4 Things to Like About Sandals Barbados
PHOTO: Sandals Barbados features lush, contemporary design and landscaping. (All photos by Brian Major)
With its emphasis on upscale facilities and amenities and focus on high service levels, Sandals Resorts International’s newest property, Sandals Barbados, follows in the footsteps of Sandals La Source Grenada, launched last year on the island’s Pink Gin Beach, and the recently renovated Sandals Ochi resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
All three offer an outstanding array of rooms and suites, multiple casual and fine dining options and facilities that range from exclusive traveler lounges to on-site land excursion services via Sandals’ Island Routes affiliate.
Yet it’s the resort’s location on Barbados, the longtime jewel to which American travelers are returning years after other Caribbean destinations grabbed the spotlight, which adds a game-changing aspect to this newest Sandals property.
Positioned in a secluded nook of Dover Beach, Sandals Barbados is ideally located to provide guests with a taste of the island’s beautiful natural environment. The resort is also within close proximity to local entertainment districts and attractions. And unlike some all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Barbados guests here are encouraged to explore the island’s restaurants, nightclubs and numerous cultural and historic sites.
PHOTO: The property is within proximity of historic Bridgetown.
The property itself is finely finished in a contemporary style, with a terraced bank of accommodations framed by open-air restaurants, pools and lush landscaping that overlooks the beach.
In short, the new resort is designed to provide everything vacationers need to enjoy a rewarding and memorable travel experience. Based on a recent visit, guests will find four things in particular to like the new Sandals Barbados:
It’s in Barbados
This stately southern Caribbean gem’s charms begin with the splendid natural environment. Barbados offers 70 miles of white-sand beachfront, with many of the 60 individual beaches framed by leafy palm trees. Although it lacks the multiple mountain ranges found in come other Caribbean destinations, the island features lush and hilly coastal areas.
Barbados is circled by coral reefs and the erosion of limestone rock on the island’s northeast end has formed caves, including Harrison's Cave, a popular tourist attraction. Barbados’ eastern coast features numerous calm-water beaches, and there are two protected marine parks off the island’s west coast. The island rises gently to the central highland region. The high point is Mount Hillaby at 1,120 feet above sea level.
Barbados’ capital city of Bridgetown was established by English settlers in 1628 and features numerous historic buildings and structures. Bridgetown and its garrison were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, with landmarks ranging from a statue of Lord Nelson to the city’s Jewish synagogue to Kensington Oval, the site of the 2007 Cricket World Cup final.
Each Friday, evening tourists and locals alike flock to the nearby town of Oistins for a festive fish fry held amongst the town’s streets, open-air restaurants and entertainment venues. During the lively events, local stalls sell fried fish meals plus local arts and crafts, all to the accompaniment of Caribbean calypso, soca and reggae music.
It’s an Adults-Only All-Inclusive
Travelers looking for sophisticated experiences sans youngsters will enjoy the property’s adults-only format. In addition Sandals’ all-inclusive system allows guests to pay one price for their vacation while enjoying premium amenities, facilities and services from butler service to in-room mini-bars featuring branded alcohol to a plush Club Sandals lounge for arriving and departing guests.
There are Lots of Options and Services
While there is plenty to do beyond the resort — and an on-property Island Routes office to arrange guest excursions — Sandals Barbados’ array of features and facilities will likely keep guests in and around the resort at most times.
Featured facilities begin with what company officials describe as the largest river pool in the Caribbean and the longest lagoon pool on the island. Other public areas feature giant soaking tubs and lounge areas with fire pits.
PHOTO: Sandals property is located along white-sand Dover Beach.
The options extend to the resort’s accommodations. Sandals Barbados offers 280 rooms in 14 categories including secluded swim-up suites. There are also 61 butler suites served by 13 butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers, who perform duties ranging from arranging island tours, to serving en-suite dinner.
The multiple dining options include the first Indian eatery at a Sandals resort; Butch’s Chop House, a first-rate steakhouse named for the company’s chairman, Portofino’s, an Italian restaurant and bar, and Schooner’s, a seafood grill. There’s even a New York-style hot dog stand. The property also offers seven bars, a Parisian-style cafe and an English pub where guests can sample a pint, chow on bangers and mash, and engage in a friendly game of billiards.
Water sports options are available as well, including kayaking, boogie boards and snorkeling and scuba for certified divers. A Carnival party is held every Monday, a chocolate buffet takes center stage on Wednesdays and Saturdays are reserved for a Bajan street jamboree.
There’s More to Come
A recent visit uncovered land clearing and construction activity at an adjacent site, and Sandals officials admitted they are already planning an expansion plan of the resort. The 14-acre site next door may result in a doubling of the resort’s current room count by 2016.
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