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“Had a great time!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Barbados

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Sandals Barbados
St Lawrence Gap SN, St Lawrence Gap 0, Barbados (Formerly Couples Barbados All-Inclusive)   |  
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Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in St Lawrence Gap
Ontario, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Had a great time!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We had booked this trip back in March when Couples had announced its takeover of Almond. Can't complain really - great island at an amazing price! I'm certain that once this hotel has been "Sandal-ized" we would not be able to afford it. As far as "bang for the buck" goes ... the resort was ok. What made this trip for us was the hospitality shown by the employees. Everyone was friendly and accomodating.

We flew Westjet. Finding the tour operator/Sandals outside the airport could have been better marked with signage. We waited quite a while for a shuttle to the resort. Thankfully they had cold water (booze would have been nice after the insane amount of time we spent in line for customs). Our bus ride was quiet, zero communication from the driver.

Check-in was a disaster. It was so confusing, we had people pointing us in all different directions. It should have been short and sweet considering I pre-registered on-line. We did not receive the "welcome/orientation" that I believe happens in the piano bar. Thankfully we did not let this ruin our first impression. The walk to our room was nice and our escort as very pleasant to talk with. The grounds are well manicured and the resort is very small and quaint. Loved the size. We were in the back, Palm Garden room in building 5.

Although the resort is small, upon arrival it would be nice to have a map listing restaurants and bars - especially after a long flight and night arrival. By the next morning we had gained our bearing and had no problems navigating through the resort.

Amazing beach. Not great for long walks but rock-free, soft sand and great waves. We did not make use of the main pools. We did use the pool outside our building often. Very clean and nestled in the Palm Garden - was a nice way to end our days.

Our room was 3 star at best. It was clean and our mini bar was always stocked. Was epecting more luxious bedding and fluffier towels, oh well. We slept well.

Food was delicious. My first reaction to the buffet was ... "wow, this is small" but the food was good and there was plenty of it. The curry dishes were great and we fully enjoyed the spiciness of everything. True "island" cuisine was a nice welcome change for us. Great pastries and desserts. Schooners was ok, slow - great red wine though (different from the other restaurants) Yes, Please was nice also, Great service. Breakfast was always amazing. We did try the breakfast in bed one day - was so-so.

Loved that there was a "drink of the day". We loved sampling them and usually got a kick out of what the drink was named. Flag service on the beach was great. The boys were courteous and fast. Drink service at every bar was good. Nice variety of alcohol. Very disappointed that Mount Gay was not used more often. Ask and you shall receive though!

All-in-all, our trip was great. The "inclusions" really made it worthwhile for us. Have been to much nicer adult only all-inclusives for around the same price. The resort in its current shape does not command Sandals prices but for what we paid (1300 cdn) we were happy. I would certainly return to Barbados. Wonderful island!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Barbados, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Thank you for your review. We're glad that you had a great time at our resort. Your feedback means a lot to us and we will use it to evaluate all aspects of our resort. We want to ensure that your next stay is an above 5-star experience.

Happy Travels!
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251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
Date | Rating
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English first
Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We stayed at Sandals Barbados the week it transitioned from Couples Barbados. We had an excellent time in Barbados and it was our first time to that island. The resort has many positives and Sandals needs to do some work to get it to their standards as a luxury resort.

The rooms are very weathered and are in need of some major renovations, new furniture, fresh paint but they are very spacious and clean.

The service was amazing. The staff was always pleasant and willing to assist you.

Food in all restaurants was very good. Good selection at the buffet for lunch and in the restaurants for supper.

The beach is not very long but it was excellent for swimming in the ocean and laying in the hot sun all day.

Overall we had a great vacation and look forward to returning to Barbados.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Barbados, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Thank you so much for your review. I'm so happy to hear that overall your vacation was so enjoyable. However, we regret to hear that we did not meet your expectations in a few areas of our vacation package. Please pardon us while we are in our transition. We thank you for your feedback and hope to welcome you back for a stay that will exceed your expectations in the future.
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Fulton, Illinois
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We stayed from 12/21/2013 to 12/21/2013. We originally booked with Couples like many did, having been to Couples Jamaica 9 times, we were very excited to try a new country, & got a great deal. After Sandals bought, we were unable to re book with Couples in Jamaica due to vacation dates, flights, etc.

The food was ok, the menu was the same all week but we like to be served once in a while on vacation rather than have a buffet. There are 2 more, Schooners and the Yes, Please restaurant which was named thru a Couples contest so I was surprised to see Sandals using that name. but one problem we had was that the food often arrived cold.. even the buffet couldn't compare to Couples, very limited. There was nothing gourmet about any it in comparison.

