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“Very Nice Retreat for couples” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Montrouis
Level Contributor
1 review
“Very Nice Retreat for couples”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

My wife and I traveled to Bahamas on our 27th wedding anniversary and decided to stay at the Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau. It was indeed the perfect setting for couples in general and we enjoyed every second of our stay. The bedding was excellent, our room was spacious and comfortable, the service was excellent. The morning breakfasts offered a nice variety and so did the night dinners. The service was five star in all of the night restaurants we went to.

Our only negative comments are as follows: the drinks and cocktails which are part of this all inclusive resort are not all that great. We had to stick to tap beer and water. Everything else was either too sweet or watery. Lunch is not all that great either and the selection of food offered for that time of the day is limited to pizza, burgers, hotdogs, nachos and salad. The place looked clean all around except for the architectural porch moldings around the pool and open areas which we thought should be repainted or better maintained.

All in all, we had a wonderful and relaxing time and truly enjoyed being together as couples to commemorate this special event.

Room Tip: If you decide to stay in the main tower, make sure you get a room facing the Cays island. Try to avo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Charles F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thank you for your review of Sandals Royal Bahamian, Charles! We are delighted that you enjoyed your 27th Anniversary celebration at our resort. This resort certainly is the perfect, romantic setting for such an occasion and to relax with one another.
We thank you for your feedback as it helps us to identify areas which we can improve on our continued mission to provide the best vacation experience to our guests. I will be notifying the appropriate departments of your concerns.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
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24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

This review is a bit long, but experienced Scuba Divers may want to check out the scuba section towards the bottom for my scuba diving part of the review.

Our trip to Sandals Royal Bahamian started Aug 31st, with our flight to the Bahamas. We had previously been to three different Sandals and have generally really enjoyed ourselves, outside of a few minor frustrations here and there.

This time our experience started with our check-in with the Sandals desk at the airport. The woman tagged our bags with a Sandals tag
and told us to meet the van to the resort outside the terminal. At previous Sandals check-ins inside the terminal,
when they tagged our bags they took control of them, and that's what we thought they were doing here.
So we took only our carry-ons out to the van. It wasn't until the van driver told us we needed to get our bags that we ran back inside to get our bags. Luckily they were still sitting at the Sandals check-in desk. It would have been nice if the woman at the check-in had told us to actually take our bags with us so we wouldn't have been confused by this differing Sandals check-in policy compared to others we had been at. Other than having another Sandals van load after us, and leave for the resort before us, the ride to the resort was uneventful.

On arrival to the resort, they were waiting for us with cool wet cloths to refresh ourselves after our journey, which is a nice touch at Sandals resorts. Due to our booking in a Concierge (now called Club Level) room, our check-in was in a separate area of the resort from the normal front desk. Normally we have drinks waiting for us when we get there, but this time we had to wait. I also had to kind of hunt around something to drink, but found some waters in one of the fridges. We also had to hunt for a snack, as we hadn't eaten in a while, and found out there were cookies in a jar on one of the tables. I recall my check-in going a bit smoother at the other Sandals we had been to. Anyway, eventually they got around to checking us in, and having someone take us to our room. Wait time during this period was probably 20-30 minutes.

A nice gentleman took us to our room at this point. We had booked an Ocean View room over a year and a half prior, specifically to get a good view of the ocean. When we arrived at our room, (43xx?) which was actually very nice, we noticed immediately we were put on the "back side" of the building, with a view of the parking lot, buildings, and trees, with very little view of the actual ocean. It was just a thing sliver in the distance with the other things blocking it. Needless to say we were disappointed. We asked the gentleman if we could get a room with a better view, and mentioned how we had booked so far in advance just to get a room with a good view, so he made a few calls to get us another room. We were moved to a room actually further away from the ocean but with a MUCH better view. (1319) This room itself wasn't quite as nice as the one we were originally supposed to be in, I actually think it was a room category or two below where we were, but you could actually see the pool, ocean, and the private island off in the distance. So we went with the view and stayed in this room. The downside to this we found out seemed to be that the Concierge seemed to forget about us, unless we specifically went to the desk to ask about something. One example is we didn't get the schedule for the week like other rooms got, and didn't get our "robes" until the middle of the week.

