To begin, we agree very much with Mike from Maine's write-up.
I and my wife are a non-caucasian non-USA couple who were guests at the Royal Bahamian between June 10 - 15. We had made the reservations through a recommended travel agency based off Virginia. Before that, we struggled for a while to decide where to actually go - the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia, The Royal Bahamian, or some place in Hawaii. St. Lucia required visas, and Hawaii seems at times "not that sunny." So it was, finally, the Royal Bahamian.
It was raining fairly heavily out of Miami, but the weather looked up heading into Nassau Airport. From the sky...some of my fears were confirmed. It is hardly a tropical paradise. But that was not too much of a concern as the supposedly Aqua water was why we were there.
No problems at the airport. A friendly staff member at Sandals' booth fixed us up for our Van ride to the resort. Drive to the resort was uneventful, though the occasional very colorful beachside "houses" were an impressive display of the island's moderate wealth.
Driving into the resort, we gasped...it appeared to be much smaller...but in reality, while it did turn out to be so, sizewise it was fairly expansive, still.
Greetings..the usual stuff...and then we were showed out to the restaurants.
About the room....we got a poolside/oceanview concierage Royal Honeymoon room. Be warned..the concierage is just one person for the whole Windsor building..who is fairly busy, though very friendly, like all staff members.
The room was...well, just above average. A little musty and a little mouldy here and there. Neither of us liked that, but neither did it bother us that much. Considering the amount charged, and the fact that there were only 2 other room classes over ours...that was very dissapointing. There was a spacious balcony overlooking the Windsor pool, and facing the Sandals Key island out in the Ocean.
The Windsor is far better than the Manor...which during one of our excursions, we discovered to be fairly old.
We enjoyed the gardens in the villa section...truly beautiful..with well decored flowers and other greenary. Being a photographer, I think I have about 40 shots just from that section. Not sure how the villa bungalows are inside, but the hamock set in the serenity of the cosy pools was top class.
Oh, and did I mention...our AC dripped water in our room just where you step into the bathroom.
Staff was really friendly...but one thing though...they were overly sensitive to the needs of the US visitors...and that can become a little irrate should you be the sensitive type. This was obvious everywhere..when waiting in lines for service or even during basic one-to-one encounters. I guess most of the $$ come from there...and who can blame them.
Restaurants...the supposedly posh ones were a big big dissapointment. We had reservations at the Baccarat and the Crystal room. But both were late..I think the premium times are already taken up by the folks who got the butler service. This had us miss some interesting pool side entertainment that typically reach the crescendo between 9-10:30. Ambience in the Crystal room was utterly morbid..nothing but a red gloom all around you, though it was quite the opposite at the Baccarat. But the food was way below expectations..though tolerable nonetheless. Both of these places share a wall, and we got the distinct feeling that the food items were cleverly dressed to disguise them as different items...but in reality...75% of the stuff, item by item were probably the same. Dessert was very average.
But hang on.....go to Spices. I'm not sure if due to lowered expectations, or simply due to the energy around the place, there buffets were of considerable delight. Casnova followed quite closely.
Being non-alcaholics...our pool side beverage was limited to banana-strawberry daquaris, though there is a wide array of other stuff.
We went to the island 3 days. If you find your right spot...it is quite a delight. But nobody ever mentioned until just prior to docking that only half of the island (East) belongs to Sandals. The aqua water over the coral beds and white sandy beaches is as good as it gets minus the tropical nature.
We did some parasailing - at $50 pp. Very expensive.
We also visited the Atlantis - # 10 bus at $1 pp, and the ferry charged $3 pp. Atlantis is really really very posh...with very high end shopping outlets very much like Europe or Dubai, and not the US. Yes, I would have had lunch on the floor there as well, just like someone mentioned. $30 pp let us see the Aquarium..again thats all that it let us do...so pretty pricey again. When coming back we glanced at the restaurant prices --> $40 for dinner, pp. Ok, point well made. Atlantis also has an impressive warf with expensive private boats lined up next to each other. Atlantis' grounds were truly amazing as well. If you have the money and prefer elegance and modern features all the time, this is your place.
And finally, the Straw market. Let me be a little harsh..they are a bunch of cheats.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay...but the price tags is more ( 15-20 % more) than what it should be. We sure did come back with some truly amazing SLR pictures.