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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
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Reviews (9,488)
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Reviewed 1 April 2018

I was skeptical when reading some reviews but what a fantastic vacation place we found it to be! The restaurants, the views, the offshore island and especially the butler service was beyond our expectations. Daniel, Shevante, Coreado and Orlando were the best team of butlers! Never a moment did we feel we were not being taken care of. We are low maintenance people - but felt like king and queen with their service. The room was beautiful and the grounds were clean and pretty. The options of food and the water toys were awesome! Do everything do nothing just enjoy this gem! Don’t forget to get your pictures taken by Ro-Ro!! She’s amazing and fun!

Room Tip: ocean view from 4/5 floor
Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank schick1100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018

We enjoyed this Sandals location with the pristine offshore island. This resort is not as spread out as others I’ve visited, making it nice for people with mobility issues. Everything is a very short walk. Staff is friendly and accommodating. This is an adults only resort. Nothing is open for breakfast until 7:30 a.m. so if you are an early riser you may want to consider ordering breakfast from room service. We did that one of the days and the food was excellent.

Stayed: March 2018
1  Thank terrijo2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

Every member of the staff was extremely nice and helpful! The beach and resort itself were both super clean and well maintained and all the food was delish! No problems getting a spot on the beach or by the pool. The only reason I didn't give a full 5 star was due to lack of acknowledgement of us being on our honeymoon. We heard of other couple's getting special treatment or roses on their bed, but we had nothing special done for us...no biggie at all and would still love to return!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank ACL516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

In giving this resort a 2 star rating, I do believe there are lots of things they could work on to improve, and bring it up to a 3 star rating. I do not believe it would be possible for them to get greater than that, without significant changes. The resort is showing its age, and the website greatly misrepresents many aspects of the place.

This was our first stay in the Bahamas, so I have no other Bahamas resorts to compare to. It very well may be the best resort on the island, or the worst, I can only compare it to other resorts that I've stayed elsewhere. This was my first all-inclusive resort. Typically we go to Hawaii or take a cruise, so I have been to the Bahamas before a couple times, just never stayed there overnight.

ARRIVAL: 1/5 stars
We had to call the resort to tell them when our flight was arriving. They never asked us that info when booking, so we took initiative and did it to make sure they'd be there to pick us up. Upon arrival, an airport greeter asked us if we needed transportation and we told him that we had a car arranged for us, so he sent us out the doors. We wandered around looking at all the signs with names and couldn't find ours. We hung around outside for maybe 10 minutes, confused and searching for a phone number to call. Finally we saw a rolls pull up and assumed that was our ride, so we went over and were told no, we had to go back inside, this car was for another couple. We go back inside and ALLL the way in the corner, is a Sandals office. Past the doors, so we never had come across it. At this point, we told the desk who we were, and they called a car to come get us. I was pretty pissed off at this point, why didn't they tell us anything about this at any point? Tell us that there's a Sandal's counter that we should look for? Why wasn't a car ready for us at the time we told them? Why did we bother calling to tell them when our flight had landed? We had to spend at least 15 minutes sitting in the Sandal's office, waiting for our car to come pick us up since they didn't even head our way until we finally managed that. All in all, we spent a LOT of time at the airport after arrival. Not happy.

NOTE TO SANDALS: Communicate with your customers better. Have cars at the airport when their flights arrive so they don't have to sit around waiting for cars.

TripAdvisor deleted my review and only captured the above small snipped from it, so the rest will be abbreviated.

FOOD: 2/5
The food was so bad at Sandals that we frequently left the resort and sought out other options. Even ended up at Burger King across the street one night. The menus are very short at each restaurant and there will be some restaurants you can't find anything at. Gordon's has a great view, at least, we saw a manta ray swimming around below our feet, but the food was not great. The Royal Cafe for lunch did a decent burger so we ended up there almost every single day, too bad it wasn't open for dinner. Cricketers was the only decent meal at night that we found. Kimono's was probably the worst hibachi I've ever had.

If you're from Nebraska or some rural town, you might be fine with the food. But we're from a big city, and all of it fell far short of our expectations. Poor quality ingredients...it was basically cruise ship food.

