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“Hurricane Sandy” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   West Bay Street, Cable Beach, Nassau 13005, New Providence Island   |  
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$150 Spa Credit!
Ranked #2 of 31 hotels in Nassau
San Diego
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Hurricane Sandy”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We checked in the day after Hurricane Sandy. The hotel was understandably effected in anegative manner. The staff were awesome. Our room was great. We did check out after one day and moved to the Cove at Atlantis. The food at Sandals was very good.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Thank you for your review. After a hurricane or any tropical storm we always try to get all repairs and cleaning completed as quickly and as efficiently as possible to ensure that our guests are not too affected during their stay. Unfortunately, it seems we were not quite up to par during your stay and for that we apologize. Even though you only spent a day with us, we're still glad you were able to enjoy your stay in The Bahamas. We do hope that you visit us again and afford us the opportunity to impress you with our luxurious accommodations, delicious dining and friendly staff.

Happy Travels!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Somehow, this place manages to clean up really well for promos and pictures. I will forever cringe when I see that Sandals commercial come on TV...

The best way to describe this place is tired. It looks like it may have once been a nice hotel, but now it just looks forgotten and depressing.

The food is horrible.... and no matter which restaurant you eat, whether it be the Italian or Japanese, the food seems like it's all coming out of the same kitchen and just re-purposed to fit the theme of the restaurant. And, the food was not fresh. Forget fresh fruit, fresh fish, or fresh anything... it all tastes like the frozen bulk food you would buy at Costco, then slathered in grease.

And I can't understand the reservation system. We had to haggle with the hostess at the Japanese restaurant, Kimonos, for a half an hour for a reservation only to find half of the restaurant completely empty for the entire time we were seated for our meal. I don't get it.

The staff is nice enough, but for some reason I felt like a constant bother to them just for being there. I felt bad every time I asked for something, even if it was as simple as a glass of water.

The biggest highlight for me at the hotel was the fire pits by the beach that turned on in the evening.

I've never spent so much money for a hotel stay only to count the minutes til departure. I don't think at the rate they charge per night that it's too much to ask to have decent food and a clean, nice looking hotel. This will probably be my last stay at an all inclusive because the cost just does not make sense for meals and drinks per day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
We regret to hear that your stay was not as expected. We strive to uphold the highest standards of service and quality. We have many guests that boast of our luxurious inclusions, water sports, fine dining, accommodations and quality of staff but as hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and your feedback is appreciated.

Regarding your concerns about the food and dining options, it is surprising to note that some of the food served was not to your expectations. This aspect of our operation is usually considered exceptional and very often received compliments from our guests. We are therefore sorry if you were not similarly impressed. We always encourage our guests to express their concerns while on property so that we can make adjustments to ensure that you they enjoy the remainder of their stay. Our chefs, especially, are always eager to please even the most discerning palate.

Thank you once again for your review.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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Olathe, KS
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

My wife and I greatly enjoyed this all-inclusive resort for our honeymoon. The restaurants, bars, amenities and activities were excellent. Looking forward to going back someday. I would not upgrade rooms though as we were rarely in the room and could spend the difference on excursions.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Saturday (Arrival): We just got here today for my wife's 40th birthday. This is our first trip in 5 years with no kids and we are/were really looking forward to it. We couldn't book the ocean-view room we wanted as they are booked until tomorrow. Not a huge deal as we figured/hoped we could change or pay to get the room we wanted tomorrow. So far though this is the same experience as my wife and I had the last time we went to a Sandals in Jamaica in 2005. After arriving they took us to the concierge area for check-in. After a lengthy check-in process we asked if we could make a few dinner reservations as we'd read online you need to make them as soon as you check-in. Our check-in host just said, "ok we'll make reservations for you" without actually asking where/what we wanted to eat. When we told him we had specific places we wanted to try he said ok then went off. We were then taken to Spices for a late lunch. Not only was the selection limited but we had to wait almost 15min just to get a plate. Once we got a plate half the food was gone. This was similar to our experience at Sandals in Jamaica -- food never seemed to be available.

Once our room was finally ready we were given our restaurant reservations. We only got one of the restaurants we wanted and not on the day we wanted. When we tried to change we were told everything was already booked -- so much for trying to make reservations at check-in!

When we finally got to our room it is/was nice and spacious, but nowhere near the location we wanted and the balcony is so small we'd be nervous if the wind picked up.

