Emerald Palms by the Sea
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Historical Traveler Reviews Emerald Palms by the Sea Andros
Wonderful Family Get Away
We just returned from a week at the Emerald Palms with our two children (16 year old and a 22 month old). We were looking for a quite location, that would allow us to relax and enjoy some family time together. The Emerald Palms was the perfect location. The accomodations and facilities are very nice and well maintained. The staff is very friendly and eager to assist. Donna, the manager, went out of her way to make our stay pleasant (Adam thanks you Donna !!!). CeCe as well was absolutely wonderful !!!!
The location is excellent, it is situated right on the ocean and there is not a bad view to be had.
As for things to do there - our son spent hours snorkling, and came back with many treasures. He also spent a day fishing with Jolly Boy - Stanley and had a most excellent adventure. He still has not stopped talking about it.
This is truly the perfect place to relax !!!! We enjoyed our time there and will consider returning for a future vacation.
The Fortners - Clifton, Va
Our usual vacation is a cruise or stay at a mega resort. However, my wife wanted to get away from that for her birthday this year, and she chose Andros Island after much web research. We chose the Emerald Palms on South Andros for our six day stay in February, 2005 because we had two small children in our party, it was on the beach, and the cottages looked great. We weren't disappointed one bit.
As the other reviewers note, the staff is excellent. The managers Donna and Cecee are eager to accommodate any request. Each of the dining room staff was friendly and helpful, especially Delores, who decorated the dining room for my wife's birthday dinner! Even the night watchmen go out of their way to assist - Kendall was very helpful and informative about the local history, food, and places to see. He even got drinks from the closed bar very late one night when my brother insisted on pulling an allnighter, almost, on the beach.
The cottage accommodations are first class. Marble floors, luxurious bedding, separate shower and jacuzzi, mini kitchen with microwave and convection oven and two burner stove - all newly constructed and well maintained. We cooked dinner in the room twice. Central A/C and ceiling fans, although we didn't have to use the A/C when we were there, as the February temparture was perfect. Maid service was friendly and whenever you wanted it. Our cottage was ON the beach. All the cottages are positioned to give varying views of the ocean. The kids couldn't resist the pool, and we ended up in the jacuzzi right on the beach nearly every evening for an hour or so.
South Andros is special - but it isn't for those who need a resort to force feed them distractions. Emerald Palms doesn't have watercraft or snorkeling gear - Donna and the staff will arrange fishing (bone fishing included), diving, snorkling, and rental cars for you. We brought snorkling gear, and went snorkling/exploring with Jolly Boy, diving off small reefs and in two blue holes just offshore. We (well just me) ate raw conch and then brought conch back to the hotel, where the chef made it into conch salad and fritters. We toured the island, finding incredible, deserted beaches that stretched for miles and quaint little "settlements". Don't miss taking a nature walk to the interior to see the landlocked blue holes and learn about the Island. There are wonderful places to explore. If you ask any of the locals, they will help you. There are no retail stores, but there are small craft stores. There are no "supermarkets", but there are small grocery stores. I look forward to returning to the Emerald Palm and South Andros Island, next time for some deep water diving.
Shhh! Don't tell anyone!
During our island-hopping honeymoon to the Bahamas (I am a pilot and we flew our own aircraft) my wife and I had the pleasure of staying at the Emerald Palms. Not knowing what to expect I only made arrangements for two-nights. We enjoyed it so much we wound up not continuing on to our next stop, and staying at the Emerald Palms for 3 additional nights!
Although the staff at the Emerald Palms are not as highly trained as you may find at some of the big time Nassau resorts, they are simply the friendliest you are going to find in the Bahamas. Period.
The rooms are very well appointed and we had the pleasure of staying on one of the beachfront rooms. The beachfront rooms are only 20 feet from the water! In fact, these rooms are so close to the water that the sea-spray must be cleaned off the windows each morning! The rooms came with TV and VCR, and Phone. If you request they will remove these items if you want a true escapist feel.
They also have individual cottages (which we did not stay in, but took a look at) that are gorgeous inside and are great for folks with a bigger budget.
The food is tradtional Bahamain, but it is good if you like the local flavors. However, since we visited in the low season, we had to give them our order a few hours before dinner so that they could go out and buy the food before they prepared it. On thanksgiving, they made us a traditional thanksgiving meal (turkey, ham, etc.) and it was great. I am sure that if they had a full hotel, they would be able to provide a larger menu, and more exotic dishes.
Beware wine snobs! The wine selection at the Emerald Palm was inadequate. But since I am a beer drinker, I was happy to have an endless supply of Kalik's with Limes to help wash away the day.
There is a limited amount of activites on-site. However, they were able to arrange for bonefishing, scuba, and car rentals from the various local vendors. By The Way - The scuba on South Andros is simply the best I have ever done anywhere. Have them arrange your scuba with Kenya who is the dive instructor over at Tiamo. He is a wonderful guide.
Private Pilots - make sure you inquire about the private pilot discount. It will make this hideaway even more attractive to your budget.
