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“A Great Week in Barbados” 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
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Great Week in Barbados”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Reecently Sandals bought this resort from Couples. It has not yet been 'Sandalized" and needs some work. However any shortcomings with the facility are overcome with the service and the location.
A short drive from the airport it is situated on a fantastic beach and close to all the amenities of Bridgetown.
Sandals is closing the resort from April to December to undertake major renovations including many new restuarants etc.
This will be a gem when it is completed.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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, March 8, 2014
Thank you for your review. We appreciate your comments about our resort and look forward to offering an exceptional vacation package to you in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

From our greeting at first arrival to Staff waving to us as we left a feeling of being treated as valuable guests almost like treasured family members.
This was our first visit to a Sandals resort and our first visit to Barbados and the Caribbean and we were not disappointed. The setting is beautiful with the hotel right on the beach. Although this is apparently not yet "Sandalised" fully we had a very nice room in block 5 which is at the rear of the complex, nice and quiet yet still within east reach of everything.
The facilities are good, the food very well cooked with good variety in the buffet. There is a bookable restaurant called Schooners which serves an a l carte menu and the option of buying some alternative wines to those served routinely, which are not bad at all bad include a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Cabarnet. There is also a waitress service restaurant with a more limited menu called "Yes Please" which we ate at on 2 evenings and also enjoyed, at lunch time this becomes a vegetarian menu restaurant and offered light bites. There is also a small menu at the beach grill and here the steak and chips were excellent although the burgers were pre cooked at least on 1 day.The drinks on offer include many named brands as well as Barbadion equivalents. The Calypso bar and entertainment was very good, and the pool bar staff were very friendly, even remembering guests names.
Whilst we were there we enjoyed a beach party, movie night on the beach, and complimentary catamaran trip to swim with turtles and watch the sunset, definitely not to be missed, and a trip to Oistens fish fry night for which there is a refundable deposit.
We rarely return to any resorts usually wishing to visit new places but will hopefully return and look forward to seeing the refurbishment.
My only complaint would be that sometimes bathroom supplies and the complimentary drinks in the fridge were not replenished daily but anything missing was provided swiftly by ringing reception.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
England
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

We are a couple in our early 30s and stayed at the resort from 11th-19th Feb. The service was very good and staff friendly and helpful. The airport transfers were great, and took one stress out of the holiday, knowing that we were being taken care of.

We stayed in block 5 which was the furthest from the beach and dining areas, but it was less than a 5 minute walk to these facilities (through the tropical gardens).
I'd recommend booking your free trips pretty much when you get there as they book up quickly. These were Oistins on a Friday and the catamaran cruise on a Tuesday or Thursday (although they did put one on the Friday as the others were fully booked). Also book early for Schooners restaurant too...this was a lovely place (on the resort) to eat with great food and service!

The pools are all lovely, our favourite being the rectangle pool near 'Yes please' restaurant. The warm very large jacuzzi near block 5 was also lovely in the evening too!

The onsite spa was good too. I had a Shellac french manicure and it was very good and is only now starting to come off now...and that's over two weeks since it was done.

If you want to swim in calmer sea waters then take a taxi up to Carlisle Bay and set up camp for the day here. It's a sheltered bay with deck chairs and parasols to rent and places to get food and drinks from too. Turtles are also in the bay....so worth taking a snorkel!
I'd recommend getting a local bus (number 11-white mini bus) back to the resort...it's $2 (barbados dollars) and was great entertainment in itself! You are crammed in to the bus with other tourists and locals and reggae music is blasted through the bus...it's great and a definite 'local' experience! Just let the guy collecting the money know you want to get off at Sandals and he'll make sure the driver stops!

We also hired a car for the day, which was brilliant too and very reasonable. We went to Harrison's caves, mount gay rum museum and to Holetown and back via Sandy Lane. If you want to see more of the island then I'd recommend you hire a car for two or there days.