All in all we are still away with no kids and it's warmer here than home, but it's day 1 of our trip and we're already a bit aggravated and seriously debating if Sandals will ever be in our future again. Here's to hoping we can somehow get dinner and maybe get lucky on a room change. Stay tuned!

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Thank you for notifying us of your concerns while on property. We really appreciate the opportunity given to make things right during the remainder of your stay. I'm so glad that the management and staff at Sandals Royal Bahamian were able to address your concerns and provide you with the kind of customer service we strive for everyday. It's great that your stay turned out to be an amazing one with memorable moments and lots of exciting surprises.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon for an even better stay!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Sandals from October 30 2012 to November 6 2012, right after hurricane Sandy. This is our 5th vacation together staying at all inclusive restorts, that are 5 star acommadations. Just a little background information for you readers. We are 27 and 26 years old and go on vacation together once a year and always try somewhere different.

When we arrived at the airport everything went smoothly, luggage and customs took no time at all. (The airport was new and only opened about 1 week) There was a small Sandals desk, like we were told there would be. We did not have to go up to it because the rep was waiting right by the doors. He looked up our name on his list and advised us that our car would be there in about 5-10 minutes to pick us up.

We were picked up in about the 10 minutes as he said in a Royles Royce. Our driver was extremely nice, took our bags right away (all of them, he would not let us carry not one!) He made sure to open my door first and then went around to the other side to open my boyfriends door. He was trying to be very "proper" I guess you could say but once we started talking he seemed to relax abit. He was more then happy to give us a little hisorty of the Island as well as answer and questions that we asked. The ride to the resort was only about 15 minutes from the airport.

Once at the resort we were greated right away with warm towels. Our butler was there within 2 minutes of arriving. After having read all the reviews we desised to spend a little more money and book the Royal Village Honeymoon Villa Suite with butler service. Our first butler Shamal told us that our room was not quite ready (I expected this from reading all the reviews, the rooms never seem to be ready when you arrive), no big deal is was right around noon so he took us to the Royal Cafe to have lunch and told us he would be back in a bit to check on us. As we were walking to the Royal Cafe we pointed out where the restaurants where as well as a few other things. The food at the Royal Cafe was okay, burgers, sandwiches, friends, that sort of thing, nothing special. Service was great, and staff were really friendy. After lunch Shamal had not come back so we desided to talk a walk around the resort.

Shamal came and found us around 1:30. He had let us know that he had upgraded us to a Royal Bahimian Oceanview One Bedroom Suite. That room was located in the Windsor Tower one the 6th floor. The room was very large with a bedroom and seperate living/dining area. The balcony was also huge and wraped around the entire room. He explained that our reservation for dinner were made for us and gave us a list of the restaurants with dates and times of reservations. As well as the cell phone to get intouch with the butlers (if you loose or break it apparanetly it is $150 charge to your room so be careful!) Also let us know about the tipping policy. Butlers are suppost to be the only ones to accept a tip, the tips are included for the other staff in the resort. (If you do want to tip someone else they will accept it, so if you feel you would like to go ahead) The only issue with the room was that it was facing out of resort over looking a parking lot and apartments. Due to the huricane there was construction going on the was noicey so you could not keep your balaony open. About an hour later our other 2 butlers came to introduce them selfs, Perez and Latoya. The came up with a shrimp cocktail for us, nice little touch.

Our first night was at Casanova. You do not need reservations, but our butlers had made them for us. If you dont have reservations the wait was about 30 minutes. For some reason too our room number was writen 1363 instead of 1636 so whenever we went for dinner we had to figure out what room number the reservations were under. We both enjoyed the meal and found we had great service. The butlers came to check on us and asked what our plans were for tomorrow, and asked if we wanted a beach chair or chairs by the pool reserved.

Breakfast at spices was average, normal breakfast food nothing special. But the hostess that works there Mon-Fri is soooo nice! Alwasy smiling and so pleasant!

We found our chair by the pool near Spices restaurant. We ended up calling Perez and asked if he could come speak with us about our room. We explained to him about the contruction and noice as well as the view and asked if we could have any other room facing into the resort instead. He let us know he would speak with the manager and get back to us. The next morning he had the same room facing into the resort for us (room 1605). That made a 100% difference!

