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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 22, 2012 via mobile

Compared to other sandals this resort is very poor. Food, service, cleanliness and friendliness of staff very very poor. Resort faces north so hardly and rooms get the sun. Complaints not dealt with. Don't stay here go to Atlantis

  • Stayed: November 2012
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4  Thank Ruthandjohnriches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2012

We regret to read that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. Our delicious dining, beautiful property, exciting activities and friendly, eager service (all luxury-included) are the highlights of many vacations spent at our resort. However, we understand that some experiences and opinions my differ. Therefore, your comments have been passed on to the relevant departments for immediate evaluation and action as needed. We do request that while on resort you notify us of anything that does not meet your standards. We are always willing to work with you to make sure you walk away feeling like your stay was money well spent.

Thank you for your feedback.

Cassie C.

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4,751 - 4,757 of 8,900 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2012

5 star hotel and resort – it’s a joke, we’ve stayed in much better 3 star hotels. Poor management, badly trained staff, average food, awful service, unsafe diving and ridiculous hotel polices. If you go there for diving, as we did, be prepared to experience total frustration.

The most irritating thing about Sandals Royal Bahamian is the fact that you have to queue for everything there. How is that for a very expensive holiday? Let’s start with the restaurants.

They state on their webpage that “...Few resorts in the world can match the exceptional fine dining selections at 10 specialty restaurants...” This is not exactly tue. In fact, the dining experience is far from being fine and besides, to have your meal in the evening you have a choice of three restaurants, which require advanced reservation and two restaurants, which are supposed to be available without reservation. First those which do require reservation:

1. Baccarat. They say the best restaurant in the resort. It quite small and has only about 16 tables. Believe it or not, we tried to make a reservation there on the second day of our arrival, but managed to get it only after 10 days. We stayed there for two weeks, so for people who stay there for less than that it’s probably not possible at all, unless you are willing to dine very late at night. Well, I tell you it isn’t worth a penny, so don’t bother. The food was OK, nothing special but edible. However, the service was awful. We had to wait for about half an hour for the starter to arrive and for about an hour for the main course. Portions were small and the chef presumably does not have a clue what medium and rare mean when cooking a steak. Also it was a bit irritating when they took away my plate with the starter, which I was not done with. Without even asking.

2. Kimonos. Japanese restaurant, which also requires reservation. It’s easier to get in there than to the above one, but it was not impressive at all either. First of all, it’s just a Teppanyaki restaurant, so you have no choice of food there at all. They give you the menu just to show you what you will be getting. Our table Chef was awful, so we even missed on the entertainment you normally get at such places, you know like knifes juggling, jokes, etc. The food was very bland, needed more salt and suffered from not enough sauce. We thought we would not come again. Our friends decided to try it again and were disappointed for the second time. Besides, after the guests had received their servings, the Chef kept cooking in front of 10 people sitting at the table of him. Naturally, all the guests expected the next serving but were told it was not being cooked for them, but for the “Butler Guests” who made an order. This “Butler Guest” service is a separate subject, see below.

3. Spices. It’s good for buffet breakfast (apart from the fact it has never opened on time in the morning during our 14 day stay there, and you still need to wait in the queue to get sited) and buffet lunch, as well as one day a week, when they serve a buffet dinner in the evening. Other days the restaurant operates as the one, which required an advanced reservation for the evening meal, replacing Stewfish (or Goombay, not sure) restaurant at the Privet Island, currently being refurbished due to the damage sustained after the Hurricane Sandy. We never bothered with this one in the evening, using it only for breakfast and lunch, but our friends who booked it for the evening one day had an awful experience. All guests got seated at the same time and had first to wait for a waiter to get orders from every table before they actually started cooking the food. You can imagine how long it took for the food to eventually arrive. Our friends were also sick and tired waiting for the ordered drinks to come, so while waiting they just went to the nearest open bar to get those themselves. Nice, isn’t it?

