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Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort 4.5

Great Exuma, Out Islands, Bahamas

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beachfront resort on gorgeous Emerald Bay
  • Spacious rooms, many with private pools and some on the beach
  • Seven on-site restaurants from French cafes to Italian fine dining
  • 18-hole golf course with golf carts and clubs to rent
  • Three pools, pool bar, and several ‘quiet’ pools throughout the resort
  • Fitness center with modern cardio equipment and yoga studio
  • Red Lane Spa features massages, skin therapy, and peels
  • Round-trip airport shuttle to Exuma International Airport
  • Dive Center and PADI-certification for a fee
  • Nice extras of conference rooms, tennis courts, and zen gardens
  • Free welcome drink in the Sandals club lounge
  • Free basic Wi-Fi throughout the resort

Cons

  • Rooms near entertainment can be noisy
  • Unlimited scuba diving for PADI-certified guests only

Bottom Line

The 245-room, all-inclusive Sandals Emerald Bay is a luxury resort with 500 acres of gorgeous landscaped grounds on Great Exuma Island. This adult-only resort has handsome, spacious rooms, many of which are right on the resort's white sand beach. In-room amenities include HD smart TVs, minibars, and MP3 soundsystems. Given its size, it's not surprising that there are multiple pools and restaurants on-site, but the resort also includes tennis courts, a golf course, quiet areas, and a spa. With romantic fire pits, quiet pools, activities like diving, and entertainment, the resort is ideal for singles and couple. Travelers looking for something a bit more intimate may want to consider Grand Isle Resort & Spa, which has stylish rooms and lower rates just up the road.

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Scene

Lively social scene throughout the day, with romantic and intimate evenings

While chain resorts don't always conjure the most inspiring images, this 245-room hotel lives up to its own luxury claims, and does so with style. The grounds are marked by a handsome landscaping and flanked by modern colonial-inspired buildings that sit amid 500 acres of rolling greenery. Stone pathways lead the way throughout the resort, granting guests the option of being secluded or hanging out at the resort's livelier areas. A huge infinity pool looking out over the white sand beaches is centrally located, complete with a poolside bar. During the day the poolside bar and pool is packed with people socializing, playing in the water, and sunbathing. 

Fire pits surrounding the pool are lit at sunset creating an intimate and romantic vibe -- part of the reason plenty of honeymooners flock here year after year. With seven different types of restaurants on the grounds, guests can choose between romantic dinners at La Parisienne or a lively social scene lasting late into the night at the Drunken Duck Pub -- the name says it all, really. Many of the restaurants offer spectacular sunset views during dinner service. 

Common areas, stores, and spa all have a contemporary look that's characterized by marble, contemporary furniture, and funky artwork throughout. Overall the atmosphere and attitude here reflect modern luxury and sleek grandeur that is associated with the Sandals brand.

Location

On the beach at Emerald Bay, about a 10-minute drive to the airport

Situated on a hillside over looking the ocean, Sandals Emerald Bay sits removed from Queens Highway on Exuma Island. It’s location directly on the Emerald Bay beach grants stunning views of the white sands and turquoise waters. The secluded resort doesn't have much in the way of shops or restaurants within walking distance, and there isn’t much of a shoulder so walking isn’t advisable. Renting a car is the best way to get around the Exumas, but the concierge service at Sandals can arrange taxis for guests who don’t have a rental. Sandals is a 25-minute drive from the restaurants and shops of George Town, the main city on Exuma. Sandals offers free shuttles to and from the airport -- not a common feature among Exuma resorts -- and the trip takes just over 10 minutes. 

Rooms

Spacious and modern rooms with king-size beds, ocean views, and many with private pools

There are 245 rooms at Sandals Emerald Bay, all of them modern and spacious, with a touch of colonial style. All rooms have outdoor sitting space, natural stone floors, and down duvets. Across all categories, rooms have mahogany furniture, king-size beds with down duvets, and ample sitting areas. A bit of tasteful sea-inspired art. Colors hew dark and earthy. Most rooms are beachfront or a short walk from the beach. Guests should note that rooms on the higher floors have better views of the ocean, and are also a little quieter. 

