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.
Ixora building in the Royal Village has some noise from the adjoining building AC unit noise if you...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.