Tag Archives: nassau

Sandals Bahamas: The Food

Alright, food time! Yeah, I’m really dragging this out. Last Bahamas post and I’m all done. Probably.

It must be said, the food was very good. When I was in Cuba I had this vague not-quite-right feeling every time after I ate, and everything just tasted a bit off from what we gluttonous North Americans are used to. It was fine, but it wasn’t GREAT. But not here. I felt fantastic after eating. On the other hand, the Sandals Royal Bahamian did not have quite as much variety as I experienced in Jamaica, but everything available was delicious. We were not there for very long so I tried to eat as many things as possible so I could report back on my findings.

I found the pizza stand on the beach immediately after we arrived. I went there even before checking out the ocean. I was hangry (but still happy) after our flight.

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That did the trick. The pizza was so good! And so many varieties. You could order a whole pizza, or just by the slice. And the handiest thing, they had a little carousal filled with warm pizza slices that was replenished all day long, so it was very convenient to grab some walk-by pizza. I walked by and grabbed pizza several times, every day we were there.

The snack bar was right next to the pizza stand and you could also just run over and get snacks to bring on the beach.

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Again, handy-pandy.

Our first evening there we had a big group dinner at the Italian restaurant on the resort called Casanova.

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This would be the “kids” table

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I loved Casanova. We all thought the food was amazing. They had a nice antipasto and salad bar that I hit up…twice.

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I love that sort of thing. And I think everyone at our table ordered the same dish as our main. The steak.

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It was amazing. Really, really good. Melt in your mouth. And dessert:

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Also amazing, and I was skeptical. Also, for some reason I don’t seem to have the biggest sweet tooth on vacation. I just want salt. And all the meat and all the carbs and all the cheese.

We ate breakfast every morning in the one buffet, and nothing to really report there but they had lot of variety and everything was very good. I did not find long grisly hairs attached to the skin of my bacon, so that’s a win. I cannot say the same thing about the buffet at our resort in Cuba… Also, I highly recommend the omelette station. I had one of the best omelettes of my life on our last day.

Evan and I had a quick lunch in the buffet on day two, and there was a pretty good selection.

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Nothing too elaborate, but scalloped potatoes! It’s been so long! Not the best ones I’ve ever eaten, but not too shab-alicious. The chicken cordon bleu though, that was very good.

But no pasta bar! At least there wasn’t on the day that we were there. And on this resort there is actually no dinner buffet, only the a la carte restaurants, so no pasta bar for dinner either. I was very disappointed about this. I really love a good pasta bar.

We ate that before our massage and I didn’t want to eat a ton because I was going to be lying on my stomach while someone vigorously rubbed me for an hour. Being overly full for that did not sound like a good idea.

But I was kind of hungry afterwards, so we had a second lunch later. Or an early dinner. Whichever. We got room service, which is included at Sandals all-inclusive (of course it is).

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I had just gotten out of the shower when it arrived so yep, I ate it in my robe. That would be the jerk chicken wrap with plantain chips. Very good. And I loved the mini Heinz bottles. Definition of fancy right there. I wanted to steal them.

That evening we were on our own for dinner, so Evan and I made reservations for the French restaurant, Baccarat. I had read reviews that it was the best restaurant on the resort and it did not disappoint. I started with the escargot.

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Escargot, my car go, one sixty, swiftly

I don’t think I have ever had escargot before and I can’t say that I have ever really wanted to either…but when in the Bahamas. I actually really enjoyed those little snails. Or I maybe just enjoyed the garlic butter they were soaking in. Either way, j’adore. Evan got crab cakes and he really liked.

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My next course was mushroom soup and it was delicious but did not photograph well. Evan got the seafood bisque and said it was the best seafood bisque he’s ever had.

Next I went for the goat cheese salad, and, I cannot lie, it was a disappointment.

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I was under the impression that there would be goat cheese on my goat cheese salad, but the goat cheese was actually spread on the accompanying bun. I don’t know what Baccarat was playing at with that nonsense. More goat cheese less salad next time please.

And for my main I ordered lobster.

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Delicious. Just amazing. Could not get enough of that.

I am embarrassed to say that Evan and I were both too full for dessert, or maybe we were just antsy to get out of the restaurant and see everyone, because at that point we had been there for nearly two hours.

We were at the private island around lunchtime the next day, so for lunch we went to Stew Fish, the seafood restaurant.

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I started with the conch fritters.

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Delicious. So much better than I was expecting. Loved those.

