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“Perfect, picturesque destination wedding at a luxurious, welcoming resort”

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Grand Isle Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
68 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Perfect, picturesque destination wedding at a luxurious, welcoming resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

My husband and I chose Exuma for our wedding destination without stepping foot on the island beforehand and the Grand Isle Resort exceeded all of our expectations by far. The wedding was just the two of us – we wanted a romantic beach wedding with no stress and the Grand Isle delivered that and more. I had communicated with Claudine, the general manager of the hotel, a number of times and she helped coordinate the florist, photographer and island administrator who performed the ceremony.

We had arranged for transportation through the concierge and upon stepping out of the airport there was someone waiting for us. I was so happy we did this as it was not any more expensive and we didn’t have to wait in the taxi line. Upon arriving at the resort, we were greeted by Claudine along with the friendly receptionist. Check in was easy and someone took us on a golf cart right away to our villa and gave us a tour, showing us how everything worked.

Our second floor villa was amazing with beautiful views of the marina and ocean (not the bay) and we sat out on the balcony many nights watching the sunsets and the boats pull in. The luxurious one bedroom villa had a beach themed décor with a separate living room and bedroom. We were so happy about the full kitchen and had brought along some items to make breakfast in the morning. The kitchen had all the amenities you would need to cook a full meal.

Although it’s not a far walk to the pool, it was great having a golf cart to explore. We drove along the golf course path to take in the views, went to the marina and also stopped at the liquor store (well technically across the street from the liquor store since you can’t take cart across the main street).

Wedding: Claudine was so helpful in getting everything ready; on the day of the wedding she met me at our villa with a glass of champagne, helped me into my dress and drove me over to the beach. The actual wedding ceremony took place on the beach and was picture perfect. We had a private palapa reserved for dinner which was similar to a gazebo and on the other side of the pool. It was decorated beautifully with flowers, shells, ribbons on the chair, etc. and we had another amazing meal while listening to the live Bahaman band (a Tuesday night specialty).

Restaurant: I was very impressed with The Palapa Grill. I was a little worried about eating at the same place everyday but there are many options on the menu. The fish was fresh and there were plenty of healthy options. The tuna and steak were standouts. The service was impressive; Brian and Shan remembered us every day and were so friendly and welcoming. Note: the restaurant/bar does close early, I believe around 10 pm. We also ordered room service and enjoyed dinner on our balcony. The prices were very reasonable

Staff: Everyone from the gate attendant to the gardeners greeted us with “good morning” or asked how we were enjoying our stay and was genuinely interested in our response. I don’t think I have been to a resort where the staff was this genuine

Beach/Pool: The pool area is beautiful and overlooks the ocean. There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas around the pool and on the beach. The beach is Emerald Bay and is calm, great for snorkeling the reefs right off the beach. The water is the most stunning shade of blue you will ever see. Snorkeling equipment, kayaks and paddleboards are all available for no extra charge.

All in all, we had an amazing time at this serene, beautiful resort and can’t wait to come back. The resort was not crowded in late May and we were treated as if we were the only guests there. I would recommend this resort for couples, families and large groups.

Other recommended activities while on Exhume – full day boat tour with 4 C’s so you can snorkel Thunderball Grotto, swim with the sharks and see the famous swimming pigs. We also rented a boat from Minn’s – so worth it. It is a $50 taxi ride to Georgetown but we had a great day on our 15’ Boston Whaler visiting Stocking Island, going to secluded beaches, snorkeling the blue grotto and visiting Chat N Chill for lunch. We are not boaters but it’s easy as they give you a map and you’re just in the harbor where you can see everything.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank merboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

I read many reviews of this hotel and they helped me a lot, so I wanted to continue and help others with my very own review. We (two couples in early 30's) just got back yesterday and I couldn't wait to write a review because everything was superb and I believe that this resort DESERVES the credit! We did check out Sandals right down the street and what a RIP OFF. It is so corporate (EVERYTHING SAYS SANDALS-boat wind sales, pool floats, bottom of pool), the decor is blahhh, and it seemed to be crowded-like a cruise ship!! You will not regret staying at Grand Isle and will be so happy with that choice!!

Prior to arrival, the concierge team, particularly Crystal, helped sort our dinner reservations, excursions, taxis all out (she and I probably e-mailed back and forth 20 times prior to our arrival-she is great!)

When we arrived to the hotel a print out of our itinerary was given to us.We arrived around 2 pm in the afternoon and could do an early check in- we changed into swimsuits and went down to the beach. We checked out towels, paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling gear (all free) from Emerson (who is another friendly employee) and enjoyed the afternoon.

That evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at Palapa Grill (want to add that Bryan helped us make reservations any night we needed)- the conch fritters were DELICIOUS. Everything was delicious during our stay( FYI we had about 8 orders of these conch fritter during our entire stay). The Palapa Grill prices are ok- they are not cheap, but not too expensive. The food is amazing, so you get what you pay for. I would also like to recommend the Red Velvet Brownie- sooo good!!!! During our stay we ate at the restaurant all nights of our stay (one night we were hanging by the pool and ordered Palapa pool side), and 2 times for room service breakfast (try the ham and cheese croissant with potatoes- just and example of price, this cost $10- but was scrumptious- youre on vacay, so splurge a little).

There were a few disappointments with Palapa Grill, they had no lobster the entire time we were there- which means no lobster salad, no grilled lobster, no lobster pasta etc- but one night we did see three huge lobsters served to another table- we didnt want to make a big deal so did not ask our server, but thought that was odd. Another disappointment was that we ordered 3 side salads with our meals but were charged for two full size salads and one side salad- when I brought this to our server's attention she argued that, that is what we had- when in fact all 3 salads were the EXACT SAME. What more could I do to argue my point when she should have just fixed it- at home I would have asked to see a manager, but it was an $8 loss and just let it go (gratuity is included so I wasn't sure if she did this to get a bigger tip)... I hate to give negative comments for two incidents, but it is the truth, the other 1,000 things about the restaurant were FABULOUS!

Room- O-M-G! I was the brains behind our vacation and everyone in our group was SO impressed with the room, as was I. I have attached some pics, but you feel like royalty here. It is all high end appliances and decor, a nice beachy feel. We enjoyed the large shower and Jacuzzi tub! We didnt use the kitchen much, except for making coffee. We used the oven once to warm up left overs from Palapa, but that's it really. It was still nice to have- I think if you are coming with a big family, and want to do some cooking, it is a great extra to have. I just enjoyed looking at it b/c it was so beautiful! The only downside was that the bed was firmer than I am used to. It was still comfortable, and I did not have any back aches from sleeping on it, I just sleep on a gel mattress at home and that was what I was used to. Everything else was GREAT- our view was unbelievable- we had the Emerald Bay view and it was just to die for!

We did rent the 4 person golf cart for $15 extra/day and were so glad we did! We took strolls around the golf course at night, drove by the ocean on the golf cart paths, drove up to the liquor store. We probably only used it for a total of 2 hours, but it was a nice extra to have at an inexpensive price.

Beach and pool- talk about luxury and tranquility. The pool was larger than I expected and heated- felt so good to take a dip in. The ocean had great reefs. The guys in our group couldn't stay out of the water, they were in heaven.

Spa- I was so sunburned and was scheduled to get a massage and facial and because of the pain I was in, the ladies in the spa (Tamara-she is so caring) took care of me and changed my massage to a soothing wrap and soothing facial. All I know is that when I walked in, I was a lobster and in so much pain, and when I left, my burn was practically gone. When we were at dinner that night the guys in our group were like 'What did she do to you to heal you???!!' (they were so shocked). The spa was worth every penny. It was the most Ive ever spent on a spa treatment but was worth every penny. I felt like royalty and could actually enjoy the rest of the trip not in pain!

Overall, we enjoyed every minute! The employees at this resort are top quality. They are genuinely nice- not just nice to you because they have to be- you can tell these are good people that take pride in there job and Grand Isle has some high expectations in the quality of their employees (unlike another hotel I heard about-- S*ndals).

Only recommendation is rent a car if you will be leaving the resort. We did two excursions that included transportation. I'd figure out your plans first and then decide if you need a car. Taxis can add up if you leave the resort a lot.

We will be returning!!!!!

Room Tip: Second floor, Emerald Bay view!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jam J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

This was our first stay at this resort. We have stayed at the Sandals next to this property four times before and wanted to try something different. This will not be our last stay here! The resort and rooms are gorgeous! The beach is EXCELLENT!! Its the most beautiful water I've ever seen and we have traveled all over the Caribbean and there isn't another beach that can compare to the ones in Exuma. The staff were all very nice and welcoming. The food at the Palapa Grill was just amazing! The snapper was great! We had a penthouse 2 bedroom room that came with a golf cart which was great for getting around the resort. But the property is not that big you could walk to the beach/pool area just fine if you didn't have a golf cart. The watersports people were great. I paddleboarded every day and had a blast. The bar makes great drinks and the pizza is EXCELLENT! We will definitely be back to stay at this resort. Even staying at sandals where everything is included I feel like we got a better deal staying here and the service was probably even better than at sandals. The food was much better in the restaurant than at sandals. Great Resort and Excellent place to stay in Exuma. Make sure to rent a car and go to Santanna's on Little Exuma!