Normally returning guests have a t-shirt waiting for them as a welcome gift. There were none in the room we were in, so we found out we had to go to the "Soon Come Back" desk to get one. So while waiting for our luggage to be delivered, we headed down there. When we got there, they gave us t-shirts that reeked of a musty/moldy smell, and told us they had been stored in a room that had water leakage. And not only did they smell horrible, I noticed that the actual quality of the t-shirt was much less than the shirts at previous Sandals. I wondered why they didn't wash all the shirts before handing them out, and even mentioned at a later stop that they should do so, but was given kind of funny looks, though they said they would if I brought the shirt back. Though I got the impression they thought I was being a pain about this smelly shirt and should just be happy to have this smelly shirt given to me as a gift from Sandals. (Knowing we get the shirt as a gift, we pack one less shirt for the trip, counting on wearing the one they
give us) (One of the rare experiences with a a staff member that wasn't 100% exceptional)

At this point, I'd like to give a brief report about the the resort in general. The resort itself was smaller than many other Sandals, but very nice. It was very well kept and everything looked pretty top-notch. The restaurants were generally fantastic, with our favorite, Stew Fish, being over on the Sandals private island. My least favorite was the Italian restaurant, where I got
a lasagna that wasn't cooked well, and I just didn't like the taste. But the staff was extremely accommodating there, as at all the restaurants, and they brought me a steak instead. And when I didn't like their dessert choices, they even brought me a dessert I had seen they had at one of the other restaurants, but didn't have on the menu at the Italian one. (Molten chocolate lava cake!) Also the drinks were very delicious, though they ran out of bananas a lot it seemed for their banana drinks. (And rarely did they have bananas at breakfast. I like bananas so kind of missed them.)

Which leads me to want to emphasize another point in general about the resort. Not only is the resort itself very nice, The staff (almost) everywhere seemed to do whatever they could to help you out in any way possible. Most were very friendly and easy to work with. They would do whatever they could to accommodate you in any way they could. Oh, I'll get to that "almost" everywhere a bit later when I talk about the Scuba diving at Sandals, which was the only real part of the resort that I had a very unfavorable impression of.

Also, those interested in the workout room, it was top notch. The equipment was top of the line, and the view was absolutely the
best at the resort. There were even little balconies there to the side of the workout room. If you wanted the best view for sunrise or sunset, the workout room balconies were the place to be!

And for those that have heard about the private island, it's a great place to go and spend the day and relax! And the best snorkeling is at the island, on the far side. I snorkeled all around and saw many great things, a shark, turtle, school of 26 squid, and off near the furthest island (there are 2 islands behind the Sandals island), some great corals. The corals more near to the main Sandals island are just OK for the most part, with many having been killed off by storms or man. But someone who likes snorkeling could easily spend an hour or two every day and see something new every time.

Anyway, back to our room.. We had been in the room a little bit before we noticed that there seemed to be construction going on in the building we were in. We later found out that the resort was at lower capacity, and they had closed off the 5th and 6th floors of some of the buildings (and possibly more?) for construction. It was loud some days when we came back in the afternoon for a nap, but manageable, until a couple days into the trip they had started doing construction in the room either above us, or next to us. The noise was so loud that we couldn't "hear ourselves think" as they say, and we had to ask to be moved to a different room.
So I went and talked to someone at the "Soon Come Back" desk, and they made some calls and tried to get is in a different room. It took a bit of doing, but they offered us a room closer to the ocean. I went to look at it and it was a huge 1 bedroom suite, normally reserved for customers with Butlers. The room itself was spectacular, but the view was possibly the worst of all, as it was a second floor room looking right at the parking lot, the roof of a building, and even less of an actual ocean view than the first room we were offered. So we politely declined the offer, and decided to stay in our room, just giving up the potential afternoon nap or reading on the balcony, in order to keep our better view. (Construction seemed to happen between 9-5 generally, so we knew we would be ok if we were out of the room during that time. Annoying, but doable.) Well the next day, funny enough, they construction stopped. It seemed they may not have known customers were in the room we were in. So I think they were notified to stop the construction until we left. But anyway, we didn't quite know the construction stopped right away, we thought it had moved to a different part of the building because we could still hear the jack-hammering type sound coming through the air conditioning, though much more faint than before. Well after some trial and error, we discovered that the air conditioning was creating that loud noise if we turned it up! So for the rest of the week if there was a loud noise, we'd switch the air conditioner off and on, or down then back up, and the noise would stop. So apparently the sound at the beginning of the week was the construction and A/C combined, but now just the A/C. Since we could manage this A/C sound issue now that we knew about it, we told the resort but just stayed in the room and didn't ask for a new one. The idea of packing and unpacking didn't appeal to us as half the week had gone by already and it didn't seem worth it for something we could control. The resort offered us a small resort credit for our trouble, but not enough to pay for the one shark dive that we did.