The beach is wonderful. The waves are rough, and can knock you down! But the water is just beautiful. The ambulance came one day as a lady hit her head so hard on the beach with the rough tide & there was only a yellow flag up.

The most distressing part of the trip was the way in which they are obviously training their employees, such as.......
* when trying to book scuba diving, employee said only 2 dives per person per stay, fortunately I had read about this earlier on Trip Advisor,(thank you) personally contacted resort and came with the email response saying all certified divers may have unlimited diving, employee quickly said, my apologies, sir, of course it is unlimited diving, I misunderstood, husband & employee were both speaking English!
* when trying to turn in rewards, my friend took care of it for us, Carrie (management employee) quickly took our paperwork, said your room will be credited with the $150. resort credit, Carrie said that was it. The next day, I went to the front desk and asked to speak to Carrie, I had reprinted out paperwork detailing our entitled rewards. Carrie looked at our name & basically said, what's the problem, I know I entered this name and room credit yesterday. I kindly said, what about these additional rewards such as T-shirts, repeaters dinner invitation, etc. Carrie replied with, go to this desk to get those, no apology, no I'm sorry, I didn't see the rest of your rewards!
* Upon check in, after listening to the intro and filling out paperwork, had to assume that we needed to go into lobby to get keys. I sat down, was working with the employee, she handed me a card key as another lady sat down, started talking to her, she started waiting on her. I finally got up and asked another employee where our room was, what our room # was, when would our luggage arrive, she found out for us & we were left on our own to find room!
* Last but not least, I had a dry 1 piece swimming suit on with shorts on, going into lunch at the buffet, as I was pulling a top out of my bag to put on, the hostess said, you need a shirt or cover up on, mind you, I was very covered up. I was a little taken back and as she seated us, I said, what about the lady over there, who had a 2 piece suit on with no shirt or cover up, hostess says my apologies, madam!
From the little we experienced that week, it seemed that Sandals is a company that is underhanded, sneaky and what is fair for 1 is not fair for all! We also found most of the employees to be cold, rude and indifferent, if I asked for a 2nd cup of coffee, I got an eye rolling from the waitress. I even got up at times to get my own water, coffee, sugar, salt and remove dirty dishes so the birds would leave us alone after having waited a significant amount of time, I have a waitress before so I know it can be trying but after 15 minutes, come on! We did do an experiment as far as tipping the staff, did not seem to make a difference. In general we found the male employees more friendly and smiling.
I will always be a Couples Guest from here on out, I got so tired of hearing we are in transition. Obviously, they were not trying to win over or impress Couples guests, don't get me wrong, we had a good time, but it's often the little things that make your vacation memorable! Feel free to contact me with questions!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

We actually booked our holiday with Couples, but before we arrived we were told that Sandals had bought the hotel and that nothing from our booking with couples would change. It was close enough not to make a fuss about. However there was no information guide in our room nor any "in case of fire" instructions which was a bit disconcerting. I got fed up with the staff saying how much we would love staying with Sandals and how much we would enjoy ourselves! Ill be the judge of that. I lost my glasses in the sea, which at times was extremely rough, I reported my loss to the guy on the beach with the jet sky who I thought worked for Sandals. It transpires he didn't work for them at all but how was I supposed to know ? no information. So now my insurance company wont pay out...Thanks Sandals that's just cost me another £300

Sadly we were not impressed with Sandals but loved Barbados and the people and will go back again but we will stay nearer to Sandy Lane.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langhorne, PA.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

we first booked the trip when it was a couples property and then learned later it was to become a Sandals property. Regardless, this a beautiful property, the staff was very friendly and cheerful,
which is a hallmark of any good service hotel, they still openly embrace their guest with a reassuring smile, the caveat being the added amenities that Sandals is known for is what really made this a better than expected vacation, again this is a place in transition but that did not in any way detract from our experience, I would highly recommend to a friend.
Special thank you to all The front lobby staff, Andre S, Cameron (pool bar, awesome bloody Mary's), Margaret at Yes Please, Darien at Yes Please, Randy the drink master, Chef Tony! ,Renato the Security man.
our stay was from 12/21/2013 - 12/28/2013.

