Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
22 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Got Married and Honeymooned and LOVED IT
"I recently returned from getting married and honeymooning atSandals Royal Bahamian and we had an absolute blast!!! If we had to do itall over again, we wouldn't change a single thing!Throughout the wholewedding planning stage, I'd read tons of on-line reviews about this resortand although most were encouraging, there were those few negative reviewsthat had me skeptical about what could potentially go wrong. But with greatrelief, myself, my husband, and our guests all had an absolute fantastictime at the Royal Bahamian! NOBODY wanted to leave and go home!A fewpointers: Defintely stay in the newer of the 2 buildings...there is a BIGdifferent between the rooms. Do make your dining reservations the day youarrive. The reservations fill up extremely quickly. Speaking of dining, doNOT bother eating dinner at Cafe Goombay (on the private island). We atedinner there with another couple who was there for the wedding. Before ourappetizers arrived, we were being eaten alive by sand fleas. OUCH! It gotso bad that the servers brought cans of Off Bug Spray to each table! Andeven though we pretty much used a whole can on just our table of 4, thebugs still kept biting. It was so bad that after we arrived back atSandals, everyone from the first seating warned everyone who was waiting totake the boat over to Cafe Goombay for the second seating NOT to go b/c thebugs were horrible! Otherwise, all of the other restaurants were great andwe didn't have any other problems with bugs.The wedding was fabulous andwas just as we had hoped! During the Memorial Day weekend, there werenumerous weddings that took place, and each of the very newlyweds we metwere extremely happy with how their big day unfolded.My husband and I hadsuch a great time at Sandals that I know we will be visiting other Sandalsresorts. The reviews that shed a negative light are way too critical andshould be taken with a grain of salt. Rest assured that a honeymoon /vacation at the Royal Bahamian will be a great one!! Enjoy!"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of June 2003
"My husband and I got married at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in November 2002 and had a wonderful experience. The hotel was not overly crowded. We arrived on a Monday and was told that it was a lot more crowded on the previous Saturday. The food was generally good (though not a fan of the Japanese place). We had no problems with bugs or others criters. The wedding went wonderfully with minimal problems and the trip overall was wonderful. We purposely waited until off season to go and had 80's all week and about two hours of rain the entire trip. You are getting what you pay for and all inclusive is a wonderful way to go!"
- Travel date: Sun 11th of May 2003
Great time, we will come back here.
"After reading few reviews, we were concerned but everything turned out just fine. We were there late April.We were happy with the room, the service, and the food.Most of the time, there was no problem with the equipment availability. Enjoyed the private island and the reef right past it.Excellent snorkeling.We went on few tours, total waste of time, should have stayed at the resort and snorkel, drink, and tan.Here are my comments about the resort:1. In their brochure, they don't mention that the island is split between Sandals and Cruise Ship company. Not a problem at all. The are never more than 20-30 people on the island, you can always find a nice spot in a shade or in the sun.2. Beaches are smaller than in a brochure. Also not a problem. Most people spend their time next to the pool (5 of them.)Here are my comments regarding bad reviews:1. Bugs? It's a tropical island (plus people tend to leave food and sweet drinks everywhere.) I found 3 small roaches one day and that's it.2. Not enough equipment or beach chairs?It would be hard to have as many kayaks as there are rooms. Just wait your turn or get something else like catamaran.3. Moist rooms? Again it's a tropical island, lots of wet clothing in the room, and air conditioning set to the coldest setting. What do you expect?We will go back there!Enjoy your stay."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of May 2003
Good but not Great
"We stayed at Sandals the first week of April. Overall we had a good time with no major complaints, but for the money it was not exceptional. I would rate it about 3 1/2 stars. The airport transfer and check-in were both quick and easy. We had a "Windsor Grand Luxe Oceanview Concierge" room which was about half way on the price scale. I would say it was a slightly larger than average standard hotel room. The "Oceanview" was over a restaurant, past the pool and beach, and through some trees. The room was clean, although housekeeping was a little inconsistent. The balcony was great. We ate breakfast there almost every morning. The mini bar was nice and was re-stocked every day. As far as we could tell, it was the only place at the resort to get bottled water. No problems with the A/C. We didn't use the concierge much, but if your planning tours etc... it would probably be helpful. The food was generally good but nothing special, with the exception of the Baccarat which was excellent. Make sure to make a reservation as soon as you get there. We arrived on Wednesday morning and the first available reservation was Sunday night. One disappointment was the wine list. There were only three red wines available, and not one would cost more than about $6.00 a bottle at your local supermarket. They had other choices for sale, but they were all grossly overpriced. They seemed to have a large liquor selection but they clearly refill the bottles so its questionable as to whether you get the brand you are ordering. The main pools and beach were a little more crowded then we were hoping for, and the pools were very cold. Colder then the ocean in fact, which seemed a little odd. They had several hot tubs which ranged in temp from cool to very hot so that was nice. The island was our favorite part of the resort. There is a lot more room to spread out and it has a more secluded tropical feel. The island also has a pool, pool bar and restuarant which serves burgers etc.. f is well located. Its about a 10 minute walk to the nearby hotels which include a casino and several bars/restaurants/clubs if you are looking for some nightlife. You can also take a short bus ride into town for $1.00 and the buses run like every 5 minutes. We didn't make it to Paradise Island. Check out and our transfer back to the airport were very smooth. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions."