***** But now on to the one really truly negative to this resort from my perspective. This is a perspective from someone with experience, (DiveMaster with over 500 dives) that loves to Scuba Dive, but I generally only go diving when I'm able to travel to a tropical location, from my colder home in MN, which is only a few times a year. So when I get a chance to scuba dive, I want to dive as often as possible for as long as possible. The more minutes under water, the greater chance to see all the wonderful things you get to see underwater. Sandals has started promoting their "Unlimited" scuba diving at their resorts, but diving here was anything but Unlimited. One of the reason we even go to Sandals resorts is that the scuba diving is included. In the past it has been sporadic on how the diving was, and how the staff was. This time, the experience was mostly negative, and I'll go in to more detail now. Having been to prior Sandals, I know how they love to make you do a check-out dive before they let you go on your first two-tank dive, or at least make you test out in the pool first that you know what you're doing. This has been if you were scuba diving a week before you came, or ten years before you visited. So I called ahead of time to try to see what it would take to book myself and my wife to dive on Sunday. (We arrived on Saturday) I found out that they didn't go diving on Sunday there. So was told we could just check in when we got there on Saturday to get signed up for Monday. So we arrived on Saturday, showed our log books and our certification cards,
and they signed us up for Monday morning. Hey, this was actually wonderful. No Checkout dive! At other resorts the checkout dive was only in the afternoon, and not every day, so you could potentially miss a whole day of diving to go to a checkout site that wasn't usually a great dive site. So apparently they had got rid of that requirement, at least at this Sandals, so that was a PLUS! But the negative was no Sunday diving, so one less day of diving than I thought I would get when I booked the resort. (And so much for Unlimited diving!) I did notice that some people had to do a check-out in the pool, but I believe that was because they didn't bring
their log books? I'm not sure on that one. Anyway, we were told check-in was at 8:15am, so I was promptly there by or at 8:15am the rest of the week. What I didn't know is that we would spend usually the next 45 minutes or more waiting to get on the boat and actually leave. And usually They still had to load the tanks. Usually other Sandals operations would have the tanks loaded and boat ready to go when you checked in, so you wouldn't be sitting around and waiting so long. There were the normal boat and safety briefings most days as expected, though a couple of days they didn't do one, and there were new people on the boat diving that day. (A big NO NO, they should have had a briefing any time a new diver was on the boat!)
Also, you had to be sure to check the fills on your tanks every day as they were often not filled very well. The standard in the dive industry is about 3000PSI. These were often filled with 300 to 400 less than that, or sometimes only half a tank, as it seemed the tanks were mixed up with prior days tanks, or just not filled even remotely well. The tanks also varied in size quite a bit. They had the standard 80s, but also had 2 other smaller sizes. They didn't really explain
or try to move the people would would use the least air with the smaller tanks.

