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Seven-Sentence Review: Sandals Grande Emerald Bay

September 11, 2011

I visited a Sandals resort over Labor Day for a destination wedding.  I’ve never been to an island resort.  I thought I’d branch out and write a travel review:


The decadently appointed Sandals Grande Emerald Bay relaxes beside jewel-toned Caribbean waters, encompassed by pleasantly cool, fine sands and Elysian skies.  The setting easily seduces guests into tranquility—reading, sunbathing, and napping are popular pastimes amidst the carefully manicured flowers and palm trees.  For more active guests, the resort offers diversions including beach and water sports, Bahamas-inspired festivals and yoga classes—I didn’t even make it to the spa or the gym.

Local and international cuisine, most of it delicious, is available all hours from a variety of dining venues—including free room service.

Sandals’ staff personifies the easy-going, friendly nature of the resort, which can cause tension with high-strung Americans when punctuality is essential—such as finding an in-progress wedding reception or shuttling guests to the airport.

From a bigger perspective, the resort seems to adorn the island of Exuma like a shiny new wristwatch worn by a scraggly homeless person—cinder-block shacks dot the rest of the island landscape of mosquito-filled brambles.  This juxtaposition gives an eerie, Hitchcock-movie feeling to the experience—an artificial, adult Disney World created specifically for well-heeled indulgence left me unsure whether the vacation helped the local economy, or just perpetuated modern private-sector imperialism.

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