My main was the pulled pork sliders.

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Ehh, ees okay. The buns were not the wonderful carby deliciousness that I had been anticipating. Something was weird about them. So it was only fine.

And because we hadn’t actually eaten at the snack bar yet, and it was Evan’s dream, we went over there for a double lunch when we got back to the island.

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I liked the salad bar.

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Particularly the feta. Makes it betta.

They also have REALLY good chips and salsa in the snack bar. Very good. So we got a pile of those. And for my second lunchtime main of the day, I ordered the grilled cheese.

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Pretty much what you would expect in a grilled cheese.

On our last evening together we had a group dinner off the resort. This was actually an accident as we had reservations at the French restaurant again that were dropped at the last minute because a wedding party wanted to have their reception there. Bitches. So took a couple of van cabs to the Poop Deck, an authentic Bahamian seafood restaurant in Nassau.

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The Poop Deck was an interesting place. Laid back but also a little fancy.

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I am not sure who it was catering to, locals or tourists, because it was very casual, but the prices were quite high (like at least $25 an entree). Our cab driver on the way home was saying that he didn’t think most locals who worked at the casino or were a cab driver, for example, would be able to afford it. I’m sure they get a lot of business from the resorts.

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Interesting selection of shots also…

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I regret not ordering a Nut Washer.

The Poop Deck definitely had a nautical, ship theme going on (would have been good for Emily’s bachelorette party!) and we all sat on the patio, which was open to the water.

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I ordered the Fisherman’s Plate: half a lobster tail, shrimp and grouper, with market vegetables and rice.

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It was very good. The lobster wasn’t QUITE as good as what I had on the resort, but still good. And that grouper was amazing.

It was such a fun and hilarious dinner. Actually, our whole trip was fun and hilarious. I really loved our group.

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I was so proud of organizing that photo until I realized that two of my closest coworkers were in the bathroom during it.

Anyway, that’s it! I am sure I will have many more eating adventures to tell you about next week because it is THANKSGIVING!!! Have a great long weekend my beautiful fellow Canadians! Eat lots!

Sandals Royal Bahamian: Our Resort

As I mentioned, several times, we stayed at the beautiful Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas. I feel pretty lucky to have stayed there as I think a Sandals would typically be out of the ol’ price range over here.

Past resorts that I have stayed at and written about are the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Lucea, Jamaica, and also the Brisas Guardalavaca in Holguin, Cuba. I like to get detailed about the resort not only so that I can have a record of where I stayed, but also for other people who are thinking of staying there and are looking for info about it (a blog reader actually stayed at our resort in Jamaica after I wrote about it, and maybe she was humouring me but she did say it was because of my review).

Let me tell you I wish there was a blog post like this one when I was researching about the Royal Bahamian before we left. Sure, you can check out Trip Advisor, but I find the reviews on there are pretty hit or miss. You never know who the reviewer is, and some people just like to complain, ya know? I like to know what to expect.

Anyway, let’s get to it. It was pretty ridiculously beautiful. If you are into the whole sun, sand, and being pampered kind of thing.

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Which I am. And I feel like this is my climate.

This is apparently the oldest Sandals location and people in our group did say it was the most run down Sandals they had been to, and I also read that in some reviews. I am probably not the best person to ask about that because it looked friggin’ nice to me and I was impressed…but just keep in mind that it’s been around for a while. It seemed to me like they did a pretty good job with the upkeep, and most of it has been refurbished.

Our room was great.

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Just fabulous. I love a good four poster bed.

And I was quite a fan of this:

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This is my third all-inclusive and I have never had a bar in the room like this (in Jamaica there was beer in the fridge but that was about it). Evan saw this and was all “Whoa, we be gettin’ crunnnnnnked!” but in reality I think we had one glass of rum each. We barely spent any time in our room. Though I did have a few cans of beer from the fridge while I was getting ready for dinner activities in the evenings.

Here was the view from our balcony:

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So no complaints about that!

The resort had two main pools. The one our room looked onto, which we called the party pool because there always seemed to be a party happening in there…

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This picture was taken before 9am so the party pool wasn’t quite happening yet.

And the quiet pool.

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Pretty much the same as the party pool but…quieter.

Evan and I both preferred the quiet pool and spent two afternoons hanging around there with various coworkers of mine. Both pools had swim-up bars, which are very important in an all-inclusive resort pool (look at me talking like I’m a pro, about two years ago I had never even been away anywhere!)

