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“New Year's Trip” 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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$305 Spa or Tour Credit!
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Nassau
Fort Davis TX
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“New Year's Trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I would like to start this review by saying this was our sixth Sandals trip and we love Sandals resorts but, I have had my first disappointing trip with them. We stayed at the Royal Bahamian Dec. 29-Jan. 5 for a New Year's/Birthday trip. We booked a King George walkout room in the newly remodeled Balmoral building. When we arrived and were shown to our room, it was not what we booked, I questioned the girl and she stated it was an upgrade... I frequent the Sandals site and am very familiar with the room categories and this room was NOT an upgrade. She said she would check into it, to stay in the room and they would get back to us. So, instead of starting our vacation we sat in the room.
After thirty minutes and no word, I called the concierge desk to see what had been decided and they had yet to find a solution. After another thirty minutes, I went down to see if I might receive some assistance instead of just sitting in the room. Still nothing but, instead of being told to sit and wait, I was ushered to a manager's office where I sat for another 45 minutes. Once a manager finally joined me, I was again told it was an upgraded room. When I asked the room name and was told, it was in fact not an upgrade... I had the Sandals site pulled up on my iPad. Once they were caught, they admitted that it was not an upgrade and they were simply overbooked and had made a mistake.
At this point they realized they had truly made a mistake and started offering to make the error up to us; Gordon’s Pier dinner, small resort credit and a REAL upgrade. It was nice and, I guess, made up for the mistake but, my true gripe is… Why didn’t they just say we messed up and we will make it up to you in the beginning? We are laid back, would have stayed in the first room if they had been upfront and have in fact booked two more Sandals trips. We would have respected the honesty and been much more understanding if we had not been treated like idiots.
To further the disappointment, on my Birthday nothing was acknowledged by Sandals. We have been three times, to other Sandals resorts, over my husband’s Birthday and they have gone above and beyond to make us feel special. This seems to be the all-around mood of the Royal Bahamian… Nothing that might be out of their way!
Lastly, TIPPING! Over the last six trips to Sandals we have seen tipping here and there but, very little. Not at the Royal Bahamian! Several times a day we saw wait staff and bartenders take tips from the guest and guess who received better service…
All in all it was still a beach vacation and we had a decent time but, it is going to take some time to make a return trip to this resort.

Sara Adams
Fort Davis, Texas

Room Tip: Know what you booked... Sandals is pricey and you should get what you pay for!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were at this Sandals Resort for only 4 nights (9-13), but it was the perfect January getaway for us, other than I wished we had one more night here (but don't you always when you're on vacation?)

If people are going to whine while on vacation, then why even go and get away from it all? I think for the most part, the people who are disappointed here are never going to be happy.

We arrived at the resort around noon and were actually able to check in when we arrived, which was nice, since we'd flown overnight and had a 4 hour layover in Charlotte... We reserved a luxury room in the Royal Village and were told we'd been upgraded (I need to look up to what level). We didn't pay for a concierge or a butler, we're pretty low maintenance. Upon reading the reviews here, I figured out what to do on my own, which was very easy.

The Royal Village is very pretty and peaceful and what you see on the Sandals website is really what you get. It's close to everything and just a few moments walk from the pools, beach and restaurants. If you need to save some money and don't care about having an oceanfront view, just go this route...you won't be disappointed.

The room was just what the photos showed, I just think we had a little extra room where there were 2 chairs and our bar area, which was replenished DAILY without having to ask for anything. We had a fresh supply of water, champagne, and the other beverages we'd gone through. My thought is that if you do need anything, don't hesitate to ask. Leave your room for the beach or the island and when you return, your request will be fulfilled. Our room was tidy every day and each night when we returned from dinner, our bed had been turned down.

We had no complaints with the restaurants. Upon checking in, ask to make reservations at the restaurants where they are needed, so you aren't disappointed because you wait until the last minute to make a reservation... We requested a reservation at Baccarat and Cafe Goombay and were able to eat in both restaurants. We did not eat at Kimonos, mostly for lack of time and the restaurant was not open the eve we would have had free anyway. Someone wrote there was no atmosphere at the Chrystal Room. I roll my eyes. It was a nice room and we had good food and good service there. I'd definitely have breakfast at Baccarat one morning, just to change up from the buffet at Spices (which is also very good). My husband was happy because he was able to have caviar at breakfast at Baccarat. We ate lunch and dinner out at Cafe Goombay. Lunch offerings were conch chowder, salads, burgers and wraps and a fish special, which we enjoyed our portions. Dinner on the island seemed a bit unorganized, but they got it resolved and was worth the trip out there. Just enjoy the staff and the meals and the surroundings and your life will be just fine.

We found the service around the resort to be fine. We never waited more than a minute for a drink anywhere we went. Also, you can get anything you want. If you don't see it on their menu, just ask. We were greeted by the staff anytime they passed by and they all seemed very polite. We had a great time at the piano bar, so much so that we went back a second night.

