- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Please link my thoughts with those of Paul from Blandford, who has already posted his review.This trip to Barbados was to celebrate my 70th birthday. I travelled with my wife and our friends from Dorset.Whilst I am no Alan Whicker I have had the good fortune to stay in a good many hotels including at least twelve All Inclusive resorts. These have been in Mexico, Dom. Rep and Turkey. Of these I have to say that the Secrets Resorts have been our favourite and set the bench mark which we had hoped Sandals would exceed.Sadly not! However I must congratulate 'Butch' Stewart and his team for very slick marketing and glossy brochures which together with there continual media advertising and discounted rates clearly capture a lot of customers including ourselves.The good bits first we flew out with Thomas Cook - Premium Economy and had a great flight and food. Arriving in Bridgetown 40 minutes early. A short ride to the hotel to be greeted by a song cool towel and 'fizz' in a plastic flute!! They say you get one chance at making a good first impression. Sandals failed here the reception area is far from what I expected a 5 star resort to be. Then to be kept waiting for over two hours for our room with no contact from the staff. Our adjacent rooms in the Crystal Lagoon block were spacious clean with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, a large shower room and soaking tub on the balcony. Fridge, safe and ironing board. A little strange that there were not at least a couple of cans of beer with the water and soft drinks in the fridge.The lagoon which snakes its way past three accommodation blocks is stunning as are the grounds. Carefully and loving kept by Markson and his team.If we remind ourselves that Sandals claims to be the 'Ultimate All Inclusive' you might expect something a bit special. Let's start with the sun loungers heavy wooden affairs with thin mattresses well past their usefulness. The most uncomfortable I have even been on. As most people are aware some beds occupy better places that others we are also aware that very few hotels appear to operate an effective and fair sun lounger policy. If you were not by your required bed by 6.30a.m. you had no chance of using it. Some residents, mainly those using cabanas would 'reserve' four beds.Getting drinks at the Crystal Lagoon end of the resort proved to be random if at all.Finding bottles of water also proved difficult.The hotel could best be described as being in three sections - the Beach which was very nice but offered little in the way of shade, than there was the Main Pool and surrounding area. This area could get quite raucous and very busy. Behind the main block called the Royal House you will find a quieter area around the European Pool. Sunbeds here are crowded and at a premium. Moving back in the resort you will find the Cafe de Paris where most of the staff seemed to have had a charisma by-pass, but eventually serve crepes (if you are English and want lemon and sugar ask one of the restaurants or bars for lemon because you will not get any here.) There are then areas in the gardens with sunbeds, again at a premium.The food in the restaurants was generally of a good standard with Butch's Chop House serving a good variety of steaks and rack of lamb. The Bombay Indian we thought was excellent with dishes that reflected what we might find in the UK. Souparno was in charge here and a good man he is. The Italian Portofino by the European pool managed by another excellent man Emmanuele also provided good food and also a table served breakfast. Kimonos rather strangely only provided Teppanyaki show cooking there are no tables where you can order alternative oriental food. The Sushi bar was busy but on our visit we had to wait over 40 minutes to be served. Schooners seafood as just about okay but again service was poor. We didn't try Dinos Pizzeria, although we saw plenty of pizzas being eaten. Some of the reason for this was that at lunch-time most people headed for the Bayside where as well as offering buffet breakfast a rather poor and inadequate buffet lunch was served. Some days there could be thirty people waiting for tables, sound like a 5 star resort? The Merry Monkey served lunch and evening meals with best of service overseen by the delightful Anne-Marie. If you are lucky enough to be served by Cristal, a large local lady, try and get her to sing. She is amazing just like Adele.Finding somewhere suitable for pre and after dinner drinks is nearly impossible. Whilst the poorly designed piano bar and Courtyard bar have got most Premium drinks and a reasonable quality French sparkling wine the seating arrangements are poor. You are also likely to get plastic champagne flutes in the Piano Bar.Associated with the dining is the choice of wine. The House Red and White wine was very good with choices of each. Why they do not offer a Rose wine is a mystery.As mentioned by my friend in his report we did have a fire alarm early one evening but with no attendance from the management we were left to quiz the gate man at the back of our block as to what was going on. If took three days before an apology and very weak explanation was forthcoming.If we remind ourselves that this 14 night holiday received a discount of 55% and still cost over £3,500 each I certainly do not think this resort represents anywhere near good value. Nor, as they claim, does in offer More Quality Inclusions than any other Resorts on the Plant. Take a leaf out of Secrets or Riu's management handbooks to see how it should be done.Finally, being aware that a new resort was being built next door we did ask our Travel Counsellor to check if there was likely to be any noise. A reassuring message from Sandals claiming that just some final internal decorating and gardening would be taking place. Well if that work needed angle grinders, hammers and scaffolding together with a considerable amount of daily noise I: have clearly misunderstood the message.All that said Barbados is beautiful island, the people are very friendly and our weather was perfect. The odd shower here and there but mainly sunny.We took a five hour island tour from the hotel with an excellent driver come guide James Taylor.If you are considering Barbados does some research. Clearly from other reviews a lot of people think Sandals is excellent, but do keep in mind that the average stay here is six days and that may have some bearing on their opinions.Just a shame that Secrets do not have resort here.
