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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Ranked #2 of 37 Hotels in Nassau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Reading all the negative reviews on here really concerned me, but we had already bought the trip. I've travelled a lot for work and pleasure, and stayed in nice places in the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Paris, London, Mexico, Banff, Salt Lake City etc, and I was happy to find everything here much better than the reviews and one of my best vacations! I can't believe how many people talk about how awesome the pizza was and diss everything else...perhaps that is the problem, don't go to the Bahamas if all you want is to eat and act like a stubborn, selfish American! So many negative visitors at the resort when we went complaining about the most ridiculous stuff, but the staff was extremely friendly and if you're a positive person you'll have a truly amazing experience. We got the cheapest room available (a honeymoon deluxe in the gardens) and were surprised to find it was in the perfect location--quiet gardens, semi-private hot tub and pool, near the tennis courts, bocci ball and other games. There was no alcohol in the room due to the cheap rate, so we asked to have a couple bottles of champagne and rum delivered to the room (which they promptly delivered, no charge) and we kept them in the mini fridge. The food was excellent and though not as much seafood as I would've like, I still ate seafood every meal. The breakfast buffet at Spices were our favorite, and you can sit outside there if you wanted. Lunches were ok, I agree this food wasn't great for that time, usually we did pizza on the beach for lunch. Dinners were all very good. We went over Valentine's 2012 and had no problem getting a reservation on the private island even on Valentine's day. Baccarat was very booked, but we stopped in one night anyway and got a table because some people never showed up for their reservation (this gets to the "Island Time" idea, if something is fully booked, don't worry, stop in anyway and you'll likely get in. If not, you can easily stroll to a no-reservations required place). The Friday junkanoo was awesome--terrific music, dancing, and AMAZING FOOD (lots of seafood and other foods, too!) We took out sailboats twice, so easy to just walk over, no wait, no long talk, just grab your life jackets and go. Unfortunately it was windy and cold 3 of the 5 days we were there, so we never went snorkeling even though originally we wanted to. We had a wild night at the pub dancing with people until 3am but also very laid-back, quiet,romantic times where we felt we were the only ones on the earth (by the fire pits at night, on the private island, etc). Sometimes the drink service was a bit slow, but the staff was very nice. We also had the problem of our rooms not being ready when we arrived and the staff suggested we go eat a meal, but instead of throwing a fit like half the other people we just said "ok" and asked if there was a restroom to change into beach clothes and wait by the beach because we weren't hungry. I changed, brought my bag back to the front desk for them to hold onto until the room was ready, and it was already ready! So everyone else who had also just arrived and went to lunch complaining didn't even realize our rooms were ready just a few minutes later if you bothered to ask and were polite. Also, the resort is only about 15 minutes from the airport, which is awesome We used the tennis courts daily and never had to wait, always stocked with rackets, balls and water. And we went for runs outside of the resort (I mapped a couple of routes online before the trip)--I ran alone sometimes and always felt safe even as a 27-year old female alone. I never felt safe like this at places in Mexico. The place was very clean, too, the staff was always cleaning, pruning, the beach was combed every day before we got there, etc. Construction was taking place when we went, but not too loud with the ocean waves crashing and just meant there were less people when we went! Overall I would definitely go again, but of course I am still pleased we went during the 65% off deal, with the $400 air credit and got my husband's 10% off firefighter discount! Also, when we left, we got to the airport about 3 hours before our flight and sped through customs; the agent was able to get us on a flight that was currently boarding at no extra charge so we left only 20 minutes after getting to the airport! Having a good attitude makes the world of difference, and people will do a lot more for you--so go prepared to have fun and relax, and people will treat you right in the Bahamas!

Room Tip: Garden rooms are quite and by smaller pools and hot tubs no one else at the resort seem to know abou...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank eri29556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,152 - 5,156 of 8,912 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2012

I want to provide some feedback from my recent stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Upon arriving, we found our room wasn't ready. As we were early, this was no problem. We tried to make reservations to the three "Reservation Only" restaurants and only received on during our 5 night stay. Absolutely ridiculous.

