Do you need to get a Butler room at Sandals Bahamas? What room would you get?
Do you need to get a Butler room at Sandals Bahamas? What room would you get?
We've been waffling back and forth on the same question... The Sandals resort does not precisely blow us away, but it seems like the best choice for us on New Providence (Atlantis and Breezes seemed far too busy and the offshore island really appealed). I've read and read through the reviews and some folks seem to think that the butler service is completely unnecessary (many are suggesting book the cheapest available room category), while others advocate that butler service is the only way to go and you get what you pay for.
We originally booked a Luxury Room and then had our TA upgrade us to the Royal Village Honeymoon Suite. This used to be--but is no longer-- a butler category room. You do get the Rolls Royce transfer and room service; what appealed to us was the privacy, quiet, and appearance of the rooms. There doesn't seem to be alot of feedback out there on these... and we weren't able to find many pics of the butler suite rooms either (frankly, the pics on the website for the butler rooms were some of the least attractive rooms in terms of furnishings).
We're going at the end of July... so I'll be sure to post a trip report when we return.
We wanted to see the ocean so that room was not for us. I wish there was more info on the butler. I even tried e-mailing Sandals but they were not helpful. Have a great trip
We did not have a butler room. but were down the hall from them. The ones in the Windsor building are poolside, which you also have an ocean view, and can see the cay island. Now, what I saw was the butler's personally walking guests to their dinner reservations and "checking them in", the butlers "reserving" chairs and rafts (which needless to say the raft reserves angered many people who eventually stole them) and that was about it. I did talk to a couple (who were "more accustomed" to the butler way of life)who said that it was nice but also somewhat irritating at times. Mainly due to the fact they didn't feel they had much privacy as their butler always seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Would I have a butler room when I go back? No way. I would get into one of the cheapest rooms and spend the extra $$$ on other activities. I figured, I'm in the Bahamas......I only need a room to sleep!!!
Thanks... We tried emailing Sandals as well. They have that very interesting "We've assigned you a ticket and will respond in X hours" approach that seems useful-- until we realized, after three of these, that they usually did NOT answer our question and that there was virtually no way of engaging in an email dialogue. It was like: "Here's your question. Here's our answer." No back and forth, no info-- although all very pleasant!
If you go through the trip reviews on this site, there is some interesting info on butlers. It seems fairly clear that experiences may vary, but the consensus overall seemed to be that having a butler was usually a very nice to a very outstanding experience, made restaurant rezzies much easier to obtain, and led to a wider selection of booze in the room. Some folks seemed to have had all sorts of lovely extras due to their butlers (champagne and chocolate set ups, bubble baths, etc.) while others felt that their interactions with their butlers had been minimal. Frankly, never having done that sort of thing before, I didn't know if I would feel comfortable asking someone to do for me... if I knew that somehow they could anticipate my needs or pleasantly surprise me.... then sign me up! We were really more interested in it for the easier access to the restaurants and are gambling that the Villa Suites will facilitate this. As we go to French Polynesia once a year, I figured we'd sacrifice the ocean view for the ambiance of the Royal Village and the less-hotel-like accommodations (we're big bungalow fans). From reading reviews, it seemed like the views were all over the map -- some were absolutely fabulous and some were looking over local properties, roofs, etc.
Do let me know what you decide on! I wish I had actual information to share... It would help, too, if tripadvisor had folks identify what category room they stayed in.. For SRB, at least, it does seem to matter and it does not always seem that the more $$$ are the better (sometimes yes, sometimes no). Apparently, some of the middle-tier rooms have unbelievable ocean views.
The reservations were easy from our stand point. We got in on Saturday, and didn't make our reservations until Sunday late afternoon, and we had them all booked M, W and Th. We even mixed up our time for Baccarat... and were seated. We were to be there at 7:30, and we went in at 6:30.....we were seated and there were 5 empty tables. Now, the only thing I would advise of is getting there 10-15 minutes early if you would want to sit at a table that faces out the windows. We ended up sitting away from the windows, but don't feel we missed much. When we left there were 6 couples standing in line for the window seats.
The restaurant thing seems to be really all or nothing... either you get all the rezzies that you want or you don't. I can't tell, from reading the posts, whether this has to do with the day of week on which you travel, how long your stay is, how busy the resort is, or some combination of these and other reasons. It is frustrating to think, though, that you could book and pay for the resort based on the restaurant selections and not be be able to eat at each restaurant at least once. We certainly had this problem when we stayed at the Riu Palace in Cabo over Thanksgiving week and it was one reason why we were hesitant to book at SRB and considered the butler upgrade (to spend an extra thousand dollars for seven nights tho just for the food.... we figured it would be better to plan on eating out instead).
I suppose the only way to answer the "butler or no butler" question would be to try it both ways ;)
We deicided on the butler suite since it wil be our 20th anniversary.We just got a call from our travel agent stating that we were visited by the disciunt fairy. That was a nice anniversary gift. Hopefully the butler suite wil be a good experience. We are traveling at the end of the July.
My fiance and I just returned from 9 days @ SRB and I can honestly say that unless you have lived your life completely accustomed to Butler's, there is absolutely no reason to pay for the Butler service room. We booked our room @ the cheapest rate (Deluxe room) were upgraded into the Windsor Building. Honestly, this is the absolute most you would ever need unless you plan on sitting in your room the entire time (which I'm sure nobody plans to do since you're in the Bahamas).
The restaurant reservations are a non-issue. If you're going to be there for more than 5 days, you'll easily be able to get into any of the restaurants you want.
If I were to do it again (Which we plan on doing in a few years) I would do it the exact same way and book the Deluxe room. The only thing I would recommend is to NOT stay in the Villas. They seemed to be so isolated from the rest of the resort. Maybe that was just the feeling I got, but they seemed so distant from the rest of the resort. But again, we didn't stay there, so maybe it isn't as bad as it appears.
I'll be writing a review of our stay in the next couple of days.
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