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“Still great”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Still great”
Reviewed 7 November 2013

This was our second visit to Grand Isle in the last two years, and it is still a great place. Great location (beach), top notch accommodations, and the friendliest staff in the Bahamas. On Thursday nights, they have a bonfire on the beach, and they have three guys who who play local music, "Junkanoo". Check these guys out, they were a blast, and the music was great.
If you want to see some of the best deserted beaches in the world, drive into George Town, and rent a boat from Minn's Water Sports. We got a boat for the day, $185, and spent the day island hopping on crystal clear water, and stopped at seven different beaches, and never saw one person. We saw sharks, stingrays, starfish, and sea turtles.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LobsterBrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wilton, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013 via mobile

We recently spent a week in exuma at
Grand
Isle. The island is qiiet and very friendly. The water is magnificent. The resort itself is top notch. The villas are as well built and appointed as any place weve stayed in the world. The beds are five star comfortable ans it fets better from there.
The best descriptive is over the top amenities but very casual.
Staff and service is very attentive . The overall level is sefinitely above the "island time" stereotype.
We hace been turks ans caicos people for close to 20 years. While its still a freat spot, grace bay is getting way too crowded...we found our special new place in exuma!

Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank 3ol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DCMHospitality, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
We're so glad you found your 'special place' in Exuma. It's true that it's very different than much of the Caribbean given its tranquil setting and intimate surroundings at Grand Isle Resort & Spa. We loved having you and hope to see you again soon!
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2013

..we weren't asking for much...just:
...stunning beach
...five star 'lifestyles of the rich and famous' accomodations
...a short flight
...aquamarine jewel-like waters
....incredible people
...fabulous location
...all this, but relatively quiet so that we could really relax.

Not too crazy a wish-list, right?
We got SO MUCH MORE.
A lifetime of memories that bonded our family in a way that money can't buy. Private boats, swimming with the pigs and stingrays, private beaches, kayaking with sharks, shell searching, romping around with the endangered iguanas, being treated like celebrities at the most incredible Grand Isle Resort & Spa with the kindest and most outstanding people in a paradise-come-true setting...with a direct flight from Toronto.

Rooms are expansive (smallest villa is 1250sq) and done to the most discerning standards. The kitchen in our villa was equipped with every appliance you could need for your trip. We prepared most of our meals at home--when we did eat at the restaurant it was a lovely experience, great food, great view, great service.
There is a liquor store that you can get to via golf cart should you desire to.
Tracey Bowes Convenience store is on the way from the airport to the resort, has limited fresh fruit and veg but lots of canned goods, some frozen, and your basic pantry needs.
Grounds are immaculate, as are the views and public spaces
Some of the nicest people we've ever met work at this resort, and special requests (dietary, gluten free,vegetarian, etc) were handled well.
You also get a golf cart with every villa to use on the grounds, our kids just loved that feature!
We can say as a family that we have found our FOREVER vacation spot. It truly is paradise on earth!

Room Tip: you can't go wrong with any room in this place--nearly all have ocean views as the resort is bui...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tofudie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DCMHospitality, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
We're thrilled to hear about your visit to Grand Isle Resort & Spa. It sounds as if you took advantage of many of the high points the island and resort have to offer - and that makes for a great experience!

We appreciate your feedback so as to help other guests who have not yet visited the island. And we hope to see you soon. Again, thank you for your feedback!
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

This is an extremely belated review of Grand Isle Resort and Spa, however, I couldn't not review such a spectacular place that holds such a special place in my heart. My husband and I got married in Georgetown, Bahamas and our reception was at Grand Isle. The entire wedding party as well as all of our guests also stayed at Grand Isle this past January.

We decided on a whim in February 2012 to visit the Exumas in hopes of finding the perfect place to get married. We stayed at Grand Isle with both of our mothers (!!) and we all fell in love with the island, the people and the resort. During our engagement, we had the joy and luck of several wedding planning trips to Grand Isle; each one was better than the one before. Claudine, the manager, is one of the nicest and most patient people I have ever had the pleasure of working with! She was successfully able to handle, work with and please the bride, groom, and both sets of parents--an amazing feat!!

The resort is impeccable. The villas are a dream come true; each one is uniquely furnished (nothing like staying in a hotel where everything looks identical). Many of the villas are privately owned, so you will immediately notice all the personal touches in each. All the furniture (bedding, living room and even the stocked kitchen) is immaculate. They are extremely spacious and well-appointed and spotlessly clean.
The grounds are stunning-my favorite is the Palapa area--where the reception was held--it over looks the pool and beach. Grand Isle isn't "over the top" like many Caribbean resorts; it is understated and elegant, yet practical and simple and just all-around lovely. (Our grandmothers, 86 and 91, both came to Exuma for the wedding, They thoroughly enjoyed their stay-and have considered making another trip! It was very easy for them to get around-a few villas have elevators. They also felt very safe being in the villa alone-the staff at Grand Isle checked on my grandmother during the day and even went to pick her up by golf cart to take her to lunch at the Palapa!)

