We did a ton of research prior to this trip - not only about Exuma but also many other destinations in the Caribbean and beyond. We chose Exuma and Grand Isle based on the wonderful reviews, and the resort certainly lived up to the claims and recent Trip Advisor awards.
We had booked a cab ride through Grand Isle for a driver to pick us up at the airport. Unfortunately, we never saw the driver; although, it was easy enough to find another driver at the airport to take us to the hotel. We asked the driver to stop off at a grocery store on the way to the hotel. Would totally recommend this! More on this later.
We had chosen a one bedroom villa at Grand Isle since it was just the two of us celebrating our ten year anniversary. None of the overwhelmingly positive reviews could have prepared us for the reality. The room - or I should say, the villa - was immaculate! The view, the construction, the decor - all perfect and above expectations.
We loved having the full kitchen available to us. We had purchased eggs, bread, sandwich meat, sodas, etc. at the store, and it was so nice to be able to be lazy in the morning, making our own breakfast in our robes, and then going down to the fitness center and/or the pool area whenever we were ready.
Speaking of the fitness center, it was a great amenity. The treadmills (my preference as a runner) had a direct view of the beach, and my husband was pleased with the selection of free weights.
Many other reviews provide plenty of positive comments about the quality of the pool, pool bar and restaurant, so I won't repeat all of it, I will just agree. There seems to be conflicting opinions on the pricing, so I'll give you our opinion: we felt like the food was appropriately priced but the alcoholic drinks were overpriced. But this didn't bother us too much, since we had a fridge in our room and a liquor store a golf cart ride way.
Be sure to walk down the beach past Sandals to the two lovely beach vendors who sell jewelry and t-shirts. Even if you choose not to buy anything, you will enjoy chatting with the very nice locals.
And since I mentioned Sandals, we did take a quick ten-minute walk through the property. It looked nice enough, and I have nothing bad to say; however, my husband and I both agreed that we were very pleased with our choice to stay at Grand Isle. It just depends on what you're looking for. We were wanting a very low-key but luxurious place, and we fortunately found exactly what we were looking for in Grand Isle.
A few things we learned that we will do differently next time. 1. Plan any excursions in advance or at least the first day you arrive. We booked ours upon arrival for 3 days into our 7 day trip, and the rainy weather canceled it several times so that we never got to go. We wanted a group excursion rather than a private, and I got the feeling that private excursions took priority. 2. Plan to rent a car one or two days. We did not do this. We don't majorly regret this; however, we do see the benefit in doing this. The math is simple: $75 per day for a car vs. $100 round trip for a taxi. 3. The grocery store we went to on the way to Grand Isle from the airport had limited selection; downtown George Town has larger stores with better selection. Next time, we will rent a car on day two, and drive into George Town to stock up.
If you really are against renting a car, check with the concierge at Grand Isle about putting together a group taxi ride. We were able to do this one day, and it worked out great (met some very nice people too!) and allowed us to save a little money on the expensive cab fare.
We are looking forward to returning with extended family and trying out one of the two or three bedroom villas! One important tip: buy some - no PLENTY of - Ricardo coconut rum ... nothing like it, trust me!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas, Grand Isle Resort & Spa is a stunning ocean front resort. The exclusive gated community comprises 78 luxuriously appointed 1- to 4-bedroom villas that range from 1,250 sq. ft. to 5,200 sq. ft. and offer a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area, high-end amenities, and extraordinary views. Getting around the resort is quick and convenient, as every villa is equipped with a personal golf cart. Grand Isle is one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean and is ideally suited for family holidays, romantic getaways, destination weddings and honeymoons, or for simply enjoying the beach. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, seekda GmbH, Expedia, Ebookers, Hotels.com, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Booking.com so you can book your Grand Isle Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Isle Resort And Spa
- Grand Isle Hotel Great Exuma
- Grand Isle Resort & Spa Great Exuma, Bahamas