More about Sandals Emerald Bay
Four Seasons Fun In the Sun!
We are always excited to visit new Four Seasons Hotels. This property opened a bit behind schedule December 2003. We were guest there in late December for a five day stay. The property is beautiful. They were still doing some final detail work at the property when we go there. I was more then a bit surprised as I have never been to a Four Seasons that was not complete, As with most four Seasons Hotels, this property is top notch. There are about 180 rooms at this hotel. About 170 rooms are in the main hotel, the other 10-12 are oceanfront villas located directly on the pool. The main hotel is
We stayed in a wonderful 2 bedroom villa. 2 1/2 baths, and a great terrace overlooking Emerald bay. The advantage of our villa was that we were not only directly on the beach, but also adjacent to the beautiful free form pool. Our villa was a beautiful Caribbean blue with white trim.
Our suite was equipped with several TVs, a Stereo CD player, and a DVD player. There was a huge walk in closet (not really needed) The bathroom was great, with a large tub, telephone, and separate shower. We are not golfers, but the Hotel boasts a wonderful new Greg Norman links style course. it was so beautiful that I thought about taking up my clubs again. Nah!
There is also tennis, and a great spa. My girlfriend is a professional spa goer. And if she says it is great, then it is really great. Several of my friends down there, went Bone fishing. I have never been, but they all seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed floating in the pool, while taking in the sun, and a few fruity cocktails. There was also a daily catamaran tour, and some other day trips. The hotel staff was very ready and willing to make arrangements.
I did not take my children down, but I did notice that they had what seem to be very good children facility.
One gripe I did have, was it seemed like there was a bit of price gouging. The island of Great Exuma has really not been built up yet. The airport was expanded due to the Four Seasons. For example, I smoke cigars, and I love Cohiba Robustos. Now Since I was only about 80 miles from Cuba, and in general I am a fairly good citizen in regards to our trade embargo with Cuba, I decided not to bring any cigars. I pay roughly $8 per cigar in the states from my black market Miami/Havana connection. The hotel was charging over $35 per cigar in the gift shop.
We ARE going back. This place is great. It needed a few tweaks, but I am sure that they are done by now.
Divine Island, Beautiful Resort, Fabulous Staff!
Sandals Emerald Bay is more upscale, elegant and somewhat reserved than other Sandals Resorts. Our beachfront suite was so beautiful that we actually took photos of it. The beach is so pristine that it is hard to believe that such a place still exists on the planet Earth. The food and cocktails were too good! But, the real stars of this resort are the staff! I miss them all, especially the Entertainment Staff, Tash (is such a lovely young woman who entertains guests an organizes fun in a somewhat subtle manner that is perfect for this upscale resort), Maja (who is a hoot and an extremely talented musician) and Ray (who somehow managed to teach me how to hit a tennis ball, not an easy task!). Life at home has been miserable without the World's Best Butler, Shameer. Oh, and how I miss The Pub and the entire Pub Staff! Often an Executive Chef or a Hotel Manager would stop by our table or by the pool for a chat. Sandals Emerald Bay has a more international staff than other Sandals that really compliments it's more upscale ambience. My husband played golf several times. Golf is not included, which is really a very good thing because only serious golfers play. The golf course is, at times, breath-taking beautifu and the Golf Pro is excellent.
As a frequent guest of the Sandals and Beaches resorts, expectations were high. I was intrigued about the island of Exuma and the new resort, Sandals Emerald Bay. It was apparent upon arrival at the resort, that this little gem was no exception!
After a day of traveling; to be greeted with island music, warm hand towels, champagne and friendly smiles is exactly the way a much deserved vacation should always begin. I am always excited to see the breathtaking views. The views from the lobby of the resort are amazing. From perfectly appointed furniture, beautiful foliage and the signature Sandals pool to the most beautiful shades of blue ocean water right at Sandals Emerald Bay's doorstep.