4. Casanova. This one supposedly does not require reservation. When we came there for the very first time we were told that we had to wait 40 min to get the table.
–” How come?”, I asked, as we saw through the window that at list half of the restaurant was empty. “How about that table at the window?”
- Well, that one is reserved, Sir.
- What do you mean, reserved? This restaurant does not require reservation.
- 9 tables have been reserved by “Butler Guests”, this is the hotel policy, so you have to come in 40 min.
We went to complain about it to the hotel reception, but they just told us that “Butler Guests” according to Sandals policy had the privilege of having priority, so they can make reservations even at the restaurants which do not require reservation – Doesn’t make any sense, does it? And what does it make other guests at the hotel after all? Well, “Butler Guests” seem to have a 5 star service, other guests, in spite of the fact they still pay for a 5 star hotel, in fact stay at a 3 or 2 star one. Well, we felt insulted. When we returned back in 40 min time there was still a queue at the restaurant entrance, but we got seated, and guess what.... at that very table I asked for in the first place. When I asked how could that be, I was answered that the “Butler Guests” who had reserved the table never turned up. I went around the restaurant and counted 16 empty tables – nearly half of the restaurant – and don’t forget there still was a queue at the restaurant entrance of people waiting to get seated. This was the same every day, we got lucky a few times when came at about 6:45 PM ( the service starts at 6:30PM), when the first queue was cleared and the one due to “Butler Guests” reservations at 7:00 PM was not formed yet. By the way, the choice of food there is very limited. The menu was the same for our two week stay and the main course dishes included steak, lamb chops, and some kind of pasta, that’s it.
When I asked for a cognac and espresso coffee for desert, I was brought whisky with espresso and was told they didn’t have any cognac left. When I complained they sent somebody to get cognac to the nearby bar (as if I cared where they would get it from in the first place), but by the time it came the espresso had been ice cold and the cognac came in a whisky glass (by the way it happened a number of times, they simply don’t know which glass is for what), so we just left without having it.

5. Crystal Room. Same thing as Casanova above, long queues to get seated, poor choice of food and extremely long waiting time in between the courses. It’s very irritating to see people sneaking in with a help of Butlers one by one, while you have to wait in a queue for about an hour. Same thing – when we were having our dinner there, the restaurant was half empty with a huge queue at the entrance.

6. Gordon’s on Pier. This one was not functioning at the pier due to its damage and repair. However, no one but the “Butler Guests” should bother, as only them are allowed there anyway.

The bottom line is – unless you are a “Butler Guest” simply forget about easy enjoyable dining at your preferred time, but even if you are a “Butler Guest” you may “feel good” about all these “Cheep Guests” having to queue for their meals, but I still doubt you will enjoy the food anyway.

There is another “restaurant” at the resort, which you can actually use for dinner without having to queue. It’s Criketer’s pub. They serve normal pub food there – Fish and Chips, Bangers n’ Mash and other. It’s actually not bad at all, but as far as we are concerned that is not what you would expect for a dinner at a 5 star hotel.

There are a few options for having breakfast at the resort, but most of them are available after 8 AM. Since we had to check in for diving (see below) every day at 8AM there was only one choice for us – Spices, which is open since 7AM.

For lunch you can also use Royal Cafe and Bella Napoli Pizzeria restaurants, I would rather call them snack bars instead of restaurants. The first one serves various burgers and tex-mex chips. The second one has a choice of a few pizzas – in other words all this “healthy food”, obviously promoted by Sandals, and furiously fought by the rest of the world for years being a junk food.

By the way, the free wine selection at the hotel is very poor. You can get Cabernet Savignon or Merlot for reds, and Shardonnay or Pinot Grigio for whites. They have plenty of other wines on the Wine List but you have to pay for those and they are extremely overpriced, like over 40USD for a bottle of Australian Bin 50 Shiraz. My wife and I don’t like neither Merlot or Shardonnay so we had to stick to Cabernet Savignon and Pinot Grigio. For some reason they always had a problem with Pinot Grigio constantly running out of it at all hotel outlets.
The other hotel services and facilities turned out to be as awful as our dining experience above.

Internet. It has never happened in our life before, that we had to pay for Internet access at 5 star All Inclusive hotels. In Sandals you have to – we were told it was another hotel policy adopted through all Sandals establishments. They normally charge you 14USD for daily access or 42USD for a weekly package. “Excellent”, isn’t it? Especially for people who just require about 15 min access a day to check their e-mails. We disputed the charge and were given free access to Internet. Not sure if it works every time, but worth a try, unless you are willing to pay for it.

