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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
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Reviews (9,482)
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Reviewed 18 July 2014

Spent 2 weeks here in April 2014, what a place,10 restaurants, 2 huge pools, food mostly white glove service and top class, as it was our 3rd visit to a sandals resort they gave us a premier room but unfortunately we turned it down it had no balcony only a window with a fly mesh on it, as we like to sit out at night, they did move us the following day to a room with a patio. Excellent holiday.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank brenda t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We cannot say enough wonderful things about our week long trip to Sandals Royal Bahamian. The entire staff was amazing but our butlers were top notch! A BIG shout out to Dahi, Vincent and Saronte who provided service and hospitality beyond our wildest imagination. They literally take care of everything (dinner reservations, your chairs & towels by the pool/beach, endless drinks, food, room service, rose petal baths, chocolates on your pillow, book your spa appointment ,etc...) I cannot say enough about the wonderful service we received. I only hope that the management staff at Sandals will read this review and give Dahi, Vincent and Saronte the recognition they deserve. The property itself is breathtaking. We enjoyed every meal and managed to eat at every restaurant (thanks to our butlers who made all the reservations). The private island is a little piece of heaven. From the time we left the airport to the time we said goodbye to our new friends, I couldn't have asked for anything more. Sandals definitely gets it right!!! We did take a taxi over to Atlantis. It was so crowded and didn't feel like a beach resort at all! We were so miserable we left after about two hours. It was a huge contrast to the "feel" of Sandals. Best taxi money ever spent since I will NEVER ask to vacation there. Thanks again to Sandals and their butler staff-- you all are AMAZING!! ~ Emily M.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

My husband and I have returned to different Sandals Resorts 14 times and this was our third trip to Royal Bahamian. We stayed from June 27th until July 6th. We have had butler service at other resort but found that the Butler Service at this resort was definitely lacking and I would not recommend it if you were planning a trip here.

The reason I say this is because when we first arrived, we were taken to the Butler Lounge where we sat with Diana, the Butler Manager who took our credit card information. We were sitting having a conversation and another couple who were returning guests came in and Diana jumped up out of her chair to welcome them in the middle of our conversation. She turned to us and said your Butler with be with you shortly and walked out with the other couple. I turned to my husband and said did that really just happen. It was so rude. We continued to sit there for 20 minutes until our Butler showed up and took us to our room. When we got there, he gave us our room keys and went through a folder in the room explaining their service which was fine but then he said that there were three envelopes in the folder for the Butler's tips and also said that 10% was recommened. I was so taken aback by this. I said would you prefer being tipped daily or at the end of the week and he said we would all prefer to be tipped at the end of the week which is fine but you would think the would really do their best so they get a good tip at the end of the week, He asked is anyone was celebrating a special occassion which my husband was celebrating his birthday the next day. Well the next day came and no mention of it. The Butler came to escort us to dinner on the first and last night but no nights in between. We asked one of the Butler's if he could getting us pricing so we could take a day trip to Exuma and he never did. I asked one of the other Butler's to reserve a spot at the pool in the shade and called him to find out where our spot was and he didn't answer the phone so I went to the pool and couldn't find the spot so I just found a spot. Two hours later he came around and I asked about the spot and he said I reserved you a spot on the other side of the pool but it looks like someone else must have taken it. I walked the whole pool area at 8:15 in the morning and there was never a spot reserved. On the last day, our Butler never even seen us off. I handed my phone in at the Butler office and we left. I definitely love Butler service but would NEVER spend the money to get it again at this resort.

Ok, now on to the good things! The resort is absolutely beautiful!! The view of the ocean is amazing, the pools are large and they never seem crowded. The food at all of the restaurants was delicious. The off shore island is peaceful and relaxing. The water sports are fun, especially paddle boarding. I just can't say enough about how great everything is.

We stayed in the new swim-up suites and they are good and bad. The room was beautiful but small and it did not have a bath tub. I really like the swim up suites but hated that you do not have a view at all. The description says view of zen garden but you are really facing a wall with some tropical plants in front of it and the apartment building next door. At times, it was very quiet and peaceful which I liked but as soon as there were people using the swim up pools, you could hear everything that they were saying if you were in your room with the slider closed. I said to my husband that I felt like I was getting old on this trip because there were a lot of young couples in some of the rooms and they decided that they would all meet back at the swim up suites at 9:30 a couple of nights to play beer bong. They would tak everyone's floaties from their patios and set them up in the pool as their beer bong table and then play all night. This would have been fun when I was in my 20's and I don't fault them for having fun but it's just not my thing being in my 40's and wanting a peaceful nights sleep. I also didn't like that they never put anyone's floaties back and just left them floating in the pool for the pool guy to pick up and put back.