Our accommodations were perfect. Our suite was beautifully decorated, open and airy. The ocean views from the balcony were a nice backdrop for breakfast in the morning or a glass of wine and fruit and cheese platter in the evening which our butler always made sure was there for us to enjoy. Our butler, Anthony, was wonderful! He unpacked our suitcases by request, among all of the many things he did to make our stay at the resort so relaxing.
The food and cocktails at the restaurants were always pleasing. Our favorite spot after dinner was the Drunken Duck. It was exactly what a pub should be, a gathering place of friends, old or new.
The spa and gym were perfect for pampering and exercising. It was wonderful to sit in the secluded courtyard between the spa and gym to escape after a good workout. Thank you to Rainford for helping me stretch out after running! Rainford also offers private or semi-private yoga classes.
We enjoyed the speedboat excursion to all of the small Exuma islands. It was an amazing day filled with white sandy beaches, stingrays, red star fish and iguanas in the wild. The captain of our boat shared the most delicious homemade rum cake which he served to us on one of our stops at the island of a thousand palms! What a fabulous day.
We would like to thank John, the general manager, and his entire staff for making our stay at Sandals Emerald Bay a memorable one. We look forward to returning soon!
Beaches and water simply amazing, resort is beautiful and I highly recommend it to all
Every resort has a few hiccups when it first opens. There is no difference with this resort. I just came back and found everything to be just wonderful. I don't know what these other people are writing on trip advisor about. I am a travel professional and no one has paid me for telling the public about this resort. It is my own free will and with that free will I am recommending this resort to anyone who wants a spectacular beach on an exotic island, butler service room service, a fabulous pool, the best pub food I have ever had and excellent dining. One of my customers just came back and he had rave reviews about Sandals Emerald Bay. So, don't listen to some of the reviews and listen to some who has been to most places in the caribbean and Mexico,
I repeat, no one has paid me to do this
Mostly positive experience with some glitches
My husband and I stayed at Sandals Emerald Bay from 2/12 through 2/19. Our main goal was to relax and reconnect after a busy 2009, both of which we did successfully regardless of some of the glitches at the resort.
First the Positives:
The room we stayed in was very nice. We were on ground level with a clear view of the ocean. There was a small patio area with a small wood table and 2 adjustable wood chairs. We noticed that several of the patio chairs around the resort had cushions and upon request we received cushions for ours. We enjoyed relaxing on our patio when we were not out and about the resort.
Our suite consisted of a bedroom, living room, and 2 bathrooms. The bedroom had a very comfortable king size bed with luxory white linens. The larger bath was immediately off of the bedroom with a double sink, soaking tub, very large shower and toilet room. The other bathroom had a single sink, small shower and toilet. There were no bathrobes or slippers. Their were 2 TV's, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. Double doors were available to close the living area off from the bedroom. The Living area had a small couch, chair and a small table with 2 chairs. The furniture did not appear to be new, but was comfortable. The wet bar area contained a coffee maker with coffee/tea/condiments as well as well stocked liguor (rum, gin, whiskey, wine). The small refrigerator had bottled water, soda, seltzer water, juice, champagne, beer and wine. All was stocked daily to your preferance.
The food in the restaurants was good. Some meals rated better than others but all was palatable. There were times when the food delivered was not exactly as described on the menu. Also food items that were ordered, were not received ie: toast, bacon with breakfast.
The ocean water was probably the most beautiful color of blues/greens I have ever seen. Beach area was very nice and clean. There were plastic lounge chairs, few small plastic tables and umbrellas available on a first come first serve basis. My husband and I did not participate in any of the water sports activities but there were people in sail boats and kayaks. There were a couple of days where it was too windy for guests to take the boats out. I did overhear on the beach that excursions were canceled on certain days due to weather conditions (overcast/windy).
Pool areas were nice with cabanas, umbrellas and lounge chairs. You could not reserve the cabanas, they were a first come first serve basis. The word was to talk to your butler the night before to arrange for a cabana the next day.
