Sandals, The Ultimate Barbados Hideaway
There is something otherworldly about arriving at Sandals Barbados. This is the stuff of James Bond films and multi-million-pound music videos. But arriving at Sandals Barbados, the company’s newest resort after a $65 million makeover, it is all real. From the inventive accommodations spanning three unique villages, with luxurious suites, 11 restaurants and a spa and the eternally pouring beach bars to the gently swaying palm trees, Sandals Barbados is an almost inconceivable slice of luxurious exclusivity.
The island’s only five-star, Luxury Included resort exclusively designed for couples, it is located on Dover Beach, in the midst of the cosmopolitan St Lawrence Gap on the south coast. Sandals Barbados is a haven of exclusivity, on the most British of the Caribbean isles.
Barbados itself is a favourite with the A-list; everyone from Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce, Elton John and even the Queen has fallen for its charms.
The country itself is dominated by the bustling, hypnotic colonial relic that is Bridgetown, and muddles together a laid-back atmosphere with a vibrant, cultural heartbeat.
Sandals Barbados has gone to exhaustive lengths to tick every box couples could possibly ask for. Think Tranquillity Soaking Tubs on private patios and balconies, an unrivalled selection of fine dining restaurants, beachside cafes, hip bars, intimate lounges and imaginative pools. The resort is designed to cater for all types of couples, from those ready to unwind to pairs ready to party. For ultimate relaxation curl up under a blanket of stars or relax in sophisticated piano bars.
Meanwhile, among the seven stylish venues there are decadent poolside parties where guests can enjoy a complimentary pour of premium spirits 24/7, party the night away and watch the sun come up together.
One of the main focuses of Sandals Barbados is fine dining of course- this is foodie heaven. Throughout the resort are 11 unique culinary experiences, from Caribbean seafood spotlighting the flavours of Barbados, to a classic steakhouse, Italian, French, Asian favourites, and even Sandals’ very first Indian restaurant. Each is impeccably managed with impressive attention to detail. Every restaurant is always included, and it’s always unlimited, so guests can try a different eatery every day.
The accommodation is created specifically for romantic luxury. All 280 guest rooms and suites at Sandals Barbados boast views of lush gardens or a vibrant turquoise sea, and feature four- poster king-size beds, flat-screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi and three distinct villages – Crystal Lagoon Village, Caribbean Village and Oceanfront Village – even the basic level offers luxurious furnishings, highest quality linens and fine in-room amenities. This summer will see the opening of Sandals Barbados’s fourth village, the secluded Lovers Lagoon Hideaway.
For full luxury experience you can have your own personal butler. Trained by the Guild of Professional Butlers (they’re the ones who provide butlers to nobility and celebrities), yours will take care of everything.
If you do decide to leave your room there are plenty of activities on offer. Did I mention they are also all included and unlimited? Watersports include boogie-boarding, sailing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding and more. Highly recommended is exploring under the water on a relaxing snorkelling trip, revealing a wonderland of fish, coral and the endangered Hawksbill turtle. Certified divers can explore wrecks and reefs, with Sandals’ comprehensive diving programme. On land, team up for volleyball, or find harmony at a yoga class.
Finally, there is the award-wining Red Lane Spa to pamper the mind, body and spirit with unique therapies and wellness programmes. A sanctuary of quiet calm nestled within the resorts lavish gardens, the spa is home to marble-clad treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms and a beauty salon offering a full range of services.
GET OUT AND ABOUT IN PARADISE
JOLLY ROGER LUNCH CRUISE
Swing from ropes and walk the plank on this fun-filled pirate ship cruise. Taking in some of Barbados’s best snorkelling spots, you’ll see tropical fish and explore the sea-claimed ruins of a shipwreck before heading back to the deck for a pirate-size barbeque feast. After lunch, it’s time for another deep-sea adventure, this time snorkelling among the sea turtles at feeding time.
ST LAWRENCE GAP
Walking distance from the resort is this buzzing strip with bars and restaurants. It’s also a great tip for nightlife, with various clubs.
BRIDGETOWN SHOPPPING AND HISTORIC WALK TOUR
Soak up the history that lies within the city boundaries of Bridgetown. On this guided walking tour view the Parliament Buildings, the Jewish Synagogue (the oldest in the western hemisphere), historic churches, Queen Park, Heroes Square and Nelson’s Statue.
The shopping and residential heart of St James where celebs like Rihanna have houses. This was the first settlement in Barbados and was originally named Jamestown after its benefactor, King James 1 of England. It acquired the name ‘Holetown’ because of the off loading and cleaning of ships in the very small channel located near the town.
Take a luxurious catamaran cruise in Barbados and then explore the water beneath. The boat sails along the gorgeous crystalline coastline to a tranquil bay where you can enjoy a fascinating visit with the islands renowned sea turtles. While anchored, a delicious buffet-style lunch is served.
OISTINS FISH FRY
One of Barbados’s main attractions and not to be missed. Located at Oistins Bay Gardens, and a hub of activity on weekend nights, it is the place to try excellent fish, (tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish), lobster and chicken.
High-end shopping location with Gucci, Cartier, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton.