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“Pretty great but room for improvement” 4 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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Ranked #2 of 33 hotels in Nassau
Boston, MA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Pretty great but room for improvement”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was our first time at a Sandals and any all-inclusive. We opted for the Butler room in the Balmoral Tower:

The Good:
-Gorgeous ocean location

-Good food (pizza was unexpectedly good) and drinks (not watered down)

-Good service, friendly staff who try hard

-Beautiful external grounds and building

-Excellent spa (we both got a massage)

-Great gym with varied equipment and excellent view of the ocean

-Lovely private island---more natural than the mainland and worth the trip

-Loved the fire-pits at night with comfy lounges

-At this time of year, no fighting for seats on the beach or by the pools

-Butler service had its pluses such as reserving seats as needed. They also gave us nice treats in our room such as cheese plates and desserts

-Well-stocked in-room bar including spring water, wine, vodka, rum, and scotch--and of course it was all-inclusive

-Nice bathroom amenities such as full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion---that kinda smelled like a daiquiri!

-Nice to have a quiet pool and a loud/rowdy pool

-Dancers in the revue were talented and revue had good choreography

-Car service from the airport to the resort was great

-Comfy beds

-Latoya the Butler was thorough and professional--kudos to her!

Could be improved:
-Single elevator in Balmoral Tower near our room was broken for a day and a half. We took the stairs from our room but there was often trash/food/wet towels/etc in the stairways---kinda gross

-Leak in the ceiling in our bathroom after heavy rain. Leak was above the toilet and went into the toilet...and liquid was yellow. Not sure what to make of that. Also, seemed like parts of the resort were experiencing plumbing back-ups as a result of the rain (other bathrooms closed)

-Inconsistent ferry dock times (could be due to windy weather)

-Pools were advertised to be heated but didn't seem heated---way too cold for this calibre of resort

-It rained on one of our days and the resort didn't really seem prepared for it. Would have hoped that the staff would take the seating/cushions in before the storm since they were useless afterward (no place to sit) and there didn't seem to be much of a contingency plan for activities

-Butler Service: As noted, Latoya was great. However, we didn't really ask for much of our butlers (gave us cell phones in case we wanted to contact them). We're not really high-maintenance people and we like to do our own thing. The butlers seemed oddly insistent on us sticking to the agenda they created for us and seemed to deter us from deviating from any prescribed plans.

-Resort seemed to wait on critical mass before proceeding with activities, etc: For example: seating at Kimonos--had an 8pm reservation but they waited to seat us until nearly 8:30 until they had a full table. At the dock, the ferry seemed to be delayed until there was a boat-load of guests ready to depart

-Even at 5 floors up (with a beach-facing room), we could still hear the drum-beats and noise from the nightly entertainment. Turning on the fan helped

Overall, a great getaway to a gorgeous location. We loved the ease of being at an all-inclusive but there are a few little things that the resort can do to improve the guest experience. We'd definitely try Sandals again either in the Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Nova Scotia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

This is our second time to this resort. The last time was in 2004 and this time Nov 24th 2012 for a week.
I'm surprised how subjective reviews of the same place during the same week can be so different. I saw a flurry of bad reviews just before we left and was a little curious how our experience would be. Turns out we had a very enjoyable time with surprisingly quite good food, beautiful grounds and pool and fun time at the piano bar sing-a-long.
We stayed at the Windsor building with a view of the pool and beach. After the recent renovations of the Balmoral Tower, the Windsor is now looking somewhat older but still quite nice. We splurged and paid for a meal one night at Gordon's on the Pier which was very romantic and worthwhile in my opinion. Probably better than having a candlelight dinner on the beach or gazebo as it can be windy along the beach. If you want to do this you could probably wait until you arrive to make sure the weather is good for your romantic dinner. I hope I don't steer you wrong here as the resort wasn't full during the first of the week which is when we booked our Pier dinner. Later in the week a travel agents awards convention descended on the place which put the resort at capacity. I was surprised a couples only resort would host a convention but they were very pleasant to talk to and gave tips on the best Sandals resorts. Heard a lot of good things about emerald bay, bahamas and whitehouse, jamaica, FYI.
When I look at a resort I decide where i want to go first and then try to pick a nice place. If I just wanted the newest and best resorts I would probably keep going to Mexico which does a very good job at all inclusive, but I want to see other places. I also ignore the reviews that are overly critical or effusive as they are clearly subjective. My expectations are not super high as even the best places can disappoint and why let expectations ruin your trip? By doing this I can comfortably say i have never had a bad vacation... well, maybe Cuba.
I would definitely recommend SRB to anyone considering Bahamas!
Safe travels!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

