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“Exceptional All-Inclusive experience”

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #2 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 July 2011

This was our 1st experience at an all-inclusive resort, let alone a "couples only" theme. Needless to say, we are now true-believers thanks to the great experience at the Royal Bahamian. On our flight back and while we were there, all we heard was negative remarks from people about Atlantis--over-priced (one couple spent $225 to secure a table at dinner), a million screaming kids, and poor service.
None of that was at Sandals! This is a great value, quiet and relaxing, food was superb (especially Cafe Goombay's lunch on the private island)--I recommend the Palau chicken...ask for Andrick on the island--such a nice young man who embodied the exceptional service and more importantly the hospitality of the Bahamas. We will be back sooner than later...!!!! Also, we are divers and the "free diving" was pretty good. I would have like to have seen more coral life but I know that there has been a lot of over-fishing around Nassau for years. We also had the Spa service (exfoliations and massages) completed on the private island and it was wonderful.

Room Tip: Get the least expensive room, you do not need the butler service--save $$$ and stay an extra day or...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank MikeSchlabra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,731 - 5,737 of 9,067 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2011

We were in the "blue" building, and that feft very segregating right from the airport. They slap a blue ticket on your bags and send you to the bus. We will def be upgrading to the "pink" building next time we go!!!!! We had a crappy room when we first checked in..but I knew from reading previous reviews not to settle and we got upgraded with no questions. The building is def in need of repair (the shower pull thing broke off the first time I tried to shower). Called down and 24 hours later, it was still not fixed. I walked downstairs and new people happened to be checking in while I explained I hadn't been able to shower. Maint. was up in our room fixing it within minutes. I thought the food was just so/so, but the drinks were great and plentiful. We never had to wait long for drinks..............YOU are on vacation, why the big hurry????????????We always found pool chairs and couches to lounge on in the evening. The bugs were bad the last 2 nights after it rained. All this being said............it was a fabulous honeymoon and I really can't wait to go back. THe beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, daily sunshine, entertainment, nice staff and etc. make up for any little issues you might have. THe hardest thing for me to get used to was not having a set schedule.

Room Tip: Book in the pink building........you won't be sorry
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ShelliRasmussen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

This is the second Sandals property we have been too. This one is a large, nice property. Rooms are very clean. Staff is for the most part very friendly and there to help you. Some of the staff are just there to do a job, not make sure you are really enjoying yourself, that was the biggest difference we found here verses the other Sandals property we have stayed at. The sports and event staff are WONDERFUL! they want to make sure you are having a great time. The food is all wonderful!!!! Lots of things to do!!! We would go back. Beaches are very clean and beautiful, off shore island is really neat too. This property is very lively and full of fun!

Room Tip: Ask for and ocean view, or garden view otherwise I hear you may have a view of a parking lot
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank azmom74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

From the outset, I must say that my wife and I are avid Sandals holiday fans; the team have a winning formula that deters you (with good reason) from contemplating any other all- inclusive vacation. You just know that whatever the others have to offer, that its not going to come up to the same standard for the same relative costs.
This was our first visit to the Royal Bahamian and we were not disappointed; the choice and quality of the restaurants and accommodation (we were upgraded as Returning Guests) were above the standard that we had expected.

The staff were courteous, polite and attentive; there's always going to be a time when someone's not at the top of their game, affected by the demands of the job or not feeling their best, we're all human (hopefully) and we had no issues on service.

We found restaurant and food, both choice and quality, achieving excellent standards. We tried every venue for dinner (Bacarat, Crystal Room and Casanova's at least 3 times each) and we were never disappointed or stuck for choice. The only negative comments were that on occasions the venues were not ready on time for opening at the times advertised and sometimes this was as late as over 10 minutes. This can have a knock on effect for those who have activities planned and have to rush or cancel breakfast.

It was refreshing to find that the dress code in both Bacarat and the Crystal Room were politely enforced; its disappointing when guests have made the effort to dress to a stated standard for a venue and others can't be bothered. We have been to other Sandals resorts where the dress code in specific restaurants has not been enforced as the staff "did not wish to upset the guests inappropriately dressed".

