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“Beautiful resort, ten years on....”

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey, United Kingston
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort, ten years on....”
Reviewed November 29, 2011

We got married at Sandals Royal Bahamian in 2001 and although we've been to a few Sandals resorts since, we hadn't been back. We decided to return for our tenth anniversary with some trepidation. Would it be as we remembered it? Our tastes have changed a bit in ten years and we've stayed at some five star hotels around the world, so would it live up to our expectations? The overall answer is a resounding 'yes' but be warned - there will be some things that you can whinge about if that's what you like doing.

The upsides are that the property and gardens are still beautiful - the public area of the manor building is really well decorated with a colonial feel, and this spills out into the gardens surrounding the villas. We stayed in a villa for our wedding ten years ago, but this time it was a suite in the Windsor building, which was very large and had a well-stocked bar. The room itself was decorated in a traditional style, but had a large flat screen TV and good airconditioning, ipod dock etc.

The manor building itself is closed for renovations and what they have planned looks fantastic. As a result, however, this probably results in about 30% less capacity so there were less guests. This meant that not all the restaurants were open every night, but we accepted that (others may find this a problem if they put their minds to it). There is some noise with the work taking place - knocking and drilling etc, but that's only by the quiet pool. You can head to other quiet areas if needed such as the beach, Island or gardens, but most people congregate by the busy bar where all the daytime entertainment takes place.

The food quality is excellent throughout, from the breakfasts in the buffet through to the more formal Crystal Room and Baccarat. It's not Michelin star by any means but is fresh and very good quality. Perhaps a downside is that sometimes the meals seemed rushed with mains following starters straight away. The wine was good and we felt no need to stray from the 'inclusive' wine selections. We didn't dine at Gordons as we didn't pay extra for butler suite, nor did we need to pay the extra to visit.

The bars offer excellent drinks, and despite other comments here, they are in no way watered down. The Manor House bar in particular is a great place for a pre-dinner Martini or a night cap while listening to the piano player. There was a good selection of evening entertainment, including a special Bahamian night.

A note about butler service - they are able to reserve beds at the pool areas, whereas mere mortals are not able to, but we had no problem in finding beds. That said the busy pool was exactly that, but apart from time on the Island, we spent time in the quiet pool area or the beach. Note: the bar did open but a bit later than the 'entertainment' bar.

The island was closed when we visited in 2001 due to a hurricane (it happens, and Sandals do their best to compensate), but this time it was open. It truly is a beautiful place, with a couple of quiet beaches and crystal clear waters. Sandals don't own all of it, but have their own section. There is also a nice casual restaurant (where we ate for lunch on two days) and pool/bar area. You have to make sure you get to the boat on time otherwise you may miss a slot, but that's all part of planning.

We had a couples massage in the red lane spa - it's expensive but was well worth it. There is also a spa on the Island but we wanted an evening treatment so went to the spa which is near the entrance.

There were a couple of downsides - there was some confusion around our departure time which took a few trips to the concierge and some phone calls to put right. Additionally we had problems with having to chase for our in-room bar to be stocked - especially needed for water. However, these are minor complaints.

All the staff we encountered were very helpful and pleasant, so that added to the experience.

So that was our experience - we had a great time for our anniversary visit (although note to Sandals - you didn't make much of our return after 10 years to the place we got married), and we think this is probably the best Sandals we've visited.

Room Tip: The Windsor suites are roomy and well-appointed.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank TheChris_Morgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lecanto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2011

My husband and I love to travel and this was our 5th all-inclusive resort, so we are well acquainted with this type of facility. I can honestly say this was our best trip ever. The staff is beyond superb. The food is wonderful, with so many choices. The private island is so beautiful that we went there 4 of our 9 days. The resort itself is extremely well-maintained with staff members constantly working to keep it beautiful. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. One very small, but telling, incident was when we were walking along the resort pathway and a gentleman was coming towards us with a very full, heavy wheelbarrow. Rather than “inconvenience” us by having us walk single file as we approached, he hauled his wheelbarrow off the path so that we could continue on the path uninterrupted. And then he even smiled and said “Good morning”. Little things like that tell a lot about the staff. I am sorry I didn’t write down the names of all the staff with whom we came in contact, because they all deserve high praise. I hope the resort management recognizes the wonderful people whose names we can specifically recall. James, at Gordon’s Pier, is so perfect with his serving, and is funny as hell. Gerard in the Crystal Room gave us superior service as well, and also had a terrific personality. Candace at Spices gives the most welcoming and friendly greetings as she seats the guests. Theodore, at Kimonos, made the evening for everyone at our table with his cooking skills and especially with his humor. Austin and David, our drivers, were wonderful and helpful with their knowledge. Thanks to Sherwin at the Piano Bar who took special effort to find port for us on several nights. Damien was so patient with us, helping us choose our next Sandals vacation to St. Lucia. We are saving the best for last, however, because without our butlers, our vacation would never been as perfect. Angeline, Ekron, and Melonie (alphabetical order so as not to play favorites) were anything and everything one could ask for. They were attentive without being intrusive. They were personable and friendly without being too casual. Everything they offered to do or that we requested was done to perfection. We cannot say enough good things about them.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Lynne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We spent a week at the resort in mid-October celebrating our honeymoon.