Now to one of the most frustrating aspects of diving with this Sandals and why we will probably never go back again to a Sandals resort. They had a 35 minute bottom time policy. (Again, certainly not the advertised "Unlimited" diving, which would be to let you dive your computer determine your dive length.) Now it seemed that some days that policy could be stretched a little bit, as we sometimes had 45 minute dives, but that was the exception, not the norm. This shorter time didn't matter much when you were doing a 90 foot wall dive, but it certainly mattered when you were doing a dive of a max depth of 28 feet. I'm not the heaviest breather, but I'm bigger and would say I use a "normal" amount of air. But generally every dive (except the deepest) I would come back on the boat with around 1000 PSI, and sometimes over half of tank of air left, due to the short dive times. This seemed to be true of many of the other experienced divers on the boat as well, especially the women. (A standard many operations use is to come back on the boat with 500 psi left) And since we were diving with computers, we knew we could have done a much longer bottom time and stayed well withing safety limits. (Even looking at the PADI tables told you you should of had much more bottom time!) I tried to talk the lead divemaster about the short times, but he would just explain that it was policy and nothing he could do. (Though as I mentioned, there was once or twice where that total bottom time was 45, so I know it wasn't a "hard and fast" policy.) One thing of note, is in order to get as long as bottom time as possible, we would have to try to be the first ones in the water, and be the last ones out. Even doing this, sometimes the dives were only 35 minutes at less than 30 feet deep!) The worst days were days when they would schedule a "paid" dive. That being a dive you had to pay extra to do. Dives like the Shark dive, or the blue hole dive. (They seemed to be pushing these paid dives, as I often heard them mentioning them to people)
Anyway, If they did the shark dive, they would schedule the dive at 11:30am. Well with the
morning dives not leaving the dock until at least 9am, being back by 11:30 was only made possible by cutting your times to the max of 35 minutes those days, and staying to closer dive sites. In my opinion, the closer sites, with the exception of doing the break wall put in for the cruise ships, were not as nice as the sites further to the west and southwest of the island. The further sites you may not get back until 12:30 or 1pm, but those sites weren't possible when they were scheduling additional "paid" dives at 11:30! Also, when they did the shark dive they did not bring extra snacks/fruit on to the boat for people doing the dive. So those on the shark dive that were also on the morning dives would miss lunch completely. And those expecting a snack, like normal, would be disappointed as well. And since I mentioning snacks, I should mention that there were a few days where they didn't even bring enough water cups on the boat for everyone to drink out of a separate cup!! One day There weren't even enough for a couple to share one cup, especially if a couple took 2 cups. Anyway, back to the shark dive and an actual positive.. It was a great dive! You actually do 2 dives. A "pre" dive down to a wreck, then the actual shark dive. They seemed to stretch the 35 minute policy a little on this, so you got a little more time with the sharks, especially if you tried to be one of the first in the water. Even though you had to pay for the dive, it was worth doing.

Another thing that was extremely frustrating. They had basically everyone on the boat go out in one big group. So often we had groups of 12-15 people bunched together trying to dive a site. (a more industry norm would be 6-8 people max) If you tried to spread out a little bit to get away from the group, (even as little as 4 or 5 feet away) one of the divemasters would shake his rattle and chase you down to get back in the group. (A side note, it was kind of the running joke among divers that the rattle was going off so much. Normally it's a signal of "Hey, I found something, come look". But this one divemaster was using it so much to just "scold" people, you stopped bothering to even pay attention to it.) So if you stopped to look at something, you'd often have someone run in to you, or hit you from above or below. Also, the pace of the dive was usually fast, where there wasn't time to actually search and look for the little critters. Sure you might see a shark, or a bigger eel, but you might miss all the smaller
things that are hiding in the coral. Which brings me to that the Divemasters did not often point things out like in most operations. The DiveMasters goal seemed to be to keep you herded in your group, hunt lionfish if they had a spear with them, and get you back on the boat as fast as possible. (Not to give you the best diving experience possible) It should be noted, even when they had large groups of people in the water, they also had many divemasters in the water. But instead of breaking everyone up in to smaller groups based on experience, the Divemasters just stayed in front, behind, and along side the group to keep people corralled.

