Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The Sandy Lane epitomizes luxury, service, and distinction
For those who love luxury, not much else compares to the Sandy Lane. This is not a big-name chain by any means, and first-time guests will have to remember to close their mouths as they uncover surprise after surprise. Upon arrival, the road winds through beautiful grounds and mahogany trees toward the impressive entrance and marble lobby bedecked with the first signs of the signature pink. In fact, pink is the Sandy Lane’s clever branding technique, and it is incorporated into every possible area.
The friendly staff will whisk away luggage, and because no tipping is allowed, there is never a need to worry about pulling out the wallet. Receive a welcome cocktail and wander out to the beautiful terrace with seating areas that look out onto the beach and the Caribbean Sea.
Hallways feature local art, and each wing has a distinct mosaic symbol in the flooring. This is a universal sign that lets guests know -- regardless of language barriers -- that they are in the right wing. Because the resort attracts VIPs from celebrities to dignitaries (Tiger Woods was married here), there is a see-and-be-seen feel. However, because the service is so outstanding, it lacks any sort of pretension. The Sandy Lane is first and foremost a place to feel special, and it works.
A premier spot on the ritzy west coast, just a few minutes from Holetown
The Sandy Lane is one of the few resorts in Barbados that offers free airport welcomes, and depending on availability, this could happen in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Because the property is located on a busy road, walking to nearby attractions is not recommended, though there is an underground tunnel that leads guests (with key-card access) under this main road to the Old Nine golf course and tennis courts. The hotel can arrange transportation to the Country Club, and taxis are readily available for transportation to other areas of the island. The nearest hub is just a few minutes down the road, known as Holetown, the spot where Brits first discovered Barbados back in the 17th Century. Today it contains gourmet restaurants and shopping, including the new Limegrove complex, featuring high-end names such as Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton.
Luxurious rooms, suites, and a five-bedroom villa -- all fit for a king
Rooms at the Sandy Lane are of high quality and contain distinct touches such as Italian marble floors, plantation-style designer furniture, and parabolic speakers on the veranda and in the bathroom. Large closets and state-of-the-art bathrooms contain bathrobes and slippers with the signature “SL” monogram. Longtime guests will eventually be treated to their own monogrammed sheets at the hotel -- some say this is a rite of passage.
Special amenities make the Sandy Lane a destination in itself
From sand to grass, there's more than enough to keep guests active and happy at Sandy Lane. The Beach Club offers water sports including waterskiing, banana boat and other towable rides, kayaking and catamaran sailing. All non-motorized water sports are free. Scuba diving and deep-sea fishing charters can be arranged here as well.
For golf enthusiasts, there are three golf courses: the Old Nine, the Country Club course (open to the public), and the super-exclusive Green Monkey, which has been carved from an old limestone quarry. Reservations for the Green Monkey must be made far in advance, as there are limited tee times per day. Golf carts are provided for both the Country Club and Green Monkey courses, and are outfitted with a GPS system.
First-class dining and cocktails all throughout the property
Bajan Blue is located on the lower terrace, and offers all-day dining that incorporates European, Caribbean, and Asian-influenced cuisine. This is the resort’s more informal restaurant, though it stays sophisticated with a wine bar and sushi station. The Sunday Brunch is also popular.
L’Acajou is the resort’s fine dining option in a romantic, open-air beachfront setting. The pink-and-white motif looks spectacular with candles, and the menu, though expensive, offers gourmet cuisine and an outstanding wine list. This restaurant is an excellent choice for a special occasion.
The Spa Cafe is connected to the outdoor pool and offers light dining with healthy salads and sandwiches throughout the day.
The Country Club Restaurant overlooks a golf course, as well as the Caribbean Sea. This is a great place to enjoy an outdoor lunch (birds are strategically fed along the golf course so they won’t bother diners) or cocktails at sunset.
There are seven bars throughout the resort including Sandy Lane’s Monkey Bar, a cool spot for a nightcap, where Elton John has been known to play impromptu piano.
Decked out in signature pink, the 112-room Sandy Lane is the creme de la creme of Barbados -- indeed, it's one of the most luxurious resorts in the world -- known for unparalleled service and distinct touches. Guest amenities run rampant; perhaps the most noteworthy is access to the super exclusive Green Monkey golf course with a separate apparel line that can only be purchased after completion. A Rolls Royce Phantom, top-notch spa, outstanding restaurants, and celebrity sightings are just a few aspects that set the elegant Palladian-style hotel apart from the rest. This is a very special place, for those who can afford it.