If you’re looking for the finest, luxury experience for your Caribbean getaway, why not stay where one of the richest men in the world took a holiday?
Sandy Lane Barbados has a long history, but it’s still the type of resort even the most state-of-the-art ones try to be. The resort as it stands today is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, but Sandy Lane Barbados has existed in one form or another for 85 years. An idyllic environment, Sandy Lane almost feels like a reclaimed palace of old. It carries a style of old-school grandeur without feeling itself like an antique. The restaurants, tropical gardens, beaches, and hidden gems on the grounds are wonderful places to relax, socialize, or just take in the natural splendor.
Of course, when some people think of resorts, they think of crowded pools and loud neighbors. They think of clogged walkways and paths to get to and from the rooms to the restaurants or the spa. But Sandy Lane Barbados is a resort where privacy is taken very seriously. You can be driven to and from the door of your home away from home, and in the more spacious rooms don’t ever have to leave at all. This is place where you can get out or stay in as much as you want, having a great time either way.
A Little Bit About Sandy Lane Barbados
We will talk about the luxury accommodations and services available for guests of Sandy Lane Barbados. But before that, you should get to know the rich history of this resort and all the famous guests who’ve graced its grounds. Barbados is a tropical paradise with a rich, vivid, and sometimes tragic history, which makes its ascent today all the grander. Read about it all below.
The History of Sandy Lane Barbados
The property that became Sandy Lane was first established not as a place for luxury and leisure. No, it was a place of toil and labor as a working sugar plantation through the colonial era. In 1933, investor and former Member of British Parliament Ronald Tree purchased the plantation to establish the Sandy Lane Resort. Over the next 65 years, the property changed hands a few times. In 1998 Granada, PLC owned the property and was looking to sell. The original resort was in a state of disrepair and it could no longer compete with the newer resorts established on the island. That’s when a group of five Irish billionaires bought the property, but to save it they had to destroy it.
Shortly after the sale, the new owners demolished the original resort. Then they invested some $450 million to upgrade the facilities for the modern travelers. Today, Sandy Lane is recognized as one of the finest and most luxurious resorts on the island. While the buildings and design might be new, the spirit of the first Sandy Lane lives on. There is an old-school class and charm to this place, which makes it a wonderful place to get away from the hectic world and enjoy the Barbadian coast.
Why Travel to Barbados?
Centuries ago, Barbados was a paradise in the West Indies, but a horrible place to be. The island was part of the slave trade. Africans, indigenous people, and even Europeans toiled there. Today, Barbados is one of the only countries in the world to openly acknowledge that history with the statue of Bussa, the leader of a slave rebellion in 1816. Since then, Barbados has gone through a colonial period, only to emerge as an independent country in 1966. They still consider Queen Elizabeth II to be their monarch, but the governing is done by a local parliamentary body and a governor. Barbados has a relatively high standard of living and is one of the most populated Caribbean islands.
Environmentally, it’s a tropical paradise. There is a dry and rainy season, but most of the time the weather is lovely. It’s an island rich with culture and history, and one that eagerly welcomes tourists. The people are very educated, and Barbados enjoys a literacy rate of nearly 100 percent. They have a rich artistic culture, especially cuisine and music. The name, Barbados, is actually a Spanish or Portuguese word for the “bearded ones.” Locals call their home “Bim” or “Bimshire.” Descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes say their ancestors called their home “Ichirouganaim,” which means “redstone island with teeth.” The “teeth” are likely the coral reefs off the shore.
Who Travels to Sandy Lane Barbados?
While the resort will naturally welcome anyone, Sandy Lane is known to be an exclusive resort. This means that throughout its long history, it’s featured many famous guests. The modernist writer beloved by literature geeks and loathed by every other student, T.S. Eliot was known to frequent the resort. Jaqueline Kennedy and her second husband Aristotle Onassis were also guests there. Queens Elizabeth II, Elton John, and Oprah Winfrey all visited Sandy Lane Barbados, though not at the same time of course. That’d be a strange party. Tiger Woods and his former wife Elin Nordegren were married at the resort, a gift from one of the owners, J.P. McManus.
When the second-richest man in the world, Bill Gates, wanted to get away, Sandy Lane Barbados was the resort he chose. However, you don’t have to be hundred-billionaire, royalty, or a rock legend to stay here. Sandy Lane can accommodate anyone who wants to stay there. The only difference in service you will experience is likely not as many people will ask to take selfies with you.
Features & Benefits of Sandy Lane Barbados
Sandy Lane Barbados offers a number of room options, dining options, and other amenities. Truly a place were luxury and pampering is the norm, guests would be hard-pressed to find something to complain about. As gorgeous to look at as it is comfortable to stay at, Sandy Lane Barbados is a singular travel experience.
