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I just got back from Sandals Barbados and I cannot wait to share my full review! If you like a resort with lots of activities, great restaurants, beautiful beaches and tons of pools – a stay at Sandals Barbados is for you! Plus with stay at one, play at two (referencing access to the adjacent Sandals Royal Barbados) there is something for everyone at this adults only all-inclusive resort.
As a full-service travel agent and Certified Sandals Specialist, I get invited to experience the resort. As always, all opinions are my own.
Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados Review
My stay at Sandals Barbados was my fifth Sandals resort experience, and I had “heard” that the Barbados properties were a favorite among Sandals fans. I was so excited to be able to sneak away with my husband for a few nights to experience this beautiful island and amazing Sandals resort.
Sandals Resorts are adults-only, all-inclusives so the perfect option for a kid-free getaway. I chose Barbados because its one of the Sandals resorts without a long drive from the airport, that I had not been to yet!
What is the difference between Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados?
Yup, that was exactly what I was wondering! So in theory, there are two distinct resorts, Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados. But they are adjacent and its hard to tell where one resort ends, and the next resort begins.
Guests have access to all amenities at each resort, so it really feels like one larger resort. I love this stay at one, play at two concept, because it gives access to so many restaurants, eateries, pool areas, and activities. I think that is a big reason that these resorts draw a ton of repeat guests.
But there are a few subtle differences between the two resorts. Sandals Barbados was the original, so the design is more classic. Sandals Royal Barbados was built in 2017, so it’s a newer, more modern property.
There is an area on the Royal side (South Seas hideaway) that is brand new, just opened in February of 2022.
Each property does have its own lobby area, with a club Sandals lounge, Loyalty and Travel desk, and Island Routes desk
If you are looking for a luxury level room, those are only available on the Barbados side. The Royal side has club and Butler Elite level rooms only. Also, all of the rooms on the Royal side have soaking tubs, which is such a nice addition. I had one when I stayed at Sandals Grenada and at Sandals Royal Caribbean and it’s a room feature I try to always offer to my lucky clients.
If you are interested in club level or butler level on the Sandals Barbados side, they have those rooms as well.
The highest level rooms, the Prime Minister Suite, the Skypool suites and the Rondovals are located on the Sandals Royal Barbados side.
On our recent trip, we stayed on the Sandals Barbados side, in a Caribbean Deluxe room. For the rest of this review, I will treat the amenities and tips like one big resort!
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Rooms at Sandals Barbados
Sandals Barbados has a variety of amazing rooms – something for every budget. One of the nice things about Sandals, is that all guests have access to all of the amenities at the resort.
If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury, be sure to book a Sandals butler level room. Some great butler options at Sandals Barbados include the Crystal Lagoon Swim Up One-Bedroom and the Beachfront One-Bedroom suites.
Sandals Barbados also offers beautiful club level rooms that are swim ups or beachfront suites.
For those on a tighter budget, the luxury level Caribbean village rooms are really nice, and a great, central location on the resort.
Rooms at Sandals Royal Barbados
Like the Mediterranean village at Sandals Grande Antigua, all of the rooms on this side are club or butler level. This side does tend to price out a little more than the Barbados side, but the extra club level perks and the soaking tubs are worth it!
My favorite rooms on this side are in the Hideaway Village (these are all oversize, brand new rooms) with a very quiet pool and two restaurants right nearby.
If you like being closer to the beach, the Seaside Village, Millionaire suites, the Beachfront Prime Minister suites are amazing (you have your own private pool on the beach), or the Sky Pool suites (the only other Sandals with Sky Pool suites is Sandals Grenada).
Dining at Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados
The food at Sandals Barbados really shines! There are so many dining options from quick bites, to fine dining. On our recent stay, we ate dinners at the Bombay Club (Indian), Kimono’s (hibachi) and Butch’s (chophouse and seafood).
I loved eating at Kimono’s at Beaches Turks and Caicos, and getting a reservation here was my number one dinner priority upon arrival.
There are actually two Butch’s on property, and we were disappointed to not have tried Chi, for Asian fusion (they have sushi there as well).
We also tried to do a happy hour at Soy (incredible sushi) but it was booked up.
Other dinner options include Schooners (seafood), Portofino (Italian), Greenhouse (veggie forward), Spices (Caribbean buffet) le Parisienne (French), and Neptune’s (seafood).
For breakfast, several restaurants offer ala carte dining, and on our trip we tried la Parisienne and Portofino. The breakfast menus are basically the same across the ala carte restaurants.
Spices and the American Tavern offer a breakfast buffet for something quicker, but delicious.
Lastly, for lunch there are several great options at Sandals Barbados. On our first day we ate at Dino’s pizza (I loved Dino’s at Beaches Turks and Caicos as well).
Next to Dino’s is Mariners, where you will find burgers and sandwiches.
On the Royal Barbados side, you can grab a quick lunch at the Jerk Shack, or Neptune’s for lunch with the best lunch views in Barbados. American Tavern also serves an ala carte lunch and Spices has the buffet.
Sandals Barbados Dining Tips:
- Save the paper they give you the first day with all of the restaurant times. You will reference this often during your stay. Maybe take a picture so you always have it with you.
