First of all, last year my husband and I travelled to the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia. It was a wonderful experience. Thus, I was looking forward to our trip to the Royal Bahamian.
There were a few positives:
The Welcome Back dinner was excellent. The food was ok, but didn't match St. Lucia's quality.. The pool and jacuzzi were very nice.
There were no drinks or a reception room with bathroom facility at the airport as there was in St. Lucia.
Once at Sandals, the orientation packet did not contain the weekly schedule or resort map. It took us two days to find out about it. On Sunday, we had to ask for another schedule. Why isn't this delivered by the maid service as done in other resorts.
Several of your employees did not appear happy to be there with us - particularly at the Concierge Desk ( Charles and Gerard were great). When you asked a questioned, it seemed like we were bothering them. Many waitresses were just plain unhelpful. They spent time talking to other employees. The worse were at the pizza place and Royal Cafe. At the Rayal Cafe, we saw our food put up to be served. The two waitresses chatted and chatted. It was 20 minutes before it was delivered. At the pizza place, the waitress took a select few orders, but most people had to get up to order. She delivered a few pizzas, again most people had to get up to retrieve their pizza. This waitress never smiled and made us feel like we were a big inconvenience.
We were in the older part of the resort - the Windsor building. The room was adequate. There was a broken tile on the floor. The tub faucet leaked constantly wasting lots of water. The tub liner had black spots on it - mold? The metal bar holding the bar had black spots indicating rust and mold. The mattress was OK. You could feel the springs in it. The screen door was bent and had a hard time gliding on the rails. I could not manage it.
Drink service was very slow for the entire week.
Most of the guests we met were American. Why no American beer?
We asked for two drinks made in St. Lucia - no bartender could do it. Really - no banana coladas, no B&B.
One day, the bartender told us they could not make drinks because there was no ice.
Apparently there is a shortage of bananas on this tropical island. There were no banana drinks for two days, because the bananas were hard to find.
Day 3 maids says that they shorted us face and hand towels. They will deliver later. Never delivered.
Day 4 left room at 9:30 AM returned after 3. No maid had been in our rooms. Still no towels promised the day before. Called housekeeping and our room was finally done at 3:45
Day 6 Maid cleaned room, but didn't have enough towels. Says she will come back with some today. Towels never arrived.
Our room was turned down once.
The floor was wet one day, so it appeared to be washed. Lint, hair, and some sand were on the floor when we arrived and were there when we left.
Saturday evening: went to dinner at the off shore island and then was looking forward to enjoying the piano bar. As the piano player was setting up, he is told that the power will be shut off for one hour in observance of Earth Day. Perhaps this was a good idea. We all need to do more for the environment. No problem if the guest and artist had been notified. Perhaps Sandals would darken the resort and stop the boats going back and fourth to the private island. To my surprise, one one small room was darkened. The bar next door was lit, the front desk, outside looked like it was daylight. I could view three Sandals signs well lighted. If you really want to reduce Sandals carbon footprint, darkening one small room isn't going to do it and only infuriated the guests who were smart enough to see this foolishness. By the way, repairing the bathtub faucet which constantly dripped all week, would have done more for the environment.I lost all respect for your organization over that stunt. Be serious about the environment!
Dinnertime: The premium restaurants all open at 6 PM or 6:30 PM. This is too late. We are up early and generally eat an early breakfast. We then skip lunch. Waiting until 6:30 is uncomfortable for us. Several other guests also mentioned this issue to us. The lighter fare at the Cricketer's Pub just wasn't what we payed a premium price for. Lunch at some restaurants start at 12:30 PM, again too late!
Internet Access: In an all-inclusive resort, I do not expect to pay for Internet. PERIOD. This is the 21st Century and this service is included in most resorts. We traveled in France in September of 2012 and every hotel we stayed in had free wifi.
Spa: Twelve and a half percent service charge? I asked if the fee was for tip for the staff. I was told no. The Sandals promotion says all taxes, gratuities, etc. are included. Hidden fees mentioned after the service is just unfair.
Handicapped Accessible: While I did not inquire about services for the handicapped, I was surprised to learn how inaccessible this resort is. I am not handicapped, but had a temporary handicap while at the Royal Bahamian Resort. To your credit, three people offered help. Josephine at Casanovas offered to seat me on the main floor. A very large heavy set young man went out of his way to help me board the boat for dinner at Stew Fish. The pilot also helped. The hostess at Spices also offered to seat me near the buffet. That was it. No other people offered to help me. Bathrooms were down several stairs. Our room was 1522. I believe that the room offered the largest walk to the concierge desk and the pools. No thought was given to help someone who might need just a little extra support. This was disappointing, very disappointing.
Finally, we did not rebook. I loved my first trip to Sandals. This trip to the Royal Bahamian Resort was not a pleasant trip. I went to the rebooking desk and the person there did not offer a reason for us to rebook. She also didn't smile. The next day, my husband and I went to the desk at the Windsor building. Despite being opened from 7AM to 7PM, no one was there. We waited for ten minutes and no one came so we left. We were promised free shirts if we visited the desk and never received them. Another disappointment!
I do not recommend this resort! It is not worth the premium price you have to pay to go there.
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