Swimming Pools. There are two pools at the resort, one near the Balmoral building – Manor Pool and the second one at the Windsor building. Each of them is equipped with swim in bar and a whirlpool. We have not used neither of them during our 14 day stay at the resort. The water in the Manor Pool looked clean and clear but the temperature I measured with my dive computer was only +22C, and that was at the very shallow side of it. The water in the Windsor pool was a bit warmer but looked cloudy, probably because of the added chemicals, so it didn’t attract us at all. The whirlpools have always been filled by groups of noisy youngsters having their drinks, cigarettes and often food in there. Totally disgusting. As the hotel beach was not very attractive, most of the guests preferred using sun beds around the pools. To our surprise, we saw how every morning the Butlers were reserving sun beds for their clients at the best spots by putting rolled towels, carrying the names of the clients printed on a piece of paper attached to the rolls, onto the sun beds. Such a practice of early morning sun beds reservations have always been criticized around the world and all the hotels try doing everything possible to prevent this, prohibiting such behaviour. Not Sandals, they obviously encourage this to the annoyance of the other, the not so privileged, guests. Generally throughout the whole of our stay at the hotel we always had a feeling of being deprived of 5 star service. Maybe Sandals should clearly indicate that it’s a 5 star hotel only for “Butler Gests”.

The Beach. If you enjoy walking on the beach, as we do, forget about that. The resort beach is very small and confined by concrete fence from both sides. But even if you manage to get around there is no beach further away, so you can’t walk there. The sand is fine and white but always covered by a lot of sea weed. The staff try to clean it away and rake the beach but more and more of sea weed is coming from the sea. That is why the sea water near the beach is not very clean and to get to the clean one you need to pass through the band of sea weed floating at surface. For this reason we never used the hotel beach and never swam in the sea from the hotel beach. Besides, quite a few times we smelled H2S while near the beach as if there were some kind of sewage not far away, but to be honest we didn’t manage to figure out where this smell was coming from.

Private Offshore Island. The Island is located about a mile offshore in front of the resort and normally people would be taking regular boat crossings to the Island from the resort jetty at the beach. Unfortunately, the jetty had been damaged by hurricane Sandy just a few days before our arrival and was under repair during our two week stay at the hotel. Therefore to get to the Island we had to go to the reception, wait for the bus, then take a 20 min drive to the docks located behind Fish Fry near Nassau, then another waiting for the boat to come and eventually the boat ride back to the Island. One way trip takes now more than an hour. It’s a lot of hassle but still worth a trip, as a part of the Island is quite nice, the beaches there are much better than at the hotel itself and the sea water is cleaner and seemed to be even warmer. You can also have your lunch up there as well at the Island’s restaurant. You can do a bit of walking around the Island, but it turned out to be that apparently Sandals do not own the whole Island and a part of it belongs to a company which is called BI Privet Beaches – the logo we saw at the construction site not far away from the Sandals jetty. Currently this area is not very attractive due to the skeletons of unfinished buildings and a lot of rubbish scattered around. But there were few more things which spoiled our visit to the Island. Upon arrival, at the jetty we were “greeted” by a gentlemen wearing the hotel uniform and holding a board in his hands, where we could read: “Welcome Butler Guests”. How about the rest of us, we thought, should we just turn around and go back? In addition, the towel rack at the pool had no towels left. Although the sun beds reserved for the “Butler Guests” at the beach had the complete set of towels of course.

Red Lane Spa treatments. Not included and extremely overpriced – you have to pay more than twice as much as you pay back home for the same services. For example: Balance & Harmony Massage , 50 Minutes - 167.00USD, compared to 60 Minutes of "Essential Massage Therapy - Full Body Massage" for just 50GBP at SpaMassageUK. We didn’t use it, neither did our friends.

Diving. That was what we had come there for, and what turned out to be the main disappointment. We had selected this resort because we expected to do diving straight from the resort. But the jetty was damaged by the hurricane Sandy and first of all we had to say goodbye to hustle free diving. We had to get up at 6:30 in the morning every day to be able to have breakfast, prepare our gear and be ready to check in with the diving shop at requested time of 8:00 AM. Then a walk with all your gear to the reception area of the hotel at the other side of the resort and a long wait for a bus some days until 9:00AM. The problem was that the bus had to be loaded first with cylinders, BCDs and regulators. The bus itself could be a separate story; it looked like it was called back for service from a long retirement at one of the museums of antique means of transportation – bended, rusted and totally unsafe. The bus trip to the dock at the other side of the Island takes about 25 min, and in addition, before boarding the boat, you have to wait for another 15 min for the cylinders and other equipment to be unloaded from the bus to the boat. The boat ride to the dive sites takes at list another 20 min. In other words we were rarely in the water before 10 AM. The return trip is practically the same hustle coupled with the fact you are wet and tired after a two tank dive which they always do.