Rooms at Sandy Lane Barbados are divided into one of four wings, not including the villa. There are the Orchid, Dolphin, Turtle, and Seahorse wings to choose from, though all offer diverse luxury options for your stay. Spacious and comfortable, any room is a comfortable stay. The rooms all have HD Smart TVs, the finest furnishings, and plenty of closet space.
One Bedroom Suites
The one-bedroom luxury suites represents more than half of the available rooms at Sandy Lane Barbados. Most of the rooms are oceanfront options, found in either the Turtle, Dolphin, or Seahorse wings. Other one-bedroom options, overlooking the gorgeous tropical gardens, are located in the Orchid wing. Each room features a balcony or terrace, for late night relaxing or early morning meals overlooking the views. These are part of sitting rooms that are separate from the bedroom or large bathrooms, providing a lot of space even in the smallest rooms. The Dolphin one-bedroom suite is positively huge, featuring a patio, dining room, living room, one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a large walk-in closet. However, there are only five of these rooms available, so book it well in advance. Still no matter which one-bedroom suite you choose, you’ll be very comfortable.
At Sandy Lane Barbados, there are ten options for suites that don’t just have two bedrooms but two private balconies as well. Located in both the Dolphin and Orchid wings, these rooms have similar layouts. Both feature a private patio, a dining room, a living room, and two walk-in closets. The main bedroom features a king-sized bed, while the second features two twin beds. There is a master bathroom off of the master bedroom and a smaller bathroom for the second bedroom. The view from the master bedroom in the Orchid suites face the ocean, while the view from the Dolphin suites faces the garden. Still, these 1575-square-foot mini-palaces are a great place to stay for families or large groups. Plenty of places to be together but enough space for some private time should you need it.
The Pair of Penthouses at Sandy Lane Barbados are nearly 4,000 square-feet of luxurious decadence. The two bedrooms both feature king-sized beds, walk-in closets, spacious bathrooms (with whirlpool tubs), and private balconies. There is a massive outside patio for dining, or you and your party can retire inside to the spacious living room and dining area in the room. There is a large foyer with another huge closet and a half-bathroom for guests or when the other bathrooms are full. The hotel says it can fit four guests, but with couches, up to eight could sleep here. You can even expand the rooms because it connects with the Orchid Luxury Two-Bedroom Suites. This truly is a hotel room you could probably live in.
Sandy Lane Suites
Located on the second floor of the Turtle wing, the four Sandy Lane suites are manse-like rooms over 7,000 square-feet. Comfortably able to sleep 10 people, these rooms are like a vacation in themselves. The living area is a large open-air space with white columns and fine furniture. There is a private, heated infinity pool, right on the edge of the terrace. Guests arrive in these suites via private elevators, which take them to the four en suite master bedrooms. There is a full kitchen for entertaining other guests or home-cooked family meals while on holiday. There is a TV area for vegging out, and a studio and office area in case you have to get some work done. Also, there are four full bathrooms and at least three half-baths, so you’re never waiting even with a full house. Save for the villa, the Sandy Lane Suite is the premier luxury experience for affluent travelers.
The Villa at Sandy Lane Barbados
Some resorts might advertise a “villa,” but Sandy Lane Barbados delivers on that promise. A stately Palladian mansion with five huge bedrooms, this is the ultimate getaway you can have at a resort. Picked up directly from the airport, you are delivered to the villa where you are greeted with Champagne. Every need will be catered to by the house butler, meals are prepared by the house chef, and the room is kept tidy with a dedicated housekeeper. The chef prepares an English breakfast and afternoon tea each day you’re there. Green fees are waived at most of the golf courses. You can explore the area with the complimentary luxury vehicle provided for your use while at the villa. Enjoy the pool and oversized hot tub or enjoy easy access to the rest of the resort. At least 14 guests can comfortably stay in the villa with you, but getting them to leave? That’ll be the real trick.
At Sandy Lane Barbados, you’re not overwhelmed with restaurant choices, but rather have a select number of high-quality choices to make. There are also food-themed events, such as the daily English Afternoon Tea. You can, of course, also contact the concierge if you wanted to dine with restaurants on the local economy.
Dining in this restaurant with its many columns and marble floor, overlooking the Caribbean Sea is what it might have been like to dine in the Mediterranean palaces of old. Offering a French and Mediterranean-heavy menu of European foods, L’Acajou is the finest of fine dining experiences on the resort. The atmosphere is romantic, so whether it’s your honeymoon or your 60th anniversary, you’ll feel the love eating here. Along with fine meals, this restaurant also offers guests decadent desserts like homemade ice-cream, soufflé, and (for something a little different) a plate of five artisanal cheeses.
