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“Beware of Sandals!”

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Milford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
90 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“Beware of Sandals!”
Reviewed September 8, 2004

I have to warn all people thinking of traveling to Sandals properties of the terrible Hurricane Protection they have. With the recent hurricanes that have hit the Caribbean, Sandals closed a couple of the resorts. I was planned to fly out on Saturday for my 10 year anniversary to Sandals Royal Bahamian. The resort is closed for repairs.

Okay I'm a pretty easy guy so I just wanted to move the trip to another week in November. No problem but it will be $400 more. This is addition to the costs covered by my travel insurance. This really set me off. I can't believe I have to pay more money for a trip I already purchased. Sandals has a special deal wth the airlines where if you bought the trip through them instead of an agent, you can get the additional charges covered. If you went through an agent, you can't. I went through one of their top agents who ssold the most Sandals packages for 7 years and tthey still couldn't get Sandals to budge on this.

I also found out that many customers who had their reservations cancelled through October to the Royal Bahamian are being rescheduled and having to additional pay at the higher rates for the weeks they are moving to. This could add up to hundreds and hundreds more.

Being a person who's stayed at SuperClubs, Alegro, etc., I'm really surprised at this behavior. This is terrible customer service.

I tried calling Signature Guest and didn't get any help. I tried Sandals Help Desk and got no help.

Bottom line if you are traveling during Hurricane Season, think twice about Sandals.

Good luck!!

Helpful?
7 Thank SeverusAlexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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NY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2004

My husband and I spent our first days of married life at Sandals Royal Bahamian. We saved our money for over two years to go on the honeymoon of our dreams. And we got more than we could ask for. The resort itself was beautiful. We booked to stay in one of the villas but when we arrived we found out we were upgraded to a two room suite in the Windsor building. After seeing the room we asked to see what we had been upgraded from. Our personal concierge showed us one of the villas. It was very pretty and in the private gardens however much smaller. We agreed to stay in the larger suite in the main building. It was on the first floor and only steps inside. We never used the pool restrooms since it was so close.

Everyday each room gets an activity sheet including which restaurants are open for what meals. I read people had many problems with the food and getting into restaurants. So I made our reservations right away. It took me 5 minutes our first day. And our concierge called us everyday to see if we needed anything. The food was great. The Crystal Room for dinner was our favorite. The only time I saw someone have a problem was at Casanovas the Italian restaurant. The couple next to us didn’t like their meal and they were very rude to the waiter about it. He offered they could reorder but they got up and left. Which made our meal more pleasant. The drinks are awesome. Hummingbirds were our favorite.

Go to the private island at least once it is very romantic. Snorkeling was our favorite activity. We signed up Tuesday for Wednesday. We played all the games and won our sandals. My husband played beach volleyball everyday. We met a lot of wonderful people that way who we ended up going to dinner with and out for drinks. We had the best of both world at this resort if we wanted to be busy we were if we wanted to lay in a beach chair and read we did. It was a great vacation.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank NyKiddo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 27, 2004

People who do not like this resort either had a VERY different experience than we did, or are people who enjoy complaining...

My husband and I went to the Royal Bahamian for our 5th anniversary. We previously stayed at the Sandals in Montego Bay twice, so we knew somewhat what to expect. More on that later...

From start to end, the trip was wonderful. When we got off the plane, the customs line was short, we made it through everything and were on the bus to the resort within an hour. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a very pleasant gentleman who escorted us to the reception room, where they served champagne as we fillled out the required credit card information for incidentals (i.e. phone calls, charges to your room, etc.)

The resort itself is beautiful. Two HUGE pools, two swim up bars at those pools, and lots of pretty gardens and whatnot to look at. The food was excellent, I had no problem with anything with the exception of the scrambled eggs on the buffet (have them make you an omlette or eggs to order!) and the service was very cordial. At times, the service wasn't the FASTEST service I have ever seen, but you're on vacation and generally have no where to go anyway, so what does it matter? But for the most part, the service was just as good or better than we receive here in Tampa, for those that receive tips.

They have all sorts of water sports to do, and the playmakers are there if you want to play volleyball, beer pong, etc. Or you can just hang out in your room, as we did twice.

The thing that is nice, about Sandals in general, is that everything is included- you don't have to budget your money, you don't have to carry around your wallet... you do whatever you want, whenever you want, and eat and drink as much as you can. If you don't like something, tell them you want something else. If you can't decide between two dinners, ask for a half portion of both. (My husband did this all week!) Also, almost every single person there is completely in love. There are no single groups of girls or men. There are (with a few exceptions) no dirty old men checking out the women. Everyone is happy with who they are with. Which makes it a lot easier to talk to other people at the resort and make friends (for men at least, right??)

