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by Kristin Young | Updated On: December 6, 2021 | Bahamas
Much loved for their crystal clear waters, jaw dropping beaches, secluded cays, and famous swimming pigs, the Exuma Island chain is made up of over 365 islands in the center of the Bahamas, to the east of Nassau and Paradise Island.
With so many different islands and cays to pick from in the Exumas, choosing from all of the different resorts on Exuma, Bahamas is quite a task, and so after falling in love with these islands myself, I decided to put together a comprehensive guide to the Exumas Bahamas resorts I like the best and how to find the best resorts in Exuma, Bahamas for your vacation.
Whether you’re looking to find your very own celeb-style private island here in the Exumas, or are on the hunt for Exuma Bahamas all inclusive resorts or Exuma resorts for families – or even your very own yacht charter, I’ve got you covered. In this blog I’ll help you find the best place to stay in Exuma for you. Accommodation in the Exumas isn’t all 5 star resorts either – for those looking for more laid-back, casual or budget-friendly accommodation there are several options, too, or you can rent your own villa.
As well as covering my favorite resorts Exuma, Bahamas has, I’ll walk you through how to choose which area of this string of cays and islands to stay on, too, so you can get the best out of this stunning slice of paradise.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN EXUMA, BAHAMAS?
Tight on time and just want my top picks for Bahamas Exumas resorts and accommodation?? These are my favorites for the different areas of the Exumas:
Exuma Bahamas Sandals Ever popular for honeymooners and romantic breaks, Sandals resort Exuma, Bahamas is located on Great Exuma and does not disappoint, with many couples returning year after year. Here you’ll get the famous Sandals “Luxury Included” service, making this one of the best all inclusive resort in Exuma, Bahamas.
Fowl Cay If you feel like your very own island to yourself and experience real luxury, it doesn’t get much better than Fowl Cay resort. With just 6 villas on the island and everything included in the rates including use of your very own private boat, let’s just say you’ll struggle to tear yourself away from this stunning Exumas resort.
Moorings Yacht Charters If the thought of choosing one island is just too hard, why not give yourself the ultimate flexibility of your very own luxury yacht charter? Moorings offer skippered and un-skippered yacht charters from Nassau, allowing you to sail over to the Exumas and drift around from one white sand cay to the next without a care in the world!
WHERE TO STAY IN THE EXUMAS, BAHAMAS
With some of the most stunning Exuma Resorts spread out among the 365 islands and cays of the Exumas, it can be tough to know which is the best location!
If you are dreaming of your own private island castaway then the northern Exumas are home to hundreds of tiny cays and hidden islands – perfect for exploring in your own yacht – but there are also some beautiful Exumas Bahamas resorts dotted around on some of the larger northern and central cays, such as Fowl Cay and Staniel Cay. If you choose to stay on a smaller Cay you’ll need to take boat transfers to the other Cays if you want a change of scenery.
If it’s Exuma all inclusive resorts that you’re in search of or you would rather be somewhere with more facilities rather than playing desert island castaway, the southerly Exumas Cays of Great Exuma and Little Exuma (joined to one another by a bridge) are home to most of the resorts in Exuma and smaller accommodations.
Great Exuma is still much quieter than – say – Paradise Island – but it’s a good balance between entertainment and facilities and quieter beaches.
Little Exuma is home to some of the most stunning resorts Exuma has, and is a great compromise between staying closer to the facilities of Great Exuma which is accessible across the bridge, while having more white sand all to yourself.
Regardless of where you stay, taking a boat trip around the Exumas to go Cay-hopping during your time here is an absolute must. Yachties and would-be yachties will be delighted to hear that it’s super easy to charter your own fully-crewed yacht here, too.
OUR TOP EXUMA ISLAND RESORTS
Below you’ll find some of our favorite resorts in the Exumas as well as other accommodation option suggestions, too.
If you’re looking for the best Exuma Bahamas all inclusive, you won’t be disappointed with the Adults-Only resort Sandals Exuma. Part of the much loved couples oriented “Luxury Included” Sandals chain which has resorts through the Caribbean, the Exuma Bahamas Sandals is located on Great Exuma.
