Stayed at The Royal Bahamian in February. The positives; a very clean resort and very beautiful place. We had the Butler service and got the exact room we wanted in the Royal Village, ground floor, with a patio, steps away from a mini pool; we loved being here. It's very quiet and relaxing with beautiful surroundings. There was always staff cleaning and up keeping the resort. There are a few mini pools around the village; one other larger pool and 2 other very large pools (Windsor and Balmoral). Almost all the staff were very friendly although it's hard to tell if they were all sincere as I am sure it is the rules that they must help and be polite to guests. In saying that even the gardeners or pool boy were very helpful; I have never seen such helpfulness to be honest. They also all seem to be happy people. The Butler service is a must; it's very expensive, but all our Butlers were great; Corrie, Raynard, Diane and Yolette; we had a great service from them but didn't actually contact them that much; I think other guests may use them more. The Cricketers; great British food; the shepherd's pie was lovely and the hot wings were delicious. The Cabanas are lovely; if you get a shaded one; they are on the beach and island (you need Butler service to book these up as you will have very little chance of getting one without the Butler service). Beach is lovely, top areas near beach lovely; pizza place, nice, good pizzas; hamburgers and hot dogs nice. Fire pits nice, but couldn't really get one; other people hogged them and it was a bit noisy at night; I went to one once, but not a good one, a small one and I nearly fell in the pit. Some Negatives; Most of the food was awful; poor quality, sometimes tough meat, lack of choice in vegetables and potatoes. We went to Gordon's on the pier on several occasions; first time, quite good, 2nd time, tough steak, inedible, 3rd time the gas canister that they cook on ran out of gas; we had to wait about an hour for our main course but by then we had lost our appetite; also I ordered a starter that I was told was like Caesar salad, all it was, was a plate of lettuce with a tiny bit of mayonnaise! We didn't pay for this as we had Butler service; if you have to pay it costs a small fortune, so I don't recommend going there if you have to pay. However, the views are beautiful; the pier is lovely in the evening. Kimonos; the beef and rice and sauces are nice; the chicken poor quality; a group of you sit around whilst the chef cooks on the hot plate; it can be fun but depends on what the people are like around you. The Crystal room; basically if you want to talk don't go there, everyone whispers; a cockroach was on the pure white table cloth; I screamed but no one even spoke or looked except the waiters; even the waiters whisper. I don't blame the restaurant for this; they can't get rid of every insect and it's nothing to do with dirtiness; I just have a phobia; can't really comment on the food as we never went there after that; but I don't get why you can't speak or have to whisper! Baccarat; had 2 good meals there, fish and a decent steak; my partner enjoyed his duck; he didn't like the sea food in most places; said the lobster was terrible; Room service; not great; got the wrong things, once came with no knife; breakfasts; ok, but as usual crappy streaky, hard as rock bacon; hash browns that were not hash browns, just burnt griddled bits of potato; No Brown sauce (HP) lucky I brought my own. when I saw they had baked beans I thought great!; when I opened the lid they looked like something the cowboys eat in old westerns; brown and nasty; needless to say we didn't eat them; the omelettes were good but too much orange coloured cheese and it was like gooh; no taste, not at all strong. The Island; we were given a cabana totally in the sun (not what we wanted) so we sat in the shade by the pool; steps away was the café place (basic foods); next minute waiters came up and put towels over our shoulders!! We were not sitting there naked; I couldn't believe it; I was very insulted by this; all they do is basics food; yet its ok for guests to stroll up to Gordon's on the pier (the supposed poshest place) in grimey jeans or shorts and t shirts; we made an effort to dress up where it was required; we never went back to the island. Our room was nice but does need some updating; they are not luxurious like at say The Balmoral, but still, the only place we would want to stay in. I think the cricketers should introduce a nice roast dinner to its menu with all the trimmings. I was very disappointed with the quality of the food overall and came back losing 6 pounds in weight. I expected far, far better food from a 5 star resort that costs a fortune. The day before our departure we waited over 5 hours to contact a Butler; the phone they gave us was rubbish, about a £5 phone; it didn't work properly; eventually after over 5 hours Dianne turned up, she as very helpful; but this wait was unacceptable. If you want noise stay at The Windsor; if you want a bit of peace stay at The Balmoral (plus better rooms I think); if you want a lot of relaxation stay at the Royal Village. I was going to give 4 stars, but I'm giving it 3... mainly because of the food; ... they need a visit from Gordon Ramsay.
