Why We Recommend It:
Back then it was the swanky Balmoral Club one of the leading lights in the dawn of luxury Caribbean travel, and one which saw a steady stream of famous guests from Richard Nixon to The Beatles. It became a Sandals in 1995 and received a major re-fit in 2022.
It now has three levels of accommodation, twelve dining options, eight bars, two large pools, a private offshore island with two very beautiful stretches of golden sand, and the usual Sandals’ generous selection of free activities and events on land and water.
Rooms & Suites:
Rooms are divided into three price levels with the private butler suites being the most expensive. In many Sandals’ resorts, the entry levels can offer good value in comparison to other rooms, at Sandals Royal Bahamian less so we feel.
They are smaller and set farthest away from the beach in a low-rise building by the tennis courts. Some of these rooms also don’t allow in-room dining via room service, something generally seen as standard at all Sandals resorts.
Having said that though you can’t fault the decor and design. They are all smartly furnished and very comfortable, with solid mahogany four-poster beds, nice sitting areas, and elegant bathrooms with bathtubs and fancy Red Lane toiletries.
Moving up a notch you have the Club Level Rooms. Guests here have private, preferential check-in, a dedicated concierge service (useful for arranging excursions and activities, and for reservations at some of the restaurants), free airport transfers, and access to the Club Lounge facilities.
They are also generally more spacious and in a more appealing location – near the beach, facing out towards the sea.
More spacious again are the Butler Suites, the highest room class at Sandals Royal Bahamian. They can range from swim-up suites to entire villas with private pools and outdoor soak tubs.
They have all the perks of the Club Level too but with little extras such as the airport transport being in a luxury vehicle (Mercedes or Rolls Royce) and on top of the concierge they also, as their name suggests, have the services of a private butler.
Butler Level guests too have access to the Club Lounge but also have certain spots around the resort reserved just for them, such as the best-positioned cabanas of the offshore island, and all-included access to the Gordon’s on the Pier restaurant (other guests have to pay).
Food, Facilities & Things to Do:
There are 10 restaurants and eight bars at Sandals Bahamian ranging from French and Italian fine dining to Japanese hibachi, classic American, English pub grub, and Bahamian/Caribbean.
Some restaurants require reservations, which your concierge or private butler can arrange for you.
Note that their Gordon’s on the Pier restaurant is all-inclusive for Butler Level Suite guests only. All others are welcome to enter but on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The resort is relatively small but the nightlife is lively and fun. Two of the swimming pools have swim-up bars with a daytime party vibe which moves on later to the English-themed Cricketeer Pub and The Piano Bar.
All alcohol is all-inclusive including premium wines, liquors, and cocktails.
There are seven pools and six whirlpools in the resort all open 24 hours. They have a private beach on the mainland that sits by a public beach that can get busy.
The resort has its own private island 5 minutes offshore though which can offer something of a getting away from it all feel.
There are two small but lovely beaches here, a Jamaican (all-inclusive) restaurant, a further swimming pool with a swim-up bar, and a place to lounge or walk around in a more peaceful, secluded atmosphere.
Activities are plentiful at the resort with free use of sailboating, canoeing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, Hobie cats, etc. being freely available as well as limited scuba diving including lessons.
Onshore you have the Sandals’ own Red Lane Spa (extra fee), a fitness center, sports such as tennis and beach volleyball, aerobics, and daily and nightly live entertainment.
Nassau International Airport is just 15 minutes away from Sandals Royal Bahamian with airport transfer being readily available, and for free for Club and Butler Level guests.
Some Guest Reviews:
“We are hotel snobs and loved it! Most all inclusives it’s tough to get reservations in the “reservation” restaurants. No problem here. And the non-reservation restaurants were equally as outstanding! Top shelf labels…drinks were great! Friendliest staff anywhere! Grounds were beautiful! Hotel room was cold! Room service amazingly fast! The private island was awesome with amazing food of course! Maybe best of all its not packed and overcrowded. Quick access to the bar! Can’t say enough….”
“We had a wonderful time! The property is gorgeous & the staff are so friendly & helpful. It was a wonderful getaway we didn’t want to come home from……”