According to my husband, the golf course was top notch. He is an avid golfer and was not disappointed with the course. I do not golf but rode along one morning in the golf cart to enjoy the scenery. It was spectacular.
The spa accommodations were very nice. My husband had a Sports Relief Massage and I had the Seaweed Wrap followed with a mineral bath. Both were positive experiences. Staff was professional, courteous and friendly. No complaints regarding our sessions.
Butler service was a disappointment. Reservations requested for dinner were never followed through with the butler. We found out early that reservations were not really required even though our butler said they were. This may be true when the resort is up and running at full capacity. The resort was about half full when we were there.
Room service ordered through the butler was poor! After a couple of followup calls to the butler and waiting 1 1/2 hours we canceled the order and went to one of the restaurants to eat. Upon our return the food was in our room, cold.
I will say some of the other guests raved about their butler service. I really think it was the luck of the draw. Our butler did not check on us daily. We would see her in passing where she was friendly and say hello but that was about it. We realized quickly that we really did not need her services to enjoy our stay at the resort.
One day out of the 7, housekeeping service arrived at 8:30p.m. to clean our room. We declined at that hour.
Service at the restaurants was slower than slow at times. Clearly there was not enough experienced wait staff to handle the small crowd. Breakfast one morning took about 1 /1/2 hours from the time we were seated to receiving our ordered food. Dinner a couple of times was the same experience. As the week progressed, we observed a lot of Sandals managment staff that were brought in to work with current staff at the resort. On a positive note, our last dinner and breakfast experience was spectacular. Service was prompt, professional and the food was great. Clearly service in the restaurant had improved substantially by the end of our stay.
Overall our vacation at Sandals Emerald Bay was pleasant and relaxing. Staff were generally friendly and courteous. I have no doubt that once they get the kinks worked out this will be a top notch resort. The rooms, spa, golf course, beach, and beautiful ocean is already there. They just need to get the service up to speed with the butlers and in the restaurants.
Well, I have been home for a week now from our wonderful trip to Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas. My husband and I wanted to find a memorable way to celebrate our 50th birthdays and we wanted to share that time with our family who we always have so much fun with. We had been to Sandals at the Royal Bahamian and quite enjoyed that so when we saw the promo for Emerald Bay we were sold on the beauty of the property and its location. The pictures on the website do not exaggerate its beauty. We have done a lot of travelling and been to many Caribbean destinations but I have to say this was by far had our favourite beach. The sand was indescribable and water was the most vivid shade of turquoise I have ever seen. Plus we love to walk the beach and this one is very long and private.
The hotel is gorgeous, the grounds are beautiful and well maintained and the staff is fabulous. I marveled at how they get to know our names so quickly and then called us by name whenever they saw us. They are so friendly and accommodating. They bend over backwards to make people happy and correct anything that you could possibly be dissatisfied with. There were a few hiccups at the beginning of our week, but that is to be expected when a hotel is just opening. Our comments were taken seriously and dealt with very quickly and professionally. As others have commented, you could see how their efficiency was improving daily.
We took advantage of the modern and well equipped gym, the golf course, the spa,aquafit, the kayaks and catamaran, pool, billiards, other games offered and all the restaurants. The staff at the spa were so amazing. They really went beyond our expectations when my daughter suffered a bad sunburn and sent cold compresses to her room and made several phone calls to follow up on how she was doing.
Thank you to all for such a wonderful and memorable holiday. We will definitely return to paradise. We wish you luck with your grand opening in the spring.
Fellow travellers...if you are looking for quality, friendliness, a spectacular beach, delicious food, and overall beautiful resort, I truly recommend Emerald Bay. You won't be disappointed. And we're fussy! It was very hard to leave.
A Beautiful Resort with promise
We were some of the first paying guests at Sandals Emerald Bay--we stayed 2/7-2/15. This was our second visit to a Sandals resort-- we stayed at Sandals Grande St. Lucia last February. We are in our late 30's and travel 2-4 times a year for vacations.