To be fair, we should say the dive sites are OK. Generally diving is average but we saw a lot of marine life and famous wrecks, so overall we quite enjoyed our diving. However, there were a lot of things which do require immediate managerial attention to make diving at the resort more safe, to meet PADI standards, and also to make it more comfortable for the divers. Below is the list of things which we believe need to be addressed urgently:

- The bus – even if it’s a temporarily measure it should be changed to the one with will have better chances to pass MOT at list.
- Quite a lot of cylinders (air tanks) are leaking at the neck. When pointed out to the crew, those would be changed as rejects, but ordinary comments were: “They still hold pressure OK and still have about 3000psi in spite of the fact they were filled quite long ago”. As far as we are concerned it doesn’t matter, the equipment is not in a proper state and we are really surprised how those cylinders, and so many of them, could pass a compulsory annual check.
- A few BCDs we used had a leak at the pressure relief button. The response from the crew on the complain was – “Don’t worry, it’s a low pressure equipment”. We know it is, but the fact is not properly maintained equipment.
- Not every day, but quite often the boat was overcrowded. The number of divers may never exceeded the max number officially allowed on the boat but taking into account a lot of equipment at the boat, additional diver’s bags with personal gear, it was difficult to move around, gear up and prepare your equipment for the dive. We believe it’s a matter of pure luck that no accidents have happened.
- The pre-dive briefings on the boat, to put it mildly, are far from perfect. No detail info about the dive site, no pictures of dive itinerary, as nearly every dive shop in the world do. Instead, a lot of rubbish about movies shot at those specific places.
- Another huge drawback is the lack of facilities at the resort dive centre. There are no lockers where you could leave your own equipment and therefore no possibility to wash and dry your gear at the shop. At all places we had been diving before, the shop will take care of your personal gear, not at Sandals. Instead, you have to take your dripping bad with wet equipment back to hotel room, wash it up yourself at the bath and try to dry it up at the room balcony, well, if you have one.
- Normally if you come to dive a few times, saying nothing about two weeks of everyday diving, at most of the diving centres of the world, you will be allocated a personal set of additional required equipment like BCD and regulator for example. Not in Sandals. Every time you dive you will be getting a new set at random. Is it so difficult to buy meshed plastic boxes, number them and store the equipment in them for individual customers? (By the way – easier to wash the equipment up as well) Don’t think so, just simple unwillingness to do anything about it. Pure managerial problem.

Room. We originally booked Honeymoon Royal Windsor Luxe Room, but on arrival we were told that we had been upgraded. Not sure what was the name of that upgraded room, but it was OK, quite spacious with a distant sea view, well, if you lean from the balcony. The housekeeping was OK, we never had any problems with it. The room was always clean and the service was very efficient. The only problem we had was with the Mini Bar, which was supposed to be re-stocked on a daily basis. On Sundays it was not re-stocked at all, on all other days we had to leave a note what exactly we wanted to be re-stocked – no note, no service. Even if you leave a note you may be getting wrong stuff, as we did a few times, it’s not a big deal, but quite annoying because we failed to understand what the problem was. When I requested at Concierge some wine to be replaced it was efficiently replaced, but what was the problem in the first place – ignorance?

Our friends and us have both complained about our bad experience of staying in the resort to the hotel management team, including Tatyana and Damien, but basically we were told by them that most of our complaints were about general hotel policies and nothing would be changed. So if we were unhappy about that we should complain directly to Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the hotel chain owner, because it was him who dictated all the “policies” and they were just following them up. Good choice of managers for Sandals, isn’t it? We don’t mind people paying extra money for getting extra services like Butler services but not at the expense of other hotel guests. For some reason it seems to us that it’s not just a matter of the hotel polices, as we were told, but rather poor management and inability to properly organize things. Well, but if it’s really what Mr. Stewart wants to see in his hotels, I am sorry, but he has a very skewed idea about what 5 star hotel services should be for all hotel guests, not only “Butler Guests”.

By the way, probably to mitigate our dining problems at the hotel, Damien sent us an Invitation for a Special Guest dining event starting with a cocktail party at 6:30 PM followed by dinner for the 14 of November 2012. Nice, isn’t it? When doing that Damien didn’t even bother to check on or departure date, so we couldn’t accept this “generous offer”, even if we wanted to. “Highly Professional”? And I tell you - very insulting.

