Sandals celebrates the reopening of Royal Bahamian in Nassau

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Joining Sandals executive chairman Adam Stewart, second from right, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort were GM Adrian Whitehead; tourism minister I. Chester Cooper; prime minister Philip Davis; Jamaica prime minister Andrew Holness; and Sandals Resorts CEO Gebhard Rainer.
Joining Sandals executive chairman Adam Stewart, second from right, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort were GM Adrian Whitehead; tourism minister I. Chester Cooper; prime minister Philip Davis; Jamaica prime minister Andrew Holness; and Sandals Resorts CEO Gebhard Rainer. Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts International

Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and Offshore Island in Nassau reopened to guests Jan. 27 following a $55 million renovation project, the first in a series of milestones commemorating the 40th anniversary year for the Sandals brand.

The revamp of the 404-room resort, set on 15 beachfront acres, included the refurbishment of more than 200 rooms and suites as well as the addition of river suites and other features.

The reopening date had to be pushed back twice due to supply chain disruptions.

"Twenty-six years ago my father and founder, Gordon Butch Stewart, was drawn to the Bahamas by its natural beauty and charming locals, which makes it very special for us to be presenting today a fully transformed resort that celebrates this unique destination as much as his legacy," said Adam Stewart, executive chairman.

"It's a new day in Nassau, and a genuine honor to share this milestone with all who form part of our Sandals family," he said.

Philip Davis, prime minister of the Bahamas, hailed the reopening as translating into jobs for Bahamians and boosting hotel inventory as the destination rebounds from the pandemic.

"So far the numbers have been encouraging, and, no doubt, with this property back we expect the growth to continue," Davis said. "I salute Adam Stewart for continuing his father's visionary leadership."

Reopening celebrations included Bahamian entertainers, music from the island, special menus and a fireworks display.

Through Feb. 28, travel advisors can earn bonus commission on bookings of six nights or longer made with Unique Vacations plus exclusive benefits such as commission on airfare.

What's new in accommodations

New to the resort is Island Village, comprised of standalone villas and swim-up suites named after remote Bahamian cays, with pink, blues and white accents, striped awnings and a chic, relaxed ambiance. Butler villa suites include private pools and soaking tubs.

The redone East and West Bay accommodations offer an array of room and suite categories, including beachfront butler suites in the East Bay, which now includes an infinity swim-up pool that ends where the sand begins.

A new zero-entry swim-up pool hugs the West Bay ground-level suites, while the penthouse Love Nest butler suites showcase ocean views from private balconies.

What about dining and drinking options?

A total of 13 restaurant venues include Kanoo, where a new, a la carte lunch menu is designed to deliver the meal in 30 minutes or less so that guests can quickly return to the beach or pool. La Plume serves French cuisine; Butch's Island Chop House features steak and seafood specialties; the Queen's Pearl dishes up hearty British fare; southern Italian favorites are the feature at Tesoro; Soy serves fresh sushi.

Three eclectic food trucks offer sweets treats and coffee at Sweet 'n Tings,  Bahamian fusion and seafood at Coco Queen and Italian classics at Bahama Mamma Mia from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Signature cocktails are stirred and shaken at Mr. B's, where Butch Stewart's iconic blue and white striped shirts served as the esthetic inspiration.

The new Coconut Grove, a beachfront lounge shaded by palms, offers live music and entertainment into the late evening hours.

Romance is in the air

Sandals Barefoot Cay, a private island, is one mile from shore. Couples can sail aboard the new Love Runner boat and spend the day on the island that features a pool bar with swings, an infinity-edge Jacuzzi, outdoor showers and the new Aralia House restaurant, which serves fresh seafood and Caribbean delicacies.

The Red Lane Spa has three locations, including the Offshore Escape-Zen Island on the private island.

Three wedding options are offered, including the shoe-optional Barefoot Wedding set on the sand, the Bahamian Wedding set in a tropical garden and the Conch Pearl Wedding, which uses the signature pink spiral shell as an accent.

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