We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Complex place some parts 3 stars other 5 stars”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 April 2013

This is a complex place and one that Trip Advisor is really not set up for in that 1 to 5 stars does not adequately describe this property. Part of this is due to the fact that Grand Isle is not a pure Villa property, nor is it a pure hotel resort. It has aspects of both. I'd give it between 3 stars on some levels and five on others thus my compromise of 4 stars but read on as it's not that simple.

Before jumping into the hotel, a word on Great Exuma. We loved this island! We've been to many islands before and this place is totally an undiscovered gem with miles, and miles, and miles of pristine beach that are undeveloped. The colors of the water were more vibrant than any place we'd ever been in the Caribbean and we've been to a lot of islands. Trash is an issue on the beaches (they need to have a public works project around that) and while the people we met were very warm and friendly, there clearly is a pride and self respect that's probably gotten in the way of the island really taking off as a tourist destination. This said, we'll definitely go back.

So on the high end of Grand Isle the Villas and grounds are terrific. Everything they advertised (with the exception of the workout facility) is spot on. The beach is beautiful, very nice pool and a fine restaurant and bar (although nothing fancy). We stayed at an Ocean front 3 bedroom and it was excellent. Ocean view is really more accurate as none of the Villas are on the beach. Golf carts are great, albeit not really necessary if you're staying on the bottom of the hill.

There are also some great staff (Judy you were terrific)! Most of the staff were warm and polite, although there's clearly a lack of training and the ability to improvise on the fly is a challenge for many.

But it's funky. When you get there the check in is much more akin to a Villa check in than it is a resort. Two woman working the desk. There is no gift shop on premises for fundamentals, let alone for anything more than that. My wife, kids and I quickly deduced that there was a vibe here and it you wanted to make the best of the vacation, you had to get into it. We did and it was great.

The service is spotty, again I attribute this to three things 1) training, 2) the management company is not local (it's based in the states) 3) It's not a hotel or a villa thus it's not sure what it wants to be. So here were some examples. There were a ton of staff working on the grounds, which are gorgeous, but other than grating the sand in the morning, no staff was on garbage detail on the beach (plenty of trash to be picked up). The beach bar/food service was erratic and there was certainly no one to help you set up your chairs for the day.

The restaurant was actually quite good, although the menu was pretty limited. Service was just fine and when we told them we were in a hurry, the staff made things happen for us (Thanks Shrug). Wine list is pretty bad but there's a nice liquor store close to the property where you can get a decent bottle of wine and pay a corking fee.

We worked out everyday at the workout facility, which was fine but the cardio was slightly limited with 2 treadmills, one recumbent and one old stair stepper. Weight machines were all in good shape and they had free weights up to 50. The golf course is not their's, it's the Sandal's and while the course is beautiful it needs some attention. The spa, was really basic, more like a couple of tables rather than a top notch facility with men's and women's locker rooms.

The snorkeling off the beach is okay, especially in this day and age, but again, trash on the ocean floor is distracting. This said, the sand on the beach was really wonderful and made for many a great walks.

Would I stay here again, you bet. But they've some work to do to make this a truly great resort.

Room Tip: We'd stay on top of the hill next time to get a better view.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank JDAMWFB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (948)
There are newer reviews for Grand Isle Resort & Spa
See the most recent reviews
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

630 - 636 of 948 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2013

We booked at Grand Isle Resort as the Trip Advisor reviews were very flattering and it looked to have everything we were looking for. The accommodation and service were very good and our young kids loved riding in the complimentary golf cart and playing in the pool. My wife and I found the restaurant to be distinctly average. The menu was dull and lacked items featuring fresh, local produce. Exuma itself is great. Miles of beautiful unspoiled beaches and very few tourists. If you go, do yourself a favour and rent a car so that you can explore the Island (and buy groceries).

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jbt463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

Beautiful location, villas. Quiet & peaceful, beaches were great, wonderful service & really nice people.
As others have mentioned, sand fleas are a definite problem on the island - bring OFF! and also Benadryl / calamine lotion. They don't have much to offer you at the resort if you are eaten alive...
For the price, food was average.
Activities on the island are limited, I did enjoy the all-day cruise to Thunderball Grotto and to see the swimming pigs, that was the highlight of the trip!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Brueckelener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We stayed at the Grande Isle over Valentine's Day this year. There were some great pros and only a couple of smaller cons - all in all an ideal vacation. We stayed in a one bedroom villa very near the pool area of the property. The room was gorgeous and comfortable, the views were amazing, and the pool and cabana area were perfect. I loved falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and only having to grab my book and head downstairs for either poolside or beachside reading in the morning. Cocktails were also very good. :)

The island of course is amazing. It's best to rent a car if you want to see much of it. Grand Isle is at one far end of the island, a ways away from town, maybe 15-20 min driving. I highly recommend a driving tour of the island, though, stopping at beaches and ocean from restaurants on the way. (One thing we learned about the island is that some of the best food is hidden in little shanty type buildings sitting on the beach - don't overlook them!)

One small issue we had with Grand Isle was that, I'm assuming, since we were near the pool and reception area of the resort, there was often commotion in the mornings. Mowing, leaf-blowing, staff on buggies driving up and down the road. It made it a little hard to sleep in. If/when we return, we'll definitely be looking for a villa further into the resort, rather than right next to the main buildings.

All in all, an incredibly beautiful spot for some serious beach bum time - an expensive vacation, but definitely a good time.

Room Tip: Stay further away from the main reception/pool area if possible for a quieter trip!
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KG310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful place with amazing villas. The ocean is picturesque and I wanted to love it! My first day there, I was stung by many sand fleas and went into anaphylaxis. The hotel staff was not responsive. As a matter of fact, they looked at me as if I had three heads. I was fighting for my life and they didn't get it! If it hadn't been for an American doctor who knew I was in distress, I would not have made it. This is a classic case of the staff not having the professionalism or training to handle situations that can occur any where. There is clearly no emergency response nor is there a hospital on the island (but, one is being built). There is no way this is a five-star. It is a lovely place with very bad service (no pool service). I will give the hotel credit that the second time I had an allergic reaction the staff took me seriously and got me help (back to the clinic).

If the staff and service could be improved, this would be an amazing place. And given that there is a hospital on the way, there is hope for medical emergencies. Things have to change to make it worth the trip.

The excursion we took on a four seas boat was terrific. It was pleasant and I recommend it highly. There really is not a lot to do here, but for R and R, it's a good place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank borntotravel64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mindy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
5  Thank babywoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Great Exuma
12.4 mi away
Club Peace & Plenty Exuma Island
12.4 mi away
St Francis Resort
St Francis Resort
#2 of 2 in Stocking Island
175 reviews
0.3 mi away
Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
11.1 mi away
Hideaways at Palm Bay
Hideaways at Palm Bay
#1 of 2 in George Town
559 reviews
11.2 mi away
Augusta Bay Bahamas
Augusta Bay Bahamas
#1 of 4 in George Town
303 reviews
1.0 mi away
Paradise Bay Bahamas
Paradise Bay Bahamas
#1 of 15 in Great Exuma
199 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Grand Isle Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: £258 - £782 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Agoda, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L., Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Grand Isle Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Grand Isle Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Bahamas/Great Exuma

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing