Today, I’m thrilled to have my client, Christian Levac, share his vacation experiences with his wife at Sandals Emerald Bay. Enjoy!
We landed on Great Exuma via Nassau in less than 40 minutes on a 38-seat SkyBahamas flight, flying over stunning turquoise-blue waters and hundreds of sparsely populated islands (or Cays – pronounced “keys”). Although the airport in Georgetown is labeled an “international” airport, it is the smallest I’ve been to in my 35+ years of traveling around the world. You have your luggage in hand and en route to the resort 15 minutes after walking off the plane.
We arrived at Sandals Emerald Bay (formerly the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay) mid-morning. Clearly we were too early to check-in, but the receptionist offered us breakfast on arrival and the use any of the hotel facilities. We had a few hours to kill so we opted to head to the Greg Norman-designed championship golf course for one of our free rounds of golf. The entire golf course is extremely challenging, but even more so on the back nine as most of the holes are played along the edge of the ocean. The holes are truly breathtaking, but deadly on the scorecard!
After our round of golf, we were off for a quick bite to eat at Dino’s for a woodstone oven pizza. We managed to get a few hours of beach/pool time on our first day before having a dinner at the Il Cielo, the Italian restaurant on the resort.
Our second day was spent relaxing on the white sand beach, enjoying the crystal-clear turquoise waters of Emerald Bay and lounging in the pool-side sofas of the very large main pool. We also enjoyed the entertainment provided by Peter throughout the week and the variety of drinks served by Van and his colleagues at the main pool swim-up bar. This evening, we ate the French restaurant, La Parisienne.
On our third day, we headed off on a day-long boat excursion of the Exuma Cays with Four C’s Adventure. The highlights of the excursion included snorkelling in Thunderball Grotto (where Sean Connery filmed both Thunderball and Never Say Never) at Staniel Cay, seeing the giant starfish in Starfish Bay, the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay and the endangered Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana. We also got to see the private islands owned by celebrities, such as Faith Hill & Tim McGraw and David Copperfield (you can rent his 150-acre island and residences for $37,500/day!). The owners of Sandals also rent villas on another island called Fowl Cay and there are a number of other cays currently under development.
Our last two days were spent enjoying the beach and ocean in Emerald Bay, whether it was snorkeling, on the hydrobikes and kayaks, as well as having quite a few of my new favorite drink, a Sapphire Bay, craftily prepared by Van at the main pool bar.
In the evening following dinner, we would usually head to the Irish-inspired Drunken Duck Pub, for a few drinks and to shoot some pool in the adjoining game room.
It was unquestionably difficult leaving the resort after spending less than a week here – however, we will surely return again someday. The friendliness and service provided of staff members was truly exceptional. I don’t recall walking past one staff member without hearing a “Hello. Good morning!” or “Hi, how are you doing?” The resort is impeccably landscaped, the food and drinks truly first class.
This was our first vacation to a Sandals resort and will certainly not be our last. And our thanks to Sheila for making the arrangements for us!