Royal Bahamian is definitely a great resort and I think anyone would enjoy it but my two tips are not to waste your money on Butler Service. If you want excellent Butler Service, go to Antigua or Grenada. If you want a room with a beautiful view, pick on in the Balmoral Building. The views were spectacular and the rooms were much larger and less expensive than the swim up suites.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Nicole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We travelled with another couple and had a fantastic 7 day stay at the Royal Bahamian. We stayed in the Windsor bldg in a butler beachfront suite. Very Clean and Beautiful views! In-room bar was filled with everything that we requested.
The entire hotel staff was excellent, but a special mention has to made to our butlers Thomas and Ekron who made our stay very care free and memorable. Thank you so much gentlemen. We will definitely be asking for you when we come back!
Food was excellent in all restaurants. Gordons on the pier was our favorite.
Drinks are great and service at the bars was good.
As others have said, there is a "party"pool on the Windsor side. Although It was not too wild. The Balmoral pool was extremely quiet.
The offshore island is gorgeous and peaceful. However, we did notice the lack of washrooms at the spa end of the island(inconvenient).
The spa treatment on the island is amazing, couples massage with the gentle breeze and ocean sounds...awesome!

Overall, a quiet relaxing resort, great for couples. Butler service room highly recommended.

Room Tip: butler service rooms all the way! carefree vacation!
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

First, let me say, that it goes without saying that the beach and water are amazing. You wouldn't be staying or travelling to the Bahamas if it weren't one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So we won't wax poetic about that.

What I DO want to share is our experience at the resort, including our wedding. Getting from the airport was a piece of cake. Huge welcome office for Sandals at the airport, they get you right on a shuttle straight there, so no stopping at nine other hotels before you reach Sandals. Once at Sandals, you are never allowed to touch your own luggage again unless it is in your room; the porters don't allow it, and they don't accept tips (no one does-or is allowed to). You are introduced by the porter to the welcome desk, where Tiffany greeted us with glasses of champagne and a nice intro to the property. Twice a day, every day, they have a tour of the property with a guide.

Our room had an amazing view of just the ocean; no pool. We stayed in the Balmoral Tower which was gorgeous and seemed newly renovated. Nice flooring, comfortable bedding, very roomy. In room fridge stocked with drinks. There is a drink cart that comes by every day to restock-and if you catch him, you can ask for extras like beer, bottles of liquor or wine. The Balmoral Tower overlooks the "quieter" pool...the Windsor pool seemed more like a "party" pool- it is where they held a lot of the activities (beer pong, reggae day, etc). We enjoyed the swim up bar in the Balmoral pool (every day at 3pm!). Beach towels are provided, but get them early, even if you don't plan to swim until later as by 3pm there are none to be found. Trying to get extras from housekeeping usually resulted in no response, so we just tried to stay ahead of the towel situation.

The restaurants are all good. Casanova, the italian restaurant was spot on the first time we went there. The second time, we had a TERRIBLE waitress, so experience was not as good. Make time to have dinner at Baccarat- a beautiful experience and perfect food. The Crystal Room is also very nice and delicious. Kimono's is a fun teppanyaki style Japanese place....VERY entertaining with a sushi bar. Stewfish is great if you are having lunch on the private island (short boat ride away), but dinner is super sticky/muggy and VERY buggy. Despite being prewarned and wearing bug spray, we still were eaten (probably sand flies? not mosquitoes). Food was probably good but it was so hot and uncomfortable (it's al fresco dining) that we didn't have much appetite. Cricketer's Pub is fun to hang out in every night for karaoke, but it smell's like the reuse the same mop every night and the food is a solid meh. Though Cricketer's had the most personable employees...many in our party are not Facebook friends with some of them. Spice's is the go-to for buffet style breakfast and lunch, but also fancies up for dinner! During the afternoon the small cafe Royal Grill is open for sandwiches, but it is all outdoors too, and since the salad bar is outsides, you can imagine the fly/bird situation...eww. There is also a small pizza counter for a snack in the afternoon that makes pizzas to order..good ones too!