We were a little disappointed when we arrived at the resort to discover our room wasn't ready - the hotel wasn't at full capacity and they knew well in advance when we were arriving (I even did the advance check-in online) and so I don't understand how we ended up stuck in limbo for 2 hours wearing jeans while we waited for a room (and then our bags to be delivered so we could change).

We ended up staying in one of the honeymoon villas (without a butler) and we really enjoyed the peace and quiet, the gardens, the private patio, the semi-private pool, and the 24-hour room service! The room itself was clean but a little dated - they should definitely spend some money upgrading the bathrooms.

Overall, the resort actually looked better than we'd anticipated. They were doing major construction on one of the beach-side buildings so it meant that the "quiet pool" ended up being noisy as well because of all the work being done. Because of the construction, the resort wasn't full which meant we were able to easily get a cabana on the beach or find a place with shade on the island. The island was really nice for feeling like you were really away from it all... It felt like a completely different vacation almost...

The food was the best we've ever had at an all-inclusive resort. We often had the breakfast buffet at Spices - loved the omelets and eggs benedict. For lunch we would eat at Cafe Goomba on the island (ok, but not great) or grab pizza and/or nachos if we were on the mainland. For dinner, our favorites were the Italian (we went 3 times) and the French restaurant. The Japanese place was just so-so and the pub food was disappointing.

The drinks were all really good - as were the bartenders.

Overall we found the service to be inconsistent compared to other destinations (like in DR or Cuba where they're all very eager to please). Some servers were outstanding (especially at the French restaurant) while others seemed really jaded and sometimes annoyed (especially one lady from Cafe Goomba).

The entertainment was EXCELLENT - there was a band of 3 guys in the pub one day who blew us away! In general we found most of the entertainment to be quite good.

I really liked hanging out at night by the firepits by the beach - a very relaxing place to wind down with a drink.

I would also recommend doing the daytrip to Atlantis - we did the "Aquaventure" which allowed us to do the waterpark in the morning, a nice lunch at Atlas Bar & Grill, "The Dig" aquariums in the afternoon, and then some gambling in the casino and exploring the resort -- all in about 8 hours. The tour company was a little sketchy but we enjoyed adding a little excitement to our trip.

Overall, we had a great honeymoon. Very relaxing and indulgent. We didn't necessarily think it was the best value for the money - but agreed it is worth it if you want a relaxing, civilized holiday away from children and drunken teenagers!

Room Tip: The honeymoon villas offer 24-hour room service and quiet pools!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Victoria G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

My wife requested that we visit here befor she completely lost her vision due to macular degeneration. We decided to make the investment in October a few years ago. We found Sandals to be the best choice for us and it turned out to be a good one indeed. Each day became a new adventure with exciting stuff to do and the staff really helped us have a great time. We danced on boat, dined, and swam with dolphins. We partied on Sandals' island, sunbathed, shopped, and lost a little at a nearby casino. There was one thing that just knocked our socks off, though. We had an evening meal and asked for keylime pie as our desert. The waitress apologized but they were out of keylime. The staff took it upon themselves to check other restaurants the pie. They were able to find some and brought it to our table. We were astonished and we still talk about it today with others whenever Sandals is mentioned. We had a great time and their staff and the local residents made it memorable.

Room Tip: Look to the ocean if possible.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Aunzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Hey, if you want to make a beautiful trip, go to Nassau at the Sandals.
We liked it so much that we booked for january 2012 for two weeks and I am sure
that it will be the same for every coming years.