We never had a problem getting a lounge chair by the pool or on the beach, no matter the time of day.

We decided to go back to the Emerald Bay next year to check it out. Damien, our rep at the soon come back desk said that the biggest complaint that visitors have in December/January is that it is not "hot enough" in the Bahamas. He said it is their wintertime and it is not real far south of Florida, so therefore, not hot. We were quite fine with the high 70s/low 80s temps and the nice breeze. We were able to swim in the ocean. We were able to swim in the pool that was more active. I think that maybe with all the comments about not having a heated pool maybe had them change this. The quiet pool was still chilly, but if you want to swim, just go to the active pool. You'll be fine.

In the eves, ladies, take a wrap or a sweater, in case you do get chilly, you'll be prepared. If you want a hot location, maybe consider going further south. We were quite content with the weather while there.

Overall, we had a VERY relaxing trip and found our first Sandals experience completely satisfying. It was nice to not have to worry about tipping or paying for drinks, etc. it was the perfect getaway for us to clear our heads. I wanted somewhere easy to get to, knowing we'd only be there for 4 nights and with the resort no more than a 15 minute drive from the airport let us make the most of our time there.

Don't worry about negative reviews here. Just go, relax and have a good time.

Room Tip: Ixora building in the Royal Village has some noise from the adjoining building AC unit noise if you...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ponte Vedra Beach, fl
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We booked two rooms in July of 2012 for a weeks vacation at sandals Royal Bahamian to start February 2013. I know what you are saying. They have not even got there yet.

If the service before is any indication of what happens when we get there I am not optimistic.

When you go to make the reservations, the Sandals representative can't be nice enough. Try to make a reservation for a service and it is a whole other issue. They have this very nice website where you can book most spa treatments, and all tours, excursions, etc. The only problem is that when you go to book many of the spa treatments you get the following message.

There are no available treatments for the selected date. Please select another treatment and/or date.

When you call the US booking office, they won't let you book a 50 massage, but you can book a 80 minute massage, forcing you to book the more expensive massage. 50 minute massages need to be booked upon arrival.

When you go to book a tour, excursion, etc you get the following message

There are no more available slots for the selected date. Please select another date.

Problem is, you can't book another day. You always get the same message. The Sandals rep told me that you need to book most activities at the resort. Why have a web site that does not allow the consumer do what it is suppose to do. LET PEOPLE MAKE RESERVATIONS.

One last comment. If Sandals is going to print a direct line to a property, and i am talking about the Royal Bahamian, you should at least attempt to answer it.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This was our first trip to the Bahamas, Royal Bahamian resort. We were very pleased with our suite as well as the excellent care given to us by the staff of Sandals. We really enjoyed the historic aspect of the resort with all the photographs and memorabilia of the late King of England as well as the Beatles 1965 filming of their movie "HELP" on the off shore island. The island was a tremendous bonus to our trip, as my wife enjoyed snorkeling there. Also the outdoor restaurant was pleasant and it was relaxing around the pool and hot tub on the island.
We really enjoyed the Junkaroo festivities at night with the dancing and live music. We hope to return soon.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Windsor buidling. Our room had a nice view of the ocean and off shore island.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

This was our second experience of a Sandals holiday, our first being at their resort on Antigua, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We had booked a suite with butler service and upon arrival after check-in, were escorted up to our suite on the first floor. We had specifically requested to be in a top floor, or as high as possible, suite. We asked to be moved but had to wait for 24 hours to move up to the fourth floor.
There are two large pools at this resort, one they refer to as a ‘quiet’ pool and the other, the ‘lively, activity’ pool. Unfortunately our suite, and most of the suites (the most expensive accommodation) are situated overlooking this noisy pool. And it is very noisy.
We were originally allocated two butlers, then another. The butlers were very attentive, reserving tables for dinner, booking sun loungers, etc., in the first week but it did tail off somewhat in the second week. Because of the noise at the pool below our suite, which started about 10.30 and carried on until 5pm and sometimes later, we first tried the ‘quiet’ pool. This was fine for lounging around, but the water was so cold, we could not swim for more than a few minutes at a time. We tried the beach and then found it was most restful on the island, a 5 minutes boat ride from the pier. We spent every day on the island from then on. On the island we acquired two further butlers! Very nice attentive chaps.
Unfortunately the last boat back to the main resort landed us at about 3.45 so we still had at least an hour and a half of very loud ‘music’ – so loud that even with the doors and windows shut, radio/TV on it could still be heard pounding through the glass. One day I looked over the balcony at the pool to see several drunk young people taking turns laying on the pool bar and having the bar staff pour liquor all down the front of their bodies which was then licked off by others to great whoops of delight from others. It was so down-market and tacky. Rather like the cheap package holidays to Spain we see in documentaries about unpleasant holiday destinations. We eventually asked to be moved to the other side of the building, overlooking a car park, but nice and quiet with sea views. We also had sun on this balcony. None of the front facing suites – onto the noisy pool – ever had sun.
Restaurants:
Gordons on the Pier - good food but always served luke warm.
Casanova - enjoyed the food here.
Baccarat - Food good but again, luke warm.
Crystal Room - Food ok but lacked atmosphere.
Baccarat, the Crystal Room and the Piano Bar were always very cold.
Kimonos - food good and hot! But very, very noisy making it difficult to hold a conversation.
Royal Café - food awful and service worse.
Café Goombay - food variable and staff that couldn’t care less. I asked for some Gangster Rap ‘music’ to be turned down or changed and was told that someone had requested it. We were the only people there so I guess the staff wanted it on.
Spices - we usually had breakfast here and occasionally lunch. A good selection and the staff were helpful .
Sandals have a ‘no tipping’ policy for their staff, except for the butlers. As we ended up with five, the tip was fairly hefty. I don’t understand why they don’t have a pool where the tips go and are then divided equally among the butlers. We attended the ‘Returning Guests’ dinner – food very good and hot (they can do it) – and we had the Head Butler sitting next to us. When asked about why the rest of the staff are not allowed tips, she told us that a percentage of the cost of the holiday was allocated for this purpose.
Although we had a lovely holiday in Antigua last year, we were so disappointed with this resort that we are not sure we will try any more Sandals holidays. Pity.

