John and I are Sandals people.. we really enjoy the “luxury included” experience that they provide. Our first visit to a Sandals was back in January for our honeymoon. We visited the Sandals Grande Antigua and had a wonderful time (not just because it was our honeymoon). Sandals is one of the only all inclusive chains that includes unlimited SCUBA diving, which is a plus for us since we are both divers. On both visits we have always stayed in a butler level suite. The deal with the butler service is that you are assigned 2-3 butlers for your stay and they take care of everything for you. Whether it's 24 hour room service, dinner reservations, or getting there at 6am to reserve the perfect pool or beach chairs the butlers are phenomenal and make your vacation truly relaxing and carefree. You get a cell phone to use during your stay so the butlers are only one call away. You know what they say, once you go butler you never go back. Here are a few pictures from our trip to the Sandals Royal Bahamian.
At the Royal Bahamian, all guests staying in butler suites get private airport transfers in either a Rolls Royce or Mercedes.
This was our ride from the airport.
This was the view from our balcony. It's overlooking the private island available for guest use directly ahead.
One of our favorite things to do was to sit in our lounge chairs on the balcony and listen to the waves.
The pier had beautiful views of the ocean as well as Gordon's, our favorite restaurant on this property!
Our butlers got us reservations at Gordon's right before sunset so we had a gorgeous view during dinner.
The entire property is impeccably maintained and one of our favorite parts was that they have a party pool as well as a quiet pool. We mainly stayed by the quiet pool because we wanted to relax without the music bumping.
Of course, the beach was lovely.
All in All we had a great time but here are a few tips to help you plan your vacation!
- Book a butler suite – believe me, it's worth every penny.
- If possible, be flexible with your dates. Maybe arrive on a Wednesday leave Tuesday because sometimes the rates on rooms and flights are better.
- Book an early flight on your arrival day. Even if your room isn't ready, you can still have the entire day to relax by the beach. You are more than welcome to start enjoying the restaurants and bar as soon as you arrive. It's like having an extra half a day of vacation.
- Make sure you bring at least one pair of pants for your man because a few of the restaurants have dress codes. John totally forgot this time and we had to go on an adventure to find a pair!
- If you have ever thought about getting SCUBA certified, do it on property. The cost is extremely nominal compared to in the U.S. and you get PADI Open Water certified within 2-3 days. I did mine in the States and John did his at Sandals. John's way was the best way. Trust me.
- Plan on booking your next vacation while you are there. You get an additional 12% discount that can be combined with any offer if you book on property. (You only pay a $200 deposit and then you can change your dates or pay up to 45 days before you leave for your next trip)
- Forget your sunscreen. It's expensive in the resort shop.
- Forget to fill out your butler preferences before your arrival. This helps them plan your dinner reservations as well as stock your bar appropriately.
- Worry about tipping the resort staff, other than your butler. It's included in the price and they are not allowed to accept tips. One of the best things is being able to leave your purse or wallet in the safe from arrival until you leave! (We typically tip our butlers $20 for each day they work with us.)