The food-so delicious-I had many people compliment the food at our reception. Please remember that it is difficult to always have exactly what guests want when on an island. Everything is expensive and sometimes things just don't arrive when they are supposed to--or they arrive and aren't what they are supposed to be! (More than once the entire island was out of fresh milk--it arrived sour and the next shipment wasn't until the next week!) However, everything was superb for us-Claudine and Chef did everything they could to make my reception perfect. I even sent them pictures from Pinterest of what I was hoping to have and they recreated it for me!

The staff at Grand Isle is second to none; everyone is so accommodating and genuinely friendly! The front desk took care of our welcome bags and drinks for 80+ people as they all arrived-they answered all questions and booked any trips that people were interested in taking. They will also take care of calling taxis and securing car rentals!

If you're looking for a phenomenal get-away that's not commercial, cheesy or too touristy, Grand Isle is the place. It is perfect for couples on a honeymoon as well as a whole family reunion--and better yet, even if you're on your honeymoon and there is a family reunion at the same time, it won't affect your holiday. There's something magical about Grand Isle that allows everyone to have the vacation they were dreaming of.

I wouldn't change anything about our wedding-it was one of the best weekends of my life and I have Grand Isle and its staff to thank for making it so perfect! Thank you everyone-it was a blast!!!

Room Tip: All villas are excellent and come with golf carts!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Royall3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DCMHospitality, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
We are thrilled to receive your feedback regarding such an important event in your life! You mentioned so many things that are paramount to a visit to Grand Isle Resort & Spa. From the villas and grounds to the food and intimate atmosphere, the resort is truly a special place.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. And congratulations on your marriage! We hope to see you for your first anniversary celebration.
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Houma, Louisiana
Level Contributor
77 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

We travelled back in July, I am way late with this review. However, I could't blow it off because the world needs to know about this place. First of all, the Exumas are a sleepy little island chain in the southern end of the Bahamas. The flora and fauna are beyond amazing. We travelled with our three children, ages 15, 13, and 9, and there was never a bored kid. In fact, all we ever had was exhausted kids who went straight to bed at night! We stayed in the 3 bdrm Lucayan unit (we were in building 7.) Way more room than we needed, but we sure did appreciate it! I ordered groceries ahead through a service whose name was provided to me by the concierge. (Note: here, concierge seems to only mean "the other person at the front desk") It was $60 on top of pretty pricey groceries, but worth every penny. The only grocery store is clear on the other end of the island, and costs $30 each way via taxi. We ate breakfast and mid-day snacks at our unit, the rest of our meals (besides one night out) at the resort restaurant. The food there was decent, although I didn't find it to be as fantastical as many of the reviews have stated. They will deliver to your room, and we actually found this faster than sitting and eating at the restaurant! Pizza was our favorite choice. I will attach a picture of the resort layout, I never could find one online. I did note that the downstairs units in Building 15 & 16 had no views. Building 14 is closest to the pool and beach, would be awesome with little kids. With big kids, no walk on property was really too far, plus you get a golf cart. Be sure to get out on the water with a charter captain to see all the amazing sights around there. The full day 007 tour was really worth it. Really, really worth it! See my review on the Exuma House restaurant as well.

Also, note that the beach is shared with the Sandals resort. They have a gift shop there you can access that has everything you might need, but it is adult only, and kids can't even step foot on the grounds.

Room Tip: Buildings 15 and 16 have no views whatsoever from downstairs. Buildings 14 and 13 are the closest t...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank houmalagirl
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, 25 September 2013
Thanks so much for your feedback regarding your stay at Grand Isle. We're thrilled that you had a good time as a family! That's very important to us. Regarding The Palapa Grill, we continue to upgrade our menus and are very pleased to have Chef Romeha Forbes on board. We're always open to suggestions, so let us know how we can make the meal options better!

As far as the views go, depending on your location within the resort, all villas provide a garden view, ocean view or ocean front view. Guests should feel free to discuss their preferences with the Reservations Team in order to get what they want. Views are paramount, of course!

We hope to see you again!
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Barbados
Level Contributor
56 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2013