We had a great time, the hotel Thank you to Patrick and Barbara grounds was beautiful and the rooms were very clean. The staff is extremely attentive there are some people that really stands out to us cherine the cook she made us a very special Bajan breakfast. Adion who works on the grounds. Barbara in guest services she was very helpful and made our stay extra special. I can understand why people love going to this resort , the management definitely work had to make all there guest feel welcome and special. who made our 20th anniversary stay one to remember.
This was our free week and we are really glad we chose this resort.We were upgraded to 3 rd floor of the crystal lagoon suites. Enjoyed this area very much. It was very quiet and enjoyed sitting on the balcony viewing the gardens and lagoon areas.All restaurants we tried we very good, no food issues at all.Enjoyed relaxing around the quiet pool all week. Servers came by taking drink orders throughout the day.Beautiful beach and gorgeous turquoise blue water.The return guest dinner was one of the best we ever attended.Loved our time at Sandals Barbados.
We visited here for 14 nights to be part of our friends 70th birthday celebrations and we had believed the hype that it was the ultimate all inclusive 5 star resort but unfortunately in our view it is not and certainly not 5 star. We arrived at about 1.30pm and we're greeted with a drink but left to our own devices and told our room would not be ready until 3.00pm but it did not materialise until 3.30pm - bad start. We had nice meal in the 'pub' that evening and retired to bed.The next morning after breakfast we went and found some sun beds for our first taste of Barbadian sun. The bed were solid wood slats with thin mattresses and heavy so difficult to move. We would suggest managers spend a day lying on these and they would soon feel pretty uncomfortable so the beds should be replaced with more modern web type with thicker mattresses. The resort had a policy that beds unoccupied after 10.00am and not occupied would have any towels etc removed but this was not enforced and we observed some couples reserving 4 beds - very selfish when there is a shortage. We considered beds on the beach but there was no shade too much in temperatures of 28C.There were other items which make it feel the ultimate experience - some staff were survey and slow although we found some amazing staff Crystal , Emanuelle and Crystal in the pub with an amazing voice.'Champagne' was often served in the bars in plastic flutes which are fine for the pools but we saw in the pools guests being served with drinks in glass. At times it was difficult to get a bottle of water and it would have been good to have water stations around the complex.We had a major concern when a fire alarm went off and guests came out of their building but there were no staff to tell them what to do. It did turn out to be a false alarm and we suggested a note should be give to all the guests in the relevant block, we asked but nothing appeared and our friends eventually were spoken to by a guest manager Barbara 3 days later!!When we booked our holiday we were told a new Sandals was being constructed next door but it would not impede on our holiday but daily about 8.30am jack hammers, stone cutters and various other building implements would start make a considerable amount of noise - it seems as if management had not heard of noise pollution!Having said all of the above the rooms were good as was most of the food although service in some of the restaurants let it down. The weather was really good with occasional shower which soon dried up.Sandals PR company should be congratulated on their selling of the resort but visitors should be aware it not necessarily all it seems.
