Sandals Emerald Bay

Address: Queen's Highway, Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Out Islands, EX29142, Bahamas | 5 star resort
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This 5 star resort, located on Queen's Highway, Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, is near Lee Stocking Island, Starfish Exuma Adventure Center, Dive Exuma, and Explorer Ventures.
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          TravelPod Member ReviewsSandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma

          Reviewed by dalzell


          Reviewed Jun 4, 2011
          by (1 review) , United States Flag of United States

          Myself & husband had a great time - except for both of us getting conjunctivitis (pink eye) which the nurse at the resort called it pollen!! We would recommend it if you want a really, really laid back place to go. There are more restaurants opening up there soon - there is not much to see on the island but you must visit Catch a Fire (a restaurant not more than 20 mins. from resort. The food was fantastic!!

          This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of

          Historical Traveler Reviews Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma

          Marginal at Best


          If it weren't for the magnificent beach and crystal clear waters, this hotel would not garner much attention. We were there for five nights this month and our experience was mediocre at best. Having stayed at a number of Four Seasons around the world, this one is not up to par. It started with our $800/night Oceanfront room. We were on the ground level and because the floors are tile, we could hear the people's booming footsteps in the room above us all the time. It was like the bass boost coming from a car. On our third night, the power kept going in and out on the island, causing the clocks, phone and A/C in the room to all beep very loudly and reset in the middle of the night. The Concierge is very poor ( I agree with other posts). We tried to go on 1/2 day sail each day, only to be told they didn't have enough people to fill the trip! We had to go to the desk to find this out. I second a lot of the other opinions - food is fair - very limited and expensive.

          There is an abundance of staff, but it basically amounts to a handful of "outside"(aka European and American) Four Seasons staff that have been brought in to train the local Bahamian staff. It's like Hospitality 101 all around the resort. It's never fun to be the "trainee's" subject.There was no "beeping" or construction interruptions. They are building some units on the bluff to the left of the resort, but we could not here it. This is Four Seasons light. I think we just came too soon.

          Unhappy in Paradise


          We were really looking forward to a wonderful 6 days in a new remote location. I have to say that the beach and the location are magnificent. When we went to have our first meal, that's when we should of gotten a clue. It was so unpredictable that we did not know what to say. We are avid vacationners and love the Four Seasons. We were shocked that the food was cold, overcooked and then some. The second day we thought well it was just a one time thing. No, again very inconsistent. At this point we were struggling with what to do as we have never really had to say anything at any other property, everything is always wonderful. The food did not improve much but we did notice some new personel and they were trying their best to ensure that the food was at least hot and served as it should be. It was safe for a couple of meals then everything brokedown when we again tried to eat yet another meal and yet again the same inconsistencies. It seems that no one is accountable for any table. As for the resort it is truly very pretty, however there needs to be some serious upgrades to match any of the other resorts. Four Seasons have set high standard for themselves which we love and will gladly pay for however this resort does not even come close to earning it's namesake.

          Less than expected


          This hotel was a disappointment. It has no character, no soul. The architecture is the first thing we noticed - looks like a glorified shopping center or Disney complex. We booked an ocean view executive suite - expecting to be near the ocean. Although we did face the ocean, and you could see it over the other buildings and palm trees, it was much further away from the beach than we were expecting. I agree with the previous review - the staff was inconsistent. Either extremely friendly and helpful when you needed a drink, or irritated and almost absent when you were trying to order dinner. The meals were mediocre at best, and the prices were close to infuriating. One detail that should be pointed out : for dinner at the Sea Breeze Grill (the casual restaurant), they offer a mixed grill as a meal option - meat, starch and vegetable. But in italics at the bottom of the menu, they inform you that the price listed only includes the meat and the starch. The vegetable is $5 extra. So we paid $36 for a tenderloin and potatoes, then had to cough up another $5 for the asparagus. And though the Italian restaurant is fine, the menu is small and eating there becomes very monotonous. The spa is nice, but inconsistent as well. We had one excellent treatment, and one terrible treatment. The kayaking adventure we had with Starfish was nice, probably the highlight of the trip, but it was hard to book and the conceirge couldn't really explain the excursion to us, nor did she ever call to confirm our booking. The beach is lovely but the view is compromised by buildings going up in the distance. the water is an incredible aqua and sand is nice. We did have some nice moments, but we will not be returning.

          Sand Fleas!


          The Great Exuma resort is not what I would expect from a Four Seasons.

          I just got back from a six day trip there, and I don't think I'll be going back.

          First, I enjoyed the beach very much the first day. The water was cold, but was very beautiful to look at. The first night, however, I awoke with many insect bites on my ankles and legs. I must have been allergic, because these bites were very uncomfortable and caused itching and swelling. I went to the gift shop for cortizone, and the sales clerk knew of the problem. After asking aroud, it was clear that the resort is aware of the problem. I just wish I had been warned.

          The food was average, and the choice was limited. The fact that the resort's flagship restaurant is Italian should be somewhat of a red flag. I would have expected more of a seafood emphasis. Instead, what I got was food that could have just as easily been served at Disney. The food at Disney isn't bad, but it isn't anything special. The breakfast buffet was quite limited, especially in comparison to other Ritz Carltons and Four Seasons I've stayed at in the past. Also, they are still working out the smooth operation of the restaurants. There are ample people there to do the work. The problem is that the guests are everyone's responsibility, and they are no one's responsibilty. By that I mean the service alternates between having six people ask for your drink order to having everyone ignore you because they assume someone else is taking care of you.

          I was surprised at the lack of amenities. When I go on vacation, it's nice to have little extras. I like snacks to munch on, and many nice hotels provide complimentary treats throughout the day. Not here. Even the customary chocolate at turn down was absent. Additionally, since the Four Seasons is the ONLY thing around, the choice is either spend $20 on a coke and some peanuts or wait for until dinner.

          I have noticed some other posts on here mentioning that their final bill contained errors. Mine was no different. There was $250 worth of other people's meals on my bill. I pointed out that I generally didn't have two dinners, lunches, or breakfasts a day, but the staff appeared suspicious of me anyway.

          I thought the architecture of buildings could have been a left over Disney design. The buildings were pink, yellow, and blue. Although the materials in the room were high-end, the decorations were spare. The main building, though, was very nice.

          All in all, I probably won't go back. I was expecting a lot for the price and from the Four Seasons, but didn't feel like I got my money's worth and don't feel that this resort (at this time) lives up to the Four Season's reputation.

          I realize it is only 3 months old, but...


          Have stayed at some wonderful resorts, many of them being Four Seasons' properties. We were so looking forward to this new one, thought it must be even better than Nevis and Punta Mita as each new property gets better and better. What a disappointment! We booked a "deluxe ocean front villa", the room was large, but sparsely furnished. Asked for a plant, anything - nothing ever arrived. The balcony is small, but there was room for a lounge chair which I had to request. The restaurants are mediocre, at best. Met quite a few guests, who like us, were cutting their trips short. I have a term for this hotel - "Four Seasons Lite".

          It appears they are trying to attract a different clientel than normal.

          Much more for young families. Although we were here in February, the place was over- run with young children and babies. The pool situation is great however, a huge family pool and large quiet pool. The staff could not have been more friendly. However, in the restaurant, when ordering or asking for something, one got the feeling they didn't quite understand. We workout each morning and were shocked at the size of the fitness center. The hotel at Punta Mita is about 20% smaller than here, but their fitness center is about 75% larger! The spa here is beautiful, but treatments are so-so. If you are expecting luxury for $800/night, this is not the place. If you can get a great rate, you will enjoy the hotel. By the way, this island is a bit "scruffy", not very lush, but the color of the water is breathtaking, hence the name, Emerald Bay. Beach is beautiful, white sand and soo soft!



