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“The product far from equals the service.” 2 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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Ranked #1 of 35 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Maine
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“The product far from equals the service.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2005

We stayed at the Royal Bahamian from June 5th through June 9th 2005. We had booked this vacation 6 months in advance, so not only were we very much looking forward to it for a long time, but also had a lot of time to read reviews and look at pictures. Upon arriving we were greeted and ushered to check in and met with champagne and a cool towel. Very nice, however, the building did immediatly have a musty odor. That being said, the check in was good and we were toured the facility and brought to our room by a very friendly staff member. When we went into our room, which was in the Windsor tower, my wife almost immediatly saw its flaws. I think that the first place a woman looks at in a hotel room is the bathroom. She said that the bathroom was very drab and dirty. She noticed mold on the bathtub fixtures, dirty caulking on the tile work, dead flies in the light fixtures, no liner for the shower or trash can, and the sink faucet was leaky. OK, so be it. Im trying to stay positive here, I worked hard all year for this vacation. Remember that Sandals bills itself as being a 5 star resort. So far not true. The included stocked room mini bar was a nice touch! Anyway, our bags arrived and we went to lunch. We went to Spices and were met with a decent buffet with everything from BBQ ribs to pan fried catfish, to salads and deserts. After lunch we decided to relax beach and pool side. The beach was ok, the pools were beautiful and quite clean. We were "lucky" enough to get a reservation at the "highly praised gourmet" French restaurant Baccarat. The dining room was very classy and the staff was very, very nice and professional. We thought for sure that food that was to follow would be equally exquisite. If you want a good bottle of wine, you pay extra. The house wine is a very average cabernet. The rolls were stale and hard. I ordered duck and my wife had beef. I could have sworn I was eating pieces of pork, and her meal was very average. The desserts were average, certainly not made by a pastry chef. We left Baccarat wondering if that was the finest restaurant, what would our remaining dinners be like... Each morning we had breakfast at Spices (buffet) and actually this was the high point of our Sandals eating. Suprizingly enough neither my wife or I are big fans of buffets. The staff was always very cheery and pleasant. They would make you fresh omelettes to order and had a wide variety of pastries, fresh fruits, and everything from french toast to hash to grits. No cream for your very sub par coffee though just milk.
Laid by the pool all day, nice swim up pool bar with very enthusiastic tenders and a very large creative drink menu. Quite a schedule of pool side activities daily including beach/pool volleyball, trivia, and aerobics. The sun is very intense even through the many clouds that week. We went to Kimonos hibachi restaurant that evening and that was quite fun. We had an opportunity to meet and talk with a table full of other guests. The food was quite good, but the dessert was shipped right from the previous day's Spices buffet lunch. Went downtown Nassau the next day which was easy. Simply jump on the #10 bus. We found downtown to be less of a shoppers mecca than we had expected, however the people of Nassau certainly know that tourists are their livelyhood and are very nice, welcoming and pleasant.
The final dinner we had at Sandals was at Cassanova which is Italian. We had reservations for the the "fancier" Crystal Room, but canceled for Italian cuisine. Could Sandals screw that up? Oh boy. Again if you wanted a decent wine, get out your room charge card, otherwise dip into the premium red again. I had swordfish and my wife had clams with red sauce. I would bet that my "swordfish" started its day in a frozen Van de Kamps box and was tossed into a microwave just prior to being served to me. Not that its not good eating at home when you need a quick bite, but certainly not a "5 star" resort restaurant. My wife did not know what to make of her meal either as it was very bland and the sauce watery. I was very curious to know how the tiramisu would be for dessert. Either Sara Lee works in their kitchen or they simply unwrapped one from a local store, that is what we got.
To summarize, Sandals Royal Bahamian calls itself a 5 star resort and is supposedly the best in the Bahamas. If true, I cant imagine what it would have been like at another hotel. That being said, the Sandals' staff were always very pleasant and always greeted you with warmth, smiles, and passing hellos. If only their product measured close to their service the week would have been much more enjoyable. We left the resort with much dissapointment in not only the resort, but also didnt think that the Bahamas were as beautiful as we were expecting. We did tour Atlantis on Paradise Island, and although we did not see a guest room, the facility was amazing. Very classy and impeccibly clean. You could eat of their bathroom floor. I wonder if we should have stayed there. I dont believe that we would return to Sandals or to the Bahamas. For the money, Hawaii is much much nicer in every way from the resorts, beaches, shopping, and scenery. Even our vacation to Cancun offered much more in all those respects. I am very sad to say that we were dissapointed in Sandals, and the Bahamas.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2005

We stayed at the resort from 12 May-19 May. We read previous reviews some were negative and some positive. We decided not to let the negative reviews influence our decision and decided to go. We are so glad that we went. We had a honeymoon oceanview conciere room, (sorry about the spelling). We had a balcony and a stocked mini bar in the room. I drink a lot of water and we had plenty besides the champagne. The food was really good. I was really impressed with Baccarat, Kimonos, and the Crystal Room. The service was great. Our room did not have a musty smell. We had a nice ocean breeze and turned the air off at night. The midnight martini/champagne snacks were good. I fell in love with the white chcolate desserts and my husband the dark chocolate. We receive free luggage from sandals and were able to use it for our trip. Love the swim up bar and snorkleing. If I had one negative thing to say it would be that we had to call for towels twice. Believe me that was very minor. We cannot wait to go back and go to other Sandals resorts. While we were on the plane headed back to Chicago my husband decided that we are going to Jamaica and stay at a Sandals Resort there. Any questions feel free to ask. The Staff was very friendly and helpful. We tried to tip and were politely turned