This was our first all inclusive resort by Sandals, and it will definitely NOT be our last. WE HAD A BLAST!!! We've been to only one other resort, which I won't mention the name, but it was not all inclusive, and did not offer the amenities that were present at this Sandals resort.We were in Barbados to help a friend celebrate his birthday; his wife surprised him with this trip to which he did not know that several of his friends would be attending with him. Upon arrival our entire group was met with nothing but friendly, courteous, professional, and at many, many times, personal attention and hospitality. Once members of the staff learned your names and faces, which didn't take long, they never forgot and treated you like they've known you for years. The entire staff from management to janitorial staff was nothing but flawless when it came to customer service and ensuring that you will enjoy your entire visit with them. LOVED IT! My wife and I had the Caribbean Village Grand Luxe suite with a view of the garden area from our private balcony, which included a small dining table for us to enjoy drinks, food, and beautiful sunrises. The room was clean and well maintained with updated luxurious furnishings and appliances (not that we really utilized much of the large flat screen TV or fully stocked fridge), but it was there if needed. The food in each of the restaurants that we dined was fabulous. Of the many places to dine there, we enjoyed 5 of them. We had Bayside for breakfast, which is buffet style, but it felt more like brunch with the many selections of food to chose from. And the chef on the omelettes station, Anthony, made the best omelettes I've tasted in a long time at any restaurant or hotel. He was a very kind gentleman, full of life and enjoyable to talk to. For snacks and lunch, we would visit The Merry Monkey English Pub for some very tasty burgers or jerk chicken quesadillas and beverages, or we would visit Dino's by the pool for some simple thin crust, brick oven baked pizzas. Before you say something like "why go all the way to the Caribbean to eat simple American junk food?" there is also a cozy little restaurant on the beach called Schooner's which served some of the best Caribbean seafood dinners I've ever tasted. I suggest you try the Lobster Bisque or the Peppered Reef Shrimp (stop licking your lips and slobbering on my review). Next was Indian food at the Bombay Club...I'll just say this, drink plenty of beverages cause you're gonna have plenty of "spice". Suggest for an appetizer to try the lamb chops marinated in Indian spices; DELICIOUS! You want activities to wear off all that delicious food? Try the jet skis (not included) or the paddleboards, or the kayaks/canoes. These are just a few of the water sports included in your package. We viewed and enjoyed several pool volleyball games. Or if you just want to relax in the pool with a tropical beverage, try a rum runner or their world famous rum punch at the swim-up pool bar; but I HIGHLY suggest you hydrate with water prior to having too many rum punches...their "punch" is more like a right hook that will knock you out - FABULOUS!! Okay, now for the not so good news. The only reason I gave this all inclusive resort 4 stars is because it is still under construction, and from the information that I gathered concerning the construction, the place is going to be extravagant. So if you visit this resort in the next few months, just know that there is some construction going on, but it will by NO means interfere with your activities or enjoyment. The other reason for the 4 stars was because there is no onsite ATM machine for anyone who wishes to go off site for some local shopping or local cuisine. I'm sure there is a valid reason for that, but I think it would still be convenient to have just in case.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
- Hotel transfers for packages to USA
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- All meals and snacks including gourmet restaurants serving the finest international cuisine with Caribbean flavors
- Unlimited Premium Brand Liquors
- Complimentary internet cafe and WIFI
- Free Golf (Transfers and greens fees) at the Barbados Golf Club
- Free Glass Bottom Boat Ride, including swimming with Sea Turtles
- Free Sunset Catamaran Cruise
- Free Scuba Dive (two dives per couple per stay, or 4 total per stay, PADI certified divers only)
- Free Boogie Boarding, Wind Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Hobie Cat Sailing, Snorkeling and Kayaking with instruction
- Free Shuttle to Oistins Fish Fry - a Barbados MUST DO
- Guided Barbadian Green Monkey nature trail walk
- In room Dining
- Live entertainment is offered nightly
- Managers Cocktail Party is held weekly
- Personalized mini bars
- Tennis with instruction
- Daily activities
- 280 rooms
- 11 specialty restaurants
- 1 snack bars
- 3 Bars, including swim-up
- 5 pools
- Fitness centre
- Red Lane Spa (fee)
- Salon (fee)
- Non-motorized water sports
- Tennis courts
- 24-hour front desk
- 1 king bed
- garden view
- patio or balcony
- full bathroom
- flat screen TV
- hair dryer
- alarm clock
- iron/ironing board
- Personal mini-bar stocked daily
- bottled water
- turndown service
- iPod docking station
- room service
- maximum # of guests: 2
- 1 king bed
- garden or ocean view
- patio or balcony
- seating area
- mini fridge
- maximum # of guests: 2
Resort Location Map
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
St Lawrence Gap SN, St. Lawrence Gap Barbados
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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