The evening entertainment was ok...the steel band had a very long set list...we'd had enough after 45 minutes and they weren't even halfway through their list of songs! I'd recommend the night when they have the different acts (acrobats, dancing, band and limbo) - which I think is the Caribbean flava night.

All in all we had a lovely time and would love to go back when all the renovations are finished!

The only niggle I have was the inconsistency in the time of the turn-down service. One day it was at 6pm, and the other was at nearly 10pm ( when I was already in bed asleep). Be aware that even if you have your "do not disturb" sign on your door the room staff may still knock!

On the last day of our holiday we got to witness 75 baby turtles hatching on the beach near the sun loungers!

Thanks for a nice holiday Sandals and Barbados!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Sandals Barbados is in for an owerhaul, and its needed. Belive planned for this April.
We stayed for sunny 8 days.
Still acceptable standard in the room. Wall A/C, decent bed, bathroom, normal standard, but things starts to look a bit old. Like a charter hotel from the -60's or maybe the -70's.

Location, just perfect, on the beach, beutiful view from the room if you pay the extra for sea front. Beutiful garden with a devoted gardener. Beach great, many sunbeds, always a free spot. The view from room and beach is like a dream.

Food for most part, if not always great, still very good, with a fantastic variety.
Brekfast, you will gain weight, lunch, same here, deserts for lunch is out of this world. Dinner, at our stay you could choose from three resturants. With the same kitchen serving all you knew you would not be dissapointed when it came to food quality.

Drawbacks, yes some. rooms and general standard is not really what I would have expected at a Sandals resort.
Staff, many, I don't think I have been to a hotel with so many staff present before. But, great numbers doesn't compensate for lack of experience and interest.
Some staff just great, willing, interested, concerned. Always a "good morning" a smile and as it seemed a sincere interest in all the guests.
But many seemed not to concerned with either customers or their own work. Supervision or training must step up several levels, at all departments, resturants, bars and frontdesk. Housekeeping, same here, late service and with a quality that varied greatly.

It is a gem to be. Fix the standrad up a notch or two, review staff, training and supervision and I am sure next visit here will be a totally greater experience.

Room Tip: Spend the extra money and get a seafront room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
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 March 1, 2014

We stayed at this resort from Feb. 21-28. Overall we had a great time and enjoyed our stay. Just a few points as many of the recent reviews have covered most of the strengths and weaknesses of this resort. We have stayed at various Sandals 12 times and as noted in other reviews a comparison at this juncture of ownership is not reasonable.

The beach is very nice, with beautiful white and that carries into the ocean, no beach shoes needed here. There are lots of chairs either in the sun or in the shade. You can walk a fair distance either way as the beach is public and it allows you to walk past resorts on either side of Sandals.
Where this resort is limited is in the water sports area. The surf makes many things a challenge. You can go sailing with the water sports guys most days however it is too rough to sail by yourself.
Wind surfing is only an option for the professional as the waves are too big. Body surfing on a boogie board is available on most days however some days the flags are red and access to the ocean is restricted. I would be very surprised if Sandals will be able to install a pier for boat docking in this area as it would be difficult to give any protection.
So if you are big into water sports, you should probably look elsewhere. This is not due to the water sports guys but rather it is due to the location of the resort as it is on the south west coast where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic.

The playmakers are fairly active but not overly pushy. We were able to enjoy many beach volleyball games with a group of guys and ladies in the 40-60 year old range. Lots of fun with guests and playmakers. The court is nicely situated to allow for games that do not affect sun loungers too much and far enough from the water to keep the ball dry.

This resort does attract a fair number of senior guests who seem to stay in the quieter area of the resort. We were able to interact with many of them however the majority were content to sit by beach and pool, catch the sun and read.

