I recently returned from a lovely vacation in the Exumas, an archipelago of 365 small islands which are 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Most of these islands, or Cays (pronounced “keys”) have to be accessed by boat. You could visit one island a day for a year and never get tired of the pristine beaches and coral reefs. I chose to explore from Great Exuma, the largest of the islands.
There are many choices of hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, but I chose the Grand Isle Resort and Spa, a private and luxurious villa community with all of the benefits of a 5 star resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted at the gate by a very friendly member of the staff. Checking in was a smooth and quick process, and we were soon unpacked and on the beach! The aqua blue of the water has to be seen to be believed! Our week sped by, and we enjoyed every moment we spent at the Grand Isle. Here is why:
1. The Villas are beautiful, and tastefully appointed. There are several different floor plans, from 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms. The villas are owned by individuals, and many of them give the Grand Isle permission to lease their villas when they are not in residence. I enjoyed our floor plan, 2 bedrooms on the ground floor, and upstairs a chef’s kitchen, dining room, living room, powder bath, and a desk. Free wifi, of course.
2. Grand Isle’s access to pool and beach is excellent. The infinity edge pool is heated, so even when the cool wind blew in, swimming was warm and inviting. The beach was perfect for walking, sunning, and playing. On a windy day we watched one of the guests Windsurf. Towels and water sports gear are available poolside. Massages are also offered at the pool, overlooking the aqua seas.
3. The restaurant, the Palapa Grill, served healthy, delicious and well presented, meals. We enjoyed the Hummus Duo almost every night as an appetizer. Regular Hummus and Sweet Potato Hummus were served with toasty pita bread. I ate fish nightly, and everything was very tasty. The restaurant service was also exceptional, but maybe that is because my cousin accidentally gave a 20% tip on a bill which already had a gratuity on it! I’m sure that is not the reason, but it was an amusing incident.
4. Golf Carts! If you choose to utilize it, each villa has it’s own golf cart. The golf course is beautiful, with fabulous views of the ocean. I do not golf, but I loved driving the golf cart. It was so much fun, touring the golf course and the property on the left hand side of the paths (yes, the Bahamas drive on the left). I’m sure the golfers in your group would love the course and the close access. Many villas overlook the course and beautiful Emerald Bay.
5. The Concierge Service was one of the best I have ever experienced. They were on top of everything. All of our tours (the famous swimming pigs of the Exumas with Exuma Water Sports!) were handled exceptionally well, and professionally. I never saw any member of the staff without a smile or a helpful word. Every request was handled quickly and thoroughly. They were tremendous!
The Grand Isle also has a spa and fitness room. I did not get a chance to use either, I was busy snorkeling, swimming with the famous Exuma pigs, hanging out on Stocking Island with the Stingrays at the Chat and Chill…). It is a relaxing, resort community, and a beautiful one at that, where you are taken care of,and given prompt attention with a smile. I won’t hesitate to head back to the Exumas, and I will stay again at the Grand Isle Resort and Spa. The experience was a true delight!