If you’re only going to eat at the Bajan Blue once, make sure it’s for the weekly Sunday Brunch. The spectacular mélange of Asian, European, and local dishes is laid out buffet-style. You can sample this and that, enjoying one of the best culinary experiences in the resort and, possibly, on the island. The restaurant also hosts many “themed” evening events buffet-style. The rest of the time, this is a gorgeous open-air restaurant serving you fine food and even more amazing views. Enjoy the wine bar and be sure to visit the sushi station. It’s here that the Afternoon Tea is held as well, so you can check it out for yourself before you decide to participate.
The Spa Café
The Spa at Sandy Lane Barbados is all about caring for your body, inside and out. In between treatments or after a soothing massage, stop by the Spa Café. Overlooking the cascading waterfalls in the swimming pool and the lush tropical gardens beyond, it’s just as calming as any other place in the spa. Sip tea (or something stronger) and enjoy light meals like soups, sandwiches, or salads. Health and delightful, the offerings at this café are like a day of pampering for your taste buds.
The Country Club
Any serious golfer knows that half the fun of going to the course is sitting down in the club for drinks and food afterwards. The Clubhouse Restaurant sits above the shoreline and the course, so you can take in the stunning views while you eat. Watch boats sail by or golfers whiff a drive, all while eating anything from a wrap to haute cuisine. There is no rushed atmosphere here, either. Designed for comfort, guests frequently linger long after their meals, watching the sun slip behind the horizon before moving on to other adventures.
Bars and Wine Cellar
When people are vacation, they tend to enjoy a cocktail or three. Sandy Lane Barbados offers guests plenty of bar options, including access to the fully-stocked wine cellar. Home to more than 2,000 bottles of wines of quality vintage, they have your Old and New World favorites. There are economical choices, and there are selections for the big-spenders, like the 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne for $1,382 per bottle. Of course, like the rest of the food here, the wine selection is more fine cuisine than party-fuel. For that, check out the bars.
The restaurants all have bars in them, so if you want a drink before or after dinner you don’t have to go far. However, there are other great places to catch a nightcap or wile away the afternoon hours. The Monkey Bar sits on the lower level, adorned with monkey murals on the wall. Or, if you want to mix soaking up the sun with soaking in something else, mosey on up to the Beach Bar. Right on the shore, you can get a colorful drink with umbrellas or an ice-cold beer. Accessible from both the spa and the pool, the Swim-Up Bar is a place where you don’t have to sink or swim. You can lounge in the water enjoying drinks and light meals. Finally, there is a coffee and gelato bar “tucked between” it and the Bajan Blue.
3. Amenities and Activities:
Some resorts bombard their guests with different amenities and features, when mostly they just want to relax. Sandy Lane Barbados is able to strike a fine balance of leaving guests to their own devices and helping those looking for something to do. As you can see below, there are plenty of options.
Spa and Fitness Center
The spa at Sandy Lane is meant to truly make a guest feel as if he or she enjoys the highest luxury pampering possible. The entrance is wall-to-wall marble with two grand staircases. From there, you are taken to a changing room and given a robe and disposable undergarments, if you wish. The spa has all of the things you’d expect. There are facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and body scrubs. They offer almost every type of massage you can think of. Yet they also have some unique experiences. You can visit the crystal cold room, open to the sky and your choice of three types of cold shower. There is the Rhassoul which is a steam room and an east Asian steam bath. Guests will enjoy a Pink Kaolin clay body scrub, steam bath, and warm water rinsing.
At the hydrotherapy pool and hot tubs, spa guests likely run into the guests who avail themselves of the spa’s fitness center. Along with weights and cardio machines, the resort offers guests personal training. A fitness expert will evaluate your abilities and create a customized workout plan for you. It’s one that you can continue even after you leave the resort. You can also enjoy guided workouts in disciplines from Yoga to Pilates to Tai Chi. Be warned, the spa doesn’t allow guests to walk around in bare feet while there, so have comfortable flip-flops or slippers.
Sport and Athletics
Sandy Lane Barbados is, first and foremost, a golf resort. Golf enthusiast, professionals, and beginners all come to hit the links. There are three courses to choose from. There is the Old Nine, a course built in 1961 is “intimate yet demanding.” The Country Club is a par 72 course designed by Tom Fazio that features challenging greens and fairways. However, when you’re not keeping your eye on the ball, you’ll definitely be looking at the gorgeous view of the Caribbean Sea. The final course is also designed by Fazio and is exclusive to guests of the resport. The Green Monkey is a lush course carved out of a limestone quarry. There are drastic elevation changes and stunning views. It’s a golfer’s paradise.