ANYWAY, NEVER EVER TO SANDALS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Sergei T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Our first Sandals visit will be our last.We had such high hopes after speaking with friends that had visited Sandals. We stayed from nov 12th thru 15th. The check in went smooth and the front staff did a good job.We had a room that overlooked the apartment building next door so much for viewing the beautiful coast. The food was average at best.The breakfast at Spices was okay the only hot item was the made for you omelette. The rest of the food that should have been hot was cold. Dinner in the Crystal room was once again only average. The staff did a good job but the food was not what you would expect from a resort with this reputation.The active pool was very
cloudy which leads me to believe that it's not clean. The relaxed pool felt like it was straight from a glacier.I live in the Northeast not sure the water here in the middle of the winter is that cold. The room was old and dated. The shower did not seem to have any pressure on the hot water side.The cold water had tons of pressure but when you moved the handle to hot it just trickled out. We did call maintenance but no one came we learned to live with it. We had ants in the main area of our room once again we called for help but none came. I also never saw any ' top shelf liquor"
not a big drinker but at a resort of this caliber i would expect the best. I would describe the resort as good but not great by any stretch of the imagInation. i guess the price I paid I expected Ritz Carlton type resort not a Motel Six. i have stayed at Breezes that i would rank higher that this resort. All in all just not a good value for the money.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Will12194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2012

We regret to hear that we did not meet your expectations for service and quality. We have many guests who feel the direct opposite and have boasted of our luxurious accommodations. As hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review.

We strive to meet our motto: Luxury All-Inclusive Vacations for Two People in Love. We are in a constant state of evolving our resorts and updating our amenities so I will be sure to send your feedback to the relevant departments.

Thank you, again, for your feedback.

Kind Regards,
Cassie C.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We attended a family wedding here from November 8 to 11. The resort is very attractive and well maintained. When we arrived we and the group we were with were herded into the lobby for check in. Our room was not ready so we went for lunch at Spices. The meal was just okay. My wife is not big on Spicy food and she barely ate anything. We returned to the lobby at the appointed time and were informed that the previous guest was late checking out and our room was still not available. Finally at 4:30 we got into our room, this did not give a very good first impression of the resort. We had a villa room which was large and had a private patio the bathroom was clean but showing its age the tub surround needs to be replaced with new tiles.

After a day of traveling I wanted to go for a swim, I went to the pool and found that it was empty as the water was cold, even the hot tub by the beach was only warm. We were disappointed that at a "luxury resort" the pools were not heated, even the small ones were like ice. The only way to go into the pool was find the hottest hot tub get boiling and then go into the pool to cool down.

The staff at the resort were very friendly and helpful and made the stay pleasant if they were not so friendly this vacation would have been a disaster.

The beach is well maintained but only extends to the front of the Hotel, forget about going for long walks on the beach. If the beach and ocean are what you are looking for then don't go here.

The resort did an excellent job organizing the wedding which was on the beach. The minister was very friendly and put everyone at ease. The photographers were very good and took great pictures.

Meals were just average other than for the wedding dinners which were an extra charge.

Breakfasts at Spices had a good selection of eggs, pancakes, cereal and fruit but nothing extraordinary.

Dinner at the Crystal room was average resort type meals. The Prime Rib was tasty but not outstanding, the Scallops were served cool and the Grouper had a strong fishy flavour. Some people at our table sent it back and changed to the prime rib.

The big draw at Sandals seems to be the drinks. If your main objective is to have lots of booze this a good place to go. We don't drink a huge amount so we felt that we were subsidizing those that drank from the time they arrived until they left.

All in all the resort is good not great and given the price I think that you are overcharged and that there are better deals available

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank BG2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Our first Sandals visit and we generally thought it was a good hotel. Nice welcome and really excellent position overlooking the amazing turquoise sea. Good clean room and decent size. The food was very good most days&nights but we noticed that the earlier you ate, the better the food. Gym was good and great view! Staff overall were very attentive and kind. The hotel could do with some money spent on it to make it into a true 5 star experience, but we still had a fabulous break.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stayed at the Royal from Nov 4th - 13th 2012. We had a wonderful time at the hotel overall. Service for the most part was fantastic and the people were Incredible. I'll break our review down into different areas to make it easier to read.