Room Tip: Nowhere near the 'lively' pool unless you want a daily headache.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My husband and I went to Sandals for Christmas and New Year - it was the best holiday ever! The quality of everything, the ambiance, the friendly staff, our gorgeous suite in the Royal Village where we could look out of our bedroom window and watch humming birds feeding from the beautiful flowers .... it was everything we had dreamed of and much more!!
Sandals Cay, the private island, was superb, we could find a stretch of white sand with turquoise sea and blue skies to ourselves!
We were met at the airport and treated like royalty from the start to the finish when they waved us goodbye as we left. I particularly liked the food in Spices where Latoysa was wonderful as the manager and we could choose fresh fruit, crisp salads and a huge selection. Baccarat was wonderful for dining. Most nights after dinner, we sat around the grand piano and sang along with the Sandals Song Book, in great company, as we drank our wine. Leo was the BEST pianist and Sherwin a great bartender in the Piano Bar. I loved the pizzas on the beach, made to order and delicious!
The New Year Celebrations were spectacular, especially the fireworks......
Try to use an airline that goes direct to Nassau as the only downside was Miami Airport :o( and considerable delays with Bahamas Air both going and coming home .... However, once we we welcomed at the airport it was simply superb ..... Next year we are going to Sandals in St Lucia ...

Room Tip: We liked the Royal Village, set in lush tropical gardens ..... seemed more special than a normal hot...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Overall, my husband and I gave our Honeymoon a 7 out of 10. Some downfalls, completely had nothing to do with Sandals, but more so the weather (we only got 1 good day of sun - others were mainly cloudy, but still warm enough to lay by the ocean and pool) and the fact that my wallet disappeared (not accusing stealing by any means!) We got to the resort the day after Christmas and left NYE day. The resort itself was beautiful! This was the first time either of us have traveled to the Bahamas/Caribbean so we weren't sure what to expect. Again, the resort was beautiful, clean and the customer service was amazing. All the employees were there to help you. When we got into our room, it was obvious that the toliet seat was overlooked - we called our concierge desk and someone was up within minutes, from there on we had NO issues with cleanliness.
The only two things we were disappointed in were the dinner reservations and the food. My husband and I are by NO means food snobs, but we both agreed that the best meal we had was their wood fired pizzas. Back to the reservations, we called the next morning after arriving, promptly at 9AM when reservations open up, and wanted to make reservations for all the restaurants that need them. The lady said she'd called back to confirm our dates and times. I went back up to our room at noon to find out nothing had been booked, and we would only be able to go to 2 of the 3 reservations-required restaurants, and both were 9pm reservations. I was completely bummed because the one place I wanted to go (Cafe Gombay on the island) was the one we couldn't get. The fact that we called as soon as we could, and still didn't get what we wanted was a bummer. The other food aspect was that in most restaurants (not Baccarat) I felt rushed. I understand they have this down to a science, but we were in and out of Kimono's (hibachi) within 25 minutes! All in all, the food was not bad, but it didn't blow us away, and from what I've read that's to be expected at any all-inclusive resorts (though we did hear that the food was excellent at Emerald Bay from multiple people).
My husband and I both agreed that the convience factor of an all-inclusive was amazing. We literally had no worries. I will say that if you're expecting a 5-start resort with 5-star restaurants, go to the Ritz-Carlton.
If we do this again, I think we'd explore to the Emerald Bay resort or one of the more secluded islands to get a more Caribbean feel, as Nassau was more commercialized than I was expecting.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 Spa 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*
Number of rooms: 404
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 And Offshore Island
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
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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