If you want to escape and go someplace new, this is it. But Shh!, please don't tell anybody!
Dave C - Chicago, Illinois
It Was Hard To Leave
We realized immediately that we had found an amazing destination. Jerry and I found the Emerald Palms Resort by chance on the internet. We were looking for a place to get married and relax for a few days.
After contacting Donna Pratt, the resort manager, and going over the details for the ceremony and our stay, you could tell there would be no worries.
Donna and the entire staff at the Emerald Palms went above and beyond any of our expectations. My sister and her fiance joined us at the resort for a couple of days and now they are making plans to spend their honeymoon at the Emerald Palms.
The villa/cottage that we stayed was right on the water. The fine mahogany and teak furniture, french doors, Italian Marble throughout and the little things from Crate & Barrel made you feel very pampered.
Sitting on the veranda in the afternoons, you can watch the dolphins when they come to play near the reef. The staff will also bring you a delicious pitcher of pina coladas to enjoy!
The food was prepared perfectly every day! Everything from lobster, conch, red snapper, steaks and burgers is served to you in the restaurant or, if you prefer, at your cottage.
We enjoyed bone-fishing and snorkeling with one of the local fishermen. He brought us to some of the "blue holes", something that Andros Island is famous for.
We met so many wonderful people during our stay. When it was time to go, it felt like we were leaving our friends.
To everyone @ the Emerald Palms Resort, "We Love You & Miss You"
Christine & Jerry
There are so many beautiful pictures, but only one that was less than 500k.
dec 26th 2004
this island has the most friendliest people we have ever met,nothing is too much trouble for them.the hotel wasnt full,you could walk for miles without seeing anyone.the bungalows were very nice and had a/c. we took 2 teenage daughters who enjoyed all the shells that washed up on to the beach every day.an island to go to if you want peace and quiet and lovely people and nice beaches.
On the beach
You will not be having ----- on the beach anywhere in Nassau. However, at the Emerald Palms, 15 minutes away by regular plane trips from Nassau, you will have the entire beach to yourself. That, plus the best service my wife and I have recieved anywhere, should be enough to get you there. The only place as nice in the Bahamas is Compass Point, but the Emerald Palms has more seclusion, and better service.
Many of the all-inclusive places make a big deal about not having to carry money while on vacation. This is even more true at Emerald Palms. Every morning after we staggered out of bed, the staff would ask us what we wanted for breakfast, which they would serve to us in the courtyard - basically on the beach - or wherever we happened to be at the moment. The chef is fantastic; the meals, luxurious.
The beach is sandy in places, and rocky in places. The rocky areas have better "wade-to-snorkling", so bring your snorkle gear. If you're a good swimmer you can swim to a reef just offshore. If you're in for more adventure, you can get Jolly Boy (a local pastor) to take you out to a blue hole or reef trip.
The service at Emerald Palms goes beyond the hotel boundries. One hotel staff member brought in a home-made conch salad (they do it spicy) and when she missed us at the hotel, brought it to the airport, where they stored it in the fridge until we got there. It's that kind of "hey, welcome to our island" service, that you miss when you stay on Nassau, and it's just a hop, skip, and jump away.
The real Paradise Island
In the time it takes for you to wait with a busload of over-loaded (in all possible ways) tourists and get to the Vegas-on-the-beach that is Paradise Island, you could be watching lizards scatter under the palm trees, sititng by pristine tiled coutyards looking out over miles of deserted (yes, actually deserted) golden beach, getting the very personal yet relaxed service that is enough to sell emerald palms on its own.
South Andos is such a best-kept secret that I'm even reluctant to write a review. Please don't go there. Don't destroy it. There are no chain stores. There are no power boats or machines along that theme in the water. There are the occasional fishermen that drift by. The hotel's conch comes directly from the sea in front of you. It is absolutely the best conch you have ever tasted.
If you don't like conch they have steak and a matching merlot.
We stayed in the cheapest room option. It had a sea view (we slept with the doors open to hear the waves crashing). Four poster super-romantic bed draped in net fabric with ribbons to pull it back during the day (they do all that for you of course after they've let you pick a time to wander off down the beach). Two separate entrances, cooling tiled floors - extreme serenity.
Everything is brand spanking new. Super clean. The hot tub is a dream in itself. Sit in it late in the evening, looking out over the ocean, watching for shooting stars, sipping whatever cocktail you like. The staff leave you alone - you are alone.
We rented a car. There are no "car rental companies" as we know it on South Andros. No lines. No bureaucracy getting inbetween you and your imminent relaxation. You rent from the Rahming family, who pick you up, with your car, which you deliver to their house down the road a bit on departure. The hotel can hook you up with all this kind of thing if you want. You don't need a car - there's only one road (more or less), but the north-south drive alone is worth is. Gorgeous little villages dot the coast. Not a tourist in sight - you're the only one and you're expected to wave back when the locals wave at you driving by.
