Today I'm reviewing my stay at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma. I had SUCH an amazing time I can't wait to show you guys this place, it's seriously magical!
WHERE WE STAYED: Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma
The location of the hotel was AMAZING. We were located right on the beach in the bay where the water was bluer than the sky. The beach was huge and stretched all the way around the hotel and then some. We were about ten steps away from the beach the entire time and it was just so nice and relaxing to wake up to the sound of waves every morning.
The water itself was a dream. There were no rocks, seaweed, fish, trash -- nothing. The bottom of the ocean felt like a pool: flat and smooth. The water was the perfect temperature and the waves were nothing a normal person can't jump over (aka not me). They were only really bad one day because the wind was so strong.
The island itself isn't really built up like most of the popular islands in the Bahamas so the hotel was kind of in the middle of nowhere. But since it was an all-inclusive, you didn't need to leave for a second. Everything you needed, they had.
We stayed in a Beach House Oceanview Grand Luxe room with butler service. Our room was in the very last building on the property along the beach which we loved. It was about a 10-minute walk to the main part of the hotel. We were totally secluded so it was really nice and quite. Being so far down meant we pretty much had that part of the beach all to ourselves. No fighting for chairs!
The room itself was lovely. It had all the essentials: a bed, large double sink bathroom, shower and tub, closet, fully stocked fridge, breakfast table and a killer balcony overlooking the ocean. Everything was very well maintained and was extremely well cleaned.
Okay, what DIDN'T this hotel offer! This was my first time staying at a Sandals resort and I was seriously blown away by everything they had! Where do I begin??
I guess we'll start with our butlers. They welcomed us to the resort, showed us around, talked us through our stay and our itinerary and gave us a cell phone to call (day or night) if we needed anything. I basically felt like a princess and was totally overwhelmed by how nice and helpful they were!
They would book our dining reservations and walk us over to dinner every night. They would bring us food and drinks to the beach and they would totally make up our room every day when we were out. My favorite was when we came back to see ourselves in towel form. The beard on Andrew had me laughing SO hard. They are just that thoughtful! The experience wouldn't have been so memorable without them.
Aside from the butlers, Andrew and I took advantage of the spa, the golf course and the pools. We did an hour and a half couple's massage which was awesome. The spa was out of this world! Our last day we played the last nine holes of the golf course (I drove while Andrew played) and I have seriously never seen anything so breathtaking! The holes were all along the water. It was perfect.
They also have their own excursion tour company in house so it's really easy to book whatever trip you want to take. Obviously you need to take the Swimming with Pigs excursion with a stop at the Iguana island through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures (you can set it up through the hotel)! It's what Exuma is known for!! Everyone is also so helpful there, they set you up and you're all good to go!
I weirdly forgot to take pictures of our dinner each night but I always think that's a really good sign. It meant I wasn't able to wait so I just dug in! We had dinner at a different place every night and the food was always amazing. My favorite had to have been the first night at Il Cielo (Tuscan inspired food). It was so good I ordered a second dish at dinner! Calories don't count on vacation, right?
The fruit was also out of this world. It was so fresh I couldn't get enough. I would order plates of fruit to the beach for lunch. #NoRegrets
The resort itself was one of the prettiest places I had ever been and I'm not even just saying that. It really was so beautiful. There were about 15 different colors of flowers across the resort, the buildings were bright beautiful colors, the trees/grass/bushes were all so very green and well maintained and there was no shortage of beautiful places to hang out and shoot.
I did try and find a different place every time to shoot outfit photos and I'm pretty sure I could have shot at 100 different locations during my time there. Everywhere you turned was so picture perfect, they really did an amazing job with the landscaping, designing and layout of the whole place.
I also loved that it was adults only. Andrew and I keep finding ourselves at hotels like this and I think it really makes the whole experience a lot more relaxing. It's like a playground tailored to adults!
One of the really big draws for me was the fact that they were at capacity when we were there, but it still felt like we still had the place to ourselves. The resort was so well oriented and big that no one was ever on top of someone else. It really felt like it was you and about five other people at all times. I think that says a lot!
OVERALL MY EXPERIENCE WAS...
The BEST vacation of my life. Usually when Andrew and I leave a place we think back and agree that we did and saw everything we wanted to and then some. We jam pack our days and really take full advantage of everything we can. For Exuma, we did it all but want to do more. We want to go back again and again and try something new every time.
This is the first place that we've actually talked about visiting again. We're trying to plan out our New Year's vacation and Exuma is near the top of the list. I don't think words can describe how much fun we had and how much we truly enjoyed this vacation. I need to go back ASAP. All this writing about it is making me have serious withdrawals.
I did want to thank Sandals for having us during our stay! In full disclosure, after reaching out, Sandals provided us a free night with a media rate the rest of the time as well as a comped spa treatment and excursion.
See all my Exuma blog posts HERE