This was our second visit to Grand Isle. It was excellent the first time and even better this trip. The resort is somewhat remote but that is the beauty. The grounds are beautifully groomed, the pool area and gym are pristine. The furnishings in the units are of high quality and very well maintained. The air conditioning in the rooms work amazingly well....which is not the case in many hotels. The staff are very helpful and friendly. The biggest improvement to the resort since our last visit is the food. I know that there was a real effort to improve the food quality and it has succeeded....all meals that we had were delicious. I highly recommend Grand Isle and we will certainly return.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank barbinbarbados
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, 23 September 2013
Thank you for your feedback. We're so happy to have you back for a second visit and appreciate that you enjoyed the upgrades we've made. Looking forward to your next visit to Grand Isle Resort & Spa!
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Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Grande Isle is the most perfect resort for a laid-back island such as Great Exuma! "Welcome home" - that's how I was greeted upon check-in, which perfectly described how comfortable I felt in my villa...as if I had lived there forever. I wish I could! I stayed in a one-bedroom villa, which was spacious, exquisitely decorated (each villa seems to be different?), and immaculately clean. The living room was huge with plenty of seating and tons of fluffy pillows - I almost regret not spending more time lounging, but with so many outdoor activities on the island, I was barely "home." The kitchen had full-size appliances, fully stocked with ice maker, utensils, cookware, cleansers, even Tupperware. A convenience store down the road is available to stock up on basics; or you can make the trip down to Georgetown for a full grocery store (Exuma Market). The bathroom was unbelievable - it might have been bigger than the bedroom! - double sink, shower with built-in ledge to lounge on, huge Jacuzzi tub (so sad I didn't make time to use it!), and enough open floor space to dance around like a fool (yes, I did). I can't say enough about how clean the whole villa was - it's as if it had never been used before. The grounds are also immaculately maintained; for example, I actually witnessed a guy scrubbing the stone steps down to the beach by hand. The A/C worked exceptionally well, and each room has high ceilings with fans for extra circulation, so even in the dead of a Caribbean summer, I could keep it chilly. As an example of how well-constructed these buildings are, we lost power one night at around 3:30am due to a strong storm, and it wasn't back on by the time I left the next morning after 9:00am...but the villa stayed nice and cool even as the outside temp approached 90. This was simply amazing to me - I live in Florida, and my house is like an oven after just 20 minutes without power.
Each villa comes with its own golf cart, which for some reason makes everything more fun. The resort is compact enough that I really didn't need to use it...but did, because MORE FUN. Outside the resort, you're restricted to using it only to go to the marina or Sandals...or the liquor store! I think I love you, Bahamas.
Service all around the resort was excellent, and everyone stops to wave or say hello with a smile, regardless of what they're doing. I loved Palapa Grill, the on-site restaurant, and had dinner there every night (reviewed separately). Regarding some complaints from other reviewers about the service, I think some travelers may be looking to be waited on hand-and-foot, with constant activity and constant supervision. This is not that kind of resort - it's a much more laid-back luxury, which is what I personally prefer. I like being able to lie in the sun and read by the pool without being interrupted by someone asking if I need anything...but as soon as I look up (or my drink is empty), someone is already heading toward me to assist. I never had to search for anyone to help me, but I also didn't have anyone in my face all the time, so I was able to completely relax. That is the kind of elegant service I will pay extra for.
I didn't take advantage of many of the resort amenities - it was my first time in Exuma, so I did a lot of exploring. The girls at the front desk helped to arrange a full-day boat excursion (4-C's, highly recommended), and a morning dive (Dive Exuma in Georgetown, I highly recommend the staff, but the sites aren't that exciting for someone with a lot of Caribbean/Keys diving experience), and suggested other destinations on the island.
A bit about the island: The Exumas are nothing like the Atlantis-type Bahamas! These truly are "out islands" with more natural beauty and not much in the way of commercial development. That said, any type of "modern" amenity is readily available, including generally strong cell service (way better than Grand Cayman). If you love the water, you'll love the Exumas. I would recommend renting a car (I used Don's, directly across the street from the airport), particularly if you plan to explore outside the resort - most places are much further than they seem, and taxis would get expensive very quickly. There is literally one road that runs along the coast of Great Exuma, down into Little Exuma - two lanes, very windy, and no road markers. Keep in mind that locals tend to over-simplify directions (particularly around Georgetown, which has a one-way street that will take you in circles for hours), and there are basically no street signs - ask for landmarks. For example, directions to Tropic of Cancer beach (which is FAR, about 1 hour away) are: go south until you see blue barrels on the left side of the road that say "Winky's Rentals." What they don't tell you is that the "road" you will turn onto appears to just be a path cleared down to the underlying limestone, which means it is VERY rough, and you'll wonder if you're really in the right place. Sure enough, keep bumping along far enough, you're there. It's beautiful, but desolate in the off-season (I was the only one there). Even the most "touristy" places did not feel very touristy - go ahead and hit all the spots in the guide books (you'll be sorry if you miss Chat 'n' Chill or the swimming pigs!), but don't be afraid to stop at some of the lesser-known spots as well (follow the signs to La Shante on the way back from Tropic of Cancer).
Overall, I fell in love with Exuma and can't wait to go back...and Grand Isle is my first choice over anywhere else in the Bahamas!

Room Tip: Room 1624 is on the far corner of the resort grounds, overlooking the golf course. No water view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mightaswellbaby
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, 25 September 2013
Wow - thank you for the great account of things to do and see in Exuma! I'm sure your comments will be helpful to many travelers looking for something unique and special to consider for their vacations. We're very happy that you enjoyed your villa and the resort. We hope to see you again in the near future!
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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 Resort And Spa
Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
Grand Isle Resort & Spa Bahamas/Great Exuma

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