Not within walking distance of beach or island highlights
Kitchens can be narrow and hard to move around
Older shower/tub combos in bathrooms
Rooms' decor isn't as elegant as public spaces
Crowing roosters can be annoying
This four-pearl Mediterranean-style hotel and spa is tucked away in the hills of northern Barbados. Although it lacks a beach, the 40-suite property offers several things other hotels don't -- lush, expansive garden grounds; a gully walk; scenic wildlife such as green monkeys and roosters roaming freely; and an adults-only atmosphere. All-inclusive packages are available, although there is only one restaurant, La Salsa, serving all meals. (A “rum shop” is also on the premises, but open hours are limited.) The one- and two-bedroom suites are clean and include kitchens and patios. An outdoor pool, spa, fitness center, art gallery, and beach shuttle add to the property's appeal. Those after self-contained accommodation closer to the beach could try Beach View, though its design isn't quite as elegant.
An intimate inland oasis with lush rolling grounds, wildlife aplenty, and a calm adult vibe
Up in the hillside on a quiet road, the Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa sits behind a large circular entrance. Inside, its Mediterranean-style lobby sports white rendered walls and red tiles -- a look that is consistent with the two-story, villa-style buildings that unfold across the property. With only 40 suites in total, the Sugar Cane Club never feels too crowded, though the pool does get plenty of action due to the lack of a beach on the property. (Daily shuttles transport guests to the beachfront sister resort, Almond Beach -- however the scene down there is dated, sprawling, and lacks the overall quality of the Sugar Cane Club.) The on-site La Salsa restaurant, overlooking the pool and hillside, fills up during mealtimes, and there is an “elegant casual” dress code in place in the evening. Some guests do complain that the bar area is just too small to accommodate all the guests that gather. Still, there's a general tranquility here, thanks in part to the hotel's adults-only policy (no guests under 15 are allowed). The lobby and grounds become romantic at night with candles and low lighting. After dinner, guests can be spotted lingering in the gazebo or on one of the swinging benches. The abundance of (harmless) birds and wildlife that meander the property add to the atmosphere, although some people complain about the crow of resident cockerels.
A lush secluded spot in the rolling hills above Speightstown, a four-minute drive from the beach
Sugar Cane is a hidden gem in the northern hills near Speightstown, a 42-minute drive from Grantley Adams International Airport. Given the property is not within walking distance of attractions, a car can come in handy. (The local bus service does not run this far inland, and taxis can get quite expensive.) A hotel shuttle is in operation during the day and takes guests to sister resort, Almond Beach, in four minutes. Nearby towns and highlights include Heywoods Beach (three-minute drive), Speightstown (six-minute drive), Royal Westmoreland Golf Course (12-minute drive), Holetown (18-minute drive), and Sandy Lane Country Club (16-minute drive). Free on-site parking is provided for guests with cars.
One- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes, private patios, and lush views
Suites here either come with a garden or ocean view (though the latter offers more like far away water glimpses). Matching wood and wicker furniture populate neutral interiors giving a homey feel. Beds are dressed in crisp white linen with color accent cushions and muted tropical bed runners. Combined living and dining areas, with flat-screen TVs, flow outside to private furnished patios. All in all, the look isn't as elegant as the lobby or other public spaces, but it provides a comfortable retreat. Kitchens, finished with timber cabinetry and granite surfaces, are fully equipped with large refrigerators, microwaves, stovetops, toasters, and ovens, and all of the necessary cooking/dining implements. Bathrooms feature large marble vanities and glass vessel sinks, with old-school shower/tub combos, and toiletry products dispensed from wall-mounted pumps. Free Wi-Fi is provided, though the connection isn't always strong.
Great spa, fitness center, pool, art gallery, and squash court
Though it's lacking a beach, there's plenty on hand at the Sugar Cane Club to keep guests occupied, starting with its pool. It isn’t as big as other resorts, but it fits the intimate feel of this property and offers a sun-bathing deck with lounge chairs (that can fill up) and a pool bar.
A free shuttle transports guests to sister resort, Almond Beach, where they can spend the day on the beach or utilize the amenities. The full-service spa is a real highlight, featuring a wide range of treatments with hydrotherapy, massage, and steam rooms, plus an outdoor relaxation area with a gazebo and a plunge pool. The gym is a good size and is decked out in state-of-the-art equipment. It neighbors the art gallery, with a wide and colorful array of artworks and gift items. Guests have access to a squash court, coin-operated guest laundry facilities, mountain bikes to explore nearby trails, and guided nature tours through the property’s own Gully Walk. Free Wi-Fi is provided, but it can be temperamental.
For dining, La Salsa serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (all inclusive rates are available), and the evening menu alternates between a la carte and themed buffet nights which often include live music. Weekly manager’s parties take place, and various activities are scheduled throughout the week, such as bar mixology sessions, cooking demonstrations, and glass bottom boat tours. Sandy’s Chattel Bar and Restaurant on the far end of the resort mimics an authentic “rum shop” -- though hours are limited.
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