My wife and I had never been to an all-inclusive resort before, and so we wanted to go with a name that we knew. Since we knew Sandals was a reliable quality resort, we had it stuck in our minds that we were going to book a Sandals for our honeymoon. We wound up choosing the Royal Bahamian, and have to say that it was very much worth it. The drinks were good... the beach was clean and void of all the unwanted local sellers (or residents of other resorts for that matter)... it had its own private island, which we went to like 4 of our 6 days there... but, most of all, we thought the food was absolutely amazing! I highly doubt all of our all-inclusive stays will be at Sandals resorts because they are a bit pricey, but all things being equal, you're not going to go wrong with this resort. Thanks for the perfect honeymoon, Sandals!

Room Tip: If you've never had a private candle-light dinner on the beach before - make it a point to pay f...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We have stayed at other Sandals properties and this one was no disappointment. There is a ton to do and a lot of restaurants/bars. We didn't even leave the resort. When we checked in, we were upgraded to a butler room! However, when we got to the room, it overlooked a parking lot. We had paid for an oceanview, so we said something and they immediately moved us to a room with a spectacular view.

The only disappointing thing about the resort was Gordon's - the butler only restaurant. It was SO windy and cold that it was impossible to enjoy our dinner. Please don't pay extra for this restaurant because it's not worth it.

All the other restaurants were great, staff was excellent and the drinks are strong! We'll be going to another Sandals soon.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed at Sandals Grand Bahamian Spa Resort & Off-shore Island at the end of November. Overall, I thought that this was a very good property. It did show some wear and tear with rust on the buildings and some peeling paint (all easy fixes with paint and power washing).

I did not get to take advantage of the off-shore island due to the roughness of the ocean.

Cricketer's Pub and the Piano Bar are so much fun and really make the night life quite upbeat.

The outdoor fire-grilled pizza is awesome, too.

I'd love to answer more direct questions about this property.

Full disclosure: I am a travel agent and I was there on business.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katonah, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We stayed for a week from 19-26 November, and this was our first Sandals experience: not a wedding or honeymoon, but a much-needed week of relaxation at the end of a crazy year. I made the mistake of reading a lot of reviews a few days before we travelled - and there was a flurry of very bad ones. As others have said recently - don't read them! It made me anxious and left me wondering if we'd made a big mistake, but my fears were allayed as soon as we made contact with the Sandals desk at the airport. Transfers and check-in were smooth and friendly, and we were having lunch within am hour or so of landing. We'd booked the cheapest room, and were upgraded to a concierge room as it was our first stay: no view other than a few scrubby plants and the car park of the building opposite, but I assume the room was larger than the one I'd booked. Our whole stay was relaxing and peaceful and just what we both needed. My husband took the introductory dive class, which he couldn't praise enough, and was able to go on two short dives, although they did eat significantly into our "together-time" as the early start, combined with half-hour transfer to the boat, loading and off-loading equipment, etc for 20 minutes of dive-time seemed excessive. But he was full of praise for the instructors and their care and attention to safety.