          While the airport arrival and transportation in local shabby vans is dreadful, upon arrival at te resort all changes instantaneously. The lobby interiors are gorgeous and thoughtfully designed to evoke the Bahamas with an easy elegance unlike anything else in the's better than the Four Seasons Nevis. The staff is gracious and charming although young and learning. The rooms are enormous and beautifully detailed with total consideration given to the fact that this is a beach resort; they are the bst rooms we've seen at any beach resort of its kind anywhere and well worth the rate. The restaurant is wonderful to sit in as is the lounge which we enjoyed nightly, but an Italian Menu seemed out-of-place for the Bahamas and the buffet presentations by the staff do not live up to the sophistication of the interior decorating. The spa services were great, but it's a lost opportunity to not have had the spa near the beach, we felt like we could have been back in Beverly Hills. The cabanas and pool grounds are gorgeous, we loved them even more than Maui's Four Seasons. This property is going to gain fast recognition for it's five star service and amenities, and six star design..we admired every inch of the place and it's beautiful interiors although the outside is not as memorable but is still in good taste. We want the inside of our beach home in the hamptons to look like this!!!

          Promising (if you like big golf resorts), but not quite there yet


          The Four Seasons Great Exuma promises to be an excellent choice in the future, if what you want is a big golf resort.

          It has a beautiful beach, very spacious beachfront rooms, and a extremely courteous and generally highly professional staff. The staff is also very accommodating of young children, which we appreciated.

          The food is very good -- particularly for the Bahamas (although they should learn to change the menus now and again). The breakfast buffet, in particular, is fantastic.

          There are three pools, set in the hotel courtyard, including one just for children -- which is a treat if you have a toddler.

          The tennis facility is impressive (though still under construction).

          The golf course is impressive by all accounts (though also still under construction).

          But, keep in mind, the scale of this place is massive, and if you're not looking for a mega resort (which will eventually include a marina, casino, etc...), it may not be for you.

          If you're considering going in the near future, you should be aware that, at the moment, there are still some glitches in the system, for example:

          1) The hotel botched each of our airport transfers. We were not greeted at the airport when we arrived (by private plane), despite having fielded three phone calls from the staff to confirm our arrival time.

          The hotel also apparently forgot to arrange a car to take us back to the airport, even though we confirmed this arrangement the night before.

          2) The place has immature landscaping and is still somewhat of a construction site.

          3) There were some errors on our bill, which had to be corrected.

          True to the Four Seasons brand, though, the hotel did its best to correct each error and to make it up to us.

          I have no doubt, moreover, that these glitches will all be fixed in due course.

          Warning: Construction Site!


          When we decided to stay at this just-opened resort, we expected immature landscaping and a staff that was still learning the ropes.

          What we didn't expect was to be in the middle of a construction site.

          Several of the hotel buildings containing rooms are still being worked on, but that's not the worst. Unfortunately, the resort is only the first phase of a major development of the whole bay that will take years to complete and that will surround the hotel with various types of villas and homes as well as a marina and shops. The golf course is very challenging and has a magnificent setting, but on virtually every hole you are surrounded by construction, some of it involving major earthmoving equipment, and all of it beeping away like mad. Our beachfront room was lovely--one of the nicest we've ever stayed in! The lobby area is beautiful with wonderful flowers, shells and great art.

          The beach is gorgeous (tho we wish we could have seen it before the development began). The food for the most part was good, tho not always exactly as described on the menu. The staff were unvaryingly gracious and friendly, but there were frequent glitches--laundry back late, incorrect drink charges, waiters unfamiliar with menu items, front desk staff unfamiliar with package details--nothing earthshaking, just not up to Four Seasons standards.