The pools and beach are generally well maintained although the Manor pool is starting to show its age with some missing tiles and poor grouting. What is lacking around the Manor pool is shade; there is a shortage of parasols (I'd suggest 1 parasol between 2 sun loungers). The lack of parasols and shade compounds the issues raised by other contributors of the butlers reserving the loungers with parasols for their clientele early in the morning. I think the actions of the butlers is reasonable; if guests are willing to pay the extra for butlers, I think its only right they have the advantage of getting the reservations in however, more shade would reduce the concerns and need for the other guests resorting to the uncomfortable practice of getting their towels down at dawn.

All in all, a great holiday made possible through an excellent resort and staff that I am sure will not disappoint anyone.

Many thanks to all from Sandals that made this a memorable holiday and especially Simone in London for arranging, the Piano Bar staff Sherman, Tyrell and Darren (The Shot) and the chefs at Bacarat and the Crystal Room for making the best meals in the Caribbean.

Room Tip: Take the bug spray, midges (or Bahamian equivilant) appear to enjoy human flesh especially around th...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2011

Resort was wonderful. People are unbelieveably nice. Bring your bug spray!!! And if you're not a butler guest, be prepared to have last pick at chairs at the beach/pool and at water sports. Was surprised to find out that the "first come, first serve" snorkeling trips were booked for the whole week we were there ... Same for some of the restaurants. Oh, and towels are not replenished throughout the day! Get them early in the morning & get a few extra!

Room Tip: It didn't seem like there was a bad room at this resort. Beautifully laid out!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jeslyn810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2011

This is the fifth time we have stayed here. It's a short direct flight from New York, a short ride from the airport to the resort, and the relaxation begins with the arrival champagne and courteous service. We love the choice of restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are 10 restaurants and 9 bars on property. This variety is rare in an all-inclusive. We also like the well maintained beaches and property and the option of traveling by boat (5 minutes) to Sandals' private island with its own pool, restaurant, and beautiful beaches. The drinks and food were excellent.
Hint: Many couples are upgrading to "butler" service to reserve choice spots on the beaches and at the pools. Get up early if you want a shady cabana!

Room Tip: Repeat guests are automatically upgraded at no extra cost. We get a room with a beautiful view!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wseaman15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2011

I want to start off with a quick re-cap of how we ended up at the Sandals Royal Bahamian because it speaks to Sandals' customer service. We had booked our honeymoon at Sandals Negril in October 2010. The resort was flooded from a storm, so we were moved to the Royal Plantation prior to arriving- and we had a fabulous stay there- and we got a free vacation worth the same amount as we had originally paid for Negril. so, we decided to go to the Bahamas. I believe that in this situation, Sandals went above and beyond what I'd expected them to do to make up for the original resort being flooded (especially since we still got an amazing honeymoon in Jamaica).

First of all, we had a butlered room. I do believe this changes people's experience, so I'll start off with saying that. I am still unsure if I feel it was worth it. In Jamaica, it 100% was worth it. At the Royal Bahamian.....i'm not sure. We were picked up by the Mercedes towncar which was included for butlered guests- and that was really nice. We didn't have to ride on a bus....but the resort isn't far from the airport so it really wouldn't matter either way. When we arrived, we were greeted by Vincent who was one of the butlers- unfortunately, not ours. He was great we were impressed with his service all week even though he was not our butler.

The first impression of our butler was great. He greeted us, explained that our room wasn't ready but he escorted us to lunch (and I'm indecisive- especially in a place with so many choices so I was thankful that he just picked one, took us there, got us drinks, and told us he would be back after lunch). As promised, he picked us up after and took us to our room. Again, I was so impressed because we got an upgrade. And from talking to people, this happens frequently with Sandals. It was a wonderful surprise! Our butler gave us our dinner arrangements for the week. He explained the reservations were made so that we could get into everywhere but we could move them if needed. The resort was almost at capacity so it was hard to get reservations at some places. (I heard many people say they were unable to get into Baccarat to eat throughout their entire stay).