Due to the high winds for the majority of our stay we weren't able to get across to the island, or experience Cafe Goombay (other than the menu transferred to Spices), nor able to enjoy snorkelling or kayaking from the resort, and the sea was too rough to swim in, and the pools too cold. But it was the perfect temperature for relaxing on a lounger with a book in a sunny spot. We loved the fire pits in the evenings, and thought all the food was good. Despite shouting about its 9-10 restaurants, only two or three are open each evening, and at least one of those is on reservation-only basis, but we didn't find this too much of a problem, and certainly didn't have long waits like other reviewers.

We didn't partake of any of the entertainment, so couldn't speak for/against those, but every member of staff greeted us with a smile and friendly hello, and we felt welcome.

A few downsides stopped this from being a 5-star experience:
Housekeeping - variable, and we found it irritating that items were removed (for cleaning?) and not replaced, eg bath mats and drinks glasses. Also, when we checked in, the half-used toiletries from the previous guests had not been removed and replaced from the bathroom. All of this was resolved by speaking to the concierge or leaving a note.

Hot water - was in serious short supply: some mornings, the water temperature couldn't even be called warm, and it would have been nice to take advantage of the large bath tub, but the water just didn't run hot enough in the evenings. The only times hot water seemed in plentiful supply was mid-afternoon.

Mini-bar restock - we didn't drink that much, but ran out of water on a couple of occasions as our mini-bar was only re-stocked twice over the week, and both times upon request. Because of the weather, we were often in our room late in the afternoon, so maybe that's when it's usually done ...

Overall, the vacation was just what we needed. Would we go back? Probably not (and I got fed up of clearing telephone sales messages offering me "amazing discounts" off my next booking) but may well check out a different Sandals location in the future. So ignore the negative reviews and just go and relax and enjoy your trip.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012 via mobile

We'll start off by saying WOW!!! Do not listen to those negative reviews of this resort, everything and I mean everything, was absolutely amazing. The resort is like a 10 min drive from the airport and getting there is quick and easy. You are greeted with a cool towel that has such an amazing scent to it and the Sandals crew are fabulous! We went through all the sign in usuals and were on our way to our room when we realized they were taking us to the wrong place. We were booked in the Windsor Grande Luxe and our guide was taking us up the elevator to the second floor of the Balmoral Tower. Noticing this, we mentioned to her we were clearly being taken to the wrong place. Well she just smiled and said "let me show you something first" and off we went to our room. Our jaws dropped when she opened the door...the Windsor Grande Luxe was nowhere near the beauty of the view that ths room gave us. Beachfront, overlooking the ocean, can't beat it!!! We are so pleased that Sandals gave us this upgrade no extra charge. From what I hear it is not uncommon of them to do this and I think it's absolutely wonderful! The weather has been amazing, despite being a little windy, but come on, it's almost needed to cool off from the heat. The resort itself is absolutely gorgeous and very well kept. Everyday you see workers doing some form of upkeep to keep standards unmatched, which is generally unseen at other resorts. Beach has crystal clear waters and beautiful white sand. The night life can be a little quiet at times, which some people love, but if you know where to go you won't be disappointed. The Piano Bar and Cricketeers Pub make for some wild and crazy nights! Kimonos reservation restaurant is also fantastic for meeting and mingling with other couples. Our entire group there ended up going out after dinner and most of us didn't get to bed until 4 in the morning...it was such a blast! Now the best part of this resort? The food and the service! Unbeatable and just impeccable! From Bacarrat, another reservation restaurant, I swear I had the best steak of my life. And the service, just wow! Friendly, happy, punctual people clearly proud to be part of the Sandals family. It was wonderful. Cassanova's s another absolutely wonderful restaurant where you don't have to make a reservation, so if you're not into reservations go for Cassanova's...you will not be disappointed. There is not enough good things to say about this resort. We are extremely impressed. Will we be returning you ask? Just tell us where to sign.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#1 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#2 Family Hotel in Nassau
#2 On the Beach 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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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort And Offshore Island
Sandals Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach
Sandals Bahamian
Sandal Resort Bahamas
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau

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