We stayed at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas, a few years ago and really enjoyed our stay there overall. The resort is beautiful and located only about 10-15 minutes away from the airport so there is no long transfer time required. The hotel is all inclusive, as all of the Sandals hotels are, and so you get all your meals and alcoholic drinks included in the cost of the hotel. The food at this hotel was amazing and you had the choice of several different restaurants including fine dining at the Crystal Room and the amazing Cafe Goombay which serves Caribbean food over on the resort's private island. For some of the restaurants you have to book in advance and they can get booked up quickly so you need to do this right at the start of your holiday. The great thing about this hotel is its offshore island which you can get to with regular boat trips across. Over here there is a pool and restaurant as mentioned above, and you can have some spa treatments there too. Watersports at Sandals are generally included so there is lots to keep you busy if you don't want to just sit and sunbathe. Overall we loved this hotel and the service was impeccable with no requirement to tip the staff. The only thing that does put you off a little bit is that the hotels are a bit of a 'wedding factory' and there are always several weddings a day!
Quote ?Sandals has consistently been awarded the most prestigious awards in the hospitality industry. Not only have we won the World Travel Awards 9 years in a row (and Beaches for the 6th consecutive year) but we have been honoured with awards from our customers and from leading publications such as Conde Naste Traveler, Recommend, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Travel Weekly, Travel Agent, Caribbean World, Travel Trade Gazette, AND MORE!? Unquote. Some know, some don?t. Some will care, some wont. Every now and again, you like to spoil yourself and do something you cant really afford, or cant really justify, or just hell, just do it on a whim and worry about the consequences later eh! Sandals fell into this category for us. With a brochure price of some £3700, Sandals Royal Bahamian resort was above the budget we had set for a once in a lifetime escape. A couple of weeks spent scanning the net and calling various tour operators had led us to the conclusion that Jamaica Inn, another of Sandals Resorts, was a more affordable option at £2800 for us both. The day came to book the holiday and alas, there were no vacancies for the dates we required. However, Virgin were offering some late deals, and lo and behold, our original choice had been reduced to £2600 with a free upgrade to 24 hour concierge service! At last lady luck had shone on us, or so we thought. Read on. ARRIVAL: We arrived at the Royal Bahamian resort at 9pm local time, some 15 hours after leaving Gatwick airport, therefore we were both a bit ratty, tired and in need of a shower. LIKED: the free glass of champagne. Having our cases and bags taken away from us to be put in our rooms. DISLIKED: The lack of personal attention that they insisted you were given at their Worlds best resort. Having to read through various agreements and sign disclaimers about injury etc without being able to freshen up and read thoroughly what you were agreeing to. The w ay our cases/bags were treated like punch bag?s by the transfer company who took us to the hotel. The fact that there were no restaurants open for us to eat at when we arrived. OVERALL: I think we were more tired than we should have been therefore felt we could have been treated in a manner that £2600 should have you accustomed to. The one girl on reception seemed to be talking to us from a script and avoided eye contact better than a warrior being confronted by Medusa! THE ROOM: the best part of the holiday, as this is where we spent most of our time. LIKED: the four-poster bed, say no more. Two sinks, one in the bathroom and one outside, so that getting ready to go out was a bit quicker than normal. The free mini bar, stocked with a litre of White Rum, Gin and Vodka. Two bottles of wine, and a host of mixers including Orange, Pineapple, cranberry juice, sodas, coke and various others. The coffee machine was the easiest and quickest one I have ever used. The cable T.V. was pretty good with HBO movies etc. DISLIKED: The fact that we were only some thirty yards from reception and our bags took about forty minutes to arrive in our room at check in, so we had to wait even longer to go out. The view from the balcony was described as Pool or Garden view, whereas in reality it was of one palm tree that blocked everything except the neighbouring fence some ten feet from the window. Painters had set up their raising platform next to us and the palm tree and our balcony were covered in blue specks of paint. The T.V Ariel was a lose connection so I had to refit it for them. OVERALL: The room was very comfortable, air conditioned and relaxing. Disappointed about not having a view, never mind a nice one but still, the room was very good. THE RESORT: The next day we went for a walk around the resort to get a feel for the area. Plush vegetation, neatly trimmed and well maintained, made for a pleasant scene among st so mewhat crowded villas. LIKED: well, it was very ?neat? clean and pleasant. There were two large pools, only 4ft 6 deep so that they did not have to supply lifeguards to patrol them. Pool bars with seats underwater to keep your butt cool whilst sipping exotic cocktails. View over sea to Balckbeards Cay, a small island about half a mile away. DISLIKED: the whole place was so small that you could walk around it in five minutes. The fact that there was so little to do other than sunbathe, drink and eat. (May be some people?s idea of a holiday, but not mine). The beach was only about 100yards long by twenty feet wide. Closed off by concrete foundations for beach houses, you were unable