Best Hotels in the Bahamas
No. 2 Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Before this luxurious property arrived in the laid-back Exumas in 2004, the only lodging options were modest mom-and-pop operations. And yes, there were some concerns that a sprawling resort with a Greg Norman golf course, a 60-slip marina, a 17-room spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a 5,000-square-foot casino, and fine-dining restaurants would change the essential timbre of this necklace of tiny islands and cays. But even curmudgeonly old-schoolers may be swayed by the lovely island-style décor in the 183 rooms and suites (sophisticated antique repros, pineapple-and-palm-print fabrics, tile floors, rattan ceiling fans). And it's hard not to like the super-attentive staffers, who arrange everything from private snorkeling excursions to finding coloring books, bath toys, and baby shampoo for little ones.