The only thing that I could possibly say negative about the resort is the rooms. And this is only because I stayed in Montego Bay twice, where all the rooms are beachfront, and nothing is over two stories... if you are looking for a true "beachfront" room, this is not the place for you. We were upgraded to the villas, which are not on the beach. But even those who paid for beachfront rooms were not truly beachfront. The two blocks of rooms (actually two separate hotels at one time) are perpendicular to the beach, so none of them are truly beachfront. So if that's your thing, I would suggest going to the Montego Bay resort.

One other thing- take some bug spray (or ask the waiters for some) when you go to the island for dinner. The mosquitos are awful over there at night, but the food is worth it, and as soon as you put the bug spray on, you're good as gold.

Again, I think the only people who complain about this resort are people who had a completely bizarre experience there or people who just complain about everything. There are so many more wonderful things about the resort, I can't imagine focusing on the few "downfalls" that it may have had. I could go on and on about what was great, but you all should see for yourself.

If you are concerned about the high price of the resort, go to Montego Bay. It's about half the price, and just as beautiful. They have a few less restaurants, but the resort and the people in Jamaica are wonderful!!

  • Stayed August 2004
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Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 24, 2004

Wow! What a great trip. I had been to the islands of Jamaica and St. Lucia and was worried that the Bahamas was a bit of an "extension" of the US... and maybe not as tropical as the other islands. Boy, was I wrong. Nassau was gorgeous! It was our idea of paradise. The warm temperatures with a nice breeze and no humidity, torquoise water, white sand, palm trees, friendly fish, etc. were perfect.

We stayed at the Sandals from July 31st through Aug. 4th. We never saw bugs or flies and it hardly rained at all. The resort is beautiful... and big. We liked the fact that there were two very large pools at the resort... each with their own swim-up bars... one by the Manor block and one by the Windsor block. It was nice to switch back and forth between the two. Neither was crowded at the same time. Our room in the Windsor block overlooked the Windsor pool and ocean. If you are on the correct side of Windsor, you will have a good room with a good view no matter what floor (of course the higher the better). Our room was very spacious and had a great balcony. If you can afford an upgrade to the concierge level, it is well worth it. The in-room bar was stocked with champagne, wine, liquor and beer as well as soft drinks, water, juices. Anything that you drink is replaced the next day! The tub was huge. We paid $198.00 (total for 4 nights for 2 people) to upgrade a week before our vacation from the lowest level room to level 9 out of 12. They called us to offer the upgrade - great deal! Online, it would have cost $900 more. I guess you take your chances when you wait to upgrade that the good rooms will not be full.

We snorkeled one day and went to the private island one day. The private island is awesome! The beach is secluded and there are 2 cays that you can walk to if you'd like. They are plenty of palm trees and tiki huts if you like some shade. There is another pool and swim-up pool bar (you will never be thirsty at Sandals!) on the island as well as a small restaurant. The food at this place is just o.k. but we really enjoyed the food at all of the other restaurants especially the Crystal Room and the Baccarat. The other days, we just relaxed by the pool or ocean, swam, ate and drank... We did venture to the straw market. It was an experience but don't go if you don't like people tugging at you or saying, "just look" constantly.

The piano bar and Cricketer's Pub are great places to meet new people. Everyone that we met was very nice... everyone seemed to be there to relax and have fun. I would guess the age group to be between 30 and 50 for the most part. Everyone that we talked to said that there were very happy with their stay at Sandals.

We really enjoyed our honeymoon and couldn't have asked for more. We are even getting a group together to try the Sandals St. Lucian next year. We would come back the Royal Bahamian in a heartbeat, just want to try them all. So, don't worry, this is a great trip and you will not be disappointed.

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
L.A, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2004

We visited the Sandals in the Bahamas for or Honeymoon from August 5-12th. We both have been to Cancun, Dom Rep & Cuba before. Overall, Sandals had much better food and drinks. This resort is a little older but they have tried to keep up with the age. Newer restaurants, pools etc.. Very good food overall. If you want it a little quieter I recommend the island, maybe only 20-30 people over there @ one time. Very good time.

Helpful?
1 Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, sc
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2004

in fact I tried to talk the other couple out of going to sandals. But they were getting married and got a free wedding if they stayed for 5 nights.

My concern was primarilly based on an experience my wife and I had at sandals royal jamaica in Montego Bay - it was horrible, we wanted to leave after one day. But that's another story...

There were also quite a few negative posts about the bahama property on this board so I was prepared for the worst.

But we had a really good time.

The first thing that strikes me about this sandals was the service. Everyone was friendly, the service was very good at almost every venue.

I had a great time with the bartenders at the Windsor pool and had several hangovers to prove it.

We stayed in the windsor block in some type of suite. The room was nice, we had a packed fridge in the room for whatever we wanted. I mean a drink is never far away at this place.

The food was pretty good. The prime evening dining was ok. I mean typically I will stay at a ritz carlton or maybe four seasons and go out to a real nice restaurant and these places are not as good as you what you can find in that process.

But I never had a bad meal. The breakfasts and lunch's were pretty good.

