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Which Sandals Resort in the Bahamas is Right for You: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian?

The Bahamas provide a tropical hideaway with stunning beaches and crystal clear water, and they are only about an hour’s flight away from Florida, making them one of the most popular honeymoon and romantic vacation destinations in the Caribbean. The Bahamas are home to two different Sandals resorts—the Sandals Royal Bahamian and the Sandals Emerald Bay. These Sandals’ properties are the closest to the US.

Read more: Sandals Emerald Bay Reviews

This article will help you pick between Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay, two of the most impressive adults-only all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas. Regardless of which all-inclusive adults-only resort in the Bahamas you decide to book, you can rest assured that your honeymoon, anniversary trip, or another Caribbean getaway with your significant other will be a memorable and romantic experience.

An Overview: Sandals Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Bahamian

Located in the Bahamas’ Out Islands, Sandals Emerald Bay is spread across 500 acres on the island of Great Exuma, along a mile-long beach with powdery white sand and clear blue water. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole, 7001-yard par-72 course, which has six breathtaking coastal holes on a peninsula. When you’re not playing golf, you can cool off in the largest zero-entry pool in the Caribbean. In addition, there are 11 restaurants and 6 bars, two more pools, and two whirlpools.

On the largest island of the Bahamas’ chain of islands, Nassau, the Sandals Royal Bahamian is situated on the renowned Cable Beach. With butler service, oceanfront swim-up suites, two large pools, six whirlpools, ten restaurants, and eight bars, this opulent resort has recently undergone renovation. One of the resort’s most unique characteristics is a private island in the middle of the ocean, complete with a beach, pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, and cabanas.

Which Sandals resort in the Bahamas has the best reviews? In comparison to Sandals Royal Bahamian, Sandals Emerald Bay has somewhat better reviews. On TripAdvisor and Google, the Sandals Emerald Bay had ratings of 4.5 and 4.2, respectively, while the Sandals Royal Bahamian received ratings of 4 and 4.1, respectively.

How To Get There: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals  Royal Bahamian

Although these two Sandals Bahamas resorts are situated in very close vicinity to an airport, they may be located in separate regions of The Bahamas.

Since Sandals Royal Bahamian is situated in Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, travelers will have no trouble finding multiple direct flights to this destination. The Lynden Pindling International Airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the location of the resort.

Great Exuma, one of the Out Islands, is where Sandals Emerald Bay is located. Although there are fewer flights here, you can still catch flights from the United States departing from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Charlotte. It will only take twenty minutes to reach Sandals Emerald Bay from the Georgetown Exuma International Airport.

Both the Royal Bahamian and Emerald Bay feature complimentary shuttles to and from the airport, just like all of the other Sandals properties do.

Accommodations: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

The key difference between the accommodations offered at Sandals Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Bahamian is that all of the rooms and suites at Sandals Emerald Bay are either club or butler level, whereas Sandals Royal Bahamian provides guests with the option to stay in luxury, club, or butler level rooms and suites.

The opulent rooms, villas, and suites at Sandals Emerald Bay are decorated in a Bahamian style that combines luxury with a sense of harmony with the surrounding natural environment. Each room features a unique arrangement of creative amenities and either a full or partial view of the ocean.

Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

The two-story Royal Estate Beachfront Butler Villa is one of the lavish suites available at Sandals Emerald Bay. With direct beach access, a private pool, complete living and dining areas, a master suite with a balcony overlooking the Caribbean, and a marble bathroom with a soaking tub, this luxurious hideaway offers luxury amenities. An elegant choice that is close to the sand is the Prime Minister Honeymoon One-Bedroom Beachfront Walkout Butler Suite. There is exclusive butler service available in both of these suites around-the-clock.

There are also Club Level Junior Suites, as well as large rooms with private patios and balconies, spectacular ocean views, stylish decor, and bathrooms with soaking tubs. They offer unique activities and admission to Club Level amenities, including a stunning private lounge with round-the-clock service from a personal concierge.

There are more butler, club, and luxury-level rooms and suites at Sandals Royal Bahamian, all of which have views of the ocean or gardens. The classy West Bay Oceanview Swim-up Butler Suites have a master bedroom and separate living area, a fully stocked bar, a walk-in shower, walkout terraces with ocean views, complete access to the zero-entry swim-up pool, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub for Two.

The West Bay Honeymoon Hideaway Swim-up Crystal Lagoon Zen One Bedroom Butler Suites have private furnished verandas with zero-entry access to the Zen Garden swim-up pool, a completely separate living room with a dining hall and bar area, and a walk-in shower. Or take advantage of your private pool at the Island Village One Bedroom Butler Villa Suite! For the utmost in luxury, each of these rooms has a personal butler.

Additionally, numerous club and luxury level guestrooms and suites are available, some of which feature Tranquility Soaking Tubs for Two. These accommodations include swim-up, oceanview, walkout rooms and suites with private patios or balconies. The amenities included in Sandals Emerald Bay’s club-level accommodations are also available at Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Activities to Experience: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

There will always be something to do while staying at Sandals Emerald Bay or Sandals Royal Bahamian. There are several land and water sports available at both resorts. However, each resort offers a slightly different range of activities.

A Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course is located on the grounds of Sandals Emerald Bay, making it one of the most fantastic Sandals resorts for golf enthusiasts. This stunning course, situated on a peninsula, offers six holes that directly overlook the water. What’s even better is that your stay will cover your greens fees!

Additionally, Sandals Emerald Bay offers three swimming pools, one of which is a half-acre zero-entry pool with a stunning fire pit in the center. Of course, there is also a beautiful beach with white sand where you can relax.

Kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, and sailing are just a few of the many water sports you can join in. Sandals Emerald Bay offers free snorkeling and scuba diving so that you can explore the pristine waters and colorful coral reefs nearby. Additionally, if you want to bring your boat, Sandals Emerald Bay features a 17-acre marina. Read our guide about the best boat trips to the Bahamas.

You can play as much tennis, pool, billiards, horseshoes, bocce ball, beach volleyball, croquet, bocce ball, day tennis, night tennis, and other land-based games as you like.

If you want to explore more of the island, there are some gorgeous beaches with crystal-clear water close by that you can reach by taxi. Sandals Emerald Bay can also take you on enjoyable excursions like pig swimming!

You will be close to the vibrant town of Nassau and all the activities it has to offer, such as historical sites, galleries, museums, the BahaMar waterpark, botanical gardens, marketplaces, and casinos when staying at Sandals Royal Bahamian. Additionally, extra local trips are available.

Water sports like kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, sailing, water trikes, Hobie Cats, snorkeling ( read our article about snorkeling in Paradise Island here ), and scuba diving are all free on-site at Sandals Royal Bahamian. The Coconut Grove lounge area, two lovely beaches, and a variety of pools and whirlpools are all available to you. Tennis during the day and night, pool tables, croquet, basketball, lawn chess, shuffleboard, table tennis, and beach volleyball are examples of land activities.

Sandals Royal Bahamian provides an exclusive offshore island of Barefoot Cay, which is only minutes from the resort through the Love Runner. It has a Beach Club with a pool, whirlpool, and swim-up bar, two isolated beaches perfect for lounging, swimming, or snorkeling, an outdoor seafood restaurant, and lots of romantic places to relax, like hammocks, cabanas, and a fire pit. Massages by the water are even an option!

The Red Lane Spas at both Sandals Bahamas properties offer a variety of optional treatments and services, such as couples massages and complete fitness centers that are both available and free. You may enjoy breathtaking views while exercising at Sandals Royal Bahamian’s fitness center because it is a penthouse!

Foods to Try: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

There are 11 five-star fine dining establishments at Sandals Emerald Bay. A few of the dining options at Sandals Emerald Bay are Il Cielo (Italian), Barefoot by the Sea, which offers fresh seafood and island specialties directly on the beach, La Parisienne French Cuisine, an actual English Pub, Bahama Bay, Dino’s Pizzeria Italiano, Café de Paris, the Jerk Shack, which offers Caribbean cuisine, Bombay Club, Soy Sushi Bar, and Kimonos Oriental Cuisine.

La Plume, an exclusive French restaurant; Butch’s Island Chop House; Tesoro, Kanoo, Kimono’s Oriental Cuisine, the open-air and beachfront Aralia House, which offers seafood and is located on the private island; Soy Sushi Bar, the laid-back and seaside Calico Café which offers seafood and grilled foods, the Queen’s Pearl British Pub, and Gordon’s on the Pier are among the ten dining options at Sandals Royal Bahamian. 

Coco Queen, which offers Bahamian cuisine, and Sweets’N’Tings Patisserie are two additional food trucks you can enjoy.

You may eat to your heart’s content since, like at every Sandals resort, all meals, snacks, and drinks are included in your stay! Club and butler-level rooms come with complimentary room service, and butler suites include round-the-clock service. You can also reserve a private candlelight dinner on the beach for an additional cost.

Nightlife: Sandals Emerald Bay vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

Both Sandals Bahamas resorts provide daily and evening entertainment, although the atmosphere at Sandals Emerald Bay is more laid back. Six bars—including a swim-up bar and a piano bar—as well as events, including theme nights, live music, and karaoke, are available there. The Sandals Royal Bahamian offers a wide range of entertainment alternatives, such as beach parties, theme evenings, and live performances, in addition to 8 bars, 3 of which are swim-up bars.

Cost: Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Sandals Emerald Bay

Compared to Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals Royal Bahamian is more affordable. With prices beginning at $360 per person per night, Sandals Royal Bahamian is a more reasonably priced honeymoon location.

Sandals Emerald Bay has nightly rates that start at $534 per person.

The same amenities offered at all Sandals resorts are included in your rate at any location, including complimentary airport transfers, all meals, and drinks, unlimited premium spirits, unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines, a fully stocked minibar in your room, a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee, water sports, and equipment with expert instruction, WiFi, daily and evening entertainment, unlimited land sports, a cutting-edge fitness facility, and a coffee maker.

After reading our analysis of the similarities and differences between the two, what are your thoughts? Which of the two Sandals resorts, Sandals Royal Bahamian or Sandals Emerald Bay, do you think would be the better option for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway in the Bahamas?

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