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
- 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
Had a wonderful visit! Entire staff was very professional and hospitable. Very spacious, modern and clean villa. Restaurant on site was very good and even made me special vegan dinners off the menu. Overall great experience and will be back!
The "hotel room" was a huge 1300 sf villa. Def the nicest place I've ever stayed at in my LIFE. The kitchen had more gadgets than my own kitchen at home. There were very few people on the white sandy beaches within very close walking distance which made it very private! Due to rains, my plans to propose were cancelled but Obie overheard me talking to the company setting it up and came up with a magical proposal within a few hours to save the day. Obie really came through for me, thank you so much!!! My now fiance was extremely elated with the proposal and the trip. Highly recommend!
We were on Exuma for a wedding and stayed at the Grand Isle Resort. Lester and his entire staff could not have been more accommodating. JAY IS THE BEST VALET EVER! We loved him and his funny personality! Our villa was clean and had a beautiful view and the price was extremely fair. The front desk staff and concierge planned a boat tour of the island for us and it was one of our most favorite vacations yet. All of the staff members were so friendly and were such happy people! They told us "we are like this because this is our culture and how we were raised" Our last night they did a Bahamian Buffet and the chef told us she learned to cook from her mother. She used to work on the island of Bimini. The food was DELICIOUS and she was one of the nicest people we have ever met. We are sorry we can't remember her name! We hope to return with our kids very soon! Would give it 6 stars if that was possible! Thank you for an amazing vacation!
Repeat visitor...Greeted with the biggest of smiles and best of service! Loved seeing the best bartender around John James, Asst. Manager Jamiel, and our favorite guys Roger, Modesta, and Falendez! The guest service staff of Nichelle, Anja, Crystal and Patrieka were as awesome as ever! The house keeping team (both am and pm staff) were absolutely incredible! We already are booked to return this summer and bringing a new first time visiting family! We love Grand Isle and the BEST staff around!
Very quickly after arriving at this resort I had to ask myself "am I in the Bahamas"? My past experience in the Bahamas has been limited to Nassau and its surrounding area, and Grand Isle is 180 degrees better. Our Villa was exceptional and absolutely beautiful. Well decorated and well appointed. The grounds are beautiful. Well maintained and very clean.
We never heard another guest! Never. Even though the resort was relatively full we never felt crowded - the place seemed deserted. Staff at the resort were exceptional. After a short while they knew our names and our routines. In particular the concierge team was phenomenal. We had dinner reservations each night, spa reservations and most any need addressed, in advance of our arrival.
My only suggestion to future guests is to forego the grocery shopping/provisioning service. You are better off taking a taxi for less than the $60 grocery fee, and will save yourself frustration and conflict with a surly third party vendor. After getting into vacation mode I did not appreciate being yelled at, belittled and otherwise told I was wrong by this person who the resort contracts with. Its not worth violating the vacation state of mind and her attitude is so counter to the service provided by the resort staff.