As you will read in many reviews we set off for the Bahamas a little worried having read the other reviews. But we went with a positive attitude. Thank goodness we weren't put off as we both agreed this was the best holiday ever. What made it so good? I think the first thing to mention has to be the people. You read that they are good but really they are incredible. We were there for two weeks from 1 December 2012.
The resort is truly beautiful. We had a Concierge room on the 6th floor of the Balmoral building. It was large and had a beautiful view of the pool and ocean. Although it was over the pool we weren't disturbed by noise at all. The room was kept extremely clean at all times by the lovely Mae. And the minibar was regularly restocked with everything we needed. When it was overlooked one day a request to the Concierge had it refilled before we returned to the room.
The pools on the mainland are both well maintained although not particularly warm - but this was a welcomed relief. There are plenty of sunbeds. If you are going during the winter choose a sunbed on the right hand side of the pool as you are looking out to the ocean as the ones on the left tend to lose to sun earlier. There were plenty of towels and plenty of staff stopping to ask if everything was ok or if anyone needed a drink.
The beaches are kept clean and again there are plenty of beds. The beds in the firepit area are a lovely place to be to watch the sun go down and chill out for a few hours.
The island was a particular highlight for us. It was closed due to the wind when we arrived and when it reopened to had to go via Arawak Cay for the first day but it was definitely worth the effort, After that is was open until the last day we were there when the wind returned.
The restaurants were all outstanding.
Breakfast - Spices was our favourite as we met the fabulous Latoysa and Darlene. Latoysa was the most welcoming hostess you could imagine. Always cheerful even when she was not well. Darlene makes the most wonderful smoothies and having tried several of them a day we should know! We did eat breakfast in Baccarat and it was lovely with excellent service but personally we preferred the atmosphere and the massive selection and quality of food in Spices.
Lunch - again Spices was a favourite. Although it is a buffet the choices changed every day and the quality was excellent. Cafe Goombay was fabulous and what a setting. Royal Café is good for a quick snack and obviously the pizza café is definitely worth a trip.
Dinner – All amazing although Kimono depends on the other people who are there. I think the Crystal Room was our favourite although we did also love Cassanova and Goombay. The Cricketers Pub is run by the lovely Kerry from Notthingham who runs a tight ship.
The Piano Bar – everyone mentions Cupcakes and Fluffy and I can see why. They are both excellent. If you want help knowing who is who ….. Fluffy is the cute one (he told me to say that!). Leonardo is exceptional and we spent most evenings here having a brilliant sing along.
I think what makes this place so stand out is the people. We received excellent service from many many staff but as promised I am going to mention Carlos (Cricketers Pub) first. We met Carlos on the first night and he was brilliant, helpful and funny. Also at the Cricketers is the best barman in the world – Garith. Thanks for creating the Phoenix! Obviously Latoysa and Darlene stood out for us and we miss them already.
My advice to you would be to go with a positive attitude. You definitely get back what you put in. A little respect and a friendly attitude go a long way. We will definitely be returning guests next year.