After a week of frustrating dives I found out that the manager who was responsible for setting up the dives at many of the Sandals resorts was on-site. I asked him about the short dives, coming back with a lot of air, etc. He mentioned to me that the 35 minute policy was
for safety. I'm all for safety, but I've been to many safe operations that actually give the experienced divers the bottom time they worked hard to get the experience to be able to achieve, so know you can get longer bottom times, and still be safe. His "safety" was
actually about half the time of what the PADI dive tables recommend. (on the shallow dives) When I mentioned this to him, he mentioned several excuses. One that then he'd have to keep a Divemaster in the water with the experienced divers. But I mentioned they were already in the water anyway, since there was always a divemaster in the water until every last diver made it on the boat anyway. Then he said it wouldn't be fair to the inexperienced divers that they would have to sit on the boat longer, waiting for experienced divers. So he obviously thinks it's ok for the worst diver to determine the best diver's bottom time. Our discussion went on for a while, with it obvious to me that he was never going to try to cater to experienced divers. He actually said so, and that only about 1% of the divers were like me, and mentioned the shorter dive times, and he thought that acceptable. (Though he did note that St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos have different policies which allow more dive freedom and longer dive times. I believe that is because those Islands in general cater to divers more, and Sandals has to try to be competitive in their dive operation. That is not the case in the Bahamas.)

A few other notes about the diving with Sandals. There was only one ladder to get on the boat. It could take up to 10 minutes to get everyone back on the boat, this left some people feeling ill from bobbing in the waves, especially on the days when there were more divers in the water at once. I had mentioned this to the Manager as well, and that the experienced people could potentially stay down longer to not create such a big line of people getting back on the boat, but the idea was shot down out of hand.

Another note. This Sandals dive operation had no place for customers to hang and store their own gear. (The other Sandals we had been to all had them.) So you had to rinse your gear, then take it dripping wet back to your room to get it secure. Well the rooms don't have any type of setup for hanging dive gear, so we had to request getting an extra two hanging racks for our balcony from the Concierge. With the Concierge working hard to help us, We eventually
did get an extra one, but not the extra two we had requested. This left us not being able to hang everything as we had liked. With many rooms out of commission due to constructions, we didn't think asking for two was unreasonable, as they wouldn't be used at the time anyway.

And yet another note about the divemasters themselves. Most never took the time to get to know you. They don't accept tips so have no incentive to. Most times the divemasters would hang out amongst themselves on the front of the boat, where customers are told they can't go, or up with the Captain. I was lucky to get even a word or two in with some of the divemasters even, as they didn't seem to want to establish any connection. I don't need them to become my best friends, but at least personable.

It should be noted that in general, I have loved my Sandals experiences in the past, which is why we had been to them 4 times. Though it also should be mentioned, almost all past frustrations with Sandals had also been with their dive operations, but none of them had been this strict or this impersonal so it made the frustrations on this trip much more than any prior trip with Sandals.

On a side note, there was one good day where they seemed to stretch policy a bit diving, and we just had a great day at the resort, so we had booked another trip to the new Sandals opening in Grenada. But after the rest of the week of more cut-off dives, and my discussion with the manager and his saying they'll never cater to experienced divers, we are going to cancel our reservation. I would rather go to Grenada and book a dive operator that will cater to my diving desires, not just the desires of only the least experienced diver.

Some suggestions for Sandals diving if you truly want to offer an "Unlimited" diving experience as you advertise:

1) Group divers by experience.
2) Let divers generally dive their computer profiles if they bring them. (A common standard standard of 50-55 minute max times, or coming up when reaching 500 PSI would
be a good one and still safe.)
3) Find a way to engage the divemasters with the customers more. If this means letting them accept tips, please let them.
4) Bring snacks on the "paid" dives.
5) Bring more fruit on the dives. Often there were only sandwiches or rolls, but nothing more healthy or for peole on low carb diets.
6) Bring lots of cups, and keep spares on the boat so people aren't forced to share water, or go without.
7) If you have a hard policy, enforce it all the time, not just when it is convenient to you and going to interfere with the paid dives you are trying to sell.
8) Move the paid dives to a time that doesn't interfere with the regular dives. (1pm may be a good time!)
9) Group divers in smaller groups of 6-8 max and let them spread out a little bit.
10) Have the divemasters take the time to try to find the little things, or at least slow down to let the divers have the time to find the little things and take pictures if they have cameras. (I had a camera and was almost always rushed along to keep up with the group, and not able to take as many photos as I would like, or find the things I wanted to take pictures of.)
11) Maintain an area where customers can store their dive equipment if they bring it.

