In our last installment on the best of the Bahamas, Eileen Ogintz of “Taking the Kids” describes a luxurious kid-free stay at two of the couples-only resorts.
Where’s my butler?
That’s right. Not only are there no kids anywhere, but we have a personal butler to satisfy our every whim.
That means we don’t have to feel guilty about leaving our kids behind because we won’t see any one else’s kids building sand castles on the beach or doing cannon balls in the pool.
It is kind of unnerving at first to have someone cater to my every wish but I get used to it-fast. Sparkling water with lime? Glasses for martinis? (Since this is an all inclusive, the room is stocked with liquor.) No problem. He even stops by the pool to see if we need anything. Some chips and guacamole, perhaps, he suggests. We joke with other guests that it’s hard to think of things for the butler to do for us.
If you prefer Nassau, you have another romantic Sandals Option– the Sandals Royal Bahamian that was voted the Top Spa Resort by readers of Conde Nast Traveler and back in the day was a playground for British royals.
It’s home to spectacular Nassau beaches as well as cottage-style suites and a private offshore island where you can pretend to be a castaway. (One with access to a swim up bar, though.)
There is something to be said for an all-inclusive resort where you don’t need to pull out your wallet whether you want a Piña Colada pool-side, play tennis, snorkel or enjoy a wonderful meal.
Sandals Royal Bahamian, for example, has 10 restaurants to choose from and eight bars serving premium brand drinks—take your pick of fresh seafood on the outer island at Stew fish, made to order Teppanyaki at Kimonos or the antipasti bar at Casanova, among others. Dig in! You’ve already paid for your food, drinks and activities. Even better when you can snare a deal that includes free nights and an air credit.
My favorite dinner at Sandals wasn’t at any of the resort’s restaurants. Mine was one that cost extra at an elegantly set table for two in a private “tower” overlooking Sandals Emerald Bay pool . We could also have opted for the beach (too windy) or the Wedding Gazebo (taken) but this proves perfect, complete with champagne. We’ve chosen a decidedly Bahamian menu–conch fritters, Bahamian conch salad, cream of carrot soup, roasted Jerk Chicken and lobster, ginger crème Brule and bittersweet chocolate parfait.
Earlier, the hardest thing to decide is how should we spend all of our well-earned idleness? We thought we’d go scuba diving but the waters were too rough. We didn’t mind, actually. After a breakfast on the terrace), we go for a long walk along the beach dotted with palms and grasses.
We could play beach volleyball or join in the “name that tune” games around the pool bar but we are content to adjourn to our yellow-striped cabana and read. Our “pool butler” comes by every so often to see what we need — water…Bloody Marys…a snack?
We only move from our beach chairs for lunch at the Barefoot Restaurant—yes our toes are really in the sand while we eat conch salad and conch chowder.
Did I mention there were a pair of swans fashioned of towels on our bed with flower petals scattered around them when we checked in, that our butler greeted us when we arrived?
One night, there was a bubble bath drawn for us, complete with candles and flower petals, when we returned from dinner. Love was spelled out in flowers on the bath mat.
OK a little hokey but it made us smile. And that’s why we were there, after all.
I sure missed my butler when I got home.
Eileen Ogintz is a leading national travel expert, syndicated columnist of the weekly column Taking the Kids and the creator of TakingTheKids.com whose special sections including the latest 50-plus places to Light Up the Holidays and Fun in the Snow have become a go-to resource for families planning getaways.
She is regularly quoted and featured as a family travel expert in newspapers, magazines and websites across the country. Eileen is the author of nine travel books, including the most recent The Kid’s Guide to New York City, and The Kid’s Guide to Orlando.