We also had a credit for the spa for $150 due to the room be booked. We had to ask our butlers about it, Im not sure that if we didnt ask that we would have been told about it. It would have been nice if they had reminded us about it. They did confirm that yes we did have the credit and told us that when we were ready to call them and they would book it for us. We found it easier to just book with the lady in the windor tower loby. If you look at the prices, they are crazy! A massage will run you min $130! I go to spas often in Toronto and its never that much! A facial will cost about $120. For those prices we expected great quality. And I have to say this is the worst massage and facial that I had ever recieved. It ened up costing around $500 minus our credit but then they add 12% tip for the spa staff. They dont even do that in Toronto, I feel you should be able to tip according to the serice and satisfaction that you recieve not being forced to. All in all save your money dont go to the spa, wait till you get home.

Gordons on the Pier was broken due to the hurricane so they relocated it to the Royal Cafe for dinner. If you are not a butler guest dont waist your money on this restaurant, the food was average, not worth it. We originally had reseravtions there twice but cancelled the second one.

The private island was closed the first 3 days we were there. They had to make repairs and clean after the hurincane. That is to be expected, also the peir where the boat would pick you up from was damaged so the boat could not come over. The 4th day the made alternative aragements to get to the island. They had a bus pick you up and drive us over the the main docks on the island and grabbed the boat from there. I thought this was great, they could have just said the island was closed untill our peir at the resort was fixed, but insead they went the extra mile to make it happen. We ended up on the island 2 days and enjoyed both of them. Great way to spend your day relaxing.

Baccarat was one of the better meals as well as the Crystal room. Crystal room did not have our reservation one night and we were told a 45 minute wait but Shamal ended up showing up and within 5 minutes of his arriving we were seated no problem. Also Ashley in the Crystal Room is amazing! Kimonos was more of a show and lower quality food, but it was a fun night anyways. They had moved the restaurant from the island that you go to for dinner to spices. We wanted to eat there one night, for some reason our butlers did not reserve that one for us, when we asked our butlers could not get us it, they were booked solid. I was a little disapointed, I thought that is why you have butler service.

After everything said and done the service was great, All the staff are so happy to help, no one is rude, they are always smiling. Dont waist money on the spa, its not worth it. Butlers were a nice touch, Latoya made us a bubble bath with rose peddles one night. The food was not was I thought it would be, there is so much hype built up around sandles I just did not see it. For the money you spend there are much nicer and less expensive places you can you down south. Look up the Westin Playa Conchal in Costa Rica!

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington, DC
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

We just returned from our trip to Sandals (Oct. 21 - 27) and unfortunately the negatives far outweigh the few positives. This was our first trip to a Sandals as well as our first time at an all-inclusive resort and we got married on-site while we were there. We also had butler service which turned out to be one of the worst experiences on our trip. We did stay during the hurricane so we tried to be as fair as possible about the weather issues which are obviously not the fault of the resort. We are pretty easy-going, laid-back people and this was so bad that our nerves were just shot by the end of everything. I realize that this review is long, but we really wanted to share our experience in detail so people know what they're getting into. If we can save just one couple from wasting as much money and time as we did, it will be worth it.

Arrival/Check-in:
When we got to the Sandals check-in desk at the airport (literally it's just a desk shoved up against a wall) but nobody was there to greet us. We stood with our luggage for about 5 minutes before a woman with a sandals tee shirt asked if we were waiting. She had trouble identifying us on her new guests list because Sandals had swapped our names on the trip manifesto despite being given our CORRECT information multiple times (including birth certificates) to our agent, the on-line check-in, the butler preferences, etc. This name confusion continued multiple times for the rest of the trip. Once in our private car it was a quick trip to the resort although our driver continued to sift thru his papers while driving very fast. It was a little scary at times. He also didn't speak to us unless we directly asked him a question which we found a little odd. Once we arrived at the resort, we were given cool lemon towels and ushered into a small dark office to a couch. There were already two ladies sitting at the desk arguing with the check-in lady about their room. We were not offered any champagne like other reviewers mention. We sat on this couch for another 5 minutes with our cold/damp towels just sitting in our hands while the lady at the desk told us our butler would be there shortly and finally took our credit card.