The hotel was very clean and the rooms were amazing. Especially the 1104. I saw different
rooms but I loved my suite. It was spacious and we had to big screen. The pool was a bit
cold but on the other hand the weather was pretty warm. It didn't stop anybody to jump in it.

The beach is cleaned every morning early and there is no way that you will find any dead fish or trash like I saw in some other resort.
Talk about the restaurants. they are all over the place and with alot of choices. I loved to take
my breakfast at the buffet because the people there remember you and they are always smiling.
At the Crystal is very nice and chic. It's good to get dress up when you are all tanned and pretty. It' SO Romantic.
The concierges are amazing and they take really care of you . Especially Erika and Laverne at the Welcome back desk.
They made my trip so amazing that we decided to go back and take another two weeks stay.
Security in the permises is a big issue. With Devon the chief of security we feel very at ease and in peace.
Nassau is a very nice place for couples who wants to keep up with their love and that want to relax.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!!!!!!

Room Tip: The rooms are nicer in the Windsor. And also the pool is more quiet.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank leeze_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

We booked our honeymoon for September, but Sandals rescheduled us to the first week in October due to Hurricane Irene. We booked our room for the Royal Honeymoon Villa with Butler service. We travel often and, on the positive side, the food was good and the surroundings, lobby and beach were lovely. However, the Royal Honeymoon Villa were the oldest buildings on the property and were not in very good condition.

The bathroom was not air conditioned and included an open-vent type window that did not close, which allowed a flying ant type bug into the toilet and tub area. This forced us to keep the bathroom door shut, resulting in a HOT bathroom 24/7. We called and called our butler throughout the week, but the bugs persisted despite spraying and both my husband and I would wake up with dozens of bites each morning. How romantic!

Secondly, we had no hot water from Wednesday to Friday (when most of the other guests arrived). When we called each day, we were told this was normal as all of the Villas (which were numerous) ran on the same hot water heater. Since our bathroom was already 90 degrees, the hot water wasn't a necessity, but we did not appreciate the cold temperatures.

I booked a massage for Tuesday at the offshore island and my massage therapist was delightful. I chose the Indian Combo Massage complete with "soothing tropical mist". I heard a funny aerosol sound and smelled something familiar. Guess what my "mist" was? DEEPWOODS OFF. Yes, they sprayed my bare skin with bug repellant and then rubbed it in. As I was getting dressed after the massage, I saw the bottle hidden under the table. I found this unacceptable for a $200 "spa" service.

As the week went on, we met a lot of other honeymooners like us who had booked for September and had to be rescheduled. Every single one of them were shown the Villas and then shown another room in the Manor building as an upgrade for the inconvenience of having their honeymoon rearranged. They all chose NOT to room in the Honeymoon Villas stating that compared to the Manor building, the Villas looked dirty and old.

We hung out mostly by the Windsor (quiet) pool, despite all the construction to the building. It was mostly quiet, although the workers frequently dropped things in the pool and the bar was closed. Our last night we grabbed a bottle of champagne and went to one of the more secluded hot tubs near our villa. What should have been a lovely final evening of our honeymoon was not. The pool and hot tub were so overly chlorinated that our eyes were burning. Also, the bubble strip along the seats were old and cracked and they slit the back of my legs open when I sat down. Dangerous and unhygienic.
The service was wonderful, our butlers (3 great ladies Yorlet, Angeline and Melissa) were charming, engaging and sweet. We are not really the type to enjoy fawning service, but our butlers managed to be indulgent yet inconspicuous. Food was good, but desserts were way way off.

To conclude, I would never return to this resort, nor would I ever recommend it to a friend (maybe I'd recommend it to someone I didn't like). For the amount of money we paid we should have had a flawless time and we were incredibly disappointed by the small details that were overlooked and things that should have been an easy fix (get another hot water heater, seriously).

Room Tip: Do not choose the Royal Honeymoon Villas-they are old and dirty.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, December 5, 2011
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2011

We just spend a paradise week at this location, food was great, staffs are polite, friendly and always present to please. Yes one section of the hotel is under renovation BUT it do not cause any problem, all the restaurants and pools are open, and the noise level is low because it is located in a closed section.
If you want to isolate yourself the shuttle to the island is every 60 mins and you will enjoy the different atmosphere. You also can scuba dive on the other side (north west) of the island at your discretion. Sleep quality is perfect no outside noises. Highly recommand the resort

  • Stayed November 2011
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Helpful?
5 Thank legendair1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

Property: 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
Amenities:
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 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 Top resorts 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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