We were (and still are) so lucky to be kicking off our married life together with a trip to the Bahamas. Words cannot express what a beautiful country it truly is. While we did not visit all of its islands, we were fortunate enough to spend time on the main land, specifically, Nassau. Our resort of choice was the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa, where we spent 5 nights, 6 days.
The resort was a close drive from the airport and the shuttle we took was included in our vacation package. Upon arrival, we were given champagne and a tour of the grounds. We were then brought to our room and our mouths dropped open as it was bigger than our apartment. We stayed in the Balmoral Premium suite located in the Balmoral Tower (which was recently renovated). We were grateful having booked the Balmoral Premium instead of in the Windsor building, because our first full day there we realized that our side of the resort was the quiet side, where the Windsor side was the party side. When I say party, I mean that the Windsor pool had a DJ and volleyball nets and dance classes going non-stop. We preferred the relaxing pool offered closest to our room, although guests could use whichever pool they preferred.
Because the resort was a couples-only, all-inclusive type, we made sure to try as many restaurants as we could. While most of the restaurants you could just walk in and be seated for breakfast and lunch, dinner was a different story. If you wanted the best-of-the-best, you needed a reservation! Fortunately for us, we were able to try all of the restaurants on our list, including Baccarat, Kimonos and (the very hard to get into) Gordon’s on the Pier. All are a must if you visit Royal Bahamian.
Regarding the beach situation, again we were very pleased. There were two options available to Sandals guests for those who wanted to experience some time in the crystal clear Caribbean water. On the main land, the white sand was protected and groomed by employees of the resort. There is a patch of sand isolated by two piers, and on the other side of the pier, there was beach available to anyone, including the local vendors. If you aren’t interested in making purchases of trinkets sold by beach vendors not affiliated with Sandals, keep to the right.
The other beach option was the Sandals Private Island that guests take a small ferry to get to. This island is stunning – one side is rocky and wild with nature, while the other side is groomed and calm, great for swimming. There were schools of tropical fish that would swim around your toes (harmless, not to worry). Some guests told us that they had seen starfish and sea turtles. It all depends on the flow of the day.
TIP: if you have your own snorkel set, we suggest that you bring it along to the island! The island has some shallow areas, great for snorkeling!
A few days into our trip, we decided that some exploring off-site would be fun. Alicia’s parents had suggested visiting The Atlantis Resort, since we’d be so close during our stay at Sandals. After speaking briefly with the reception staff of our resort for directions and modes of transportation, we hopped on the city bus and headed down West Bay Street to catch the ferry to Paradise Island where the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort is located. Walking through the city to the port, you really get to see a lot of neat things. The famous Straw Market was one of them. We didn’t go in because we were too excited to get to Atlantis, but it is a great place to pick up souvenirs and to practise your bartering skills 😉
On the boat-ride over, we had a fantastic tour guide that told us all about the celebrity homes we saw along the islands’ edges. Included were the homes of Mick Jagger, Tom Cruise, Oprah and Nicolas Cage. All fantastic to see. There were even movie set replicas of a James Bond film, and a hidden yoga retreat.
Once arriving to the island, it was only a short walk down the street where there was a lovely marina with colourful shops that led to the beautiful Atlantis Resort. Atlantis was enormous.
While you don’t need to pay a fee to get into the resort or its casino, there is the option to pay to take self-guided tours through most of the resort, and it is SO worth it. We wandered practically everywhere – from the aquariums to the water park to the beach and back again.
Nassau, and more specifically, Sandals Royal Bahamian, was a fantastic place to visit for a honeymoon. Super romantic, loads of fun, and a beautiful overall place to stay. We highly recommend a visit if ever you get the chance. We hope to go back to visit some day!
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