Set on a private stretch of Dover Beach on the island's southwest coast, the lushly landscaped, couples-only Sandals Barbados is an upscale, all-inclusive resort. Some of the hotel's 280 rooms offer swim-out access into a river-style pool, or terraces with freestanding soaking tubs. The resort's three pools, 13 restaurants, bars, spa, and numerous recreational amenities make for plenty to do on property, but those needing an escape can easily access the nightlife of nearby St. Lawrence Gap. The hotel also boasts a manicured stretch of breezy white-sand beach lined with rows of cushy loungers, but the area of the island is prone to odorous seaweed and noise from nearby construction. Those seeking a more intimate, upscale hotel with prime beach access might consider The House or the Fairmont Royal Pavilion.
An upscale, couples-only resort with a variety of rooms and suites, three pools, numerous water sports, and 13 restaurants
Catering to couples of all ages, Sandals is one of the most
luxurious resorts on Barbados. The resort, which opened in January 2015, sits
on a stretch of white-sand beach on the quiet end of St. Lawrence Gap, a
one-mile stretch of bars, night clubs, and restaurants that collectively make
up the island's entertainment district. While the Gap is a must see while on
Barbados, Sandals makes it difficult for guests to leave the property.
The hotel's modern, beach-inspired vibe is evident immediately. Entering the lobby, guests are faced with a huge reflecting pool that mixes fire within the water
feature. The airy, modern space combines traditional Barbados colonial
style -- whitewashed ceilings and mahogany floors -- with contemporary furnishings and
finishes such as gold glass tiles, white leather seating, and turquoise lamps, side tables, and pillows.
The property is
designed for wandering and discovery. From the lobby, smooth concrete paths wind through immaculately groomed gardens with grassy areas, towering palm
trees, fan palms, and flowering shrubs in hues of red and fuchsia.
Throughout the property guests will find plenty of places to lounge -- in oversized pod
chairs, in white sofas surrounding fire pits, and in suspended wicker loungers. They can
stop for a cappuccino at a French cafe or head to a wide-open palazzo style area
to pick from a variety of restaurants, including a lively British Pub and a sleek sushi
Water sports, a yoga pavilion, and a spa also tempt guests, mostly
honeymooners, from their rooms but the biggest attraction at the resort is its
trio of pools. The river-style Lagoon
pool (offering swim-up access to some rooms) twists beneath bridges and the surrounding greenery, offering guests
private places to relax. Closer to the lobby is a long rectangular pool
surrounded by low-slung white chairs and red and white striped cabanas outfitted with bright blue sofas
and chandeliers, ideal hideouts for lazing away the day. The social center of
the resort, and a signature feature at most Sandals Resorts, is the huge beachfront
pool with its swim-up bar and a party atmosphere. The typical scene involves active guests playing
volleyball at one end, couples lounging beneath umbrellas, and others mingling around the bar or in the giant whirlpool with frozen drinks in
hand. A walk-up pizza restaurant with picnic tables in the sand and stands of palm trees
separate the pool from the beach, where additional rows of lounge chairs offer
a quieter place to relax within ear shot of the crashing waves of Dover Beach.
Set along the island's southwest coast on the shores of Dover Beach, walking distance to St. Lawrence Gap and a quick drive to the international airport
Sandals Barbdos is centrally located on the island's southwest coast, close to the international airport. It is within walking distance of St. Lawrence Gap or “The Gap” -- a one-mile stretch of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Five-minute drive to Rockley Beach
Eight-minute drive to Oistins Fish Fry
11-minute drive to Bridgetown
16-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport
25-minute drive to Sandy Lane Country Club and golf courses
The resort offers 280 rooms and suites set in 14 different
categories, some with ocean views and butler service
With 14 different rooms types and three service categories, Sandals caters to a variety of budgets and preferences. The rooms range in size from entry-level Deluxe Rooms with views of the gardens to luxurious beachfront one-bedroom suites with round-the-clock butler service, fully stocked bars, and freestanding soaking tubs on the balconies. Rooms on the ground floor of the Crystal Lagoon buildings feature swim-out access from the patios to the lagoon pool.
Despite their size or category, all of the rooms follow the same style and color palette (turquoise and white). They have mahogany four-poster or traditional king-size beds and coordinating mahogany furniture, tile floors, and beach-inspired artwork. Modern amenities include large wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Bathrooms are sleek and modern with glossy subway tiles, shiny chrome hardware, oversized showerheads, lots of thick white towels, and Red Lane toiletries, used at the hotel’s spa. Some bathrooms have shower-tub combos while others feature large walk-in showers and separate freestanding tubs.
Guests also choose from three service levels. Those staying in the Butler level suites and rooms receive the highest level of service, including personal cell phones for direct-dial access to their assigned butler, preferred seating at dinner, and 24-hour room service. Dedicated concierges service the Club Level rooms from the 24-hour Club Sandals Lounge, a stylish space with food and beverages, snacks, and newspapers. Luxury Level rooms are the entry-level service category.
An over-the-top selection of restaurants, bars, recreational activities, and water sports, plus a spa, fitness center, and yoga pavillion
With 13 restaurants and seven bars on site, guests at
Sandals Barbados have more dining options to choose from than at most resort
hotels. The majority of the restaurants are set in a palazzo style area close
to the lobby. They include a more formal jazz-inspired steak house, a jewel-toned Indian restaurant, and a duo of Japanese restaurants with a serene entrance bordered by stylish koi ponds (one with communal teppanyaki tables and the other serving sushi). The Merry Monkey, a popular spot after dinner, is a more casual British style pub with billiard
tables and a long bar.
Adjacent to the lobby pool is an open-air Italian restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a quaint French style cafe, a cozy spot for an afternoon pick-me-up cafe au lait and a chocolate croissant. Close to the ocean, guests will find Schooner’s for
Caribbean food, the Mariner Seaside Grill, and Bayside, a large open-air space with
indoor and outdoor seating that serves an international buffet for breakfast
and lunch before switching to a French Brasserie a la carte menu for dinner. Hot dog stands, chocolate buffets, and
wood-fired pizza are also available to guests. Only Kimonos (the teppanyaki Japanese restaurant) and Butch's Chophouse require reservations.
As important as the dining options are the hotel's recreational amenities. At the beach guests can take take turns on paddleboards, Hobie Cats, kayaks, glass-bottom boats, and boogie boards or simply float around with snorkeling equipment. Certified divers have unlimited access to equipment while those wanting to become certified can do so for a fee. The resort also offers a spa, an airy yoga pavilion for classes, a fitness center, and a variety of games from ping-pong to Bocce ball at various locations throughout the resort.