Boarding the BA flight to Nassau, Bahamas, I take my seat as I’m handed a glass of champagne and asked if I would like a newspaper, upgrading to Club Class is the ultimate luxury in travel. Menu cards given out and I’m asked how I would like my steak cooked there is time to catch up on some of the movies on offer and even a quick nap as I had to make full use of my lie flat bed with its comfortable pillow and duvet and before long we are touching down in Nassau.
As we enter the Passport Hall I have to admit it’s the first time I’ve been serenaded by a steel band but what a wonderful welcome. Once you’ve collected your suitcases and gone through immigration, you will find yourself at the new Sandals Lounge and before long we are on an air-conditioned transfer and on our way to the Sandals Royal Bahamian.
It’s was only a short transfer of around 10 minutes, we were escorted into the Club Lounge where after given a cold towel and a delicious cocktail as we checked in we were then shown to our rooms. Club Sandals transforms the concierge experience into one that overflows with extraordinary privileges and service offer, although for ultimate luxury than I would suggest upgrading to a Club Butler room where you will have the services of your own trained butler who will handle all the details of your holiday from running a rose-petalled candlelit bath to pressing your wardrobe and the important dinner reservations, your butler is there to make sure that your stay is flawless.
I was staying in the newly refurbished Windsor Tower in one of their Windsor Club Rooms which was luxuriously decorated in an old-world colonial style with a huge four poster bed and large bathroom, comfortable seating area, spacious bathroom and terrace leading out to the gardens and because it was a Club room the fridge is fully stocked with soft drinks, wine and champagne and there are full bottles of rum, vodka, gin, whisky and red wine as well as coffee machine which I made full use of every morning. There are a number of room types available and I can help you pick the right one for you, one of my favourites were the new Crystal Lagoon Swim-up suites.
With no time to spare it was a quick change before I headed out to the Windsor Pool which was situated in front of the Windsor Tower, picking up a towel and desperate to cool down I stepped into the pool, ermmm not so refreshing it was heated!! So the only way to do it was to swim to the swim up pool and grab myself a frozen cocktail or two….. oh ok three! This is also the pool where they have the entertainment and music playing but if you prefer it quieter than the Balmoral Pool is a little quieter and cooler, still with a swim-up bar, floating lilos and plenty of comfortable sunbeds around it.
The fun blue thrones in one of the small pools are unique and cute and a great place to chill out and enjoy a drink, however they are just a snapshot of the playful style of this resort. No one takes themselves too seriously here, but the service and food is excellent.
Before dinner a great place to head to is the Cricketers Pub for a pre-dinner cocktails, the pub is based on a traditional English pub and all the traditional aspects that go with it such as offering traditional dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash all paired with a wide range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails all within the beautiful setting of The Bahamas.
There are 10 speciality restaurants to choose from and we ate in a number of them, when you enter a restaurant they ask if anyone has any allergies and as I have recently turned Gluten Free they were very accommodating, the only downside is that I wish we’d had more time there so that we could have eaten in all of them! Gordons on the Pier is situated at the end of the pier and is the ultimate romantic location offering a delicious selection of their signature Steak and Seafood delights all with amazing views over the sea. Kimonos is a Teppanyaki style restaurant serving up exotic cuisines from the Far East with an interactive twist as the tables are laid out around the chef you get to make friends with some of your fellow travellers whilst the food is cooked in front of you showman and sometime singing chef, or maybe you want to head to Stew Fish, which has the character of a luxury beach house and which is situated on the off-shore island where is pays homage to its Caribbean roots.
Spices is the main restaurant we had breakfast in there, the egg station is very popular where your eggs or omelettes are cooked to order, you just have to learn if you want them over easy, under easy or sunny side up! After lunch we headed over to the Private Off-Shore Island which is just a short journey away, the ferry runs every hour on the hour from 10am with the last one coming back at 4.45pm.
The island is like having two holiday destinations in one, there is a chic Beach club with a pool and swim-up bar, whirlpool, spa and restaurant. Throughout the island you will also stumble across shaded hammocks and private cabanas as well as the islands two secluded beaches, one which is perfect for snorkelling and the other for water sports, remember that they are all included when you are on a Sandals holiday and if you are a qualified scuba diver you even get to dive as many times as you like during your stay, or maybe you prefer to chill and relax in one of the hammocks in the sea… the hardest decision you may have it which sunbed to choose.
That evening we had dinner at Casanova’s the Italian restaurant, there are no supplements to pay at Sandals so you could even choose to have lobster every night if you wanted. The anti-pasti station was excellent for choosing a variety of starters and our delicious dinner was all washed down with a great choice of wines from the Robert Mondavi Vineyard, a new partnership that Sandals now has, and it’s all included in the price!
Night-time takes on a life of its own, with the pools lit up and comfortable seating areas surrounding romantic fire pits. Most of the evening entertainment centres around the Royal Theatre where they hold many of the theme nights such as White Night, Reggae Party or the Staff & Guests Talent Night.
We went to the Chocolate Night, a fantastic display of all things chocolaty including a chocolate fountain and delicious chocolate martini’s and then to the Balmoral Bar & Piano Lounge where after a few drinks you too will be singing along with everyone else around the piano whilst Fluffy and Cupcake, the barmen (everyone calls them that) who not only remember your names but also your drinks, which they keep topped up all night long and if you want to continue just head back to the Cricketers Pub which is open until 3am!
Not that this visit was all about food, but in a short time we tried as many place as possible and so the next morning we visited Baccarat, the French a la Carte restaurant which offers an a la carte breakfast, it’s not often I have steak and eggs for breakfast but I certainly could here every day all washed down with a mimosa (bucks fizz to us).
For lunch we headed to Bella Napoli Pizzeria, now you could have your pizza to take away and eat around the pool but it was very hot so we thought a table in the shade would be perfect, so pizza and a local beer it was, both Sand and Kalik beers are very good; they even offer a gluten free pizza base so there’s no need to miss out, we followed it by ice-cream at the Royal Cafe from one of the self-service ice-cream machines, it’s also a great place to get any snacks should you feel hungry, after all you may not have eaten anything for a couple of hours!
All too soon my visit to Sandals Royal Bahamian was over but I can’t wait to return.
We went in September 2015 with Sandals Resorts and travelled in BA Club World
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Since I visited the Sandals Royal Bahamian has had a refurbishment
After all I’ve been there!