So that first impression was great. I was thrilled with our butler, with how organized it was and that we had dinner reservations. The resort was stunning- the lunch was good. It really was a great start.

Without going day by day, I will say that our impression of the butlers started out strong and decreased throughout the week. We told them each night where we wanted chairs reserved the next day and we sometimes had a little towel creature or other surprise on the bed. They stopped walking us to dinner after night 3- and we went days without seeing them. If we hadn't been in a butlered room at a different resort previously, we may not have known this was less than expected. But even other butlers were seen walking around talking with their guests. We weren't demanding at all- maybe that was part of the problem- but we had hoped to at least get a hello from our butlers once a day. This was probably the ONLY negative thing about our stay.

The food was good- some places were excellent and others were just good- but nothing was awful. Our favorite was either Gordon's on the Pier or the Crystal Room. Everyone raved about Baccarat....and maybe we just weren't in the mood that night, but it was just okay. We actually discovered on our second to last night that the biggest thing affecting our perception of dinner was timing. TRY to make your reservation at 7:30 or later- unless you're an early riser and really prefer early dinners. We're mid-20's and we loved to sleep in til 9 or so in the morning. We would eat a little later breakfast and lunch and then feel rushed to get out of the pool and be ready for our 6:30 reservations. The one night we didn't have a reservation til 8 was amazing. We could hang out in the pool longer and just relax....which was the whole point of the vacation! Get to breakfast early if it's a buffet- otherwise the flies start to come in and the fruit seems kind of gross when you see flies sitting on it. there isn't much they can do about this- it's just the nature of having fruit sit out....but be careful at the buffets for breakfast- or get there around 8!

I saw other reviews about people not being able to get chairs and stuff if they didn't have butlers. We saw open chairs all the time. And the resort was 98% full. Plus, the butler guests are supposed to unfold their towels and at least visit their chairs by 10am (11 on the island). If they don't, those chairs are supposed to be up for grabs. If you know this secret, you can probably get their reserved sign removed if they haven't unfolded the towel/claimed the chairs yet.

Sandals Cay- the private island- was GREAT! We loved it over there!

Take your own snorkel gear!!!!! We wish we had. They won't give you theirs- they're only for the snorkeling trips- but there are great places to snorkel off the back of Sandals Cay. We talked to people who saw lobster/eel/and even a barracuda. In fact, we were in the swimming area of Sandals Cay and a sting ray came within 5 feet of us. It was amazing.
The water and beaches and snorkeling in the Bahamas is unbelievable. It beats Jamaica, hands down.

We had a blast- met tons of fun people. The piano bar is a great place to be at night! The little events they have each night are also really fun to check out. The Junkanoo street party was a lot of fun as was the chocolate fountain night and the salsa dancing. Oh- and they say that the pools close at night. If you're quiet- they don't really care. We were in the pool with 2 other couples we met until 3:30am one night. We were told to be quiet once, but that was it.

On our trip to Jamaica, we did lots of excursions. I was nervous about planning to spend an entire week just on the resort. We had talked about leaving to explore downtown nassau and/or see Atlantis- and we know people who did and it was easy for them. (It's very easy to catch the bus downtown and then the water ferry to Atlantis instead of booking a tour or paying for a taxi) but we opted to just stay at the resort the whole time. We were never bored and we had a ton of fun. Check out the daily activities- some of them are short but lots of fun. The cooking class was one of our favorites!

Final word on the service. my husband dropped his wedding ring in the ocean at Gordon's on the Pier while we were at dinner. The next morning, we went to Watersports and explained what happened. Wenzel told us to hold on a second- and he handed my husband a snorkel while he put on his scuba gear. They went down to the pier and within 2 minutes, he surfaced with the ring! It was a great testament to their service.

Room Tip: If you're going to go for butler- go all the way and do the Windsor suites. We heard people were...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Bekah_K0514
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:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Nassau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
#2 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#2 Family Hotel in Nassau
Price Range: $717 - $1,483 (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 & 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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