I would describe this experience as…
A fabulous resort stay as an unexpected, added bonus to such a beautiful area!
Our family vacation to Exuma in the outer islands wasn’t my first time visiting this more remote region of the Bahamas. In times past, I have visited Abaco, which boasts the same pristine natural environment, but I usually had to compromise on resort quality. However, at Grand Isle, I was surprised to find that the facilities were just as decadent as our incredible outdoor surroundings. On all sides, Exuma is encircled with some of the most crystal blue shimmering waters I’ve ever seen, and I have been lucky enough to travel the Caribbean many times. Since Exuma is actually composed of hundreds of small islands aside from just the main island where we stayed, the best way to explore all its hidden gems is actually by boat! My family and I were rightfully thrilled to try island hopping, and hoped to get a chance to get up close and personal with marine life in such an organic, authentic way. From feeding manta rays to swimming with pigs, our wildlife adventure did not disappoint.
One of our Tripbound travelers actually discovered Grand Isle first, and after the glowing review that followed, I knew I needed to investigate myself, and hopefully make it a resort option for our portfolio. We stayed in a three bedroom suite this time, since we brought along more than just our nuclear family. In addition to my husband Matt and daughter Mallory, my mom and her husband were able to come on our outer islands getaway! All of us were anticipating swimming with the famous pigs on Big Major Cay (island), but I think the true highlight for Mallory was the promise of spending the whole time with her grandma. The spacious three bedroom suite at a reasonable price point made it possible for us all to stay together. We all went into this trip with the intent to relax and unwind. We didn’t bring makeup or hair-dryers or super fancy clothes. We wanted a no-fuss vacation focused on enjoying the natural beauty of Exuma and the great amenities of the resort, which did not disappoint.
Grand Isle offers outstanding service, beautiful, well-maintained grounds, great onsite dining options, a spa, and even a golf course! Each unit comes with access to its own golf cart, and Mallory got a kick out of driving us all around the resort property at sunset. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards right from the resort. There was a kid’s program, although the person in charge wasn’t there for most of our trip. However, there was a kids’ bonfire and mini talent show on the beach the first night we arrived! As well as a pool with a great breakfast/lunchtime grill and poolside service, Grand Isle had a super swanky adults-only beach club that I simply did not expect! I didn’t anticipate that level of luxury in Exuma because it is more off the beaten path, rather than one of the mainstream Bahamas destinations. Needless to say, Grand Isle was the perfect place to stay for us, and was our gateway to experiencing all the beauty the outer islands have to offer!
Our trip to Exuma was full of hysterical, memorable moments. I’ll certainly never forget my mom’s face as a bear-sized pig chased her out of the water and back into the boat! “Overall, a vacation to Exuma in the outer islands inspires this magical feeling of discovering uncharted territory at sea, like a true nature explorer.” The island hopping boat tour was definitely my favorite part of the experience. We got to stop on private islands, like the iguana island actually owned by actor Nicholas Cage, or where various scenes were filmed for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, and collect shells, go on short hikes, and take photos of the breathtaking vista. All in all, I couldn’t recommend a visit to Exuma more, and Grand Isle is a great way to have a rejuvenating island escape as well as an outdoor adventure! It’s hard to find a location that’s remote enough that it gives you that kind of experience still with a high level of sophistication and quality for the price, and Grand Isle strikes an ideal balance.