Grand Isle Resort and Spa
What We Love
- A stunning location on powder-white Emerald Bay Beach
- Smallest villa is is 1,250 square feet; all have separate living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and private balconies
- Free-form infinity pool with direct beach access
- Greg Norman–designed 18-hole golf course adjoins the resort
- Delicious Caribbean jerk-style dinners at The Palapa Grill
- Swimming with pigs has become one of the island's most popular activities
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Emerald Bay is 14 miles north of George Town along the Queen’s Highway
- Non-motorized water sports (including kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding) are available
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A quick flight from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Atlanta—or an easy connection through Nassau from a range of East Coast hubs—the Exuma Cays are the crown jewel of the Bahamas, an island chain defined by ribbons of white and pink sand and impossibly turquoise water. Along the east coast of Great Exuma, a few miles north of George Town, the 78-villa Grand Isle Resort & Spa occupies one of the island’s most spectacular crescent beaches, at Emerald Bay. The 78 villas are homey and spacious (the smallest is 1,250 square feet), with separate living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and private balconies overlooking the manicured gardens or across Emerald Bay and out to sea. Interiors show off a Bahamian fondness for bold tropical colors, but they have a modern vibe thanks to dark wood furniture, cool tile floors and island artwork. Fitness fanatics can get their fix in the 24-hour gym or by trying out a slew of non-motorized water sports, including kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding. Or tee off nearby at the Greg Norman-designed Emerald Reef Golf Club, adjacent to the hotel, a par 72 championship course that plays to 7,200 yards and features six signature holes along the water. For everyone else there’s pampered relaxation to be had at the full-service spa or beside the infinity pool, which overlooks Emerald Bay. Evenings at Grand Isle Resort are low-key affairs enjoyed with a rum cocktail, a cracked conch appetizer and a Caribbean jerk-style dinner at The Palapa Grill. For couples and honeymooners, the staff can set up private dinners for two (with a prearranged menu of classic Caribbean fare) on your villa’s breezy balconies.
In the Area
The beaches of the Bahamas are chockablock with bars, and foremost among them is Chat ’n’ Chill, on Stocking Island, a ramshackle beach pub nestled on the shore across from George Town. Hop a water taxi or rent your own skiff for the one-mile jaunt across the harbor — and don’t skip the signature Goombay Smash cocktail. When hunger strikes, tie up at the colorful Staniel Cay Yacht Club and have a bite at the restaurant, a can’t-miss place for fresh seafood, cold Bahamian beer and, of course, the Out Islands’ famous cracked conch. The best way to experience the natural beauty of the Exumas is from the sea. Charter a full- or half-day sail with a local adventure outfitter and get lost exploring the deserted cays and coves that comprise this exquisite island chain. There are myriad natural attractions in the Exumas, but be sure to drop anchor and snorkel through Thunderball Grotto, a sea cave once featured in the James Bond film of the same name. And shore up at Big Majors Cay, home to wild pigs that are eager to greet your boat. Feed them scraps from the boat, or jump in and swim with the famed pigs yourself.
How to Get There
Grand Isle’s location right on Emerald Bay is pretty ideal. It’s less than a 15 min drive from the airport. The beach is lovely, water is calm and so crystal blue. We also loved the new adults only 23 North Beach Club on the property. Although we don’t golf, the course on the property is lovely to walk along. The villas are really spacious and comfortable with a well-appointed kitchen which comes in handy to whip up some breakfast. We also enjoyed our couples massage at the spa.
Spent the afternoon with Annette at the beach side bar . She kept us entertained all afternoon. She shared local info and recommend drinks and dinner choices. She was kind, funny and provided great service. Grand Isle is fortunate to have found Annette . Cheers !
Relaxing low key resort with spacious condos & wonderful service, we had a one bedroom condo fully equipped so most morning we had breakfast in. Spectacular white sand beach and amazing new adult only Beach Club with best food we have had in the Caribbean. Separate pools for families and kids program when we were there
My girlfriend and I spent 5 days in the Exumas at this resort that was very nice.
The beach and waters make the place, but we did enjoy the golf , Spa and restaurants.
The staff were very helpful and friendly.
We rented a car to see the rest of both Grand Exuma and little Exuma. Really there was nothing to see on either.
So leaving the complex was rather a waste of time as the islands just have very little to offer. The outside restaurants were all inferior to the two restaurants on site one having opened a moth ago
I would recommend having the fridge stocked for you arrival as taxis are very expensive and car hire as well.
My husband, teenaged daughter, and I stayed five nights in a one-bedroom, ocean view villa. It was amazing. The property is ideally located on Emerald Bay (very private, only Sandals shares it). The restaurant had delicious menu that changed some each night. The groper was the best, and be sure to get the giant chocolate chip cookie (baked while you wait) with coconut ice cream. There are two bars, a small spa, and gift shop. The adjacent golf course looked nice, but we didn't play. All water toys are included in the price and were readily available. You have never seen such crystal clear, clean blue water and smooth white sand. It was heaven!