Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar

Two of the nicest and most popular resorts in Nassau, Bahamas, are Sandals Royal Bahamian and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Both have plenty to recommend them, so it can be hard to choose which is best for your Bahamas vacation. However, there are some major differences.

Here is our in-depth comparison of Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar to help you decide.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Quick Take

The main difference between Sandals Royal Bahamian and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is that Sandals is an adults-only all-inclusive resort, whereas Baha Mar is not. Both are close to everything Nassau offers, but Baha Mar features a lot more amenities onsite. We loved Baha Mar, but read on to see which one you would prefer.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Overview

The adults-only all-inclusive Sandals Royal Bahamian is a lively, centrally located resort that features a private offshore island. It has been renovated recently and has a glamorous feel. Set on the famous Cable Beach in Nassau, it also offers 7 pools, 5 whirlpools, 8 bars, and 10 restaurants.

The private island of Barefoot Cay, which you reach via a short boat trip, has two beaches with cabanas, a pool and whirlpool, and a restaurant. Since Sandals Royal Bahamian is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort, it’s tailored to couples and romance. Your rate includes all meals, drinks, activities, and entertainment, as well as tips and airport transfers.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is also located on beautiful Cable Beach in Nassau. It is not an all-inclusive resort, but it has some amazing amenities on the property and some of them are complimentary. Since it’s not adults-only, it is great for families. There are two other hotels on the property to choose from as well.

Baha Mar amenities include complimentary nonmotorized watersports, 7 incredible pools, 4 whirlpools, a lovely long beach, a casino, a huge waterpark, a wildlife sanctuary, an art gallery, a golf course, tennis courts, a fitness center, and a spa. There are 45 dining and drinking options including restaurants, cafes, an ice cream stand, food trucks, bars, and a cigar lounge.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Location

Both Sandals Royal Bahamian and Baha Mar are located in Nassau, Bahamas, just about an hour from Florida. Since Nassau is the capital, you can find plenty of flights there.

It takes about 15 minutes to get to Sandals Royal Bahamian from Lynden Pindling International Airport. As at every Sandals, airport transfers are complimentary.

Baha Mar is about 11 minutes from the airport.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Beaches

Sandals Royal Bahamian is set on a private stretch of the famous Cable Beach, which offers white sand and turquoise water. There are also two secluded beaches on the private island, and these feature private cabanas.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is also located on Cable Beach, and has a 3,000-foot stretch of beautiful white sand and clear, calm water. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas, as well as private bathroom huts and rinsing stations.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Rooms and Suites

Sandals Royal Bahamian has a wide variety of rooms and suites including new beachfront swim-up suites with butler service. These have walkout patios with Caribbean views, direct access to the zero-entry pool, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub™ for two; a separate living room; a fully stocked bar; and a walk-in shower.

For more privacy, West Bay Honeymoon Hideaway Swim-Up Butler Suites have private furnished patios with zero-entry access to the Zen Garden swim-up pool, a separate living room with dining area and full bar, and a walk-in shower. There are also butler villas with private pools, or choose from club or luxury level rooms or suites such as swim-up, beachfront walkout, and oceanview. Certain top-tier suites get private luxury airport transfers via Rolls Royce!

As at every Sandals resort, all the butler suites come with the 24-hour services of a private butler, while all club-level rooms and suites give you access to dedicated concierge service, a 24-hour private lounge, and special activities.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar rooms and suites are large, luxurious, and modern. They have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the ocean, island, or fountain show; spa-like bathrooms with rain showers; a minibar; and an in-room coffee and tea station.

Balconies range from Juliet to step-out to furnished. There are 1800 rooms and suites to choose from, including 230 luxury suites that have 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms; separate living areas; and large furnished balconies. Some have multiple bathrooms, full kitchens and washer/dryers, and separate dining areas. Some are in pool villas.

The Reserve is a special luxury section with suites that give you access to a private check-in desk, butler service, and a private lounge. You can also choose to stay at either of the two other hotels in the Baha Mar complex, Rosewood Baha Mar or SLS Baha Mar, for more upscale accommodation option including villas.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Activities and Amenities

Sandals Royal Bahamian has plenty of complimentary unlimited activities including water and land sports. Even scuba diving is included; certified divers can dive up to twice a day. It also has a state-of-the-art fitness center in a penthouse with amazing views.

Water sports at Sandals Royal Bahamian also include snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, and water trikes. Land sports include beach volleyball, day and night tennis, table tennis, shuffleboard, lawn chess, pool tables, board games.

There are 7 pools and 5 whirlpools, two beautiful beaches, and the Coconut Grove lounge area, as well as a spa (which costs extra). You can also easily head into Nassau and check out markets, casinos, museums and galleries, historic sites, botanical gardens, and waterparks. Some butler suites actually come with a complimentary Mini Cooper so you can go exploring! Or you can book area excursions (for an extra fee).

