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.
- 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