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“We'll Be Back!”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“We'll Be Back!”
Reviewed 3 April 2013

We had the best family vacation here. The service was excellent, the villas were a true home away from home and the grounds were amazing. The beachfront location was incredible. We will be back!

if I could add one value add suggestion to the management....add a small "convenience store" with essentials, etc on the grounds. This way I would never have to leave because I forgot to pack something or needed an quick item :)

Room Tip: we stayed in the 2 BR villa and loved it. Location of all villas were good.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mindy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (236)
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Charlottetown
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2013

This is an upscale resort with a wonderful beach. I would expect more from a 5 star resort in the way of services offered. The restaurant has a half decent menu, but the food is far too salty - all of it. We had a dinner with 6 guests and the meals arrived at 4 different times over 20 minutes. Not exactly a family dinner. Undercooked beef at lunch - not even acknowledged. Very cod coffee at breakfast. Make an appt. with the spa late in the day only to show up and they can't do the appt. as apparently someone else answered the call and shouldn't have booked the appt. We had to come back the next day and got too much more of the same. The nails were damaged in 1 day. Definitely not recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank babywoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

This is a phenomenal spot. We just returned from a family trip in celebration of my mom's 70th birthday. 3 generations, 3 families convened at the Grand Isle for 10 days of relaxation, connection and adventure. This was a trip we will always remember. The resort is impeccably kept, relaxed, family oriented but not over run with children. The food ad atmosphere at the restaurant was great but we appreciated also that we had high end kitchens to cook in when we didn't want to eat out. The water and beaches here are perhaps the best in the world - clear water with white sand for miles and miles. The snorkelling is phenomenal. Beachfires were very special and we did a boat adventure that will not soon be forgotten. Lots of time relaxing at the beach, swimming, building sandcastles, reading.
The condos are extremely well kept and housekeeping was impeccable. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a relaxing beach holiday with the ability to be self sufficient in your own condo or use the resort as you please. A nice balance.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Amy U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2013

We stayed as a family for a year in a two bedroom oceanfront villa. Getting to Exuma from Miami was a breeze and airport pickup by Bernadette, arranged through the concierge was very easy. The ride from the airport was a little under 15 minutes. The roads in and around Exuma are quite navigable, just remember to stay to the left.

Check in was easy. Linda was very sweet and professional; every interaction with her was pleasant and she was quite knowledgeable. It took a call down to the resort to get my welcome letter and email (received 2 days before arrival), so we did not have a really good sense of what was happening on the island and during the week we were there…more on that later. There is a 4 diamond plaque laying on the reception desk, and I have to wonder why it is not displayed. This is a 2-3 star, due to service and amenities or lack thereof property. There were not many people at the property when we were there in early to mid March, about 30 percent or less occupancy.

The resort Villa: The rooms and space is large and well appointed. The luxurious kitchen and appliances are beautiful and we used them primarily to make breakfast. Our villa had a Balinese day bed in the living area facing the TV with multiple pillows and we all hated it, it was very uncomfortable. The bedrooms were located downstairs and it was quite difficult to get the temperature in the villa balanced. Usually is was too warm at night downstairs and cool upstairs. The balcony off the living area was not very well designed (seating wise) and the morning sun made it impossible to sit out there in the morning. I did ask for an umbrella and was informed they did not have any, so I never got to have coffee in the morning out there. In the evening, the bugs and no see ums were too much to enjoy being out there as well. The bathrooms were quite dark, not enough lighting and the powder room was especially dark. Do not expect slippers or robes as they are non-existent. The soap and other toiletries are replenished as needed and not daily. I did use the washer and dryer and had an issue with my two pieces of my clothing being ruined. I did let the concierge know and they took $25 off my bill. A gesture, and an apology; however this was after the second concierge looked at me suspiciously, and read me the report from maintenance about his findings. So much for my items, which I assure you cost much more than $25. Having a golf cart is nice, but you won’t necessarily use it much. The resort is really not that large or hard to walk. We took the cart to Sandals, the liquor store, and to explore around the Marina.

