Of the 360-odd cays that make up the azure expanse of the Bahamian district of Exuma, the island of Great Exuma has ascended to prominence as one of the foremost destinations in the whole of the Caribbean. The universal appeal of its dreamy beaches and warm waters notwithstanding, Great Exuma is winning over the hearts and minds of vacationers with its sterling offering of luxury accommodations. While the island is awash with incredible villas and resorts, only one property can claim a list of eye-popping attractions that include a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, al fresco fare served (infinity) poolside, the famous SeaStar Spa, lavishly appointed four-bedroom penthouses, and a dizzying array of aquatic excursions in Emerald Bay. All this and more are par for the course at the Grand Isle Resort & Residences, one of the leading properties pushing to broaden the guest experience on Great Exuma.
We caught up with Michael Lorenz, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Resort, to get the scoop on what pushing the envelope in dream vacations looks like. Read on for a few choice excerpts that’ll have you Expedia’ing your way to Exuma in a heartbeat.
On the essential core of the Grand Isle Resort Experience and what makes it unique:
“People come for the water and stay for the experience! The beaches and ocean activities in the outer islands are unparalleled in the Caribbean and The Bahamas. You will truly experience a “down island” vacation, get to know the locals and dive into the Bahamian cuisine! Of course, I think the best way to get that full experience is with our Villa product. Our villas are designed to truly be ‘homes’. We find that many vacationers from Europe, the U.S., and Canada are increasingly travelling with family and friends, and our villas provide the ideal backdrop and intimate experience for those kinds of groups.”
Describing what makes Exuma special:
“Exuma is part of the “Out Islands” of The Bahamas – an expansive collection of thousands of beaches, brilliantly clear (and blue) ocean and some of the best boating in the world.
Mixed within hundreds of incredible islands are many incredible attractions, including the world-famous swimming pigs, magical sandbars and authentic encounters with stingrays, sea turtles, nurse sharks and giant iguanas.”
Why Canadians should visit Exuma:
“For more than a decade, Canadians have made up a sizable portion of Grand Isle’s ownership. Canadians have demonstrated a lot of love for Exuma. And, it’s now even easier for Canadians to get here: Air Canada Vacations has reintroduced a seasonal, direct flight from Toronto to Exuma. With travel now increasingly looking like a possibility after the difficulties of COVID and flights coming back, Canadians will find the leisure they’ve been missing during the pandemic in Exuma.”
On Recent Renovations and Upcoming Initiatives:
“During the past 12 months, we have spent extensive time and funds on improving some key areas of the Resort, starting with a renovation of the Palapa Pool, to an upgrade of our Palapa Restaurant and our Spa. In addition, we brought in a company called Taste & Theory to give both restaurants new concepts, service standards, a refreshed look, and new menus. As we head into 2023, we will be getting a new fleet of golf carts for our guests, refreshing our catering facilities for weddings and more!”
“On the activity side of things, we have a new relationship with Beneath the Waves (BTW), which will get our guests up close and involved in a shark tagging initiative. While many Caribbean resorts offer typical watersports; we are focused on bucket list experiences and environmentally mindful excursions. First, we had Swimming with the Pigs; now, we are taking our offering to the next level with Shark Tagging. In addition, BTW looks to expand their offerings moving forward, starting with snorkelling with marine biologists. With the hyper focus on our environment right now, we feel this relationship will continue to expand and be a vital part of our resort offering moving forward.”
Curiosity piqued? Vacation craving ignited? Visit https://grandisleresort.com/ to start planning your stay on Great Exuma