Even if the locals had the spare cash to fill South Adros with junk like most of the US does, you come away with the feeling they wouldn't anyway. Life is family there, the beach, the sea.
The staff at emerald palms shock you into the realization that even the friendly people in the hotels in Nassau have been corrupted. THey care about your stay, not because of what you might tip them, or even because they're worried about what you'll think about the place, just because they care about you as a person! Shocking I know, but once you've been you'll remember what that feels like.
Obviously I can't recommend this place highly enough. They even take email reservations and have Internet, if you're stupid enough to want to get online whilst in paradise.
Oasis on Andros
Pilots!! Pay attention!!
This place is closer than Treasure Cay from South Florida. I flew my Lancair from SRQ in 2 hours.
This place has been missed by all the hotel reveiwers.
You will be astonished at the quality of this place. Marble floors double person romantic spa, huge marble shower, double vanity sinks with Granite counter tops. Virtually a complete kitchen with coffee maker, blender, toaster, fridge pots and pans etc! King size bed large U shaped conversation area. All clean, neat, well managed and new just for you.
There are 20 of these cottages with Ocean views and a short walk to the beach. There are also 20 large rooms that face the pool and the beach. All first class.
Need phone service? In the room.
Need FREE wireless internet access? in the dining area of the main building.
They even have a TV in the room. Who needs that?
Huge Pool inviting spa all next to a deserted beach you can walk for miles.
This place, once discovered, will become an IN place for the out Islands of the Bahamas. Congo Town Airport is a port of entry with a 5000' newly surfaced runway. The cab ride is 5 minutes to Emerald Palms. Ask Donna the GM for the Phil Tyson discount. I don't know how long Donna will honor the discount so make your reservations NOW! Take some time to get to know the folks at the Emerald Palms. They are truly wonderful to be around. Kendall will take you for a boat ride in his boat showing off the Island for you. Timmy will provide a personal tour of the Iland by car. Or you can lay around the pool on the comfortable lounges and Utemia ( I hope I spelled that correctly) will deliver drinks and food to you.
If you can catch Marvin on one of his visits he might buy you a bottle wine while everyone sits around telling tales and imbibing. I am sure I had a great time that night.
Any way we pilots are always looking for neat new places to visit. Try Emerald Palms on South Andros you will like it.
Phil and Susan Tyson 941-343-0770 N797T
Blue Skies and TailWinds to ALL!!
The accommodations here are first rate. We stayed in a villa. The craftsmanship of this freestanding bungalow was outstanding, the furnishings were top notch, the AC was cold and everything worked. Even the solar hot water was ample for a lengthy shower. The food was excellent. We were treated on a couple of occasions (by our request) with some local fare. The staff at the EP was pleasant and courteous. We would stay here again without hesitation.
My wife and I were actually looking for a "Bonefish" lodge but selected the EP because of budget and amenities. And, although it isn't advertised as such and they are not located directly on prime flats, they did a wonderful job of making the arrangements for an excellent guide (Stanley Forbes) to take us out. The Trip was a 10 out of 10.
We were the only ones there for an entire week several years ago. It is small in size but super in every aspect. Unless there are now facilities, take your own dive or snorkel equipment. Beach is excellent and very very very few people.
TripAdvisor Reviews Emerald Palms by the Sea Andros
Travel Blogs from Andros
... thanks to Ian for teaching me about seasoning it was great. We had a couple of corked bottles of wine and left over gumbo so Craig threw it overboard feed the fish. The lesson learned in that exercise always check the winds before throwing items over board...oops a wee mess to clean tomorrow.
Had a great night chatting and more chatting. Pictures to follow when we have a better wireless ...
The seas have gotten rough and the popping sounds have increased, so neither of us slept well at all.
We had room service breakfast so we could be at the spa for an 8:00 massage. My girl, Maryann was a little better than Kathi's girl, Nadia--Kathi was finished way before me and after comparing notes, I had the better massage.
Next up was to visit the Internet cafe and get our boarding passes for our flight home tomorrow--the cruise ...
... the hotel called Olives a wee bit over priced but good food, would I go back likely not but happy I tried it.
Tomorrow we plan to make our way into the Exumas there are 365 Island there one for every day of the year oh no we might not come back...kidding!
Thank you all for the great Birthday wishes miss you all.
Time for bed.
We've been stripping the old varnish, sanding and are all set to apply the new varnish. The weather this year is a lot like last year. One cold front after another. It's supposed to continue until mid-February. It's warm, in the 70's and lows in the 60's. We have plenty of activities to keep us busy. The restaurant "The Jib Room" sponsors rib night every Wednesday and steak night every Saturday night in addition to cruiser's meet and greet every Thursday ...
... Marina village when we got back window shopping then back to the boat to get ready for dinner. We ate in the resort at a very nice Bahamian steak house the food was very good and the wine was excellent. From there we hit the casino I was lucky for a while but in the end lost what I started with, had a really great time which is the important part.
We are excited for Craig and Marg to arrive tomorrow!