Set on a stunning 1 mile long beach, Sandals Great Exuma is close to shops, other resorts and dining options on the Cay, but being all-inclusive the best thing about Sandals is that you won’t have to leave the resort if you don’t want to, as everything from liqueurs to food and watersports activities are included in your stay here.
Located within 500 acres of pristine coastline and gardens, the Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma is a popular choice for those looking for the Exumas resorts that are best for honeymoons, tropical weddings, or romantic getaways.
Sandals Exuma Bay has a host of facilities and things to do on site (all included in your package) – including 17 bars and restaurants to dine at, scuba diving and snorkeling, green fees for the Sandals Grand Exuma golf course, 3 large swimming pools, and watersports including kayaks, windsurfing, paddle boarding and sail boat trips. There are also on-land activities including tennis and beach volleyball, too. Entertainment at the Sandals Resort Great Exuma is mostly live music in the evenings – making it ideal for those who want more relaxed entertainment.
There are 18 different room types at the Sandals Emerald Bay Exuma ranging from the top level Butler service LoveNest suites which are all beachfront and boast stunning views out onto the ocean. Entry level Luxury rooms are pool or garden facing and all have a colonial plantation cottage design feel with ceiling fans and shutters.
Despite being one of the older Sandals resorts in the Caribbean, the Sandals Resort Exuma remains a top choice for many couples returning here again and again for its stunning location, beach and great service.
Best For: Families who want plenty of space and style
Pros: Plenty of space in private villas
Cons: Fewer facilities than other resorts
Amenities: Infinity pool, Beach Club, Spa, Golf, Watersports
Located on the stunning west coast of Grand Exuma cay, the Grand Isle Resort Exumas is a stunning all-villa property offering 4* luxury offering the perfect vacation for those seeking relaxation with plenty of space and style. If you’re looking for Exuma family resorts that are kid-friendly without sacrificing on luxury, then you’ll love Grand Isle Exuma.
With 78 villas spaced throughout the Grand Island Resort Exuma lush tropical gardens, this resort provides the perfect balance between privacy and plenty of facilities for a memorable Exumas vacation. Villas available at this Exuma beach resort include 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and options for panoramic penthouse villas for those after extra wow factor. All come with fully equipped kitchens, and you can also enjoy the authentic Caribbean cuisine on offer here too.
For dining, there’s a choice of 2 restaurants and a beach bar at the resort, or alternatively, Grand Isle Great Exuma is a short stroll to other nearby dining options on Great Exuma.
The spa on site offers healing Thalassotherapy (using the healing powers of water) and a massage here is an experience not to be missed. The Grand Isle also offers golf at the Emerald Reef Golf course, and a range of watersport activities which include stand-up-paddle, kayaking and snorkeling. The kids’ club is the star of most Grand Isle resort Exuma reviews, with the Hummingbird Hut team onsite organising daily play trips for kids aged between 5-12 years old.
If you want the best resort in Exuma that’s both family friendly and high-end with plenty to do but without feeling busy or crowded, the Grand Isle resort is an easy win.
Best For: Those seeking mid-range accommodation right on the beach
Pros: Close to plenty of facilities and restaurants in Georgetown
Cons: The pool is on the small side
Amenities: Swimming pool, on-site dining, ocean views, watersports,
Next up in my resorts Exumas – Bahamas reviews is the Hideaways at Palm Bay resort, a budget-friendly midrange option located in Georgetown on Great Exuma. This is a great Exuma resort to choose if you want to be close to plenty of facilities in George Town and you aren’t looking for one of the Exuma resorts all – inclusive options.
Located right on the beach, Hideaways is a great base for families, groups of friends and couples alike. Accommodation is a range of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom cottages which are bright and airy and feature full kitchens for self-catering. There are also BBQ facilities which guests can use at the resort.
There’s a bar and grill at the resort making it easy to grab a sun-downer or meal without having to go elsewhere, yet this resort’s location also makes it easy to walk to any number of the restaurants and bars nearby in Georgetown. Excursions to go cay-hopping, to swim with Exuma’s pigs or go scuba diving are all bookable through the resort who are happy to help arrange tours.
If you’re looking for family resorts in Exuma Bahamas that are budget-friendly and set up for self catering, you really can’t go wrong with Hideaways and its great location right on the beach.
