and book down on these Cabana's and never show up all day long, same practice at pool. This should be corrected, as it's a bad practice from ignorant selfish people. My fiance and I have stayed at several Iberostar Resorts, in Mexico and Jamaica, also adults only. The Iberostar service is much better and the food was much better and for the same price or less with butler service. I would still recommend this Sandals, and for the beach as it's pristine.

Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank doriscNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2011

We stayed at SEB from March 20 - 27th and had a wonderful time.

The Rooms were clean everyday and comfortable. The bed supplied the best sleep my husband and I have ever had.

The butlers - Our butler Trudy was absolutely amazing. We didn't use her very much but when we did she was always there with a smile and even though we didn't use her on a particular day or were away on an excursion when we came back to our room she had left little surprises for us and always remembered what we drank and what we liked...she is awesome.

The grounds - are absolutely gorgeous. Well maintained and everyone around the resort is extremely friendly and personable right down to the grounds keepers.

The Restaurants - Il Cicelo was great and reservations were never required even though it was a full house and their breakfast choices were impressive (belgium waffles).
The Pizzaria - wasn't the best pizza I've ever had (Antigua still wins that title) but it wasn't awful either.
Bahama Bay - Excellent dinners here were had each time we went. The breakfast buffet was excellent and the omelette station was always there to whip up whatever you wanted.
Barefoot by the Beach - we only had the hamburger there for lunch one day and it was delicious.
Drunken Duck Pub - pub fare at it's most basic but very good nonetheless. The Chicken Pot Pie was a huge hit with my husband.

The water - the big pool was a little cool but the quiet pool is heated. The ocean is gorgeous and the colour is something we have never seen before and we have travelled a lot. Take an excursion (Staniel Cay) tour if you have the chance. It's a full day but well worth the time you see the swimming pigs, the Rock Iguana Island and the best lunch at the coolest "yacht club" imagineable. Off the dock of the yacht club you'll see a tonne of nurse sharks and stingrays. Take the tour through Starfish Excursions and not through Island Tours - you'll save loads of money for the same tour but also Lyndsay and Neville are two of the nicest and personable people you'll ever meet.

The only negative we have to say
1. they should fog the bushes (there were a few people who were bitten quite badly by the sand fleas) but if you bring bug spray and use either early morning or late night you'll be fine.
2. Lack of resturants - would of like to see more variety in the restaurants but we have been told there are 3 more restaurants coming (hopefully a Japanese)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PrudenceY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mahwah, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2011

Beautiful property, great suites. Our butlers Scott & Tony were very attentive. Brenda at the fabulous spa was one of the first staff people we encountered. Her big smile and informative tour of the of the spa displayed her knowledge and pride to be part of the Sandals team. I signed up for a massage immediately after the tour and Shekeda gave one of the best deep tissue massages I've ever had.
Food overall was very disappointing with very slow service.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank summer01201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2011

We stayed here for 4 nights for our honeymoon in a garden room with included butler service as we booked so long ago it was still included at the time.

PROS
The property is gorgeous and well kept (rooms are great too)
The service in restaurants and throughout the resort is good
There is pretty good restaurant variety
Butler service had some nice touches like bubble baths and poolside dining (but I wouldn't pay extra for it)
The spa was lovely
They seem to be trying to increase the activities at night (although we didn't care about them, some people are into that).

CONS
Internet is extra-in this day and age where even the most remote and budget accommodations provide some type of internet, why on earth doesn't Sandals provide that service??

Took 2.5 hours (and some calls to our butler) to get our luggage.

Lots of in room interruptions if you know what I mean. Really need to make sure you have a do not disturb on your door or you will be hounded by housekeeping or butlers every few mins it seems.

Food was very weak (even though there were lots of restaurants to choose from). I knew going in that all inclusives were not known for good food but I thought we'd give Sandals a try anyway thinking it might be better. It really isn't.

There was a night where there were no towels around the pools at night and apparently it was the same night both our butlers had off (so it made for a chilly walk back from the hot tub).

Watersports, diving and snorkelling were cancelled due to wind until our last day when we asked about sailing to which they said there now wasn't enough wind to do that. We didn't get to do anything.

OVERALL IMPRESSION
We had never done a Sandals before and would not do one again. I knew I wasn't a fan of all inclusives going into it, but wanted to give it a try. I loved the Exumas though and would go back in a heart beat, but would try to stay some place more local and experience the real islands more.

ADDITIONAL INFO
I realize they can't help the weather, but be warned that their location is on a bay facing the Atlantic without any protection. This means that they are more prone to storms and probably have to cancel things a lot.

We ended up doing the Thunderball 007 tour through them (even though it was almost double what other companies offer it for) because we couldn't get ahold of the other companies while there. I wish I would have arranged to do the tour sooner through a different operator. However, we did have a blast and it's a great way to see the real exuma cays.

Our butlers were really great and very helpful, but we really aren't butler people and I don't really see a need for them. You're not missing out on much if you choose to not go with one.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DanioVancouver
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:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 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 Bahamas/Great Exuma

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