We arrived around 9 pm on our first day, exhausted from a very long day of traveling from California, and we were greeted in the lobby by Henry, one of our butlers, who escorted us to our room and covered the registration details with us. Our travel agent, Amy McHugh of Dream Makers Vacation Services was at the resort with the other Sandals agents the week before we arrived (and was actually still there on Sunday due to bad weather, so we got to meet her in person!), and managed an upgrade for us from the garden view jr. suite in the emerald bay village to a one bedroom suite on the top floor of the bay village. The room was lovely with a nice view of the ocean and the pool. We headed out to the superbowl party and dinner at the pub, and Henry unpacked our luggage. It was so nice to come back at the end of the evening and find everything perfectly folded/hanging up—it was a great start to the week!
In the morning, we woke up and were greeted by the view—and yes, it is just as beautiful as it looks in the pictures on the website. Hard to believe water can really be that color. Our butlers, Henry and Trudy Ann were amazing and responsive. I asked for a bag of ice for my knee on our second evening there, and it was waiting for me in a cooler each evening for the rest of our stay. We had towel animals, a lovely bubble bath with vines and hibiscus, and lots of cheese plates and snacks. Sometimes the food took up to an hour, but that seemed to be because of kitchen issues and not the butlers.
I can also say that EVERYONE on the staff was friendly and nice and genuinely trying to make our stay enjoyable. We met the John, the GM and Cinzia, the hotel manager, a number of times, and they always asked us how things were and what they could do. By our third day, a number of the staff knew our names and greeted us whenever they saw us. The returning guests' dinner was the best meal of the week, and was highlighted by a performance of a Bahamian folk song by the local elementary school boys choir. The junkanoo parade on Friday night was also lots of fun.
We did two tours. On our third day, we did the thunderball all day boat trip with exuma watersports. The swimming pigs were as advertised, and the lunch at the royal plantation on Fowl Cay was nice—that island has beautiful views of cays, water and palm trees. The 2.5 hour boat ride back at the end of the day was rough, as the wind had kicked up earlier than expected—so do check weather before you go and if you have any back issues, make sure there is no wind/storm expected the day of your trip. Also make sure to bring something warm to wear on the trip back, because it will be windy. The price ($375 a person) was steep, and we had some issues with paying that much for a day trip, but we decided to go because when else would we get to see swimming pigs? We also did a day trip around Exuma with Kendall Nixon, a local taxi driver, and that was fabulous. I highly recommend hiring him for a 4 hour tour. We combined the tour with a trip to the Chat n Chill and had a great day.
The highlights of our trip were the friendly staff, beautiful resort, and good food. It was very relaxing to lounge in the cabana and watch the ocean or read a book. The chicken in the Bahama Bay restaurant was surprisingly good—I expected a boring chicken breast and it was delicious.
Make sure to bring insect repellant and spray at least your arms and legs—we had a bunch of bites even though we were pretty diligent about the bug spray. I think there are sand fleas and mosquitoes, but I’m not entirely positive.
Since we were there the first week, there were definitely some issues. Breakfast in the morning was very slow (although lunch and dinner seemed fine). There was initially no snorkeling, which was disappointing. However, Amy, our travel agent, spoke with the GM about it, and they did eventually arrange a snorkeling trip to the reefs on the left side of the bay (thanks, Amy!). You could swim out or kayak out, and although it was well-intentioned, they need to work on that plan a bit more. Only a few of us made it all the way out to the reef. The diving was limited, as the dive boat had not yet arrived so they only had a 6 person rental boat and one trip per day, weather permitting. Barefoot by the Sea was only open 2 nights during our stay. The staff was still working out the activities, and we didn’t always know what was going on. On Valentine’s Day, the staff had a completely different entertainment schedule than we did. However, Sandals gave each couple who stayed at SEB that first week free nights at any Sandals or Beaches in the next year. Considering the staff responsiveness and their efforts to improve that we saw as the week went by, we thought that was a good and fair offer.
