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SANDALS RESORT - GREAT EXUMA BAHAMAS

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Sandals Emerald Bay opened in February 2010. The Great Exuma resort is located on the largest of the 360 Exumas in the Bahamas Out Islands.

How do you get to Great Exuma? Flights from Miami FL take only 45 minutes. You can also fly to Great Exuma from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or Nassau, Bahamas. Air Canada Vacations offers weekly non-stop Toronto to Great Exuma flights.

Oceanfront property

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) bought the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay and added US$50 million in improvements before opening its third Bahamas resort.

The 500-acre Sandals Great Exuma resort boasts 183 oceanfront rooms, suites and villas, all with butler service, a one-mile-long white sand beach on Emerald Bay, five gourmet restaurants, a Greg Norman-designed 18-hole championship golf course, a deepwater marina and a Red Lane Dermalogica concept spa.

Luxury accommodations

Sandals Emerald Bay has 16 categories of suites in three villages: Seaside Village, Ocean Village and Emerald Bay Village. All oceanfront rooms, suites and villas have furnished private patios or balconies that overlook Great Exuma's Emerald Bay.

Kir Royales, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine welcome you to your luxurious oceanfront accommodations. Suite amenities include pillow menus, down duvets, plasma TVs, in-suite bars stocked with your preferred beverages, wireless Internet, iPod docking stations, bath oils and salts, bathrobes, slippers and 24-hour room service.

Butler cell phones enable you to contact Sandals Resorts butlers, who can make dinner reservations, bring snacks, arrange picnics and draw rose petal baths. Beach butlers deliver fresh towels, cool drinks, Evian spritzers and tropical sorbets.

Swim-up pool bar

One of the three pools at Sandals Emerald Bay is a half-acre zero-entry freshwater swimming pool. It features misting towers, a Jacuzzi, swim-up pool bar, poolside cabanas with WiFi Internet access and seating areas with fire-pits.

"The closest city to Great Exuma, Bahamas, is 150 miles away, so city lights don't obstruct the night sky," says Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts. "In the evening, guests can sit next to the fire pits and view the star-filled sky."

Gourmet dining

The Great Exuma Sandals resort features five gourmet restaurants. At the à la carte Barefoot by the Sea, you dine outdoors on Bahamian seafood, while wiggling your feet in the sand.

Il Cielo serves food specialties of Tuscany, like vitello porcini and Tuscan white bean soup. For more casual Italian cuisine at Sandals Emerald Bay, Dino's bakes crisp crusted pizzas in a wood-fired oven.

The Drunken Duck is a Victorian pub that was bought in the UK and re-assembled in Great Exuma. It serves British pub food, such as fish & chips and shepherd's pie, with local beers and imported ales. Drunken Duck also features a snooker room and an evening disco.

Bahama Bay is a casual restaurant, specializing in the cuisines of Mediterranean-rim countries. In addition to the à la carte restaurants at Sandals Emerald Bay, you can enjoy high tea every afternoon, with English teas, sandwiches and pastries.

Sandals Resort vacation

There is no shortage of things to do at Sandals Emerald Bay. Watersports include kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, aqua cycles and fishing for bonefish with a guide. If you're a certified diver, you can scuba dive in a Bahamas blue hole and explore Thunderball Grotto, a cave near Staniel Cay, featured in a James Bond movie.

Outdoor activities include cycling, volleyball, croquet and playing tennis, day and night, on six championship-grade Har-tru tennis courts.

Greg Norman golf course

Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, features six signature holes through seaside dunes and mangroves along the rocky coast. The Greg Norman-designed 7,200-yard, par 72 championship golf course has indigenous grass ground cover, which can be watered with salt water.

Red Lane Spa entices guests with 17 indoor and six outdoor treatment rooms. Besides Dermalogica skin care treatments, you can enjoy eucalyptus steam baths and Caribbean massages with sweet ortanique oranges.

The Sandals Resort Fitness Center has cardiovascular and strength equipment. You can take wellness classes, including aerobics, yoga, Pilates, aqua-fit workouts and beach walks.

Bahamas marina

Marina at Emerald Bay is the first marina at a Sandals Resort. The 150-slip deepwater marina has dockage facilities for yachts as long as 240 feet. Open to the public, the Great Exuma marina has its own clubhouse, restaurant, pool and bar.

The Exumas attract yachts from around the world. The second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies included scenes filmed at Hog Cay.

Great Exuma vacation

An easy way for guests of Sandals Emerald Bay to explore the Exumas, Bahamas, is to book one of the Island Routes excursions. Tours of Exuma islands include bus tours of Great Exuma and Little Exuma, cruise tours of Elizabeth Harbour, Great Exuma, and deep-sea fishing.

Island Routes Castaway Getaway tour drops off couples on a private deserted island for the day, with beach chairs, umbrella, drink-filled cooler, gourmet picnic basket and bottle of wine.

Sandals Bahamas resorts

Sandals Emerald Bay is the fourteenth Sandals Resort and the third Sandals Resort in The Bahamas.

The other two Bahamas resorts are Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau and Royal Plantation Island at Fowl Cay in the Exumas.