Room:
Our butler finally arrived and introduced himself and informed us that our room was not ready (at about 1:30pm). That was no problem since we were hungry, so he took us to Spices, gave us the cell phone, and told us he would be back to check on us in a little while. A 'little while' turned into almost two more hours and he never came back. We were clearly done eating, so we decided to give ourselves a tour since we had nothing else to do. We were in our jeans and long-sleeves and really hot, so we found a bar and a seat in some shade and just sat until our butler finally came to get us around 3:30. We were on the 5th floor of the Balmoral tower and had a gorgeous view of the ocean and a very large deck. I think that view was the nicest part of our trip. The room was clean but relatively small (considering what we paid) and while it was very new, it was clearly already having problems. The shower dripped all day, one side of the toilet seat was broken so it slid around when you sat down, and the spool that holds the toilet paper was broken and continually fell off. We also put our wallets and passports in the in-room safe and it wouldn't re-open. At first i thought I had done something wrong with the instructions but we eventually had to call the manager who sent up a repair guy who easily spent 30+ minutes trying to get this thing open. He had to make a few calls and eventually said 'oh yeah, there's definitely something wrong with the way this one is behaving' so it wasn't my fault. He eventually got it open and we refused to use it for the rest of the time there. Obviously these were all manageable problems and if the rest of the stay had gone well, we wouldn't even have noticed these things, but piled on top of everything else, the little things all start to show.

Service: For everyone EXCEPT the butlers and a few other exceptions, we found the staff friendly and accommodating. People are constantly saying hello to you, drinks and meals were served very quickly, the wedding office was efficient and helpful, and ALL of the photography staff was FABULOUS. Our waiter for the candle-light dinner, Chris, was outstanding and actually ran back and forth from the kitchen to our balcony (on the fifth floor) all night since our meal had to be moved inside from the beach due to the high wind.

Resort: The resort in general was very clean and we didn't notice any sort of odd smells that some of the other reviews mention. The pools were clean and there never seemed to be a shortage of towels either. Unfortunately, due to the extreme weather we only got to enjoy one day in the pool and never got to make it out to the island. Although we did notice that only one of the hot tubs was actually 'hot.' One tub had bubbles but no heat, one was warm, but no bubbles, etc., and the pool water was very cold. The beach is also pretty and well-maintained and we watched a man rake up the sea weed the entire day. We also didn't experience any of the bug problems that other people have mentioned, but that was also due to the weather. In general, the resort is well-maintained, but pretty small, although we were given a map, we were still unable to find some of the activity locations.

Food:
Unfortunately, this is where Sandals receives a giant FAIL. With the exception of the candle light dinner (which was an extra charge but really quite good) the food is awful! We are not picky people and enjoy all types of food, but this was terrible across the board. None of the food in the buffets is ever really hot and unless you are there at the beginning, it's usually running low or out completely. There are some made-to-order lines, but they are always so slow that you are forced to eat the cold eggs out of the serving dish. And EVERYTHING is covered in pepper. We were one of the first couples on line at Cassanova's antipasta buffet, so we saw all of the serving dishes before they were touched and literally every single option was covered in a thick layer of black pepper. Unfortunately the bad food isn't just at the buffets either. Our first night at Crystal Room, I received a hummus plate that tasted like someone had scooped out a spoon of hummus and left it in the fridge because the top layer had an almost crispy outer layer until you broke thru to the softer stuff inside. It was served with four stale pita wedges, two olives, and a cherry tomato. That was it. Unfortunately, the main course was worse. My husband ordered veal and one of the three cutlets was literally inedible. He couldn't cut thru it with the butter knife, so he finally tore off a corner and literally couldn't chew thru it! I don't know if it was pure fat or just overcooked, but he actually had to spit it out! My entree was a veggie pasta dish that had so much red pepper in it, that it was also inedible. After two bites I was almost sick, and I really like spicy food. It was terrible. And Crystal room is considered one of the nicest restaurants on the resort! I realize that I could have ordered something else, but what you already have is terrible, you just don't want to order more of it. It was more than just 'I don't think this tastes good', you literally couldn't eat it! I had a similar experience at Cassanova's with a bowl of minestrone soup that tasted like liquid black pepper. I took one spoonful and almost gagged. My entree was gnocchi in a tomato sauce that tasted exactly like mushy ravioli out of a can. The cheeseburger at Royal cafe was burned although at least edible and the pizza at the wood fire grill tasted like a frozen stouffer's pizza (I can't understand the hype behind this pizza, it's just not that good). When you dread going to a meal on a vacation, and one of the best things you eat is fried mozzarella sticks, you know it's bad. Gordon's was fair but more for the ambiance than the actual taste of the food. Unfortunately we were unable to try Kimonos or Baccarat as they all closed down due to the weather before we could get there.

