My wife and I have just returned from a week at this resort. And the end of the week I was wishing I was European, so I could have more vacation and stay longer. We have stayed at Royal Plantation in Jamaica before and I was afraid a "regular" Sandals would not measure up. I was wrong. We had the butler service, so we approximated the RP experience a closely as possible, and it was great. I would like to give some big ups to our main butlers; Yorlet, Melissa, and Gem. I would also give the same to Magneesh who took care of my wife on the island while I was out cheating death (scuba diving) in the mornings. Lastly, I want to thank Ricardo, our driver who effortlessly took us to and from the airport and the resort.
Food: Was better than I expected. I particularly liked the omelet surprise dessert in the Crystal Room and the Stewfish entree in its namesakes restaurant. My wife loved the filet and lobster from Gordon's and the beef medallions from Baccarat. We tried all 10 restaurants during our stay.
Room: We were upgraded to an oceanfront suite from our booked honeymoon suite further back in the resort. I would love to chalk that up to my sparkling personality but it was probably due to tropical storm Chantal bearing down on the Bahamas. Nevertheless, the suite was centrally located for everything we did and very nice. It did show some age but without replacing furniture, there was nothing to really be done. It didn't bother us.
Beach: Very nice. Some life around the pier and rocks to see when snorkeling. We didn't use the non-motorized craft.
Pools/bars: Didn't spend any time in the pub. We were outside every chance we got. OUr butlers reserved 2 loungers for us so we could amble down at our leisure. The staff was friendly and engaging. Served us some wicked drinks. We have been trying to replicate at home, but we will have to keep experimenting. Also the rec guys were great. Linden named my wife "fire" and I stuck with it the rest of our trip.
Island: WOW, the butlers reserved a cabana for us and it is now my screensaver picture. We had the cabana closest to the restaurant, it was a little noisy and had some traffic but I found rum punch (did I mention how great Magneesh was?) and tropical breezes cure everything. It was bliss. I wish we had spent more time there. The snorkeling was also very good. Saw some small fish by the rocks but also saw a stingray, sea turtle, and several cuttlefish.
Diving: Was also excellent. I did 3 days of diving. I particularly liked diving on the wreck of the Mahoney (sp?). Tons of fish, lobsters, and a couple of nurse sharks (my first). If I would have a complaint, it is that we only had a morning 2 tank dive, there were no dives in the afternoon.
In the interest of full disclosure, we did have rain the last couple of days of our trip. However, we simply went into town one afternoon and read out on the balcony the other. We try to make our vacations relaxing, Stressing over things we can not control is not productive. In the end, it was a great trip and my wife is now spoiled rotten from the excellent service and is already plotting how she/we can get back again.