SCUBA DIVING: 3/5
Our first dive was terrible. Only a single tank and we only went to about 15 feet. The divemaster didn't want to be there and didn't point out a single thing. We skipped the next day after our bad experience with the first. The third day we gave them another try and were disappointed to have the same dull divemaster, but at least he took us to a good location this time and overall that dive was a better experience. Carrying gear across the resort to the bus wasn't that much fun and I've had dive shops be a whole lot more hands on than this one. Its like because they weren't working for tips, they weren't trying very hard.

I was beyond pissed that the shark dive that they "offer" wasn't available. In order to go, it's $90 per person (no problem) but a minimum of 6 must sign up. That little detail wasn't advertised, and they never mustered the people to go, forcing us to go book a separate dive with Stuart Cove's (which was a great dive facility) for around $300 per person. Just another case of Sandal's false advertisement. Don't expect any specialty dives....you dive at their whim.

Also while their equipment is adequate, it is FAR from "top of the line" that the Sandals website lies and claims. They actually have blatantly false pictures of the equipment available on the website. That is FALSE ADVERTISEMENT.

ROOM / ACCOMODATIONS: 2/5
This is where the real bait and switch happened. We did not get the room in the picture. I will attach a picture of our "view" (of the back parking lot and maintenance workers). We booked a garden villa with soaking tub...and they stuck us upstairs which had no garden and a small balcony. We had to keep the curtains closed the entire time because otherwise every construction employee could watch us. The pictures on the website were FAR DIFFERENT from what we were given...we feel ripped off. The building we were in, Hibiscus, was so poorly constructed and maintained...every single time the main door opened, our front door would rattle loudly. Starting at 7am, it was a nonstop RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE of our front door, waking us up every morning. We even answered the door the first day because it sounded like someone was relentlessly knocking.

We were especially disgusted by the mess that existed in the common areas of the building. There was a pile of mud/dirt in the entryway for 6 of the 7 days we were there. Housekeepers came daily to clean rooms but turned a blind eye to the mess in the common areas. Just disgusting.

The room itself, besides not being what we paid out the ear for, was fine. Bathroom didn't have a fan and the toilet paper was mounted too far from the toilet, and the housekeepers refused to put towels on the racks all week and threw them in the basket instead, but other than that...fine.

NOTE TO SANDALS: Clean up the disgusting mess of a common area in the Royal Suites daily. It was wildly inappropriate to leave it in that condition all week long.

BUTLERS: 3/5
We won't get them again, not our style to constantly ask them for favors, but I can see how some people might like that. The real problem was that 3 butlers is too many. They don't communicate with each other and every message gets messed up if you ask one that won't be working the next day. We had an amazing female butler and 2 other male butlers. One of the male butlers was more trouble than he was worth...it got to the point where we were actively avoiding him. He would call us incessantly. Look, if we want something...we will ask, stop bugging us. So if you're looking for advice on whether or not it is worth it...it depends. We never had issue finding chairs on the beach or by the pool and we don't wake up early...so that wasn't needed. Not having to make reservations for dinner was nice and they usually chose good tables. We only got appetizers delivered to our room 4 of the 7 days...I think the one useless butler wasn't doing his job there. It just depends on whether or not you will make use of butlers...but 3 is too many.

NOTE TO SANDALS: 3 butlers does NOT work. They do not communicate.

POOLS: 2/5
While lovely, these pools are NOT HEATED. The temperatures were easily below 72 degrees and it was rare that more than 5 people were ever in the pool at one time. WAY TOO COLD. You should be warned if you book between November and March that you won't be able to use the pools at all due to temperature. The ocean was warmer @ ~75 degrees. Every day we'd watch new people stick their toe in the water and immediately get out and go back to their chair. They were at least clean and large, but we were unable to use them. There is one heated pool in the back that we found, but it broke halfway through our trip and turned a gross green color. It already looked like a motel 6 pool before it broke...and it became a mosquito breeding ground on the last day. I left Sandals with 12 mosquito bites on my legs after spending 30 minutes at that pool since it was the only heated pool. At least there is cocktail service back there...