In summary, we had a relaxing week in a beautiful resort. There are definitely things needing improvement, but having met the management and staff, I have faith that they will work out the kinks soon.
Beautiful Beach Quiet Relaxing Resort
I have visited many spots in the Caribbean and this I will say is one of the most beautiful. There is no hussle and bussle here. The island is unspoiled by development. I have been to all of the Sandals properties while this one may have had its service issues on first opening I see little of it now. The local people are the most freindly Bahamians. During my visit I could actually see the staff improving and becoming more attentive to the needs of the guests. The food in all of the restaurants was fabulous, I tried them all. My butler followed through with every request, I asked for my favorite brand of liquor it was not available on property so he went to the store to get it, my dinner requests were also met as I changed my reservations often. The Emerald Bay Sandals has the best pizza of all the properties it was surely my favorite. My room was amazing I didnt ever want to leave with a balcony and room service I didnt have to but I love the ocean and beach and they are both great here. The water is crystal clear and the sand like baby powder. The scuba diving here was wonderful as well, it was a privelage to be among the first divers at this resort thanks Bancroft and Samuel the reef was very alive, it will be even better when the brand new boat arrives. I did come across some former Four Seasons guests that had a sour attitude, as I think they are resistant to change. This is sure to become one of Sandals most popular properties and they will have to find another spot to be miserable because the Sandals guests I have experienced are typically happy. It is a perfect place to relax and forget the stresses of daily life at home. I am sure to return.
Don't waste your time or Money!
The people writing great reviews were obviously paid to do it because this place is a disaster. We stayed in a beach front villa and it was nothing special for the amount of money we paid. The beachfront patio was the only good thing about it and it had crappy old beach loungers, A table and two chairs.
Its is the only thing going for this Sandals. It has beautiful clear water with white powdery sand.
Service and food:
Absolutely horrendous. This is not an "all butler suite" as advertised. Yes you get a phone and you will be lucky to get through to one of the four numbers they have stored in it. If you do get through you will be lucky to get your request full filled anytime in the next hour at best. We had to ask repeatedly every day for our mini bar to be restocked with water.
We have stayed in the millionaire suites at the Sandals in St. Lucia and this is the epitome of service and true Butler service. This didn't even come close.
The food is just terrible. Doesn't matter which place you go, they are all terrible. Unless you like longs waits for cold food. And not enough choices, at some points there was only one place open but the menus don't change so you get stuck eating the same things over and over and over again.
Private Candlelight Dinner:
Valentines Day we had scheduled a private candlelight dinner that costs an extra $170. We requested that it be on the beachfront patio only to find out there is no lights on the patio at night so they moved it to the wedding gazebo. We had to call the front desk to ask where to go or if someone was picking us up. They had no idea and we think they had forgotten about us. So somebody came to get us and we sat under the gazebo for ONE HOUR before another staff member came to ask if someone had helped us because she had walked by a few times and realized we had no water, wine, candles, nothing. We were debating at what point do we get up and leave....but it was valentines Day and we had "special plans". By the time they actually came and served us we were mad and rushed through what was supposed to be a romantic dinner. It was a joke.
If you are getting married here in the Wedding Gazebo reconsider your plans. It has no view of the beach and it is behind one of the restaurants so you get a great pink building right beside you. I certainly wouldn't choose to have my wedding there!
FREEZING!!! Don't plan on being in them very long. The ocean water was warmer. We vacationed to spend the holiday in the hot tub.
The quiet pool is extremely quiet and sometimes we were the only people in that hot tub which was nice.
Poolside swim up bar was also terrible, it took forever to get a drink.
In the end When we checked out they gave us a Voucher for Three free nights in the same room category to be used within one year...Hate to break it you you Sandals but you would have to offer me a whole lot more than that to Even consider returning. We have been to other Sandals properties and this has absolutely turned us away from ever booking another vacation with them again.
Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay
"This palce was so great I wanted to share more"
This is a picture of the pool at the Four Seasons.
This is a picture of the Bay in front of the villa