Room Tip: all rooms are in great shape, your choice garden view, or ocean front.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colonia, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed from 12/7 to 12/14. Originally booked with Couples like many did, and got a great deal. Having stayed at other Sandals in the past, we were happy to hear the news that Sandals was taking over. We rented a car and drove from airport to the resort. When we arrived, check in was a breeze. We stayed in Room 1407 which was in block one, ocean view ,floor 4. The view was perfect, and the room was clean and spacious,but they could use a new mattresses ! Yes, you could hear the entertainment at night, but we are on vacation!~ Hearing music until 11 pm was not the end of the world to us. That was only the first night, We were at the entertainment every night after that any way !
As far as the food, it was ok, Nothing really amazing, but - good.
Drinks were good,
The staff was great.
The beach is wonderful. The waves are a little rough, and can knock you down! But the water is just beautiful.
If we had paid top "sandals" dollar to stay at this resort we would have been so disappointed because it does not come close to a Sandals resort. But for the money we paid, it was well worth it. We met several nice people, even bumped into people we knew already from home there at Sandals. Barbados is a nice Island with great people. We will be back to Barbados, just don't know if we'll be able to afford the new "Sandal-ized" prices ?

Room Tip: Block one by the action, but great view,block 4, 5 and 6 very quiet area, 3 is being renovated, 2 wa...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Stayed 2-16th Dec. Booked to go to Couples originally, but as never had Couples holiday before cannot compare to Sandals. We had a Sandals holiday about 5 years ago and had a great time and an even greater deal then!
Resort grounds very nice and well maintained. Buildings undergoing cosmetic upgrades when we were there.
We were in block 2 on 2nd floor and had partial sea view but was classed as Palm garden room. Bed very comfortable and furniture looked new. Bathroom very tired and shower pressure poor most of our stay, but understand water issues are part of upgrading programme.
We experienced some minor issues during our stay which we felt should not have been issues if staff were trained and communication between staff good. Some things were noticeably improving on a daily basis, but some things never seemed to be sorted! If you can chat to the head of housekeeping and mini bar informally and mention any issues they are keen to help you in our experience, but I think they need to try and get staff who can use their initiative more, rather than doing the bare minimum!
The beach is lovely and often huge waves, we saw the turtles hatching, truly amazing experience, and we felt very lucky to witness this. Never had a problem getting sunbed any time of day, we don't play the towel game! Always plenty of beach towels at main pool. Red flag for last 4 days of our stay, full moon plays havoc with tidal surges and waves came long way up beach!
We found food to be very good most of time. I do not want to serve myself dinner in a 4/5 star hotel, (don't mind breakfast and lunch buffet) we booked schooners and never had any problems, and ate in yes please with no problems either.
We ate out at Chez Max at the far end of the gap, walked in with no reservation and given window seat looking out to sea and saw ray swimming in sea, meal very good but not cheap. We found Barbados to be quite expensive compared to other Caribbean Islands, apart from bus travel, 1 usd per person everywhere! The reggae buses are fun if you don't mind being squashed! We went to Carlisle bay for snorkelling and saw turtles every time there, get off bus opposite prime ministers offices and walk onto beach, bus takes about 10 mins from sandals. For a longer bus trip go to crane beach, absolutely beautiful, get bus going to Sam lord castle and go to end of route, about 45 mins, seeing lots of Island en route, bus driver will tell you where to get off and follow road down to beach, not for mobility impaired though! This beach has 2 parts, to the left when facing sea it is very wild and not suitable for swimming, to right is safer but still big waves.
The people of Barbados are some of the friendliest and most engaging we have ever met. We had a lovely time and although hotel not up to Sandals standard yet, it is still a nice resort.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Barbados

Address: St Lawrence Gap SN, St Lawrence Gap 0, Barbados (Formerly Couples Barbados All-Inclusive)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Christ Church Parish > St Lawrence Gap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St Lawrence Gap
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 280
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on pristine Dover Beach where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic and endless sunshine is accompanied by gentle ocean breezes, Couples Barbados invites you to surrender to the calypso rhythms of paradise.As the only resort on the island dedicated exclusively to couples, Couples Barbados provides an idyllic refuge for you to recharge and reconnect with the one you love. And with more inclusions than anywhere else on Barbados, your worry-free holiday begins the moment you land on the island.So why not spend your days with white sand between your toes. Learn how to kayak, scuba dive or snorkel in azure blue waters. Get lost in 10 acres of tropical gardens. Play golf amidst tropical surroundings. Play tennis under the stars. Indulge in an invigorating or romantic massage for two. Enjoy the freshest seafood and best rum punch this side of heaven. Or simply relax to the sounds of Green Monkeys playing in the palm trees at sunset. After all, this is paradise Couples Barbados-style—where every enchanting day and magical night encourages you to live life well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Barbados St Lawrence Gap

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