Sandals Royal Bahamian offers the exclusive offshore island of Barefoot Cay, which is just minutes from the resort via the Love Runner. It features a Beach Club with a pool, whirlpool, and swim-up bar; two secluded beaches great for relaxing, swimming, or snorkeling; an open-air seafood restaurant; and plenty of romantic spots to lounge like hammocks, cabanas, and a fire pit. You can even get massages by the water.

Baha Mar offers spectacular amenities and activities. These include the largest casino in the Caribbean (at 100,000 square feet); a kids’ club; 7 incredible pools with unique features like waterfalls, fountains, an aquarium, a huge cave, and a rock jumping cliff; and complimentary nonmotorized watersports like kayaking and paddleboarding on the beautiful beach.

In addition, there’s a golf course onsite (the top-ranked course in The Bahamas) as well as tennis courts, pickleball, minigolf, a fitness center, and a spa. There’s also a 15-acre waterpark with a lazy river, a watercoaster, all sorts of waterslides, a surf simulator, a raft ride, and a wave pool.

A wildlife sanctuary has exhibits of local wildlife including sharks, flamingoes, tropical fish, sea turtles, and more, and an art gallery has the largest collection of contemporary art in The Bahamas.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Food and Drink

Sandals Royal Bahamian has 8 bars and 10 restaurants, offering French, steaks, seafood, Italian, Asian, seafood, Caribbean, and sushi. There’s also an English pub and an upscale overwater restaurant serving grilled meat and seafood specialties. In addition, there are two food trucks, which serve Bahamian food and sweets.

If you stay a minimum of 7 nights in certain butler-level suites, you will also get a Dine Out credit of $250 that you can use at select restaurants in Nassau. You can also get room service or request private dining options like a candlelight dinner on the beach (for an extra fee). If you are in a club level room, you can get room service between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.; butler suites get 24/7 room service.

As at all Sandals resorts, your all-inclusive rate covers unlimited meals and snacks plus all beverages including premium liquors and Robert Mondavi wines.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has more than 45 different dining and drinking options in and around the hotel. Onsite there are 9 bars and 17 restaurants offering a variety of cuisine including Asia, South American-Asian fusion, French, noodles, international, seafood, steaks, and more. Several food trucks offer Mexican, poke, vegetarian and pescatarian, and Afro-Caribbean.

You’ll also find a dessert shop, an ice cream stand, a bar and grill, and several bars that serve food, in addition to lots of dining options in the neighboring waterpark. It also has 24-hour room service. There are two other hotels in the same complex—Rosewood Baha Mar and SLS Baha Mar—which offer additional restaurant and bar options.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Nightlife

Sandals Royal Bahamian has a “party” vibe and features 8 bars including 3 swim-up bars plus a variety of nightly entertainment including live shows, beach parties, and theme nights.

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has 9 bars with a wide variety of atmospheres including poolside, a daiquiri shack on the beach, a rum and cigar lounge, a beach bar, and a sophisticated bar. There’s also live music, as well as an onsite casino and nightlife activities at the other resorts in the property.

Both Sandals Royal Bahamian and Baha Mar give you access to the nightlife and casinos in Nassau.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Cost

Rates at Sandals Royal Bahamian currently start at $323 per person per night.

Stays at all Sandals resorts include all meals and snacks at all restaurants; unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages including unlimited premium liquors and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines; a minibar in your room that is refreshed daily, stocked with juice, water, soft drinks, wine and beer; a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee; unlimited nonmotorized watersports such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking, including equipment and professional instruction; scuba diving (including equipment) for certified divers; unlimited land sports including golf and tennis (at most resorts), beach volleyball, etc.; a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; daily and nightly entertainment; WiFi; roundtrip airport transfers; private airport arrival lounges at some locations; and roundtrip shuttles to other resorts and access to their facilities (at some locations).

You won’t have to worry about tips and taxes because they are all included as well. Plus, stay a minimum of 7 nights in a club or butler room and get a free wedding. The Sweetheart Package, which usually costs $1000, is good for up to 10 people and also gives you a 15% discount at the spa as well as credits toward photography and videography packages. Free ceremonies are limited to Monday through Thursday, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If you honeymoon here within 30 days of your wedding you get a free honeymoon package.

Rates at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar vary widely depending on the room you choose and the time of year you visit. They cover your room, Wifi, and some nonmotorized watersports, plus access to the onsite facilities including waterpark, wildlife sanctuary, casino, tennis courts, and fitness center. All meals are extra, as is golf and any spa services.

Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar Conclusion

Sandals Royal Bahamian is adults only and all-inclusive, with a fun but romantic atmosphere and a peaceful private island. Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is not all inclusive but does have a lot of amazing amenities that are complimentary. It also has way more activities and dining choices than Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Both are amazing in their own way, so it really comes down to what sort of Bahamas vacation you want to have.

Which one is your favorite after reading all about Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Baha Mar? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re ready to plan your trip, feel free to reach out to one of our expert travel advisors!

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