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.
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.
Just fabulous. I love a good four poster bed.
And I was quite a fan of this:
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:
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…
And the quiet pool.
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!)
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…
And in the quiet pool area there was a waterfall and this angry god.
Evan would be recreating this beautiful picture from Cuba…
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.
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.
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.
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…
And one that looks out to the deep, blue sea of forever.
This beach was my favourite. The water was so incredibly clear and the sand was nice and…sandy.
About 8 of us took the earliest water taxi over there on our last full day and spent hours there. It was a dream.
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).
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.
Not THE BEST snorkeling, but not too shabby at all. We saw some pretty fishies, and that’s all that matters.
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…
And many gods…
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.
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.
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.
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.
And now you have a background of where we stayed and I can move onto the fun things 🙂