Picking your room at Sandals determines the level of amenities offered during a stay at the resort, and style also varies a bit from one category to the next. The Club Level rooms are spacious, with muted greens and blues throughout. These -- like all rooms -- feature an in-room bar and French sliding glass doors stepping out onto a patio. The Butler Level Suites offer a higher level of luxury with personal butler service, premium liquor in the mini-bar, private pool, separate sitting area, and pillow menus. Many rooms have separate bedrooms and living rooms, and a proper beach house is also available.

All bathrooms are spacious and well-appointed, with marble vanities featuring two sinks, glass standing showers, separate tubs, and matching bathrobes. Red Lane Spa amenity kits, make-up mirrors, and hairdryers are nice extras on offer for guests. 

Features

On-site spa, 18-hole golf course, and gorgeous Emerald Bay beach

The resort has an impressive amount of features throughout its sprawling grounds. With three tennis courts, a modern fitness center, and three pools, there are plenty of alternatives for guests who want to stay fit amid all of the food-and-beverage indulgence. Additionally, for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the common areas, there are several quiet pools scattered throughout the grounds as well as a lovely Zen garden. Red Lane Spa features all the wellness amenities guests would expect from a luxury hotel, with massages, body scrubs, facials, and manicures in an elegant, yet homey, space.

The 18-hole golf course -- designed by Greg Norman -- is set a part from the resort and features scenic views of the seaside dunes, mangroves, and Emerald Bay. A club lounge, practice range, and beverage cart are all available. For those not inclined to the land, scuba diving is available at dive sites like Deep Plane, Devil’s Reef, and Elephant Ear Canyon. Guests should note that only PADI-certified divers can dive (guests can take the certification program at Sandals). 

Sandals sits right on the white sand Emerald Bay beach and offers thatched cabanas for guests to sunbathe and relax by the water all day. Board games, volleyball set ups, and a library are just a few of the other extras on offer. Free basic Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel, with high-speed streaming services available for an additional fee. A free shuttle takes guests to and from the airport. 

Food

Seven restaurants including a French cafe, pizzeria, and romantic Italian restaurant 

Bahama Bay is the resort's main restaurant and is the only one that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The casual two-level space looks out over the ocean and serves a buffet for breakfast featuring an omelet station and smoothies, a buffet lunch with international cuisine on offer, and an a la carte dinner focusing on Bahamian and Caribbean meals. Cafe de Paris also opens for breakfast, with pastries, smoothies, and fruit. The cafe stays open throughout the day serving small snacks and desserts. Dino’s Pizzeria and Barefoot by the Sea are both casual lunch and dinner options with plenty of outdoor sitting space and looking out over the ocean. Dino’s serves funky pizzas -- prosciutto, brie, pear, and seafood as toppings -- as well as made-to-order options for guests. Guests can opt to dine bare-feet casual, at Barefoot by the Sea which offers a casual grill fare of calamari, conch fritters, and ahi tuna.

Il Cielo and La Parisienne are the only two restaurants that require reservations, and both have an upscale and elegant charm. Il Cielo has an open floor plan which looks out over the ocean with stunning views of the sunset. Guests can expect classic Italian dishes like osso bucco, gnocchi, and risotto. La Parisienne has an intimate and romantic charm. With charcoal-colored ceilings, green leather chairs, and white tablecloths, the restaurant is readymade for couples. For those who prefer a more rustic-contemporary dining and drinking experience, the Drunken Duck Pub is open for lunch and dinner, as well as late into the night for drinking. Classic pub fare includes burgers, fish and chips, and shepherds pie. 

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Address

Queen's Highway, Emerald Bay, EX29142, Caribbean

Also Known As

  • Sandals Emerald Bay

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