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Westchester, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2005

Like many of the other people we too were a bit apprehensive about the hotel given some of the negative reviews but we must say this trip was wonderful from beginning to end. We booked the Royal Villa Honeymoon suite which included a Rolls Royce pickup at the airport and butler service. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty. We had personal check-in and were greeted with a mimosa and a cold towel.

Although our room was not ready when we arrived our butler showed us around the property and took us for lunch. The grounds are well maintained and they are constantly cleaning and painting and making sure that everything is in perfect condition. Our room was beautiful with a full mini-bar which was re-stocked every day. We had no complaints about the room or the maid staff.

The food was very good, better than expected. The breakfasts at the Baccarat were great. The lunches were ok, not great - lots of good fried stuff. The beach BBQ was great and the room service lunch was great too. Dinner was very good. There was a great variety. Its worth having a butler because they guarantee that you can get into all the best places. We ate at the Crystal Room twice and Baccarat once. Baccarat is by far the best restaurant there.

The pools are great and so are the swim-up bars. The staff is very helpful and nice. There is top shelf liquor which is very nice too.

Overall, it’s a great place to go. Tons of people in love just relaxing and enjoying each other. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Fresno, California
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

I have been to the Caribbean a few times including Mexico a couple times, Jamaica and St. Maarten. This was my first trip to a Sandals and I was down there to attend a wedding so I didn't pick the place. I would have probably chosen it given the amenities they offer and the reviews I saw. I would never go back to this resort though and don't know if I will attempt to stay at any other Sandals.

The rooms were fairly nice, spacious with nice beds. We were in a mid level priced room so we had a stocked bar which had juices and water as well as alcohol. The alcohol was low shelf, rail quality. The tub was big but for some reason it was quite high. I am tall and it took some effort to step into it. My girlfriend is not tall and had trouble including falling once very bad on her elbow. The nurse was nice though.

The decor in the hotel is OK. Some of the pictures were torn down, scratched up or written on. We had a special concierge attendant but she was the attendant for an entire complex so no special attention whatsoever.

The pools were very nice. The time of year we went made for chilly water but that's not the resorts fault. We still managed to get in and swim up to the bar. The bar is nicely stocked and the bartenders seemed knowledgeable. They also have a list of tropical drinks that were quite good. Great place to meet people too.

The activities were quite good and fun. The activity directors have lots of energy and like to get people involved. You have to take part in activities to get your sandals. Don't be thinking the sandals you earn are anything great. Just some little leather sandals on a beaded leather necklace. The drinking games were a good time. Play Captain Puff Puff if you go.

Now the food. When I consider how much we paid to go to the best rated Sandals resort, I believe I should have walked away from every meal thinking, "That was very tasty." This is not the case at all. One meal we had was pretty good. The rest ranged from OK too BLAGH! If you decide to eat on the private island, be prepared to be eaten yourself. Lots of bugs. The island is also shared so only a small part of it belongs to Sandals. There are lots of options to choose from as far as eating but none of them are great. We ended up eating off resort the last two nights because we were sick of it. Go to the fish fry!

There isn't much nightlife at the pub or the disco. Some nights draw a bit of a crowd but for the most part, it's dead. We had the most fun hanging out in the hot tub and chatting with other guests.

It's tough looking back saying DON'T go to this resort until I look at the price tag. In NO WAY is it worth that much money. You should have no worries about anything besides weather and the airlines for that much money. I think about what I could have spent that on and I want to cry. For half the price, it would have been worth the trip. Ye be warned!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

I chose Sandals b/c of the all inclusive even though it cost more than staying at the Marriott with eating out. It wasn't worth it in my opinion. The food was terrible except for the Crystal Room but you have to make reservations and we got the last one for the week.
Once the waiter/waitress serves you, you will never see them again so forget about refilling your drink. And at the buffet restaurant good luck getting a drink at all.

Additonally my bag was stolen from the beach and no one cared. I went straight to the main desk and they just shrugged. I had to go to each towel hut, each concierge and notify them myself (not that anyone wrote down my info). Then I had to find a security guard myself and he did nothing. Every time I went to see if it turned up I had to re-explain my story and then when I checked out I asked one last time and this person told me the security guard should have filled out a report.

The offshore island they rave about is nothing big. You only get to use 1/2 of it b/c the other half is owned by someone else. It's just another beach - nothing special. Also it's full of mosquitos.

The shower is also terrible. I expect low water pressure but the water wouldn't stay at 1 temperature. It went from scalding to icy. A shower would take me over 20 minutes b/c every time it went scalding I had to step out.