to go for a stroll along the beach or take a walk anywhere really. OVERALL: I could harp on more about the ?minor? discrepancies that the brochure miss-described, but hey, lets try and be neutral. We both felt claustrophobic here, and when we did venture out of the gates for a walk, there was no place to go really. After breakfast each morning, we like to walk and explore a bit, so walking back and forwards along a small beach took some, hmm, five minutes should we say. Not the best place to go for adventurous people in my opinion. AMENITIES: now this is why we booked a Sandals resort, the promise of an action packed day, with activities all day long and entertainment until the sun comes up. LIKED: Free pool tables scattered around the resort. Tennis courts well equipped and had a cooled water bottle nearby. DISLIKED: the half-hearted way that the staff went about organising the sports and activities. Normally this was a sole person walking along the poolside shouting ?anyone who wants to play such and such meet at the what ever point?. A lot of the events just weren?t broadcast and often unattended. The fact that Scuba Diving lessons that were described as being free of charge had to be booked when you got there or you could not g et a place . This was not explained to us when we arrived; therefore I never got to go Scuba Diving. OVERALL: the idea to get of having an active holiday was the main factor in we chose Sandals, and this was the most disappointing factor of the whole holiday. Half a dozen kayaks and sailboats to satisfy some 700 people (900 plus when full) stinks of cheapness and poor organisation. After constantly being disappointed by not being able to do this, that or the other. We gave up and did our own thing. We could have booked into a hotel and had the same, if not better amenities. ENTERTAINMENT: Another of the reasons we chose Sandals, was to be able to be entertained and not have to go look for things to do in the evenings. LIKED: the five minutes we managed to have watching a comedian from and angle that allowed us a view of one third of the stage. DISLIKED: the fact that the entertainment was virtually the in-house band. Any shows/quizzes they had started at 7pm, therefore you had to forfeit your meal to watch it. The theatre, where all the entertainment took place had seating for maybe 100 people max, so you had to stand and try and get a view of the stage if you had not arrived early. The dance floor could hold maybe twenty people if you were joined together by rope. OVERALL: the two biggest disappointments of the holiday were entertainment and activities. Maybe we were naïve in thinking that they would have organised them slightly better, but when you are paying for a facility, you expect it to do what it says on the tin. FOOD: The restaurants and food served her were second to none, fantastic! With some 8 restaurants to try, there was a different taste for everyone to try. LIKED: the quality/standard of their food. Meals such as Yellow Fin Tuna Steak, served over diced fresh Squash, courgettes and cracked rice, Prime Rib Steak, Fajitas, open faced seafood pasta to name but a few. There is a Japanese restaurant where your meal is cooked in front of you, very good to experience. Plenty of choice and unlimited supply of food all day and night. Breakfast was buffet style with some 40 or so hot dishes and as many cold. Snacks such as tuna, conch, burgers and various vegetarian snacks were available all day from the café. There were also a couple of vegetarian options on every menu. DISLIKED: the fact that there was as few as three of the restaurants open at any given time, and that you had to book a table at some as much as three days in advance! Again, no one told us we had to do that. Even the restaurants that you did not have to book could result in a wait of some 45 mins for a table, another factor that was neglected to be explained to us when arriving. The attitude of some of the staff was almost to the point of rudeness, as they would talk to themselves while you stood and waited to be seated or for a drink. Anything you said to them was greeted with the standard ?your welcome? response that was so insincerely given that they would not even look you in the eye when talking to you. OVERALL: the food was superb and a credit to Sandals, but info on booking tables etc, would have been warmly received. After-hours, the Cricketers pub was the place for snacks, or you could call room service. The free wine list made us smile, but the wines for an additional fee were absolutely extortionate. CONCIERGE SERVICE: I was extremely pleased to have this as a free upgrade, as it made you feel a bit special at the time. LIKED: Nothing. DISLIKED: we used this twice, once when we needed some bottled water, as we had drunk the four they supply you with. The second time to ask for another robe, as they had taken one away and forgot to replace it. Both times we did not get the items we asked for. Hence a big 0-10 for concierge service. OVERALL: had we paid for this service we would have b een fuming! What is the point of advertising a service when it is completely non-existent? CONCLUSION: When paying a large amount of money for what you believe to be a dream holiday, you expect it to be what it says it is. Nothing less, nothing more! Now we had a great time ourselves, enjoying the sun and basically our own company. I feel though, we could have done this at a Nicer hotel for less money. If your ideal holiday is eating, drinking and sunbathing, then Sandals would be the perfect, albeit expensive choice for you, it was for the many Americans who were consuming bourbon at ten in the morning by the pool bars. If you take offence to being ignored, rude service, lack of any interest from the staff and want to go and do something interesting, then look elsewhere. We did not have a bad holiday; we had, in my opinion, a bad hotel. Angus Reid