Service at the restaurants was odd as well. The food came quickly, but sometimes we got drinks and sometimes we didn't. On our very first lunch, they seated us and never came back for a drink order so I just went up to the bar and got it myself. Because we had butler service we did have reservations everywhere (one of the few things our butlers actually did for us) but when we were waiting to be seated at Crystal room we heard the hostess tell the couple behind us that there was a 45 minute wait. However, when we sat down, I only counted 12 other tables actually seated. There were empty tables everywhere! Again, not an issue for us, but I would have been very unhappy if I was the couple behind us. The same thing happened at Cassanova's the next night. A line at the door, but empty tables all over the place. The royal cafe and the pizza place were also confusing in that there was no front door, so you were really unsure of how it worked. Were they supposed to wait on you? Do you seat yourself? There were no signs, and nobody there to offer any help. I ordered the pizza at the oven and told them where we were sitting but then they started yelling out order numbers and people were getting up to retrieve them. It was very confusing. At the royal cafe, there are about three entrances, so we walked up and looked around and nobody sat us. We walked near an empty table and the waitress told us 'give me a minute to clean that off.' So we stood there and a different waitress walked by and gave us a really nasty 'don't sit there! It's dirty!' Just awkward and sort of rude.

Butlers:
Here's where we get to the really bad part. From the beginning, the butler service was touted as something really special, they were there to take care of all of your needs, and "expect to be wowed!" And we were wowed with just how awful these people were. We had three butlers which I will not name. One was terrible, one was fair but only because he was better than the awful one, and the third one we only met twice. TWICE- in a 6 day period. I don't think he should even qualify as our butler since he basically didn't exist, but he did manage to mess up the one thing we asked him to do. So right from the start they are very cheerful, 'anything you want, anything you need, just ask us, we're here to do everything for you, etc.' Except they don't actually offer anything. They don't make suggestions so you're like 'well, I just got here, so how am I supposed to even know what my options are?' For example we didn't think to ask for a tour of the place because we didn't realize that was something they did, but later we saw other butlers walking around with clearly new guests pointing things out and giving a tour. On our second day, Butler 2 asked us at dinner if we had received a tour and we said no, and he said 'oh that's definitely something I'll do for you tomorrow' but never actually did. All talk and no action. We did request on the very first day to get signed up for a snorkel trip since that was the one thing my husband really wanted to do. Butler 1 said 'oh absolutely, of course.' We never heard him mention it again and there were easily two+ days that we could have gone out before the storm hit. I don't think the butlers communicate between shifts, so something you tell one isn't transferred to the second so nobody ends up helping you out. We knew they weren't communicating because when we met Butler 2, instead of mentioning how he heard from Butler 1 that my husband wanted to do snorkeling, he suggested my husband go by himself into town to shop for me (which sounds incredibly dangerous and doesn't interest him in the least, considering my husband despises shopping in the first place). The butlers are also supposed to reserve chairs at the beach or pool for you. We asked to reserve a spot at the Balmoral pool the following morning. We went out around 9 and we couldn't find our spot anywhere! It turned out not to be an issue because there were open chairs, but this one simple request that seemed to be a huge part of their job was completely ignored. When we inquired about it later Butler 1 vaguely said 'oh yeah...we'll definitely take care of that tomorrow.' When we realized a storm was brewing we realized we had no umbrella. When we mentioned this to the butler he said 'oh there's one in the closet.' Well, there wasn't, and when we called again he told us the same thing as if we were lying or just stupid. A third request for an umbrella was finally met, and they brought us one. One umbrella for two people. When the butler dropped off the umbrella, he (and another butler who wasn't one of ours) insisted on barging into our room and tried making small talk with us to say good morning, when clearly the issues of high winds and an impending hurricane on the day of our wedding made the mood quite dour, but the butlers didn't take the hint and just stood there trying to talk to us, which was incredibly uncomfortable. Butler 2 walked us to dinner the first night, which was nice since there was a line, and we didn't want to cut anyone, but we already had reservations, etc. Unfortunately that was the only night they ever brought us anywhere. In fact, we weren't even sure where we were supposed to go for dinner on the pier so asked someone along the way. On night 2, we had 6:30 reservations at Cassanovas. The butler did not offer to walk us, so we went on our own and a giant crowd was waiting outside the restaurant when we walked up. Clearly they had no reservations and we were in front of this waiting crowd because they happened to get up and start forming a line as we walked by them. Awkward. The people behind us were making comments about us cutting in line. Were we supposed to wait in line behind all of these people and miss our reservation? If the butler had walked us, it wouldn't have been an issue and wouldn't have looked like we were cutting in line. I had a hair appointment at the spa which is at the very front of the resort and a massage at the spa right under the balmoral tower. Again, I had to figure this out on my own by calling around and asking people as the butlers were nowhere to be seen and certainly didn't offer to escort us anywhere. On the the day of my wedding, I had to walk back from the far spa with the hurricane wind blowing my new wedding hair and this would have been the perfect opportunity for the butler to come by and 'wow' me by carrying my umbrella or my multiple boxes of makeup/hair supplies, etc. Once the hurricane actually hit full force, all three butlers disappeared. In the 48 hours that we were in the bad part of the storm, we only heard from one butler ONCE. They did not call to alert us about the closing, storm updates, possible flight cancellation assistance, if we were alive, NOTHING. They literally disappeared until about 9:30pm on our last night there and I really think it was just their last ditch effort to secure their additional tip. We received turn-down service on the first night with some chocolate-covered strawberries, and then nothing for the next 6 nights. Two days before the wedding, I asked if they would take my wedding dress and husband's outfit to be pressed, which took the butlers an entire day to pick up (butler 3 finally picked up 1 day before the wedding, which ws literally the only time I met the man in all 6 days) and about 24 hours later (on the day of our wedding) I got a call from housekeeping saying that they had my dress and husband's outfit but had no idea what they were supposed to do with it. So I asked her to just press them and she said fine, they would be ready at 1 pm (the day of the wedding! Which was at 4pm). The dress did not arrive until 3pm, leaving us only an hour to get dressed for the wedding!! I almost didn't have a dress for my wedding (not to mention my husband's pressed shirt had an ink stain on the collar that wasn't there before we gave it to the butlers for pressing). Then on checkout I see a bill for $53 dollars for the pressing! When I asked about the charge since apparently one free pressing was included in our stay, the front desk told me that it didn't apply since it was a wedding dress (why we were charged for pressing my husband's outfit is beyond me). It also took Butler 2 18 hours to get us a bottle of champagne, water, and some orange juice. When I called to ask him for it he told me that stocking the minibar was 'someone else's job' but he would see what he could do (which was nothing). They were awful. And if we had only paid $2k for a lower-level room, none of these things would have been a problem. But we paid over $6k for these worthless men who made our entire trip uncomfortable and stressful!