The pools were nice and the grounds were well kept. Maintenance did respond quickly when the toilet broke (TWICE).

Also check-in was HORRENDOUS. When I get off a plane I am hot, tired and hungry. I want to go to my room, change, eat and hit the beach or pool. We had to stand outside the airport waiting for a bus that smelled of Body Odor - I would rather have paid for the cab. Then we were brought into a room with no a/c and each one of us (5 couples) had to give this woman our credit card then were told to go get a bite to eat. But it was 3 PM and only one restaurant was open, which we couldn't find. So we go back and ask for our room which was ready but our luggage wasn't there. So we had to go back out and find the restaurant and sit in 90 degree weather in jeans. I wouldn't mind carrying my own luggage if it was going to take 2 hours to get to my room.

Sun tan lotion is $25 a bottle in the gift shop (the same bottle you can get in CVS for $8.99) so make sure you bring enough. And bring bug spray for the evenings.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

A lovely place - had our honeymoon there and was perfect. Very relaxing on the private off-shore island. book the restaurants the 1st night so not to miss out. Treatments are similar price to uk but very good. Swam with the dolphins which was a local trip - reccommend highly!!!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Niles, Michigan
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

Spent 5 nights in a Royal Village Honeymoon Villa Suite. The room included butler service and Rolls Royce transfer to/from the airport. Weather was great, mid-80s, only one cloudy day with a little rain overnight. In short, we would return and stay in the Villas again.

Room: We were in the Villa Poinciana, room 711. Each villa has five or six rooms in it. The room was spacious, but did need a little touch up on the walls and the curtains were basically falling off the track (held up by multiple hooks in just a few rungs which made it difficult to fully close the curtains to keep out the sun in the morning). There was a little mildew in the bathtub/shower area, but nothing too serious. Butler service was helpful in securing dinner reservations, they had in fact made reservations for each night before we checked in. We did change a couple of the reservations and had no troubles, in fact getting into the Crystal Room at a good time (7:30) for a second time with only a day's notice. Other than that, I would not say butler service was all that impressive. We rarely saw a butler and had to ask for our room bar/snacks to be restocked rather than it being done automatically. According to the Sandals website, butler service is not offered in this room category now, but I don't think it is a big loss. The Royal Village rooms/pools are not near any of the bars, meaning it requires a 3 minute walk to quench your thirst, but it is quiet and the pools back there were never crowded. The only big complaint about the room is probably more the fault of other guest than the resort. Whenever another guest would leave their room, the doors would slam and if it was early in the morning, wake us up. I know this is a result of inconsiderate "neighbors", but it would help if Sandals installed pressure springs for the doors so they would close automatically instead of the guests needing to pull them shut.

Pools/beach/grounds: The main pools tended to get crowded and the "best" chairs were taken early in the morning. The pool water was easily in the 70s, not cold at all. The beach is on the small side and crowded with as many chairs as possible it seemed. Lots of flowering trees/bushes in the Royal Village area, but many needed to be trimmed back as the were encroaching far into the sidewalks. Other than the RV area, not much plant life around as the hotel rooms/pools/restaurants are placed very close together. Not that this was a bad thing, I thought the resort managed its space very well. The "private" island was not very private at all. Another company uses part of the island immediately next to the Sandals part for day trips for "cruisers." However, the island/pool was not crowded when we went and there was a lot of beach area. Sandals seemed to put its less pleasant staff over there, though.

Restaurants/bars: We enjoyed the Crystal Room (dinner) and the Royal Cafe (lunch) the most. Casanova's was pretty bland, less desirable than an Olive Garden - which we like. Kimono's was about what we expected, just too much sauce on the meats. We did not experience Baccarat's for dinner (personal choice), but breakfast there was nice. The buffet was typical buffet, nothing special, nothing terrible. The beachside barbeque was great for a quick bite, too. We did try lunch at Cafe Goombay, limited selection - better off at the main resort for lunch. Deserts were a disappointment. The pool bars were efficient at making drinks and most seemed adequately potent, the only exception being the frozen drinks. But you can always ask for an extra shot in those. Mixed drinks were plenty potent and lots of brand liquors available. Other than the pool bars, it was difficult to get frozen drinks. Especially at dinner. About the only other bar that we found willing to make frozen drinks in the evening was the Pub. The Piano bar was fun late in the evening and Hendrick at the Pub was great. I would not recommend the Crystal bar as a hang out, its really only there to take care of the diners in the Crystal Room and Baccarat's.

Other: Take the bus to downtown Nassau rather than a cab. It stops right out in front of the resort and only costs $1 per person each way. I believe a cab runs around $12 - $15. We took a water taxi from downtown to Paradise Island ($6 each roundtrip), but you have to catch them just right or there's quite a wait for the next one. Stopped by Atlantis for some gambling and gawking, really weren't that impressed. The casino was small, even though it is the largest in the Bahamas, and the hotel staff would not let anyone but guests down to the pool/beach areas so we really couldn't see what the fuss was about.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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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
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 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#1 Top resorts 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 & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort And Offshore Island
Sandals Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach
Sandals Bahamian
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Sandal Resort Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau

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