- Travel date: Thu 24th of April 2003
Excellent with the odd exception
"We have just spent 14 days at Royal Bahamian on our Honeymoon. We read the reviews before we went and were a bit concerned but as we had already paid GBP 5,000 for our vacation we went ahead.After a bad start things got a lot better. We were given our room and told we had been upgraded to a better room in the Manor block as it was our honeymoon. The room was a mess, in fact I would not put my pet dog in there. Missing lightbulbs , damaged furniture, locked windows overlooking chauffer parking lot and power generator, filthy ceiling, bad paintwork on walls. I would hate to think what lower catogories were like if this was an upgrade!!Anyway complained and moved within 30 minutes to a villa for the whole of our stay. This was excellent with 24 room service, clean rooms, excellent housekeeping and a fully stocked mini bar that was topped up every day.Okay saw one maybe two cockroaches in our room over 14 days but it is the caribbean with a tropical climate - what do you expect!!!Food excellent , staff 1000% friendly ( considering they are not looking for tips and never ever expect one either) Drink selection excellent, all the premium brands including Remy Martin, Jack daniels , Baileys, Absolute etc.....Good selection of house wines in restaraaunts. Three types of red and three types of white.You can always get a sunbed by the pool or on the beach up until 11.00 or 12.00 o'clock and during our stay we were informed that our hotel was 102% booked for our 14 nights so cant see what all the problems are about this.one thing that did annoy us was the loud and raucous behaviour of certain guests around the pool after lunch once a few beers had been consumed. over excitable people trying to boast how great they were and wanted everyone to know about it (especially the girls) . In England we call them " Lager Louts" I believe the Americans call the "New Yorkers" All in all a top resort but I suppose if people are paying Top Dollar it is easy to be over critical.However don't let it put the staff know they will resolve it."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of April 2003
"The problem with people and vacations is...you get what you pay for!!! At Sandals...we paid for the best and we literally received the best!!!!!! My husband and I spent 7 days/6nights in the St. James Grand Luxe Suite. It was outstanding. As a matter of fact, I wanted to go to church on Sunday and the bell staff ordered a limo for me to ride to church....$24.00. First of all, I booked through a travel agent....why, becasuse web sites cannot possibly tell you everything due to the fact that resorts are constantly changing their policies. The food was great!!! Yes, there is a tour desk for you to arrange off-resort acxtivites for a fee. What do you expect...Nassau is a TOURIST ECONOMY! My husband and I have highly stressful jobs and we were just looking for a place to rest, relax, eat and do what married couple do....Sandals is the place for it. No children...No wallet, except for spa services, but since we paid well, we received a $250.00 room credit for the gift shop and spa so we didn't have to pay for that either. You don't go to a place like Sandals and complain because you paid for the least expensive room and got it. If you don't want to spend what it takes to receive quality service go somewhere else. We are not rich, but we know what we want, no problems! Stop picking on Sandals. It is a great place...FOR COUPLES ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 18th of April 2003
B+ experience at Sandals Royal Bahamian
"Stayed at Sandals Royal Bahamian 3/31 to 4/7 for our honeymoon. I was quite concerned by the various negative reviews, but the experience was actually quite pleasant, and I'm generally hard to please (hotel of choice is usually the Four Seasons). We booked the least expensive room, the Deluxe, and it was quite nice, clean and large, with a very comfortable king-sized bed. We asked for extra pillows and towels and housekeeping got them to us quickly and pleasantly. They kept the room spotless. Our room was in the newer building, on the ground floor and overlooked the garden. Towards the end of our stay, we realized that our room was actually near the resort's service entrance, but we never would have known if we hadn't wandered out that exit by mistake. The air conditioning was quite powerful, but we frequently turned it off and it was fine. We found the resort itself to be quite clean and pleasant, and the employees were very nice. We had no problems at all. The pools are huge and pretty clean, but not heated, and the jacuzzis were often cold. There is a small heated pool we found in the back of the property by one of the villas. The restaurants are generally good, I preferred Baccarat and the Crystal Room, my husband liked Casanova's (italian), I liked the restaurant on the island but my husband was less impressed. Do make reservations as soon as you get there, Baccarat and Crystal Room both book up early. Kimono's (Japanese) was