In Summary: We loved the resort, the food, the drink, and especially the private island. And the non-diving staff was great and would do what they could to make your experience better. But since one of the primary reasons I go on vacation is to go scuba diving, the dive operation will keep my wife and I from ever going back to a Sandals resort unless polcies are changed. But If you are not a scuba diver, or are a less experienced scuba diver or diver that is fine with short dives, crowded groups, and an impersonal dive operation, I would highly recommend the resort. I did have to drop down this 5 star resort to 3 stars just because of their dive operation, since that is the part of the resort that mattered to me most.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to message them to me and I'll be glad to answer them. I also have scuba photos that I can send you the links for if you're
interested.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank snorkymn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
We regret to hear that your stay was not as expected. We strive to uphold the highest standards of service and quality. Our staff goes through 120 hours of rigorous training each year to ensure we are providing excellent guest experiences. We have many guests that boast of our water sports, luxurious inclusions, water sports, fine dining, accommodations and quality of staff but as hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and your feedback is appreciated.

We want to make sure future guests do not have similar feedback and will take action by notifying the appropriate departments of your remarks - including our dive team. We do request that while on resort you notify guest services 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.

I will also be contacting you privately to obtain a few additional details concerning this matter.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you once again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livonia, Michigan
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

Sandals was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the food was great, drinks were ok, but you could just keep asking for different ones if you didn't like what you were getting. The "village" rooms were amazing! We went for a wedding and that was a blast. The off-shore island was fun, downtown was great-bus ride interesting, but cheap and quick. Would definetly return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ErinA623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thank you for you review of Sandals Royal Bahamian, Erin! We are pleased that you had such an amazing visit during your stay with us. We do our best to surpass our guest's expectations! It's lovely that you not only enjoyed our beautiful resort but took time to explore and had a sensational time.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fallston, Maryland
Level Contributor
143 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

This was our 3rd visit to Sandals Royal Bahamian, but the first time we have been back in a dozen years. Not much has changed in that time, but in true Sandals fashion, the rooms are all redone and the restaurants refreshed in both menu and décor. After having stayed previously in both the Balmoral and Windsor towers, we were happy to try the Royal Village rooms for this stay, which we loved! The atmosphere in the Village is so quaint and “British Colonial” and offers all of the same amenities as the two towers at a slower, more genteel pace.

At the beginning of our stay the resort was pretty full and finding pool/beach chairs in the afternoon was a bit of a challenge. However, a quick walk over to the more secluded Royal Village offered a welcome respite of relaxation in one of the smaller pools in that area, which we had to ourselves one whole afternoon. Later in the week as the occupancy reduced, getting lounge chairs was very easy at any time of day and the service was more on point in the restaurants for breakfast & lunch.

In our 5 nights, we dined at Spices (great steak!!), the Offshore Island Junkanoo Festival (we normally love this dining event, but found the food unappealing and the hassle of going to the island a bit of a chore), Casanova’s (LOVE the antipasto bar!! And great lamb chops, too), Kimono’s, and then finally the Crystal Room for our last night where we enjoyed superb service and I loved the Snow Crab Claws in drawn butter. The Crystal Room’s elegance, service, & menu is the perfect way to end your stay. We also always love a quick visit to Cricketers which has a timeless draw…need to bring back the potato skins & chef salad that used to be on the menu, though.

We didn’t do many of the activities as we usually do when staying at Sandals, but we did enjoy the addition of the late night (10pm) chocolate buffet and the saxophonist who was absolutely amazing.

