Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sandals Royal Bahamian

The Architectural Majesty of Europe Fused with the Natural Splendor of the Bahamas

This is a beautiful resort with it's own private Cay a free 3 minute boat ride away.  The resort is calm and quiet in places but fun activities abound when you turn the corner. There is certainly something for everyone and a quick flight from the States.

Who is this resort for?

  • Like the option of finding a quiet spot, perhaps on the private island where you can read or nap.
  • Like the pool activities and nightlife with music.
  • Prefer quick flights with the option of clearing customs in Nassau making the return home easy for infrequent or first time travelers that are nervous about flying internationally.
  • Easy to leave and explore things outside the resort, like duty-free shopping or museums.
  • Great food and drinks with very little crowds at restaurants.
  • Destination Weddings and honeymoons
  • Casinos nearby at the new Bahamar opening in 2015 or take a bus and boat to Atlantis to use their casino.

  • There are 10 restaurants available.
  • 2 restaurants require reservations and a 3rd is only available to those at the butler category or by paying a premium.
  • Restaurants have a good variety; Italian, Japanese, or upscale French cuisine, serving lamb, steak, fish, chicken.  There is also traditional pub food (fish n' chips, shepards pie).  Buffets for lunch with rotating, themes (Asian, American, Bahamian).
  • Three swim up bars (including one on the private island), British pub, piano bar and more.
Water Activities-all included

  • kayaking
  • snorkeling
  • Hobie cats
  • aquatrikes
  • paddle boarding
Easy travel throughout Nassau
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this location after traveling to several other countries was the ease to get around the island. For $1.25 per person you can hop on a number 10 bus and be taken to different local shopping spots including the port and straw market.  Once there you can take a $4 water taxi to Atlantis.  Day passes can be purchased if you want to go to their aquarium or water park. Across the street from the resort is a DQ, Burger King and pharmacy.  About .2 miles walk is a Starbucks.  A new MEGA resort will open sooner right down the street with a huge casino.  This facility is supposed to rival everything that Atlantis provides, only bigger and more!

All Inclusive-The Sandals Difference
  • Sandals means it, you will not tip or pay for a thing while on property. It is very easy to spend the entire week here and not carry any money or spend a single dime.
  • There is one restaurant with a premium to eat there (unless you are a Butler-category guest) but with other excellent food choices there was no point in that upgrade for us.
  • Drinks are made with top shelf liquor and are easy to come by.
  • The only people you tip are butlers (if you have one), spa treatments (if you book one) and you can tip your driver of your complimentary airport transfers ($1/bag is customary).
Something I learned...
Since it was so easy and safe to come and go from the resort I walked several miles one day. I stopped by another well known all inclusive resort and let them know I was a travel agent and would like to see their resort.  Since I was so straight forward I knew I would only see the best they had to offer. WOW-their best was so much worse than the worst you see at Sandals.  The food choices were few, everything was outdated or damaged.  I was absolutely shocked by the disparity between Sandals and this other well known chain.  The tour guide was gracious and excited to show us everything but it just paled in comparison.  Another surprise was the lack of security. When you come and go from any Sandals resort there is a security gate. There are also security out on beaches and checking as people come and go. You would never see people just wonder onto property. Several resorts we visited allowed anyone to just wonder through.  I was also surprised at how busy and hectic other resorts were.  We stopped in Atlantis and walked around. It was enormous and so loud and busy. It is definitely not a quiet or restful island paradise. Having visited BEACHES resorts (also owned by Sandals but intended for families with children) I couldn't believe how chaotic and noisy Atlantis was (especially for the price!). Every time I am at a Sandals I ask how close to capacity they are booked. Even when they are 85-90% capacity there is not more than a 3-5 minute wait for drinks and water sports are always available. I was definitely reminded you get what you pay for.

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