Getting around: We rented a car one day which was easy, although if you would like American steering on the left and an automatic transmission, please specify. The concierge on duty the day I picked mine up, called me 45 minutes early before my due time and just handed me the keys. I had to find the car on my own and figure out how to drive it. I then asked the concierge what I should make sure I saw and after she laughed and I asked her for a map she directed me to Georgetown. Her directions were awful and we had to ask people along the way in the town where we were going. The same with the Tropic of Cancer Beach. It is not easy to find and not worth the trip. Although, it was nice to leave the property. Taxi’s come quite quickly after being called, and the one who picks you up from the airport will give you their card so you can call them when you want to go anywhere. Expect the fare to fluctuate from place to place and there are no meters.

The Beach and outdoors: Mostly the water was calm and the warm. The water sports are very limited. Most people just took out an ocean kayak and paddled around. If you’re looking for more…go to Sandals (not free). Some days there would be a group playing volleyball, but it didn’t last long. The gentlemen at the towel stand are nice, although it you want them to set up for you at the beach or pool you have to ask, otherwise they give you what you need and you go. That also is true for the oars for the kayaks. Service would be nice.

Restaurant: There is only one for all three meals. Some days there were pool service for food and drink, others not. I was told by the concierge they typically do not service the pool and beach. We had service for about half the time we were there. The reason for mentioning this-who wants to be in a swimsuit and coverup and schlepping over to a main restaurant for a drink and being gawked at? The food can be hit or miss. One evening the filet mignon rivaled that of a celebrity chef, the next two times, I wanted to know if the chef was off for the evening as it was inedible. The same was true for most dishes and drinks. Breakfast was by far and away where they were consistent. The one night I called for reservations at the last minute, which seemed like a joke because of occupancy, I was told they were full and could not accommodate us. Apparently, a bunch of people came in from other places and boats, but my feeling is to make sure your paying guests are taken care of. Maybe a phone call in advance. Suggestions: offer nightly specials, vary the menu, prix fixe some days…anything other than the BBQ night and the same ole same ole. We did got to a couple of places off property. Mr. D’s Conch shack was recommended by the hotel. The food was not very good and I would not recommend it. We also ate at the new Bistro and it too was not very good and a very long wait for food.

Spa: Sadly, we did not get to see it. It was closed when we walked over a couple of time to look around. When we attempted to book treatments, they only had one person working that day and could not get any others to come in. The following day Linda asked if the concierge had recommended going to Sandals…no, but that was a common theme, wherein help could be had depending on who was on duty.

We went to the Sandals and wish we had stayed there. The pools, restaurants, spa, rooms, water sports, activities, it was all happening over there. For a high fee per person you could get either a day pass or evening pass from the Resort to enjoy everything they had to offer. In retrospect, I should have taken the evening pass. Better yet, I would stay there next time.

Upon check out, I mentioned that not once during the week we were there did I ever see a manager. I found this quite odd, and a check in package would have been nice. Nothing about the resort, things to do, or a room service menu was in the room. Too much work to have to do while on vacation.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Love2travel_35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DCMHospitality, Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 1 April 2013
Thank you for the detailed account of your stay – we always appreciate feedback. We’re very sorry that you didn’t have the kind of four-star experience that we strive to provide to all of our guests and for which we have been highly recognized. Service is of utmost importance whether it’s for the restaurant, pool, beach, or spa – and what you experienced is not typical.

As far as things to do, were you aware that we have some great non-motorized water equipment – snorkeling equipment, ocean kayaks, boogie boards and skim boards? There is beach volleyball, horseshoes and lots of activities for kids from kite flying to sand castle building. From bonfires on the beach to Bahamian night at The Palapa Grill, the nice thing about Grand Isle Resort & Spa is that your entire family can stay with us. Full day and half-day excursions out and around the Exuma Cays are a tremendous way to see our islands and enjoy the beautiful water, indigenous animals and relaxing atmosphere that are unique to the Out Islands. More detail on all of these activities is available on our website and in the Guest Directory found in every villa.