There are also plenty of other athletic options for guests. Even though the 7,500 square foot pool tucked in tropical gardens is a place made for relaxation, you can definitely get a workout. Out on the Caribbean Sea you can enjoy waterskiing, kayaking, catamaran sailing. There are also snorkeling and diving opportunities, including swimming with sea turtles. You can enjoy tennis or a nice job. There is also deep-sea fishing which is both a sport and a nice excuse to hang out in the open water all day.
Family and Big Gatherings
One of the great things about the large rooms and versatile activities to choose from is that it makes Sandy Lane Barbados a great place to bring the family. In fact, they cater to family gatherings from milestone birthdays to reunions to weddings. You call stay together in the villa or occupy a group of rooms in the wings of the resort. The resort also caters to our work families. It is a perfect place to host important meetings, corporate retreats, or some other work-related event.
If you’re going to the Caribbean, it’s a wasted trip if you’re inside the whole time. Truly a paradise, Barbados is meant to be explored. There are plenty of trips and tours available that the concierge can help set up. Of course, the natural splendor around the resort is resplendent as well. Lush greenery, gleaming beaches, and clear, blue water meet the horizon no matter which direction you look. Very close by the resort is the Sandy Lane Coral Reef, which is home to many species. Though be careful exploring on your own, there a barracuda and other dangers to be wary of. Try to get help from local experts so you stay safe and don’t harm the reef.
What People Are Saying About Sandy Lane Barbados:
The reviews of Sandy Lane Barbados are overwhelmingly positive. Guests gush about the natural splendor, of course, including the carefully maintained beaches. What Sandy Lane gets right is that guests feel as though they have a singular experience. It’s a distinct and unique place that doesn’t feel like it was designed in a corporate boardroom. The amenities and activities are a hit with guests of all ages. The food is also well-liked, save for one specific complaint that keeps popping up. What’s really interesting is that there are reviews from guests who have been traveling to this resort for decades. While they seem nostalgic for the original resort, they keep coming back again and again.
The only things the reviews tell you to watch out for are some instances of brusque staff members, though usually these interactions are with people who aren’t guests of Sandy Lane Barbados. If you have anyone visiting you, make sure your there to meet them. Some staff members, it seems, can be overzealous in protecting the guests’ privacy. The most consistent complaint is that the Afternoon Tea is underwhelming, however it seems like those guests had a very specific idea in their head. Check it out with tempered expectations if you want, but there are plenty of dining options either way.
Alternatives Resorts to Consider
Sandy Lane is a premier and exclusive resort for people who want to relax in luxury and privacy. However, maybe that’s not what you want. Maybe you want a lively crowd? Maybe it just doesn’t suit you. Luckily, there are plenty of other options for discerning luxury travelers to choose from, all offering unique travel experiences.
Sandals Barbados is what you likely think of when you think of a resort. It’s big, it’s luxurious, and there are options on top of options for your attention. This place is packed with rooms of all sizes, large communal areas, and beautiful white-sand beaches. There are plenty of places to eat, with 11 restaurants on the resort. The rooms are comfortable, and some even allow you swim out of them into the resort (but they have doors, too). If you like being part of a crowd, meeting new people from all over the world, this is the place to do it. If Sandy Lane is too private for your, Sandals is the antidote. At this place you could stumble into a huge party, a festival, or a concert at any given moment.
Perhaps your desire for privacy is more about the person you are with. Every couple has a story about going on a romantic getaway only for the atmosphere to not be that romantic. The House by Elegant Hotels specializes in romance and couples’ activities. Whether for a honeymoon or that destination wedding, this place will let you live out your tropical island wedding fantasies. While anywhere can be romantic with the right person, this hotel tries to help that along every way they can.
Despite its rich history, perhaps Sandy Lane Barbados is just still too modern for your tastes. For travelers who yearn for colonial style, the Coral Reef Club is here. The resort sits on meticulously manicured gardens, the kind that would seem at home in the aristocracy scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean. You can stay in the Luxury Plantation Suite, complete with four-poster bed, spacious living area, and a covered terrace. They have lots of activities including polo and cricket.
Sandy Lane Barbados is not just one of the premier resorts in the Caribbean, it’s one of the best in the world.
With the right balance of luxury, convenience, and privacy, Sandy Lane Barbados is great for the traveler who wants to avoid crowds. There are places for socializing, including a number of bars and restaurants. However, for those who want to enjoy a holiday with their loved ones, Sandy Lane Barbados gives you the space you need. The trick to a successful vacation is to be together just enough. If you end up needing some space, you can find it there. In fact, you wouldn’t even have to leave the room in most of the suites. This resort is exclusive and luxurious in all the right ways. From its beautiful white sand beaches to the world-class spa to where you lay your head at night, chances are that vacation you’ve always dreamed about was right here all along.
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