Room Tip: 2 bedroom penthouse suite. The views were gorgeous and the suite was very nicely decorated!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank LoveNVacays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chateauguay, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2014

Everything was great from beggining to end. The resort is above our expectations and the management and staff were friendly and helpful. the resto Palapa was great and the view from the condo is breathtaking. I would have easily stayed another week.
the best all around vacation ever as there was peace and quiet everywhere and the boat excursion was outstanding. I was in a group with some families and everybody had a blast.

Room Tip: all condos have a great view
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marchockey77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PA
Level Contributor
68 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

My husband and I stayed here for the second time in May. I highly recommend this hotel. The rooms are beyond gorgeous. The beach area is beautiful. It is very peaceful. But be aware that it is in a remote location and my recommendation is that you rent a car to explore the island. There isn't a mini store or anything like that on the resort-only a reception area for check in and a concierge to help with tours and dinners on the island. We rented a car for a week (thompsons-would recommend) and picked it up after we landed. Its easy to get around the island as there is only one main road. We arrived later on a Sat and ordered room service. No one ever brought it so my husband called and they said 'yes its here' I assumed room service means they bring it to your room. They called back and said they actually took it to the wrong room (?) but will bring it down now-which they did. Other than that snafu-all went well. The restaurant on site is good but we went grocery shopping and had our breakfast and lunch in the room. Then we went out for dinner. We went to Big D's , Shoreline and Latitiudes. Also ate at the Palapa at the hotel. The hotel had the best atmosphere and great food. I highly recommend The Grand Isle and will return there for a third trip!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Benny521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2014

Amazing resort with huge suites that include a full kitchen, bath, Jacuzzi, patio, and ultra luxurious. We saw an amazing deal on Travelzoo, only 50 minute flight from Miami, and thought quick, relaxing getaway. It is truly the best property in Exuma. The staff is amazing and oh so friendly. They treated us like royalty and knew us by name, especially my daughter. They catered to our every need and made us feel at home. With such a gorgeous suite, I would recommend if you are traveling with a family to work with concierge and order groceries because there is nothing around there and if you wanted to buy something, it's far and you also have to hope that it is open. Otherwise, the restaurant was delicious and had a spectacular view with all the drinks you can consume! We will definitely go back!

Room Tip: If you can score an ocean view, that would be best. However, the garden view units were great!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vianneyd429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pleasantville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

Beautiful resort. We stayed for 6 nights, 7 days. Let me start off by saying that the concierge service was superb! Any questions were answered promptly, and they were very helpful in arranging airport pickup and drop off especially with flight delays. The people that worked at the front desk were friendly, and ready with answers or recommendations for activities, beaches, and dining. The time of year we went was the start of the off season, so there were not many activities to do that you would find at the height of the season. However, for us, we were there for a relaxing beach vacation, and had just that. The beach is small, but right next to the villas and just steps away from their restaurant and pool. Shared beach with the Sandals resort (You'll pay at least triple if you stay there, BTW). Try the beach 10 min drive/taxi up the road Cocoa Plum, very beautiful. No fees for either beach. Even though this place is not all inclusive, we paid under $100 for dinner, including drinks, lunch was around $30-45 at the Pallapa Grill there. Excellent food, (we ended up just eating there the whole time, convenient and delicious) timely service, good variety, however not a lot of vegetarian options. They were diligent in accommodation of our food allergies. Oh, everything at the restaurant was high end brand names too like San Peligrino and Fiji waters, right down to Irish Butter. The Grill looks over their infinity pool, which overlooks their beach. Wonderful drinking coffee out there in the morning with the breeze. The staff played games in the pool with some of the guests' children to keep them entertained. The Villa is high end: marble everywhere, central air, kitchen with everything included -- you can get the grocery delivery service, charged a fee plus groceries. The bathroom was huge with soaking tub, separate shower, double sinks, washer/dryer. Comfortable bed, separate sitting area from dining area. We got a garden view room, came with a small patio with two chairs and a table. Took 20 leisurely steps to walk the length. Viewed palm trees and the golf course... beach is steps away, don't pay extra for the ocean view. You won't regret staying in the garden view. Promise. They had a music night and a bonfire with Junakoo on the beach. This is not a touristy place, so if you like being a tourist, you may not like this place very well. They did not have a big gift shop, only a few shirts and bags, and sunscreen. If you want relaxing, good food, luxury accommodations, and the beach, book now. We were very well pleased with our stay. Don't believe any of the negative reviews you may read. Some people are just never satisfied. Try the snorkeling tour with Neville. Oh, and if you are looking to do a wedding there, they just started holding them for small groups- we saw the second one taking place... pretty little set up on the beach with white folding chairs and colorful archway.

Room Tip: Garden view is still nice, don't pay extra for ocean view as you are steps from the beach.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank L G
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 7 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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