Robbie and I had the privilege of staying at the Sandals Royal Bahamian this weekend while we completed the Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist training workshop. We left this resort with a renewed sense of the elegance of the Bahamas. Of the Caribbean island nations, the Bahamian Islands are high on the scale of British influence. At Sandals Royal Bahamian, the elegance of royal hospitality is married with the carefree intimacy of the Caribbean, and the love affair is very Romantic.
As you'll remember, the Sandals portfolio is a line of luxury all-inclusive Caribbean resorts for couples and specializes in romance. As they say, at Sandals, love is all you need because everything else is included.
The Crystal Room is one of seven gourmet restaurants on Royal Bahamian and serves Elegant International cuisine. The crown jewel of the resort's dining facilities is a pure Baccarat crystal chandelier originally installed in The Crystal Room by the then Governor of The Bahamas, the Duke of Winsor. The Crystal Room is completed by a baby grande piano and impeccable wait staff. Baccarat Restaurant is just next door and serves French cuisine with white glove service. This very modern restaurant requires reservations (no additional charge), and it not to be missed! So make your reservations as quickly as possible after arriving on property. Or book a room with Sandal's Personal Butler Service, and your butler will make reservations on your behalf before you arrive. Ristorante Casanova is another gourmet dining option serving Northern Italian cuisine, and Kimono's Restaurant serves Teppanyaki-style Asian fare. Spices serves International cuisine three meals per day, Cafe Goombay serves Bahamian-style seafood, and Gordon's on the Pier is elegant a la carte dining exclusively for guests saying in Butler Suites. The resort also offers an outdoor grill-style restaurant, a stone-oven pizzeria serving made to order pizzas, and The Cricketer's Irish Pub. The resort's dining options are rounded out by 8 bars and cocktail lounges.
While we were on resort, one building was undergoing "beautification," as the resort Sales Manager Cheddi put it. Hurricane Irene flooded part of one of the hotel facilities in Summer 2011, so Sandals has taken the opportunity to completely remodel this part of the resort. We are VERY excited about the amenities that the new rooms will have. Along with marble floors, his and her vanities with backlighting, and extended balconies, the ground floor rooms on the pool side will boast private fire pits! Yes, if you are staying in one of these rooms, resort staff will come around in the evening and start the fire on your patio, which I'm sure will be complimented by a cushioned love-seat under the stars. Talk about romantic...
The construction on this section is scheduled to be complete by the end of February 2012. And I'm sure the features we were told about are only a few of the exciting upgrades to this building. I often tell my clients that Sandals does luxury and romance with as much thought and attention to detail as Disney does fun and education. I will be encouraging my clients to be the first to stay in the new walkout suites with private fire pit.
[UPDATED: Construction on Balmoral Tower is now complete. See details of the rennovation here.]
This resort has many public areas where couples gather in the evening after dinner to chat and listen a local steel drum band or dance to the softer sounds of a jazz band. The most picturesque of these is the Beach Deck. This large, tiered wooden deck sits overlooking the resort's main beach and has large couches and beach-style arm chairs with overstuffed pillows all grouped around several fire pits and tiki torches. The sounds of the ocean, the bright stars, the sand under your feet, the fire, the music, the conversation is all intoxicating - a very authentic Caribbean experience.
The Sandals Ladies both agree that the private island here is the resort's most unique feature. One-half mile off the white sand beach of Sandals Royal Bahamian is Sandals Cay. The resort runs an hourly water shuttle to and from the island. On our ride over, the beauty of the turquoise water and the clear blue sky was breath-taking.
A member of the Sandals staff referred to Sandals Cay as "Summer camp for adults." And it is. When you first step off the ferry, you are greeted with rum punch and other iced beverages on the pier. As you walk up on to the island, you see spacious white sand beaches on either side of the pier with views of all the resorts that line the beaches of Nassau as well as any cruise ships that may be in port. Next, you will arrive at the pool with swim-up bar.
This quiet pool is surrounded by luxurious cushioned love-seats and is adjacent to the resort's seafood restaurant Cafe Goombay, which is open for lunch and dinner. Narrow pathways disappear in several directions from the pool and restaurant. As you walk along these quiet pathways, you come across many cozy little hideaways for couples including tree swings, hammocks hung between tall palm trees, and thached-roof cabanas with cushioned lounge chairs for two.
Each private spot is perfect to enjoy the day with gorgeous views of the sand, water and sky. From the backside of Sandals Cay, you may spend hours contemplating the horizon of bright blue sky and deep blue water that seems to go on forever. Should you choose to continue along the path that leads East, you approach the Zen Garden and Red Lane Spa. Here, the Sandals spa staff offer individual or couples spa services in one of four private cabanas with views of the ocean.
There is no need for sound machines in this spa. You will enjoy the sound of real waves crashing on the rocks as you experience complete relaxation.
Although they say there is always a party at The Cricketer's Irish Pub, this resort is probably not for those looking for lots of night life on resort. But it is for couples that enjoy plenty of time on the beach and/or by the pool. The resort has a quiet pool and a more lively pool, both of which are very impressive with swim up pool bars and heavy wooden deck chairs with stuffed cushions. This resort is perfect for couples that like to find a cozy little hideout and spend the day together. The food here is fabulous, and the staff is very friendly. This resort is also ideal for those that wish to gamble - there is gambling within walking distance - and shop. The large downtown shopping area of Nassau is a $1.25US bus fare away. The flight from Atlanta to Nassau takes less than 2 hours, and the drive to the resort from the airport is around 10 minutes. And that's just MOST of the features of this resort that I wanted to share...
Maybe Sandals Royal Bahamian will be your next great Escape to Elegant Romance!