just okay. The Cricketer's Pub was quite good, and open till 3 am. It was nice to have all food and drinks included, food on the island is generally fairly expensive. Do try to go to Atlantis for the day, and spend the money to take the tour, the Discover Atlantis guides are very knowledgeable about the various fish and the property generally. I also recommend the Dolphin Encounters trip, again, book this early (you can even book through their website). If you do the swim with the dolphins, take some money with you, they take quite good pictures of you with the dolphins ). Try to go into the town of Nassau, they have some good deals on jewelry, and try to have lunch at the Green Shutters Pub, a 200-year old British style pub near the House of Parliament. The weather was lovely, warm (80's) and sunny almost every day, but the evenings were cool, I'd recommend a light sweater. Our only complaint, and it's a very minor one, is that it's a very resort-y type place, with lots of young marrieds and honeymooners. While they generally weren't raucous, it does sort of color the experience. If we go to the Bahamas again, we may want to stay at a regular hotel to get more of a feeling of the island. Overall, a good experience and a memorable honeymoon."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of April 2003
Who rated this Hotel?
"We were greeted at the bathroom door of our hotel room by a giant cockroach, the room overlooked some dingy pink building (what a view-- I think the sea was out behind there somewhere). Since there wasn't much to do unless you care to stay drunk and can fit into a handkerchief size bikini and tan by the pool, we would try to watch television (5 channels, 2 of which had no sound), but the movies we were told could be rented were never available (obviously, we weren't the only ones bored out of our skulls!). Any requests for room service or an extra pillow were treated as an abomination.I must say though that the service at the restaraunts was impeccable. Maybe they are trying to compensate..."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of April 2003
beautiful vacation, only some complaints
"I recently spent 6 days and 5 nights at sandals royal bahamian. I had a wonderful vacation and would certainly recommend this vacation to others. I was extremely hesitant about going here especially after reading so many of the reviews on the internet. But most of the reviews were so mixed so we didn't cancel the trip. As most people have stated previosly, the check in process at sandals was very nice. Different. They seat you with 3-4 other couples in the check in area that resebled a living room and serve you champagne while they take all of your information. Now in other reviews, people actually complained that they took an imprint of your credit card. but it was actually to your advantage. by having this on file, you really didn't ever need to carry any money on you. it was very convenient. any purchases that you made were automatically charged to your room and then at check out you can choose to pay the bill in cask, or leave it on your card. (the only thinkgs you would need cash for was things you purchased at the gift shop or any spa services.). Our rooms weren't ready and we didn't listen to the people that said to pack your bathing suits so you can go sit by the pool or beach (b/c it is hot). so instead we got lunch, walked around the hotel to check some things out and our room were ready 45 minutes prior to the time they told us they would be which was nice( but bring your bathing suit in your carry on b/c we did waste time). My main complaint of sandals were the rooms. Not to say that were dingy, dirty hotel/ motel rooms. They actually were pretty nice, but the descriptions and the pictures are vey deceiving. We were in the Windsor building. We book a level 4 room (regency) and at check in they told us they upgraded us 2 levels to teh junior suite. Homestly it looked like a standard hotel room. Nothing really too special. nice king size bed with canopy, very clean (no stains on the bedspread like other reviews said). They bathroom was a nie size and tub was also. Th and whe you put the A/C on it only made it worse. So we would leave the sliding door open to make it a little better. They was also so mildew in some of the light fixtures in the bathroom. But you really can't heklp in theese places that re right on a beach and it is hot. The carpet was clean. if you go, book and request the Windsor building. From talking to others there the AMor building was much older and not as nice. More musty! And i thought we were supposed to have a nice view, but we had a view of someone's yard! Like i said, this was my main complaint but i would not discourage me from going again. You don't even spend too much time in the room anyway. The property was amazing. So tropical and gorgeous. you really new you were in the carribean. the pools were big, pretty clean, could be better, but not disgusting at all. They were COLD though! The beach was very small, but it was clean and if you got there