We just returned from the Sandals at Nassau (March 9-16) and would like to offer this review for travellers considering this destination. We normally go to the DR in March and wanted to try something a bit more upscale (expensive) for our 30th anniversary. There were a great many differences on the trip.
We stayed in the bungalows (Jasmine) just behind the main resort and found them very comfortable, quiet and well appointed. There was a bit of daytime noise from the adjacent maintenance compund but it was minimal. The pool area by our cottage was very nice and we usually began our daily sunbathing ritual there and returned there in the evening for a quick hot tub. No elevators and away from the action when you wanted to be. The beds were king sized and very comfortable with large,flat screen TVs in the room.
I read a number of comments about the resort looking `tired`and in a fewvcases the comments are accurate but generally the decor is desigened to give it that traditional British royal look and feel. In my opininion the surroundings were charming and you understood more if you took the time to read the historical news clippings and plaques about Edward and Wallace Simpson (who made Nassau their home). I can`t say enough about the level of service we received - stellar. We travelled with a group of 3 couples and our dinner reservations for 6 were never a problem. Polite, courteous service was the norm but if you engaged in extended conversation, most of the staff were clearly well educated and interesting to speak to - not hovering over you every minute but always staying connected to your needs. In the DR the greeting is laid back - ``Olah amigo`` but here at Nassau it is ``good morning or evening sir.`` Not going to lie - I enjoyed that bit of formality. The trip to the downtown shopping area was easy ($1.25 fare on the number10 bus) and safety was never a concern.
My only criticisms were the pool temperatures were well below what I would consider comfortable, especially with lower than expected weather temperatures. The property is small and beach walking is very limited (although the island was nice when we were able to get there). We were accustomed to the lengthy beaches of Punta Cana and really missed the 80+ degrees of the DR. Having said that we could not take much more sun by week`s end. Cold evenings were not great but made for good sleeping.
I can`t remember feeling more relaxed at the conclusion of a vacation. The food was excellent with one exception. We travelled to the island which had been closed for a number of days due to high winds and the lunch and bar service were mediocre. They appeared uprepared for the number of guests who chose to go over (so one sub par meal out 20 total). Bacarat was the highlite for us but the Crystal Room, Kimonos and Casanovas were also excellent. The Spices breakfast was exceptional with everything you could want to begin your day. THe piano bar was the highlite of evening activity. If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing break from a busy life this is definitely the place. Once again, the service was fantastic and we are considering Sandals already for next spring. As a repeat customer, they offer very good incentives for your return visit. We may opt for a more southern location to guarantee the 80 degree temperatures, but it will take a big effort to match the charm of our Bahamian hosts.