We connected in Miami and took American Eagle to Exuma. Flight was fine and a great opportunity to take photos of the cays and islands between Miami and Exuma. It was raining when we arrived but the weather improved later that evening.
Cinzia was waiting for us in the lobby when we checked in. We were assigned a room in Bay 3 which was close to everything. Loved the location. Our balcony faced the pool and the Drunken Duck Pub but we could see water and beach in the distance. I don't think that you truly have a good view of the ocean unless you book a beachfront villa. We were happy with our room until it began to fall apart.....
When we looked around our room we discovered that there was a big hole where the safe should be. I called the front desk and they said that they didn't have another one so I should use the one in the lobby. I told them that it was not acceptable and to please move us to a room that had a safe. Suddenly, they found one and put it in our room. Ridiculous.
The next problem was that our air conditioning didn't work properly. They fixed it once a day and it worked for a short time. Then the toilet broke. Then the safe wouldn't work with the correct combination. Each time they fixed things promptly but it was really getting tiresome. When we told Cinzia about the room 4 days into our stay, she immediately moved us to another room that had no issues. Thank you Cinzia!
Because of the wind, we spent most days at the main pool in a cabana. The beach was very windy. It was great that we had an alternative.
Our favorite restaurant was Bahama Bay but all were good. Their signature restaurant, Il Cielo, needs some work to be on a par with Eleanor's at Whitehouse. The seafood buffet on Wednesday nights should not be missed. Get there early because they fill up and then there is a wait.
The pizza at the pool was really good as was the conch salad. Really good pool menu. The problem there was the poor service from the pool butlers. We had to call our regular butlers to get service. It seems to be a flaw in the "all butler" system. Fortunately, our butlers Dwayne and Carlene graciously brought us what we needed. In a week we were never asked if we wanted anything by any of the pool butlers. We were not the only ones with this issue but there were others who got amazing service.
There is a different mix of guests at Emerald Bay from Whitehouse and the other Sandals resorts we have been to. The majority of the guests were very young (20's) and it was their first time at a Sandals resort. Many were on their honeymoon and not interested in meeting other people. The SSG Dinner had only about 30 people. The one at Whitehouse in January was about 300. The vibe is much friendier at Whitehouse. We were glad that we knew so many of the staff because they were much friendlier than most of the guests.
Brian and Tony from the golf club were awesome. They arranged for us to take a tour of the golf course just to take pictures. The back nine is beyond description. Just beautiful.
We took a half day boat tour through Island Routes. I can't say enough good things about Island Routes staff and how much they helped us find the right tour. Rebecca, Snow and Reba are an asset to Emerald Bay. They are helpful and always have a smile. The tour was a half day Brigantine Islands Adventure Tour. It is basically a half of the 007 Tour. We fed iguanas, snorkeled, stopped at the cay with thousands of coconut palms and saw celebrity owned islands. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have one that is truly amazing. I guess with all of their concerts that I have gone to, I must own a very small piece of it....our tour was with 007 Thunderball Safari Tour and both Ray and Justin were great. This was a highlight of our vacation.
Emerald Bay is one of the most beautiful properties we have ever seen. The water is like a post card and the beach is soft white sand. But, we like Whitehouse better. The butler service here seems like an upgraded concierge and not true butler. The concept doesn't quite work in spite of the fact that we had good butlers. Some of their best management and staff from the Jamaican resorts has been transferred to Emerald Bay but I feel like they want to return to Jamaica. I know that I do. We were given our certificate for our free week after 70 nights and we plan to use it at Whitehouse next January.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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 Great Exuma, Bahamas