BACK ON ITS FEET: Sandals Royal Bahamian re-opens after reno

Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort welcomed its first guests late last week (Jan. 27) following a US $55-million renovation. The re-opening of the Cable Beach (Nassau) resort is a fitting start to the year for Sandals Resorts, which is marking its 40th anniversary year with a series of milestone events.

Situated on six sprawling hectares, the new-look 404-room Sandals Royal Bahamian is designed to reflect the easy-going spirit of the Bahamas and thoughtfully entwine its experiential touchpoints – from the pastel pink of the flamingo to the vibes of traditional Junkanoo.

Featuring an off-shore island, the elegant all-inclusive features two large pools, club level and swim-up butler suites, over a dozen restaurants, two white sand beaches, and offers guests VIP airport transfers in a Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz for butler guests.

Here’s a look:

Rooms: The new Island Village, comprised of standalone villas named after remote Bahamian cays, are representative of the provincial Bahamas – a compilation of the destination’s quintessential pinks, blues, and white accents, with shiplap, striped awnings, and additional touches that create a chic, yet relaxed ambiance. Butler Villa Suites each house private pools and outdoor tranquility soaking tubs.

Meanwhile, the refreshed East and West Bay accommodations offer an array of room and suite categories, including beachfront Butler Suites in the East Bay, where a new Infinity Swim-Up pool ends right where the sand begins. An entirely new zero-entry Swim-Up pool hugs the West Bay tower’s ground level suites, while the Penthouse Love Nest Butler Suites showcase panoramic ocean views from a private balcony. Neutral colour palettes and wood furnishings create a modern chic design that accentuates the bright blue Caribbean sea beyond.

Culinary: Sandals Royal Bahamian elevates Nassau’s culinary scene with 13 fresh restaurant concepts:

• Guests can feel the rhythm of the music and savour Pan-Caribbean spices at Kanoo – short for Junkanoo – where a new “Brasserie 30” à la carte lunch menu is designed to deliver the lunch experience in 30 minutes or less, for a faster return to the pool or beach.

• Outfitted in pinks and greens inspired by the alluring feathers of the national bird, La Plume serves exquisite French cuisine in a modern atmosphere.

• Additional temptations include steak and seafood specialties at Butch’s Island Chop House, hearty British fare at The Queen’s Pearl, Southern Italian favourites at Tesoro, and the freshest sushi at Soy.

• Three eclectic gourmet food trucks offer sweet treats and coffee at Sweets n Tings, locally inspired Bahamian fusion and fresh seafood at Coco Queen, and a new twist on Italian classics at Bahama Mamma Mia.

• New signature cocktail menus are served up at bars, such as the Glass Flask Banana Bread Old Fashioned at the new Mr. B’s.

Coconut Grove: A destination of its own within the resort, Coconut Grove includes a lush and expansive beachfront lounge shaded by coconut palms. It’s also a home base for the new food trucks, which are open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and music and entertainment, which last late into the evening.

Private Island Hideaway: Deserted beaches and colourful coral reefs await at the resort’s secluded private island, Sandals Barefoot Cay, an escape-within-an-escape located just one mile from the shore. Couples can sail aboard the resort’s new Love Runner boat or spend the day on shore, complete with a pool bar with swings, an infinity-edge Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, and new restaurant, Aralia House, serving up fresh seafood from boat to table and authentic Caribbean delicacies.

Spa: The resort’s Red Lane Spa welcomes guests back to three serene locations: the Main Spa, the Day Spa and the Offshore Escape – Zen Garden on Sandals Barefoot Cay. Spa facilities include two saunas and two steamrooms, complementing an expansive menu of services that now feature two new couples rituals: Love & Trust and Forever in Love.

Weddings: Three new exclusive wedding inspirations capture the authentic Bahamian vibe. The Conch Pearl Wedding utilizes the signature pink spiral shell as an accent, while the shoe-optional Barefoot Wedding is set right on the sand at a variety of resort locations including the private island. The Bahamian Wedding is set in a lush tropical garden, moving guests to the sounds of a Bahamian gospel choir. A customary conch blowing ritual will conclude special guest events and weddings, welcoming love and good fortune to the sounds of rake and scrape music.

“The new Sandals Royal Bahamian encompasses a new era in travel, inviting our guests in love to connect with the vibrant culture, natural wonders, and authentic traditions of the beautiful Bahamas — and in turn reconnect with each other,” says Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart.

“We have a long history in the beloved Bahamas and it’s simply one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth. It’s what lured our founder and my father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, to this illustrious setting over 26 years ago. We’ve added special elements throughout the resort to impart his legacy to the setting we’ve created here. Our new Butch’s Island Chop House restaurant and adjacent Mr. B’s bar, for example, both give a nautical nod to his love for the sea, and even his iconic blue and white striped shirts served as the esthetic inspiration. At Sandals Royal Bahamian, we honour our celebrated past, while surprising our guests in entirely new ways.”

The grand opening event on Thursday, which included several Caribbean leaders and dignitaries also included the presentation of the 2021 Stewart Family Philanthropic Award to the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), whose work to protect and restore the over 8,900 hectares of land and sea under its purview will continue with the development of a primary level environmental curriculum for students and educators, funded by the Sandals Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts. The award celebrates good stewards who embody a strong commitment to the wellbeing of the communities, families, and environments of the Caribbean.

Take a virtual tour of the resort HERE.


First published at Travel Industry Today