06 September 2006

Sandals Royal Bahamian/The Sandals experience

I like Sandals. They do adults only all-inclusive well. This is not an "adults only" resort like Hedonism. This really is simply no kids. They used to be just heterosexual couples but now they are open to all couples, and I applaud the change.

Sandals Royal Bahamian was our third Sandals--Sandals Halcyon on St. Lucia and Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica rounding out our experience. I was pleased at all three but I believe Royal Bahamian had even better service than the other two, which is pretty amazing.

From the moment we arrived and were served champagne and cool cloths during check-in to the time we left, we got the royal treatment. Staff went out of their way to meet any request. An example: a waitress in one of the eight restaurants asked if we would like more bread and in the course of his response my husband mentioned that he didn't like olive bread, which was the default. She insisted on going to the bakery, beyond the restaurant, and getting him a kind of bread he enjoyed, which she promptly did. Any problem was quickly fixable. One exception: we had to wait two hour for maintenance one evening but it was a holiday so I expect they were short staffed and he did apologize for the delay and fixed the problem completely.

Every thing was clean and well kept and beautifully appointed. The food and drink were both good and plentiful.

If I had to complain (and don't I always have to complain about something?) it would be that the scheduled entertainment was weak. We wound up going to the piano bar quite a lot because the other entertainment was so lame. Who books the same band every night? On the flip side, the pianist was a gifted musician and a good entertainer so, really, even in this area we suffered not at all. To their credit, when we were at Sandals Ocho Rios, there was a lot of different entertainment (steel drum band, dancers, fire eater, etc.)

What's strange about Sandals is that it is couples only so it's very artificial to be around nothing but couples (tables for two everywhere except in the Japanese restaurant where table of 12 sit around the chef, etc.). But, hey, that's what we paid for so we could truly get some peace and quiet time for just the two of us and it was worth it. No shrieking tots. Amazing what a difference it makes. We socialized with a lot of nice people there.

Bottom line: I'd heartily recommend this resort. If you go, do it right and get an ocean view room. World of difference.

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