Frankly, if you are expecting 5 star dining at every turn you will be dissapointed.

But that's not what this place is all about. It's about having a good time. It's a very romantic enviroment what with no kids screaming about. It's almost like a romantic summer camp for adults who want to have a good time.

Overall, I thought the property was very beautiful and impressive.

BTW, my friends wedding was very nice and the photographer, video guy and the reverend all did a great job - it's something my friends will treasure for a lifetime.

The bottom line, if you think you are going to the four seasons and every meal will be the best you have ever eaten - you may want to go someplace else.

If you want to have fun, have great service, get plenty of sun - you will have a great time.

Helpful?
7 Thank tonyCharleston_sc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2004

My husband and I just returned from our 6-night honeymoon at the Sandal Royal Bahamian, August 9-15, 2004. I'll just hit the high points. Normally, I wouldn't give my email address, but since I got the feeling that a few of these reviews were not written by actual guests, I wanted to prove that this is a real review! If you have a (short) question, please feel free to email me.

First, a word about expectations. Sure, $600 or so sounds like a lot to pay for two people per day. But break it down: $200 for the room, $100 per person per day for food, another $50 per person per day for drinks, and you're at $500. Add on tax, tips and gratuities, and you're over $600. Sandals gives you all that, plus free snorkeling, sailing, and...best of all...diving! That's where the real value kicks in. We went snorkeling in Cancun, and the trips were $45-60pp. Dive trips are $70-$100pp. It adds up! Sandals is not five-star luxurious: it is not on a par with a Four Seasons or the One and Only Ocean Club. If that is what you expect, go to one of those resorts. And while you're at it, double your budget. (Rooms at the Ocean Club start at $450...in low season.)

It is, however, very pleasant and lovely. Our room in the Windsor building was very spacious, comfortable, and nicely furnished. The marble bathroom has a very large tub. The bar was kept stocked, and they provided whatever we asked for. The first room we were given was on the west side of Windsor, and had a not-very-inspiring view of grass, palm trees, and a bit of the adjacent parking lot. We went back down, smiled, and politely asked the concierge for a room with a view of the water, and were moved without hesitation.

The food and the service were good to very good. The food was better when we ate at the Cafe at Atlantis, but it was also fairly expensive: $55 for lunch for two, with iced tea. If you go there, have the crab cakes. Delicious.

Service was generally very friendly. The pools were great: two huge ones, with hot tubs scattered around, and really big swim-up bars. However, the real stand-out operation of Sandals is the water sports team. We elected to get open-water diving certification, which is a 4-day process of in-pool training, watching videos, reading the certification book, open water-dives and a final test. It costs $350 at Sandals, same as anywhere else. The dive instructors were absolutely oustanding: smart, professional, patient, fun, and above all, safe. My husband got kind of panicky about taking his mask off underwater; believe me, it's easy to! He had to stop in the middle of the first underwater lesson, and I was afraid he wouldn't be able to finish. But Ethan Danes, our instructor, continued the lesson with me and the other student, and then told me to leave him alone with my husband and come back after lunch. He then spent two solid hours with Stephen, very patiently getting him used to the equipment and doing the skills underwater, until Stephen was completely comfortable and his anxiety was gone. He and our other instructor, Santiba, were just surperb. We had a blast diving - absolutely loved it.

If you have an open water certification, you have unlimited dives for free. It's a great deal. If you don't, you can take the three-hour resort course for free, and do shallow dives only.

We never made it out to the island; we were too busy with the scuba. However, the water was lovely on the beach: crystal clear, 84 degrees, and no surf, so it was easy to enter and exit. There's even good snorkeling on the right-hand beach near the rocks. We brought our own snorkel gear:apparently, you have to unless you're on the snorkel trip.

We're not night people, but enjoyed playing pool and hanging out in the bar near the piano player. All in all a great honeymoon; we would recommend Sandals Royal Bahamian without hesitation.

Helpful?
8 Thank Hou_architect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island

Property: Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Address: West Bay Street, Cable Beach, Nassau 13005, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Nassau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#1 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#2 Family Hotel in Nassau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island 5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•New, extra comfortable, ultra luxurious Day Beds added poolside on Sandals Cay •Sandals Cay now has Zen Spa and Fire Pits.-----•Butler Service, 24-Hour Room Service, and Rolls Royce or Mercedes Transfers for select suite categories. •Over 10,000 sq. ft. of the Island’s most impressive Freshwater Pools•Sandals Cay – Nassau’s only resort with Private Offshore Island & Restaurant.•Ten Dining Options featuring an array of cuisine from French to Bahamian. •Minutes away from excellent duty free shopping in Downtown Nassau on Bay Street and world class gambling on Paradise Island.•Weekly Late night decadent Chocolate Buffet offering specialty coffee •Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Royal Bahamian “Bahamas’ Leading Spa Resort”. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort And Offshore Island
Sandals Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach
Sandals Bahamian
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Sandal Resort Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau

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