The entertainment wasn't super exciting. They have shows and movies every night, though some are pretty late. What entertainment we did see wasn't worth staying around for, though they do have a Junkanoo night on Friday's....a definite must see, especially if you were ever a band/marching band nerd like me! Water sports were great. Despite hearing bad things about the JetSki rental on property (but not run by Sandals), we got a great deal and had no problems with the guys. The issue is a dude that tries to sell cigars on property tells you about the jetskis, though doesn't work for them, but he expects a tip from you for telling you about them....when everyone can see them their for themselves. Shady, but there is a security officer/cop that sits on the edge of the property to keep and eye on everyone there. Paddle boarding was great. Snorkeling takes you out on a boat and drops you in the middle of the ocean. Not a ton to see but was fun for 25 minutes. On the private island, go to the OPPOSITE side from where the pier is...beautiful view and much quieter with BIG cabanas open to everyone. The day we were there there was a lot of small quarter sized brown jellyfish in the water that many were scared of, but picking them up and swimming through them didn't cause anyone any problems.

Now for the best part. Our wedding. Flo, in the wedding office and our coordinator was perfect. Anything we needed, she did. Everything was super simple. We sat down in her office, she laid out all the last minute options (where the ceremony would be, what cake did we want, what pics did we want?) and nothing was missed. She attended our ceremony and beginning of the reception to make sure all was well. Unbeknownst to us, she had arranged dinner for all of our guests for every night, including our wedding night, so we were able to enjoy dinner with the 17 people that came to the wedding for several meals-a nice surprise! The arranged a pre-wedding dinner the night before the wedding (Junkanoo night). I teased our dinner butler, Kevin, that I was sad the band did not come play for us at our table. Instead, he contacted a local high school band and they showed up about 1.5 hours later and played 3 songs (John Legend, Whitney Houston) just for me, my husband and our wedding party. What amazing service and completely unnecessary and unexpected-loved it. Kevin was also our butler for the reception and made sure it was ok with me before any dish or cake was served. The photographer took over 525 photos, 200 of which we kept. We cannot wait to see our wedding books and thank you cards. Our officiant was spot on with the vows (vows we had no idea of until the ceremony!) and made us laugh several times. Seeing people watch our ceremony and "trash-the-dress" moment from their balconies was a nice addition. The only "complaint" on wedding day was my hair appointment- was scheduled for 1:00pm, but I was not seated until almost 1:45pm. Too many other brides that day (with more demands than me).

We enjoyed a couples massage in the spa. Very clean, quiet, relaxing place. Very professional. My husband's back was bothering him the day before we left, and they allowed him to use the sauna at no charge. Also, at our wedding dinner (at Kimono's), my (brand!) new husband began to feel ill. The waitstaff and hostess immediately brought bread and kept his water glass topped full until he felt better (dehydration and emotional day!). I left a glass I received as a gift there that night. I came back the next day and they knew exactly what I was there for.

Many of the staff members recognized us from our wedding or our lengthy stay- ALL staff members say hello, good morning or start a conversation in the elevator.

We took the culture tour around Nassau. Very informational and fun. We also went downtown to check out the Straw Market and downtown- Straw Market is very dirty and crowded and every booth has the exact same thing over and over again. It's too close to the cruise ships, so you get THAT crowd. We took a cab to check out the Atlantis and I am SO glad we did not stay there. While in the casino, all I could think is "we could be in Vegas, this doesn't even look like we are in the Bahamas", which sucked. We wandered around to check out the hotel and the first thing we noticed was how LOUD the place was with all the kids and people. It was VERY crowded and is WAY too big, especially after staying at Sandals. Some places you can't even walk unless you are a paying guest of Atlantis. All the shops are super high end, so again, you may as well be at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and NOT Nassau.

Bottom line. We will stay at Sandals in the future for absolute certain. You get a TON for your money and it is truly all inclusive. Drinks were POTENT!!! If you want a wedding at a beautiful destination, where you don't have to do hardly ANY planning except bring your dress and pick a cake once there, this is it. EVERYTHING was perfect, including the (actual) rainbow that showed up after our "trash the dress" photo session.

If you choose to stay here and/or get married, I am confident your experiences will be as grand as ours were.

Room Tip: Stay in the Balmoral Tower, all rooms there have a balcony. All are oceanview rooms BUT, if it says Oceanview on your reservation, you DON'T have to look over the pool and palm trees to see it, it is an unobstructed, sole view of the water.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank B H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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