Clear blue sea, beaches and botanical gardens, and of course not forgetting the rum, Barbados is the perfect mix of relaxation and that festival feeling. With such a sunny mix it is little wonder that many celebrities see it as their second home.
If you’re looking for a little winter sun and the perfect couples get away that allows for romantic strolls before stepping into the ultimate party atmosphere then you need to check into Sandals Barbados.
The first duel property for the couples resort brand, Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados is a twin site venture that allows you to ‘stay at one, play at both’.
With over 500 rooms and a total of 17 dining options for holiday makers, the site is indeed grand, but the service as always remains personal.
Meandering through the gated resort there is a real Disney-esque feel about the place. With bridges over swim up pools, leading you to your apartment block, this is a grown ups paradise.
There are rows of beautiful palm trees, exquisitely maintained greenery and several smaller pool areas to ensure that you can carve out your own unique and memorable Sandals experience.
While Grenada felt like the Sandals to escape to, the Barbados duel site feels like where the party is happening. Being able to wonder between the two sites makes this larger property a constant bubble of energy but also allows you to tailor your pool to your mood (a very important feature).
Royal Barbados, being the latest in the Sandals portfolio definitely feels buzzier, attracting a younger party crowd. The main infinity glass side pool features a swim up bar alongside day beds and a resident DJ to keep crowds upbeat.
A stone’s throw away Sandals Barbados is for the days when you want to feel more relaxed and mellow, a slower pace slouch in the sun, accompanied of course by some of the best cocktails on the island.
And of course as always, it is right on the beach, featuring the warmest and whitest sands, leading to clearest blue sea.
While Grenada felt like the Sandals to escape to, the Barbados duel site feels like where the party is happening
Like the other Sandals properties there are vast variations of options for room types, depending on the type of service and space you want during your stay.
If you’re really pushing the boat out, then you might want to try a ‘Butler level suite’.
This means you get your own butler complete with special butler phone, the ultimate luxury experience.
There to grant your every wish, your butler is on hand to ensure you want for nothing.
You haven’t quite made it until you return to your room to find a bubble filled bath, in your tranquility tub on your balcony, complete with chilled champagne and a fruit platter – Rihanna eat your heart out!
Looking for a more secluded stay, then treat yourselves to the ultimate hideaway with a South Seas Royal Rondoval Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary (heaven) – it is basically your own stand alone little love shack, definitely one for true romance.
And when it comes to drinking and dining, Sandals Royal Barbados is hard to beat. Featuring the brands first roof top dining experience, La Parisienne – a stunning French cuisine restaurant (this is a dining experience to dress up for) – there is also a bar for pre dinner cocktails and a roof top pool – to get that perfect tan.
With so many dining options across the site, you never need repeat a meal.
Of course there are a host of evening shows and entertainment throughout the week to keep guests amused, but why not check in for a game of bowling at the new Lovers Lanes bowling alley too. With its own bar, the bowling alley turns into a real party hub come the evening as revellers move on from sipping Cosmos in the sun. It’s also Sandals’ first four lane bowling alley.
But to me no resort is complete without a trip to the spa. Stepping through the doors of the Red Lane spa though was something else. It’s hard to see how Royal Barbados could up the ante anymore but it is really an experience not to be missed. With lots of small pools, and trickling waterfalls, this is the secret weapon in Royal Barbados’s already large arsenal. Treatments are carried out in tranquil wooden huts that are dotted along a tropic path of greenery. The silence is golden and you feel like you’re in the middle of no where. The perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation you can’t come to Sandals Barbados without a pit stop here.
And while it’s tempting to hideaway on the resort – you really must head out and try these things:
1. Stop by at 17th-century plantation house St. Nicholas Abbey, now home to a micro brewery distilling rum, stocked by the likes of Fortnum and Mason. Try their various aged rums and see how strong you can go!
2. Take to the waves on a catamaran and see if you can spot a turtle with an ocean snorkle experience. Enjoy a day at sea on an organised catamaran cruise that will see you swim, sup on your favourite tipple and of course sit back and relax and take in the endless turquoise sea.
3. The botanical gardens is a highlight of the island and one the top tourist attractions. Explore the various gardens and incredible plants some of which you wont see anywhere else in the world. andromedabarbados.com
4. Being a Caribbean island you are guaranteed some amazingly fresh fish, so get yourself down to Oistin’s for the Friday night fish fry. This is where the fish comes into so you are guaranteed the freshest catch of the day. On a Friday night there is a serious party atmosphere with live music and locals and tourists alike spilling onto the streets and into the local fish fry restaurants to order some of the best tasting fish you will ever wrap your lips round. Make sure to try local fair such as macaroni pie as a side (you can thank me later).
And once your full of fish, round off your Bajan experience with a rum shop drinking session. This literally means purchasing your rum by the bottle with a side of mixers rather than by the drink… good luck – just don’t miss your flight home!
HOW TO BOOK
Seven nights at Sandals Barbados, in a Crystal Lagoon One Bedroom Butler Honeymoon Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub from £3,439 per person:
A seven-night stay at Sandals Barbados, staying in a Crystal Lagoon One Bedroom Butler Honeymoon Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub costs from £3,439 per person. Price includes Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) accommodation, return economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and resort transfers. Price is valid for travel on select dates between 1st September – 11th October 2019. Prices are date specific and subject to availability at the time of booking and may change.
Seven nights at Sandals Royal Barbados, in a South Seas Crystal Lagoon Club Level Barbados Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub from £2,085 per person:
A seven-night stay at Sandals Royal Barbados in Barbados, staying in a South Seas Crystal Lagoon Club Level Barbados Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub costs from £2,085 per person. Price includes Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) accommodation, return economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and resort transfers. Price is valid for travel on select dates between 26th May – 9th July 2019. Prices are date specific and subject to availability at the time of booking and may change.
To book or for more information on Sandals Resorts visit www.sandals.co.uk, call 0800 597 0002 or pop down to the Sandals Luxury Travel Store at 135 Fulham Road, London.
For more information on the island please visit: barbados.org
Excursions can be booked via Island Routes Adventure Tours.
St Nicholas Abbey: Railway Opens January 4th 2019 – Website: StNicholasAbbey
St Nicholas Abbey has the exciting new development of a heritage railway. Far from a gimmick the train itself was originally built in 1914 for a sugar plantation in Java. Visitors will now have the opportunity to step back in time and undergo a 45-minute adventure on the vintage locomotive. The railway takes visitors 3km across open fields, through mahogany woodland and by the beautiful rock faces of the disused quarry. The highlight allows visitors sweeping views of the Scotland district and East Coast from Cherry Tree hill.