We are returning Sandals customers having been to Negril twice, White House, and Emerald Bay. The score is deserved for a range of things that were great and a range of things that were poor. The positives, I loved the room, the huge shower, Butler service, the beach, secure feeling, and the pool-side and beach-side service. For active mid-40-year-olds who wanted a relaxing, romantic vacation away, it was great to simply relax and have the butlers stop by if we wanted anything (we only called them for restock of my diet Coke fix as they give two and I need about six per day). They give you a cell phone and a cooler to take to the beach or pool. The butlers also bring you nachos, fruit, surprises by the pool. Bar service walks around with fruit and drinks on the beach, which was refreshing. The food in the restaurants was good, not tremendously gourmet fare, but a little different from what I might typically get at standard restaurants at home. I am a walker and find this property to be a great one for walking. I also enjoyed tennis on the clay courts and the exercise bikes in the gym. They had little specials at Red Lane Spa, such as a foot scrub that was free, which was a nice change of pace and I felt absolutely no pressure to buy something, which I did not.
The view is beautiful. I highely encourage a tour around the golf course even if you do not play golf, which I do not. The beauty is breathtaking. As returning guests, we had a cocktail party out on the point and it is the location where they tape some of the Wheel of Fortune shots during Sandals week.
Now, the negatives ... activities really slow down after about 9:00 p.m. Now, like I said we are active mid-40-year-olds so we can take it or leave it. However, on a couple of occassions were were at the "game shows" and there were only three of four couples. It could have been the time of year, too. I am sure during peak honeymoon times (June, September, etc.) the younger folks are there tearing up the dance floors. When we were there, it was a couple, their friend, me and my husband dancing to LMFAO, which you hear along with Black Eyed Peas quite a bit.
My husband went prepared to SCUBA as did a vacation buddy and his girlfriend all the way from England. They were quite disappointed as the trips were cancelled quite a bit due to choppy water or broken boat or some other reason during our nine days and their 14 days. My husband was fine just sitting by the pool, but the other couple who planned trips around SCUBA was quite miffed. Sandals should have a rating scale or something to educate potential travelers who want to participate in specific activities that they promote. Also, for SCUBA and snorkeling they take you off-site to the marina and leave from there while the other properties, such as Negril and White House the boats leave from there. Also, the weather prevented ALL of the water sports due to wind and choppy water for almost the entire week -- I love the catamaran and paddle boards.
I am extremely disappointed -- so much so that I did not book a Soon Come Back during this trip, though there was one I considered. You see, when we originally booked ALL rooms were butler suites at ALL categories. The promo about Soon Come Back with a flexbile date was that you could change your date and I think your room. Anyway, work schedule prevented me from going exactly when we originally booked, I needed to move ahead a week or at least a few days. Actually, the time appeared to be less popular than original week, which was Thanksgiving. My husband, unbeknownst to me, paid $700 more dollars for a lesser room, THEN we got a special e-mails with advertising the same room for LESS than the original reservation. After calling numerous times, the only thing we got was an "upgrade" to the butler room, which as mentioned was included when we originally booked!!! The property was not full and our butlers said they had four couples to butler for when they usually have about 14. So, the property was clearly not overbooked to warrant the extra charge. Definitely what I expect from Sandals corporate, which is who I fault for this.
The grounds crew were often running about in golf carts. I thought it might be a seasonal thing, but noticed another review mentioned this. The island did suffer damage within the last year due to a hurricane, thus I am hoping all the work is repairing that damage.
The service was great and the hospitality of the Bahamian people is wonderful. I love the cleanliness of the island and the Emerald Bay property. They do have lots of cats on the property and at the dining patios, which I did not care for, though they don't bother you or rub against you. The butlers were very accommodating eventhough we chose not to really use them, they seemed generally interested in wanting to be used. They often found ways to be of service and I often came to the room with awesome baths run with flower petals all about. We did order room service some, which was relaxing.
All in all, a great place, though Sandals does need to make some adjustments.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Emerald Bay Hotel Great Exuma
- Sandals Emerald Bay Hotel
- Four Seasons Great Exuma
- Great Exuma Four Seasons
- Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma, Bahamas
- 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
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