          Beautiful Island and Hotel


          We just returned from Four Seasons Great Exuma. This island is the most beautiful island and the hotel is absolutely spectacular! We spent 6 nights at the Four Seasons. The food was great, the bahamian people treated us as if we were family and the climate was perfect. Not to hot or too cold. Not too humid, no bugs. Hotel service was excellent. Not a lot of people around which made it quiet and relaxing.We signed up with the hotel for a Castaway Getaway which took us out to our own island for a day with food and beverages, snorkel gear, chairs, towel, umbrella. We also tried the balineese massage. The massage was given by two women who were actually from Bali, working there for the next year.

          Their spa is beautiful and relaxing. We also took a tour of the island for a day. We stopped at a local hang out, the Out Deck and had cracked conch. The cook and her daughter, Sandy, treated us like family and the food was delicious. Our taxi driver, Forrester Rolle, treated us as if we were a part of his family and was very kind to take us down to Little Exuma also. I would recommend asking for Forrester or Margaret to be your guide if you want an island tour.Of course there is an unbelievable golf course and excellent bone fishing near the island. We were on our honeymoon and opted to not participate in these activities but we will go again. This will give us something to do the next time we go! We are looking forward to many return trips! It is easy to get there by American Eagle, direct from Miami or Lynx from Ft. Lauderdale or a few other airlines fly from Nassau each day. You will only need your swimsuit and one outfit, even if you have a baby because this hotel will provide you with everything else you need.



          It just opened but you could never tell. The property is beautiful. The service is outstanding. The food is to DIE for.Four Seasons Exuma is destined to be the number one resort in the region.

          TripAdvisor Reviews Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma

          4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

          Travel Blogs from Great Exuma

          National Family Island Regatta

          A travel blog entry by delfino1 on Apr 22, 2015

          1 comment, 39 photos

          ... sloops racing and the top racers from each class won 10 cases of beer and a trophy. Second and third prices won trophies plus 6 and 4 cases. No wonder they took these races so serious. There were boats coming in by barge from the surrounding islands for a couple days before the races. The events were also on land as well which included live bands, there first Junkaroo (we didn't go to ...

          Lee Stocking Island

          A travel blog entry by delfino1 on Apr 15, 2015

          3 comments, 41 photos

          ... highest hill in the Exuma Cays. At the top of this hill we had wonderful views of the Atlantic side, as well as the bays and cays on the west side of the island.

          We only stayed two days at Lee Stocking Island, as we wanted to get back and get some work done on the boat before the Island Regatta starts, plus we need to start getting organized as we will be heading out of here next week to Cat Cay and then make our way west to Key ...

          Emerald Bay to Staniel Cay

          A travel blog entry by hemslie on Mar 02, 2015

          11 photos

          ... small, fan coral, sponges and more. We have to get that GoPro for next year!

          Back to the boat and desalted everything including us then made our way into the SCYC for a visit and drink. I love this little Yacht Club it has so much charm and welcoming atmosphere! If you remember from our last visit this is the place with the closet sized liquer store and gift shop, they have an outside bar area and inside. The inside bar area is ...

          Saturday, March 24

          A travel blog entry by savagetwo on Mar 24, 2012

          3 photos

          ... 6. Dinner at Lorraine's Cafe and it was worth the 2 hour wait. Cracked conch, grilled Red Snapper, peas and rice and mac n cheese. This is the only cafe we've ever been in where you get to pour your own drinks and keep track of them for the final bill.
          Sunday, March 25 - We had a cruising meeting and French toast and mimosas aboard Asylum, a beautiful Bavaria 39 owned by Thane and Brenda. We met them in Georgetown and they just finished cruising the ...

          I'm On a Boat

          A travel blog entry by emmamcisaac on Jan 20, 2012

          1 photo

          Hello!! I’m sorry for not updating this sooner, it has been crazy busy and exciting, but I feel I should inform everyone that I am safe on board the MV explorer sailing at ext...reme speeds to get to our destination of Dominca by tomorrow morning at 0800.
          The ship is unbelievable. It is so huge and I get lost so easily. My room (2056) is as far away from civilization as you can possibly get. The only time people venture down to the 2nd floor is to get free condoms and sea ...