We were then ushered to the Royal Cafe which served us an awful lunch. The sandwiches tasted pre made, were cold, and the French fries tasted like they were from the prior day. Then, we spent 20 minutes looking for a beach or pool chair to lounge in. All were taken. Finally we found one awkwardly surrounding a Jacuzzi. Next, it took another 20 minutes to locate towels as all the towel stands were empty.

After being on the property for about 2.5 hours, our room was ready. Upon arriving to the room in the Royal Village, we noticed a musty smell from the carpets in the hall. We enter our room to find it completely outdated. The bath tub has rust stains (I have pictures). You had to jiggle the toilet handle or the bowl would continually fill. Finally one day the handle actually fell off completely and my boyfriend put it back together. During the week we participated in the towel reuse program. In the middle of our stay however, I wanted one of the towels changed. Not only did the maid not supply us with a replacement, I called housekeeping to no avail. Someone was supposed to put a new towel in our room but never came. I called the next day to make sure when the maid cleaned our room, we had two towels. I don't think that's a lot to ask for a $500+ room per night. Two towels, really? In addition, we had an extremely archaic and loud air conditioning unit. In addition to the weed whacker every morning before 8 am, sleeping in was virtually impossible.

The food at Kimono was decent at best, and all the restaurants that did not require reservations were bad bordering horrible. Breakfast at Spices was the only meal we could stomach. Also, we had lunch one day at Cafe Goombay. I ordered a salad with a side of French Fries. I only received the French Fries. The waitress apologetic and tried to see what happened in the kitchen. When my boyfriend and I stood up and to leave after he finished eating, my salad arrived. We just shook our heads, laughed, and left.

Continuing on, I booked our vacation directly through Sandals.com. When asked if we were celebrating something, I replied yes and entered my boyfriends' 30th birth date. No bottle wine in the room, no happy birthday note under the door, nothing. Why bother asking? We couldn't even get reservations at a "nice" restaurant. I also tried to make reservations at Gordon's and spend the extra money but no one would answer the reservation phone number!

I have been to plenty of other all-inclusive resorts that were unbelievably better than this Sandals for half the price. This Sandals is so far from luxury it's comical.

I am so disappointed that spent money on this resort. I will never return to a Sandals Resort and will STRONGLY advise ANYONE I know to stay far from this chain.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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9  Thank Ag5080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2012

Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

First, let me say that this was our first stay at a Sandals resort. I had been warned that, while Sandals does an excellent job marketing itself as a top resort, it falls very short in value and quality for how much more expensive it is compared to other luxury resorts. Another couple had already booked their stay here and asked us to join them so my husband and I decided to at least give Sandals a try - never again.

I will break out my review into different areas because I know that various things are more important than others depending on the type of traveler you are.

Service: I am starting with this because this was the most disappointing element of our experience at Sandals. After having stayed at other luxury resorts where the service is impeccable for about half the price, I was shocked to learn that the staff could care less about anything you might need - this includes asking over 5 times for a simple glass of water at each of our meals, calling the front desk repeatedly for clean towels (maid left only one dirty towel), etc. etc. Everything we asked for took at least 3 asks - unless you have paid for a personal butler, you are ignored. The concierge room level is a joke because you are still ignored.

Room Service: Again, the value of this resort is called into question since other luxury resorts, at half the cost, offer 24 Hour room service. Unless you have a butler, you will not be able to have 24 Hour room service. We thought we got room service with the concierge room level but all you can get is cereal and muffins for breakfast. There isn't even an option to pay extra and order room service.

Cleanliness: The overall resort was clean and looked like your typical tropically landscaped resort. We stayed in the Windsor building (where most people stay unless you pay top price for a room) and the building is older than it should be and not as clean as I expected. Perhaps the most shocking discovery was that there was MOLD on our mattress in various locations. There was nothing that could be done though because the resort was completely booked - a lack of resort activities and no real clean refuge in our room was extremely frustrating so we ventured off the resort quite a bit.

Resort Atmosphere: Overall, there was no attempt to create a fun atmosphere at this resort. Activities were never happening when the schedule said they should be and some things were just cancelled with no explanation. Additionally, there was a huge quiet pool and a huge party pool but they both looked and sounded exactly the same. If you like to party on vacation, this is not the resort for you. We finally decided to go off the resort several nights and had much better time. When I inquired about music options or games, I was treated as if I was a nuisance to the “playmakers” (these are the people responsible for getting pool games started).