MISC:
I was highly annoyed to discover that movies were not "all inclusive" and without a TV guide, finding something to watch at night was tough. Flipping through the Canada, Bahamas, and Miami stations. Half of the channels were unavailable for the first few days of our trip...totally unacceptable that movies were $16!! Ridiculous. There's no nightlife to speak of, unless your idea of a good time is getting hammered at a bar, so we turned in early and watched Canadian news most nights.

Since TripAdvisor made me rewrite most of this review, I'm sure some thing have been left out and I'm a lot more negative sounding overall. This was not a good trip. The highlight of our trip was diving with ANOTHER company, not Sandals. The resort is looking old and dingy and they are charging too much for the rooms. The only way you'll be happy with this resort is if you're a heavy drinker and you live in a rural area so you have lower standards for food. Overall we feel ripped off and greatly misled.

My advice to future travelers: Do not book unless you're a heavy drinker. Spend every day available at the private island (It was closed for half of our stay) and don't book until the summer when the pools are actually usable! Maybe start drinking early in the day and you won't notice the dirty hallways...

Room Tip: Royal Village is quiet EXCEPT for the rattling doors in the morning. If you're an early riser, you'll be fine.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank princesshockey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018

We visited in October and I am gutted I didn’t do this sooner! WHAT A PLACE.
This was without a doubt the best all-inclusive hotel I have ever visited. We had booked the Butler package and found it to be worth every penny. We arrived in Bahamas for 5 nights after being in Cuba for 4! The Airport desk was easily spotted as we arrived and we were offered refreshments in the Sandals lounge area while we awaited our Driver – maybe 20 minutes but enough time to breath.

Our Rolls Royce took us to the Hotel and we were escorted to Butler suite lounge were we checked-in and were given a site orientation. The Windsor Tower Room was incredible, spacious, full of amenities and a fully stocked bar that we never touched because we were always full from our daytime eating. A snack every day in our room at 5pm which we stopped because of ants when we returned from the pool to find it. The

Aylin, Shakira & Leon went above and beyond to make our trip so special. They booked our restaurants, reserved our lounges and checked in during our stay.
Some of the things I really enjoy about this place – the staff couldn’t do more for you. I appreciate that they ban tipping and this helps ease the pressure of feeling like you need to carry money. We tipped our Butlers as we left but they really didn’t imply that they wanted anything.

The “noisy” pool, by far the most fun – Patrick and his entertainers were amazing and full of energy. There is a quitter pol for those that don’t prefer music and noise.
We went snorkelling but it was slightly choppy. If you go on the guide trip with them you can borrow the equipment. I would suggest to get your own snorkel gear as you can do it around the private island – there are lots of turtles too.

Breakfast at Baccarat or Dinner – book ! Its delicacies are of the standard you would get a French restaurant worldwide. My partner is French and he was impressed
Kimonos – it was only available on our last night, again BOOK as soon as you arrive. It was a great night with other couples and worth the wait. The Chef had humour and entertained the crowd from start to finish.
Gordan’s – another good choice! Like a date night on the peir, the menu and food was delicious
Sandals Island – make sure you get on the 10am boat, its fills up quite quickly. You can explore and chill on the island and go to Schooners Seafood and grill for lunch – TRY THE COUNCH!

We spent our evenings doing sing-along at the piano bar – THE GUY THERE IS THE BEST!! Marcus maybe? We loved you!!!!
Royal Grill – We tried to have lunch there a few times but mostly when we got back from a day trip outside – its easy on the go food.
We did an interaction with the dolphins outside – book it with the resorts excursion company its worth the trip

Don’t both with the Italian Casanova – look beautiful from the outside but the food was below average. We went on our last night and I genuinely felt let down.
The photos are expensive – we have some in the sea and you really want to keep those memories but we paid around $80 for 3 pictures. The spa is expensive too, we didn’t bother.

We also met some lovely couples during our stay and I certainly miss this place. We would be back in the future because for me this place ticked all the boxes.

Thank you to the entire hotel for making our stay so special.

Room Tip: Sea view Windsor tower
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank gemma m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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