Resort's reponse to the hurricane:
While Sandals cannot control the weather, they CAN control how they respond to it. We all had at least a day or two to prepare and its not like hurricanes are a brand new phenomenon in the Bahamas, so we were shocked with how poorly everything was handled. They did post updates on the storm and closures at various places throughout the resort and had daily briefings which were very helpful. However, they closed all of the restaurants except for the buffet (and the pub), which is fine, but they still insisted on seating people. At a buffet! Instead of just letting people take seats and walking around with trays of water or letting people go get drinks from somewhere else, they insisted on 'seating' you and they took forever! There was literally a coiled line in the front vestibule of cold and wet people that had to wait sometimes 20+ minutes to get a table for a buffet. Perhaps they were trying to keep some semblance of order, which I understand, but looking around while we were finally seated, there were empty tables everywhere! Completely unacceptable. They also hadn't prepared for the rush because most of the food trays were empty and never filled back up. Again, I understand that you are probably short-staffed, but if you are going to close everything down then at least make enough food to feed everyone! Then on the last, and worst, day of the storm, we went to the buffet around 3:30 after just finishing up with the photographer, walked into Spices and the waiters refused to look at us. They literally walked past us and turned their heads away. I finally walked up to a woman and asked if we could sit down and she told us they weren't serving anymore. There was an entire buffet of food behind her! And we would have understood if she had said they weren't serving but we could take care of ourselves, or at least let us get a plate of food to go, but they just said no. We couldn't eat anything. She said the pub was open, so we ran thru the resort in the rain and wind (and on the wet, slick as ice stone walkways outside) and sat at a table in the pub. Again, nobody would even look at us. After about 10 minutes of sitting a waiter delivered a full table of food to four people sitting to our right and I was finally able to get his attention and ask him for a menu. He came back about 5 minutes later and told us that the kitchen was closed. At this point I wanted to cry because we were so cold and wet and just wanted some food. I finally got a sad and dried out biscuit from a tray in the piano lounge on our way back to our room. That was our lunch. For a $6,000 vacation, we shared a cold biscuit and a can of diet coke from our minibar. When I asked the concierge desk about getting an earlier bus out the following morning since the airport would most likely be overrun with cancelled flights they gave me a huge attitude and told me we would have to make arrangements through our butler. At this point, I didn't trust our butler to bring us a bottle of water, let alone arrange our transportation. I finally stopped at the front desk and asked the exact same question to the lady at the front desk and her response was 'sure, just let us know when you want to go.' Then another butler walked by, named Orlando, and said 'we have cars running all morning. I'll get you there if I have to drive you myself.' So perhaps THIS was how the butlers are supposed to be and THIS is the type of service we were supposed to receive all week. We did get out the next morning and our driver was extremely helpful and delightful (we didn't catch his name, but he at least ended our Sandals experience on a positive note). Unfortunately the nice service came at the end of our trip when we were already miserable and frustrated.