The Spa: Wow – what a different experience this was. The rest of the resort has a lot to learn from the Spa employees because from the minute I stepped into the Red Lane Spa, I was treated with respect and the utmost professionalism. I had three different services on three different days and every time the service was excellent. So kudos to the Red Lane Spa
Food & Restaurants: The food overall was average – again service was slow and not very good so waiting for food to be replenished and for beverages to arrive made this experience less than desirable. But, the food was pretty good. We didn’t get a chance to eat at the Japanese Steakhouse or the French Restaurant (only has 14 tables!) because they both require reservations and we prefer to not have to decide what kind of food we will want 5 days in advance (for some this might not be an issue). Also, the one restaurant (Gordon’s on the Pier) is only open to people with a personal butler. We did purchase a candlelit dinner on the beach which was very nice.

In all, we do not plan to return to Sandals – many people we talked to at the resort admitted it was their first all-inclusive vacation or that they had only ever stayed at a Sandal’s resort in the past. I strongly believe that if most people stay at other resorts, they will clearly see that Sandals is very overpriced for the vacation experience they provide their guests.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank andreajane2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2012

Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

I have to admit I was nervous after seeing people's reviews of this place but I found that the experience was well worth the price. We arrived on Monday and left on Friday. The people were very friendly and attentive. The property was very clean. Our room was large size in the Royal Village. We had a king size bed, good space in the bathroom, sitting area and a nice private patio. We were not able to get into the Baccarat Restaurant (maybe we could if we had paid for Butler Service). But honestly we were ok with that. We went there for breakfast and it was very pleasant. The dinner at Kimonos and Crystal Restaurant were wonderful. In fact, the dinner at Kimonos was amazing. It would have cost us easily $200 to have that amount of food and drink at the local hibachi restaurant. I enjoyed a midnight fish and chips dinner at Cricketer's Pub. The dinner at Cafe Goombay was amazing but remember to ask for bug spray. The only restaurant I would avoid is Ristorante Casanova. We had pizza twice at the beach and found it to be really good. Lunch and breakfast were perfect. Drinks were always great. The beach was wonderful. The gym was awesome. The trip was very relaxing. Night time entertainment was relaxing. We enjoyed watching sunsets at the fire pit. We enjoyed a couples massage while we were there as well. I recommend this place because the value was excellent.

Room Tip: I would stay away from the towers. The rooms in the Royal Village were spacious and quiet.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Carolyn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2012

We returned last night from a 5 day stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. The resort is beautiful and the grounds are well kept - lovely to look at, but our discontent started shortly after arrival. We had completed an on-line check-in several days before we arrived.....supposedly to save time. Apparently those on-line check-ins are of no value. They filed a group of probably 10 couples who arrived at the same time into the lobby and we all have to hear a "speech" about the property, restaurants, etc. They gave us forms to fill out with our return flight and departure information (which I found ironic since Sandals had arranged our air and land package, shouldn't they have it all ready)? We spent the first hour "waiting" in the lobby for the reservations folks to "check us in" - only to find out that our room wasn't ready yet, so they took us all to a restaurant to have dinner and come back later. We had been told there were several restaurants that you had to make reservations for. They had copies of menus in the lobby, but as we were packed in the lobby like sardines, we didn't feel like wasting more of our time to wait in line to overlook menus. Surely they would have copies in the rooms that we could review. NOT. We managed to make one reservation at check-in on Wed and the first time we could get a reservation was for Saturday at 8pm. Our one reservation was at Kimono's, the Japanese restaurant. We arrived promptly at Kimono's at 8 on Saturday, only to be told that they did not have a reservation for us. I was more than livid. I told them we had it written on our schedule in our room, but it was pouring rain and I truly didn't want to go back and get it. Reluctantly the hostess seated us - ironically at a table with several vacant seats. There were also several completely empty tables there. The couple seated beside us were there for a week and they were only able to make reservations for restaurants for two nights out of seven and they booked their preferences the day they arrived as well.

