'Sandals Royal Barbados' | Hotel Review
Despite the fact that we haven't travelled since the COVID 19 pandemic started - we have continued to take advantage of the local rates that hotels have been providing due to drastic decline in tourism on island. Hence, for my 30th birthday, Steven planned a special surprise - a staycation at Sandals Royal Barbados!
Thinking about spending some time at this lovely resort - here's our review:
Due to my love for tubs, Steven booked the Royal Seaside Penthouse Oceanview Crystal Lagoon Club Level Barbados Suite w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub. With this room category, not only did I get my tub, but we had access to the Club Sandals concierge services which included private check-in, all day room service, and access to the Club Sandals Lounge.
The added level of service (Club Sandals concierge) was nice but not a necessity for us and we only truly used it to make our restaurant bookings arrival.
While we loved our room, if you're looking to save some coins, you can look into the option of booking a room within Sandals Barbados (which might be slightly cheaper) and still enjoy all the amenities that both resorts have to offer as it's literally one big resort!
Tip: This room category also puts you on block 4. This means that you are perfectly situated next to the main pool of Sandals Royal Barbados (which you can viewed from the balcony) which is exciting because the main pool is were all the action is at during the day! This building also places you directly next to Sandals Barbados which makes everything within immediate reach.
Firstly, let me say this, as a resident of Barbados, the beach at Sandals Royal is not the best. While they have indeed done an amazing job on the beach itself, the waters are quite rough majority of the time due to its position on the south of the island. Nonetheless, we did try one of the water sports (Hobie cat sailing) when the seas looked calm enough to do so and let me tell you - that was a wild ride but we still enjoyed every bit of it!
PS: don't be discouraged! There will be days that the sea would be calm enough for you to have a very enjoyable time in the ocean or while Hobie Cats sailing, paddle boarding or even kayaking (which is all included). Rest assured, if it's not safe to do so, they definitely will let you know but if water sports is an important factor for you, try a resort on the west of the island.
The unlimited fine dining at the multiple restaurants was one of the main reasons that Steven booked a staycation at Sandals Royal for my 30th birthday and due to the fact that we've been to Sandals Barbados prior to the arrival of Sandals Royal, we were aware of at least some of the dining options and we knew the importance of setting a schedule ahead of time. After all, there is only so much you can eat (and do) in 4 days! Here's is what our schedule look like:
Arrival - Friday
Lunch - Neptune’s
Dinner - Bombay 6:30pm (reservations not required) and Kimonos 8:45 (reservations required)
Tip: if you're on island - don't be afraid to arrive early. We arrived at 1pm knowing that check-in time was 3pm but we enjoyed our "early arrival" at Neptune's for lunch!
Breakfast - La Parisienne
Lunch - American Tavern (no reservations required)
Dinner - Schooners 7:30 (reservations not required)
Breakfast - room service & La Parisienne
Lunch - Neptunes (no reservations required)
Dinner - Bombay 6:30pm (reservations nor required) and Chi Asian Fusion 8:30 (reservations required)
Departure - Monday
Breakfast - La Parissene
Lunch - The Jerk Shack
Dinner - Butches Steak and Seafood 6:30pm (reservations required)
We were also sure to stop by the donut shop, Cafe de Paris as well as the pizzeria for light snacks throughout the day!
Tip: Make sure you do some research if food is an important factor for you. Some restaurants have set opening and closing times and some might be closed on certain days so having a schedule means that you're able to plan around the availability of the restaurants. Bookings can only be made on arrival, so be sure to do that as soon as you arrive (with your butler, club sandals concierge like we did, or at the restaurant desk) to the restaurants that require reservations. We also dined early at the restaurants that didn't require a reservation to ensure that we didn't have to wait to be seated.
The entertainment at Sandals Royal is unlike any of the entertainment I've ever seen at any other resort. If you said you were bored at Sandals Royal, I'd say that there was no way that was possible!
If you're a sports enthusiast, there is beach volleyball, pool tables, tennis (day and night) or even bowling. For the person that likes light games, there is chess, croquet and other fun games around the resort. And, if you want to get a little wild, there are fun beach parties, live bands, karaoke and so much more.
Truly, there is something for everyone!
Not only does your room come with a fully stocked bar, there are also 4 bars at Sandals Royal (including swim-up bars) with unlimited premium liquors!
Naturally, we aren't drinkers but the bars are certainly appealing for persons who enjoy alcoholic beverages due to the endless variety!
The only negative take away was that the staff didn't make my birthday feel like a birthday. No one went out of their way to do anything special for my 30th birthday (not a song, not even a card) which was the only disappointment especially since it was noted that we were celebrating a special occasion. It's always noteworthy when staff go above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable and in this instance, while most of the staff were amazing, if not for the amazing amenities that Sandals provides, this would have been a very regular stay and not even worth a blog post.
But overall, we had a great time and as a local, even though a stay at Sandals can be considered expensive, the value that Sandals provides is certainly worth the cost.