We had a Windsor Oceanview room with the concierge. Room #1522 was spacious and comfy and had an amazing view of the ocean. The room was cleaned daily and the bar was always freshly stocked. We had turndown service every night and ate breakfast in bed on a couple of occasions. There was a safe in the room and everything in the room worked well including the A/C.

We booked all of our reservations at the restaurants on the day of our arrival and had reservations for every night we stayed there. Food at all the restaurants was great. We found Gordon's on the pier to be AMAZING!!! We've been to quite a few all inclusives between the two of us and Gordon's was the best ever for us. The steak and lobster were amazing, my wife had been in Las Vegas a couple of weeks before and had eaten a Wolfgang Pucks place there and she felt the steak was way better at Gordon's so our compliments to the staff there! Besides Gordon's we really enjoyed Baccarat. The pizza was also great at the pizzeria and the ladies went out of their way to accommodate my special request for anchovies.

This was primarily a diving trip for my wife and I as the diving is somewhat included in the price. I say somewhat because the shark dive, blue hole and night dives are extra money. The diving in the Bahamas was simply fantastic. This was our first time diving on wrecks and the variety of the dives were great and there was lots of interesting things to see including boats, barges and airplanes. We primarily went for the shark dive which we did with Sandals and also did a more ramped up shark dive with Stuart's Cove off the resort. Both dives were GREAT, Stuart's cove was just another notch higher as they fed them and brought the sharks right to you. Both my wife and I were bumped by the sharks several times and watched out handler fighting with the sharks. All in all a really cool dive. We did want to give a special shout out to RAMON and WENZEL at the dive shop at Sandals. These guys were really great and went out of their way to help make out diving and amazing experience, thanks very much guys!

The entertainment during the day was a lot of fun. KENDAL, BULLET, ELAN, PO-PO and all the rest of the entertainment crew were Incredible! These guys really tried hardto make it a good time for everyone. Unfortunately for them their efforts mostly fell on deaf ears. I understand everyone has their own level of fun and excitement, not everyone wants to party the night away on vacation. That being said, I have never seen a more boring group of guests anywhere. No one seems the least bit inclined to have fun, people basically totally ignored the entertainment crew and other then a few people no one would even cheer on people involved in some of the games. Give the entertainment crew their due though, they didn't give up or let the apathy of the guests get them down. This brings us and to what was our one big let down about this resort:The nightlife.

Where to start, everything up to about 10 or 11pm wasn't too bad as there were shows put on by the staff which were great. But as soon as the shows were over there's was a mass exodus out the doors. I mean it was unreal, the was a DJ starting up in the same building same room and people couldn't get out of there fast enough. I've never experienced a more boring nightlife then at this resort. EVER. In addition the demeanor of PRESCOTT, the bartender in the Royal Theatre, was insulting. This man never smiled once and was consistently rude to patrons. I don't often call someone out over the way they act but this guy was miserable. I mean why are you even there? You made it perfectly clear you didn't like the guests and that serving drinks was a chore. Maybe it's time for a career change? Every night, and we were there for 10 of them, 95% of the people seemed to have gone to bed by 11:00pm. I'm not talking just the old folks, but most of the 30-40 crowd were down for the count as well. We tend to make our own fun anyways but it's really a downer when it's like 12:00 and there's like 0 people out and about. By the way I'm not exaggerating that either lol. Oh well at least it made us get up earlier for diving!

Great resort! As I've already said entertainment staff are great fun and extremely talented. Diving was amazing. Staff and hotel are super nice and the food is delicious. We had a great time and would definitely return to the Bahamas sometime. The people in the Bahamas are great and it's a lovely country. We might return here, but the nightlife would definitely have to improve. In the mean time there's other places to check off our bucket list so safe travels to you all.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Doug_and_Karey-lyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Like many others this is a mixed review.

Lets start with the positive reviews.....

We had paid for for the Butler service at the Royal Village. We were picked up from the airport in a vintage Rolls Royce and the driver was extremely knowledgeable about the Island, especially James Bond!

When we arrived we were offered an upgrade to the Windsor Building with a terrace overlooking the entertainment pool. However, this was our 'WeddingMoon' and we wanted a quiet relaxing holiday and so declined and went along with our original choice in the royal village area. We were pleased we did as we had a small pool right outside our suite and were mostly alone everyday there.