My husband is an early riser - he was up and around the property every morning before 7:00 am. Every morning when he got up, all of the pool and beach chairs were already reserved for others. I guess people came out early and put towels in the chairs to reserve them or later. There was NEVER enough room at the pool for everyone - it was a constant battle for a place to hang out.

We are by no means high-maintenance people, but when we fork out hard earned money, we expect to get our monies worth. Each morning we ate at the buffet breakfast. I ordered Diet Coke each morning. NEVER ONCE did a waitress ever come back and ask either of us if we needed refills. Finally, we started asking for two at a time because we realized that once they sat us down, we were history. There seemed to be a lot of animosity between the workers, most notably in the restaurants. On several occasions, a manager and a subordinate would argue in front of us about who was to do what and why they did or didn't do something - with total disregard for anyone that might be standing around. The wait staff left a lot to be desired.

The bartenders, however, were a completely different story. We probably ordered drinks at every bar on the property and they were always friendly and eager to make conversation with you and acted as if they truly enjoyed their jobs. Gordon and Rico at the watersports area were fabulous. They did a fabulous job with their sailing instructions and always made us feel welcome every day when we went by to venture out on the Hobie Cat. The brick oven pizza was to die for. We had pizza every day! The folks there were exceptionally nice and friendly and always made you feel welcome- but the service was more than lacking at the other restaurants we attended.

We had friends who arrived at a restaurant for dinner just as they were opening. They were told that it was full and they would have to wait approx 1 hour. 1.5 hrs later, they finally got a table. Once they were inside, they noticed that there were12 empty tables at that time, and when they left there were still 8 empty tables. When they asked why people had to wait in line while there were obvious available tables, they were told that people who were staying the rooms with "butler service" could reserve tables, and they HAD to hold the table for up to one hour after their appointed reservation time in the event they showed up late. Apparently that was the big problem all week. So many of the butler class rooms making reservations and never intending to show up for them, then everyone else is forced to wait.

I don't want you to think that our trip was a complete disaster - we still had a great time and enjoyed our stay, but apparently our expectations of the entire "Sandals Experience" was very high, and the delivery on those expectations by Sandals was average at best. Our room was fabulous - we got upgraded to the Windsor Building to a Cable Beach Honeymoon Grand Lux Mega Suite. We were completely satisfied with the size, layout, location, amenities, etc of the room. Room service was wonderful, they were very attentive and made sure we were taken care of in a timely manner. .

We are extremely glad that we booked our trip at the 65% off sale - if we had paid full-price and received the service we did, we would have been extremely upset.

The food in The Crystal Room was great. I would highly recommend the ribeye steak and crab legs.

I would rank our stay at Secrets Excellence Riveria Maya much higher than Sandals. Perhaps the bar was set so high by the folks at Secrets that anything else will pale by comparison. We did hear lots of people raving about the Bahia Principe resorts - we will definitely check those out as well. For folks who had such high expectations of the "Sandals Experience", we were extremely disappointed with all the areas in which service was lacking.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank sgbandjlb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2012

Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.

Report response as inappropriate
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

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 Family Hotel in Nassau
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nassau
#2 Spa Hotel in Nassau
#2 Luxury Hotel in Nassau
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nassau
Price Range: ₹ 36,470 - ₹ 78,281 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island 5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•New, extra comfortable, ultra luxurious Day Beds added poolside on Sandals Cay •Sandals Cay now has Zen Spa and Fire Pits.-----•Butler Service, 24-Hour Room Service, and Rolls Royce or Mercedes Transfers for select suite categories. •Over 10,000 sq. ft. of the Island’s most impressive Freshwater Pools•Sandals Cay – Nassau’s only resort with Private Offshore Island & Restaurant.•Ten Dining Options featuring an array of cuisine from French to Bahamian. •Minutes away from excellent duty free shopping in Downtown Nassau on Bay Street and world class gambling on Paradise Island.•Weekly Late night decadent Chocolate Buffet offering specialty coffee •Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row. •Voted Sandals Royal Bahamian “Bahamas’ Leading Spa Resort”. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort And Offshore Island
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Hotel Nassau
Sandals Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach
Sandals Bahamian
Sandal Royal Bahamian
Sandal Resort Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island Bahamas/Nassau

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