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The Sandpiper 4.5

Saint James Parish, Barbados

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautiful, scenic beach with calm water
  • Convenient location close to shopping and restaurants
  • Stylish, upscale rooms, all with private outdoor space
  • Large on-site restaurant is popular and lively
  • Happening beach bar that serves lunch
  • Small, intimate property that's been family-owned for decades
  • Large, stylish bathrooms
  • Ample fitness center
  • Free Wi-Fi    

Cons

  • Spa is located at sister property
  • Pool is on the small side
  • No TVs in units (pro for some, and can be provided upon request)

Bottom Line

The Sandpiper is a 48-room, family-owned resort on the ritzy west coast of Barbados. It's hard to find fault in the rooms or amenities at this small, colonial-style luxury property. The pool and beach are on the smaller side but they are beautifully landscaped and inviting. The airy rooms have sophisticated tropical style, though some of the ground-floor units do feel less private, and some may mind the lack of TVs. The beach is located on a little inlet and has calm, clear water. Guests regularly rave about the food and service at the hotel’s on-site restaurant as well as Harold’s Beach Bar. The spa is not on-site and located on the hotel’s sister property a short drive up the road.

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Scene

Relaxing, charming, and family-friendly boutique 

The small sundeck looks out over the beach and water clear and calm water, and can get crowded with guests

There is a good mix of guests at The Sandpiper, consisting of young couples, retired folks, and families with children. While Harold’s Beach Bar and the restaurant tend to be popular and lively, the pool and sundeck are relaxing and peaceful. The beach and sundecks are the most popular areas of the resort although there are plenty of lounge chairs to accommodate guests. It’s not a particularly large hotel so some of the more popular areas, such as the sundeck, can feel a bit congested. The small property footprint can also lead to slightly less privacy in certain rooms. However, the compact size makes getting around the property easy. 

The Sandpiper and its sister, property, Coral Reef Club, have been family-owned since the 1950s. Although the Coral Reef Club is larger and has more amenities, the small size of The Sandpiper lends itself to an intimate, relaxed, and charming atmosphere. Tropical gardens and waterfalls surround the property and one area in particular is especially scenic with palm trees and other tropical flora. 

Although the hotel located close to the main road, there is a thick tree barrier and noise isn’t really a problem. The open-air lobby is spacious has a few stylish seating areas facing the gardens. The decor throughout is sophisticated, with colonial influences.     

Location

Just north of Holetown, along the platinum coast

Map of The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper is located on the main road, just north of Holetown, on the west coast. It is within walking distance to Limegrove shopping center, which has high-end stores, restaurants, and bars. It’s also walking distance to a grocery store, post office, and other eateries.

  • Seven-minute drive to Sandy Lane Country Club Golf Courses
  • 17-minute drive to Harrison's Cave
  • 19–minute drive to Saint Nicholas Abbery and Cherry Tree Hill
  • 19-minute drive to Bridgetown
  • 25-minute drive to The Gap
  • 26-minute drive to Oistins Fish Fry
  • 32-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport

Rooms

Stylish and inviting rooms with sophisticated tropical style; all have patios or balconies

The Sanderling Treetop Suite features wraparound balconies with private plunge pools and a freestanding bar

The 48 rooms at The Sandpiper are spacious and open with beige tile floors, white walls, and light wood furniture. The bedrooms have different accent colors for the drapes, pillows, and bed runners, but all are beachy and colorful, yet tasteful. The bedrooms have king-size beds, a desk/dresser, and a small seating area.

The bathrooms in the suites are nothing short of fabulous with clean tile, upscale lighting, a separate tub and shower, and a large vanity with double sinks. High-end toiletries (Ortigia products from Sicily) are provided. Standard Garden Rooms have shower/tub combos. Every rooms comes with a safe, robe and slippers, a toaster, and tea and coffee making facilities -- and most importantly, a balcony or patio. 

Those with kids should definitely consider the One-Bedroom Suite (fitting three adults, or two adults and two kids under 12) and Two-Bedroom Suite (fitting up to five people). The separate living rooms have stylish beige couches, wicker chairs, and an entertainment center -- with books on top rather than a TV. (Many guests appreciate the opportunity to unplug, but TVs can be provided upon request.) 

Honeymooners may want to splurge for one of the Treetop Suites, which have terrific sea views and private plunge pools. Even the entrance to these feels more high-end, with a dark wood door and cedar shutters. The living room is larger and has chic white furnishings, whitewashed wood ceilings, and artistic accents, such as wood vases, sculptures, and hummingbird art. The wraparound balcony, where the plunge pool is located, has its own bar complete with a fridge, glassware, and soft drink mixers, as well as a dining table and chairs. Decor throughout is an elegant mix of cream fabrics and dark woods. The bathroom has a free-standing tub as well as a huge marble shower.    

Features

Scenic but smallish pool and beach

The lively Harold's Beach bar serves lunch, and is named for a long-time staff member

The Sandpiper’s pool is on the small side but is not crowded (most guests seem to prefer the beach). It's circular and nicely landscaped, and has plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. Sandpiper’s beach is located in a little inlet, which keeps the water clear and calm. Small inlets dot the space down the beach either way and provide a scenic view. There is a sandy space next to the water sports hut and Harold’s Beach Bar where lounge chairs are set up – they’re not directly on the beach. There’s also a small sundeck located on the other side of the property where guests can lounge. The beach at nearby Waves Barbados is spacious and has a more traditional set-up.

The hotel’s only restaurant is located in the middle of the property serves both European and Asian cuisines. It is an open-air space with a large interior dining room and a smaller, scenic porch that looks out over the gardens. There is a small bar area with couches and tables that face the pool. Breakfast is excellent and includes a wide selection of hot and cold food and beverages. The hotel offers meal plans that can include breakfast only, breakfast and dinner, or full board. Harold’s Beach Bar, affectionately named after a long-time staff member, is situated next to the loungers and serves drinks as well as lunch during the day.

Free non-motorized water sports are provided on-site, and includes kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling gear, and Hobie Cats. There is a large fitness center with treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, strength-training machines, balance balls, and free weights. There are tennis courts on the property.

Spa

The spa at sister property Coral Reef Club is one of the island's best.

The spa at sister property Coral Reef Club features an outdoor hydro-pool and loungers

The Sandpiper’s spa is located at its sister property, the Coral Reef Club. The hotel provides a free shuttle for guests, and the two properties are a five-minute walk from each other. The Coral Reef Spa is the crème de la crème of spas. At 5,000 square feet, the spa is housed in a huge, open air, two-story building and features:

  • Four massage rooms, each with their own patio
  • An outdoor couples massage pavilion
  • Four large changing/shower rooms
  • Steam room
  • Experience shower with three types of jets
  • Thermal spa garden
  • Relaxation/meditation room
  • Manicure/pedicure suite
  • Relaxation lounge that offers yoga two mornings a week
  • Its own hydro-pool complete with loungers and cabanas
  • An air-conditioned lounge where folks can relax while their partners get a treatment

The grounds of the spa are beautifully manicured gardens with palm trees and tropical plants as well as waterfalls. The spa is full-service and provides massages, nail services, body wraps and scrubs, facials, waxing, and tinting.

Weddings

Weddings hosted on-site

The Sandpiper’s basic wedding package includes the minister’s fee, ceremony, license, bouquet and boutonniere, one-tier wedding cake, and champagne. Photos, video, entertainment and larger cakes are extra.

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Address

Holetown, Caribbean

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