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The service was great. All around, not just in the swim-up bars. The staff were fantastic.

Both pools had floating rafts which I actually had a little nap on one afternoon…

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And in the quiet pool area there was a waterfall and this angry god.

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Evan would be recreating this beautiful picture from Cuba…

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He likes to shower with random statues (who doesn’t).

We were in the Royal Windsor room complex, but some of the more private villas had private pools.

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For all the lovers, you know. And yes I felt like a supreme creeper in the bushes taking that photo…

But the most important part of any resort is the beach! The beach was very beautiful and the ocean was warm and lovely, but the beachfront was very small.

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The beach is separated by a big pier in the middle, and you can swim and leisure on either side, but it is still very small. Our resort was very contained and there were other resorts (one actually might have been a private residence) on either side of us.

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They do have all the fun water things you can rent, like kayaks, water trikes, sailboats, etc. We tried to rent a water trike one day (because they are hilarious and look like big tractors), but unfortunately it was too windy to take it out.

The other thing about the beach is sometimes when you were swimming in the water you could smell a strong sulphur scent. Evan had actually read about this before we left and was explaining the reason behind the sulphur smell…but still, even if there’s a good reason, sulphur smells like rotten eggs and it is not a dream scent while in paradise.

To make up for the small sulphur beach though, this resort has a private offshore island and a water taxi will take you there every hour (or you can rent a kayak). The private island has two insanely beautiful (and big) beaches. One that faces back to the resort…

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And one that looks out to the deep, blue sea of forever.

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This beach was my favourite. The water was so incredibly clear and the sand was nice and…sandy.

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Photobombed.

About 8 of us took the earliest water taxi over there on our last full day and spent hours there. It was a dream.

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In addition to the two beautiful beaches on the island, there was another pool with a swim-up bar and a seafood restaurant called Stew Fish (more on that in the food post).

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I didn’t go in this pool at all, but it looks pretty nice.

Evan and I also went snorkeling on our first full day. You can borrow masks, snorkels and fins from the main resort beach and they will take you in a boat about a kilometre off the island.

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Not THE BEST snorkeling, but not too shabby at all. We saw some pretty fishies, and that’s all that matters.

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The only annoying thing about the snorkelling was that you couldn’t borrow masks and snorkels from the offshore island, you had to get them from the main resort beach. But you also couldn’t borrow them and then take them over to the island by yourself, you had to go on the snorkel boat and do the snorkelling at a scheduled time (and our boat was full so my coworker friend and her husband weren’t able to come with us). I wish I had known this in advance because I honestly would have brought our own equipment. People who had their own equipment on the island saw an eel, a stringray, a lobster and a turtle just off the beach and I was jealous. I saw no such things.

Some other cool things around the resort… Many, many statues, and many fountains…

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And many gods…

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I originally thought that was Zeus, but since we’re near Atlantis Paradise Island I am going to say it is probably Poseidon. Either way, that statue was huge.

There were also little coal fires everywhere along the beach.

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Which were very nice at nighttime when they were lit and you could lounge around them.

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Tres romantique!

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That is actually a professional photo that a resort photographer took while we were chilling by the fire one night. They also offered to do a complimentary photoshoot with us around the resort, which was very nice, but unfortunately the timing didn’t work out for that. Apparently they offer it to all their guests, but no one in our group took them up on the offer.

The only thing about the Bahamas, or maybe just Nassau, the area we stayed, is that I don’t feel like I got an authentic island experience like I did in both Jamaica and Cuba. Off the resort is very Americanized. I’m sure it would still be fun to explore (we didn’t have much of a chance), but it’s difficult to picture the culture when just beyond the gates of your resort there is a Domino’s Pizza, a dentist and a Dairy Queen.

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I don’t feel like there was a ton to do at this resort aside from laying around on the beach, which don’t get me wrong, I enjoy…but I don’t think I could have done it for another day so we were there for the perfect amount of time. If I was going for a week I think I’d pick a different location so we could do some off resort adventuring and experience some culture.

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All in all though, it was very nice and we had a VERY fun time. I would definitely recommend the resort. It was very popular for young newlyweds, so if you didn’t just get married be prepared for everyone you meet to ask you if you are on your honeymoon.

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I know this is misleading but we are just on a trip with my coworkers.