We were in building one on the third floor in the middle of the building. A great spot to stay as it is close to amenities, and has a great view of the ocean as it is in the center of the building where the view is not restricted by the trees. We are middle aged and perhaps "old fashioned" however the decor is not great. A red/ pink accent wall with grey tones for draperies, modern style furniture etc is not my choice for a room in this setting. It will be difficult for Sandals to improve significantly on these rooms due to size restriction however a retooling of the colours and furniture would get my vote. I hope that the mattresses will get changed as well, they are not bad but a bit hard.

Barbados is a nice island, where everyone can communicate in English. The Bajans are a warm friendly people and this is reflected in the staff that work diligently at accommodating your needs.

The grounds are beautiful, this resort has a tropical forest in the middle of the resort with giant palms and lush grounds. We had wonderful weather with warm temps, a warm ocean and only a bit of rain. Enjoy!!

Room Tip: Center rooms in building one have a clearer view of the ocean
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

Many people who have stayed at other Sandals properties came away 'disappointed'. We've been to Antigua and St. Lucia and it's not even close to being fair to judge that way. As it was for our stay, Feb. 13-21, it was outstanding. Couples leased it because it fit their laid back model (we've been to Negril and Tower Isle).

As many have said, the staff is what makes it happen, and they delivered. The bar staff-J.P., Jermaine, Randy, Shontelle, Andreas, Crystal, and Raesheda, and more did a very nice job of keeping us entertained (and vice versa, I believe). The serving staff of the restaurants were very attentive and (Princess) some are very good photographers.

The food was excellent and diverse Caribbean cuisine. Even had hot dogs and hamburgers in the afternoon if we wanted. Anthony's omelettes can't be beat. Beware, they even have occasional rain for about 20 minutes, but at least you don't have to shovel it, and there are no drifts. Kinda put a damper on the beach party, but the staff put that back in order, too.

Oistins fish fry is a must do. Go on Friday if crowds don't bother you, otherwise try another day. Pat's place did not disappoint. You get plenty of seafood at a very nice price.

Water-sports were great, haven't had body boarding that good for years. Yes, we had some red flag days, but when the Caribbean was open, there was really nice surf-not the lounging type one might find at the more protected bays. Had a very nice Hobie Cat ride with Jerome at the rudder-nice job.

We did the Island Safari which turned out to be an outstanding idea. Got a tour around the island with our driver Damien aka Timothy aka Tall Man in Short Pants. Very informative and fun, but not for the frail.....Damien ensured we got some 'adventure' and some of the cow trails that pose as roads through the sugar cane fields can be a bit rough.

I'm very interested in the $65M remodel starting April 1, because they definitely have a gem-Mr. Stewart is on to something great. I truly hope that they retain the wonderful talent that is there right now, because they have the foundation of a great place already.

We're very happy with our stay in Barbados, and very much look forward to seeing our new friends again!

Room Tip: I think they would all be good. If you don't like stairs, block 1 has an elevator (lift). The...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Barbados, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
We're so happy to read that you had such an amazing vacation at Sandals Barbados. We always want to exceed the expectations of our guests and ensure that they are enjoying themselves during their stay. The staff will be encouraged to hear of your kind mention. Thank you so much for your review.

We look forward to your return in the near future.

Happy Travels!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

We stayed at Sandals 13-20 february and after reading all the negative reviews on trip advisor, i can honestly say i was dreading it, how wrong could we have been.
The staff are fanatastic, food great and the beach is straight of a post card, our room 1207 had the most amazing view of the ocean.
barbados is the most beautiful island, with genuine warm friendly people, I would suggest to all guests to catch the number 11 reggae bus and go and explore the island.
To all the guests who have made negative remarks about this resort, put your hands in your pockets and pay for a stuffy hotel, full of old people on the west coast.
Special thank you to everyone especially Shakira, for looking after us so well. x x x

Room Tip: upgrade to a sea view, much nicer
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
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, March 1, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review of Sandals Barbados. It sounds like you had such an amazing stay with us. Shakira is one of our best and I'm so happy to hear she made your stay such an incredible experience.

We look forward to you visiting again with us in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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