Cons: Remote location, not all-inclusive but you’ll need to eat at the resort
Amenities: Swimming pool, beach, snorkeling, stand up paddle, sailing, tour concierge
Set on Stocking Island just off Great Exuma and a short boat ride away, this beautiful gem of a resort gives you your very own castaway feel but without being far from the amenities and access of Great Exuma. Kahari Exuma is an intimate eco-friendly resort with just 12 villa rooms and incredible beaches. The resort supports the Exuma Foundation in working with the local Exumas community to create more beneficial tourism in the Bahamas.
All of the 12 rooms here are water-facing, meaning you’re never more than a few steps from the turquoise waters of Stocking Cay. Rooms are luxurious colonial-style bungalows with vaulted high ceilings, timber beams, white-wash and ceiling fans. There are large screened porches to lounge on and private outdoor rain showers.
As Exuma Bahamas luxury resorts go, what sets this one apart is its small size, unique location and eco-friendliness. Dining is available on site at the beautiful Beacon restaurant which overlooks the waters of Turtle Lagoon for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you would rather have options when it comes to entertainment, the good news is that Kahari offers boat transfers to its sister resort over on Great Exuma, the Peace and Plenty hotel Exuma, and from there you can easily access the bars and restaurants of Georgetown. On site, there are all the essential activities you need for a great Exuma vacation, including hobie cat sailboats, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, swimming and snorkeling. The resort can easily arrange tours and cay-hopping trips.
All in all if you are looking for great Exuma resorts that offer something special, you may fall in love with the Kahari resort.
Best For: Those seeking a truly special luxury island getaway
Pros: Exclusive, secluded vibe with everything included
Cons: Not for those on a budget
Amenities: Boat use, snorkeling, dining, fishing trips, watersports, pool
Want your very own private paradise hideaway with everything included? Then you may just have struck gold with the Fowl Cay Exumas Resort. This is one of the most unique all inclusive resorts Exuma Bahamas has thanks to its more northerly location away from Great Exuma – in fact this beautiful retreat is on an island all to itself.
With just 6 private villas dotted around the island, this 5* resort is a truly special experience. Villas range from 1 to 3 bedrooms, and include everything you would expect from a top grand Exuma resort. To get here you’ll need to travel by charter plane or scheduled flight to Staniel Cay to the north and then arrange a private transfer by boat to Fowl Cay through the resort – and the journey is worth it.
Consistently rated one of the best resorts Exuma – Bahamas has, Fowl Cay was established as the first luxury resort in the Exumas in 2002. One of the things that makes this resort special is its everything included philosophy – from food and beverages (including alcohol) to use of your very own 18ft powerboat yacht during your stay! Get a boat safety briefing, order a picnic to-go and go Cay-hopping under your own steam during your stay.
Other activities and amenities at the resort include stunning private beaches all around the island, a swimming pool, snorkeling, watersports equipment for use such as kayaks and paddleboards, fishing trips, tennis courts, and a lounge area for guests’ use.
The Fowl Cay resorts island is off limits to non-guests, with the exception of dinner reservations that can be made by yachters and visitors.
If a resort is not quite what you had in mind for your grand Exuma Bahamas vacation, there are a few other options which work well for the exumas – why not either charter your own private yacht to explore the stunning cays, or else consider one of the many Exuma vacation rentals available?
Moorings Yacht Charter in the Exumas
Thanks to Moorings charter and their marina in Nassau, it’s now possible to charter your very own sail yacht or power yacht to cruise around the stunning Exumas at your own pace. This way you have the option to stop off wherever you please and explore uninhabited paradise islands with no one else around, or moor-up and explore Georgetown to head back for a comfortable night’s sleep on your own yacht.
Choose from either a self-skippered quote, where you can sail yourself if you are a sailor, hire your own skipper, or choose Moorings skipper + chef charter to get your yacht complete with your very own skipper and onboard chef – the ultimate luxury! Leaving you to relax, unwind and enjoy life on the Caribbean sea.
One thing to note is that the 40 mile or so channel between the Exumas and Nassau can get a little rougher than the water around the Exumas themselves and is recommended for more experienced sailors rather than novices.
Exuma Villa Rentals
The Exumas are a perfect place to get away from it all and rent your own house on or near the best beaches. From small cottages to large villas, there’s something for every style to escape the crowds.