To summarize, this resort did not live up to the hype and we barely saw any of the ‘perks’ we were promised and paid for!! You probably worked hard for your money, and you should go spend it somewhere else.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property. We are grateful for all feedback, as it allows us the opportunity to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Our response to feedback continues to be in word and deed. As you already know, we are currently working with you to address your concerns and ensure that we take the necessary action to ensure that you are happy and this matter is resolved.

We really appreciate your patience.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Arrived 3rd left 8th , Okay they had a staorm a week prior , they seemed to work in slow motion, the private island was a mess & the pool was empty. Just a sign that pool was closed on private island. Oh did I mention it took 1.5 hrs to get to private island that was in eye view of our resort. Their only pier was damaged soo we were forced to get on a list [which noone told us first day , get on list to get on the bus and be shuttled like cattle 15mins of drive time to the badlands of nassau, very scarey to get on a boat to the island [ which only held 40 people at a time. the 2nd day our bus was 1 hr late, soo your standing around waiting half a day to get there. Oh soo your thinking stay at the resort you idiots and swim. HMMMM guess what, they had issues with the pools and refilled them we were told, the pools were freeezing cold. not heated none of them. Sooo there were few thousand guests and noone at sandals can spring for a freaking pool heater. the pools were empty .
Sooo I guess the fact that i called the 800sandals phone number the week before and asked if anything was effected by the storm and they said no nothing, means they knew nothing, or decided to rip me off 4500 for a trip. Oh and their beach is ugly in comparision to jamaica 's sandals by far. soo i never write this reviews but i hope you all think twice before u go to this older older sandals. with no pool heaters

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
We regret to read that your stay at our resort did not meet your expectations. We've had to make a few adjustments since the hurricane to ensure that we can accommodate all the needs of our guests. We want this process to be as seamless and as hassle-free as possible for our guests. Our clean up since the hurricane on resort has been completed and we expect the repairs to the pier to completed shortly.

Regarding our concerns about the pools on property, we schedule maintenance regularly but all pools are never drained at the same time. Since the weather temperature has gone down a bit we now have heated pools available. Two of our public pools on property, the Villa and the Balmoral pools, are both heated.

Thank you for your valuable feedback. I encourage you to return and allow us to exceed your expectations during a future stay.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort And Offshore Island
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel
Sandals Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach
Sandals Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau
Sandal Resort Bahamas
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Address: West Bay Street, Cable Beach, Nassau 13005, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Nassau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nassau
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#2 Family Hotel in Nassau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•New, extra comfortable, ultra luxurious Day Beds added poolside on Sandals Cay •Sandals Cay now has Zen Spa and Fire Pits.-----•Butler Service, 24-Hour Room Service, and Rolls Royce or Mercedes Transfers for select suite categories. •Over 10,000 sq. ft. of the Island’s most impressive Freshwater Pools•Sandals Cay – Nassau’s only resort with Private Offshore Island & Restaurant.•Ten Dining Options featuring an array of cuisine from French to Bahamian. •Minutes away from excellent duty free shopping in Downtown Nassau on Bay Street and world class gambling on Paradise Island.•Weekly Late night decadent Chocolate Buffet offering specialty coffee •Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Royal Bahamian “Bahamas’ Leading Spa Resort”. ... more   less 
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