- Book your dining reservations when you arrive. Six restaurants require reservations. Luxury guests can find the dining concierge in the Calypso lounge. Concierge guests can make reservations in Club Sandals and if you have a butler, they will do you reservations for you.
- Do note some restaurants are closed on certain nights, so plan your dinner schedule accordingly.
- Men need long pants and closed toed shoes to dine at a few of the restaurants, so be sure to pack those.
- Choose one night to do a “dine-around.” Have an early app at one restaurant, and a later dinner/desert at another restaurant. Great tip, especially, if you have a shorter trip and want to try all the options.
- Try the specialty cocktail at each restaurant.
- Have lunch at Neptune’s.
- For all day snacks, Be sure to check out the donut shop on the Royal Barbados side and Café de Paris on the Barbados side.
- At Café de Paris, don’t miss the crepes menu. Made to order!
- The Merry Monkey serves food as well. Perfect for a casual dinner or late night snack.
- Club and butler rooms include room service. Club guests can order from 7am-11pm, and butler guests can do in room dining 24/7.
Activities at Sandals Barbados
To me, this is where this resort really shines. There is SO MUCH TO DO at Sandals Barbados.
Besides the beach (and yes, you can swim at the beach at Sandals Barbados), and a ton of pool options (we went to a different one each day), and there are lots of included activities.
During your visit be sure to:
Play tennis (racquets and balls are by the courts)
Visit the Dive shop to sign up for the daily snorkel trip (One day a week is reserved for club sandals guests) This trip starts at 830 am and you are back to the resort by around 10:30. This was a true highlight of our stay. We saw turtles and a ton of fish, and the trip was short and sweet – the perfect amount of time.
Play volleyball – Sandals Barbados has beach volleyball and pool volleyball over on the Barbados side.
Go bowling at Lover’s Lane (be sure to pack socks for this). No reservations required, first come, first served
There are a few places to play pool – over by the Calypso pool or in the Merry Monkey.
Try ping pong or foosball (right outside the bowling alley).
Play giant chess, shuffleboard or croquet (by the infinity pool).
Head down to the beach to try a kayak, paddle board or Hobie (all included). Hopefully you will be able to drive the Hobie better than our attempt at the Royalton Antigua. If there is someone available to take you out, ask for a lesson!
Check out a fitness class. The daily schedule is posted near the gyms – and yes, there are gyms on each side of the resort.
Rooftop Bar and Pool at Sandals Royal Barbados
All of the Sandals have their unique features, and the rooftop at Sandals Royal Barbados is unique to this property.
Head over to the Royal side, up to the sixth floor where you will find rooftop infinity pools, the Sky Bar, and la Parisienne restaurant.
SANDALS ROYAL BARBADOS PRO-TIP: Ask for the smoked cocktail menu at the Sky Bar!
Destination Weddings at Sandals Barbados
A Sandals destination wedding is amazing and the best part – its going to cost way less than a wedding in your hometown!
When you book your Sandals wedding with me, I help you choose your room, help book all of your guests and put you in touch with the amazing wedding team to finalize your big day plans.
When I toured Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados, I saw a few weddings in progress and saw the many wedding ceremony and reception locations. They even have a beautiful lawn that can accommodate a large wedding or event.
Of all the Sandals, Barbados would be a great one for a wedding since there are so many great activities, and a variety of price points for rooms.
Sandals Barbados vs Sandals Royal Barbados
Honestly, if you were deciding between both resorts, I wouldn’t sweat it too much! Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados is pretty much one large resort. I would have your trusted travel advisor help you find the room category that best fit your travel style and budget. Whichever side you stay on, its truly the same resort!
Sandals Barbados Review
I loved my stay at this resort. I can see why many Sandals fans call this their favorite Sandals resort and why there are so many repeat guests at Sandals Barbados.
I really liked the variety at the resort – of dining options, things to do, and nooks to get lost in. I did think it would be more of a party vibe, but during our summer 2022 visit, the resort was mainly quiet.
The staff was incredible, and the Bajan culture is warm and welcoming. The landscaping around the resort is gorgeous, very green and lush.
I was disappointed that the beach did have seaweed and local peddlers trying to get guests to book excursions. That was truly my one complaint about this resort.
When we checked out, the guy helping with our luggage asked us what were our highlights. My husband said “no kids” and I said “the food and the snorkeling trip.”
The clientele at Sandals Barbados ran the gamut of ages for sure. We met quite a few young honeymooners, and then guests celebrating 30+ year anniversaries!
Sandals Barbados Tips:
I am sure you will love Sandals Barbados, but here are some tips to make your trip even better:
- Be sure to book your free photo shoot. Pay only for the pictures you want to purchase.
- Book a spa treatment in one of the outdoor cabanas
- Book a room with a soaking tub (if you budget allows)
- Check out the schedule of events, posted around the resort each day
- Be sure to find the hideaway area – with a juice bar, veggie-forward restaurant, and quiet pool. There is also a large bar out there, with no line or wait!
Hubby and I loved our anniversary getaway to Sandals Barbados and I know you will too! Have you been to a Sandals resort? Have you been to one of the Barbados properties?