All in all, it was a great stay and would plan to visit again. Nassau itself has grown immensely since our last visit, but still offers easy local bus ride to town for some great shopping and a bit of sightseeing of the tropically-colored buildings and foliage. It really is a nice town to visit.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Royal Village in the Ixia building right behind the Spices Restaurant. It was a gr...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MBJBride0520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Thank you for your review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay! We continue to make improvements to our resort and services so that we continue to provide our guests with the best vacation experiences. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the upgrades made from your last visit with us.
We appreciate your feedback and look forward to seeing you again for another relaxing visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MO
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

Great accommodations, great staff, and great fun! We went as a group of 8 and Sandals really spoiled us. The pools, jacuzzis, restaurants, and beach were wonderful. The only downside to our trip was the wind...it blew hard all week. We were only able to use the catamarans and their private island one day, so I rode a bus into town and bought some snorkel gear, went back to the resort and checked out a catamaran, and sailed myself out to their private island to meet the rest of our group. Surprised them all. We went to Stewart's Cove on the leeward side of the island on one of the other days and swam with the sharks. That was something I probably wouldn't do again, but it was definitely exciting! I love kids, but it was wonderful that their were no kids at this resort. I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank islandbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

By far, the best vacation experience we have had and we couldn't have asked for more with our Honeymoon. We stayed in the Balmoral Tower, beachfront club level.

If I had to complain, it would be very simple;

1. The rooms are so much smaller than I would have expected. Tight quarters for a couple to live for a week.
2. Profesional photos at the resort would seem to be more affordable based on the amount we paid for staying there.
3. Couples massages would seem to be more affordable based ont he amount we paid for the stay.
4. Expensive journey.
5. Our room was in a cubby with the neighbor. Everytime they went in and out they made so much noise, it was like they were in our room. Key is, don't spend too much time in your room or you're going to miss something!
6. The place was so well kept that they even rake the sand. However the ice room was disquisting and smelled.

As for the good parts, where to start?

1. Room service was amazing. We fell asleep on the deck in the rain one day and woke up to a clean room!
2. Pace yourself, there is food and alcohol around every corner.
3. We snorkled, paddle boarded, sailed, swam in beatiful Carribean water and multiple pools, hot tubs everywhere, activities every night and spent our beach days in amazing huts, fit for a king.
4. Island, very cool and so much fun to snorkel around, swim, eat, drink, sleep or whatever. But this is not a private Island as they say. Carnival owns half of it. Didn't effect us.
5. Checking in and out and dinner reservations was a snap with the Club Level. Alcohol in the room was nice but we barely needed it with the exception of taking a bottle of wine to the beach and having OJ and sparkling wine for breakfast now and then.
6. I don't care what anyone says, the food was great. We ate everywhere and loved every minute. The servers are so nice and really know how to make you feel special.
7. View was amazing.


I could keep going but I think the point is made. Despite the cost, we will be working toward visiting another location as soon as we can and will definately return here for an anniversary some day. Just wonderful.

Room Tip: Why go with anything less than Oceanfront? Best way to wake up every day.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ed l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort is a beautiful place to have a relaxing vacation.Very clean,good food,gorgeous grounds with lush plants and private little seating areas everywhere.What really made our stay complete were the wonderful people who work there-they always made sure that we had everything we needed and more.We stayed in a little villa suite with our own little garden view where we could have breakfast or lunch in private if we wanted to.It was peaceful but not too far from the action-so we had the best of both worlds.
If you prefer to go during off season when it isn't so crowded,try the end of August or first week in September.There is more room on the beaches and in the pools and that gives you more time to spend with your partner.
We would definitely love to come back as we had a wonderful experience and good memories.

Room Tip: If you want quiet and private time together then the little villas are perfect.Hotel rooms facing th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cindy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Royal Bahamian! We are so pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay at our resort. We agree that along with fabulous grounds and inclusions, our staff members' helpful and hospitable spirits are what really make your vacation a terrific experience! It is lovely to know that we provided all you needed to have a relaxing trip and be able reconnect with your partner.
We look forward to welcoming you back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#1 Luxury 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 Resort Bahamas
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau

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