We’ve been told that the charm of Exuma and Grand Isle lies with being small and intimate. We’d love to have you come back so that you can have an authentic, relaxing Exuma Blue experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2013

Our family of 6 just returned from a glorious march break at the Grande Isle Resort and Spa. The 3 bedroom villa we stayed in had everything we could have asked for. We had the luxury of cooking in or dining at the scrumptious restaurant beside the infinity pool. We took some magical excursions on a boat and explored the gorgeous turquoise waters surrounding this exceptional resort. We will definitely be back there again soon and are considering making the Grand Isle Resort and Spa a second home for our family!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lusher11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salmon Arm, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

My husband and I are in our late 50s and have traveled throughout Canada, the southern U.S. and Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean. We stay only in the best hotels and resorts. We have always used Trip Advisor to help us make our accommodation decisions, so now it is time to offer our first hotel review with more to follow.

We begin with what we believe is an issue that needs to be addressed by the resort. If you are allergic to cigarette smoke, or just don't like it, then this resort probably is not for you. We arrived on a Saturday and enjoyed four mornings and evenings on the balcony of our one-bedroom villa. We seemed to be the only couple in the #6 building (comprised entirely of one-bedroom villas). On Wednesday three new couples arrived in the building, two on either side of us and one below. All were smokers. That ended our time on the balcony; we couldn't have the patio doors open because the smoke would drift in. We contacted management. Apparently the "no-smoking" policy is to protect the villas, not the guests, and therefore anyone can smoke outside on their balconies/patios. Management's response to our complaint was that we could move to a two-bedroom suite, at our expense, but with no guarantee the same problem wouldn't occur again. This was a disappointing response. Moreover, non-smokers should be aware that smoking is allowed everywhere in the outdoor common areas. We were constantly having to get up and move to avoid smoke. Every other hotel/resort we have stayed in has had either explicit rules about where smoking is and is not allowed so we knew what areas to avoid, or, if smoking was permitted in common areas, we were able to stay far enough away not to be bothered by it -- not so at the Grand Isle. Perhaps the resort should designate certain buildings completely smoke-free, including balconies/patios. Taking it a step further, it could designate smoking and non-smoking areas around the pool. Until such a change is made, we will not return.

Positive aspects of this resort: If you are a family, it would be a very nice place to spend a vacation, if the smoking issue doesn't concern you. The grounds are beautifully landscaped. Our villa was clean and spacious. The kitchen was equipped with every device needed to do in-villa cooking. Housekeeping did an excellent job. All staff (other than management) were cheerful and helpful.

Overall, the Grand Isle is a nice resort, especially for young families; however, because of the smoking issues described above we will not return.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Traveller181773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DCMHospitality, Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 1 April 2013
We appreciate your feedback regarding your stay. Please know that the smoking policy is intended to accommodate both smokers and non-smokers, but that we’re set up a bit different than standard hotels. The villas at Grand Isle Resort & Spa are individually-owned and the homeowners set many of the regulations. Currently, they prefer for the common areas to remain open to smoking while smoking on the interior of any building is prohibited. We will take your suggestions under consideration with the Board of Directors, and do hope that you will consider Grand Isle Resort & Spa for a future vacation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2013

My family and I just returned from a week at the Grand Isle, and I can say that I don't think we have been to a more beautiful place in the Carribean. We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa, and it was just right for a family of 3 kids. The villa was beautiful and had everything that we needed. The staff are friendly and warm. The food was spectacular. The resort is well stocked with water toys for the kids and adults, the beach was wonderful and quiet. I would highly recommend taking a boat tour of the Exumas, it was magical.

Thank you to the staff of the Grand Isle for making our week away one we will always remember!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kris L
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
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Great Exuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Bahamas/Great Exuma

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