Our Butler team, Reynard, Corey and Diana were fantastic unlike a previous reviewers opinion on theirs. Although it isnt a 'personal' service, whenever we wanted or needed anything it was brought for us. maybe not in seconds but as the 'Bahaminan' way within half an hour. Every morning not only were our seats reserved with towels and 'towel art' we had a cooler brought to us with beers, sodas and water which was topped up throughout the day, we were also bought snacks, nachos, cheese and crackers and fruit and a plate left in the room for the evening along with a bubble and rose bud bath (twice!!) and amazing towel art every night.

We had asked for several premium brands of spirits in our room which we got!

The Buitlers organised the entire 10 days reservations and we did change these around and asked for different times, all of this was done.

We did not use the Butlers for our every whim although we did see one chap being run ragged by a group of visitors on the beach fetching drinks every few minutes!

The food in all the restaurants was excellent with the exception of Gordons ( which had been reloated to the Royal Cafe due to Hurricane damage). We asked for a table at 9.30 and we were the only guests in there. Baccarat was definatly the best restuarant also for breakfast which was a welcome change from the mainly chaoitic service in Spices! The Crystal Room runs a close second and the Alaskan Spider Crab legs are just simply amazing!

We got married on our third day at the Resort and chose the Garden Gazebo which was more private ( and less windy) than the beach locations. We opted for the Beautiful Beginnings which was free and it was fantastic, there was no need to upgrade as everything was perfect. Our photograher, Kamone was brilliant and athough we did not purchase a pre-paid package and just chose a few of the hundreds she had taken we were not given any hard sell at all to buy more. Overall, we would not have changed a thing about that day.

The Firepits are a great place to be sociable in the evenings, we met lots of people and every evening was different. However there is not much to do at night, does everyone go to bed early? one evening we were alone in the Cricketers at 11pm!!

The gym is excellent with fantastic views from the treadmills to the island. The equipment is modern with lots of machines, free weights etc, it was never busy when we went there, this may have something to do with how early we got there!

The Cricketers pub does decent snacks and the service is really good even when busy. You should really consider putting on a Traditional English Sunday Roast there it would give the pub a more traditional English feel!

On our last day we asked the Butler to arrange a late checkout which we got for no extra cost. We had a private transfer to the airport in a new 4 x 4 and surprisingly got upgraded to the First Class Lounge on arrival (I dont think this had anything to do with Sandals as we flew Premier Economy both ways).

The not so positive reviews of the Resort......It was smaller than we thought it would be (however this could also be a positive thing too), the Piano Bar does smell strangely and there was a definate whiff of sewage on the beach depending on the wind direction! The Resort really does need an update to make you feel you are in a 5* resort and not one that was 5* years ago.

Spices for breakfast was always chaotic. The buffet was limited and pot luck! Somedays there were no glasses for the juice or spoons for cereals. When asking for tea be prepared not to get it even when asking several times and when it does arrive you get a large pot of hot water and one teabag! Baccarat is a better option and less busy. Lunchtime is better at Spices with more choice of food and more attentive waiters with drinks. We tried the Pizzaria and the Royal Cafe for burgers but neither were that great (unless you like to eat fast food).

The rooms in the Royal Village need some overhauling as they were dated.The accommodation (especially the bathrooms) could do with being a lot bigger, however, it would be difficult to do this without either losing some of the smaller rooms or adding onto the buildings. We have been to other resorts in the Caribbean (not Sandals) and these had better standard accommodation.

There is not enough attention to detail, the little things that we all appreciate. The mini bar was topped up every day but after the first bottle of bubby was drunk this was not replaced, neither was the wine. The toiletries in the bathroom were not topped up at all, I left a note for the maid on 2 days to ask for more which we got but we were left with no shampoo for the last 2 days of our holidat despite asking the evening maid who said she would have to go and get some. A few days we did not get enough towels and resorted in using the pool towels.

We did go to the 'Back Soon' desk as we were tempted by the 65% discount. We would have definatly booked another holiday with Sandals if we had been 'wowed' by this vacation. However, like other reviewers we have been to 5* hotels in the Middle and Far East and the service at Sandals is not up to what we would consider to be 5* especially for the prices that Sandals charge.

However, overall we had a lovely time but we are unlikely to return. :(

Room Tip: The Royal Village is quiter and the gardens are lovely. You feel you are in a completely different R...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cazzagotmarried
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

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 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#2 Family Hotel in Nassau
Price Range: $553 - $1,260 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 And Offshore Island
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
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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