which I suppose is to be expected since we weren't staying at the hotel.. But of course being who I am,,I just had to experience what many people consider the finest resort in the Caribbean - so afternoon tea with my Mom and sister seemed like the best way to do it, and at $90 for the three of us it seemed worth it too!
Having worked in hospitality previously, I really enjoyed just driving through the Sandy Lane "estate" and seeing all of the massive villas that people rent for upwards of $25,000 a week. Our taxi driver dropped us off at what I think was the main entrance to the hotel, and we were escorted down the steps to the "Lower level terrace". Please keep in mind that if you MUST HAVE A RESERVATION in order to get past the guard gate…this is not the type of place that takes walk-ins. Anyhow, we were promptly seated in an area that seems quite removed from where the hotel guests are. We were also told that while we were free to walk around, we were not to sit and order beverages at the bar, as that space is reserved for guests only. We did manage to walk around a bit before/after tea,,but we really did feel like intruders and quickly sat back down at our table. From what we saw the grounds are absolutely gorgeous and the sea is as calm as a lake..if you like pink then this is the place for you. My 13 year old sister couldn't stop talking bout how she wants to come back and actually stay at Sandy Lane for her quince (15th birthday). I appreciated everything about the hotel, but even if I had the budget it wouldn't be my first choice. I prefer small, boutique properties.. Anyway...
We ordered the traditional afternoon tea I believe,,and for $90 it really is great value. The three of us couldn't even finish it! It comes with a few sandwiches - smoked salmon, egg salad, curry chicken salad, and about a dozen baked goods of all different shapes, sizes, tastes, and textures as well as a whole basked of delicious warm scones! We thoroughly enjoyed trying everything..and also ordered cappuccinos with it as we aren't big tea people. They also offer take away bags (I know, not the classiest thing to do!) and my 13 year old sister continued to enjoy the left over sweets thoroughly over the next few days..
All in all it was a memorable experience, but just be aware that you will feel a bit like an intruder/poser if you aren't actually staying at the hotel. Frankly, I'm surprised that they even allow "outsiders" to come into the hotel int he first place! But the main takeaway here is - it's worth doing once (preferably with the ladies in your party!)!
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