And now you have a background of where we stayed and I can move onto the fun things 🙂

Bahama Mamas

Ahoy ahoy! I am back! We arrived home from the Bahamas (or The Pajamas as Evan likes to say) on Thursday evening and I immediately showered and slept for nearly 12 hours. It was back to work yesterday for me so I wanted to make sure I was in tip-top condition for that. It’s a busy time of year and I had a ton to catch up on.

Our trip was really great. We were only gone for four days, and technically only had two full days there, so I knew going in that it was just going to fly by, and it did…but I found there was still ample time for adventuring.

I think I am going to keep with my standard vacation blogging protocol. I like to ease you into things with the highlights and then get into more detail on our resort, the food, the shenanigans, etc. It may have been a quick trip but I still have a ton to talk about. And yes I sure will milk it for blog content.

As I mentioned, I was vacationing with all my coworkers and their spouses/friends. Our entire trip was a Christmas present last year from my CEO to us.

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Because we look like the type of group who you’d want to give a very fun Christmas present to.

He must really like us all to want to hang out with us for four days straight (he is the one holding the wine bottles). We all became very close on this trip. My fellow coworker and turquoise twin in the front with me just started with us two weeks ago and we are already clutching hands. And before our trip I didn’t even know who this person is.

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But now she is my new bff. That is what happens when you take an all-inclusive vacation with your coworkers and their spouses/friends. Not to mention all the food and all the alcohol. You have much intensified bonding time. And EVERYTHING will be hilarious. Watching my boss with his two brothers who were also on the trip (they are very involved with our company and I have met them many times before) was like watching a comedy show. Actually, the one-liners from everyone in attendance were a’plenty. It was impressive. We were all comedians and I loved it.

At first I wondered what the protocol was for hanging out with your coworkers outside of work. Did they want to? Are we excited when we see each other at the airport, or do we try to avoid each other? I learned pretty quickly that yeah, we wanna hang out and get to know each other, because this is not work and we’re all pretty cool people and we might never again all be together in a place like this in this sort of situation, so we better take advantage. Or at least that is how I felt.

The trip is hands down the most extravagant gift I have ever received and believe me I know how lucky I am. I am not sure I can even put into words how grateful I am that this happened to me. I probably thanked my CEO a million times, and I doubt I am even close to being done with the thanking yet.

Anyway, let’s get to some details. We stayed at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas and it was as beautiful as you would expect a Sandals in the Bahamas to be.

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The photos look like professional resort photos, but that is from my phone. It is just that nice.

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Paradise and a half. But more on that later.

My boss also, as a surprise, got us all gift certificates to use at the spa while we were there. A Sandals spa, which I will probably never have the opportunity to visit again so I was pretty excited. And also apprehensive, since I have never actually been to a spa before (I am not really a spa person and to be honest I feel weird about strangers touching me)… Evan was in the same boat so we had a hard time deciding what to do. I knew I had to get something besides a pedicure though. Eventually we decided to go with the 60-minute “Scents of Love” couples massage because why not?

It was interesting. I felt weird at first and for the initial 10 minutes I wondered how I was going to last through another 50 of a stranger vigorously rubbing me. But I relaxed pretty quickly and actually at one point was enjoying it so much that I started drooling.

The most awkward thing was in the beginning before the massages started we were instructed to light candles and to “make promises to each other,” which may be the cheesiest thing I have ever been asked to do. But I promised that I wouldn’t laugh during the massage, and I kept that promise and did not even let out one tiny giggle when my masseuse was essentially tickling my feet (I am VERY ticklish).

And near the end of the massage our masseuses tried to get us to hold hands while we laid on our separate tables, but we were both blindfolded and they just started mashing our hands together and we didn’t know what was happening and I thought my masseuse was trying to get me to hold her hand so I was all stiff and awkward… And then they said “So we are putting your hands together right now…” Ohh, okay. We get it. We’ll hold hands.

Anyway, it was an experience, and we received those promise candles as keepsakes so we can “scent your bedroom” (direct masseuse quote) so I guess that’s a good thing. Who doesn’t enjoy a well-scented bedroom?

Um, what else.

We ate a lot.

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Enough for an entire post about food? YUP.

In four days we squeezed in a significant amount of beach time…

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Pool time…

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I may be a bad influence… and no we are not peeing, there is a yellow design on the bottom of the pool.

Social time…

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Evan and his new buds.

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Me and mine. Again I might be a bad influence.

And also alone timone.

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We had absolutely perfect weather, and I was never at any point the drunkest.

It was amazing and I feel like I love everything right now.

I will be back with some more deets on Monday, but in the meantime have a great weekend!!!