We stayed at Sandpiper at the end of July and first week of August 2008. We booked through BA Holidays and used them to organise a transfer from the Airport which worked just fine. Hotel is small (c47 rooms) and on checking in we were shown to a Garden 1 bedroom suite. Room was well appointed if a little shady and dark - but we had booked a sea view and had that confirmed by BA Holidays. The Hotel said this was a regular problem that they were not able to guarantee any room location or number but would "try their best to accommodate" - anyway they did and the next day we were moved to the actual room closest to the Carribean Sea and stayed there for the remainder of the holiday - any closer and we'd have fallen in - room 1. We'd thoroughly recommend it, the bedroom was very good indeed, the balcony excellent and the lounge area where we had a bed for our daughter super - they offered to make up and strip down the sofa bed every day so you could use that, or in our case we asked for a roll-away bed to be installed and left it in the corner made up so that T could sleep when she wanted without having to wait for the evening tunrdown service - worked better for us - air conditioning worked perfectly throughout. The kitchen was well equiped and would have done everything we needed although we did not use it and chose to eat out. The main bathroom was OK, only small point would be that the shower was in the bath as oppose to a seperate shower. There was a seperate shower room adjacent the kitchen which we used - a little dated and tired but worked OK. Not all the one bedroom suites have a seperate shower so if you are looking for one you'll need to ask.
Breakfast lovely, good cold selection and then hot from the kitchen, good choice and all lovely food. Beach super, always plenty of beds and the water was perfect to allow little ones to play and swim in. Lots to do on the beach, HobeKat, Kayak, Banana Boat, Snorkelling (there was a litele to see just off the beach), Pontoon to swim out to, JetSkiing off the beacj (big ones for three folks each) and Waterskiing too. The Hotel has an arrangements with a Beach Operator called Hightides (you'll need to check what is and is not included) but we used a guy called "Captain Andrew" for Waterskiiing lessons, he was simply superb and had L up and skiiing in no time. We also went on an hour's sightseeing boat trip up and down the coast with him and he was very knowledgeable. The beach sellers were there in abundance but on the whole were polite and didn't bother you once you had said "no". On a couple of occasions there were pubic holidays during our visit and there was a plain clothes policeman sitting on the beach near us - we never saw any trouble though. We ate most lunchtimes in Harolds Bar by the beach - good service, good food - it served us well. There was usually a fish of the day dish and we had that several times - usually very good indeed. We ate in the restaurant for dinner only once - bit stuffy for us, and they didn't let children less than 6 in, so we just made it. However there were so many other choices on the Island that we rented a car and went out.
Out of the Hotel gate and turn right, there is a small shopping mall about 10 minutes walk away where you can get most things and stock up your kitchen if you want to cook yourself.
The pool is quite small and set well back from the sea. It has a few seats around it and is next to the bar.
The Hotel restaurant did a B-B-Q on a Sunday evening and a GM's cocktail party on one other night - but we've had our fill of those around the world and gave this one a miss and chilled out.
Restaurants - we ate at the Italian casual restaurant (recommended) right next door - Spargo's, pasta and pizza - walk along the beach to get to it. On a Wednesday night they have live music and it was an excellent duo when we were there. We ate at Fishpot three times it was so good (highly recommended) - owned by an Australian couple - superb food on each of the three occasions - book early and you'll get a seaview table. We ate at Tides (10 minutes walk) once - great seafood and a great location but not perfect for children, more of a 12 years and upwards kind of place. We ate in a Morrocan (I think Calabaza) - shocking, poor service, poor menu choice and average food - give that one a miss. We drove to the other side of the Island and did Bathsheeba, walked among the rockpools and then drove to Crane Beach, taking our own picnic - stunning rolling waves coming in off the Atlantic Ocean and the beach has other people on one end of it as there is an Hotel and Timeshare there - you can rent a sunbed and umbrella. Great Island, very friendly people, lots of nice restaurants to go to and a super holiday enjoyed by all.
We ate at Lone Star twice and whilst it was my wife's favourite I found the staff a little unfriendly and the food OK. If you have young children then best to get there just before 7pm as the childrens menu stops at 7pm and this means you can order from it before your food gets underway. It has a stunning setting with a wonderful grand staircase leading down onto the beach side restaurant. I had the curry second time there which was the better meal from my perspectivie.
BUT, if we hadn't been able to move rooms we would not have been happy so you may want to investigate that aspect before you go.
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