before 10:30/11 you can definately find a great place to sit. the same for the pool area. get there before 11 and you should be fine for the day. The restaraunts were good. the ala carte were better than the buffets in my opinion. I loved baccart for breakfast the best, but it took more time just b/c it wasn't a buffet. didn't go to the island for dinner or baccarat for dinner. Kimonos was good, nice change to eat with othe couples. The italian rest. we thought was the best..The desserts in most of the restaraunts were lacking. But it was great to be able to drink whatever you wanted and not have to pay or tip. they drnk were very good. I would 10000% recommend sandals royal bahamian to couple in there 20s to 30s. it is so much fun and i had a great vacation. din't listen to the picky people out there. i would love to try another sadlas property in the future."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of April 2003
Overpriced; Better Selections Elsewhere
"We decided to stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian after going on our honeymoon to St. Lucia and staying at the Sandals St. Lucia in 1996. We thought the Royal Bahamian would be just as nice or better--big mistake.We booked the nicest/highest level of suite at the Royal Bahamian, and thought we'd be in for a treat. NOPE. The room was nice enough, but NOT as nice as advertised, and certainly not worth what we paid. And while the food was delicious (all Sandals, from what I understand, have good food selections) the room really was underwhelming. Far, far below our expectations. Room service was incredibly slow, and the pool was always crowded. Unless you decided to sunbathe at night, you weren't going to get a chair. They were always full.For what we spent, we'd have been far better off staying at the Atlantis and paying for meals separately. Or staying somewhere *besides* the Bahamas. St. Lucia was ten times better, and anyone considering Sandals should stay there instead. Better rooms, better beach, more to do, and all around a nicer island."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of April 2003
WORST HONEYMOON EVER!!!
"We decided to go to this all inclusive resort for our honeymoon. WORST TRIP EVER!!! We reserved the private honeymoon suite with a swim up pool that was filled with dead bugs and leaves. The worst part was the apartments behind the pool had windows overlooking our 'private' suite. No baby making on this honeymoon!
If you want microwaved food (they called it gourmet), sand fleas on the beach, bees surrounding the outdoor bar, pigeons bathing in the pool and a funky taste in anything ingested using their water, this is the spot for you. WE WERE MISERABLE!!! Our best meals were at Starbucks and Burger King across the street, which were way overpriced.
All Sandals offered to make it right was a lousy 1 night stay at another Sandals which we will NEVER go back to!! And they said we would have to remove all negative posts so they can trick more people into this horrible hotel. Until we get a full refund, I'm writing this everywhere. SAVE YOUR $$ AND GO SOMEWHERE AMAZING!! THIS OUTDATED GARBAGE HOTEL SHOULD BE CONDEMNED, STARTING WITH THEIR WATER TANKS THEY TRY TO HIDE ON PROPERTY!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of March 2016
Worst vacation of our lives and a total waste of money for this "Resort" !!!
"We went here for Reunion Week and I got the worst case of food poisoning and was so ill I missed the Reunion Week activities. I was so sick I wanted to leave the resort, but, was too sick to travel. The resort is outdated- even the "new" swim up butler suites were outdated and our bed smelled of urine. The butler service was a complete joke and they do literally nothing for you.
The food is mediocre and not of high quality. Everything tastes like it is cafeteria food- even Gorden's on the Pier was a waste of time. They rush you, the food is not that great and the service was not good. The drinks were not great at the resort either. They use rail liquor at all bars and the drinks are made with cheap mixers. We have been to resorts where they make the drinks with fresh fruits and ingredients that make the drinks amazing. These were just pure sugar mixes and tasted horrible. Waste of calories and money.
The entertainment was horrible here. It was so boring. There is really only two bars for nightlife and they are boring. We felt as if we were staying at a senior center.
The offshore island is a dump. The other half of island is for cruise guests and that side looked really nice. The Sandals portion of the island was horribly maintained, had an old small pool and the service was a joke.
We booked an excursion over a month in advance and the company that Sandals has did not even bother to pick us up- even though our butler took my confirmation printouts and said he was taking care of it.
Overall we will never go to a Sandals "resort" again. We spend a lot of money every year on numerous trips and they certainly will not be collecting more of our money. "
- Travel date: Thu 28th of May 2015